November 23rd, 2010
12:21 PM ET

Tuesday's intriguing people

Rep. Frederica Wilson

The Florida Democrat hasn’t even taken office, but she is already gearing up for a fight over an age-old U.S. House rule.

Wilson is a connoisseur of hats, especially sequined cowboy ones, and she doesn’t take kindly to being told that the House doesn’t cotton to its members rocking Stetsons in its chamber.

“It's sexist,” Wilson told The Miami Herald. “It dates back to when men wore hats, and we know that men don't wear hats indoors, but women wear hats indoors. Hats are what I wear. People get excited when they see the hats. Once you get accustomed to it, it's just me. Some people wear wigs or high heel shoes or big earrings or pins. This is just me.”

Wilson had to take off her hat for her official congressional picture, a ruling she said she plans to appeal.

The odds are against the flamboyant freshman, according to PolitiFact. The hat ban has been in place since 1837, and was upheld during the 1970s when Rep. Bella Abzug pushed to sport her trademark broad-rimmed hats.

It will likely take a full House vote to overturn the rule, PolitiFact reported.

But Wilson does not seem deterred. Though she recently said she doesn’t know how many hats she owns, she told the Tampa Bay Times last year that she owns about 300, some of which are custom-dyed to match her suits.

Though it would be unreasonable to expect a photo gallery of all the hats, which take up an entire room in her house, the Miami New Times is showcasing 25 of its favorites.

Charles Whittington

The 24-year-old Iraq War veteran wrote in a class essay that he was addicted to killing.

Whittington told CNN it was an attempt to work through the issues he incurred after surviving three bomb attacks between October 2005 and June 2007. The last one saw him medevaced out of battle.

In his essay, Whittington wrote that turning off his addiction is impossible and he needed it “so I can feel like myself.”

“When I stick my blade through his stomach or his ribs or slice his throat, it's a feeling that I cannot explain, but feels so good to me, and I become addicted to seeing and acting out this act of hate and violence against the rag heads that hurt our country,” he wrote.

You can watch video of him read another portion of his essay at CNN affiliate WBFF-TV's website.

His professor at the Community College of Baltimore County gave him an “A” on the assignment and encouraged him to have it published, which he did in the school newspaper last month. On November 5, Whittington was told he was barred from campus pending a psychological evaluation, which he is receiving Tuesday.

“When you look in the era of post-Virginia Tech and the content and the nature that he wrote about in the article, it caused us concerns,” college spokeswoman Hope Davis said. "We had to take some action against Mr. Whittington to ensure the safety of the college."

Though other veterans attending the college expressed concern, readers of The Baltimore Sun have written in support of Whittington, who insists he is no threat and wants only a college education.

One letter to the editor said school officials owe Whittington an apology, and another said the “school's administration is merely hindering his recovery process and telling him that expressing his deepest emotions is wrong and dangerous.”

Akhtar Muhammad Mansour

The mullah said to be representing the Taliban in recent negotiations in Kabul turned out to be … well, someone else – and nobody seems to know who.

A Western diplomat told The New York Times that the impostor was given “a lot of money,” but American officials said they had given up hope the man was even a member of the Taliban leadership.

The paper reported that the impostor had traveled from Pakistan thrice to meet with NATO and Afghan officials, even traveling on a NATO aircraft and sitting down with Hamid Karzai at the presidential palace.

The Afghan president, however, is calling the report bogus and says he never met with Mansour or an impostor.

“Don’t trust The New York Times,” Karzai told Al Jazeera.

The network further reported that U.S. officials always had suspicions about the man and acknowledged that “they don’t often know what these people look like” because they have been in hiding so long.

It may be worth noting that there is a great deal of confusion in regard to the Taliban leadership in general.

What is known is that Mansour is the former shadow governor of Kandahar and the Taliban's ex-minister of civil aviation and transportation, according to The Long War Journal. INTERPOL issued a special notice in 2007 saying Mansour was involved in drug trafficking and subject to U.N. sanctions.

Foreign Policy slammed officials who have been leaking optimistic reports of the negotiations to reporters, including those at The Times. The journal also said that, despite reports Mansour is the Taliban No. 2, it’s not even clear where Mansour stands in the insurgent group’s hierarchy.

Quipped a writer for Time magazine, “When even the guys in charge can be fooled by a fake, it doesn't take an intelligence specialist to conclude that talks aren't getting anywhere.”

soundoff (71 Responses)
  1. tmil

    This lady Fredrica Wilson needs to pick the fights that will help this economy and get us back on track. Wearing a hat does not help this nation. So stop the foolisness.

    November 23, 2010 at 5:50 pm | Report abuse |
  2. pw

    Can you people spell!!!

    November 23, 2010 at 5:50 pm | Report abuse |
  3. pw

    Please use spell check before you post!!!

    November 23, 2010 at 5:54 pm | Report abuse |
  4. sam

    Cartman you are just as much of a moron as rep. Wilson. Grow up and stop reading junk from the 9/11 truthers! I wear hats like a stetson I was born on a ranch of course we wear them but jezz! That hat I wouldn't let a horse get near it! Worry about other things then some stupid nasty lookin hat! We have enough problems to deal with like that socialist nut job sitting in the whitehouse!

    November 23, 2010 at 7:44 pm | Report abuse |
  5. kim

    In a uproar about wearing hats but not concern the least about letting a crazed cold blooded killer loose on campus with a bunch of college student dam that a mistake with more then one warning sign. I just cant feel sorry for people this incredibly stupid! Whittington admit to enjoying the act of killing when that feeling hits I doubt he cares who he takes out.

    November 23, 2010 at 9:41 pm | Report abuse |
  6. sam

    As a combat vet myself I can understand how he feels the rush of combat does have a weird sensation or high if you will. But I do think he is in need of some counseling. I still don't think he needs to be locked up into a loony bin.

    November 23, 2010 at 10:35 pm | Report abuse |
  7. Mark S. Alexander

    FREDERICA is America's Emelda! - What a waste of Political Power! Just like @GigiJanel wasting 12 years IGNORING her father – moi. D.D./M.S.A.

    November 23, 2010 at 11:41 pm | Report abuse |
  8. Mark S. Alexander

    Hey! anyone seen my daughter, Gigi, @GigiJanel in London? Let me know, 4 it's been 12 years since I saw her at age 5&1/2. - SAD STORY. D.D./M.S.A.

    November 23, 2010 at 11:44 pm | Report abuse |
  9. Mark S. Alexander

    It's just that it's time of the year, – Holidays & my daughter's B.D./Jan2, & even though I'm in Hawaii, – living Homeless on the street, – I am ALONE again 4 the season, and some ersatz daddy is buying & getting my daughter Gigi's Attention & Affection- so, if anyone knows her where-abouts email me, Mark, at or call me 808) 375-8404 Thanks. D.D./M.S.A.

    November 23, 2010 at 11:53 pm | Report abuse |
  10. B.Utt Hole

    When I eat food, eventually it comes out of my butthole.

    November 24, 2010 at 6:53 am | Report abuse |
  11. jackson

    The people she represents in her district should be allowed a "do-over" and should be able to elect someone who has just a smidgen of intellect, integrity and intelligence. With all the pressing issues we face as a country, all this "elected official" can come up with is a motion to allow her hats in the chamber? Pray tell, is this the best she can do? Ms. Wilson is more interested in getting herself and her 'hat fetish" fashion show on CNN and other media outlets than she is about the issues that affect the people she is supposed to represent. Once again, these politicians just can’t seem to grasp why ‘we the people’ are so fed up with them. Ms. Wilson, wear your sequined hat to church, it has no business in the chamber doing the peoples business.

    November 24, 2010 at 11:34 am | Report abuse |
  12. Stephanie Frances

    Let a little sunshine in. Read the Little Bits of Happy Blog, an inspirational dose of quotes every day with a touch of encouragement to live the life you dream about.

    November 24, 2010 at 9:05 pm | Report abuse |
  13. M.A.R.'s 2 cents

    If women want to be treated equally, then they should have to remove their hats when appropriate. Including the national anthem.

    November 27, 2010 at 12:12 am | Report abuse |
  14. boris1421

    I can see we are going to get a lot done with her in office.

    November 27, 2010 at 6:40 pm | Report abuse |
  15. Guntown Johnny

    I'm sure the people of Florida are so pleased that they have such a brilliant legislator who thinks "it's all about ME" and 200-plus years of decorum be damned!!!

    November 28, 2010 at 9:06 pm | Report abuse |
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