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. Republican

    We know why she was elected...and we know why Obama was elected. Can someone please translate this to Ebonics for me?

    November 23, 2010 at 1:59 pm | Report abuse |
    • tnwoman1948

      @Republican:

      You Republicans say you are not racists? You will probably be wearing your pointy sheets in broadlight soon, if not now. You and your ilk are sad and pitiful.

      November 23, 2010 at 11:36 pm | Report abuse |
    • tnwoman1948

      I tried to post a response to "Republican's" evil comment and CNN would not post it. CNN is morelike FOX "News" every day.

      November 23, 2010 at 11:40 pm | Report abuse |
  2. Kenny

    This IDIOT hasn't taken office yet and already she has decided that her agenda is going to be to change the House Rules so she can wear her hat, her Stetson. With all the problems our country is facing right now I think having the House of Representatives consider a Rules change to allow her to wear her Stetson would be just what Democrats need to get themselves run out of town on rails. Now don't think this is some Republican bashing this Democrat. This is a citizen being critical of stupidity and this citizen happens to be a Democrat.

    November 23, 2010 at 2:09 pm | Report abuse |
  3. CWBarrett

    Just let her wear the hats for Allah's sake.

    November 23, 2010 at 2:22 pm | Report abuse |
  4. Gary Lapman

    So what else is new. A politician says anything to get elected, and then follows his/her own desires and goals. If I had elected someone that flagrantly wasted taxpayer time and money to pursue a hat rule, I'd push for a recall and replacement. How dare she stick all that crap in our faces now that the election is over. Kiss your future goodbye...

    November 23, 2010 at 2:26 pm | Report abuse |
  5. Arc

    Unemployment is at 12% and climbing here in Fl., The schools are in shambles and the mortgage crisis has no end in sight. And all our new House member wants do do is raise a stink aboout her damned hat. We are so SCREWED! Time to move to another state,

    November 23, 2010 at 2:27 pm | Report abuse |
  6. C.J.

    Well it looks like it will be business as usual again with our elected officials. Why get down to the serious business of fixing this country while we have hat issues to deal with?

    November 23, 2010 at 2:39 pm | Report abuse |
  7. Dave254

    She seems really concerned about the nation's true problems, like the rest of the Democrats.

    November 23, 2010 at 2:42 pm | Report abuse |
  8. oz ro

    Hopefully you guys will wake up form these puppets and know the real government. I would highly recommend you go watch on you tube renaissance 2.0 lesson 1 and go from there. You guys really need to wake up.. Sad how you people are played.

    November 23, 2010 at 2:48 pm | Report abuse |
  9. JayKay

    Wilson isn't intriguing, she's an idiot.

    November 23, 2010 at 2:54 pm | Report abuse |
  10. aviator7

    Bella ABZUG not Bella Azburg

    November 23, 2010 at 2:54 pm | Report abuse |
  11. Michael

    Proof that greater than 50% of hte hat lady's district are idiots. Shame on them and shame on her!

    November 23, 2010 at 2:58 pm | Report abuse |
  12. Jiggered

    She probably thinks it's real fine and dandy that her name is all over the news and that people are talking about her — even if it is for all the WRONG REASONS. Wake up!! So far you're as useful as a flat tire, Wilson!

    November 23, 2010 at 3:00 pm | Report abuse |
  13. Jayden

    HA HA HA HA HA! A true "connoisseur of hats" would not be seen in the unholy atrocity she has perched on her head!

    November 23, 2010 at 3:02 pm | Report abuse |
  14. Susan K.

    Is she a member of the Red Hat Society?

    November 23, 2010 at 3:03 pm | Report abuse |
  15. SoulTrain1943

    she auditionin' for howdy doody role

    November 23, 2010 at 3:05 pm | Report abuse |
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