Booting Jane Harman with a Clear Conscience

In the South Bay of Los Angeles, Democrats face a choice between a progressive Democrat and a Dem incumbent who has sided with Bush when it's come to going to war in Iraq, the Patriot Act, and going after those who disclose illegal spying on innocent Americans instead of the lawbreakers in the Administration.  

Jane Harman is undergoing a last minute transformation into a Bush-fighter, but nobody should fall for it.  

And best of all, the Republicans have NO SHOT at winning in this district that went for Kerry 59-40 in 2004.

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Harman Pushed Off of Intelligence Committee by Pelosi?

Thanks to budlawman, I came upon this article on a Pelosi-Harman fight.

Rep. Jane Harman, who has gained national prominence as the top Democrat on the House Intelligence Committee, is fighting to hold on to the job amid indications she will be rotated off the panel next year.

The dispute pits the Venice lawmaker against House Democratic leader Nancy Pelosi of San Francisco. Its outcome could determine what role Harman, who once ran for California governor and is one of the most quoted Democrats on intelligence matters, will play in the next Congress -- if she is reelected.

Pelosi has informed colleagues that she intends to force Harman to step down, replacing her with Rep. Alcee L. Hastings of Florida, the second most senior Democrat on the intelligence panel.

It's hard to tell if this has to do with Pelosi placating the CBC, if Pelosi is fed up with Harman, or if this is just a normal rotation off the committee.  It might be all three.  I do know Pelosi is incredibly angry about intelligence matters and how they have been handled by Bush.  She feels personally affronted.

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Jane Harman, Joe Lieberman, John McCain All Take Hawk Bodyblows

What a night.  McCain got roundly booed for his hackery, and Lieberman got pegged. The uberhawks who have cost this country so much in blood, treasure, and tears are being attacked by a newly emboldened American majority of citizens.  This is a big deal.  Progressives are absolutely on the ascendant, and the right-wing is both shrinking and losing power.  Hastert can't get anything done in the House, and Bush is out to lunch and out of touch (watch this if you don't believe me).

And then I read this interesting profile about Marcy Winograd in LA Weekly:

There has been another kind of buzz around the campaign, however, concerning rumors that after the fall elections Nancy Pelosi will remove Harman from her post as the House Intelligence Committee's top-ranking Democrat.

When asked about this, Harman simply replied, "I hope to stay. It's a leadership appointment, so I serve at the pleasure of Pelosi."

They are losing power rapidly.  Everyone knows it.

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Harman/Alcee Hastings brouhaha bubbling up

Updating my pieces yesterday and on Monday - it now seems that Harman is refusing to go quietly from her position as top Dem on the HIC.

(The fact that the Dems are looking daily more likely to control the 110th House naturally has nothing to do with it!)

The LA Times has her push-back.

The Pelosi camp's talk about this being a routine rotation of personnel is debunked: the rotation rule doesn't apply to the chairman or ranking member.

And we're reminded that the 9/11 Commission

was harshly critical of congressional oversight of U.S. spy agencies, and faulted term limits in particular for forcing lawmakers to leave after they had developed expertise in the arcane world of espionage.

No doubt, when Harman gets the plausible deniability sorted out, we'll be hearing some more about Alcee Hastings' interesting past...

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On Alcee Hastings, where does one start?

MyDD is nothing if not educational.

And following up my piece on Monday has been no exception.

The piece introduced (to me, at least) the fascinating story of Alcee Hastings, formerly Federal District Judge for the Southern District of Florida.

Hastings was impeached and convicted of corruption. But, by some process which I have yet to fathom, the voters of FL-23 found this episode on his CV no impediment to sending him to the US House. Several times.

Only in America!

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