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October 03, 2006

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boris

So far everything relates to ex-pages and private communication. Connecting responsibility to the program or leadership seems like a level of surveillance Democrats object to wrt international terrorist communication.

If congressman Foley is contacting ex pages and its a legal matter, the appropiate authority is FBI, not Hastert. If it's not illegal, then the appropiate authority is the press. At which point Foley resigns or the leadership takes action.

In this case the FBI and the press took a pass. Don't really see how that obligates the house leadership to do more.

clarice feldman

Washtimes - just last month their HOUR director got the book thrown at him b/c he online hunting kids. Why didn't the editor resign? Certainly he knew the guy was creepy!

Marianne

Should the date of the CREW referral not be July 21, 2006 (not '05)?

[Thanks, I am blaming SpellCheck. Or BrainCheck...]

MayBee

Oh, Clarice! So true!

And TIME magazine employees begged to let Doyle come back and escape punishment after a pornography problem at work. Surely they knew he was taking his problem to DHS and 14-year old girls? It will be interesting to hear what TIME says about this and the Child Predator in their midst.

If Hastert is being held responsible for this mess by Republicans, than Republicans surely are the Daddy party.

Pofarmer

If Hastert resigns this setting a bad, very bad precedent. The top GOP leadership can't continue to be taken out by mere innuendo and charges of scandal. The Dims will just keep making accusations untill everyone is out, and that includes the Reps(like my current house rep) who say, "Oh, but he wasn't a nice guy, he should of resigned." In the long run it's not good to be giving in to this pressure all the time.

Pretend you're dealing with a bunch of two year olds (the dems) and it gets a lot easier to understand what's going on. The more you let them push, the further they go.

Bob

Can someone please tell me how the Democrats who were so worried a few months back about wiretaps and individuals rights being thrown under the bus, but publishing personal IM's are considered OK?

hmmmm must be something I'm missing, or is this Bush's fault too!

Extraneus

I don't know when he started IM'ing pages, but I looked up Foley's ACU conservative ratings over the past few years, and he seems to have grown in office.

2002 96 (out of a possible 100)
2003 76
2004 68
2005 63

His lifetime score is 78. The average lifetime score for all House members is 53.

What's this got to do with anything? No idea; maybe his district's demographics have changed, and that's what has influenced his voting.

clarice feldman

The Wash Times and those asking for Hastert's resignations on the basis of his knowledge of stuff neither the media nor the FBI considered remarkable or criminal is stupid. To cave in the face of every ridiculous charge is to repeat the Steve Hadley fiasco of removing the "16 words" from the SOTUA which were absolutely true thereby only fanning flames set by Ambassador Munchausen.

Hey, yesterday was Yom Kippur--Maybe everyone with brains was out.(kidding).

Semanticleo

A little aside from Maguires misdirection is the part of the story that takes us back to the issue of..........Iraq. I know, I know, it's better to fulminate over rat-droppings in the Foley matter, but it is in the news you know. Part of Frist's statement included...
Oh my God!....cutting and running from Afghanistan!!!Gasp. That heathen!

Oh, another thing. And now we know Howdy Doody was sitting on Cheney's lap, but Dick was sitting on Kissinger's lap when the
dreaded 'Viet Nam' blowback inspired the
nasty little vermin to suggest the only mistake you could make in Iraq was 'cutting and running' there, as we did in VN.

And I thought Chile was the last 'beer putsch' for the little dictator. He managed to escape the World Court for war crimes and
cast his dark shadow over us once again.

I suppose the other side of 'the good die young' is; 'you have the murdering bastards with you until they die of old age'.

It's a shame 2700 of our best young and old
had to die so Cheney and Kissinger could have a 'do-over".

Don't you think?

Cecil Turner

Does anyone seriously think that the Democrats can position themselves as the party of sexual restraint? The party that will be tough on gay men, straight men, or anyone else who gives off even a whiff of impropriety?

I think the talking point is more of a "they do it too, they're just hypocrites about it." And at least from the standpoint of suppressing the adamant homophobe vote, it might be fairly effective. (Though personally I think that vote is minuscule, and earlier efforts of Dems to tout it reminiscent of the "angry white male" election-losing excuse.)

Where it undoubtedly is effective is in keeping the GOP off-message. The last month talking about security had the predictable effect on Dem approval, and this drove the issues off the front page. How long it'll last is an open question, but it would obviously have worked better if it'd broken a couple weeks later. There's plenty of time for the Dems to try again on security, and they're just the guys to do it. (And as Cleo's post above illustrates, they generally don't get it.)

Pofarmer

I’m currently overseas visiting our troops in Afghanistan, but I wanted to take a moment to address an Associated Press story titled, “Frist: Taliban Should Be in Afghan Gov’t.” The story badly distorts my remarks and takes them out of context.

First of all, let me make something clear: The Taliban is a murderous band of terrorists who’ve oppressed the people of Afghanistan with their hateful ideology long enough. America’s overthrow of the Taliban and support for responsible, democratic governance in Afghanistan is a great accomplishment that should not and will not be reversed.

Having discussed the situation with commanders on the ground, I believe that we cannot stabilize Afghanistan purely through military means. Our counter-insurgency strategy must win hearts and minds and persuade moderate Islamists(!!!) potentially sympathetic to the Taliban to accept the legitimacy of the Afghan national government and democratic political processes.

National reconciliation is a necessary and an urgent priority … but America will never negotiate with terrorists or support their entry into Afghanistan’s government.

Bill Frist.

Imagine that, the AP apparently got it wrong.

Bob

cleo... if your not going to take your meds, I'd suggest you stay on topic... your rambling again!

Semanticleo

I'd suggest you stay on topic... your rambling again!

What is sad about you and Maguire is that you would rather talk about a chickenhawk roosting next to one of your sons with no good intent, than about Iraq. So Maguire keeps postin' verbose minutiae ad infinitum on Foley and the
minor skirmishes centering on that. Sad. Sad.

clarice feldman

My take on the Times editorial.

http://americanthinker.com/comments.php?comments_id=6267

clarice feldman

http://americanthinker.com/articles.php?article_id=5913

Mark Foley and the New Rules
October 3rd, 2006

The Mark Foley October Surprise operation is yielding rich dividends for the Democrats. So far. As long as the battle remains one of vague impressions based on talking points, sliming the GOP with allegations of being soft on a homosexual predator of teen age boys, (properly called ephebophiles, not pedophiles), the Democrats gain.

But if sustained attention is focused on the affair, and if the right questions are asked and at least some answers appear in time, there could be competition for the political hot seat.

The Democrats are in a bit of a bind. They want a lot of attention, but they do not want sustained focus. A battle of sound-bites serves their interests, and divides the GOP. Sustained focused attention has the possibility of patching over the wounds of the GOP and dividing the Democrats.

The Hill noted in a blog yesterday that the first point in the Democrats’ playbook is to conflate the non-criminal and indistinctly questionable emails—which the GOP leadership, two newspapers, and the FBI saw earlier, and all found inconclusive—with the salacious IM messages, which likely will continue to dribble out, further inflaming the GOP base.

Setting the base at each others’ throats is a key part of the design of the operation. And it is working. Many social conservative groups think Hastert and GOP were negligent about this, regardless of what role Democrats or left wing blogs played in the timing of release. For them, there merest suspicion generated by the initial complaint about emails was enough.

The Washington Post reports,

David Bossie, who runs a group called Citizens United, called yesterday for Hastert’s resignation and said other conservative leaders are likely to follow suit. Bossie said the initial e-mails alone, which included Foley’s request of a minor’s picture, should have prompted an immediate inquiry. “That was a cry for an investigation,” Bossie said. “Why couldn’t the speaker of the House muster the will to stop this?”

This morning, the conservative Washington Times is calling for Speaker Hastert to resign,

Red flags emerged in late 2005, perhaps even earlier, in suggestive and wholly inappropriate e-mail messages to underage congressional pages. His aberrant, predatory—and possibly criminal—behavior was an open secret among the pages who were his prey. The evidence was strong enough long enough ago that the speaker should have relieved Mr. Foley of his committee responsibilities contingent on a full investigation to learn what had taken place, whether any laws had been violated and what action, up to and including prosecution, were warranted by the facts. This never happened.

With the benefit of hindsight, based on the salacious IM messages which only came to light late last week, we all wish that action had been taken earlier. But three separate groups, politicians, newspapers, and the FBI received the emails from Soros-funded left wing activist group C.R.E.W. in July and found them not actionable.

An FBI official, who spoke on the condition of anonymity because the investigation is ongoing, said the field office concluded that the e-mails “did not rise to the level of criminal activity.” The bureau announced Sunday that it would begin a preliminary investigation into Foley’s more explicit electronic exchanges with teenagers.

What is the specific evidence the Times thinks should have led Hastert to punish Foley with loss of his committee responsibilities? They cite nothing but “emails.” We need specifics. What exactly should be the standard for a red flag? It is helpful in setting such standards to imagine they might be applied to oneself some day.

So precisely what are the standards that Congress should implement for dealing with future complaints about the behavior of members? It does not matter if a page (or anyone else) is harrassed or abused by a Republican or a Democrat. The harm is exactly the same.

Doubles standards, one for the GOP and another for the Democrats, are a betrayal of those who need protection. That point should be hammered home by the Speaker and anyone else who really cares about the children.

If one really focuses on the question of how Congress should act from now on to prevent such instances, the questions are difficult.

The new rules?

If someone complains that an email or other communication is overly familiar, should a formal inquiry begin?

Politicians are in the business of winning votes and other support. They often assume a demeanor of familiarity. If every allegation of perceived over-familiarity is to be investigated, Congress could end up doing nothing else.

Should people be called in to talk about gossip they have heard about the Representative or Senator in question? There tends to be a lot of “open secrets” talk on Capitol Hill, otherwise known as gossip. This is another form of inquiry that could become a full time job for one or more committees of inquiry.

Should perceived over-familiarity with minors be a special case?

Probably so. But legends abound of youngsters inspired by the special attention paid to them by mentor-like politicians. Bill Clinton’s famous teen-age encounter with JFK apparently consisted of nothing more than a firm handshake and perhaps a gaze into the eyes.

But what if JFK had dropped a note to the young Arkansan, noting his enthusiasm, charisma and intelligence? That seems to resemble the email related to Katrina that was a source of the first complaint that some call a red flag.

In the era of email, it is all too simple to dash off supportive words to a constituent or anyone else. Should support for youngster’s dreams and ambitions have been off limits? Should JFK have been warned against a too-familiar gaze into the eyes of the adoring youngsters gathered on the White House lawn?

The New York Times yesterday seemed to be backing off from sharp criticism of Foley, calling him “warm” among other things. The homosexual community and many others, too, are undoubtedly becoming alarmed at the prospect of a public demand to lower the threshold of public scrutiny of relationships on Capitol Hill (and elsewhere).

Should the Congressional Page program be terminated?

It has certainly been a continuing source of problems. I would think scheduling a hearing on the subject might be a wise move. There may well be other complaints waiting in the wings, and nobody knows which party’s members might be represented among those who have crossed the Foley Line, and engaged in some sort of communication that made somebody feel it was overly familiar or somewhat creepy?

A dramatic move by Hastert to place such hearings on the agenda would signal the GOP base that something was being done to prevent future occurrences. It might also activate libertine elements of the Democrat base to demand a more tempered response.

Soeb

Republican Taliban? Shayes was funneling money from the intelligence committee to CIA and USAID to an NGO and 'fieind' running the NGO.

Taliban is back after her book came out and now she is needed again. Sounds like CIA at work again. Always needed because of close terror connections.

The counter insurgency program was the Green Berets winning hearts and minds writing checks to Afghan warlords and phase two was the NGO writing checks to the Taliban warlords.

Phase two got the Taliban a country from Pakistan and there will probably be more, so, once again, the person who ran the NGO is needed. Counter insurgency is moving the Taliban to these new countries.

Cecil Turner

What is sad about you and Maguire is that you would rather talk about a chickenhawk roosting next to one of your sons with no good intent, than about Iraq.

Umm, no. When we talk about Iraq, the GOP wins. When we talk about chickenhawks (the gay kind) Dems win. The good news is that y'all can't seem to figure that out, and will undoubtedly turn the conversation back to national security, so I suspect the current tiff represents the nadir of GOP fortunes.

clarice feldman

Via NRO’s Media Blog, more media inaction on the Foley emails:

“From the AP:

The St. Petersburg Times and The Miami Herald, which had been given copies of the e-mail with the Louisiana boy last year, defended their decisions not to run stories.

“Given the potentially devastating impact that a false suggestion of pedophilia could have on anyone, not to mention a congressman known to be gay, and lacking any corroborating information, we chose not to do a story,” said Tom Fiedler, executive editor of the Herald.

From The Miami Herald:

Some newspapers — including this one — knew of this message as well and did not find it worthy of a news story because it seemed innocuous. Thus, Democratic charges of a ‘’cover up'’ of Mr. Foley’s activities by the Republican House leadership seem not only premature but crassly political. But the discovery of other, more explicit, messages and confusion over who knew what and when raise questions that require answers — preferably, under oath and soon.”
*********

Cecil, Mickey Kaus notes what I did yesterday--After all this, it is far from a sure thing that the Dems will pick up Foley's seat--Timing is everything.

clarice feldman


Give credence to your enemies

One of the stupidest moves the Republicans made in the Plame case—in which there were many missteps to be sure—was Steven Hadley’s decision to retract the perfectly accurate “16 words” in the SOTUA which said that there was evidence that Iraq had sought to buy uranium in Africa.

Instead of quelling an utterly phoney charge spearheaded by Ambassador Munchausen that the Administration had sought and rejected contrary evidence, it added credence to his lie.

Undoubtedly impressed with what I shall forever call the Hadley Strategy , the Washington Times offers the party a chance to be stupid twice in a row.

StartFragment—>Red flags emerged in late 2005, perhaps even earlier, in suggestive and wholly inappropriate e-mail messages to underage congressional pages…. -StartFragment—> The evidence was strong enough long enough ago that the speaker should have relieved Mr. Foley of his committee responsibilities contingent on a full investigation to learn what had taken place, whether any laws had been violated and what action, up to and including prosecution, were warranted by the facts. This never happened. [....]

Mr. Hastert insisted that he learned of the most flagrant instant-message exchange from 2003 only last Friday, when it was reported by ABC News. This is irrelevant. The original e-mail messages were warning enough that a predator—and, incredibly, the co-chairman of the House Caucus on Missing and Exploited Children—could be prowling the halls of Congress. The matter wasn’t pursued aggressively. It was barely pursued at all. Moreover, all available evidence suggests that the Republican leadership did not share anything related to this matter with any Democrat. [....]

House Speaker Dennis Hastert must do the only right thing, and resign his speakership at once. Either he was grossly negligent for not taking the red flags fully into account and ordering a swift investigation, for not even remembering the order of events leading up to last week’s revelations—or he deliberately looked the other way in hopes that a brewing scandal would simply blow away.

What a dumb idea!

Update:

The Human Resources Director of the Washington Times was arrested not very long ago in a similar case, so maybe some wounds are still fresh.

Metropolitan Police today charged the director of human resources at The Washington Times with one count of attempting to entice a minor on the Internet.

Randall Casseday, 53, was arrested at 9:45 p.m. yesterday in the 1300 block of Brentwood Road NE, where police said he had arranged to meet who he thought was a 13-year-old girl. He had actually exchanged Internet messages and photographs with a male police officer posing as a girl.

“When he went there, he was met by police,” police spokesman Sgt. Joe Gentile said.

As set out in an affidavit filed in U.S. District Court today, Mr. Casseday, whose home address was listed in the unit block of Manner House Drive in Dobbs Ferry, N.Y., initiated a conversation with the undercover officer in an online chat room.

The officer identified himself as a 13-year-old girl in the District, and Mr. Casseday identified himself as a 53-year-old man who usually lives in New York but was spending time in the District, the affidavit states.

So were there any red flags? Was this guy completely discreet and impeccable in every interaction ont he job? Was any small sign at all of aberrent behavior pursued? Were his emails and IMs inspected? Should anyone higher up in the hierarchy at the Times be thinking about asking for walking papers? Unlike Foley, an arrest has already taken place.


(American Thinker)


PeterUK

I suppose the other side of 'the good die young' is; 'you have the murdering bastards with you until they die of old age'.


Ah! That is why you are still with us Septic?

TexasToast

JMH

“‘...what ever happened to 'the buck stops here'?’
Glad you asked. It's been thoroughly debased both by folks looking to pass the buck off to someone higher up the chain and by those seeking a pretext for blaming anything and everything on the guy they're gunning for.”

Very appropriate.

"Majority Leader John Boehner (R-OH) this morning switched his position on the leader's culpability, telling a radio interviewer, 'I believe I talked to the Speaker and he told me it had been taken care of.'

On Saturday, Boehner had denied speaking to Hastert about Foley this spring -- after initially telling The Washington Post that he had.

Rep. Tom Reynolds (R-NY), head of the House GOP's political arm, the National Republican Congressional Committee, has also implicated Hastert. 'I did what most people would do in a workplace,' Reynolds said at a press conference last night, 'I heard something, I took it to my supervisor.'"

Tom Maguire

Where it undoubtedly is effective is in keeping the GOP off-message. The last month talking about security had the predictable effect on Dem approval, and this drove the issues off the front page.

On Friday afternoon I had actually intended to point out that in the final week of Congress the Rpes had energized me with the fence and generated a lot of "Dems ought to lose, why even bother" amongst their own base by caving on habeas corpus and torture.

Too late!

well, if Dems can get energized by the notion that they will provide the more reliable sex Cops, so be it. (I can see the hypocrisy charge depressing Reps, but how does it excite Dems - surely they knew Reps were evil Liars before this).

Cecil Turner

Very appropriate.

Still not sure what you meant by that. "The buck stops here" implies an ultimate authority (esp. the president), past whom the buck can't be passed. The presidential reference clearly isn't on, and there is no such authority in the House, nor, by its very nature, can there be. I appreciate the political motivation to blame it on someone other than Foley, especially since he's already resigned, but don't find it very persuasive.

JM Hanes

How does it excite Dems? Let me count the ways and then get back to you with a list.

In the meantime, as a couple of earlier threads attest, it has certainly energized some of the nuttier roots. I expect it will remain a popular subject, because it's one on which everyone feels perfectly qualified to opine. Of course, that appears to be true of almost everything in hindsight, doesn't it?

Diana

"It's not about the sex, it's about the lying..."

Watching the Repubs defent Hastert is that the meme always surfaces with the Repubs that all sex=rape. As in a 53-year-old powerful guy soliciting his youngest and most vulnerable employees must be o.k. with the Dems because they're the part of licentiousness and loose morals. Sex between consenting adults is not the same as coercing sex from children, and oddly enough it is always the Repubs and not Andria Dworkin who seem to think it is.

clarice feldman

So, Diana, you think the new Dem campaign slogan:We'll make better sex cops! is a winner. Good. And you don't think that will encourage people to look at the record?Studds, Frank, Reynolds, Clinton.


You guys are so EZ.

Ed

You are kidding me, right? After years of right wing bloviating about Clinton, we should just let the matter end? The GOP shouldn't be made to answer to the same scrutiny and standards you demanded of Dems? That this should just fade away?


Keep dreaming!

TexasToast

Cecil

Who is blaming Bush? I'm not. You must see “BDS” behind every tree. The top of this chain of command is the one being asked to resign by a whole host of Republicans. Why bring Bush into it? There are lots of other things to blame Bush for.

Tom

Sex Cops?

We don't need no stinkin' sex cops!

Just don’t tell us you are the party of “values” when you sanctimoniously tell us, as the Family Research Council does, that “… this is not the time for politics” Now if one of these pages had been brain dead or not born yet …..”

Dave

Disgusting! How can any of you have the temerity to equate pedophilia, and worse -- COVERING UP that pedophilia -- with any sexual relations between consenting adults?

Are you the obsessed with playing for the team that you're willing to contort yourself endlessly to play "but so-and-so did it too!"

How about just saying this is WRONG, no matter who was involved. And if you want to play partisan games, do any of you want to bring up Gary Condit? Don't remember Democrats trying to excuse him the way you are trying to find excuses for Foley on here! And if they tried to excuse a Democratic congress-molester, i'd be just as appalled as I am with you!

Shame on you for putting politics ahead of decency and the safety of children.

ITS THE HYPOCRISY, STUPID!

Jane

Disgusting! How can any of you have the temerity to equate pedophilia, and worse -- COVERING UP that pedophilia -- with any sexual relations between consenting adults?

I completely agree. It positively amazes me that the democrats have tried to attach that label to what was clearly consensual and among adults. The only explaination is that the left is homophobic.

boris

Just don’t tell us you are the party of “values”

Let's see Foley gone in an instant.

Clinton, Franks, Studds ... remained in office. Yup, we are the party of “values”.

Cecil Turner

The top of this chain of command is the one being asked to resign by a whole host of Republicans.

There is no "chain of command" in the House, so that really doesn't work (but at least I understand what you're trying to say now--thanks).

Disgusting! How can any of you have the temerity to equate pedophilia, and worse -- COVERING UP that pedophilia -- with any sexual relations between consenting adults?

    Heh, that's kinda funny, but:
  1. the age of consent in DC is 16, so actual sex would presumably be legal (though that never happened in this case, though it did in Studds's);
  2. I don't think most folks are going to buy "covering up that pedophilia" is worse than the sexual abuse itself;
  3. if you'll recall the Clinton case was a sexual harrassment lawsuit, and the allegation they were trying to cover up was the sexual harassment of Kathleen Willey, so the "consensual" excuse doesn't work;
  4. Unlike both the above cases, Foley isn't accused of touching anyone (yet).
Don't remember Democrats trying to excuse him the way you are trying to find excuses for Foley on here!

Hmmm, don't see a dead body in this case, and Condit served out his term. Not sure how that helps.

boris

are trying to find excuses for Foley

People are defending Hastert and the house leadership, not Foley.

Please provide evidence of Republicans calling for the resignation of anybody besides the actual perps in the Clinton, Franks, Studds cases. Or any other case of democrat misconduct for that matter.

Semanticleo

"Umm, no. When we talk about Iraq, the GOP wins."

Sorry, Cecil. You win the 'day's most incomprehensible" award for that comment.

boris

It's worked so far.

Semanticleo

"Umm, no. When we talk about Iraq, the GOP wins."

Sorry, Cecil. You win the 'day's most incomprehensible" award for that comment.

Semanticleo

"Where it undoubtedly is effective is in keeping the GOP off-message. The last month talking about security had the predictable effect on Dem approval,"

Maguire must be in with the Dems. He should
be focusing on security issues......like Iraq.

After all, the GOP wins when they talk about Iraq, don't they?

SlimGuy

extranios

The vote results do apply

Rodgers at blogactive a radical gay activist has stated that he was involved in this situation becuase Foley was voting aginst his preferred position on gay impacting legislation.

Sara (Squiggler)

Geez, I thought I left Dave behind, but here he is spouting his BS again.

Yes, we equate this with the dems actions in similar cases. The difference with this case and other page cases ... Foley immediately resigned leaving you with only strawmen arguments and then outing the people who asked not to be outed. If I were the parent of the 16 year old, I'd be contacting my lawyer with instructions to sue ABC, Brian Ross, this Rogers guy, the entire C.R.E.W. crew and anyone else who publicized this issue against my wishes. It is so typical of dems and everyone involved should go down for this blatant violation of the family's privacy.

The hypocrisy is not on the Repubs side of this issue. The hypocrisy is in the phony self-righteous indignation coming out of the left.

These former pages were not minors in the eyes of the law. There is not a single solitary word or phrase in the emails that is illegal or even inappropriate. The IMs, while salacious, were willingly particpated in by two parties of vastly different ages but both of legal age. Many will disapprove of these exchanges, but most of the indignation is feigned and certainly is by the left. Those on the right who are outraged are probably outraged about just about anything of a sexual nature. Unfortunately, our Puritanical roots still run strong with some and they get terribly uncomfortable at any sexual references.

Frankly, private sex talk between two consenting people of legal age does not bother me. At least the drunk wasn't out driving and putting my kids at risk if they happen to be on the road at the same time. Sex talk is so common, I just can't get myself excited about anyone engaging in it.

This story has moved on from the salacious angle and is now a story of dem corruption of the political process. The manipulation going on, the willingness to use young men and women as pawns for their election benefit.

Getting to the bottom of this story is not going to come from what did Hastert/Congressional leadership know or when, it is going to end up turning on who was pulling the strings to open this bag of dirty dem tricks.

Enlightened

Ed - You are damn right. Clinton had his day in court.

The GOP leadership and Mark Foley are entitled to their constitutional right of Guilty Until Proven Innocent, and their day in court.

You can bloviate all you want in the interim. But you see, the majority of the GOP and their consituents understand that a man's sexual proclivities is not going to send GOP'ers running to the Dem candidate. It's going to make them run in droves to their new party candidate.

So what is really going on here - as alluded to in your comment- is revenge for ole Willy Jeff parking in the wrong slot and lying about it, and getting caught.

Your party is on a path of self immolation, and every GOP'er you suck into your vortex of mindless, soulless hatred, appears not as another notch on your belt, but rather as another diarrhea stain on your sh-t pile.

TallDave

But none of that matters - his critics will insist that Hastert should have pushed harder.

Let's leave his wife out of this, please.

Terrye

Yes, let's talk about Iraq and Uday and child molestation. Remember Saddam's psycho offspring?

Uday the child rapist/serial killer son who used to have children removed from school and brought to him so that he could rape them? Ah yes, those were the good old days.

Semanticleo

"Yes, let's talk about Iraq and Uday and child molestation."

There was a third brother who was kept in a closet. His name was..uhhh...that's right..

TerryeAY

boris

Your party is on a path of self immolation

Ed's not a D party guy. Likes to yell at R for not being saintly and omniscient though.

Enlightened

I have to say the commenters here, Clarice, Tom M, Sue, PUK, Cecil, Dale, Boris, Topsecret, JM Hanes, Sara Squig, etc etc - you guys are so dead on balls accurate and your mindset is so leap years ahead of mine. I come here to get educated, and I in turn educate who I can about the truth.

It is a joy to see the left come here to get hit repeatedly on the head with their own stupid sticks.

SunnyDay

Shep is on FNC now, says discussion coming up and "you will be surprised who is behind this..."

Apparently Hastert was on Rush Limbaugh today - he is not going to step down, and they have found out all about the dates of the IM's who has had them all this time, and why they are coming out now. Tied in with FBI investigation.

That's Shep's teaser...

Terrye

Well I think it is ridiculous for Hastert to resign. There was nothing he could really do about it. People seem to think that Hastert is the CEO and people like Foley are his employees. Not so, Foley worked for the people of his district, not Hastert. Haster could ask for a censure under certain circumstances, but I just do not see that here. The criticism seems to be that he should have investigated, but he turned it over to the correct people and left it at that. What would he have found out in an investigation?

Terrye

Semanticyournameisweird:

What was that supposed to mean? It was gibberish.

I think the thing that interests me the most is that for the whole decade of the 90's I hear all these horror stories about Saddam and his sons and his weapons and terrorists and than wham bam! Bush becomes President and all of a sudden I am supposed to believe that everything I heard for a decade is nonsense. In fact Saddam was a nice man who has been badly used by the evil Bush who sent troops to Iraq and OH MY GOD, they had an election...how awful...nothing like the happy times of laughing flowers and singing butterflies that was Saint Saddam's Iraq.

cathyf

What about the Dem leadership covering up that a drunken Patrick Kennedy groped a page at a Hootie and the Blowfish concert? The only differences that I can see:

-- PK groped a page while she was a page, not after she left when they were no longer in the same workplace.

-- The girl PK groped was younger (because she was a page at the time.)

-- The PK contact was physical, rather than on a computer screen, and a fully-grown male has size and strength advantages over a 16-yr-old female.

-- The PK contact was in a public place where the girl couldn't effectively fight him off without making a public scene. On IM, either party could instantly disconnect it at any time. (In fact the connections kept dropping accidentally and they kept having to restart them.)

-- PK probably committed a DUI to get home from the concert, while MF was already at home.

Ok, I'm still trying to figure out what makes Foley's emails to the LA former page more deserving of Muttawa attention than Kennedy's groping of a current page. The only candidates for why Kennedy should get a pass are a) he's not a Republican, and b) he's not gay.

This Democratic leadership coverup for Kennedy is going on right now. He's still a member of Congress, and Pelosi should resign for not investigating his page-groping.

SunnyDay

Shep - still teasing - a prominent evangelical leader has come forward with information, says Hastert has nothing to do with it. hmmmmmmmm??

Jane

Cathy,

Where is the evidence on the PK thing?

Jack Blackwell

Democrats funded by a private foundation mount a two year $50,000,000 oral sex investigation/attempted coup. Democrats are persecuting prudes. They should be ashamed. Ooops, I guess that was Foley, the poor victim of this Democrat smear.

anon

Helpful hints from the WaPo.

The reality is that Democrats seem to get away with more," says Chuck Todd, editor in chief of the Hotline, a daily political journal. "They can have an affair and bail [themselves] out. There's a lower threshold for Republicans. I guess it's more of a hypocrisy thing," he adds, because such scandals put Republicans at odds with the party's socially conservative image. Todd thinks he knows who's to blame for this: "It's the media, to be honest. What is the standard 'gotcha' story in the media? It's hypocrisy. If we can prove hypocrisy, we have a story. . . . So in a sex scandal, the bar for Republicans is lower

They always seem to have some convincing reason to do what they want to do. Convincing to themselves at least. We're all familiar with the "gotcha" stories they run on Ted Kennedys oil company and offshore accounts.

Semanticleo

"If we can prove hypocrisy,"

That's what they don't get. As with most
Greedheads, they want to eat their cake and have it too. It just isn't fair to hold them to the higher standard they trumpet from the rooftops, like the Pharisees and Sadducees.

Sara (Squiggler)

I was thinking this morning about the way correspondence is handled in a Congressional office. Granted I'm only intimately familiar with two offices, but in both, correspondence was handled by staff and interns. We wrote the letters. They were then printed out and placed in a folder for the Member to sign and add a handwritten comment if so desired, or to send back for more editing. After they were signed, the were returned to the staff to place in an envelop, have any other material included such as a picture, a report that may have been asked for, or a newsletter and sent off.

The first thing I would ask is who in Foley's office was responsible for correspondence and did they follow a similar scenario that other offices do?

Perhaps Foley had time to handle all his own correspondence and email, but this would be very unusual.

I once spent an entire week doing nothing but letters to high school students who had expressed an interest in getting a Congressional recommendation to one of the service academies. If I didn't already have a picture, one was asked for. We also wrote letters of congratulations to all Eagle Scouts, to all constituents who recently graduated from college or graduate school, to all high school validictorians in the District, and any other contituent youth who did anything noteworthy. At certain times of the year, this could amount to a thousand or more letters going out to kids under the age of 18. We constantly tried to recruit high schoolers as volunteers to man signs, fair booths, even telephone banks. We never lacked for young volunteers.

The point is, all the Congressional and Senate offices have a good networks with high schools and colleges in their Districts and correspondence with young men and women of high school age was common and quite similar to the original Foley emails. Perhaps that is why I don't see anything to raise a red flag and neither did anyone else.

I'm sorry if all you hand-wringers find this somehow dangerous. It is a daily occurence.

So, the emails mean nothing. The IMs, of course, would raise red flags, but even they were between legal age correspondents done after hours, so I'm not sure that a legal basis could be ginned up to cover invading privacy to the extent necessary to uncover anything questionable.

Cecil Turner

Sorry, Cecil. You win the 'day's most incomprehensible" award for that comment.

Incomprehensible to you, because you think Iraq is a winning issue for Dems. And despite the fact that every time the national dialogue focuses on security matters, polls show greater approval for the GOP, you think talking about Iraq is the ticket. And what's hilarious is that it's such a persistent fantasy that you can be warned about it, and lose another election because of it, and it'll still persist. If you lot could just stick to hand-wringing and "what about the children" platitudes, you'd have a shot. But ya can't.

Maguire must be in with the Dems. He should
be focusing on security issues......like Iraq.

Our esteemed host covers current topics, and as you can see, it's all Foley. (And that's helping your side, and yet you complain. Remarkable.)

Don

What if it's children's security we're discussing?

Does the GOP still come out on top-or the bottom?

Cecil Turner

Does the GOP still come out on top-or the bottom?

Dude, you're crushing my smokes! Creepy.

Semanticleo

("And that's helping your side, and yet you complain. Remarkable.)"

You think becuase you find it painful and
harmful to your party, it's helpful to focus
ALL THE NEWS on FoleyGate?

It is a question of the less of two evils.
Your party is running away from Iraq in droves. You don't see a more lasting meltdwon from THAT focus. You Want to discuss Iraq? Remarkable.

Sara (Squiggler)

They certainly come out on top, Don. It wasn't Republicans who put the privacy of the family and the "of age" child at risk, it is militant gay democrats and their enablers.

It isn't Republicans who think children should be killed at the mere whim of a promiscuous mother to busy with her activism to bother having a child.

It isn't Republicans who constantly tell us that the violence and blatant sex available to kids on television, movies, video games and advertising is a healthy thing that promotes diversity in society.

And it sure isn't Republicans who think that BJs in the Oval office are a private affair and none of our business.

Don

Sara- its a shame to post such moral outrage at the bottom of this page.

clarice feldman

Rogers had Foley's email addy:

per update at Sweetness & Light

Sara (Squiggler)

Sara- its a shame to post such moral outrage at the bottom of this page.

Sorry, perhpas it is my cold and blurry vision, but I have absolutely no idea what this is supposed to mean.

Don

It'll come to you.

Cecil Turner

Your party is running away from Iraq in droves. You don't see a more lasting meltdwon from THAT focus. You Want to discuss Iraq?

Heh. My point exactly. Now let's see if the self-immolation squad can beat the November 7th deadline. I'm bettin' they can.

Paul Amigo

Just when I thaught that it can't get any worse, the Republicans seem to 'sink and stink' to new depths! From D.C. (damage control) comes the latest euphemism for sexually suggestive e-mails > "over-friendly overtures", "naughty notes"!!!!! ( I love these Republicans; so optimistic all the time------- )

clarice feldman

Odd, P.A. but the FBI could find nothing wrong with them either--nor could the media which received them as well.

The emails were innocuous. It's the recently disclosed (but not in a form we can test for authenticity) IM's which are steamy.

Blenheim

Maybe this whole creepy episode just shows that Hastert and his generation are dinosaurs. Regardless of what they knew and when they knew it, the House leadership lacked the courage or clue to confront Foley on a fairly easy matter. Right? "Hey Foley, do what you want in your personal life vis-a-vis the barely legal (keep in mind that boy-chasing is is a high-risk hobby for someone in public office) but, in the name of God, stay away from current and former interns. What the hell are you thinking?" I can't help but think that someone younger and/or a little more comfortable with the whole "gay thing" would have managed the Foley situation more appropriately.

sylvia

Can anyone tell me why we are talking about anything when we don't even know the age and state of the ex-page who was the recipient of the steamy IM's? Why don't we know this yet? This makes me think he was 18 and we have no there there.

Semanticleo

I'm bettin' they can

I'm guessin' you're not a bettin' man.

Paul Amigo

Hey, all you republicans and "conservatives" out there,remember 1998 and the right-wing media frenzy with Clinton ?
What goes around comes around;
ENJOY!
(To paraphrase a well known quote from the bible,'you reap as you sow';the chickens are coming home to roost one by one after all the crap that has been perpetrated in the last five years.)

boris
I'm bettin' they can

I'm guessin' you're not a bettin' man.

Oh look, cleo's writing another drinkin' song !

Semanticleo

Oh look, cleo's writing another drinkin' song

Yeah I thought it would be nice if you and Natasha had a theme song when you mix your
next batch of bathtub vodka.

boris

right-wing media frenzy with Clinton ?
What goes around comes around;

Clinton managed a multi-wing media frenzy. Truly awesome it was too! It just went on and on and on and on and on and on and on and on and on and on and on and on and on and on. Those don't come around that often! Let's just see how long this one lasts.

boris

you and Natasha

Wrong boris.

Appalled Moderate

The Democrat record on issues involving interns and pages tends to be "Move On". Nobody's illicit sex life looks good on paper. (See Starr report). Nobody looks good when they try to amplify something like this into a big deal. (See Ken Starr, reputation of.)

I understand the impulse to make a big huge political stink out of this, but my guess is that it will backfire badly if the Democrats choose to make a big stink about GOP handling of this. These are the guys who are petrified to truly oppose torture. But boy, they are hard on gay Republicans and want to see all the nasties in their private correspondence. Hypocrasy, thy name is Pelosi.

And, in this day, sending your kid to the care of Congressfolk -- whose predelictions are well known for at least the last 20 years -- is almost as bad as sending him/her off to visit Michael Jackson. Seems like the page program has outlived its usefulness.

BTW, Foley's e-mails, in connection with his interests, should have alerted somebody that this, perhaps, was not the right guy to be heading up the page program or his kids committee. He is fitting a fairly well-known profile. Hastert should have asked himself the question -- how would you feel if your kid got these e-mails?

Lambert McLaurin

There are all sorts of sickos and perverts out there.
They belong to all churches, political parties, to try to score points in a political debate by comparing who did what when is childlike. It's like playing "Go Fish", "gimme all your pedophiles, have you got any queers?, etc.) The problem with the current crop of whatever they are (certainly not traditional Republicans) is that they seem so angry, pious, and judgmental in their allegiance to their ever changing ethics and social mores that when they fall the Thunk! is louder! Most of this blog is amateurish trash talk.

Sara (Squiggler)

Wow so many new trolls so eager to crow. Too bad that not one of them can keep their facts straight and none of them seem to care about the family or the 16 year old.

Syl, we not only don't know the age or location of the IMer, we still don't even know if the IMs are legitimate or that Foley had anything to do with them. And unless someone very adept at internet behind the scenes snooping comes up with something, I doubt we will have those questions answered until the FBI completes its examination of the material.

What we do know is whoever is behind this does not have the civilian's (meaning family and former pages) best interest at heart and that this is all about outing a gay man who just wasn't gay enough because he voted against the gay marriage act. A far more disgusting crime than a few innocuous emails or even consenual sex talk in an IM.

Foley didn't need to quit, but he did the honorable thing. For this, he is called a pedophile even though there isn't a prepubescent child anywhere in the picture. Everything else is strictly political posturing to try to swing an election that was going down the tubes for the dems. I don't think it is going to work. The public is already becoming aware of where the true hypocrisy lies in this story.

Don

Sara-it's undisputed that Foley's chief of staff was trying to make a deal with ABC not to release the IMs-so please stop with the "may be fake" crap.

They are digital blue dresses stained with electronic semen a la Monica.

As for the "investigation"-they didn't even inform the Democratic member of the Page Committee!

That tells you all you need to know-unless you're a moron-so 90% of present company excepted.

Hastert is gone by the end of this week.

sylvia

Okay, since we don't know the age of the steamy-im'd ex page, why is this even an issue yet? I don't get it. How can we presume ANYTHING without the AGE of the EX-page. If he is 18 - there is no crime of any sort here or even any sexual harassment case. Someone needs to produce sexually explicit material sent to current pages under the age of 18 - period. Otherwise this is all hot air.

clarice feldman

The guy who says he's going to release the name of the IM correspondent says that Sylvia--the guy is not a minor.

sylvia

Ok, if the guy is not a minor and a FORMER page AND it appeared to be consensual - where's the beef? Has everyone gone crazy here?

Sara (Squiggler)

Don, I have no idea if they are fake or real. They seem very contrived to me. But that is neither here nor there, as most of my discussion has centered around the emails, since those are the only things remotely having to do with someone still part of the page program and perhaps on the border of being a legal adult.

I've said from day one that the IMs change the dynamics. In fact, I'll go on record now and say that if the latest one that has this exchange:

Maf54: we will be adjourned ny then
Teen: oh good
Maf54: by
Maf54: then we can have a few drinks
Maf54: lol
Teen: yes yes ;-)
Maf54: your not old enough to drink
Teen: shhh…
Maf54: ok
Teen: that's not what my ID says
Teen: lol
Maf54: ok
Teen: I probably shouldn't be telling you that huh
Maf54: we may need to drink at my house so we don't get busted

is valid, then I have serious problems with the entire Foley situation. I could care less about consensual sex talk, it just does not rise to any kind of problem for me, but I am very very ardent about alcohol abuse and underage drinking. I have no time for any adult over 21 providing alcohol to anyone under 21.

But again, is there any proof that this get together ever took place or that Foley had hands on experience with even a single person he exchanged his sex talk with? So far, nothing has come forward.

Now why would these two talk about getting together and what they would do and they not get together if that was the goal. It doesn't smell right.

So tell me Don, you think it is okay how the family and the 16 year old's privacy have been so severely compromised? This, to you is protecting our young people? You think it is okay to throw around the term pedophile inappropriately applied in this case thereby cheapening the charge? You think it is okay for a gay militant group to deliberately out gays to embarrass them? You are so in love with the gay agenda and the gay marriage act that anything goes at any price? Hmmmm, those positions will really sit well with the voters I'm sure.

Sue

'you reap as you sow'

Is that what the Bible says? I thought it was 'you rip what you sew'. I thought I was following the Lord's bidding...when I bought that Singer...and things didn't work out quite like I imagined.

Don

All they had to do was inform the entire Page Committee, including the Democrat, and let the Committee decide what to do.

We're only here today because they consciously kept it quiet.

Semanticleo

Wrong boris.

Same smell.

Cecil Turner

All they had to do was inform the entire Page Committee, including the Democrat, and let the Committee decide what to do.

The Page Committee has no authority to discipline Foley. Perhaps they should've notified the Ethics Committee, but it seems like pretty thin gruel to me. Especially considering the Studds precedent:

As the House read their censure of him, Studds turned his back and ignored them. Later, at a press conference with the former page standing beside him, the two stated that what had happened between them was nobody's business but their own.

JKelly

Just get rid of the man. Whoops, he already took himself out. Democrates, when caught with their pants down, simply deny or say it's ok. Not defending Foley - never would, but hey, problem is not just on the Republican side.

Foley should be investigated and held responsible for what he did.

But only in America could you have a man who drove his car off his bridge, abandoned a young woman inside to die, and is now a leader of a major political party.

Jkelly

*burp*

Don

The Page Committee could have talked to the page(s) and recommended the next step. This whole fiasco would have been avoided.

A quite resignation could have been easily engineered. Oh not if they told the Democrat on the committee, you say?

Maybe/maybe not but exactly the point! Keep it quiet! Putting their own political interests above the welfare of the pages is exactly why they are screwed today. It's quite clear Hastert is toast.

Luckily, this time we have Republicans calling for Hastert's hide, so the JOM protestations are manifest in their emptiness.

clarice feldman

How do you propose to investigate this without disclosing the page's identity?

Sara (Squiggler)

No one is calling for Hastert's hide, forget it, you don't get him out of there just because you wish it so. And keep it quiet? Hastert honored the family's wishes and kept it quiet. Can't say the same for the press or the democrats, now can we? They don't give a damn about the boy or the family's wishes, it is all about gotcha, and trying to steal another election. Guess they figure they've voted about as many dead people as they can, so now we're on to the politics of personal destruction.

This story is over. Foley is gone, the FBI has the investigation and has already said there is no there there on the emails, nothing yet on the IMs. It is time to get back to the important business of this nation. We have terrorists to fight. We have a border to defend. This is now in the hands of late night comics and the historians. Foley is suitably damaged permanently so Aravosis got his wish. The only other damage is the ongoing damage being done to the family by the dems and the press.

Don

Is the Page Committee incapable of going into closed session? Doubtful. For that matter, how is the FBI going to do it?

Sara-again-you don't stop an investigation b/c the parents said drop it. It's about the next kid too.

Why don't you conservative women go read Maggie Gallagher's column just linked by KLO and get some ejumacation.

Cecil Turner

The Page Committee could have talked to the page(s) and recommended the next step.

I'm presuming by "next step" you mean some sort of censure for Mr Foley. If so, it's an ethics issue, not a page issue. (If you wanted to provide the pages with guidelines on how to respond to inappropriate e-mails, or merely to warn them, that might be best handled by the Page Committee, but I don't think that's where we're going with this.)

Luckily, this time we have Republicans calling for Hastert's hide, so the JOM protestations are manifest in their emptiness.

Okay, but until 50% of the House Republicans do . . .

Sara (Squiggler)

Brent Bozell says it well:

The hypocrisy here is as nauseating as the Foley e-mails.

Don

Look if you want to argue that Hastert et al. handled this thing correctly, go ahead.

As far as Hastert's future, look how Boehner just did the double-double retraction, i.e. he first said he told Hastert, got the WAPO to retract it, and is now back to version 1, he told Hastert.

That evil little rat can see the handwriting on the wall.

PeterUK

Clarice,
Now this has been set in motion,there is no pssibility of the young man's identity remaining secret.These jackals know it,but they simply don't care,as we all know,this isn't about ethics,it is about power.

clarice feldman

PUK, I'm old. Don't shock me with stuff like that. *sniffing smelling salts*

Sara (Squiggler)

A dose of reality from Bill Quick at Daily Pundit: http://www.dailypundit.com/2006/10/post_268.php

Guess what? "Internet sex" isn't sex.

ABC News now has obtained 52 separate instant message exchanges, which former pages say were sent by Foley, using the screen name Maf54, to two different boys under the age of 18.

This message was dated April 2003, at approximately 7 p.m., according to the message time stamp.

Yep, long-running, mutual, and descriptive sexual writing from all participants over a span of 52 messages. Sure sounds to me like those young men were frightened and repulsed and, well, just unwilling victims of the Dirty Old Man.

Sara (Squiggler)

Look if you want to argue that Hastert et al. handled this thing correctly, go ahead.

Correctly? I haven't said that. I have said that based on the information he had, he handled it and I'm sure that at the time he was convinced he'd handled it correctly. It is impossible now, using hindsight and with the IMs in our brains, to evaluate the situation as it existed back then in the Speaker's mind. He spoke to the family, they waived him off. He spoke to Foley and warned him off. He spoke to Shimkus and let him know there was a potential problem to warn the page's about. Based on what he knew, that probably seemed excessive. Only in hindsight, does it raise questions. And, there is always the pesky law that says a 16 year old is of legal age. If the kid was a page he had to be a min. of 16. Once he became a former page, it was out of Hastert's hands and the parents were back in control. The ball was in their court, not his.

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Wilson/Plame