May 22, 2009 [LINK / comment]

Nancy Pelosi versus the CIA

This situation created by Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi is almost too painful to watch. Last week she fumbled her news conference so badly that it was just pitiful. Today, she tried again, grimly insisting that she is standing by her accusations, but without any further evidence. She seems to think that's all there is to it, and that everyone should leave her alone. See (It reminds me of those gangster-detective movies: "That's my story, and I'm sticking to it!") Well, she put herself in an impossible position, charging that the Congress had been misled by the CIA, even though there is ample documentary evidence that she was told what was going on. The harder she tried to explain her contradictory statements, the deeper the grave she digs for herself. One has to wonder: Was she brainwashed?

Pelosi's career was in jeopardy from the moment that CIA Director Leon Panetta denied her accusations last week, directly contradicting her main assertions. She was present at a secret briefing in September 2002 at which the interrogation methods were detailed, and she did not object. See Washington Post

If this scandal is as bad as it looks, Pelosi might get replaced by Steny Hoyer in short order. He's a fairly decent moderate from Maryland who came a close second when the House Democrats chose their leader after the 2006 election. He is a prudent politician, which is why he is standing by Pelosi even though almost everyone except dyed-in-the-wool left-wing Democrats know her credibility has vanished. She no longer commands respect, and it's just a matter of time before she decides to "move on" and let someone else do the Speaker's job.

Speaking of which, isn't it scary that a hyper-partisan left-wing fringe member like Nancy Pelosi is second in line to assume the office of President of the United States, after the vice president?

While Republicans have every right to take cheer in Speaker Pelosi's mega-gaffe, because it validates the heavy criticism heaped upon her, we should also note that Leon Panetta has proven himself to put his institution ahead of Democratic Party. When Obama named him to head the CIA in January, I was aghast, recalling his role in helping President Clinton defeat the Republicans in the fall of 1995.

Closing more rest stops

VDOT announced yesterday that they are going ahead with plans to close 29 rest stops across Virginia over the next few months, for budgetary reasons. Orginally they were going to close 35 of them. Now why can't they just charge the people who use the rest stops? Because our political leaders are afraid to anger voters in these tough economic times, and it's easier just to shut them down. I made that point using the "Talk Back" feature on the News Leader Web site. I should have made it clearer that the trucking lobby stiffly opposes user fees for truckers who use the rest stops as a free "motel" to catch a few hours sleep here and there.