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Friday, August 15, 2008

A Problem Which No One Can Ignore

Two million Iraqis are living as refugees in Syria and Jordan, and the U.S. seems to be doing nothing to help the vast majority of them despite occupying their country while posing as a savior. A new film, “The Hard Way Home,” produced by the BBC to give faces to that depressing number, is available on YouTube in six parts. Here is the first.

And Pelosi still sucks

She was in Los Angeles to discuss her recently published book "Know Your Power: A Message to America's Daughters." Instead, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi got slammed by protesters screaming that she has been derelict in her duties for not authorizing impeachment hearings against George W. Bush.

The venue: more than 300 people paid $30 each Monday night at the American Jewish University (formerly known as the University of Judaism). The format: a 75-minute interview by the Rabbi Robert Wexler (not to be confused with the Palm Beach, Fla., congressman of the same name). The questions: tough but respectful. Wexler asked Pelosi about a recent Rasmussen Poll that showed a 9% approval rating for Congress.

But then, according to blogger Alan Breslauer, things turned ugly. A protester shouted that Pelosi, in not impeaching Bush for launching a war on false pretenses, had failed to live up to her constitutional duties. She shot back:

I take the oath of office to uphold the constitution of the United States and don't tell me that I don't do that. Why don't you go picket the Republicans in Congress that will not allow us to have a vote on the war? This is not very effective. Not very effective.

In the video, it's clear that most of the audience rallied to Pelosi's side, applauding her rebuttal. According to Breslauer, protesters were escorted out by the Secret Service. *(More likely they were local police or perhaps the sergeant at arms, as Igor, one of our readers, pointed out.) But it's also clear that the San Francisco Democrat, with a lifetime of public service, was upset.

As speaker of the House, the third-highest office -- first is the president, then vice president and then speaker -- I take my responsibilities deadly seriously. I try to promote bipartisanship but that's not what the other side wants.

With war protester Cindy Sheehan now on the ballot challenging Pelosi, these challenges are likely to continue. All of which prompts C2C to wonder where the line is between free speech and good manners.

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