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October 03, 2006

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Sara (Squiggler)

It didn't take the Democrats long to exploit the sleazy Mark Foley scandal with their own sleazy political commercial, produced in record time. In just the brief period since cathe Mark Foley scandal broke on Friday, a Democrat candidate from Louisiana's 1st Congressional District has already produced a campaign commercial trying to tie his Republican opponent, Bobby Jindal, in with
Newsbusters:

Mark Foley. It's quite a stretch but as you can see in this campaign commercial produced for Democrat Stacey Tallitsch (pictured), the Foley connection is only part of the overall sleaziness of the video. Also included are images of a man with his head up his butt and President Bush portrayed as giving a Nazi salute. Overall, the commercial comes off as looking like it was produced by a group of crazed juveniles from the Democratic Underground.

Sara (Squiggler)

Don't know how that last got the spacing so screwed up. Newsbusters should have been at the top.

OT: I just heard the craziest report on Gitmo detainees. Human Rights Watch is up in arms. We're torturing the detainees ... one of them has ballooned to over 400 lbs, doubling his weight since incarceration. Apparently, all the detainees are showing big weight gains and obsesity.

SunnyDay

Well maybe this is hot stuff on the internet, but I'm telling you, locals here are laughing at it. The nuances escape them.

cathyf
Where is the evidence on the PK thing?
here
Kelly – (Sep 16 2004, 9:41 PM)

I got fully groped and felt up by a very drunken Patrick Kennedy (yes, the US Congressman) at at Hootie and the Blowfish concert last month. What is more disturbing - that I got groped by a Kennedy? that Hootie is still touring? or that I was actually in attendance at a Hootie concert in 2004?

Clearly this is more than enough evidence for the "Better Sex Police" Democratic leadership to demand PK's resignation. Well, at least they claim it is!

clarice feldman

Thanks, cathyf. I remembered seeing it but couldn't remember where.

Neo

I came across O'Rielly having on the Factor a former page who said he had been interviewed by the FBI this (Tuesday) morning.

He said had gotten messages from Foley in the past.

I always wondered why these pages just took in the breeze from Foley, and I got my answer.

The page said that when he first got the IM he had no idea it was Foley, but said, get this, that the message was "not unnormal" as these sorts of messages float about in IMs all the time.

Later he said he found out it was Foley.

He said that the Congressional pages referred to Foley as "FFF" or "Foley Fagot Florida".

I hope that warmed the depths of somebody's heart.

Lastly, he made a plea that the intern program not be ended, as some have suggested.

Neo

From my own personal experience in the (evil) private sector, Congress, at the very least, needs a "sexual harassment" program, and I don't mean to aid them to hone their skills. This program must be mandatory for all House and Senate members, employees and volunteers.

Secondly, we either need a system to filter out IMs available to "minor" pages or we need to recognize that these pages just don't have virgin "ears, eyes and brains" any longer. Neither of these is perfect, but if we are going to do it for the children then some effort that has a strong resemblance to parental oversight needs to be included in the Congressional Page Program.

Neo

Oh, please shun the "English"

verner

This from MSNBC:

http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/15126151/

I think we're going to find that while Foley's behavior was disgusting, no laws were broken. He knew just where to draw the line.

Vanessa Robinson

"That said, there is an election to be won, so for the next few weeks we will hear about sixteen and seventeen year old "children."

I appreciate the irony in that statement, but it fails miserably--precisely because, unlike the case of the 24 year-old Monica Lewinsky, sixteen and seventeen year-olds are still actually, truly children. We know this. The parents of this age group can definitely attest to this. Rep. Foley has left "no doubt" that he preferred underage young persons--otherwise defined as children. I have yet to hear of him approaching anyone over the age of 18--the thought probably repelled him. And unlike that idiot--Tony Snow--who describes these notes as "naughty" (as if they were scribbles passed between starstruck lovers)--most Americans know what is proper and what is not. This situation is easy to grasp no matter what party he belongs to. We don't want 52 year-old perverts emailing our children, got it? So quit turning this into another political broohaha that can be just brushed over. And another thing, just because the FBI and some weak inept newspaper editors don't do their jobs--that is not a reason for us to accept their judgement on this matter. I can assure you that their judgement would have went to another level if a 52 year-old man was emailing THEIR children.
Quit apologizing/explaining/excusing/justifying Rep. Foley's actions. If he wasn't a Republican Representative--he would be out on bail.

Jane

I have yet to hear of him approaching anyone over the age of 18--the thought probably repelled him.

Ahhhhh the voice of hypocrisy. Show us dear Vanessa where Foley approached anyone. Show us the physical contact. Prove to us that anyone involved here was a child. We can wait. I'm sure you wouldn't just post lies without proof.

And then show us the law that was broken.

Again. We can wait.

Cecil Turner

I appreciate the irony in that statement, but it fails miserably--precisely because, unlike the case of the 24 year-old Monica Lewinsky, sixteen and seventeen year-olds are still actually, truly children. We know this.

Lewinsky was 21 when she started interning and 22 when the affair started (and if making this sort of distinction, recommend getting the facts straight). And hopefully you see the difference between sex (or whatever that stuff was Clinton and Monica did), and chatting about it. Moreover, we have to draw some age at which sexual conduct is allowable, and that appears to be 16 for the District of Columbia. So in that sense, either the law needs changing or we can't consider them "children."

This situation is easy to grasp no matter what party he belongs to. We don't want 52 year-old perverts emailing our children, got it? So quit turning this into another political broohaha that can be just brushed over.

I suspect the GOP in general agrees with you (hence Foley's resignation). Dems might argue if the shoe were on the other foot (as in when they decided Gerry Studds could continue in office after having actual sex with a seventeen year-old page). In any event, pretending this isn't "another political broohaha" is pretty hard to credit. More to the point, pretending the Dems have moral high ground to insist on a GOP leadership change for not doing enough--in a situation precisely analogous to one in which they did less--is more than a little hypocritical.

PD Shaw

The head of the page board (Shimkus) said in a local interview (below) that he only saw an email requesting a picture and was asked by the parents to handle the matter with "discretion." The email "must have sent up a red flag to the parents, who asked me to intervene." He then told Foley to stay away from the pages. He felt that what he did was consistent with the wishes of the parents.

http://www.sj-r.com/sections/news/stories/97350.asp

Vanessa Robinson

Whew! OK--thanks for letting me rant a little.
But lets approach this from another angle. First of all, this is not a Republican failing--Democrats have had their moments and they weren't all that long ago. However, to insist that "Republicans" are somehow superior are illustrated by misquided hypocritical comments like this:

"Does anyone seriously think that the Democrats can position themselves as the party of sexual restraint?"

I mean--we are taking about a "Republican", are we not? Comments like this can only ascerbate the problem. Perversion is something, I think, that crosses party lines and sexes. And taking about "family values', since Pres. Clintons trial--we have seen a fair amount of Republicans who have since divorced and married again. All of which is ironic considering the fact that no matter what you may think of the Clintons, they are still married, after many years, to each other. But, I digress.

It is easy to play 20/20, especially if you are safe in your little town--doing other things (legal, I hope)-- but the Republicans missed an opportunity to show the supposed integrity, correctness, and rightness? of their culture. When Hastert's office (never mind that the official explanation is that his workers did not pass this info up to him--that sounds unlikely and untrue, but, whatever) received information that Rep. Foley was emailing "naughty" emails to 16 year olds (and yes, there are others--quit being in denial--it looks stupid)--they should have set up a sting.
Oh? That's not fair, you may think. This country had no problem watching one of the most popular stings in this country--the video of Marion Barry in a hotel room with an adult woman smoking cocaine still appears on tv from time to time. So its been done before and it will be done again IF the will is there. The FBI--contacted by Hastert and the Republican Party, could have taken over the investigation and it would have led Rep. Foley to a hotel room expecting to meet a 16 year-old to hang out. (There are emails of Rep. Foley attempting to set up a meeting with one page) It would have been taped--it would have been clear. The Party Leadership would then have been heroic in their actions, because then they would have backed up what they say. Instead--they wallow in embarrassment and rely on their friendly connections to stir up doubt and confusion. But there is nothing confusing about this.

clarice feldman

Vanessa, I find it risible that a party which opposes data mining phone calls with terrorists suggest a full bore ingquisition should have been done on a Congressman who asked an ex-page for a photo and how his vacation was.

Truly.

Don

Actually-it's 16 to have physical sex with a chult (child/adult) in D.C. but it's 18 before it's legal to talk dirty with them online-thanks to the Adam Walsh Act-passed by our same Repub friends in 2006!

And the gushing testimonials about "protecting the children" from Bush, Hastert, et al. on signing day are just too funny for words in light of today's pathetic defenses.

clarice feldman

The Reason article observation that any Act named after a person is bound to overreach says it all.

And I'd hardly pick one party to blame for it.

Can you imagine the political cost of not being swept along by the tide.

Cecil Turner

Actually-it's 16 to have physical sex with a chult (child/adult) in D.C. but it's 18 before it's legal to talk dirty with them online-thanks to the Adam Walsh Act-passed by our same Repub friends in 2006!

The IMs in question were from 2003-2004 (AFAICT), so they appear to've pre-dated both the Walsh Act and Hastert's intervention. And I think I prefer the 18 year age for someone more than 4 years older (one of the permutations of consent laws), though that's admittedly not applicable here.

Jane

The FBI--contacted by Hastert and the Republican Party, could have taken over the investigation and it would have led Rep. Foley to a hotel room expecting to meet a 16 year-old to hang out.

WEll now we know the left is on
the record for conducting sting operations without probable cause against gay republicans. That wouldn't apply to terrorists, right? Because that would be unconstitutional.

Sheesh

Don

yeah-I know the IMs pre-dated the predation, but I'm responding to this new Republican idea that 16 year olds aren't children.

Whatever; the very last time Bush, Hastert, and Foley enacted a law on point (oh...summer 2006!) everyone under 18 was stautorily defined as a "child".

Oh what a tangled web...

Jane

Not the least bit tangled for the right Don. But it's about to get very hairy for you guys.

Cecil Turner

I'm responding to this new Republican idea that 16 year olds aren't children.

I thought the discussion was in regards to Foley's legal jeopardy. For which, as far as I can tell, they aren't. As to moral high ground, I think the Studds case torpedoes any claims the Dems have on that score, though I don't really expect you to agree.

Carol Herman

As if our kids today are without "f" words, etc., peppering their speech.

I think the tides will turn. And, this will bite the democraps. Because they tossed "one of their own" at Hastert; hoping Hastert would be hit by this flying missile. Instead, the President has come out and delivered to Hastert an instruction TO INVESTIGATE.

So who held these IM's? Hmm? Names gonna remain a secret? Really? Just a bunch of 17 years AT BARS IN DC? Something smells. And, if the democraps were smarter they wouldn't have thrown homosexuality into such a wide-open arena.

AT SOME POINT THE NAMES OF THE ADULTS INVOLVED IN THE EMAILS, AND MESSAGING, are gonna hit the Internet. Where, today, there was some news that Foley's AOL account got entered (for 20 or 30 seconds), by someone with "access." A former aide of Foley's, perhaps?

Smells like someone will get perp walked. And, I'll bet it will be a homosexual, NOT a kiddling. And, the joke won't be so funny for the donks. In 34 days we'll know if this FREAK SHOW brought results. And, if Nancy Pelosi gets to be majority chair.

You think she's got a 100% chance? Logic says nada.

bs buster

Oh Jane and Sara! when will you arrogant,bigoted,trashy,ranting and raving "religious right" ever come to your senses? Your party is so screwed up,it even started to 'cover up' for the G&L amongst them!
However, there is one silver lining to all this,you will never be accused of 'gay bashing' anymore! Nice progress; keep it up!
(By the way, speaking of ranting & raving, whatever happened to that "democrat"
Zell Miller ? havn't seen that ugly dinaosaur for some time now--- )

TexasToast

The Reason article observation that any Act named after a person is bound to overreach says it all.

And I'd hardly pick one party to blame for it.

Its a red letter day - I agree with Clarice!

Guys, isn't the Gary Studds defense is getting old? Tu quoque and all that. He was censured by the house and the electorate made their own decision about him.

Who wants a "full blown inquisition"? I don’t think most Democrats do. We don’t want our teenage children getting harassed by “mentors”. How about the oversight that any private company must do to prevent sexual harassment claims? This fact pattern almost exactly matches these types of claims. "Oversight" was obviously missing here.

This is not some anti-gay witch-hunt - harassers are both gay and straight – and everyone is entitled to privacy - so comparisons to "terrorists" are a bit overblown, are they not?

Cecil Turner

Guys, isn't the Gary Studds defense is getting old? Tu quoque and all that. He was censured by the house and the electorate made their own decision about him.

Oh nonsense. If the Dem claim is that the leadership should have done more, then it's perfectly appropriate to point out that they did less in a more serious situation (Foley never touched a page and resigned; Studds had sex with one and was censured).

Who wants a "full blown inquisition"? I don’t think most Democrats do.

I should hope not, it'll certainly hurt them worse. (But I suspect they're gonna get some.)

How about the oversight that any private company must do to prevent sexual harassment claims?

Heh. From someone who thinks it appropriate that the electorate make the decision on obvious harassment cases like Clinton and Studds, and yet apparently believes the GOP should be able to proactively prevent similar cases? (Or really, retroactively, since the only alleged abuse happened before the leadership had an inkling--and none afterward.) Compelling.

Don

Actually the Dems were much tougher on Studds. Studds was censured, and forced to stand in the well of House while it was delivered.

Republicans encouraged Foley to run for reelection this year AFTER they knew about his "naughty e-mails."

Foley resigned only after the news broke. The Repubs never did anything to the guy, much less open censure.

Of course, exhibiting their usual bravery-they badmouth him to no end after he's resigned.

Bob Ney has already entered a guilty plea and they won't even toss him!

Cecil Turner

Republicans encouraged Foley to run for reelection this year AFTER they knew about his "naughty e-mails."

If it were only the e-mails, Foley would still be in office, and this wouldn't be news. AFTER the Dem leadership knew Studds diddled a page, they censured him, and he kept his seat.

Foley resigned only after the news broke. The Repubs never did anything to the guy, much less open censure.

Censuring is worse than a resignation? Whatever. He's gone. Studds continued to serve for a decade afterward.

Bob Ney has already entered a guilty plea and they won't even toss him!

Yeah, and Jefferson will probably brazen it out. Neither are high points.

Jane

This is not some anti-gay witch-hunt

Tell that to bs Buster, or john Aravois, because that is exactly what it is to them.

and everyone is entitled to privacy

Tell that to the dems doing the outing - for their own good, of course.

If dems had simply kept their mouths shut they would have won this battle, but as usual they went too far.

As for Gerry Studds getting old - are you saying that standard of judgment is old and Foley deserved more for doing less. Because that's what it sounds like - you know, hypocrisy and all that.

~

Don, I've never seen you get a fact right, once here. Congratulations on a perfect record.

Don

And now Reynolds fired chief of staff is blabbing, apparently unwilling to be the sergeant at Abu Ghraib taking the fall for the higher ups.

He told Hastert's staff about Foley BEFORE the set of e-mails that Hastert claims is all he knew about. So you've been busy defending lies for 6 days.

In the big metaphor, the Republican Congress is Foley and all you Republicans are Foley's cleanup towel.

Rick Ballard

Jane

Thanks Rick

JM Hanes

TT:

"How about the oversight that any private company must do to prevent sexual harassment claims?"

If Congress were a corporation and Hastert its CEO, you might have a point. In point of fact, however, Congress has notoriously exempted themselves from the legal standards they impose on other institutions.

Frankly, I'm not sure why you think anything less than a "full blown inquisition" or the current full court press in the media would have turned up the damning IM's.

I'll go out on a limb here and speculate that the boys involved in those IM chats were not sharing them with their parents. Nor would discreet questions from the Speaker's office be likely to elicit such info (or remain discreet in open secret D.C.!) -- especially if the pages involved thought the whole thing was a gigantic joke. As a parent whose house was teen central for my son & friends for years, I can vouch for the plausibility of that scenario.

Given the apparent fact that these particular fellows thought they were engaging "FFF" or "Foley Fagot Florida," I wouldn't be surprised to learn that they were logging their chats for circulation to likeminded peers. If so, they'd have been more inclined to wipe their drives than rat each other out to anyone in charge of the page program. Indeed, the IMs probably owe their continued, incriminating, existence to the lack of inquiry at the time. Thank Denny Hastert!

Note well, I'm not giving Foley himself a pass on his role in any of this. I'm saying that the idea that anything other than an invasive investigation would have altered the picture in any substantive way borders on fatuous. Had Hastert embarked on any such course, you can bet that Democrats would have been loudly objecting that there were serious constitutional issues in play. They certainly didn't do much complaining over his assertion on the inviolability of Congressional offices when it was Jefferson's ox being gored.

There's also no small irony when folks now arguing on the basis of what they claim any reasonable parent would want, conveniently ignore that stated wishes of the actual parents involved -- not to mention the fact that until this story hit the papers the Hastert approach apparently achieved precisely the result those parents were looking for. It's not easy to argue that he should have overridden what the page's parents wanted in order to do what parents of pages would want -- but darned if there aren't a lot of folks willing to give it a shot.

JM Hanes

Make that the only actual parents involved.

Don

Hanes-this whole talking point is inoperative.

Foley/Reynolds fired chief of staff now says he told Hastert's office about complaints BEFORE this particular Alexander sponsored page got the e-mails.

So they could have prevented these e-mails from happening!

Vote Democrat!

Don, your service in helping to out these kiddy-diddling queers has been invaluable.

Once we Democrats sweep into power, I assure you that we will continue these inquisitions until we are sure that no gay man is allowed to have any contact whatsoever with any children, anywhere, at any time.

Remember, Vote Democrat... unless you want the homosexuals to rape your children!

Don

21 Americans have been killed in Iraq since Foley resigned.

Fuck the scum who run this country.

clarice feldman

Penn is now talking about this--No one mentions that HE is on the Board of CREW>

Neo

While Kerry's foibles have been well-documented, Harris and Halperin propose that the man most responsible for the Massachusetts senator's defeat was not the candidate but rather Matt Drudge -- founder of the widely read Drudge Report.

Harris and Halperin call Drudge the "single most influential purveyor of information about American politics" and go on to add: "Drudge, with his droll Dickensian name, was not the only media or political agent whose actions led to John Kerry's defeat. But his role placed him at the center of the game -- a New Media World Order in which Drudge was the most potent player in the process and a personifications of the dynamic that did Kerry in."

Kerry drudged

TexasToast

“I think I could have given some good advice here, which is you have to be curious, you have to ask all the questions you can think of,” Mr. Blunt told reporters in Missouri, according to The Associated Press. “You absolutely can’t decide not to look into activities because one individual’s parents don’t want you to.”

JMH

Looks like the whip doesn't agree.

Correct me if I am wrong, but weren't the parents' objecting (in this particular case) to revealing the information on acts that had already occurred in an effort to avoid publicity (as opposed to preventing acts that might happen)? I think I would also want to avoid having my child's career blotted by having his name come up in the search results when goggleing "Foley IM" for the forseeable future.

Moreover, aren't most of these pages the children of influential constituants who have no desire to offend or embarrass a potential asset to the page's future career? Seems to me that makes them particularly vulnerable.

Perhaps the pages were laughing at Foley behind his back. That wouldn't surprise me in the least. But....

AST

What would have happened if they had commenced an investigation on the basis of the first emails? Andrew Sullivan would have been screaming "Gestapo," "homophobes" and "Constitutional rights." Although, now he's saying that gays don't lust after teenaged boys.

These pages aren't as innocent as we like to believe. They've been coached all their lives to distrust friendly strangers, and they've heard all kinds of salacious stories in school.

From now on, no Representative or staff member will be allowed to show any interest in the pages. The pages are supposed to learn something and make contacts, but no more. It will be like being quarantined, they'll have to be chaperoned 24/7. What message will that send to these kids on the cusp of legal adulthood? And remember, any of them might be gay. It's fashionable these days.

My son was a page about 6 or 8 years ago. Nothing happened to him, but he was told about incidents in the past. It was a good experience for him, but I don't think he was too impressed.

If he'd received emails like these, I'd have told him to ignore them. If they continued, I'd contact the speakers' office. If he persisted or started wanting to exchange IMs, I may have sent him one of my own and cced it to the speaker's office. And if my son had received anything like these IMs I'd have demanded an investigation and a resignation.

I've been in a situation where I learned that another attorney had forged a client's signature to settle a forfeiture case invovlving $100,000 cash. He had been elected county attorney, and hadn't been able to find his client, but wanted a fee, so he forged the signature on a settlement agreement for $10,000, which he kept. I reported it to the Bar and the state criminal investigation bureau and the FBI, but they did nothing for nearly a year. I told them that the time was running out for me to file a motion to set aside the agreement, and when I did, they got going and filed felony charges. He pled guilty and got disbarred. All in all, my feeling was that it took a lot of prodding to get any action.

Dick Tuck

"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?"

What a pantload. This isn't about sexual restraint, this is about taking responsibility for your actions. This is about covering up the activities of a sexual predator for political gain.

When this happened on the Democrats watch, Tip O'Neil brought in an outsider to fully investigate those who preyed on pages, and wound up censuring a member of his own party. That's what should have been done when Hastert first found out that Foley may have been a sexual predator.

Dick Tuck

When you run on a platform of virtues and gay bashing, expect to get smacked a little bit harder when you're exposed as an Elmer Gantry.

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