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. Jinda

    Was she on Pee Wee's Playhouse?

    November 23, 2010 at 3:07 pm | Report abuse |
  2. Bill

    So with all the serious issues our government has to deal with, she wants a full house vote to allow here to wear a hat. Give us a break and impeach the self-serving idiot.

    November 23, 2010 at 3:07 pm | Report abuse |
  3. Allison

    I hope Rep. Frederica Wilson can get more concerned about making policy that can help other hurting Americans versus the ability of the congress to wear hats. I can't wear a hat in my office because it is destracting, so she should stop worrying about her fashion statements and get to work!!!!

    November 23, 2010 at 3:09 pm | Report abuse |
  4. Milo

    Holy Crap! I think we FINALLY found Carmen Sandiego!!! If she had the trench coat, we'd have the mystery solved for sure....

    November 23, 2010 at 3:13 pm | Report abuse |
  5. Well...

    Hat Lady: Dumb. It's her way of saying, "LOOK AT ME!" Quit giving her attention and do not allow her to get anywhere with wasting time on trying to change it. There are a lot more important things they need to be working on.

    Addicted to killing war veteran: Um. My guess is that his professor gave him an A so he wouldn't get p!ssed off at him. And yes, he should be evaluated before letting him back on campus.

    Taliban impostor: What do we really expect? Bring our guys home and put them on OUR BORDER, where we actually need them.

    November 23, 2010 at 3:16 pm | Report abuse |
  6. characteristics

    Is it just my imagination? But the new House Speaker, Boehner, gives the impression of someone who is not quite emotionally or mentally stable?

    November 23, 2010 at 3:18 pm | Report abuse |
  7. Jake

    Dear Rep. Frederica Wilson – You're one flying buttress short of a cathedral

    November 23, 2010 at 3:46 pm | Report abuse |
  8. Jack NYC

    I don't know. I like hanging out in my torn bluejeans and ripped up sneakers but, when I go to work, I try to look professional. This woman is a bit emotionally stunted. We all want to dress up but we are also required sometimes to dress accordingly. Doctors need to wear lab coats, lawyers should wear suits to court etc etc. Representatives should dress accordingly. Unless it is for religious reasons get with the program. Grow up. You don't like the rules? Too bad. There are a lot of silly rules many of us don't like. I'd prefer going to work in my ripped up jeans but I don't make an issue of it. Grown up suck it up. Children have petty demands.

    November 23, 2010 at 4:14 pm | Report abuse |
  9. Mike

    She'll eventually play the race card and all the white boys will shut up real quick ....

    November 23, 2010 at 4:18 pm | Report abuse |
  10. Liberty Queen

    Charles Whittington, the Iraq war vet who states he is "addicted" to killing Iraqi "...ragheads who hurt our country" is a disturbed brainwashed nutcase. Listen up, Charlie [Manson], it wasn't the "ragheads" who did anything to our country on 9/11, it was Cheney who created his "Pearl Harbor" by having the Twin Towers blown up as a pretext to start an illegal and immoral war for the benefit of his buddies at Haliburton, et al, i.e., the lucrative war machine. It's time to lock up Charles Whittington.

    November 23, 2010 at 4:20 pm | Report abuse |
    • David Alekna

      really what corner do you get your stuff from...I'll keep clear, must have alot of loons you

      November 23, 2010 at 5:00 pm | Report abuse |
  11. cartman

    The golden rule with hats is to never wear one that has more personality than you.

    November 23, 2010 at 4:21 pm | Report abuse |
  12. bryanmark

    What an idiot...I regret that I can't get the 2 minutes of life I wasted reading about this clown back.

    November 23, 2010 at 4:37 pm | Report abuse |
  13. Ringo55

    Leave your ENORMOUS EGO at the door as well, sista!

    November 23, 2010 at 4:43 pm | Report abuse |
  14. David Alekna

    the Great State of! this is the last straw, I will no longer be embarrassed by Florida politics, I'm looking to relocate. realy, this is the business of the people

    November 23, 2010 at 4:59 pm | Report abuse |
  15. Terry

    Another dumb @#$ politician. Elected by a even bigger number of dumb @#$'s

    November 23, 2010 at 4:59 pm | Report abuse |
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