Friday, December 01, 2006

House intelligence

While your blogstress has always had mixed feelings about the well-versed but not-always-stalwart Jane Harman (Calif.), who has served, lo, these last few years as the ranking Democratic member on the House intelligence committee, you cybertrix hardly knows what to make of the naming of Silvestre Reyes (TX) by Speaker Nancy Pelosi to lead the committee.

The muckraking Laura Rozen, your Webwench's colleague on TAPPED (the Weblog of The American Prospect Online) details a meeting with Manuchar Ghorbanifar of Iran-Contra fame in which the new committee chairman joined the tainted Republican Curt Weldon (Penn.) for a discussion of God-knows-what.

Pelosi's issue with Harman is reportedly that the Speaker's California colleague has not protested loudly enough against the Bush administration's assault on civil liberties. And your ecrivaine agrees, for the most part. On the other hand, Harman is smart and serious, and came across as impeccably credible in her outings on the Sunday chat shows.

Silvestre is an improvement over the man who was said by the media to be the Speaker's early favorite -- Alcee Hastings, who was impeached while serving as a federal judge after being charged with taking a bribe. He was later acquitted of the bribe charge by a federal jury.

This whole deal, however, reeks of bad politics. Here you have three people who represent the underrepresented contstituencies in national politics: a woman, a black man and a Latino. Yet you, the first female speaker, choose to throw the woman under a bus, and to limit your appointment to a choice between two men of minority backgrounds who appear to ethically challenged, when -- in your supreme role as Speaker -- you could have chosen a person from a minority background who does not appear to be ethically challenged. I must admit to being a bit befuddled by the Speaker's moves.

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Weird planetary alignment

It's as if the goddesses and their consorts were preventing your blogstress from issuing forth from the blogosphere, but all manner of confusion between the evil big-business domain-hocker Network Solutions, and another outfit which we'll call Hemp-Hed Hosting (not its real name) has led to your cybertrix's Weblog appearing only intermittently, between messages that declare the breakaway republic to be "under construction," or even better, to have an "expired" name.

At Network Solutions, customer service comes in the form of condescending young men in an East Asian country whose "help" generally requires about four phone calls to achieve any result. Meanwhile, over at Hemp-Hed, very nice, very mellow American geeks chat you up, knowing exactly what the problem is, but forget to put in the order for the fix. So, it takes about four calls to achieve any result, but at least the calls tend to be amusing.

Okay, well there's still the gig at TAPPED (The American Prospect Weblog) to feed your Webwench's blogging jones, n'est-ce pas? Well, wouldn'tcha know that technical woes at The Prospect site have seen TAPPED out of commission for the past couple of days. Maybe it's those funky aspects this week between Mercury and Neptune, and Mars and Saturn. Other suggestions will be entertained.

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