Pelosi Makes the Right Move On Harman

It looks like Jane Harman will not become the chair of the House Intelligence committee:Because Pelosi is kicking Jane Harman off the Intelligence Committee. Harman is, of course, Jewish and very rightwing on Israel.

So now Nancy, whose views on Israel aren't very far from Harman's (although she is decidedly in favor of negotiations and the two-state solution) is a Peretz enemy. Today he actually compares Nancy to Bella Abzug (in my opinion, a compliment) which is a terrible slam coming from Peretz because Abzug was, oh the humanity, a liberal Jew who was a moderate on Israel.

Why am I telling you all this. I'm telling you this because everyone needs to know that Marty Peretz and his neocon buddies in the media are now all going to be bashing Pelosi nonstop. Pelosi will get attacked viciously for this, but it is the right move. It isn't the right move because Harman is extremely right-wing on Israel. There are two other major pressing reasons that Harman should not be the chair. The first is that Harman is under investigation for illegally trying to use AIPAC in order to become the chair:Did a Democratic member of Congress improperly enlist the support of a major pro-Israel lobbying group to try to win a top committee assignment? That's the question at the heart of an ongoing investigation by the FBI and Justice Department prosecutors, who are examining whether Rep. Jane Harman of California and the American Israel Public Affairs Committee (AIPAC) may have violated the law in a scheme to get Harman reappointed as the top Democrat on the House intelligence committee, according to knowledgeable sources in and out of the U.S. government. The second reason is that the Democratic chair of the Intelligence committee should not be supporting Bush's illegal wiretapping program. Here is Harman defending the program on Fox News last year:HUME: And outline, if you will, your concerns about those briefings.

HARMAN: All right. Well, first of all, the program we were briefed on in a very closed environment in the White House, with no staff present, on a basis that we could not discuss it with anyone, was basically a foreign collection program. I still support that program. And I think the leak of that program to The New York Times and maybe elsewhere compromises national security... Harman is a Blue Dog, but that should not disqualify anyone from holding a committee chair. She is also not a wingnut. Outside of issues relating to national security and foreign policy, where she clearly is a neocon, she is basically a run of the mill Democrat--perhaps even in the liberal mainstream. However, the credibility of the new Democratic Congress is at stake here, and we can't have Democrats illegally winning committee chairs through lobbyist influence so they can support unconstitutional wire-tapping programs on Capitol Hill and on Fox News while accusing the New York Times of treason. Harman's seat, CA-36, is not key to our majority in the House, and anyway it is a very blue seat where she survived a strong primary challenge this year from Marcy Winograd.

Democrats won this election largely on a rejection of Bush's foreign policy and on the impact of corruption / unethical behavior in several key districts. Harman, unfortunately, sports both of those negatives. She could very well have an illegal relationship with AIPAC in an attempt to increase her own influence, and she supports one of the overtly illegal portions of Bush's foreign and national security policies. Given this, I think it was not only absolutely correct for Pelosi to deny her the Intelligence chair, and to remove her from the committee altogether, but that it was almost certainly the best thing Pelosi has done over the past ten days. Democrats need to make it loud and clear that we will not have the same relationship with lobbyists that the Republican majority had, and that we are in fact willing to stand up to Bush's foreign and national security policies. This accomplishes both of those goals in one fell swoop.

Pelosi is going to get hammered by some segments of the press for doing this. I think we need to support her decision both loudly and clearly. We are not going to be able to drain the swamp all at once, but as with LA-02, this is a step in the right direction. It should be recognized and applauded.

Update: It would appear that there are serious concerns about about the potential replacements for Harman as well. That is not acceptable either. It is going to take a long time to drain this swamp. Ugh.

Tags: Alcee Hastings, Blue Dogs, CA-36, CBC, Congressional Black Caucus, Curt Weldon, Democrats, House 2008, House Intelligence Committee, Jane Harman, Manucher Ghorbanifar, Marcy Winograd, Nancy Pelosi, Pelosi, Silvestre Reyes, Solomon Ortiz (all tags)

Comments

69 Comments

Re: Pelosi Makes the Right Move On Harman

Unfortunately, on the ethics front, her replacement was impeached and removed from his federal judgship, by a Democratic Congress, for allegedly taking bribes.

by pontificator 2006-11-17 10:10AM | 0 recs
Re: Pelosi Makes the Right Move On Harman
Really? That sucks. Do you have the info on that?
by Chris Bowers 2006-11-17 10:15AM | 0 recs
Re: Pelosi Makes the Right Move On Harman

Here's a column on Hastings' impeachment and conviction.

by Adam B 2006-11-17 10:18AM | 0 recs
Re: Pelosi Makes the Right Move On Harman

Alcee Hastings is line to replace Harman

For some time now, California Rep. Jane Harmon has been the chief Democratic voice on the intelligence panel, but the word in Washington is that Pelosi has cut a deal with the Democratic Black Caucus to give the job to Rep. Alcee Hastings of Florida.

Wikipedia on Hastings:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Alcee_Hasti ngs

by pontificator 2006-11-17 10:19AM | 0 recs
Re: Pelosi Makes the Right Move On Harman

It's a strange case.  Wiki has it that he was tried in the senate only by a committee, not the full senate.  He appealed to the Supreme Court which decided it had no jurisdiction to rule on Senate conduct.

So it seems his removal was not how the constitution demands Senate trials be conducted.

Man, how do people like this keep getting elected?

by scientician 2006-11-17 10:20AM | 0 recs
Re: Pelosi Makes the Right Move On Harman
No kidding. What a mess. We have to make sure that we continue to oppose this in all of our members.
by Chris Bowers 2006-11-17 10:23AM | 0 recs
Re: Pelosi Makes the Right Move On Harman

On the other hand, he's run unopposed for his seat for years.

If the GOP had any objection, they had plenty of opportunity it state it.

No takers.

by Kagro X 2006-11-17 10:55AM | 0 recs
Re: Pelosi Makes the Right Move On Harman

They're already agitating for Hastings to get the job so they can slam him.

by Adam B 2006-11-17 11:04AM | 0 recs
Re: Pelosi Makes the Right Move On Harman

Right. What I mean is, if we're stuck with him, that's how I answer.

by Kagro X 2006-11-17 11:25AM | 0 recs
Re: Pelosi Makes the Right Move On Harman

To which they say, "We didn't think you were actually so blind to corruption as to do this!"

by Adam B 2006-11-17 01:08PM | 0 recs
Re: Pelosi Makes the Right Move On Harman

Republicans deal with allegations of Democratic corruption the same way they deal with their own.

They don't have anything to say about it until they think they can score points with it. And posing as altarboys, no less!

(Hey, whaddya gonna do? You have to say something, right?)

by Kagro X 2006-11-17 05:48PM | 0 recs
Hastings Was Elected Precisely Because Of HOW He

Was Treated

Look, if any group of people in America know how and why Bush deserves to be impeached ten times over, it is African Americans.  They have also seen a long line of black politicians gunned down--or attempted to.  Heck, back in the early 1980s, the Reagan Justice Department came after Ron Dellums--who they knew they could never beat at the polls--and tried to take him down on drug charges.  Problem was, Dellums is a former Marine sergeant, and there was less than zero credibility in the attempt.

So, when Hastings was impeached using irregular means, this was widely seen as just more of the same.  Particularly when he was acquitted at trial.

by Paul Rosenberg 2006-11-17 12:11PM | 0 recs
Re: Pelosi Makes the Right Move On Harman

It's a strange case.

What's so strange about rigging a trial to convict an African-American?

Alcee Hastings was acquitted at a criminal trial.  

Senators Arlen Specter and Jeff Bingaman, who actually read the evidence, voted for acquittal in the impeachment trial by the committee.  Senators who couldn't be bothered voted unanimously for conviction.

Alcee Hastings may be dirtier than a pig in slop for all I know but he was railroaded.  

Again I ask:  What is odd about an African-American being railroaded in a trial?

Best,  Terry

by terryhallinan 2006-11-17 06:13PM | 0 recs
Re: Pelosi Makes the Right Move On Harman

You'll have to give me some slack here, I only know the little I read at Wiki.  Clearly since Chris didn't know much about it either it's not exactly common knowledge.  Not all of us were politically aware in the 80s.

Anyway, that a Democratic congress impeached and (improperly) convicted this guy is itself strange and lamentable.  The trial by committee instead of full senate bit is particularly odd.

So while he was railroaded as you say, the manner in which this happened is unusual.  

by scientician 2006-11-19 09:05AM | 0 recs
Re: Pelosi Makes the Right Move On Harman

You'll have to give me some slack here

Sorry, scientician, if I was rude.  I don't mean to be.

Alcee Hastings was appointed by Jimmy Carter as the first African-American judge in Florida.  

His trial for bribery and then perjury for lying about it was based solely on the testimony of FBI agents who lacked such things as tape recording or any sort of other evidence beyond their sworn word.

Judge Hastings teed off Congress by not resigning on request.  The senators did not wish to be bothered with the spectacle and chose a subcommittee to hear hear and decide the case.  The committe chairman, Jeff Bingaman, and ranking member, Arlen Specter, actually read the "evidence" and voted for acquittal.  The committee members who did not and would not read the evidence produced at trial voted to convict.  The full Senate then obligingly followed without any semblance of the Constitutional requirements for a trial in the Senate.  The Senate could then have forbidden Hastings election to any office but did not.  Perhaps a small sign of contrition.  A court or two later determined the entire star chamber proceeding was unconstitutional but Judge Hastings chose not to pursue it.  One might be able to see why.

Judge Hastings appears to be ethnically-challenged, rather than ethically-challenged.

For sure that is what his constituents think though he is far more liberal than they.

What a wonderful choice this civil libertarian would be as chairman of Intelligence.

Best,  Terry

by terryhallinan 2006-11-19 10:07AM | 0 recs
Actually...

... I've written (what feels like!) umpteen pieces on the Harman/Hastings thing.

Just saying...

by skeptic06 2006-11-17 10:47AM | 0 recs
Re: Pelosi Makes the Right Move On Harman

I understand that Sylvestre Reyes of TX is the next most senior member of the Intel committee and a possible compromise alternative to either Harman or Hastings. I don't know anything about him, though, including his intel experience.

by kovie 2006-11-17 11:04AM | 0 recs
Re: Pelosi Makes the Right Move On Harman

Reyes is not a great choice either.  Check this out :

http://www.prospect.org/weblog/2006/11/p ost_2089.html

by Calvin Jones and the 13th Apostle 2006-11-17 11:58AM | 0 recs
Jesus H Christ!

Is there an intel expert in the house?

Because my lay guess is that this stuff raises a whole lot of questions that I couldn't guess at, let alone get at any answers.

I can get as far as What was in it for Reyes? Not to mention, Where does Ortiz fit in?

(Incisive, eh?!)

Stepping outside the black box, though, there's one pressing question I can get to: what did Pelosi know, and when did she know it?

If Reyes is a bad actor, or a would-be James Bond fantasist, now is the time to cross him off the list for HIC chairman.

(I won't even think about worse stuff that might have happened.)

by skeptic06 2006-11-17 01:47PM | 0 recs
Re: Pelosi Makes the Right Move On Harman

Ouch. Not good at all. Perhaps Pelosi should just pick someone who's never been on the committee and thus less likely to have ties to or be loyal to either of these three. She might even want to consider naming one of the freshmen if they have military and intel experience (and a law degree wouldn't hurt, either).

Too bad Webb isn't also in the house. Maybe Joe Sestak, who just beat Curt Weldon (ironically) and was an admiral in the Navy would be a good fit? Surely he knows a thing or two about intel and national security...

by kovie 2006-11-17 02:18PM | 0 recs
So?

Hey man, it's congress. You get what you get.  It's better then being in bed with a group that has actively spied on the U.S.

There is a huge difference between corruption and working for a whole other country.

by delmoi 2006-11-17 04:05PM | 0 recs
Awesome!

In reading the text of that Fox interview she gave, I surmise her position is that:

1) The Administration is not conducting "domestic" warrantless wiretapping
2) "Domestic" only refers to calls from one American to another where both are on US soil.  All other calls can be wiretapped at will with no court approval.

Further, her objections and opposition to the program are the prototypical mealymouthed non-opposition opposition we detest from Democrats.  And her position as she sees it is to implore and request that the administration obey the law with regard to wiretaps, because that would reassure and (her word) "comfort" the American people.

Shorter Harman:

"Oh pretty-please Mr. Bush, won't you obey our little ol' laws just to make us feel good?"

And she thinks the NY Times should be investigated and prosecuted for reporting on the program.

by scientician 2006-11-17 10:12AM | 0 recs
Re: Pelosi Makes the Right Move On Harman

So is it Alcee Hastings or Silvestre Reyes now?

by raginillinoian 2006-11-17 10:14AM | 0 recs
Re: Pelosi Makes the Right Move On Harman
I heard Hastings, but I don't know if that is certain.
by Chris Bowers 2006-11-17 10:14AM | 0 recs
Re: Pelosi Makes the Right Move On Harman

I hope it's Reyes. Hastings has some issues.

Actually according to TAPPED, Reyes has some issues too.

by DRR7799 2006-11-17 10:18AM | 0 recs
Re: Pelosi Makes the Right Move On Harman
Damn. It will take a long time to drain the swamp.
by Chris Bowers 2006-11-17 10:22AM | 0 recs
Re: Pelosi Makes the Right Move On Harman

You got that right. Allegedly, Hastings lied to a jury and tried personally tried to get witnesses stories in line with his own.

WP: "Hastings, a federal judge, gets word from Borders' lawyer that Borders has been arrested for conspiring to bribe him and that the FBI wants to interview him. Instead of calling the FBI agents whose names and numbers he's been given, Hastings leaves his hotel without checking out and heads to the airport outside Baltimore instead of National, where there's an earlier flight. At BWI, Hastings calls his girlfriend, has her call him back at a different pay phone, then asks her to leave the house to call him from a pay phone, then calls her back from a different pay phone. He doesn't speak to the FBI until they track him down at the girlfriend's house later that night."
http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/con tent/article/2006/10/31/AR2006103101314. html

I'd rather have Reyes or Harman in charge than this sleezeball.

I feel bad for Pelosi on this one. If she skips Hastings the CBC will be very upset. They're still licking their wounds from the Jefferson debacle.

by marksist 2006-11-17 10:31AM | 0 recs
Re: Pelosi Makes the Right Move On Harman

Shallow bullpen...  OK, So who's Leonard Boswell?!

by CranesAreFlying 2006-11-17 01:15PM | 0 recs
Re: Pelosi Makes the Right Move On Harman

What's TAPPED, and what issues might these be. According to his Wiki entry, he seems to be quite a good choice, and not even a compromise one:

Silvestre Reyes (born November 10, 1944) is a politician from the state of Texas, currently representing the state's 16th Congressional district (map) in the U.S. House. He is a Vietnam War veteran.

Reyes was born in Canutillo, Texas. Reyes served in the United States Army and he worked for the U.S. Border Patrol. In 1993, serving as the Chief Patrol Agent of the El Paso Border Patrol Sector, Reyes led the Border Patrol to position agents on the border to intercept illegal immigrants. Crime went down as a result of his move.

...

Reyes has been a key player in the 109th Congress because of his Immigration and Border Patrol experience. He was instrumental in leading the opposition to the house immigration proposal known as the "Sensenbrenner bill" largely criticized as "mean spirited" and "anti-immigrant". Democratic Leader Nancy Pelosi selected Reyes to present and lead the debate on a Democratic substitute to replace the Sensenbrenner legislation. It was voted down on a party line vote.

As a senior member of both the Armed Services and Select Intelligence Committees Congressman Reyes is a key member of Congress on Defense and military issues. His leadership is credited with the recent success of Fort Bliss and White Sands military bases in the most recent Base Realignment and Closure (BRAC) decisions by the Department of Defense.

Hmm. A veteran with law enforcement and border patrol experience, and a Hispanic who has worked to protect our borders yet who also opposes the racist nativist approach to dealing with illegal immigration, with expertise in intelligence and military affairs, who has successfully fought to protect bases and military jobs. This is a great resume that can only bother the sorts of people whose support we could care less about.

by kovie 2006-11-17 11:23AM | 0 recs
Re: Pelosi Makes the Right Move On Harman

Great post and I completely agree.

We need to lobby Pelosi to pick Reyes.  It would be WONDERFUL to get a qualified Latino to Chair such a high-profile, important committee such as this.

No way should Jane Harman (D-Likud) or Alcee Hastings (D-slimeball) get the chairmanship.

by jgarcia 2006-11-17 01:11PM | 0 recs
Re: Pelosi Makes the Right Move On Harman

I posted the link about Reyes up farther.  Sounds like he loved hanging out with "Crazy" Curt Weldon.

by Calvin Jones and the 13th Apostle 2006-11-17 11:59AM | 0 recs
Pelosi is going with Hastings?

What a DUMBASS move. Just what we need. Keep feeding the ridiculous media frenzy before even taking power. What a disaster.

by OfficeOfLife 2006-11-17 10:23AM | 0 recs
Ugh, come on...

The media will freak out about anything. See the John Kerry "botched joke." Worrying about what they'll do will only drive you crazy, you can't do anything right so don't try.

by delmoi 2006-11-17 04:15PM | 0 recs
Re: Pelosi Makes the Right Move On Harman

We Haven't even been sworn in as the new congress, yet we're already sacking insufficently progressive leaders (Harman and Hoyer) and we want to replace them with ethically challenged 'safe' votes. Forgive me for getting very, very cynical about our side ending "the culture of corruption" in Washington.

 

by bjschmid 2006-11-17 10:31AM | 0 recs
Harman Is An Apologist For Tyranny

It's not about being insufficiently progressive. It's about carrying water for Bush, even when it comes to illegal NSA wiretaps, which amounts to throwing the Constitution in the crapper.

It's bad enough that Republicans in the House and Senate would sign onto this.  But having this sort of crap from the Democratic chair of the Intelligence Committee is not just an insult to democracy, it's a grave injury.

Harman started acting a lot more responsibly, once Marcy Winograd started running against her in the primary last spring.  So it's not as if Harman has a principled reason for always kissing Bush's royal ass.  It's simply that she cares more about representing the panelists on the Sunday talk shows than she cares about representing her constitutents, or the Democratic Party as a whole.

Bottom line: Pelosi wants a leader to lead the intelligence committee.  What a concept!

by Paul Rosenberg 2006-11-17 12:21PM | 0 recs
Re: Pelosi Makes the Right Move On Harman

We Haven't even been sworn in as the new congress, yet we're already sacking insufficently progressive leaders (Harman and Hoyer) and we want to replace them with ethically challenged 'safe' votes.

Please watch your spelling.

You meant "ethnically-challenged" of course.

Best,  Terry

by terryhallinan 2006-11-17 06:20PM | 0 recs
That Time piece is - incomplete! And Pelosi is - ?

Uh oh!

Time failed to get a critical bit of the story. The Post obliged on October 25 (emphasis mine):

Federal law enforcement sources confirmed yesterday that the FBI opened an investigation in 2005 into whether Rep. Jane Harman (D-Calif.) improperly enlisted the aid of a pro-Israel lobbying group, but they cautioned that no evidence of wrongdoing was found.

(My comment on the Harman/AIPAC thing.)

I've not got the time to parse the Fox interview - but I can see nothing from a cursory skim that suggests that she is part of any swamp - which I equate with corruption. Has she had valuable consideration in exchange for her stance on NSA?

And the fact that Chris does not once mention #1 in line to take the HIC chair - crooked ex-judge Hastings - suggests something of a confusion between motes and beams!

If Reyes gets the job - well, he wasn't  Pelosi's first choice: that was swamp-denizen Hastings. And I'm not aware of anything against him.

But the Blue Dogs will be stirred up more than somewhat, and Pelosi would have screwed up again, apparently for the dual purpose of poking her enemy Harman in the eye and kow-towing to the CBC.

That's to be applauded?

by skeptic06 2006-11-17 10:37AM | 0 recs
Is it illegal for a Congressperson to ask

...members of a PAC to put in a good word for her regarding committee assignments?

by Eric Jaffa 2006-11-17 10:43AM | 0 recs
I thought her time was up, anyway.

Intelligence is a select committee, and I thought I'd read somewhere that Members are term-limited on it, and that Harman would need a waiver to stay in place.

by Kagro X 2006-11-17 10:58AM | 0 recs
I read that too

by Disputo 2006-11-17 11:06AM | 0 recs
Re: I thought her time was up, anyway.

The House rules term limit was changed (in 2003, I think) so as no longer to apply to the chairman or ranking member.

The Dem caucus rules has term limits, too, I think - though we plebs aren't allowed to see those rules. Top secret - aren't you impressed?!

I believe that the caucus limit, like the House limit, is eight years - with no get-out for the top jobs.

But - be it noted - Hastings joined the HIC in 1999. Perilously close to eight years, surely, by Jan 07?

by skeptic06 2006-11-17 11:19AM | 0 recs
Re: I thought her time was up, anyway.

This may not clear things up any, but at least it give you a peek at some of the relevant Caucus rules:

http://www.fas.org/sgp/crs/intel/RS22123 .pdf

by Kagro X 2006-11-17 11:31AM | 0 recs
Thanks for that!

The way I read it, according to the Dem caucus rules, HIC members don't have a term limit, because they only serve one term at a time: after each Congress, the Dem leader can either retain or kick out any or all of them.

Some enlightenment at last!

by skeptic06 2006-11-17 02:09PM | 0 recs
Re: Pelosi Makes the Right Move On Harman

i know it's CW to call AIPAC pro-Israel... but really, they're pro-Israel like Dick Cheney is pro-American.  lots of bluster and bullying... but really, really bad for the citizens.

we've got to get past this frame and recognize that pro-Israel means being anti-AIPAC.

by selise 2006-11-17 11:02AM | 0 recs
Re: Pelosi Makes the Right Move On Harman

Um, American ISRAEL Public Affairs Committee. Now what would give you the impression that it might be pro-Israel? ;-)

This isn't CW. It's in its very name, so there's hardly any hidden agenda here. AIPAC's primary stated purpose is to promote Israeli interests in the US. Always has been.

Of course, AIPAC's notion of what is pro-Israel certainly differs from some peoples' notion (it certainly does from mine and most left-wing bloggers'). And no doubt there are many things that AIPAC lobbies for that are far more about money and power than actually helping Israel (e.g. fat defense contracts).

But you're right that the CW at present continues to be that AIPAC is good for Israel--and this is a CW must be challanged and changed. Not only because it's warranted by reality, but also because it'll help Dem politicians from being tainted as anti-Israel.

by kovie 2006-11-17 11:13AM | 0 recs
AIPAC Is Objectively Anti-Israeli

They represent the suicidal version of Israeli national security thinking.

I would no more allow them to define what is "pro-Israel" than I would allow a Confederate Flag waver to define American patriotism.

by Paul Rosenberg 2006-11-17 11:41AM | 0 recs
Re: AIPAC Is Objectively Anti-Israeli

Objectively is a pretty strong word, but I get your point. AIPAC and Likud (and the various other right-wing parties such as Olmert's wing of Kadima) are clearly in favor of a policy that to most sane observers is suicidal.

But in THEIR minds, they are doing what they believe is the best thing for Israel (and I know a few well enough to know that they are genuine in these beliefs, however misguided they are), which was my point.

And I've no doubt that Macaca firmly believes that he's just as patriotic as Webb. Never mind that this is ludicrous on its face, but that's not the point. Freedom comes with consequences, among them having to live side by side with these assholes.

by kovie 2006-11-17 02:06PM | 0 recs
I'm With The Reality-Based Community

What folks say counts for very little.  What they do counts for a lot.

When people say AIPAC is pro-Israel because AIPAC says it is, and ignore what it does, they are not being neutral or objective, they are amplifying AIPAC's propaganda and its suicidal delusion.

As my grandparents always used to say, "Is it good for the Jews?"

No way, Jose.

by Paul Rosenberg 2006-11-17 06:07PM | 0 recs
Re: I'm With The Reality-Based Community

I'm not sure that you realize that I'm agreeing with you about this.

I.e. AIPAC SAYS that it's pro-Israel, and its in mind might BELIEVE that it's pro-Israel, but that doesn't mean that it IS pro-Israel, which neither you nor I believe that it actually IS.

No way, Yosi!

by kovie 2006-11-20 11:48AM | 0 recs
Re: Pelosi Makes the Right Move On Harman

AIPAC is really pro-Likud.  Which, I believe, is Israel's version of the Republican party(It's not exactly like it of course, but close enough for comparison purposes).  As we know, not all Republicans are pro-American.

by Calvin Jones and the 13th Apostle 2006-11-17 12:03PM | 0 recs
Re: Pelosi Makes the Right Move On Harman

Yup. I liked the Likud back in the early Begin days, when the until-then dominant Labor party was discredited on national defense, peace efforts and domestic policy. Within a few years they signed a peace treaty with Egypt, secured its defenses so that the '73 war wouldn't happen again, and began to reform Israel's economy in ways that eventually paid off.

But then they too got stupid, reckless and arrogant, made some horrible decisions (Lebanon war), and lost much credibility. And when Netanyahu took over and brought it back to dominance, he did it on a firmly neocon platform, which is where it's been ever since. It's like they locked themselves into a poltical cul-de-sac and either can't or won't get out. And Israel, Palestine, the region and world are worse off for it.

I wouldn't call them anti-Israel so much as anti-what's good for Israel without realizing it.

by kovie 2006-11-17 02:13PM | 0 recs
Re: Pelosi Makes the Right Move On Harman

Does anyone know of a Member who has experience in intel issues but is not currently on the committee?  Making Hastings Chairmanwould be a nightmare of epic proportions, and its a decision that a lot of Democrats (including this one) would strongly oppose.

by TommyBoy 2006-11-17 11:13AM | 0 recs
Re: Pelosi Makes the Right Move On Harman

what i'm about to say is about as racist as i'm willing to get, but it's also the god's honest truth about what is happening right now with the hastings selection.  the congressional black caucus, who some on this site have noted previously for its wanting ethical standards, is being placated, hopefully for good, with this move.  after jefferson was set adrift, the CBC was in position to make life very difficult for speaker pelosi and the democrats.  if she had not inserted hastings, all hell would have broken loose.  this is also why, despite his ongoing corruption (his girlfriend is on his house payroll as a staff assistant and making more than his LD), he won't be abandoned by the D-trip and given a primary challenger.  (that could change, incidentally, if a pised-off debbie wasserman-schultz ends up in charge of the D-trip.)  he also refused to endorse ron klein over clay shaw, so he doesn't have many friends in south florida either.  his only life preserver is the CBC and the CBC likewise wants every chairmanship it can get.

there are a lot more ins and outs here, but i've been watching this issue for a while, since i'm in hastings' district.  the man is also president of the parliamentary assembly of the OSCE, so consider what kind of bullshit it is that the man most connected to the US and europe's wealthy and powerful security officials is also a known bribe-taker.

by beyondo98 2006-11-17 11:32AM | 0 recs
Hispanic caucus?

What does the Hispanic caucus have to say, though? The CBC already has a lot of chairs.

by KCinDC 2006-11-17 12:31PM | 0 recs
Re: Hispanic caucus?

I think this is a relevant point...

Does anyone know of a better list of possible committee chairmanships than this?

http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/15638694/sit e/newsweek/

Of the spots they highlight, no one with a Hisp/Latino name is on deck.  (And Harman was the only woman, but I'm not going to argue for candidates who don't respect the Constitution, ugh!)

Some of the most amazingly qualified chairs-elect are African American (Conyers, Rangel), and maybe also (people where I'm more ignorant of their record) Waters, Thompson, Scott will be heading up committees?  

And to risk sounding totally fatuous, if Glenn Greenwald ain't supporting Hastings (or Harman!), I'll vote with him.  Haven't seen his take on Reyes...  I did find that Reyes supports greater energy independence:  


Congressman Reyes' weekly column: "The future of energy in El Paso"

Over a year ago, I was briefed on an exciting new solar energy project called Power the Army, which was developed by many of our nation's scientists and engineers at the Naval Postgraduate School (NPS) in California. I am absolutely convinced that this project will have broad and lasting implications for shifting our nation's dependence on non-renewable energy and I am truly pleased that it is taking place in El Paso. If there is any community in our nation that should invest and capitalize in solar technology, it is the great Sun City...


from
http://wwwc.house.gov/reyes/news_detail. asp?id=1065

"But that's just pork!" you may say, but it's much better than slavish loyalty to Big Oil.  Especially on the Intelligence ctte.

by Lyrebird 2006-11-17 02:22PM | 0 recs
What!?

after jefferson was set adrift, the CBC was in position to make life very difficult for speaker pelosi and the democrats.  if she had not inserted hastings, all hell would have broken loose.  this is also why, despite his ongoing corruption (his girlfriend is on his house payroll as a staff assistant and making more than his LD), he won't be abandoned by the D-trip and given a primary challenger.

What are you talking about? They don't even have primaries in Louisiana. Do you even know what's going on in Jefforson's district right now?

by delmoi 2006-11-17 04:22PM | 0 recs
Re: Pelosi Makes the Right Move On Harman

Totally off point post. The reason Harman is not chairing Intelligence is that she and Pelosi have a personally fractious relationship, not for any other concrete reason. The Speaker elect has opted to allow Florida Rep. Alcee Hastings, who was removed from the federal bench for corruption before being elected to Congress, to ascend to the chair of the House Intelligence Committee. This is plainly bad politics. Think of the Republican attack adds about "the felonious liberal, Alcee Hastings" in charge of keeping America safe from terrorists. As for Harman's support for the President's wiretapping program, you have taken those comments out of context. Harman has said, and I quote, "the Bush Administration's NSA wiretap program without warrants is wrong, it violates the law. There's no reason that President Bush and the Justice Department couldn't follow the tried-and-true procedures under FISA that protect civil liberties."

by wjpugliese 2006-11-17 11:34AM | 0 recs
I agree with this take

Stupid move by Pelosi.

by desmoinesdem 2006-11-17 11:43AM | 0 recs
Democratic Self-Parody

I'm just absolutely enraged at this last week.  WHAT IN GOD'S NAME ARE THESE PEOPLE THINKING? Alcee Hastings?  He was IMPEACHED on charges of bribery and REMOVED FROM THE BENCH!  What more do you want--sauna shots with congressional pages?

People: everything's not a media plot to take down Democrats.  Unlike the Kerry gaffe, which should never have been given legs by a press with even a shred of dignity, the Hastings story is actually one that SHOULD be covered by the media if it's doing its job right.  And we deserve the heat if Pelosi makes that disastrous decision.

If you've run an anti-corruption campaign, then you don't use political capital to ram-rod corrupt politicians to the top of the House leadership!  HAS PELOSI LOST HER MIND?  Do these people not understand not only how this LOOKS to Americans, but how utterly hypocritical this IS?  

I'd rather have Lieberman, the most unctuous, loathable, sanctimonious, insufferable, fat-headed, neo-con right-wing Democratic lizard, crawl over to the House from the Senate and head this committee than promote a man with a history of ethical problems to leadership.  Democratic corruption BEATS Democratic conservatism as an offense worthy of our disdain.

And that this isn't obvious to all of us shows that we're in danger of an inverted form of Fox-think here.

by maconblue 2006-11-17 06:43PM | 0 recs
Don't we have any members who don't have...

...twenty year old corruption accusations hanging around thier necks?  Sheesh.

by Geotpf 2006-11-17 11:55AM | 0 recs
The right move???

Dumping Harman out of personal pique -- which is what this looks like no matter what gloss Pelosi puts on it -- in favor of known felon Alcee Hastings, on the Intelligence committee of all things, is nothing short of idiotic. And skipping over Hastings will be difficult because of the thuggish loyalty of the Black Caucus. I'm no fan of Harman's, but skipping over her is a lose/lose situation. Pelosi needs to get over herself and govern for the good of the party.

I am so disappointed with her leadership so far it hurts.

by syntag 2006-11-17 11:58AM | 0 recs
Re: Pelosi Makes the Right Move On Harman

Note in the Wikipedia article that Hastings was acquitted in a criminal trial of the charges and the Senate did not do a full trial. I don't know anything about the case but it sounds like the circumstances were a little iffy. Perhaps there was some politics at play in 1981 on this.

by robliberal 2006-11-17 12:01PM | 0 recs
Felony

Several of you menton Hastings is a felon. I have not studied the case but the articles say he was acquited in court.

I do not know the legal distinctions on this but I do not think impeachment is considered a felony.

by robliberal 2006-11-17 12:17PM | 0 recs
Re: Felony

Several of you menton Hastings is a felon. I have not studied the case but the articles say he was acquited in court.

I do not know the legal distinctions on this but I do not think impeachment is considered a felony.

Maybe they think all African-Americans are felons.

Best,  Terry

by terryhallinan 2006-11-17 06:26PM | 0 recs
good move, need clean replacement

very happy harman doesn't get the post, but hastings isn't clean enough to chair such an important committee.

by arbitropia 2006-11-17 02:31PM | 0 recs
Re: Pelosi Makes the Right Move On Harman

Alcee Hastings is deep in the pockets of AIPAC -- AIPAC might lobby for Harman, but they'll not mind Alcee. He is a pro-Israel black pol just like good ole Mayor Dinkins.

I lost all respect for Alcee when he maligned my girl Cynthia McKinney.

by LV Pol Girl 2006-11-17 09:52PM | 0 recs
Re: Pelosi Makes the Right Move On Harman

Harman was also not very aggressive in her former position; too much the doormat.

by Bob H 2006-11-18 01:55AM | 0 recs
Re: Pelosi Makes the Right Move On Harman

has Pelosi made the new committeechairman public already and if yes, does anyone have a list of all the committeechairman Pelosi picked?

by Johannes 2006-11-19 08:34AM | 0 recs
Re: Pelosi Makes the Right Move On Harman

I posted this on Friday but it was subsequently deleted; my guess is that it's because I called Alcee Hastings a "felon," which may be technically incorrect because he was not convicted in court for corruption -- only impeached by a Democratic House of Representatives and stripped of his judgeship.

So here's the post again, minus the bad word:

"Dumping Harman out of personal pique -- which is what this looks like no matter what gloss Pelosi puts on it -- in favor of [...] Alcee Hastings, on the Intelligence committee of all things, is nothing short of idiotic. And skipping over Hastings will be difficult because of the thuggish loyalty of the Black Caucus. I'm no fan of Harman's, but skipping over her is a lose/lose situation. Pelosi needs to get over herself and govern for the good of the party. I am so disappointed with her leadership so far it hurts."

I sincerely hope the post wasn't deleted for its reference to the CBC, whose myopic attitude is echoes in this response from Terry above:

"Maybe they think all African-Americans are felons."

Um, no, Terry, they don't. And such shrill reverse race-baiting doesn't help anything.

by syntag 2006-11-19 09:52PM | 0 recs

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