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. Andreas Moser

    When will I make it into this section?

    November 23, 2010 at 12:21 pm | Report abuse |
  2. Jonathon Moxon

    I raised you to be a winner, so dammit boy, win!

    November 23, 2010 at 12:28 pm | Report abuse |
  3. kat

    I am sure the folks of miami r proud of their elected official. With everything that needs addressed & voted on the upcoming debate & wasted time to vote on hats will take up time for other, more diverse, issues. She must be GOP.

    November 23, 2010 at 1:00 pm | Report abuse |
    • Craig Shearer


      You might want to read the article. Then you will realize that she is one of you.

      November 23, 2010 at 2:19 pm | Report abuse |
    • mobrule

      der, try reding reeding uh reading the article, it clearly says she's a dem. I'm not, but say good for her. life doesn't have to be all pain and arguments, lighten up people.

      November 23, 2010 at 2:23 pm | Report abuse |
    • Lagnafe

      Re:kat she is a low life progressive baby killing Democrap, I mean democrat

      November 23, 2010 at 9:23 pm | Report abuse |
    • boris1421

      She is a democrat. Gw Bush and Herbert Hoover were GOP. Remember them !! They both single handedly brought the country to financial ruin

      November 27, 2010 at 6:44 pm | Report abuse |
  4. kat

    I stand corrected. Jnust gop in spirit.

    November 23, 2010 at 1:02 pm | Report abuse |
    • detsea

      you are dumb. let her fight for her hat regardless of the party. if everyone conforms, nothing will ever change.

      November 23, 2010 at 5:46 pm | Report abuse |
  5. Cathy

    There was no Congresswoman named Bella Asburg. Her name was Bella Abzug. Seriously, CNN...aren't you in the business of correct news reporting?

    November 23, 2010 at 1:48 pm | Report abuse |
    • mobrule

      c'mon, you want it fast AND right? good thing nobody cares about being unbiased...

      November 23, 2010 at 2:25 pm | Report abuse |
    • JayKay

      Bella had Azburgers syndrome

      November 23, 2010 at 2:56 pm | Report abuse |
  6. Angela

    Doesn't she have better things to fight for?

    November 23, 2010 at 1:49 pm | Report abuse |
  7. Dave


    November 23, 2010 at 1:50 pm | Report abuse |
  8. Anti-Hat Legislation

    She be representin' wit dat hat
    Gimme a break...$exist – how about relative taste?

    November 23, 2010 at 1:50 pm | Report abuse |
  9. Tom

    It's Bella Abzug, not Azburg. Come on CNN!

    November 23, 2010 at 1:51 pm | Report abuse |
  10. Dave

    gets to washington only to make a FOOL of herself...NICE

    November 23, 2010 at 1:53 pm | Report abuse |
  11. Rikitix

    This representative from FL has got nothing better to do and she does it in the House. Good job Florida.

    November 23, 2010 at 1:53 pm | Report abuse |
  12. JosephBleaux

    If she wants to wear her stupid hat and look like a clown so be it. Then nobody will take her seriously and she won't be able to accomplish anything.

    November 23, 2010 at 1:54 pm | Report abuse |
    • mstallk

      Just like it is right now?

      November 23, 2010 at 1:58 pm | Report abuse |
  13. Jason

    Most women who get to keep their hats on indoors, are wearing the pieces that arent much bigger than a cereal bowl. That thing is man sized. I'm a democrat and I say too bad lady; take it off.

    November 23, 2010 at 1:55 pm | Report abuse |
  14. Mok

    Apparently, there are some Florida representatives that can be considered "overhead" on the yearly cost sheets.

    November 23, 2010 at 1:56 pm | Report abuse |
  15. mstallk

    What is wrong with this woman that she has to fight to wear gaudy hats that don't even look good when she has so many other things to fight for?

    November 23, 2010 at 1:57 pm | Report abuse |
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