- Egypt rights center raided, 2 Mubaraks acquitted
- New Mexico Supreme Court rules same-sex marriage constitutional
- Blame Bush: 5 years later, that’s still the mantra, pollsters find
- Dutch prostitutes demand same retirement benefits as soccer stars
- John McCain to Harry Reid: I’ll ‘kick the crap’ out of you
- Dogs that talk: Researchers seek $10K for ‘No More Woof’ technology
- 1,000 firefighters called to battle stubborn Big Sur wildfire
- Black Friday brouhaha: Millions of Target shoppers hit by credit card theft
- Britain orders airplane to rescue citizens from violent South Sudan
- Mega Millions winner emerges as Georgia mom, in ‘disbelief’
Pelosi defends request for jet
Question of the Day
House Speaker Nancy Pelosi yesterday defended her bid for a large U.S. Air Force jet to take her home and back to Washington nonstop — and the White House backed her up.
Mrs. Pelosi suggested that former Defense Secretary Donald H. Rumsfeld may be involved in leaking information about her request.
“It still raises the question, why would the Department of Defense not be denying this information that has been conveyed?” the California Democrat told reporters. “Why are they feeding the flames? Of course I have been a constant critic — for nearly three years, I’ve called for the resignation of Donald Rumsfeld, who still has a desk at the Department of Defense, and I guess any chance they have ”
Larry Di Rita, Mr. Rumsfeld’s spokesman while defense secretary, responded, “Secretary Rumsfeld’s priorities while in office did not allow for time to get too involved in member travel issues, and I doubt that has changed since he left.”
As her office pressed the Pentagon for a large plane, and a staunch ally, Rep. John P. Murtha, Pennsylvania Democrat, called defense officials on her behalf, Mrs. Pelosi said she does not particularly want a military jet and would be happy to fly commercially.
“I don’t even like having the security,” Mrs. Pelosi said. “I would rather travel on the plane with my friends to get some work done. I like my freedom, but there are certain sacrifices you have to make when you are speaker of the House.”
The Pentagon told Mrs. Pelosi in a letter on Wednesday that it cannot guarantee her a plane capable of flying to California nonstop — as she requested.
White House press secretary Tony Snow defended Mrs. Pelosi against Republican criticism and labeled as “silly” press coverage of her request for a plane and the flexibility of transporting aides, lawmakers and family members. President Bush has reached out to Mrs. Pelosi in a bid to reach agreement on major legislation, such as immigration reform.
The Washington Times first reported last week on Mrs. Pelosi’s request, saying she wanted a larger plane and more passengers than afforded her predecessor, Rep. J. Dennis Hastert, Illinois Republican. The Air Force allotted Mr. Hastert a small, 12-seat commuter jet to ferry him to his Illinois district.
Mrs. Pelosi said, “I’m not saying that I am being discriminated against because I am a woman, I’m just saying as the first woman speaker, I have no intention of having less respect for the office I hold than all of the other speakers that have come before me.”
At the White House, Mr. Snow said, “This is a silly story, and I think it’s been unfair to the speaker.”
Mr. Snow’s defense put him at odds with the Republican Party, and also Republicans on Capitol Hill who have blasted Mrs. Pelosi for demanding a perk reserved for the president and vice president and a few Cabinet members.
Mrs. Pelosi also asked the Air Force to fly her and her colleagues to a Democratic Party retreat in Williamsburg, where Mr. Bush appeared. The Air Force declined the request, saying it was not allowed under Defense Department directives.
Mrs. Pelosi stayed quiet after The Times first reported the story. But by Tuesday, the criticism grew intense and she began making TV appearances to defend her request.
Asked later in the day if the White House differed with its own party, Mr. Snow said:
By Michael P. Orsi
Edward Snowden should declare his patriotism in court
- Citing 'unfair system,' Obama commutes sentences for 8 crack offenders
- Gov't wasted $30 billion on 'pillownauts,' crystal goblets -- buying human urine!
- Homeland Security helps smuggle illegal immigrant children into the U.S.
- Bill Gates: The Secret Santa disguised as a 'friendly fellow' on Reddit
- Obamacare 'pajamas boy' gets roundly mocked
- BOLTON: Nero in the White House
- Armed response, not restrictive gun laws, brought swift end to school shooting
- Duck Dynasty Phil Robertson suspended indefinitely for gay quip
- OBAMASCARE: Huge premium hikes rock employer-insured workers
- UHLER and FERRARA: Obamacare, the end of the progressive era
Independent voices from the The Washington Times Communities
Southern Fried Politics from the Lens of a Persian-American Millennial
All of the world’s problems, solved on your back porch
Paul Rondeau exposes the propaganda, media tricks, and government policies that undermine our families, faith, freedom…and even life itself
Implement these actionable tips, how-to’s and best practices in 10 minutes or less to leverage online communications and technology for brand, business and career development.
Top 10 handguns in the U.S.
Extraordinary day at Redskins Park
White House pets gone wild!
Let it snow