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Lies, and the lying liars...
October 4, 2006 5:37 AM   Subscribe

Whether it's mislabeling his affiliation, or starting conspiracy theories, the party of responsible government (and their right-wing media organizations) are doing all they can to downplay the Foley scandal.
posted by jpburns (521 comments total) 11 users marked this as a favorite

 
... and the hits just keep on coming...
posted by jpburns at 5:39 AM on October 4, 2006


I'd just like to state for the record now: the Saddam verdict is scheduled for the end of the month, less than two weeks before the election. Odds are it's going to be a good PR cycle for pro-war conservatives. Odds are somewhere, a left-wing crank is going to make some dumb accusation that the verdict was "timed." Odds are, these same schmucks like Hannity are going to laugh at such accusations. As such, I'd like to devote the remainder of my time on the floor to pointing and laughing at Hannity.

Ahem.

Hahahahahahahahahahahahaha ass.
posted by XQUZYPHYR at 5:47 AM on October 4, 2006


Sorry to keep adding stuff, but...
posted by jpburns at 5:51 AM on October 4, 2006



posted by pruner at 5:52 AM on October 4, 2006 [1 favorite]


The GOP shills were out as early as the same day that Foley announced his resignation, doing all they could to disconnect their party from him, and distract from how they knew of his pedophilia since 2005.

They even sent the normally well-respected and moderate David Gergen out into centrist media to take part in the dirty cover-up. Utterly shameless.
posted by Blazecock Pileon at 5:58 AM on October 4, 2006


You know, I'm praying it was a liberal conspiracy, and I'm hoping they've got something else ready for next week.
posted by eriko at 6:03 AM on October 4, 2006 [1 favorite]


That Reynolds press conference with the kids in your last comment is hilarious, jpburns. At least reporters had the guts to ask "Who are these children?" But crudely exploiting kids to show you're against exploiting kids truly is a priceless, revealing moment.
posted by mediareport at 6:04 AM on October 4, 2006


eriko,

yep.

You mean the democrats know about dirty tricks now? Excellent.
posted by hackly_fracture at 6:18 AM on October 4, 2006


I think whoever is running Jim Webb's campaign is going to be the next Karl Rove. He's run a brilliantly nasty campaign against Allen and esssentially destroyed any chance he had of ever being president. If I were a 2008 presidential candidate, I'd be looking seriously at stealing Webb's entire team.
posted by empath at 6:24 AM on October 4, 2006 [1 favorite]


(digression, i guess-- but still on the topic of Democratic dirty tricks -- which I'm 100% in favor of)
posted by empath at 6:24 AM on October 4, 2006


You know, I'm praying it was a liberal conspiracy, and I'm hoping they've got something else ready for next week.

The only redeeming value of this being Democrat "dirty tricks" would be the fact that this one apparently worked. For all the talk right-wingers make about Democrats and their numerous conspiracies to rig elections, they don't seem to be, you know, very good at it. If every accusation about the "MSM" and "liberal media" and "Democrat trickesters" made by the right is actually true, then the left has a record of effectiveness in their goals roughly equivalent to the bad guys on Pokemon.
posted by XQUZYPHYR at 6:34 AM on October 4, 2006 [4 favorites]


The only redeeming value of this being Democrat "dirty tricks" would be the fact that this one apparently worked. For all the talk right-wingers make about Democrats and their numerous conspiracies to rig elections, they don't seem to be, you know, very good at it. If every accusation about the "MSM" and "liberal media" and "Democrat trickesters" made by the right is actually true, then the left has a record of effectiveness in their goals roughly equivalent to the bad guys on Pokemon.

Yeah, plus the Democrat Motto could use a little work. I mean, really:

To protect the world from devistation,
To unite all peoples within our nation,
to denounce the evils of preaching against love,
to extend our reach to the branch of goverment above


IS pretty cornball.

Plus, the part where Al Gore pops out of nowhere and says "LockBOX, that's right!" always gives me the creeps. ;)
posted by ShawnStruck at 6:42 AM on October 4, 2006 [4 favorites]


"It was no secret that Foley had a special interest in male pages," said Beck-Heyman, adding that Foley on several occasions asked him out for ice cream.

Well jeez, that sounds innocent enough. I mean it's ice cream!
posted by Turtles all the way down at 6:54 AM on October 4, 2006


The difference between so-called Democratic "dirty Tricks" and Republican dirty tricks is pretty obvious.

The Dems (possibly) wait for the right tactical time to reveal that a congressman is (in reality) a creepy pedophile, while the Republicans just make up lies about their opponents out of whole cloth.
posted by jpburns at 6:57 AM on October 4, 2006


I got an e-mail from the Family Research Council that gives some insight to the Religious Right's spin on this. The headline was: "Pro-Homosexual Political Correctness Sowed Seeds for Foley Scandal." The e-mail claims that House leadership, "discounted or downplayed earlier reports concerning Foley's behavior--probably because they did not want to appear 'homophobic.' The Foley scandal shows what happens when political correctness is put ahead of protecting children."

The idea that the GOP House leadership would cover this up in order not to appear 'homophobic' is so absurd ... I can't even wrap my mind around that sort of reasoning. Guess I need to make my Kool-Aid a little stronger.
posted by Otis at 6:57 AM on October 4, 2006 [1 favorite]


Brian Ross tells the WSJ that it was Republicans who gave him the scoop
posted by pruner at 7:03 AM on October 4, 2006


The idea that the GOP House leadership would cover this up in order not to appear 'homophobic' is so absurd

They covered it up because they all have dirt on each other. You have to be corruptible and blackmailable before you can get anyone to work with you in DC. It's a widely-believed FACT.
posted by sonofsamiam at 7:13 AM on October 4, 2006


Damn. I should have figured the liberals haven't figured out the game yet.

See, that's the problem. The liberals don't like the rules, so they play the game as they think the game should be played. The GOP plays the game as it really is.

Liberals need to learn:

1) Win.
2) Then you can try to change the rules.

You cannot reverse this order when you're losing. Why did the GOP pull the Swift Boat stunt? Because it works, and they could. Whine about it all you want, and nothing changes.

Put the shiv in a few times, take over, and then you can start changing things. But right now, what the liberals do best is apologize for making the GOP and Democratic party beat them like that.
posted by eriko at 7:15 AM on October 4, 2006 [1 favorite]


The only issue the current GOP cares about anymore is keeping power. They don't care about smaller government, they don't care about family and morality, they don't care about keeping the homeland safe; nothing else matters except keeping power (and of course doling out the pork). Incidents like this just let the public see it more clearly.
posted by caddis at 7:27 AM on October 4, 2006


Put the shiv in a few times, take over, and then you can start changing things.

Excellent advice for getting your reprobates rotated every couple of years. Might I also suggest getting your malignment checked and your electronic evil affliction timing adjusted?
posted by srboisvert at 7:28 AM on October 4, 2006 [2 favorites]


Incidents like this just let the public see it more clearly.

You have to be lying to yourself daily to not see it plain as day.
posted by sonofsamiam at 7:31 AM on October 4, 2006


apparently about half the voters have for the past few years
posted by caddis at 7:31 AM on October 4, 2006


I'm always amazed that the creativity and balls of the right-wing spin machine. I thought at the beginning of this scandal, "there's no way that they can spin this." But blaming the democrats for creating a climate so PC that the poor little republicans were too scared to say anything about one of their own preying on teenage pages, that just genius.
posted by octothorpe at 7:42 AM on October 4, 2006


Might I also suggest getting your malignment checked and your electronic evil affliction timing adjusted?

I do that every 5,000 sins. I'm a sysadmin, I understand all about evil and maintenance.

I also understand that campaigning the way liberals have in the last 25 years has resulted in the complete and utter destruction of any influence liberals have on US policy.

You can play the game the way you wish it would be played, or you can play the game the way it is actually played. The former has resulted in the United States Of America, circa 2006. Congratulations on the result of your "honorable stand."

You can continue to lose politely, if you wish, but personally, speaking as a person who is, fundamentally, evil, but who tries to fight for the good guys, I'm telling you that being polite isn't working. It didn't work in 1980, it isn't working now, and it isn't going to work in 2020.

A small evil is using evil tactics against evil people.

A large evil is using evil tactics against good people.

A larger evil is refusing to use evil tactics against evil people, thus resulting in evil people getting more power to do evil.

How much more damage must be done? How many more people will suffer and die because you're making "a moral stand?"

And how do even pretend to lecture me about evil?
posted by eriko at 7:45 AM on October 4, 2006 [3 favorites]



posted by pruner at 7:48 AM on October 4, 2006 [2 favorites]


But blaming the democrats for creating a climate so PC that the poor little republicans were too scared to say anything about one of their own preying on teenage pages, that just genius.

Well, where's the democrat with the balls to just stand up on TV and say, "That is flat out a bunch of bullshit! Take a little responsibility for your own actions, be men!" They don't really have to take this.

Sticks and stones may be across the line but hurt some feelings. People apparently think with them now.
posted by sonofsamiam at 7:50 AM on October 4, 2006




George W. Bush, flanked by FEMA Director Mike Brown and U.S. Rep. Mark Foley.

Heckuva job.
posted by XQUZYPHYR at 7:51 AM on October 4, 2006


Hearing the spin from the Republican talking heads -- the Limbaughs and Snows of this world -- makes me want to start and promote "Punch a Republican in the Face Day".

Limbaugh is particularly repugnant, but then one wonders what he was doing in the Dominican Republic with all that Viagra.
posted by clevershark at 7:52 AM on October 4, 2006


One does?
posted by sonofsamiam at 7:54 AM on October 4, 2006


It's hilarious to watch these guys scramble to pin everything on the Democrats. You have to suspend disbelief to listen to Rush and Hannity, but this is beyond the pale. Even if you're a little slow, by now it's hard to really believe the democrats are responsible for everything that has gone wrong under Bush and Co. I hope this "party first" approach is going to cost Hannity, Limbaugh and the like some of their audience.

Joe Scarborough has at least shown better survival instincts - he's been criticizing Bush for some time now, and has taken the Republican leadership to task on the Foley issue. I hope this blind adherence to the party line will condemn Limbaugh, O'reilly, Malkin, etc. to the obscurity they so richly deserve.
posted by Mister_A at 7:56 AM on October 4, 2006


"It was no secret that Foley had a special interest in male pages," said Beck-Heyman, adding that Foley on several occasions asked him out for ice cream.

Well jeez, that sounds innocent enough. I mean it's ice cream!
Guy in auto-repair shop: "Looks like you've blown a seal"

Penguin: "No! That's just ice cream"

Solve for "ice cream" where seal=page & penguin=Foley.
posted by beelzbubba at 7:59 AM on October 4, 2006 [3 favorites]


this is where the republican pundits lose touch with the republican base, at least some of it ... people are disgusted with foley and not happy about the house leadership's role in playing it quiet ... blaming the so-called democrats' "culture of pc" and claiming some kind of conspiracy is just going to make them sound like they don't care that much and they have something to hide

they may fool some people with this, but a lot of their followers are having serious second thoughts right now ... if politicians want the votes of people who are for "moral standards", guess what? ... they actually have to act up to those people's standards, and right now, they're not
posted by pyramid termite at 8:05 AM on October 4, 2006


WASHINGTON — The House page scandal engulfing former Rep. Mark Foley and House Republican persists as Speaker Dennis Hastert works to hold onto his job and rank and file Republicans worry that the pre-election drip, drip of damaging political news isn't over yet.

The daily disclosures about Foley's salacious Internet exchanges with former teenage congressional pages has GOP lawmakers and conservative activists fearing the foibles of other politicians may be exposed. "People are very, very concerned," Rep. Ray LaHood, R-Ill., acknowledged Tuesday night.

I wonder what foibles those might be? Please expose...
posted by taosbat at 8:06 AM on October 4, 2006


I hope this blind adherence to the party line will condemn Limbaugh, O'reilly, Malkin

malkin's actually calling for the page program to be ended until it can be cleaned up ... and she's keeping her distance from the "blame the democrats" crowd ... she's staying away from the political angle so far
posted by pyramid termite at 8:08 AM on October 4, 2006


so in Malkin's "non-political" view the 150-year old page program should be killed because the Repubs find the pages to be irresistible?
posted by pruner at 8:13 AM on October 4, 2006


"Damn obstructionist Liberals(tm), always Aiding the Terrorists(tm) and blocking our Stay the Course(tm) so that Let Freedom Reign(tm) towards Freedom and Democracy(tm).
Mission Accomplished(tm)!"
posted by shnoz-gobblin at 8:15 AM on October 4, 2006


Wasn't ABC going to release more explicit messages today, together with details of who knew, and when, and to what level of details? Has anyone seen this?
posted by jfuller at 8:15 AM on October 4, 2006


Sound of crickets chirping from the religious right
posted by octothorpe at 8:19 AM on October 4, 2006


I find Limbaugh disturbingly flippant about the subject of Foley's obsession with teenage boys. Yesterday on his show he directly suggested that liberals are riled about it because they "want in on the action" (you can't make this stuff up, I'm sure it's on Media Matters somewhere).

Of course one doesn't expect better from Rush, but it does raise interesting questions about his getting caught with a lot of unprescribed Viagra coming back from a place where the State Department is on the record as saying that child prostitution was a problem. Perhaps it puts his on-air remarks in perspective. Only Rush knows the truth there, and he's not been terribly talkative on the subject.
posted by clevershark at 8:19 AM on October 4, 2006 [1 favorite]


Here's a great (... maybe make that icky) dramatization of the messages...
posted by jpburns at 8:20 AM on October 4, 2006


if the dems were in power there wouldnt be any sex scandals! wait....
posted by obeygiant at 8:20 AM on October 4, 2006


Are you referring to fluffed-up dress-stain bullshit?

Yeah, that's a lot like covering for pedophiles.
posted by sonofsamiam at 8:22 AM on October 4, 2006


How much more damage must be done? How many more people will suffer and die because you're making "a moral stand?"

And how do even pretend to lecture me about evil?


I don't pretend. I am, teasingly, lecturing on evil because that is what you advocating. You are applying the exact same logic as the kind that is used by the people you oppose to justify their evil. Republican's justify torture because they are fighting evil torturing terrorist bad guys. You justify lying and manipulating to win an election against the Republicans because they are lying manipulators.

Then you will wonder why the democrats or whomever else you elect turn out to be just a venal as the idiots they replace (although they are likely to be more subtle about it because you can't fall off the floor).

You're all filled with some sort of rage over your political viewpoints repeated defeats and you are spilling it all over the place looking for an outlet for your frustration. The problem is that rather than countering evil you are advocating it. I mocked you a wee bit for it but truthfully you need a slap from someone close to you so you can come to your senses before you launch your next rhetorical invasion of Iraq.
posted by srboisvert at 8:23 AM on October 4, 2006


Of course one doesn't expect better from Rush, but it does raise interesting questions about his getting caught with a lot of unprescribed Viagra coming back from a place where the State Department is on the record as saying that child prostitution was a problem. Perhaps it puts his on-air remarks in perspective.

It's not just the State Department.

As sad as the MSM has become, I can't believe they are allowing GOP commentators and politicians to get away with this.
posted by Blazecock Pileon at 8:27 AM on October 4, 2006


Did you know, that in his FL district, if you want to vote for Negron, the replacement candidate, you have to hold your nose and pull the "Foley" lever - they won't replace his name on the ballot. Can you believe they make you hold your nose?? Also, to forestall peanut gallery criticism, let me say:

Lever? OMG WTF dude they don't use teh levers Katherine Chad-Harpy-Harris; Bush is bad and Bush too!
posted by Mister_A at 8:34 AM on October 4, 2006


A lying president didn't stop America from believing. An incompetent "outsider" administration didn't stop America from believing. The destruction of New Orleans didn't stop America from believing. I do not hold much hope that a would-be child molester in Congress will make many Americans question "The Party of Values."

But I do hope.
posted by anotherbrick at 8:41 AM on October 4, 2006 [1 favorite]


If you think "the other guys" would do no less power-grabbing, and no less sweeping things under rugs, you're sadly mistaken.

That said, I say give 'em a chance. It'll take them years, maybe even three, to reach the fine and subtle heights of hypocrisy that the current group have reached.


*Take above and apply to any party which has the WH, House, and Senate all at the same time.
posted by chimaera at 8:44 AM on October 4, 2006


The age of consent in Washington, D.C. is 16. That sounds to me like Foley did not break the law if everyone involved was at least 16.

Is that not relevant in some way?
posted by flarbuse at 8:46 AM on October 4, 2006


Why don't congress critters use bookmarks?

They just bend over the pages.

(a memory from some prior scandal involving pages, only it was the Senate that time)
posted by Goofyy at 8:48 AM on October 4, 2006


More from Drudge, Katharine Harris, Sean Hannity, other D-List Conservative Celebrities, and Tony Perkins of the FRC.

WTF are Scientologists doing in this? I seem to remember some prominent Scientologists having problems with questions over their sexual predelictions. Scientologist rehab?

A personal favorite is Rep. Tom Reynolds' use of children as "human shields" during a GOPer Press Conference to avoid tough questions.

The best part of all of this seems to be that the tinfoil crown is going to get handed back to the conservatives, so they can get back to obsessing about new world orders, liberal bias, the UN, and black helicopters.

Hastert: Foley Scandal Is A Liberal Conspiracy To ‘Get To Me’ And ‘Affect Our Election’

Added value links: CRS Congressional Page Report (PDF/HTML)
posted by rzklkng at 8:49 AM on October 4, 2006


Yeah, the word "pedophile" getting slung around in this case is really starting to irk me. There's a big difference between whatever crimes have may have been committed and what he is actually being punished for.
posted by hermitosis at 8:57 AM on October 4, 2006 [1 favorite]


Oh, to be a private investigator in Washington right now. You'd be rolling in dough, right now.
You just know the conservative back-channels are now furiously shoveling bricks of cash to anyone willing to dig for similar dirt on any Democrat.
posted by Thorzdad at 8:57 AM on October 4, 2006


Flarbuse -
Age of consent is not always clear-cut; sometimes the age is different when one of the partners is considerably older than the other. Also, this may be a "contributing to the delinquency of a minor" type of thing. Last, it's important to remember that these were e-mail and IMs; the kids may have been in a different state at the time, and thus it may make a difference.

Of course, it is important to point out that to date, there has been no accusation of anything beyond exchange of messages. That's plenty for me though!
posted by Mister_A at 9:01 AM on October 4, 2006


so let me get this straight. in the span of a week torture is legalized and one of these guys is busted wanting to fuck little boys. has anyone been keeping a running tab on the scandals/atrocities as they occur? cause i swear to god, each time i'm blown away by what comes up and each time i think "that's fucking crazy, no way can that be topped." what's next? someone get's caught with a donkey show in the basement, followed by a press conference by boehner at a petting zoo? that doesn't even sound silly at this point.
posted by andywolf at 9:01 AM on October 4, 2006 [1 favorite]


A superior dramatization.

And thank you, hermitosis. The conflation is getting on me, as well.
posted by Phlogiston at 9:01 AM on October 4, 2006


hermitosis: You are right. I am sorry for slinging that around.
posted by sonofsamiam at 9:03 AM on October 4, 2006


hermitosis:

If we can't call him a pedophile (owing to some weird-ass DC law), can we call him a pervert?

A creepy, creepy, creepy "52-year old who liked to masturbate while IMing a 16-year old" pervert? Would that be ok?
posted by jpburns at 9:05 AM on October 4, 2006


I'm really loving this scandal. It's the gift that just keeps on giving.

BUT I'm a little disconcerted that the "pedophile" label seems to be sticking to Foley. As far as we know, he never actually touched anybody, correct? The IMs are reprehensible, but typing is a wholly different than touching.
posted by If I Had An Anus at 9:06 AM on October 4, 2006


andywolf writes "what's next? someone get's caught with a donkey show in the basement, followed by a press conference by boehner at a petting zoo? that doesn't even sound silly at this point."

They may want to avoid putting the terms "petting" and "Boehner" quite that close to each other, but I see what you mean.
posted by clevershark at 9:06 AM on October 4, 2006


Oh, I missed hermitosis' comment. Sorry.
posted by If I Had An Anus at 9:07 AM on October 4, 2006


rzklkng: your link points back to the top of the post. I would love to hear/see/witness the speaker blaming all of this on teh democrats. Please advise.

jpburns: Yes, that's plenty. Whether he technically broke the law or not, this creep is not fit even for the US House of Republicans.
posted by Mister_A at 9:08 AM on October 4, 2006


Actually the irony is that Foley, as chairman of the missing & exploited children's committee, was responsible for a number of laws covering the very behavior he was engaging in AT THE TIME.
posted by clevershark at 9:09 AM on October 4, 2006


As far as we know, he never actually touched anybody, correct?

The IMs really make it sound like he has had kids over. He was certainly making plans to.
posted by sonofsamiam at 9:09 AM on October 4, 2006


ped·o·phile (pd-fl, pd-)
n. An adult who is sexually attracted to a child or children.

child (chld)
n. pl. chil·dren (chldrn)
2 : a person below an age specified by law : INFANT, MINOR —compare ADULT
5 : one strongly influenced by another or by a place or state of affairs

minor
Function: adjective
2 : having the status of a minor

sounds fair to me, someone explicitly broaching the subject of sex with someone they have influence over and they're a minor.

posted by andywolf at 9:12 AM on October 4, 2006


From the Family Research Council's statement on the matter (linked above):

"We need public policy in our country that protects marriage, respects parental authority and aggressively polices boundaries around our children." (emphasis mine)

Huh, what? This somehow has something to do with gay people getting married?
posted by gurple at 9:13 AM on October 4, 2006


sonofsamiam: The IMs really make it sound like he has had kids over. He was certainly making plans to.

By all means this guy should be investigated thoroughly. IANAL nor a judge nor a policeman, but it seems like there is enough evidence already to justify issuing warrants and so forth.
posted by Mister_A at 9:13 AM on October 4, 2006


if the dems were in power there wouldnt be any sex scandals! wait....

Yeah. The only difference is that WE FUCK FULL-GROWN WOMEN.
posted by StrasbourgSecaucus at 9:16 AM on October 4, 2006 [1 favorite]


Congressional Republicans have known about Foley's page problem since 1995.
posted by kirkaracha at 9:21 AM on October 4, 2006


Can we all agree that even if Foley never, technically, propositioned any minors (and I'm seeing MSM references to yet another "legal gray area") we're still dealing with a clear-cut case of workplace sexual harrassment? That's against the law no matter how old the victim is.
posted by Faint of Butt at 9:21 AM on October 4, 2006


If we can't call him a pedophile (owing to some weird-ass DC law), can we call him a pervert?

A creepy, creepy, creepy "52-year old who liked to masturbate while IMing a 16-year old" pervert? Would that be ok?


As long as you are willing to promise here for posterity that when you are 52 that you will only pursue or fantasize about people your own age.

It is creepy, and it is sad. It may even be illegal. But putting this man in a category with people that are attracted to children is irresponsible, and blurs our vision on a matter that deserves to be examined as clearly as possible. He is obviously not interested in not children, but in males who have reached sexual maturity, whom he apparently sees as fair game (as they are in many places).
posted by hermitosis at 9:22 AM on October 4, 2006


OK, so I was curious about that FRC statement, as it sounded too preposterous to have been correctly referenced above.

Nope, I was wrong!

[House GOP leadership] discounted or downplayed earlier reports concerning Foley's behavior--probably because they did not want to appear "homophobic." The Foley scandal shows what happens when political correctness is put ahead of protecting children.

Added bonus: the sidebar links to other pages internally where you can "Urge Senators to Protect Minor Girls from Abortion Predators"! Good things we've got our priorities straight! Pedophiles in the House: quirky, misunderstood gentlemen of now-questionable standing who were manipulated into a negative spotlight by the growing scourge of PC. Legislators pushing to repeal parental notification (48 hours in advance): PREDATORS!
posted by Mayor West at 9:27 AM on October 4, 2006


You have to be corruptible and blackmailable before you can get anyone to work with you in DC. It's a widely-believed FACT.
posted by sonofsamiam at 7:13 AM PST


:-)
The truthyness of the idea is from the gut - which has more nerves than in the head. (the big head on ones neck, not the little one)


My dog likes pork and has been known to lick boys....wonder if Fast Eddy Superbark could be a successful Rebublican?
posted by rough ashlar at 9:28 AM on October 4, 2006 [1 favorite]


I wonder if this can bring down Hastert? Thoughts?

And, sorry for the derail - But please, please, the etymology of truthiness? Please tell.
posted by Mister_A at 9:35 AM on October 4, 2006


Duplicitous? Self-serving? Hypocritical?

Republican? No. Politician will suffice.

It's pure chance that the scandal du jour is about a Republican. There are equally scummy people on the other side of the aisle. All of this glee that some of you seem to have only adds to the partisan bullshit that truly is destroying the country.
posted by crunchland at 9:37 AM on October 4, 2006


Mister_A: It was made up by Stephen Colbert.
posted by sonofsamiam at 9:39 AM on October 4, 2006


Andywolf, that's kindof a crooked use of semantics. What if a state set the age of consent to 21 years (drinking age), or higher? By your argument, that would make just about everyone a pedophile, rendering the word meaningless.

Does it bother you that this guy was already *working* in our government at 16? Or are labor issues somehow different from more scandalous and sensational topics?
posted by kid ichorous at 9:42 AM on October 4, 2006


I wonder if this can bring down Hastert? Thoughts?

One gent on his daily postings asked "if you know of anyone in his distrcit, give 'em a call - get the guy voted out" or some such call. At some point someone will combine vonage + public databases + voter donation lists and have a 'call these people who gave and enlighten them' web site. (thus cranking up the 2 minute hate) A web-vote 2.0 thing I guess.

And, sorry for the derail - But please, please, the etymology of truthiness? Please tell.
posted by Mister_A at 9:35 AM PST


Steven Colbert - and so is the 'more nerves in the gut' reference. The 'roast' of the president if my memory serves me correctly.

Does anyone remember who was involved with touching the breast of a page (or was it a worker) and saying 'its sweater day'?
posted by rough ashlar at 9:43 AM on October 4, 2006


It's pure chance that the scandal du jour is about a Republican.
posted by crunchland at 9:37 AM PST


Please feel free to show actual data verifying your position of 'pure chance'.
posted by rough ashlar at 9:45 AM on October 4, 2006


Age of consent in DC may be 16, however, laws that Foley himself helped put on the books make the age-of-consent a bit more irrelevant when things go down on the Internets. Legally speaking (though I'm not a lawer), Emails/IMs are a whole different and tougher ballgame than a conversation on the street, thanks in part to Foley's legislation.
posted by afx114 at 9:49 AM on October 4, 2006


the partisan bullshit that truly is destroying the country.

Oh, please. Suspension of Habeas Corpus, ridiculous tax breaks for top 1%, Diebold machines "counting" the vote, refusing to even consider ending Iraq occupation in face of the will of the people ... that's what's destroying the country and that's entirely Republican bullshit.
posted by If I Had An Anus at 9:51 AM on October 4, 2006


1995? When Mark Beck-Heyman went to Washington in 1995 as a congressional page, he learned almost from day one to avoid one person: Rep. Mark Foley.
posted by afx114 at 9:53 AM on October 4, 2006


Sure, AFX, that makes him a hypocrite and an asshole. Not a pedophile.

It's politically expedient to redefine terms like 'terrorist' and 'pedophile' at whim - naturally, because people are willing to suspend critical thought and accept extreme and unreasonable measures and arguments whenever these bogeymen are raised. It's an affront to our good reason, and we shouldn't put up with it. Also, by this point, Democrats should *know* better.
posted by kid ichorous at 9:56 AM on October 4, 2006


Do not defend this chicken-hawk.
The proper term for Foley is chicken-hawk. He seeks out younger males in the early stages of their sexual awakening, and attempts to subvert their hormanal urges into sexual fantasies of his design. It is a mentally scarring and traumatic experience for young men who have not yet developed a real sexual identity. This is the problem with Foley's actions. It is an abuse of authority, in more ways than one.

I know this from experience. It can cause great difficulty in having normal relationships with gay men (homophobia, as in, real, tangible evidence that a gay man wants to fuck you, even if you don't want him to) and extreme distress in intimate situations with women. I'm 30 now. It happened when I was 14. It's not pedophilia. But it is damaging.

On preview -
The laws still do not cover Foley's actions, with or without his legislation. Being a "sexual mentor" to a young boy is often confused with being a "role model". It's just that some "role models" aren't exactly the kinds of behavioral constructs that society can accept. Two men, consentually engaging in sexual acts and discussion is one thing, but one man discussing sexual acts with an inexperienced boy is a whole different world of mindfuck. They still prosecute college age boys for showing pornography to minors. This is the same thing, only worse, more personal to the victim, and much more likely to cause future damage to society at large (hate crimes as a definition were created for a reason).

And now, I go find the number to that shrink I used to have to talk to about this shit.
posted by daq at 9:59 AM on October 4, 2006


But putting this man in a category with people that are attracted to children is irresponsible, and blurs our vision on a matter that deserves to be examined as clearly as possible. He is obviously not interested in not children, but in males who have reached sexual maturity, whom he apparently sees as fair game (as they are in many places).

I disagree. Someone who thinks 16-year olds are "fair game" because they have reached sexual maturity has a serious problem. It is one thing to see someone who has reached sexual maturity and find them attractive looking. It is a whole other thing to hit on them, instant message, offer to take them to ice cream, and such. It is hardly a matter of only seeing what they look like and appreciating that. He is writing in his emails like kids talk and relating to them on a very immature level. The whole thing feels as if their immaturity is part of the attraction. Of course, there is a difference between 16-year olds and 8-year olds, but that is not to say that Foley's attraction to pages is anything but a serious perversion.
posted by bperk at 9:59 AM on October 4, 2006


In another stunning development, Robert Novak today reveals in his column - published in PostOpinion on Page 31 - that even after House GOP leaders knew that Foley had written an inappropriate e-mail to a 16-year-old former male page, they were still urging him to seek re-election.
posted by caddis at 10:01 AM on October 4, 2006


Vanilla soft serve just everywhere...

Sorry, but I had to get that out of my mind and onto the page.
posted by PinkStainlessTail at 10:04 AM on October 4, 2006


the republicans have fostered a political climate in which faux shock and overstatement are the norm, so whether or not what took place is illegal, i'm all for seeing it turned up to 11...

...my only disappointment is that it's happening in the same week as woodward's book, which makes some huge statements that should not go ignored...in that sense, this scandal actually plays to the benefit of republicans, but is it enough of a benefit to wonder if they pushed this scandal forward themselves (though it would appear to have backfired, they might have counted on the general impression that republicans won't hesitate to punish their own, given their reluctance to hold bush accountable for anything)...

...does the rush child prostitute idea get play anywhere? i've only seen it referenced here, but i think it should be mentioned as often and in as many places as possible...not least because it is the kind of accusation he would not hesitate to make given the opportunity...
posted by troybob at 10:04 AM on October 4, 2006


I mean the screen.
posted by PinkStainlessTail at 10:04 AM on October 4, 2006


And another note.
Has anyone noticed how every day Foley's lawyer is trotting out one "excuse" after another through press conferences and then the next day saying "it's not an excuse" and then trotting out another one?
It's like, first there was the "I'm going into rehab for alcoholism" which I think was out on Monday, then they trotted out last night "I was molested by a priest" last night. This morning I heard "Foley is an alcoholic, prient molested man, but he is taking responsibility for his actions and those are not excuses for his behavior, but remember, he is an alcoholic, priest molested man who is going into rehab to cure his addiction to young boys".

I wonder when they'll run the "my mother didn't breast feed me long enough" underpants up the flag pole to see if that will stick with anyone.

Fucking dunces.
posted by daq at 10:06 AM on October 4, 2006


It's pure chance that the scandal du jour is about a Republican.

Is it really the scandal "of the day" if it had been going on for ELEVEN YEARS?

You can do better than that.
posted by StrasbourgSecaucus at 10:08 AM on October 4, 2006


after looking over this all a bit i concede the pedophile usage, i think daq hit the nail on the head, sorry for how you came across the insight.
posted by andywolf at 10:12 AM on October 4, 2006


You mean the democrats know about dirty tricks now? Excellent.
...
(digression, i guess-- but still on the topic of Democratic dirty tricks -- which I'm 100% in favor of)
...
I'm really loving this scandal. It's the gift that just keeps on giving.


And so on and so on. Joe Meatbag Republican's moronitude is exposed every day here on MetaFilter, but here we see his equally evil and dumb brother Joe Meatbrain Democrat.

Joe doesn't mind stooping to dirty tricks as long as the other guy is the victim.

Joe's loving the fact that a dirty old man who's been trying to boink kids has been elected to government - as long as it's the other party who'll take the stick for it.

Please stop being such tools.
posted by hoverboards don't work on water at 10:14 AM on October 4, 2006



it had been going on for ELEVEN YEARS?


Well, claims of sexual activity go back to 1988, per the above link.
posted by rough ashlar at 10:17 AM on October 4, 2006


Call me 'meat-brain', call me 'tool', fine ... but please don't call me 'Democrat'.
posted by If I Had An Anus at 10:21 AM on October 4, 2006


daq, thanks for the alternate meaning of "chickenhawk". Seems that applies to Foley TWICE.

Mister_A, my apologies, the Hastert tinfoil link should have pointed here.
posted by rzklkng at 10:23 AM on October 4, 2006


Joe doesn't mind stooping to dirty tricks as long as the other guy is the victim.

or joe merely enjoys seeing republicans eat the overplayed-self-righteous-indignation-and-intellectually-dishonest-willful-misunderstanding brand of shit they've been dishing out for way too long. one could argue that given their degree of power these past few years, they were in a position to set a new tone for political discourse...the problem is that it's their fallback strategy

decry the moral implications if you will, but a lot of people have waited a long time to see democrats fight fire with a flamethrower...and they're doing it using republican-refined rules...
posted by troybob at 10:25 AM on October 4, 2006


Regarding the pedophilia issue, I said this in an earlier and (now deleted) thread on the subject:

I've always felt the definition of pedophile was someone who is attracted to pre-pubescence. At 16 some people don't look much different than they do at 21.

I'm going to put on my tin-foil hat for a moment: I think the Republicans are intentionally clouding the water on this issue by calling him a pedophile, and I think they doing this to downplay the fact that he is gay. Listen to the reports, they almost never reference that the minor was a boy. Or if they do, they focus on the 'minor' part.

What this tells me is that the Republican spin machine would rather have one of their people go down in history as a pedophile than a homosexual.

How sad is that?

The only references I'm seeing to him being acknowledged as gay are the ones from Hannity telling us that the liberals kept the Republicans from acting by using their magical powers of Political Correctness.
posted by quin at 10:35 AM on October 4, 2006


Of course, it is important to point out that to date, there has been no accusation of anything beyond exchange of messages. That's plenty for me though!

As far as we know, he never actually touched anybody, correct?

Evidence may come to bear (bare?) that he did.

FBI Contacting Pages; Evidence Foley Solicited Sex
"FBI agents have begun to contact former congressional pages in the growing investigation of disgraced former Congressman Mark Foley, according to federal law enforcement officials.

At least one former page has reportedly offered evidence that Foley sought to solicit sex during instant message exchanges over the Internet.

The 'preliminary investigation' appears to be heading towards a full field investigation, according to one official.

Officials say Foley's extensive knowledge of child exploitation laws may have helped guide him as to how far he could go without violating the law.

Instant messages obtained by ABC News indicated Foley met or arranged to meet young men under the age of 18 who had been pages.

Despite the fact that Foley's attorney has said Foley admits to sending the 'totally inappropriate' e-mails and IMs, the FBI has still not seized his computer and hard drive.

...The FBI confirmed today that it has not drawn up a search warrant for the equipment because the investigation is still preliminary, and they are still examining the messages they've obtained so far."

[ABC News | October 4, 2006]
posted by ericb at 10:42 AM on October 4, 2006


It's pure chance that the scandal du jour is about a Republican.

You know what?

I don't think it's a coincidence that the same group of people (more specific than 'party') that brought us Abu Ghraib, institutionalized torture, want to pre-emptively nuke other countries, spy into people's private homes, and are generally obsessed with domination and subjugation also has a long-standing problem with protecting boy chasers.

Foley is not the only self-loathing Republican closet case. Just google around to find many similar rumors which have a rather different resonance now.

It's like this group sublimated its id into an existential hatred of the world, they literally want American hegemony and they want to run America.

What this tells me is that the Republican spin machine would rather have one of their people go down in history as a pedophile than a homosexual.

Throw Foley to the wolves, he's weak and wounded.
posted by sonofsamiam at 10:46 AM on October 4, 2006


rzklkng: your link points back to the top of the post. I would love to hear/see/witness the speaker blaming all of this on teh democrats. Please advise.

Hastert To Rush Limbaugh: Foley Scandal Is A Liberal Conspiracy To ‘Get To Me’ And ‘Affect Our Election’. [audio; transcript].

But ...

ABC News: It was Republicans, not Democrats, Who Were the Sources for Foley Story
"[ABC correspondent Brian] Ross dismissed suggestions by some Republicans that the news was disseminated as part of a smear campaign against Mr. Foley.

'I hate to give up sources, but to the extent that I know the political parties of any of the people who helped us, it would be the same party,' Mr. Ross said, referring to Republicans."

[New York Times | October 3, 2006]
Denny, sorry, you're wrong. Next excuse?
posted by ericb at 10:50 AM on October 4, 2006


Does it bother you that this guy was already *working* in our government at 16?

No, why would it?

Or are labor issues somehow different from more scandalous and sensational topics?

Maybe, maybe not. The media treatment of this scandal is not evidence one way or the other of the importance of labor issues vs. more salacious issues, since there is no labor issue here.
posted by DevilsAdvocate at 10:53 AM on October 4, 2006


Instant Messages Obtained by ABC News Cast Doubt on Claims from Foley's Lawyer.
posted by ericb at 10:53 AM on October 4, 2006


Joe doesn't mind stooping to dirty tricks as long as the other guy is the victim.

i must have missed something ... what dirty tricks have happened here?
posted by pyramid termite at 10:53 AM on October 4, 2006


FBI Examining Possible Threat to La. Teenager
"The FBI is investigating a possible threat against the north Louisiana teenager who was on the receiving end of suggestive e-mails from disgraced former Rep. Mark Foley, a Louisiana congressman said Tuesday.

Rep. Rodney Alexander, R-Quitman, said Tuesday that the young man's life wasn't threatened, 'but close to it.'

'There are people out there who feel like he is the one who (accused) Foley,' Alexander said.

...The teen served as a House page in 2005 and afterward received e-mails from Foley, a six-term Republican, asking for a picture of the then-16-year-old and what he wanted for his birthday.

...Foley sent the e-mails to the teen in late summer 2005. Saying they 'freaked me out,' the youngster forwarded them to a lawyer on Alexander's staff in late August, two days after Hurricane Katrina hit, asking her to alert Alexander.

'If you can, mention this to Rodney so he is aware,' one of the page's e-mails said. 'I wonder what he would do about it.'"

[Times-Picayune | October 4, 2006]
posted by ericb at 10:58 AM on October 4, 2006


Rove's Phone Call to Ailes regarding Casting Foley as (D-FL).
posted by ericb at 11:00 AM on October 4, 2006


ericb, :ohsnap: !
posted by rzklkng at 11:06 AM on October 4, 2006


Does it bother you that this guy was already *working* in our government at 16?

No -- the Congressional Page Program consists of 66 boys and girls who serve "before or after their junior year of high school" -- basically 16 y.o. - 17 y.o.
posted by ericb at 11:07 AM on October 4, 2006


"As long as you are willing to promise here for posterity that when you are 52 that you will only pursue or fantasize about people your own age."

So I do hereby swear and affirm.

Sheesh! I'm 47 now, and would fully earn the title of perv if I found a kid who was 16 sexually attractive. Maybe I'm a boy scout, but... boiking kids isn't cricket, IMHO.
posted by jpburns at 11:08 AM on October 4, 2006


Of course, there is a difference between 16-year olds and 8-year olds, but that is not to say that Foley's attraction to pages is anything but a serious perversion.

Of course it's a serious and potentially dangerous perversion. But pedophilia it ain't. Because that difference between 8 year olds and 16 year olds is a significant one, as most of you may remember. While teens are still forming their sexuality and can be damaged by contact like this, there is little doubt that they are sexual creatures in their own right (as a lot of these IM's illustrate) and have adult sexual features that can be appealing to adults. Lumping them in with the children so that we have a convenient boogeyman word (PEDOPHILE!) to pelt at someone is just stupid.

I'm not defending him or trying to rationalize his transgressions. I'm simply pointing out that the term "pedophile" does not apply in this case. When it comes to legal cases, as well as the ruins of people's personal lives, these distinctions matter, so they may as well matter in discussing them.
posted by hermitosis at 11:20 AM on October 4, 2006


This just in --- another one bites the dust.

Top GOP Staffer Forced Out for Role in Page Scandal
”The chief of staff for Republican Congressman Tom Reynolds, Kirk Fordham, resigned after questions were raised about his role in the handling of the congressional page scandal, according to Republican sources on Capitol Hill.

Those sources said Fordham, a former chief of staff for Congressman Mark Foley, had urged Republican leaders last spring not to raise questionable Foley e-mails with the full Congressional Page Board, made up of two Republicans and a Democrat.

‘He begged them not to tell the page board,’said one of the Republican sources.

People familiar with Fordham's side of the story, however, said Fordham was being used as a scapegoat by Speaker of the House Dennis Hastert.

They said Fordham had repeatedly warned Hastert's staff about Foley's ‘problem’ with pages, but little was done."

[ABC News | October 4, 2006]
Who’s next? Denny?

Third Congressman Says Hastert Knew

TIME Magazine: Will the Foley Scandal Bring Down Hastert

National Journal: On the Trail: Ex-Foley-ated in '06? “This feels big, like a tipping point.”
posted by ericb at 11:36 AM on October 4, 2006


"Ladies and gentlemen, I’ll be brief. The issue here is not whether we broke a few rules or took a few liberties with our female guests underage employees. We did. But you can’t hold a whole fraternity the Republican party responsible for the behavior of a few sick, perverted individuals. For if you do, then shouldn’t we blame the whole fraternity two-party system? And if the whole fraternity two-party system is guilty, then isn’t this an indictment of our educational political institutions in general? I put it to you, Greg Joe Sixpack: isn’t this an indictment of our entire American society? Well, you can do what you want to us, but we’re not going to sit here and listen to you bad-mouth the United States of America! Gentlemen!"
posted by oncogenesis at 11:37 AM on October 4, 2006


Is anyone here familiar with the half-your-age-plus-seven rule? Divide your age in half and add seven, and the result is the minimum age you can lust after without appearing creepy. Foley fails this test.
posted by Faint of Butt at 11:37 AM on October 4, 2006


Reynolds Staffer Resigns, Points Finger at Hastert
posted by octothorpe at 11:38 AM on October 4, 2006


There's been some debate over using dirty tricks against Republicans. The following thoughts occur to me.

1) An important question that hasn't been addressed much, "can a dirty political party be defeated if opponents refuse to act dirty?" If we stipulate that the Republican Party in power is in fact dirty, is there any other way defeat them without resorting to dirty tricks?

2) If the answer above is, "No, dirty tricks are required," then this seems to be a prisoner's dilemma. If one party uses dirty tricks and the other does not, the outcome seems quite biased in favor of dirty tricks. This - sadly - results in both parties using dirty tricks, when everyone would be much better off if no one used them.

The only ways I can think of to subvert a prisoners dilemma are to make the "double betrayal" option dramatically less attractive, or to change the system so it no longer favors dirty tricks. This suggests several courses of action for opponents of modern Republican power.

First, radical cathartic Scorched Earth. In preparation for this phase, there must be a preparatory purge period to remove as much weakness and vulnerability as possible. This means hiring PIs to look for dirt on your own people. Anyone with uncorrectable weakness must be quietly pushed out. Very unpleasant, but less damaging than having these things revealed during the coming firestorm.

Secondly, take drastic positions on reform issues. Anticipate some flack for this. These positions must go beyond the normal lip service to reform, to serious structural changes. These positions are the final objective, to be reached when dust settles. Picking and publicizing them before they seem necessary has two advantages. On the one hand, it frames the coming debate favorably, so that after step three below, the maximum number of reforms can be made while simultaneously providing a key campaign issue. On the other hand, it will help to reduce backsliding. By preemptively and publicly committing to reform, opponents of Republicans are less likely to take power without instituting meaningful change. Assuming that power corrupts, your goals should be fixed and committed before you gain power.

Third, reveal as much dirty laundry at the most politically damaging time possible, holding nothing back. The scope of Republican retaliation should be weakened by the pre-emptive self audit, and the Opposition should look visionary for their earlier calls to reform. If things have gone well, there will be public outcry for reform and the Opposition will be well placed to control that issue and benefit from it.

Fourth, and finally, institute the promised reforms. This last stage, admittedly, is the most idealistic. I can only hope.
posted by Richard Daly at 11:40 AM on October 4, 2006


Former page claims that Mark Foley contacted him via instant messenger and that -- almost immediately -- the conversation turned sexual -- video.
posted by ericb at 11:41 AM on October 4, 2006



posted by delmoi at 11:45 AM on October 4, 2006


Is there a legal precedent for not confiscating his home computer? Last I read, Foley had 'promised' he wouldn't delete anything. Does the FBI accept promises from those they investigate now?
posted by NationalKato at 11:49 AM on October 4, 2006


delmoi -- that 'tag' along with jpburns' first link in the FPP sure looks like a concerted effort to confuse the Fox News viewer -- who likely is not as discerning as most. Unbelievable. I don't know whether to laugh or cry.



Two Fox clips with Foley as Democrat: 1, 2 [.wmv]. The second clip is during an interview with Ann Coulter.
posted by ericb at 11:51 AM on October 4, 2006


If he is this witless, what are the odds that he could delete anything to the point where it couldn't be retrieved by a trained expert?
posted by hermitosis at 11:53 AM on October 4, 2006


Of course it's a serious and potentially dangerous perversion. But pedophilia it ain't. Because that difference between 8 year olds and 16 year olds is a significant one, as most of you may remember. While teens are still forming their sexuality and can be damaged by contact like this, there is little doubt that they are sexual creatures in their own right (as a lot of these IM's illustrate) and have adult sexual features that can be appealing to adults. Lumping them in with the children so that we have a convenient boogeyman word (PEDOPHILE!) to pelt at someone is just stupid.

What he did was obviously improper and a little gross, certainly not something you would want a congressman to do. But some of the hyperbole on the left is a little ridiculous. I sigh every time I see the word "child sexual predator" which is absurd. Honestly I wouldn't even call it a "perversion". It's a bad idea for obvious reasons, but throughout human history people over the age of 13 and 14 have been getting married and having children. Not having sex until over the age of 18 is what's unnatural. We (meaning most liberals) don't have a problem with teenagers having sex with each other, but we don't want them sleeping with older dudes. Still, I would hardly call it "perverse"

On the other hand Foley in particular seems to think that this sort of thing is wrong and perverted, and so if perversion means being sexually attracted in a way that you yourself consider wrong then I think he was a pervert.

One interesting note about all this, Foley tried to get a teenaged nudist camp shut down. The people running the camp said there was nothing sexual about it and invited Foley to visit. He turned them down, but damn...
posted by delmoi at 12:08 PM on October 4, 2006 [1 favorite]


Bwahahahahaha!!! Good one delmoi... boy they're gonna just keep trying to bareface and bluster past this one.

I don't think it's gonna work.
posted by zoogleplex at 12:36 PM on October 4, 2006


Is there a legal precedent for not confiscating his home computer? Last I read, Foley had 'promised' he wouldn't delete anything. Does the FBI accept promises from those they investigate now?

Contrast the FBI's approach to Foley with that of Rep. William J. Jefferson (D - La.), when this past May they raided his congressional office, seeking and seizing evidence in a probe of his involvement in an alleged bribery scheme.

However, I have heard reports (I think it was on ABC News two evenings ago) that the FBI has requested that Foley's computer and other electronic equipment from his Congressional office be preserved for evidentiary purposes. What about his home computer?
posted by ericb at 12:38 PM on October 4, 2006


John Walsh Rebuts Conservative Anti-Gay Smears
"Several conservatives are using the Mark Foley scandal to push vicious anti-gay smears. Just today, Human Life International (”pro-life missionaries to the world”) put out a statement blaming Foley’s behavior on his sexual orientation:
Foley’s actions were that of homosexual predator, not a pedophile. Homosexuals reproduce sexually by molesting children. This creates a cycle of violence and disordered behavior that creates future generations of abusers and predators.
But as John Walsh — host of 'America’s Most Wanted' and an advocate of children’s safety — told Larry King last night, the Foley case is about pedophilia, not homosexuality."

Video.
posted by ericb at 12:43 PM on October 4, 2006


Still, I would hardly call it "perverse"

Come on, imagine if it was your own son or daughter being leched on by some crooked old congressman, at work. Being given alcohol, asked to measure private parts. You'd be furious.

Is the perversion essentially sexual in nature? No, I don't think so, if he wants to date younger guys outside of work, I couldn't care less. It's the whole situation of his position and the relative position of the pages, AND their ages, plus his vociferous campaigning against the very sort of behavior he engages in that seems to bring in this real unsettling vibe. The whole thing viscerally feels wrong. The numbers of their relative ages don't make it perverted, the abuse of power and blatantly, supra-textbook Freudian sublimation make it perverted.

It's just plain wrong and all his buddies have backed him up for years.

---

The thing about The Handmaid's Tale that stuck with me the most was how the bosses believed that they were really above the morality of the masses and that what was wrong for other people wasn't wrong for them.

It's really ugly how that kind of thought has become so common among "conservatives" (particularly among the neocon and Straussian crowd, who put things in almost those exact words. What's wrong for you isn't wrong for us.)
posted by sonofsamiam at 12:46 PM on October 4, 2006


For those who take issue with using the term pedophilia, perhaps it's being used because the vast majority of Americans are not familiar with the word 'pederast'?
posted by JaredSeth at 12:48 PM on October 4, 2006


What's a pederast, Walter?
posted by sonofsamiam at 12:53 PM on October 4, 2006


the vast majority of Americans are not familiar with the word 'pederast'?

Or ephebophile.
posted by ericb at 12:53 PM on October 4, 2006


What's a pederast, Walter?

There's never a bad thread for a Lebowski reference.
posted by JaredSeth at 12:57 PM on October 4, 2006


Just wanted to clarify something:

It is the "Adam Walsh Child Protection and Safety Act of 2006" (yes, the one chaired by Foley himself) that makes online solicitation of a "minor" (explictly defined by the law itself as 18yo or under) illegal. Didn't most, if not all, of the contact take place before 2006? (2003 is what I'm seeing for the IM chats.) No ex post facto laws, and all that. Somebody tell me if I'm wrong. (and I know you will...)

Surely the guy's a sleeze, but suddenly I'm not sure if he broke any laws. To followup, the age of consent is 18 in FL, 16 in DC (**BUT** 18 for homosexual contact, I believe) -- BUT does this even matter if no actual sexual contact took place?

Would be fairly uproarious if Foley was only actually charged with offering alcohol to a minor -- but the massive GOP coverup ends up sinking the party anyhow!

Is anyone here familiar with the half-your-age-plus-seven rule? Divide your age in half and add seven, and the result is the minimum age you can lust after without appearing creepy.

Haha, I was gonna bring this up! Funny story: A few years ago at a dinner with lotsa friends (and just after a breakup of my own), my brother misquoted the rule of girls that I'm allowed to date as "half your age minus five". Some quick math, and I responded (with faux confusion & concern), "So..... um. . . TWELVE YEAR OLDS are on the menu..???"

Ah, good times...

posted by LordSludge at 12:57 PM on October 4, 2006


Homosexuals reproduce sexually by molesting children.

That's just such a mind-boggling WTF that I thought I'd reprint it.
posted by Faint of Butt at 12:58 PM on October 4, 2006


Homosexuals reproduce sexually by molesting children.

Who says home schooling doesn't work?
posted by If I Had An Anus at 12:58 PM on October 4, 2006


If he is this witless, what are the odds that he could delete anything to the point where it couldn't be retrieved by a trained expert?
posted by hermitosis at 11:53 AM PST


Yea, because there is no chance that someone more skilled can show up and adjust data as they have been hired to.
posted by rough ashlar at 1:00 PM on October 4, 2006


Come on, imagine if it was your own son or daughter being leched on by some crooked old congressman, at work. Being given alcohol, asked to measure private parts. You'd be furious.

I don't have any kids. If this happened to me as a 16 year old I don't think I would be bothered. Look at the guy being interviewed on MSNBC, who was hit on in 1996 (when he, like myself, was 16). He assumed at first that it was a woman, but when he found out it was a congressman he decided to "just be friends" with the guy. He couldn't have been too disgusted if he kept chatting with him.

The fact is, I participated in plenty of dirty chats at that age, mostly with people my own age. If some older person ICQ'd me or something I'd just brush them off and block them. But maybe I'd just been 'permanently damaged' by sneaking into my dad's playboy collection as a kid!

The point is, that while I would certainly be pissed off if some older dude were seducing my kids, I would not consider them to be, in a technical sense, perverted.
posted by delmoi at 1:03 PM on October 4, 2006


It is the "Adam Walsh Child Protection and Safety Act of 2006" (yes, the one chaired by Foley himself) that makes online solicitation of a "minor" (explictly defined by the law itself as 18yo or under) illegal.

Yeah, people keep mentioning that law, but we don't know about anything thing that happened after November of 2005.

Still, I seriously doubt that he would have cut off communications with his 'friends' after passing the law.
posted by delmoi at 1:06 PM on October 4, 2006


If this isn't the dirty, perverted straw that doesn't break the back of the contemporary GOP, then we're fucked. Honestly, I can understand why someone doesn't want to vote Democrat -- fecklessness, wishy-washiness, lingering distrust of Clinton and contempt for Carter. Fine. But how can anyone in good conscience vote Republican? They have no platform any longer -- small government? No, it's bigger than ever. National security? According to Congressional intelligence committees, we're less safe than on 9/11 (still haven't heard much about cargo and freigh shipping, have we?). Family values? They've known about Foley's proclivities for years through anecdote, and of actual sexual predatory behavior for over a year. Hastert did nothing.

Ah, yes, but it's Bill Clinton's fault. I hope people will wake up and just realize what pathetic losers the Republican leadership consists of, unwilling to take responsibility whenever they or their president shits on the carpet like a bad puppy. Of course here, it's not just money that's been wasted, but the mental well-being of at least two teenage boys.

Please vote in November.
posted by bardic at 1:06 PM on October 4, 2006


while I would certainly be pissed off if some older dude were seducing my kids, I would not consider them to be, in a technical sense, perverted.

Hmm. How about preverted? As in 'deviated.'
posted by sonofsamiam at 1:11 PM on October 4, 2006


It's nice that the FBI is investigating now, but they've known about the e-mails since June.
posted by kirkaracha at 1:14 PM on October 4, 2006


In a way it's not so much the acts as the huge cover-up clusterfuck that's quickly becoming the issue.

The fact that author of the Adam Walsh Child Protection Act was revealed to be engaged in conduct specifically criminalized by said act does add a "WTF" element to the whole thing, but it's a bit like when it was revealed that "Jeff Gannon" of "Talon News" was a male prostitute with no credible journalistic credentials. It merely distracted from the heart of the matter that the White House was knowingly using shills to astroturf their own PCs.
posted by clevershark at 1:24 PM on October 4, 2006


On a lighter note if you try and access Foley's old page on the House of Reps server you get the ominous message "page not found."
posted by clevershark at 1:27 PM on October 4, 2006 [1 favorite]


Hastert’s Senior Staff Asked ‘To Intervene’ Two Years Ago
"A senior congressional aide [who was fired today] said Wednesday that he alerted House Speaker Dennis Hastert’s office two years ago about worrisome conduct by former Rep. Mark Foley with teenage pages.

Kirk Fordham told The Associated Press that when he was told about Foley’s inappropriate behavior toward pages, he had 'more than one conversation with senior staff at the highest level of the House of Representatives asking them to intervene.'

The conversations took place long before the e-mail scandal broke, Fordham said, and at least a year earlier than members of the House GOP leadership have acknowledged."

[Associated Press | October 4, 2006]
posted by ericb at 1:28 PM on October 4, 2006


Foley's Conduct was No Secret to Bloggers
Rumors on the web go back to March '05, raises questions about leadership
"ABC's Brian Ross broke the story of Mark Foley's digital escapades with underage boys last Friday. He was the first mainstream journalist to do so, but the story has been circulating on the Internet for over a year.

...there was also a digital record of the allegations against Mark Foley. I am not referring to Foley being gay. That, it seems, wasn't much of a secret. Rather, it's the specific charge of pursuing underage boys.

The online rumors began, to the extent they can be pieced together, in March of 2005.

On a website called Blogactive, I found this quote:
'Foley is often seen entertaining young men, some of whom appear close to underage.'
Later that month, on March 22, this ominous comment from the blogger:
'Everyone already knows Foley's a self-hating closet case. When we get closer to the midterm elections, I am sure more will surface.'
In July of this year, a new website went up called Stop Sex Predators, over at Blogspot. The site was small and generated very little traffic. The first postings stated the mission was to catch predators, and rehashed a few well known cases.

The site quickly seemed to focus on possible Congressional scandals. In August, the blog solicited information about any member of Congress suspected of being a predator.

By September, it began posting e-mails from people claiming to be former interns. They each specifically referenced Mark Foley. On September 24, days before the ABC story ran, Stop Sex Predators posted a few of 'the' e-mails, the ones asking what the page wanted for his birthday, etc.

And yet another piece of the puzzle, early last month there was a discussion at Daily Kos about Foley's sexuality. The blog entry referred to a "dirty little secret" that some people knew about Foley.

While some speculated that it was simply that he was gay, one blogger who went by the name 'WHInternNOW' wrote:
'Foley's eye for the young boys in the White House and around the Capitol is what has the Republican bosses scared to death.'
After ABC ran the initial emails, Brian Ross says he received messages from other pages and interns. One can infer that those sources provided the more elicit instant messages that now have a life of their own on the Web and in cable news.

...The digital trail reveals that the story was alive for well over a year, and perhaps longer.

Wrong is wrong, and Foley needed to be exposed in order to protect the teens he may have encountered next. But why did it take so long for this story to surface?

...Have both parties put political advantage ahead of the protection of children?"

[MSNBC-TV | October 4, 2006]
Yeah -- right, the House leadership knew nothing about Foley's behavior until last Friday.
posted by ericb at 1:30 PM on October 4, 2006 [1 favorite]


No 3. Top Republican, Roy Blunt, Now Blames Hastert.

All my bags are packed, I'm ready to go...
posted by ericb at 1:32 PM on October 4, 2006


In a way it's not so much the acts as the huge cover-up clusterfuck that's quickly becoming the issue.

And you'd think, after Bill Clinton, that politicians would know better. This has always been the case, but the Republicans are so used to going into denial mode that they can't even conceive of some instance of ethical misconduct that would cross the line with the American people. Wanting to fuck children is one of them.

Glenn Greenwald today on Hastert's "confessor": If the term "moral degenerate" has any validity and can be fairly applied to anyone, there are few people who merit that term more than Rush Limbaugh. He is the living and breathing embodiment of moral degeneracy, with his countless overlapping sexual affairs, his series of shattered, dissolved marriages, his hedonistic and illegal drug abuse, his jaunts, with fistfulls of Viagra (but no wife), to an impoverished Latin American island renowned for its easy access to underage female prostitutes
posted by bardic at 1:32 PM on October 4, 2006


I'm not sure if he broke any laws

FBI's Foley Case Eyes Legal 'Gray Area'
"Former Rep. Mark Foley's online conversations with teenage male pages have all the trappings of a political scandal, but making a federal case out of the sexually charged exchanges could prove difficult, veteran investigators say."
posted by ericb at 1:34 PM on October 4, 2006


Hastert merely had to appear next to someone who'd make him look good... Limbaugh makes anyone look good, if only by comparison.
posted by clevershark at 1:36 PM on October 4, 2006


No 3. Top Republican, Roy Blunt, Now Blames Hastert.

And thus the shiv is thrust. I'd been waiting for Roy to speak out, because that would tell me who won and who lost.m

I knew Blunt was just waiting when Boehner decided to draw knives against Hastert. One of them was going to lose, Blunt was desperate not to be associated with the loser.

Blunt coming out now against Hastert means he's convinced that Hastert is gone, meaning that he's now got a shot at the Majority Leader spot when Boehner makes his play for the Speakership.

Of course, if Blunt sees a chance, he'll gladly throw Boehner under that same bus and make a play for Speaker of the House.

Couldn't happen to a nicer party.
posted by eriko at 1:42 PM on October 4, 2006


ericb is way on the job...you should totally grab a camera and start doing live feeds from DC...

...the magic moment i'm waiting for in this whole thing: when the FBI says there is nothing foley can be prosecuted for, i look forward to the demand for shift of criminal focus to republican leadership, with the justification...yes...that it's not about the sex, it's about lying to cover it up...a phrase that completes the circle as well as any other...
posted by troybob at 1:45 PM on October 4, 2006 [1 favorite]


No 3. Top Republican, Roy Blunt, Now Blames Hastert.

Your own words, not those of the article, and not, I think, an accurate characterization of Blunt's remarks as quoted in the article:
"[Blunt] said he was not criticizing the House Republican leadership for its handling of the matter, but he said he would have handled it differently."
posted by DevilsAdvocate at 1:47 PM on October 4, 2006


This must be the planting of a saucy boyslut by the liberals to undermine our congressional leadership because they want terrorists to win.
posted by dr_dank at 1:51 PM on October 4, 2006


Let's just call em kidfuckers so everyone's clear on this.
posted by StrasbourgSecaucus at 1:53 PM on October 4, 2006


Reportedly, the page attended al Qaeda training camps to learn secret terrorist seduction techniques. Like the prisoners in Gitmo who terrorize us asymmetricly with urine and feces, their moles in Congress use their oh-so-tantalizingly-measurable members to undermine our freedoms.

What we need here is some more executive power.
posted by sonofsamiam at 1:56 PM on October 4, 2006


It's nice that the FBI is investigating now, but they've known about the e-mails since June.
posted by kirkaracha at 1:57 PM on October 4, 2006


Whoops.
posted by kirkaracha at 1:59 PM on October 4, 2006


the page attended al Qaeda training camps


posted by ericb at 2:09 PM on October 4, 2006


A senior congressional aide [who was fired today]

The quoted article says that he resigned. The implication is that he resigned because he was being used as a scapegoat. Where's the press that suggests that he was fired?
posted by solid-one-love at 2:09 PM on October 4, 2006


Where's the press that suggests that he was fired?

ABC News' Brian Ross and Rhonda Schwartz say he was forced out (i.e. fired).
posted by ericb at 2:13 PM on October 4, 2006


This juicy scandal has already made me forget all about that silly habeas corpus issue from last week.
posted by yeti at 2:13 PM on October 4, 2006 [1 favorite]


"it's not about the sex, it's about lying to cover it up"

Wasn't done under oath this time. Unfortunately.
posted by zoogleplex at 2:15 PM on October 4, 2006


The coverup is always worse.

Mr Foley one could understand has personal problems that prevent him from credibly doing his job as congressman. He may have engaged in criminal activity, and now presumably the system will deal with that. End of story except ....... for the coverup, both the current coverup and the coverup conducted over the previous few years by who and how many? And now, CNN just made a reference to the republicans forming a 'circular firing squad'.
posted by scheptech at 3:07 PM on October 4, 2006


Well the other thing is, as the NY Times pointed out and has been mentioned by many MeFites over two threads, that these are the guys who run on the Family Values and Qualified Moral Arbiters platform.

Letting a closet queen run around after teenage boys while covering it up hardly fits their heretofore imperiously claimed moral stance, now does it.

Knowing about it, letting it happen and covering it up indicts them all as liars and hypocrites - as if we didn't know that already, but still.

At the very, very least, no-one should ever listen to them again when they claim any sort of moral high ground, especially regarding any sexual issue.
posted by zoogleplex at 3:21 PM on October 4, 2006


I can't get over Fordham spilling the beans on Hastert and the rest--they knew years ago.
posted by amberglow at 3:24 PM on October 4, 2006


But Fordham — a former chief of staff to Foley, who resigned as chief of staff to another member of the GOP leadership, Rep. Tom Reynolds, R-N.Y. — said that as far back as 2003, Hastert chief of staff Scott Palmer had been told that Foley was too friendly with pages. According to Fordham, Palmer spoke to Foley about the matter.

Neither Foley nor Palmer could be reached for comment, yet Hastert's office disputes the account.

posted by amberglow at 3:26 PM on October 4, 2006


Kirk Fordham Is Naming Names:
"Despite claims by senior congressional aide Kirk Fordham that he notified House Speaker Dennis Hastert's office more than two years ago about possible inappropriate contact between former Rep. Mark Foley, R-Fla., and underage congressional pages, the Speaker's office is insisting it did nothing wrong in its handling of the situation.

'That never happened,' Hastert spokesman Ron Bonjean told ABC News about the report.

But Fordham — a former chief of staff to Foley, who resigned as chief of staff to another member of the GOP leadership, Rep. Tom Reynolds, R-N.Y. — said that as far back as 2003, Hastert chief of staff Scott Palmer had been told that Foley was too friendly with pages. According to Fordham, Palmer spoke to Foley about the matter.

Neither Foley nor Palmer could be reached for comment, yet Hastert's office disputes the account."
Kirk Fordham Issues Statement:
"The fact is, even prior to the existence of the Foley email exchanges I had more than one conversation with senior staff at the highest levels of the House of Representatives asking them to intervene when I was informed of Mr. Foley's inappropriate behavior.

One of these staffers is still employed by a Senior House Republican Leader.

Rather than trying to shift the blame on me, those who are employed by these House Leaders should acknowledge what they know about their action or inaction in response to the information they knew about Mr. Foley prior to 2005."
posted by ericb at 3:30 PM on October 4, 2006


That's one hell of a statement, Kirk.
posted by NationalKato at 3:36 PM on October 4, 2006


Music Video: Y(oung) M(en's) C(ongressional) A(ssociation).
posted by ericb at 3:37 PM on October 4, 2006


AP also identified Foley as a Democrat, they have issued a correction.


posted by ericb at 3:42 PM on October 4, 2006


While All Eyes Are On Foley, Iraq Is Rapidly Deteriorating
posted by homunculus at 4:00 PM on October 4, 2006


I'm no ericb, but: Drunken Foley turned away from Pages' Dorm?
posted by orthogonality at 4:03 PM on October 4, 2006


Please vote in November.
since you ask so nicely i'll try to pencil it in. will it count for something if i sign up as a republican before hand? i'm so confused these days.
posted by andywolf at 4:14 PM on October 4, 2006


Foley was also called a Democrat early last month: "Among those joining Young in honoring Osborne and other heroes at the ceremony were AFL-CIO President John Sweeney; Deputy Postmaster General Patrick Donahoe; Sens. Bill Nelson (D-FL) and Daniel Akaka (D-HI); and Reps. Lois Capps (D-CA), Danny Davis (D-IL), and Mark Foley (D-FL)."
posted by Kickstart70 at 4:28 PM on October 4, 2006


will it count for something if i sign up as a republican before hand?

IIRC it counts double.
posted by Artw at 4:32 PM on October 4, 2006 [1 favorite]


And elsewhere (rss feed) - "Grammy award winner Kelly Clarkson (R) listens to Rep. Mark Foley (D-FL) before 'Grammy's on the Hill'" (also occurred September 7, 2006)

Has this been going on for a while, or did something happen Sept 7?
posted by Kickstart70 at 4:33 PM on October 4, 2006


foley d-florida
posted by taosbat at 4:52 PM on October 4, 2006


Kelly Clarkson is a republican?
posted by delmoi at 5:07 PM on October 4, 2006


Kelly Clarkson is a republican?

Who doesn't like a little song and dance?
posted by NationalKato at 5:10 PM on October 4, 2006


Here's your daily wtf: Ben Stein on Predatorgate.

Insert the word "black" every time you read the word "gay" and you'll get an even bigger laugh.

All Dems worship Clinton? Not this one. All Dems are gay? Not this one either.

Honestly, you couldn't make this shit up. He's literally lost his mind. And he's not the only one.

I can't wait until November.
posted by bardic at 5:15 PM on October 4, 2006


R o F L!
posted by arialblack at 5:28 PM on October 4, 2006


September 14th, 2006
4:17am
Fourth Level Sub-basement of the Whitehouse.

Karl Rove, dressed in his floor length black silk Kimono, paces. His face bloated with anger. His eyes red, betraying a level of exhaustion he has never before felt.

"GOD DAMN IT... it's all coming apart. And we were so close... CLOSE! The new Guilded Age was here!" He rages.

"Maybe... the war was a step too far..." Mumbles a cowed Sean Hannity , summoned before the great Rove for an emergency late night strategy meeting.

"WHAT! WHAT! Hannity you colossal pussy! I should have you killed."

Hannity cries and scurries away.

"The war was a stroke of genius. It's these damned AY-RABS who won't roll over and DIE that are the problem. " Rove continues. He lights a match and begins to puff at a large Jade water pipe shaped like a dragon.

"Anyway. That's not it (puff)... it's (puff)... something else (puff)... it's almost as if the American populace is not as imbecilic as had first surmised. " Rove trows down the pipe.

"And Bush. Oh god. He unfortunately is fifteen thousand times the MO-ron we had thought. I actually LET him cheat playing our daily forty rounds of Tic-tac-toe yesterday... and he still lost every game until his crayon broke." Rove smoothes back his greasy hair and turns.

"We have to do something about this Habeas thing. Even that fat gay turd Tony Blakley is crying about it!" Suddenly Roves eyes narrow and roll back in his head, like a shark closing in for the kill. He stand there silent convulsing slightly.

"My dear SATAN!" He screams. "I HAVE it. We need a big bad faggot!"

"Bu... but isn't that played out wi..." Hannity chimes.

"Shut up worthless underling! No. We need one of our OWN. YES. Wheels-with-in-wheels. The gears are shifting, the planets aligning! ONE OF OUR OWN! And not just a fag... after all we got plenty of those... fer Satan's sake we are full of closet cases... no what we need is one who is a drunk AND likes the... the young boys! That will stir the pot and get the Churchgoers mobilized. It's dangerous true. But the left will fall right into our hypocritical trap... THEY are the ones always saying it's just a lifestyle... this will knock the war and the Habeas issue off the front page until the election. YES... Call Hastert immediately! Then get back here and suck my dick!"

"Y... yes Mr. Rove." Says Hannity, pretending to understand the depths of his master's plan. Slowly Hannity begin to weep in terror as he dials his cell.
posted by tkchrist at 5:38 PM on October 4, 2006


Wow. Ben Stein is an imbecile.
posted by StrasbourgSecaucus at 5:40 PM on October 4, 2006


tkchrist: ripped from the headlines!
posted by sonofsamiam at 5:45 PM on October 4, 2006


Here is a preview of next weeks fox news.


posted by Mr_Zero at 5:47 PM on October 4, 2006 [5 favorites]


I have a 3 part solution.

1) ALL pages msut be 18 and over.

2) ALL pages must be homley.

3) Legalize gay marriage.
posted by tkchrist at 5:51 PM on October 4, 2006 [1 favorite]


Ben Stein misses the whole point:

Don't get me wrong. My very best friend is gay. I have many gay friends and they are great people. But how the Democrats, the party of gays, can be coming down this hard on a MC who's gay is simply beyond belief. One of my top, favorite congressmen, Barney Frank, is openly gay. Might he say a word in defense of his fellow gay MC right about now? Hmm, I thought not.
posted by leftcoastbob at 6:02 PM on October 4, 2006


tk, that reads like a rudepundit rant, which is very high praise. : >

Mark Foley and Fellow Republicans Have Tiny Dicks

and one of many Rove dungeon/slave/sm things: This Savage Season (featuring the Return of Karl Rove's Leather Slave)

And MSNBC is all "Hastert is the walking dead" because of the Fordham revelations. Apparently the GOP will be forcing him out before the end of the day Friday.
posted by amberglow at 6:03 PM on October 4, 2006


Be Ashamed, America -- and Most Bloggers, Too
posted by homunculus at 6:04 PM on October 4, 2006


tkchrist and Mr_Zero -- I can't stop laughing!!!
posted by ericb at 6:05 PM on October 4, 2006


If Ben Stein would only realize that it's partly because Foley was closeted that he fished in the wrong pool--one he felt safe in, and had power over--he'd actually deserve all the bs about Stein being actually smart.

Of course, if Foley was out like Frank has been for years, he would never have been a GOP Congressman at all.
posted by amberglow at 6:05 PM on October 4, 2006


homonculus, that guy is absolutely right, but we have to take what we can get--this is getting rid of GOP people, so it's good. If this had happened in 04, they wouldn't have kept Congress at all.

ooo--MSNBC is all about the closeted GOP Congressmen now (watch Dreier to retire in 3, 2, 1...) "There are things in this story not yet revealed regarding closeted GOP members."
posted by amberglow at 6:07 PM on October 4, 2006


One of my top, favorite congressmen, Barney Frank, is openly gay

Newsweek: Rep. Barney Frank on Foley and gays in Congress.
posted by ericb at 6:08 PM on October 4, 2006


...But there's another dimension to this scandal which could prove even more damaging than the specifics of the Foley case and its coverup: the issue of gays in the Republican Party. Howie Klein expands on what Josh Bearman refers to as "karmic irony for Republicans." Meaning: the party of gay-haters being packed with gay politicians.
Klein notes that Republicans David Dreier, Jim Kolbe and Michael Huffington, are well known to be gay, in addition to a number Bush's high level staff who are thought to be as well.
... The No. 1 priority on that agenda, ahead of abortion even, is gays. ...

posted by amberglow at 6:10 PM on October 4, 2006


from eric's link: The hypocrisy of the Republicans is that they have more concern for a gay man who misbehaves than for fair treatment of gays who don’t misbehave. They told him to stop, but I think it was like they didn’t want to know. It was wishful thinking—they were hoping the problem would just go away. Maybe there were gay Republicans who were afraid of what would happen if any of this got attention. Hushing it up was better.
posted by amberglow at 6:12 PM on October 4, 2006


Shorter Stein: Some of my best Jews Blacks Gays are friends.

I'm a bit of a masochist, so I listened to some Rushbo today. To call the performance Orwellian would not be an overstatement. Because honestly people, this is really about Bill Clinton. Ever since he got blown by Monica, it's been an invitation to perverts of all stripes to act out their sick fantasies (so sayeth Mr. unmarried Viagra-popper who enjoys third-world sex vacations). Oh yeah, and that fag Barney Frank -- what about him? That's who those pages probably learned to suck cock from. Oh, and Gaymarriage Islamofascism Homobaby Danrather PBS Hillary Iran!

It would be more amusing if people didn't actually take him seriously, and thereby prove they have no morals, no scruples, no anything inside of them. They worship power, and they sense it crumbling away from them like so many inappropriate IM's.
posted by bardic at 6:16 PM on October 4, 2006


ericb, that interview with Barney is pretty good.

They told him to stop, but I think it was like they didn’t want to know. It was wishful thinking—they were hoping the problem would just go away. Maybe there were gay Republicans who were afraid of what would happen if any of this got attention. Hushing it up was better.

Gay Republicans were already on shaky ground because they were part of such an anti-gay party. They are more of them than you would think. This is a real crisis, since [previously], gays in the Republican Party were willing to be tolerated, but now they may not even get that. It could be a witch hunt, since now there is the sense within the party that “you are causing us trouble.”
posted by NationalKato at 6:17 PM on October 4, 2006


get this: “A member of the House leadership told me that Foley, under continuous political pressure because of his sexual orientation, was considering not seeking a seventh term this year but that Rep. Tom Reynolds, chairman of the National Republican Congressional Committee (NRCC), talked him into running,” Novak wrote.
posted by amberglow at 6:20 PM on October 4, 2006


my heart bleeds for Roy Cohn's children---the poor babies are going to be jobless soon.
posted by amberglow at 6:26 PM on October 4, 2006


ALL pages must be homley.

Jon Stewart agrees.


posted by ericb at 6:26 PM on October 4, 2006


and the insane sick f*ck from the Catholic League chimes in
posted by amberglow at 6:35 PM on October 4, 2006


Delmoi: It's a bad idea for obvious reasons, but throughout human history people over the age of 13 and 14 have been getting married and having children. Not having sex until over the age of 18 is what's unnatural. We (meaning most liberals) don't have a problem with teenagers having sex with each other, but we don't want them sleeping with older dudes. Still, I would hardly call it "perverse"

I'm a liberal, and in fact, 52-year-olds trying to hump 16 year olds is perverse, in my opinion. In fact, it's just plain evil and wrong.
posted by craniac at 6:35 PM on October 4, 2006


David Corn has a list but refuses to name names: It's a roster of top-level Republican congressional aides who are gay.
posted by amberglow at 6:37 PM on October 4, 2006


Wait wait wait wait you mean to tell me we're at comment 200 and there isn't even a fight in this thread?

* boggles *
posted by furiousthought at 6:56 PM on October 4, 2006


It's hard to come up with points in favor of lecherous old men.
posted by sonofsamiam at 7:21 PM on October 4, 2006


Or their enablers.
posted by bardic at 7:22 PM on October 4, 2006


Unfuckingbelieveable. Does it get any more 1984? "Foley is a Democrat." "War is Peace."

Christ on a pogostick, you Americans need to get your shit together! This next election is going to make or break your country, goddamnit. Take it seriously. Get politically active NOW. Do anything more than you've done before. A n y t h i n g.

Honest to god, your way of life absolutely depends on it.
posted by five fresh fish at 7:38 PM on October 4, 2006


I refer to this, which if it hasn't made it as a front post, should be a front post.

It's about how Fox News is repeatedly and persistently identifying Foley as a Democrat. If that isn't a corrupt news service, what is?
posted by five fresh fish at 7:42 PM on October 4, 2006


five fresh fish, meet the choir.

Choir, meet five fresh fish.
posted by bardic at 7:45 PM on October 4, 2006


Christ on a pogostick, you Americans need to get your shit together! This next election is going to make or break your country, goddamnit.

The last two elections were a make or break. And we've done okay. The Geneva conventions? They were just quaint, anyhow. Domestic spying? If you haven't done anything wrong, why would you be worried? Iraq? Well, obviously we'd rather fight terrorists over there than over here. Paper trail for voting? What's the point--we're saving spotted owls.

And we still have American Idol. What more could we want??
posted by leftcoastbob at 7:47 PM on October 4, 2006


bardic writes "Here's your daily wtf: Ben Stein on Predatorgate."

Wow. I just lost all respect for Ben Stein. WTF indeed.
posted by clevershark at 7:49 PM on October 4, 2006


Glenn Greenwald nails it all: ... This is not some bizarre aberration. This is how they operate and it is what they are. And the Mark Foley scandal is making it virutally impossible for anyone to convincingly deny it any longer.
posted by amberglow at 7:58 PM on October 4, 2006


five fresh fish writes "It's about how Fox News is repeatedly and persistently identifying Foley as a Democrat. If that isn't a corrupt news service, what is?"

I'm sorry, but the only people who consider Fox News Channel an actual "news service" have IQs that barely break the double digits.
posted by clevershark at 7:59 PM on October 4, 2006


The age of consent in Washington, D.C. is 16. That sounds to me like Foley did not break the law if everyone involved was at least 16. Is that not relevant in some way?

flarbuse: Only if Foley is charged with a crime. Obviously, one does not need to be charged with a crime to become an embarassment to your district or party.

He may yet be charged with a crime, in which case we may discuss the crime he's charged with. It may not be consensual sex with someone past the age of consent.

I wonder if this can bring down Hastert? Thoughts?

Hastert is toast. He looked utterly defeated on his first Foley-related interview. The man was DeLay's lapdog or figleaf, his underlings were turning on him, and the hard right hates him for being a moderate anyway. Besides, he had already announced he was going to retire in 2008 (privately he had wnated to go earlier, but GWB asked him to stay). Thus he was effectively more and more a lame duck even before this.

Now, Boehner vs. Blunt ... I don't know. Boehner may be too closely connected to this business to be kept on. On the other hand, unlike Hastert, he built his own base and fought for and won the Majority Leader post on his own. He has a much stronger fallback position than Denny. Now, if the GOP retains the House in November they'll have Speaker and Majority Leader slots to fill, but if it's only Minority Leader ... expect a tussle.
posted by dhartung at 8:03 PM on October 4, 2006


Daily Show's on it again---"the Republican's own house is flooded, and the liquid is apparently jism."
posted by amberglow at 8:03 PM on October 4, 2006 [1 favorite]


"This is just a heads-up or perhaps an editorial note about what might be coming down the pike.

There have been a number of signals through the course of the day that the last gambit of the GOP House leadership will be to blame the Foley debacle on a cabal of gay staffers who hid and/or enabled Rep. Foley's behavior for years. The idea being that they are to blame rather than the leadership.

That may sound like a plot turn out of a bad novel. But with the times we're living in I guess we shouldn't be surprised.

Fordham, the staffer who just turned on Hastert, is openly gay, as is at least one other central player in the drama. Fordham's word now threatens to take down the whole House leadership. So they're going to throw everything at him." [source]
posted by ericb at 8:05 PM on October 4, 2006


Hastert is toast.

George Stephanopoulos on ABC agrees -- video.
posted by ericb at 8:08 PM on October 4, 2006


Only if Foley is charged with a crime.

Foley himself sponsored the laws and amendments that made what he did a crime. 18 U.S. Code 2422(b), which states that an individual “using the mail or any facility or means of interstate or foreign commerce … who knowingly persuades, induces, entices, or coerces” an individual who is under the age of 18 to “engage in prostitution or any sexual activity” can be charged with a criminal offense. If convicted, the individual can be imprisoned for five to 30 years.
posted by amberglow at 8:10 PM on October 4, 2006


a cabal of gay staffers

No, they were gay GOP staffers, all closeted, who helped write and advance and perpetuate the hateful anti-gay agenda of the GOP for years and years.
posted by amberglow at 8:11 PM on October 4, 2006


And it's the GOP itself who is going to out them and do a witchhunt, to try to help themselves maintain power.
posted by amberglow at 8:12 PM on October 4, 2006


Scary stuff ericb, but not at all surprising. I have mixed feelings about the outing of high-level Republicans (yes they deserve privacy, but not if they're breaking the law a la Foley, and not if they continue to use gay issues as a cudgel to beat Americans over the head every time we start to realize just how poor they are at managing a war and a budget), but this seems like the beginning of a flood.

Haven't heard much from Ken Mehlman, have we?
posted by bardic at 8:26 PM on October 4, 2006


There have been a number of signals through the course of the day that the last gambit of the GOP House leadership will be to blame the Foley debacle on a cabal of gay staffers who hid and/or enabled Rep. Foley's behavior for years.

I hate to godwin the thread, but am I the only one here suddenly reminded of the Night of the Long Knives?
posted by maryh at 8:37 PM on October 4, 2006


Wow. I just lost all respect for Ben Stein.

It's been almost ten years since he made Jimmy Kimmel a star and you're only losing respect for him now?
posted by PinkStainlessTail at 8:43 PM on October 4, 2006


actually, i wouldn't mind seeing them give a shot at trying to blame gay staffers for the problem...they've been appealing to the anti-gay thing too much as it is, and i think it could serve as a sweet tipping point...i think congress hasn't gotten the message that people aren't as freaked out by gays as the representatives themselves pretend to be, and for people to read their shift of blame as sleazy maneuvering--particularly now, with the woodward story as well as foley--i think gays would come out ahead...
posted by troybob at 8:44 PM on October 4, 2006


Foley himself sponsored the laws and amendments that made what he did a crime.

If he crossed the threshold for that crime, which we do not yet know whether he did. For example, Drudge is calling a technical foul tonight that the "cybersex-while-voting" IMs were with a former page who was over 18 at the time.

We need not be overeager -- all will come out in time. Overreaction now undercuts the argument against the leadership's mistakes in handling something that should have raised alarm bells despite being merely "overly friendly".

They had every opportunity to ease him out of office and into the willing arms of the private sector back in the spring, which would have nullified this entire scandal. So Republicans can be plenty mad about that political incompetence.

They also had every opportunity to handle this in an accountable, transparent manner, by bringing it formally to the attention of the House Page Board, which would certainly have wanted to take a cautious tack. But that could have led to at the least officially warning pages about fraternization even after leaving the program, which may have shaken loose some of the salacious stuff. There could have been new rules, that sort of thing. (If you ask me the two men and one woman on the Page Board should be the ones having ice creams and such with the pages, not somebody who took it on himself to play hero to them. Maybe that would have woken them up. I think the downside upshot here will be even less contact with Congressmen, eliminating much of the networking aspect of the program for the kids.) None of this requires a crime to have been committed, simply an awareness of inappropriate contact.
posted by dhartung at 10:00 PM on October 4, 2006


They had every opportunity to ease him out of office and into the willing arms of the private sector back in the spring, which would have nullified this entire scandal.

not only would it have nullified the scandal... it would've actually given them some of the moral high ground they already lay claim to.
posted by pruner at 10:04 PM on October 4, 2006


i think congress hasn't gotten the message that people aren't as freaked out by gays as the representatives themselves pretend to be,

But the base is very much as freaked out by gays as the representatives themselves pretend to be, so the fact that the GOP protected Foley (and others) becomes even more of a problem for them if they do out all the closetcases--it'll show their base that they've had these people in their midst and under their wing all the time (which is no surprise to us, but will be to them).
posted by amberglow at 10:07 PM on October 4, 2006


If that list is traceable back to the GOP, it'll put this into overdrive, if it's not already.
posted by amberglow at 10:08 PM on October 4, 2006


And it's the GOP itself who is going to out them and do a witchhunt, to try to help themselves maintain power.

Night of the Long Knives.
posted by Blazecock Pileon at 10:08 PM on October 4, 2006


this attitude: ...Mr. Foley had an unspoken contract with the Republican Party to keep it quiet.
“I think they were willing to overlook it as long as he stayed in the closet,” ...


is not at all acceptable to their base. Not.at.all. And especially not for Congresspeople who are visible and have power.
posted by amberglow at 10:17 PM on October 4, 2006


Orcinus: It certainly appears that the FRC would like to forbid homosexuals from serving in Congress, since that seems to be the kind of "tolerance" they are decrying here. But of course, what this is really all about is turning this sordid case of Republican amorality into a talking point for the religious right's current agenda -- namely, their assault on the very concept of tolerance. ...
posted by amberglow at 10:22 PM on October 4, 2006


Folks, I'm so late to this discussion that my thoughts on the issue are just going to get lost, but I have to get them out anyways...

I've been reading MeFi for years now. I know it's a left leaning echo chamber. I'm a left leaning person myself. I like it here, but there seems to be a complete lack of understanding about the "other side".

If you think, for any moment, that this scandal is at all going to affect the outcome of the coming election in a measurable way, you're just not paying enough attention to the other side.

Please, do yourselves a favour. Go read the commentary at Little Green Footballs, Free Republic, and whatever rag prints Ann Coulter's two-cents. Go and read what MeFi's evil twins are saying about this matter. Go read what the repub "base" thinks.

Here's a hint: they care a ton, but of course play it as if it doesn't matter to them at all, so long as their team wins.

However...

They are spinning so hard that this whole thing is going to be beyond confusing to the average joe/jane voter. Confusion is all they need to sow. They don't have to be right or wrong and they don't even need facts. They just need burn out the moderates by consistently confusing them. Get the moderates to stop thinking about it because they hate, hate, hate hearing about it and just one more mention of it will drive to to vote Republican just for spite. At which moment the Dems will blithely mention the issue, just once more for good measure, and joe/jane voter is going to be fed up and vote Repub.

Mark my words: meet the new boss, same as the old boss.
posted by C.Batt at 10:26 PM on October 4, 2006


These Are the People Who Push Their Values on the Rest of Us
posted by amberglow at 10:34 PM on October 4, 2006


Go read what the repub "base" thinks.
LGF, Freepers etc are not the base. The base are not the opposite of those of us here who are political. The country, and the GOP base, cares about this not as a political matter but as parents. Democrats have been using their much-practised quietness finally for a good reason as the GOP tears themselves apart politically, and parents all over the country--GOP and Dem--look on in disgust.
posted by amberglow at 10:38 PM on October 4, 2006


And I and most others here are not the Democratic base either.
posted by amberglow at 10:39 PM on October 4, 2006


Is anyone else surprised at how rapidly Mr Foley managed to disappear? Like he had a contingency plan, a James Bond villian launching his escape pod. It's weird really, a few words about alchoholism, sexual preference, and - poof - vanished. Was someone war-gaming this before it happened?
posted by scheptech at 11:36 PM on October 4, 2006


They are spinning so hard that this whole thing is going to be beyond confusing to the average joe/jane voter. Confusion is all they need to sow.

no ... because this time, in the process of trying to confuse people, they're ending up looking confused, desperate and shrill ... and all it's going to take are a few leaders on the religious right to start a witch-hunt for gay republicans

even if they decide to keep from doing that, a good part of the base, the evangelical part of it, has just been rudely awakened to the fact that the republicans have been giving lip service to moral issues

many of them will decide to stay home november

and, yes, the phrase "night of the long knives" occured to me to

the republicans only have one real option left ... find some dirt on the democrats, quick ... which will probably result in absolute disgust with everyone ...
posted by pyramid termite at 11:44 PM on October 4, 2006


this conservative blogger outs one page who complained

this is getting ugly ... i think the witch hunt has started ... and what they don't realize is that it's going to tear the republicans apart ... because i don't think everyone who could complain, has complained yet ...
posted by pyramid termite at 11:56 PM on October 4, 2006


many of them will decide to stay home november

Yeah, you may be onto something there - I know more than a few socially conservative religious people and this is exactly the kind of thing they'd find so obviously bad that there would actually be very little conversation about it, none needed as it were. If I were a Republican politician, I think I'd fear silence and non-participation from the 'religious right' more than anything they might actively do about it.
posted by scheptech at 12:11 AM on October 5, 2006


Washington Post: "We will make you successful," Foley promised, "as long as you don't mind me grabbing your [deleted] once in a while."
posted by pruner at 1:20 AM on October 5, 2006


this conservative blogger outs one page who complained

It took less than 24 hours for the freepers to find the kid in Louisiana and post his identity? And he has now received death threats?

Of course he's doing this guy to "prove" that Foley did nothing wrong and it's all a bunch of hoo-hah. But yeah, they don't give a shit who they destroy in the process. (It's already on the feeds.)

They are spinning so hard that this whole thing is going to be beyond confusing to the average joe/jane voter.

Maybe. Maybe not. Reynolds has hit 66% disapproval in his home district. Before the removal of the Green candidate from the ballot, Reynolds had a slim 2-point lead over his challenger, a self-financed ex-Republican, ex-Marine candidate. No guarantees, but I think Reynolds just got hit with a double-whammy.

We only need 16 seats, C.Batt, and we just got one and maybe two.

Get the moderates to stop thinking about it because they hate, hate, hate hearing about it and just one more mention of it will drive to to vote Republican just for spite.

Nah, that's not how it works. If they hate hearing about it, the moderates just stay home.

Look, I agree with you the GOP has an arsenal of dirty tricks and mastery of the spin domain. But voters are getting fed up. In my slightly blue, pro-union part of Wisconsin the local paper is dyed-in-the-wool Republican, always has been. A year ago they stopped running good pictures of Bush and started running lousy ones. They sense the mood of the country, and they've run LTTEs that run "I've been a Republican all my life ... but this year, I'm voting Democratic." I've never seen so much disgust with the party, and that was before Foley.

It's going to be verrrry close in both Houses. The GOP holds a lot of seats, especially in the Senate where 2/3 aren't even up this year. But that also means they have a lot more territory to defend, and defend it they are. They're not used to that, they're used to operating in Democratic territory.

And I do read the "other side", C. Batt, and you know what? They're fighting amongst themselves. This (looks like it) has been a watershed moment for a number of conservatives. Mostly, that means they're going to hold their nose and vote (basically because people may hate Congress but it takes a lot to get them to hate their own Congressman). But there has to be an unknown vote suppression factor in here. I can't quantify it, I'm not a pollster, but these people are realizing that even Colin Powell knows we can't win in Iraq anymore.
posted by dhartung at 1:42 AM on October 5, 2006


There's even less confusion now: ...But the whistleblower was a paid GOP staffer when the documents were first given to the media.
...
These revelations mean that Republicans who are calling for probes to discover what Democratic leaders and staff knew about Foley’s improper exchanges with under-age pages will likely be unable to show that the opposition party orchestrated the scandal now roiling the GOP just a month away from the midterm elections. ...

posted by amberglow at 6:52 AM on October 5, 2006


It took less than 24 hours for the freepers to find the kid in Louisiana and post his identity? And he has now received death threats?

"It would be great if this incident would lead to a through cleaning and expulsion of all the login cabin Repubs from the GOP, what a joke." - some freeper shithead

this is going to be the problem with a good part of the republican base - they're out of control ... instead of being followers and going along with the plan the leadership in washington have, they're striking out on their own

this is something that's going to crack their coalition wide open
posted by pyramid termite at 6:55 AM on October 5, 2006


If you think, for any moment, that this scandal is at all going to affect the outcome of the coming election in a measurable way, you're just not paying enough attention to the other side.

You may have a point. From the online forum of my local paper:

Do you believe there are no democrat pedophiles? I think if you just look at the numbers they will prove there indeed have to be, they just haven't got caught or been in the spotlight. I wouldn't be surprised at all if Teddy Kennedy has probably made the same type of contact with girls of the same age. Even if he hasn't, he's a perfect example of the party closing ranks to protect one of their own.

This is the sort of (il)logic that one can't argue against.
posted by leftcoastbob at 6:58 AM on October 5, 2006


I hate to godwin the thread

The Republicans have already godwinned the country, so don't worry about it anymore.
posted by sonofsamiam at 7:01 AM on October 5, 2006


Honest to god, your way of life absolutely depends on it.
posted by five fresh fish at 7:38 PM PST


Err 5 fish that are not roting.....the American way of life as we know it is based on low cost energy and an expanding dollar.

To date, none of the political parties are working toward addressing the energy or money issue.
posted by rough ashlar at 7:16 AM on October 5, 2006


Churches, youth sporting groups, the government—they’re all scrubbing. Scrubbing away every image of Foley with a kid that a week ago they were boldly displaying as evidence that they’re the real moral paragons in America.
posted by amberglow at 7:17 AM on October 5, 2006


rough ashler: yes. My best hope right now is that the Democrats will take over and screw up the PNACer/neocon/fascist plans so that our economy can get on with crashing without people being tortured and imprisoned for life with no trial. But there's no signs that the Democrats have any sort of program to fix the economy. They just won't COMPLETELY ABSOLUTELY FUCK IT UP like the Republicans have, for lack of organisation and somewhat lesser ties to industry, if nothing else.
posted by sonofsamiam at 7:26 AM on October 5, 2006


pyramid termite writes "It would be great if this incident would lead to a through cleaning and expulsion of all the login cabin Repubs from the GOP, what a joke.' - some freeper shithead"

What the heck is a login cabin Repub?
posted by Mitheral at 7:45 AM on October 5, 2006


Mitheral,

Wikipedia is your friend
posted by WhipSmart at 7:50 AM on October 5, 2006


Y'know, Hunter Thompson would've loved this. And I would've loved to read his take.
posted by COBRA! at 7:54 AM on October 5, 2006


The Log Cabin Republicans is a "national gay and lesbian Republican grassroots organization."
posted by ericb at 8:00 AM on October 5, 2006


Whipsmart - reading closely is your friend. I think Mitheral was pointing out the play on words. At least I hope so. I was about to ask whether freeper shitheads had just made this up or whether it was a longstanding parody name.

"We will make you successful," Foley promised, "as long as you don't mind me grabbing your [deleted] once in a while."

What does it say that even with all this unfolding I still assumed that was pruner's snarky paraphrase rather than (no, couldn't be!) a direct quote by Foley?
posted by soyjoy at 8:14 AM on October 5, 2006


Boehner and Hastert Today Blame the Children Who Were the Victims.
posted by ericb at 8:33 AM on October 5, 2006


BTW -- from CNN -- "The senior Republican and Democrat on the House Ethics Committee will hold a 1:30 p.m. ET news conference to discuss the Foley situation. The committee is currently meeting behind closed doors on Capitol Hill this morning to discuss the matter."
posted by ericb at 8:36 AM on October 5, 2006


"Other suggestions surfaced on Wednesday that Mr. Foley’s undue interest in pages had previously been known. Representative Deborah Pryce of Ohio, a member of the leadership, asked the current clerk of the House, Karen L. Hass, to investigate reports raised this week in a [Republican] party conference call that Mr. Foley was once turned away from the pages’ living quarters and that the staff in the page program had raised concerns about him with the former clerk."

[New York Times | October 5, 2006]
posted by ericb at 8:39 AM on October 5, 2006


Voters Say Scandals Will Affect Votes.
posted by ericb at 8:41 AM on October 5, 2006


Jon Stewart Maps Republican 'Blame Game' in Foley Fallout.
posted by ericb at 8:43 AM on October 5, 2006


Hastert in Lockdown.
posted by ericb at 8:44 AM on October 5, 2006


Ah, Login Cabin Republicans. Apparently, I'm not up on all the American splinter groups enough to parse that. I was thinking it was some kind of quasi neo-luddite group that was opposed to running water but not computers or something.
posted by Mitheral at 8:45 AM on October 5, 2006


Mitheral writes "What the heck is a login cabin Repub?"

A Log Cabin is a roomy closet, where self-loathing gays can put their logs in each other's cabins, while decrying scary leathermen, Pride marchers, and "queers" who make fuss and upset people by demanding to be treated like full humans.

The Log Cabin's previous owner was a guy named Uncle Tom. Like Uncle Tom, the Cabin-boys explain to each other that the best way to eradicate anti-gay prejudice is to show Massa they can be good nigg--, er, good perverts who don't get uppity and demand things like marriage or equal rights or respect.

Many hope that by picking lots of cotton, never complaining, turning in "runaways" and using the lash on self-respecting out gays, they will be promoted from Field Fag to coveted positions like Overseer, House Homo, and the ultimate in Log Cabin career aspirations, Roy Cohn-wannabe.

posted by orthogonality at 9:16 AM on October 5, 2006 [2 favorites]


and the ultimate in Log Cabin career aspirations, Roy Cohn-wannabe

Really? I would have guessed the ultimate aspiration would be a Jeff Gannon-style white house correspondent position.

But you may be right.
posted by quin at 9:28 AM on October 5, 2006


No, they were gay GOP staffers, all closeted, who helped write and advance and perpetuate the hateful anti-gay agenda of the GOP for years and years.

This is WHY we need to allow gay marriage.

Sheesh. People do not cease to amaze me in their capacity to act against their own self interest.

This is why I long for the days of TRUE conservatives. Those principled old cranky white guys who were out purely for themselves and left you mostly the hell alone. You could predict, understand, and compromise with those kinds of motives.
posted by tkchrist at 10:19 AM on October 5, 2006


splinter groups

C'mon. You only get splinters if you're not careful.

Seriously, the Log Cabin name derives from Abraham Lincoln. (Exactly how it's intended isn't clear.) But it's so damn ... I can't avoid the word ... gay. I can't help imagining them all wearing John Stossel mustaches and lumberjack outfits.

Regarding Republican malaise, the Perfesser wrote Exhibit A.
posted by dhartung at 10:43 AM on October 5, 2006


Dude, it's all Soros' fault!
posted by delmoi at 10:55 AM on October 5, 2006


Foley himself sponsored the laws and amendments that made what he did a crime. 18 U.S. Code 2422(b), which states that an individual “using the mail or any facility or means of interstate or foreign commerce … who knowingly persuades, induces, entices, or coerces” an individual who is under the age of 18 to “engage in prostitution or any sexual activity” can be charged with a criminal offense. If convicted, the individual can be imprisoned for five to 30 years.

That's not an accurate paraphrase, if you read the whole thing:
Whoever, using the mail or any facility or means of interstate or foreign commerce, or within the special maritime and territorial jurisdiction of the United States knowingly persuades, induces, entices, or coerces any individual who has not attained the age of 18 years, to engage in prostitution or any sexual activity for which any person can be charged with a criminal offense, or attempts to do so, shall be fined under this title and imprisoned not less than 5 years and not more than 30 years. (emph. mine)
If the sex wouldn't be criminal, then using the internet to solicit it isn't either.
posted by DevilsAdvocate at 11:20 AM on October 5, 2006


The spin is coming in thick today. Watching CNN sporadically, it's clear that an idea being pushed (among others) is that since Foley has stepped down, Congress has no "jurisdiction" over his actions any longer, and there's no need for an investigation.

But Denny Hastert is bravely establishing a hot-line so that when Republicans try to fuck children, they can call an anonymous person and tell them all about it.

Fucking cretins.
posted by bardic at 11:31 AM on October 5, 2006


Dennis Hastert blaming his problems on Clinton operatives

In an interview with the Chicago Tribune, Hastert suggested Clinton's people knew about Foley's actions all along and sat on it. And he warned that when the G-O-P base "finds out who's feeding this monster, they're not going to be happy."
posted by Otis at 11:37 AM on October 5, 2006


"Hastert asserted Wednesday that any Republicans urging his ouster were playing into the hands of Democrats and blamed his problems on the media and Democratic operatives, even suggesting former President Clinton might somehow be involved. "

[source]

You spin me right round, baby, right round.
posted by ericb at 11:40 AM on October 5, 2006


It took less than 24 hours for the freepers to find the kid in Louisiana and post his identity? And he has now received death threats?

It's okay when wingnuts do it, but if they were animal rights activists, they would probably go to jail.
posted by homunculus at 11:42 AM on October 5, 2006


The New Republic: Republican Closet Cases.
posted by ericb at 11:42 AM on October 5, 2006


More on how it's all Bill Clinton's Fault.
posted by octothorpe at 11:43 AM on October 5, 2006


"MSNBC folks are discussing the 'four dozen subpoenas' that the House Ethics Committee discussed issuing in its investigation of the Foley and surrounding mess. There appears to be agreement that this is going to drip, drip, drip out for the next few months, which is bad news for Republicans. Norah O'Donnell saying that moms are having a horrible reaction to this, which is a huge concern to Republicans. Hastert told Paul Weyrich that the conversation that Boehner says occurred never happened — and so the 'pass the Republi-buck" continues.'"

[source]
posted by ericb at 11:44 AM on October 5, 2006


George F. Will: What Goeth Before the Fall.
posted by ericb at 11:48 AM on October 5, 2006


Drudge breaks out the


**World Exclusive**
**Must Credit the DRUDGE REPORT**

According to two people close to former congressional page Jordan Edmund, the now famous lurid AOL Instant Message exchanges that led to the resignation of Mark Foley were part of an online prank that by mistake got into the hands of enemy political operatives, the DRUDGE REPORT can reveal... Developing...


CLAIM: FILTHY FOLEY ONLINE MESSAGES WERE PAGE PRANK GONE AWRY
posted by cell divide at 11:51 AM on October 5, 2006


yeah...that's why foley took such care to deny those messages before he slipped off to rehab...

...i guess all those years of foley's behavior toward pages that has been regarded as generally creepy was part of a big prank...we've all been fooled...
posted by troybob at 11:57 AM on October 5, 2006


Majority Believe House Leaders Covered Up Foley Behavior
“Sixty-one percent of American adults believe that Republican leaders have been ‘protecting [Mark] Foley for several years.’ A Rasmussen Reports national opinion survey conducted Tuesday and Wednesday nights shows that only 21% believe that the leadership ‘just learn[ed] about Foley’s problems last week.'"
posted by ericb at 11:58 AM on October 5, 2006


MSNBC: Pelosi Blocks Hastert From Naming Freeh To Overhaul Page Board .
posted by ericb at 11:58 AM on October 5, 2006


According to one Oklahoma source who knows the former page very well, Edmund, a conservative Republican, goaded Foley to type embarrassing comments that were then shared with a small group of young Hill politicos.

hahahahahaha!
posted by troybob at 12:00 PM on October 5, 2006


Until I gain access to Jordan Edmund's Myspace profile, well, I just won't know what to think.
posted by hermitosis at 12:15 PM on October 5, 2006


It took less than 24 hours for the freepers to find the kid in Louisiana and post his identity?

Page's Identity Temporarily Unveiled
"ABC News said Thursday one instant message transcript between former Rep. Mark Foley, R-Florida, and a former congressional page that was posted on their Web site Friday 'had not been properly redacted' - leading to the IM screen name of the former page to be visible for a short time.

While the transcript has since been corrected, one little-known conservative blogger was able to access the un-redacted version and use the screen name to uncover the young man's identity. That blogger subsequently posted the former page's name, online profile and photo on his Web site -- a move some prominent bloggers today labeled irresponsible."
posted by ericb at 12:33 PM on October 5, 2006


pedophilia is funny! ty drudge, you made my day.
posted by StrasbourgSecaucus at 12:34 PM on October 5, 2006


Help Hastert Hide The Perv! [embedded animation and sound].
posted by ericb at 12:35 PM on October 5, 2006


"... What else do you want me to do? Take off my shirt and give myself 40 lashes? Would've, could've, should've."
posted by maryh at 12:36 PM on October 5, 2006


Thanks for the George Will link. It's hard to believe that I could actually come around to respecting many of his points of view, if only because his party has become so incompetent and corrupt in the last six years that even he's sick of it.

A pundit with bedrock moral principles? Go figure.
posted by bardic at 12:37 PM on October 5, 2006


I was thinking it was some kind of quasi neo-luddite group that was opposed to running water but not computers or something.

OK, Whipsmart, fair's fair, you win this one. But when we meet again you may not be so fortunate.

posted by soyjoy at 1:05 PM on October 5, 2006


Amid Questions, ABC Says Messages 'Couldn't Be a Prank'
"Faced with claims by the conservative political website The Drudge Report Friday that lurid instant message exchanges between disgraced former Congressman Mark Foley (R-FL) and the former page who was outed on a conservative website yesterday were the result of an elaborate prank, insiders at ABC News say the network stands behind their story.

Drudge alleges that the young Republican 'goaded Foley to type embarrassing comments that were then shared with a small group of young Hill politicos' and that 'the prank went awry when the saved IM sessions got into the hands of political operatives favorable to Democrats.'

Sources inside ABC News tell RAW STORY that evidence of widespread misconduct by Foley is overwhelming and rules out the possibility that the entire scandal is based on a prank or a sting.

'This couldn't be a prank,; one high-placed insider said, speaking on condition of anonymity because of the sensitivity of the story. 'Everything I've seen indicates that it can't be. Clearly there's been an effort on the part of this gentleman [Drudge] and another blogger...to come back at us.'

'He doesn't say anything about the fact that there's more than one conversation out there,' said another source, speaking about the Drudge story.

RAW STORY has also learned that ABC plans to release new stories that indicate that Foley's behavior extends to other congressional pages who served on Capitol Hill during different sessions of Congress."

Developing ...
posted by ericb at 1:07 PM on October 5, 2006


Rush Limbaugh: The pages were "egging Foley on." [audio - MP3].

Seems we know today's talking point coming from Mehlman, Rove et al to the impartial, "fair-and-balanced" press/media. Yesterday it was to brand Foley as (Florida - D).
posted by ericb at 1:09 PM on October 5, 2006


Fox News: Internal Poll Suggests Hastert Could Devastate GOP.
posted by ericb at 1:10 PM on October 5, 2006


Another Poll -- AP-Ipsos [PDF]:
"50% of voters say that the Foley scandal will be 'very or extremely important' when it comes time to vote on Nov. 7. By nearly a 2-1 ratio, voters say Democrats are better at combating corruption."
posted by ericb at 1:15 PM on October 5, 2006


Oh, wait, I saw the end of this one! - his daughter is getting married to the son of two gay men and he dresses up like a woman to escape the press.

Ben Stein? Respect? I’m sorry, there’s something about a connection between those two concepts that is resistant to analysis.

I agree with part of C.Batt’s assertion - the spin machine is set to ‘beguile.’ But there are many people who seek to dichotomize this politically whether they are of one party or not. And that isn’t the issue. Neither is how one defines a “child.”
Certainly 16 year olds are sexual creatures. And certainly they can be attractive. But mostly to each other. And the reason for that is that if one is an adult it takes less than a minute of interaction with a 16 year old to understand that they are still not adults.
Now physical attraction is great, but we all know what kind of person is interested solely in a physical relationship.
And that is taken one step further, in that, the young people involved in the page program are ostensibly there to be nurtured and to grow and learn from our leaders.
I consider it a great betrayal to dehumanize them as individuals for sexual pleasure and exploit their interest in bettering themselves by the implication that not only can prosperity NOT be gained on one’s own merits or through service to or honoring the ideals of the country, but that it can only be achieved by serving the sordid and manifestly degenerate ends of those in power.
Despicable.

And this “Bill Clinton screwed Monica so it’s ok” crap is reprehensible. How can one castigate an immoral act by one man while dismissing an immoral act by another - while asserting their similarity?
Ah yes, because it’s politics. So exploiting a child put there to learn from you is then ok.
Goddammit sometimes I really regret taking up pacifism.
I’ll tell you though, something happens to that kid in LA, I have some vacation time coming up...
(there are so many damned fires going on right now, habeus corpus, Gitmo, torture, I think my dog forgot what I smell like)

“This is why I long for the days of TRUE conservatives. Those principled old cranky white guys who were out purely for themselves and left you mostly the hell alone.”

Yeah, folks keep moving in on the frontier though. When’s the last time you’ve said “I don’t know” to some guy hawking a political position? It’s worse than being a fascist or a communist. ‘How do you not know? Don’t you know the (Dems, Repubs, Greens, Libertarians, LaRouche’s, etc. etc.) are trying to take away your right to (eat oat bran, contact aliens, escape the Illuminati, etc. etc.)!?!?’
I think that’s the biggest push of all - very very very few people seem to want to accept that people can disagree on things and still work together or live in the same area, whatever.
Very Orwellian. Something people miss in that book - EVERYTHING was political. Sex, food, taking a crap, kicking a human hand into the gutter - everything.
That’s the real problem. Not everything is political.
This issue - for example - shouldn’t be.
A crime may have been committed. The authorities should investigate. If warrented he should be prosecuted. If guilty he should be punished.
Pure and simple. Everything else is just talk.
If it goes beyond talk than it’s obstruction of justice and the people who are doing that should then have their balls in a sling too.
I’m not sure who is tasked to investigate congress but this is a criminal matter. And the fact that it’s interstate and/or on the net should involve the FBI.
But I don’t know. I just know it’s wrong to exploit kids. Used to be that was enough.
posted by Smedleyman at 1:20 PM on October 5, 2006


Cheney: GOP ‘Will Retain Control'

Hmmm...Dicky, you and your compatriots have been so accurate in your predictions of the past few years.
"The British Government has learned that Saddam Hussein recently sought significant quantities of uranium from Africa."

There are WMD in Iraq.

The Iraqi people will greet us as liberators.

We are in the last throes of the insurgency.

We will drawn down troops by the end of 2006.
I could go on, but it'd be an exhausting experience. I think I'll wait and see how everything pans out on November 7th. I don't think anyone has a crystal ball clean and clear enough to accurately predict how things will turn out.
posted by ericb at 1:23 PM on October 5, 2006


It was a prank.

Foley was goaded into asking kids to measure their cocks. He was working on FHA outreach! He meant their chickens.

I have some ocean front property in Arizona that I just MUST sell.
posted by orthogonality at 1:26 PM on October 5, 2006 [1 favorite]


Now physical attraction is great, but we all know what kind of person is interested solely in a physical relationship...

Okay, who let the "Pick-a-Little Talk-a-Little" ladies from The Music Man in here?
posted by hermitosis at 1:28 PM on October 5, 2006


I have some ocean front property in Arizona that I just MUST sell.

How much per acre? BTW -- I bought a bridge in New York last week and am seeking to flip it. Interested?
posted by ericb at 1:29 PM on October 5, 2006


I, for one, stand firmly behind Dennis Hastert and his descision to not resign his post. Sit tight, Denny. I'm countin' on ya...
posted by maryh at 1:47 PM on October 5, 2006


the drudge thing is great because it's all about planting a little seed of doubt in the minds of those who are looking for a little bit of something to hang onto...and also, the republicans are good at playing headline politics: get a headline out there and it can be proven wrong later, but it gets to those people whose idea of being informed is that they read the headlines...

i'm waiting for the full transcript of this one, though:

JORDAN: Hey Mark, you know what would be funny? You should IM the pages with some filthy messages and we'll see how they respond. But we have to do it under your account for maximum effect.

FOLEY: I don't know about that, Jordan. What if somebody found out?

JORDAN: Come on! Who would they tell? Don't be such a pussy!

FOLEY: OK, I I'll do it. You know I can never say no to you boys!


...months go by...

JORDAN: Hey Mark, guess what? You've been PUNK'D!

FOLEY: D'oh!

posted by troybob at 1:53 PM on October 5, 2006


Foley: Blame V. More Of The Same
"Yes, Speaker Dennis Hastert is on the offense, blaming liberals and ABC News for aiding and abetting a Democratic power grab. He wants to keep his job.

Resetting the dynamics of this story will be hard.

Here’s why:
The details: They are awful. And they're going to get worse. And the American media is obsessed with SEX. Nothing sticks to the gut of an American voter more than an abuse of power combined with tawdry sex details.

The facts: The Hill reports that a Republican provided ABC News and other news outlets with the original e-mails. The page who first provided ABC News with the Instant Messages seems to be a Republican, too. Warning signs about Foley's conduct -- even if they were ambiguous -- were missed.

Open dissension in the ranks: Rep. John Boehner wants to play the role of loyal soldier. Rep. Roy Blunt has defected. Rep. Tom Reynolds is somewhere in between. Hastert is Hastert. We aren't overstating the point: these men do not trust each other. Their staffs marginally trust each other, in part because they share the same staff-to-principal sensibilities and the same self-preservation instincts.

Open dissension in the base: It's hard to blame the media when the elites in your base are as outraged or disgusted as the media seems to be. Keep in mind this distinction. There are many Republicans in Washington whose professional identifies and livelihoods depend on Republicans keeping control of Congress. There are many Republicans outside Washington whose livelihoods and professional identities depend almost entirely on channeling outrage against elitists in the media and the Democratic Party. These two groups are likely to be support the status quo. But there are many, many conservatives and Republicans inside and outside Washington who are animated by ideals and principles and who, in a situation like this, are not inclined to give a party they find disappointing and immature the benefit of the doubt. The tension between these two sectors of the Republican establishment is evident and harmful.

An emboldened media: ABC’s dominance of this story (and the concurrent ramping up of their coverage by Drudge) is no doubt increasing competitive pressures in the media. Editors and producers don’t want to check Drudge every day only to see yet another Brian Ross report. Just check out the number of bylines in the Post covering all the angles the past two days. More media scrutiny begets more revelations – i.e. more bad news for Republicans.
[National Journal | October 5, 2006]
posted by ericb at 2:06 PM on October 5, 2006


“I’m deeply sorry this has happened and the bottom line is we’re taking responsibility,” Hastert said.

"I'm deeply sorry the horse ran off and the bottom line is I'm locking the barn door now," Hastert said.
posted by pyramid termite at 2:12 PM on October 5, 2006


It took ABC 12 hours to find the explicit instant messages and you idiots couldn't find them in 5 years? And now you want to investigate why it is that ABC found the evidence you couldn't, or wouldn't find? Talk about trying to organize a cover-up?

[source]
posted by ericb at 2:12 PM on October 5, 2006


Another "Merry Prankster."
posted by orthogonality at 2:47 PM on October 5, 2006


Family of Lousiana Page Who Received The 'Over-Friendly' E-mails Issues Statement
"The family of a Louisiana teenager who reported "sick" e-mails from former Rep. Mark Foley called their son a hero Thursday and said they want reporters to go away.

...The full text of the family's statement:

'We would like to express our support for our congressman, Rodney Alexander, whose office sponsored our son's position as a House page. As far as we know, Congressman Alexander's conduct in this matter has been beyond reproach. He has tried his best to do what we have asked him to do from the very beginning: Namely, to protect the privacy of our son and family from the intense media scrutiny we are now having to endure.

In the fall of 2005, as soon as Congressman Alexander became aware of the e-mails received by our son, he called us. He explained that his office had been made aware of these e-mails by our son and that while he thought the e-mails were overly friendly, he did not think, nor did we think, that they were offensive enough to warrant an investigation.

Rather, we asked him to see that Congressman Foley stop e-mailing or contacting our son and to otherwise drop the matter in order to avoid a media frenzy. He did so. If we had any other knowledge or evidence of potential impropriety, we would have asked for the matter to be treated differently. For instance, we were not aware of the instant messages that have come to light in the past few days.

These instant messages, which have only recently surfaced as a result of the news of the ambiguous e-mails received by our son, are separate matters.

As a young man with integrity who had the courage to question the intention of the e-mails, we respect and honor our son as a hero. Despite his courageous actions, he is becoming a victim due to the harassment by some of the media. Please honor our request that we be left alone. There is nothing more that we can contribute to this ongoing matter. He is not the story, and we feel this intense media scrutiny could endanger our son and family.

We have no intention of discussing this further. Thank you.'"
posted by ericb at 3:00 PM on October 5, 2006


Some more 'Merry Pranksters' emerge --

ABC News: Three More Former Pages Accuse Foley of Online Sexual Approaches
"Three more former congressional pages have come forward to reveal what they call 'sexual approaches' over the Internet from former Congressman Mark Foley.

The pages served in the classes of 1998, 2000 and 2002. They independently approached ABC News after the Foley resignation through the Brian Ross & the Investigative Team's tip line on ABCNews.com. None wanted their names used because of the sensitive nature of the communications.

'I was seventeen years old and just returned to [my home state] when Foley began to e-mail me, asking if I had ever seen my page roommates naked and how big their penises were,' said the page in the 2002 class.

The former page also said Foley told him that if he happened to be in Washington, D.C., he could stay at Foley's home if he 'would engage in oral sex' with Foley."
Drip, drip, drip...
posted by ericb at 3:04 PM on October 5, 2006


ericb writes "'I was seventeen years old and just returned to [my home state] when Foley began to e-mail me, asking if I had ever seen my page roommates naked and how big their penises were,' said the page in the 2002 class."


Jesus. I want to believe but -- the guy just sent a stranger an email asking him about his roommates' cock sizes, and offered bed for sausage breakfast? WTF?

Is the GOP salting the story with fake accounts, so as to "discredit" them and sow confusion in the public's mind?
posted by orthogonality at 3:09 PM on October 5, 2006


According to the ABC News article, these three new pages were interviewed by the FBI this week. It's a federal crime to lie to an FBI agent, investigating a crime. If these are Republican plants -- or, if they're not and still lying -- the stakes are quite high. I'm sure Brian Ross will have more info on this evening's ABC News broadcast, as well as more in-depth coverage as this progresses.
posted by ericb at 3:15 PM on October 5, 2006


investigating a *potential* crime
posted by ericb at 3:15 PM on October 5, 2006


the guy just sent a stranger an email asking him about his roommates' cock sizes, and offered bed for sausage breakfast? WTF?

In two other instances Foley asked one page to measure his penis (it's being reported that he requested this of other pages, along with photographs); another page was invited by Foley to come to his apartment for drinks and who knows what else?

"Maf54: then we can have a few drinks
Teen: are you going to be in town over the veterans day weekend
Maf54: I may be now that your coming...

Maf54: then we can have a few drinks
Maf54: lol
Teen: yes yes ;-)
Maf54: your not old enough to drink...

Maf54: we may need to drink at my house so we don't get busted."
posted by ericb at 3:33 PM on October 5, 2006


An online story on the Drudge Report Thursday claimed one set of the sexually explicit instant messages obtained by ABC News was part of a "prank" on the part of the former page, who reportedly says he goaded the congressman into writing the messages.

"This was no prank," said one of the three former pages who talked to ABC News today about his experience with the congressman.
It doesn't get any clearer than that. Drudge is a craptoad.
posted by Kickstart70 at 3:37 PM on October 5, 2006


And ... another poll -- this one from TIME magazine:
"Two-thirds of Americans aware of the congressional-page sex scandal believe Republican leaders tried to cover it up — and one quarter of them say the affair makes them less likely to vote for G.O.P. candidates in their districts come November...

The poll suggests the Foley affair may have dented Republican hopes of retaining control of Congress in November. Among the registered voters who were polled, 54% said they would be more likely to vote for the Democratic candidate for Congress, compared with 39% who favored the Republican — a margin that has jumped by 11 points from a similar poll conducted in June. That increase may be fueled by the rolling scandal over sexually explicit e-mails sent to teenage pages by Republican Representative Mark Foley. Almost 80% of respondents were aware of the scandal, and only 16% approve of the Republicans' handling of it."
posted by ericb at 3:37 PM on October 5, 2006


ericb writes "In two other instances Foley asked one page to measure his penis"

Yeah, I know, but the latest one seems like it was by email, not IM. It's one thing to "get comfortable" via IM and then ask -- knowing you can back out if the victim balks.

But in an email????
posted by orthogonality at 3:44 PM on October 5, 2006


from the anonymous blogger: ...
I'm not interested in media interviews. Thank you for your interest, but if you were doing your job to begin with, Mark Foley would have been exposed a long time ago. Instead of wanting to do a story about this blog, how about covering the fact that the media sat on this story for over a year. You're as bad as the Congressional Leadership that covered for Foley. ...

posted by amberglow at 3:56 PM on October 5, 2006


“Okay, who let the "Pick-a-Little Talk-a-Little" ladies from The Music Man in here?” -posted by hermitosis

Uh, WTF?
posted by Smedleyman at 4:16 PM on October 5, 2006


I heard in college they once short-sheeted Foley's bed. Oh! HIJINKS!

Yeah, but it all went horribly wrong.

I don't know the exact details but somehow that wild and crazy Foley — his Delta Epsilon name was "Fudgepacker" in those days — ended up with the naked and oddly luridly posed body of OD'd 13 year old Laotian boy in the trunk of his Rambler. Which was REALLY his older brother's car that he borrowed to take his Frat brothers to a negro club. Man. Somebody had some 'splain'n to do! Good times.
posted by tkchrist at 4:18 PM on October 5, 2006


so, these 48 subpeonas--who were they for? Any lists?
posted by amberglow at 4:18 PM on October 5, 2006


You know what? Fuck it. You don't want a conservative viewpoint here? Go fuck yourself.
posted by Smedleyman at 4:21 PM on October 5, 2006


I don't know the exact details but somehow that wild and crazy Foley — his Delta Epsilon name was "Fudgepacker" in those days —

Wasn't Dubya's nickname at Yale "Hotlips" or something? ; >
posted by amberglow at 4:29 PM on October 5, 2006


This is just priceless: Gannon/Guckert on Foley
posted by amberglow at 4:30 PM on October 5, 2006


Talk about a self-loathing [insert minority here].
posted by bardic at 4:42 PM on October 5, 2006


Wasn't Dubya's nickname at Yale "Hotlips" or something?

Now that is just sick.
posted by tkchrist at 4:49 PM on October 5, 2006


Wasn't Dubya's nickname at Yale "Hotlips" or something?

Here's Dubya in drag at Phillips Academy, Andover (where he was head cheerleader):



And -- yes -- it has been reported that "George earned the nickname Lips Bush for his skill at giving blow jobs to his fraternity buddies, circa 1965," as claimed by Kitty Kelley in her 2004 book on the Bush family.
posted by ericb at 5:03 PM on October 5, 2006


...the young people involved in the page program are ostensibly there to be nurtured and to grow and learn from our leaders.
I consider it a great betrayal to dehumanize them as individuals for sexual pleasure and exploit their interest in bettering themselves by the implication that not only can prosperity NOT be gained on one’s own merits or through service to or honoring the ideals of the country, but that it can only be achieved by serving the sordid and manifestly degenerate ends of those in power.


It's nice to want prosperity and leadership to be about merit and service and upholding ideals. Sounds good to me. But if the pages are learning the opposite--sordid service & degenerate ends--they are getting a better idea of how the system works...as the handling of this situation clearly demonstrates. It's certainly a disservice to us to teach them this, but we can't say that they're not teaching an honest lesson about how they can be expected to succeed.
posted by troybob at 5:04 PM on October 5, 2006


'The Family: The Real Story of the Bush Dynasty' by Kitty Kelley.
posted by ericb at 5:05 PM on October 5, 2006


It would be so much fun if I could really believe Kitty. However, it is interesting that she does not seem to have ever been successfully sued for slander or libel.
posted by caddis at 5:21 PM on October 5, 2006


you know, you shouldn't make comments like that about bush, because it could be viewed as gay-bashing...
posted by troybob at 5:24 PM on October 5, 2006


ericb writes "Fox News: Internal Poll Suggests Hastert Could Devastate GOP."

OK I am on it, I finally found yet another cognitive bias that I will describe at follows
Osama-Foley single-causation bias: it is the tendency of a group of people to find one single cause for a number of events that affect them negatively. By finding an external, single and out-of-control cause they shift all their responsabilities while portraing themselves as victims, both allowing the group members to feel better with themselves and to share a single, unquestioned belief readily expendable as widely-accepted justification.
posted by elpapacito at 6:02 PM on October 5, 2006


Pat Buchanan's on MSNBC now-- all about NAMBLA and Dems, and Foley as a "flamer".
posted by amberglow at 6:08 PM on October 5, 2006


and now he's listing all the Politicians who marched in Gay Pride parades where NAMBLA marched too--even Giuliani he mentioned. This is the paleocons trying to grab the base back from neo-cons--hysterical.
posted by amberglow at 6:11 PM on October 5, 2006


paleocons... that's beautiful...
posted by WhipSmart at 6:33 PM on October 5, 2006


I saw the Buchanan bit too amberglow. It was hilarious -- he was frothing about how the real scandal here is that NAMBLA ninjas snuck into the NYC Gay Pride parade which H. Clinton and Giuliani attended. And by association, Clinton and Giuliani are pedophiles even worse than Foley.

Because honestly, everyone knows that when a Republican tries to fuck boys, it's Bill Clinton's fault.

They're like clockwork, as usual. Dare I type it? IOKIYAR.
posted by bardic at 7:28 PM on October 5, 2006


You know what? Fuck it. You don't want a conservative viewpoint here? Go fuck yourself.

All righty then. Drive recklessly!
posted by soyjoy at 7:40 PM on October 5, 2006


And by association, Clinton and Giuliani are pedophiles even worse than Foley.

That would be Giuliani, D-NYC no doubt.
posted by DevilsAdvocate at 7:45 PM on October 5, 2006


"i'm not going to take a lecture on morality from a party that took hush money from a child predator," said ford wednesday in memphis, tn after speaking to the downtown kiwanis club.
posted by amberglow at 7:58 PM on October 5, 2006


And this from the guy running against Duncan Hunter (GOP-Asshole, CA): ... Lets face it, every right wing, gay hating, moralistic ass in the Congress needs to be examined. ...
posted by amberglow at 8:04 PM on October 5, 2006


Today's NY Times has a chart that outlines the "key communications" in the House of Representatives about Mark Foley's inappropriate contact with pages. More than one of the names in the chart, which includes Kirk Fordham, are rumored to be closeted gay Republicans who have been working at the highest levels of the Republican leadership.

this chart?
posted by amberglow at 8:17 PM on October 5, 2006


and what's this about Frist being a closetcase too?
posted by amberglow at 8:21 PM on October 5, 2006


I predict that before the weekend is over, you will here this from somewhere in Republican Noise Machine:

"It's really Al Gore's fault. . .after all, he DID invent the Internets."

I mean really, they have come out with equally ludicrous stuff.
posted by Danf at 9:05 PM on October 5, 2006


Hunter on Hastert at KOS.
posted by bardic at 3:59 AM on October 6, 2006


Check out this wording at WaPo: The controversy over whether embattled House Speaker J. Dennis Hastert (R-Ill.) should remain in office has divided hard-line anti-pedophiles such as conservatives Richard Viguerie , David Bossie and the Washington Times, who demanded Hastert's head, from moderate anti-pedophiles such as President Bush and Vice President Cheney and some talk-show types, who can better appreciate the larger implications of this matter. ...
posted by amberglow at 7:22 AM on October 6, 2006


and this: GOP Bigotry That Backfired... The Republican Party has gone to such lengths to demonize homosexuality that it must pain the leadership to reveal that such a thing as a gay Republican congressman could even exist. ...
posted by amberglow at 7:25 AM on October 6, 2006


The thing I hate most about all of this is that Foley's actions just play into the whole stereotype that homosexual = pedophile.
posted by crunchland at 7:34 AM on October 6, 2006


The Hannity clips, where he focuses on the timing of the release of these IMs from 3 years ago, are fascinating. First off, why would They (whoever They are) not have released them 2 years ago today, when it could have affected the presidential election. Second, does Hannity believe that there are many other prominent Republicans who have been chasing after teenagers at the Capitol with the knowledge and tacit consent of the Republican leadership?
posted by ibmcginty at 7:53 AM on October 6, 2006


That lie still only exists because of the rightwing and GOP--they're the only ones who still peddle it daily, and they would do so even if this never happened.

I don't see this as a loss in any way--we've been losing rights since Bush got in, and pointing out their hypocrisy and closetcases actually helps us, i think. The GOP publicly perpetuates this shit and truly demonizes us as "worse threats than terrorism" (Santorum's words), yet protects predators and closetcases and gives them positions of power???

A word to the "Values Voter": The GOP has now demonstrated conclusively that all Americans, and especially evangelicals, should run from it as from Old Scratch himself. After all, you can't support prayer in the schools and prey-ers in the halls of Congress at the same time. To pretend otherwise is hypocrisy. The moral discrediting of America's preachy politicians and their political preachers is now complete. ...
posted by amberglow at 7:58 AM on October 6, 2006


Interesting post from Andrew Sullivan: "In my experience, the divide in DC is not between gay Democrats and gay Republicans; it's between those who are out and those who are not."
posted by ericb at 8:51 AM on October 6, 2006


Republican leaders ask Hastert to put the kibosh on nutty rhetoric.
posted by maryh at 9:37 AM on October 6, 2006


Does the Foley scandal prove the existence of a God?
posted by ericb at 9:40 AM on October 6, 2006


Blogs Give Reynolds Story 'Longer Legs':
"Bloggers are raising questions, poring over documents and generating tips that newspapers and television news programs are following up with their own reporting.

It makes it harder for Reynolds and other Republicans to conduct damage control."
posted by ericb at 9:41 AM on October 6, 2006


From maryh's link: a national Republican official said. "It could have been written by [comedian] Jon Stewart."
posted by taosbat at 9:44 AM on October 6, 2006


Hastert: I Want a Good, Thorough Probe

Sorry, Denny. You're too old for Foley to even IM you suggesting it.
posted by leftcoastbob at 10:26 AM on October 6, 2006


“All righty then. Drive recklessly!”-posted by soyjoy
So, you’re a sockpuppet or what?
There’s some reason I don’t have a right to post an opinion? If my opinion is wrong or whatever, refute it. I don’t see what simply insulting me accomplishes.
posted by Smedleyman at 10:41 AM on October 6, 2006


Given that this is the reality regarding the GOP-- A Republican senator is holding up a Michigan judge's nomination to the federal bench because she reportedly helped lead a commitment ceremony for a lesbian couple four years ago. -- this whole coverup can only help. Maybe they won't be so quick to condemn others when they're covering up their own now that it's all so public?

/wishful thinking
posted by amberglow at 12:39 PM on October 6, 2006


It looks like at least one Republican has decided to break ranks over the party's call to stand behind Hastert. Kean knows which way the wind is blowing; how long before a party-wide rebellion breaks out over this?
posted by maryh at 1:38 PM on October 6, 2006


it already has i think, mary.

Hastert and Boehner need to get on the same page or Republican troubles will continue to mount. ; >
posted by amberglow at 1:59 PM on October 6, 2006 [2 favorites]


Jesus, amberglow. :)
posted by orthogonality at 2:01 PM on October 6, 2006


Watching some Hardball right now (yes, I know, I need a life). The usual suspects still think they can spin child sexual assault into a mere political issue. Oh, and it's George Soros' fault.

If you learned anything from Monicagate, it's that there comes a point when you have to accept blame and move one. Hastert's speech yesterday was a denial wrapped in the rhetoric of "personal responsibility." And I'm very pleased that he hasn't stepped down yet -- the longer he stays there, the more Republicans nationally will continue to sink in the polls.
posted by bardic at 2:09 PM on October 6, 2006


Pat Buchanan's on MSNBC now-- all about NAMBLA and Dems, and Foley as a "flamer".

Here's the video.
posted by ericb at 2:32 PM on October 6, 2006


No shame in watching 'Hardball.' I watch it, too.

I just caught that segment as I go through the "TiVo" of the program. The two Republican congressmen actually said: 'We need to put Nancy Pelosi under oath to find out what she knew, when she knew it.' Unbelievable! Fortunately, in the next segment Joe Scarborough (let's remember he was a former Republican congressman representing Florida) commented on what he had heard in that previous segment and derided them for trying to spin this away from the congressional house leaderhsip onto the minority members of Congress. They should take note of the crticism Hastert faced from other Republicans for making vague accusations that Soros et al might be behind the leaking ofe-mails and IMs, as refernced in maryh's link (above).
posted by ericb at 3:11 PM on October 6, 2006


George Bush's favorite GOP journalist, Maggie Gallagher, says Hastert & Reynolds must resign or she's voting Democrat --
"With great power comes great responsibility. Memo to GOP House leaders: Have the decency to accept responsibility and resign from leadership. Or come November, I vote to let the other side put their bums in charge."
posted by ericb at 3:34 PM on October 6, 2006


63% of Americans say Hastert should resign the Speakership or resign from Congress.
posted by ericb at 3:36 PM on October 6, 2006


It's creepy whether it involves a 52 y.o. with a boy or a girl.


posted by ericb at 3:38 PM on October 6, 2006


Wesley Clark: "Why don't you just say, in case of Hastert — it's kids at risk. In case of Republians — it's America at risk."

[video]
posted by ericb at 3:43 PM on October 6, 2006


Sensing Trouble, FBI Lies About Foley E-Mails.
posted by ericb at 3:47 PM on October 6, 2006


I'm watching Hardball now--those 2 GOP nobodies are a joke, and repeating baseless lies as usual--watch for them to be the next generation of GOP politicians caught in sleazy scandals themselves. Rahm Emanuel and Pelosi did it--sure.
posted by amberglow at 4:17 PM on October 6, 2006


it's Projection Politics -- ... a campaign of projection in which he tars his opponents with his own candidates' weaknesses and then attacks them. ...

So, we need to investigate those 2 GOP Reps immediately.
posted by amberglow at 4:33 PM on October 6, 2006


ah! Dobson visits Foley in rehab
posted by amberglow at 4:37 PM on October 6, 2006


They deserve each other.
posted by bardic at 4:44 PM on October 6, 2006


Headline writers are really enjoying their jobs this week: Dreier backs Foley probe ; >
posted by amberglow at 4:55 PM on October 6, 2006


Eugene Robinson: GOP Bigotry That Backfired
posted by bardic at 5:02 PM on October 6, 2006


Bush tells Foley never mind the Pages--he should see the WH Interns
posted by amberglow at 5:09 PM on October 6, 2006


From TownHall.com, Rich Galen rallies the troops. You're probably wondering if there will be sports metaphors. Oh yes, there will be many.
posted by maryh at 5:49 PM on October 6, 2006


That guy has no clue what real men do--they take responsibility, and don't fight simply to keep their jobs and their power, but for what's actually right.


Hastert and Turkish bribes
posted by amberglow at 5:59 PM on October 6, 2006


The Lavender Bund--... claiming there is some kind of secret gay cabal within the Republican Party that successfully protected Foley and sabotaged any effort to "clean up" the House is about the worst GOP defense I can possibly imagine. The fact that Perkins is trying to peddle the theory himself is more likely a sign that the fundamentalist high command realizes it's own credibility is in mortal danger. ...
posted by amberglow at 6:00 PM on October 6, 2006


...this scandal is like the Cliffs' Notes version of a more complicated treatise on how the Bush movement operates. Every one of their corrupt attributes is vividly on display here: ...
posted by amberglow at 6:14 PM on October 6, 2006


You can see the code in action. The GOP leadership protected the child molester as long as they could. Now they're protecting the guy who protected the child molester. Their venality knows no end. It's like one of those Russian dolls. Open up a bad deed and here's always another one inside.
posted by amberglow at 7:12 PM on October 6, 2006


Hastert Briefing Raises More Questions
"...Hastert's language betrays something troubling. He speaks of someone leaking the information to the press. Leaks occur when insiders give secret information to reporters, information that others wish to keep from the press.

Is Hastert saying that he would've preferred to keep the Foley matter a secret? And, if so, does he believe it should've stayed a secret until after the election or until he decided to retire from the House?"
posted by ericb at 7:35 PM on October 6, 2006




So, tell me, what do we do?
posted by ericb at 7:48 PM on October 6, 2006


So, you’re a sockpuppet or what?

Comedy gold! Even if you hadn't slunk back in after your profane hissy-fit of an exit, that would be funny. Yeah, I'm a sock puppet. Great work, Columbo.
posted by soyjoy at 9:13 PM on October 6, 2006


A quick note on Ben Stein:

As I recall, back in the late eighties or early nineties, he copped to having some, er, indiscretions with young female assistants.
posted by Clay201 at 10:04 PM on October 6, 2006


One of the Republican talking points of the past few days has been to blame ABC News for "sitting on the e-mails," and choosing to release them as some sort of George Soros/Bill Clinton/Nancy Pelosi conspiracy. Hastert himself threw it out during his radio intereview with Rush Limbaugh and referred to it during his press conference in Illinois. As we know, ABC News and The Hill have stated that they received the e-mails from Republicans. But, what-a-second? What's this? NPR is report that FOX News had them, too -- along with Florida's St. Petersburg Times and The Miami Herald.

Sorry, next talking point?
posted by ericb at 8:41 AM on October 7, 2006


Washington Post: Second Staffer Now Says Hastert's Office Was Warned about Foley Well Before November 2005.
posted by ericb at 8:43 AM on October 7, 2006


"And the piece in the Post also touches on this topic we discussed back on October 1st. Jeff Trandahl, you'll remember, is the former House Clerk who, along with Rep. John Shimkus (R-IL), had the sit-down with Foley in late 2005 ...
'Trandahl's departure came within days of his confrontation with Foley over e-mails that the congressman had sent a former page. House aides say the circumstances of Trandahl's exit were oddly quiet. The departure of a staff member of long standing, especially one as important as the House clerk, is usually marked with considerable fanfare, said Scott Lilly, a former Democratic staff director of the House Appropriations Committee. Debate is suspended in mid-afternoon to accommodate a stream of testimonials from lawmakers.

Trandahl's departure was marked by a one-minute salute from Shimkus and a brief insert into the Congressional Record.

'My one-hour Special Order changed to a five-minute Special Order, now to a one-minute,' Shimkus said. 'I just want to say thank you for the work you have done.'

Lilly said: 'He seemed to suddenly disappear in a puff of smoke.'
Pretty clear a lotta this story has yet to unfold."

[source]
posted by ericb at 8:47 AM on October 7, 2006


National Journal-- A Calamity For Gay Republicans... some 50 gay Republicans gathered at a friend's house in Virginia. They were in a brittle mood. ... Yet The Wall Street Journal's editorial board wrote that House Republican leaders should have "quarantined" Foley from male pages and that the leaders were lenient on him precisely because they knew he was gay. ...
Implicit in The Journal's editorial is a sociological quirk of Washington life: Republicans in Washington, even some who publicly crusade against gay marriage and refuse to meet, officially, with gay Republican groups, often knowingly hire and socialize with gay people. The atmosphere of quiet accommodation extends to the top reaches of the party. ...
At Grover Norquist's Wednesday meeting of conservative leaders in Washington, one activist urged those in the room to separate homosexuality from Foley's conduct, and most in attendance seemed to agree.
...
Foley's situation "may be the last straw for many gay Republicans," he said. "At one point, it may have been worth the effort, but they long since knew they were losing and weren't succeeding."...

posted by amberglow at 10:05 AM on October 7, 2006 [1 favorite]


OH!!! guess who one of those sick GOPers on Hardball blaming Democrats was?
Closeted Gay Rep. Patrick McHenry (R-NC) Leads Hastert Defense
posted by amberglow at 10:11 AM on October 7, 2006


Wow, that National Journal article is fascinating and sad. What a mess.
posted by ClaudiaCenter at 10:14 AM on October 7, 2006


pathetic, actually. At least they're waking up now--some of them, at least.

... Spongebob holding hands with Big Bird on a video about tolerance is shocking homosexual brainwashing. Exchanging lewd e-mails with Republican congressman is good clean fun. ...

posted by amberglow at 10:23 AM on October 7, 2006


The Foley Affair may indeed be viewed in the future as a "tipping point:"

Newsweek Poll: Democrats Lead On All Major Issues:
"Come hell or high water-ran the conventional wisdom-Republicans could rely on two issues to win elections: the war on terror and values. Then came Mark Foley. The drip-drip-drip of scandal surrounding the former Congressman from Florida, which became a deluge this week, now threatens to sink Republican hopes of keeping control of Congress, says the NEWSWEEK poll out today.

And that was the good news for the GOP. More worrisome still, the Foley fiasco is jeopardizing the party’s monopoly on faith and power. For the first time since 2001, the NEWSWEEK poll shows that more Americans trust the Democrats than the GOP on moral values and the war on terror. Fully 53 percent of Americans want the Democrats to win control of Congress next month, including 10 percent of Republicans, compared to just 35 percent who want the GOP to retain power. If the election were held today, 51 percent of likely voters would vote for the Democrat in their district versus 39 percent who would vote for the Republican. And while the race is closer among male voters (46 percent for the Democrats vs. 42 percent for the Republicans), the Democrats lead among women voters 56 to 34 percent.

...Meanwhile, the president’s approval rating has fallen to a new all-time low for the Newsweek poll: 33 percent, down from an already anemic 36 percent in August. Only 25 percent of Americans are satisfied with the direction of the country, while 67 percent say they are not.

...The scandal’s more significant impact seems to be a widening of the yawning credibility gap developing between the President, his party and the nation. While 52 percent of Americans believe Hastert was aware of Foley’s actions and tried to cover them up, it’s part of a larger loss of faith in Republican leadership, thanks mostly to the war in Iraq. For instance, for the first time in the NEWSWEEK poll, a majority of Americans now believe the Bush administration knowingly misled the American people in building its case for war against Saddam Hussein: 58 percent vs. 36 percent who believe it didn’t. And pessimism over Iraq is at record highs on every score: nearly two in three Americans, 64 percent, believe the United States is losing ground there; 66 percent say the war has not made America safer from terrorism (just 29 percent believe it has); and 53 percent believe it was a mistake to go to war at all, again the first time the NEWSWEEK poll has registered a majority in that camp."
posted by ericb at 10:43 AM on October 7, 2006


The Foley Affair may indeed be viewed in the future as a "tipping point."

Surely, at least a "dripping point."
posted by ericb at 10:43 AM on October 7, 2006


Lanny Davis in the New Republic on how the Republicans have done everything wrong in a moment where 'crisis management' is of the essence.
posted by ericb at 10:47 AM on October 7, 2006


GOP strategy: Back Hastert, seize agenda

Republican leaders, closing ranks around House Speaker Dennis Hastert, have settled on a strategy of trying to move quickly beyond the congressional page scandal and turn the political conversation to such issues as terrorism, tax cuts and a growing economy in the four weeks before Election Day...

President Bush is planning to stand alongside Hastert, the Illinois Republican, in Chicago on Thursday at a fundraiser for the congressional campaigns of state Sen. Peter Roskam and David McSweeney.

Roskam, who faces Democrat Tammy Duckworth, and McSweeney, who is challenging Democratic Rep. Melissa Bean, say they "have no problem" appearing with Hastert and believe the campaign will quickly turn to matters they consider more pressing than a Washington scandal...

First campaign ad featuring Foley hits the airwaves
posted by taosbat at 10:50 AM on October 7, 2006


(Love that bugmenot's username for the TNR is georgehwbush)
posted by CunningLinguist at 10:52 AM on October 7, 2006


First campaign ad featuring Foley hits the airwaves

Actually, that's the second one. Patty Wetterling launched the first such advertisement earlier this week.

BTW -- She gave the Democratic response to Bush's radio address today.

[embedded video and audio].
posted by ericb at 10:56 AM on October 7, 2006


Thanks, ericb, CNN lead me astray.
posted by taosbat at 11:17 AM on October 7, 2006


CNN lead me astray

CNN is getting other parts of the story wrong.
posted by ericb at 11:45 AM on October 7, 2006


See...now that's why I read Mefi, so I won't be lead astray.
posted by taosbat at 11:54 AM on October 7, 2006


Hey...taosbat, want some candy? ;-)
posted by ericb at 11:55 AM on October 7, 2006


WHAT!?! What are you...a horny? I'll bet you're a horny! Get away from me before I call a cop! ;)
posted by taosbat at 11:58 AM on October 7, 2006


The maf54 follies, starring ericb and taosbat? ; o


... The powers that be, from Capitol Hill to the White House, will deny it, but the face of Washington these days is former Florida Republican congressman Mark Foley and the House GOP leadership, represented by Speaker J. Dennis Hastert. Together the two men serve as proxies for much that is wrong with this town. ...
posted by amberglow at 12:12 PM on October 7, 2006


So hawt!
posted by bardic at 12:17 PM on October 7, 2006


Both Republicans on the House ethics subcommittee investigating the Mark Foley scandal have financial ties to Speaker Dennis Hastert ...
posted by amberglow at 12:26 PM on October 7, 2006


It's long, but worth checking out: Olbermann on Predatorgate as a metaphor for Bush and the contemporary GOP.

(Much like seeing Clinton smack down Chris Wallace not long ago, the weirdest thing about seeing Olbermann do his "Special Comments" is the realization that, wow, our country used to have journalists who actually did their job, and presidents who actually seemed like presidents, not mannequins.)
posted by bardic at 12:55 PM on October 7, 2006


ABC News: Reports Undercut Hastert on Foley Timeline.
posted by ericb at 1:17 PM on October 7, 2006


Who is Scott Palmer?
posted by ericb at 1:19 PM on October 7, 2006


New York Times: Foley Case Upsets Tough Balance by Capitol Hill’s Gay Republicans.
posted by ericb at 1:21 PM on October 7, 2006


From ericb's link:

Perhaps the only glimmer of hope for Republicans is that the election is still four weeks away — a lifetime in politics.

Which is something to bear in mind before we start counting chickens in regard to the upcoming election.
posted by leftcoastbob at 1:26 PM on October 7, 2006


Oh, we ain't seen nothing yet. Rove himself has promised his own October surprise. It's coming.

I'd guessed that it might be a Democratic sex scandal, but that won't/can't happen now. So I'll go back to my first tinfoil thought -- pictures/video of a dead Osama bin Laden (that were taken a few years ago but doctored to look recent).
posted by bardic at 1:34 PM on October 7, 2006


So I'll go back to my first tinfoil thought -- pictures/video of a dead Osama bin Laden (that were taken a few years ago but doctored to look recent).

Not Iran? We've already moved ships.
posted by amberglow at 2:56 PM on October 7, 2006


Newsweek Poll: How low can the Republicans go?
posted by CunningLinguist at 3:48 PM on October 7, 2006


And yet another source comes forward --

House Staffer Seems to Back Earlier ABC News Source on When House Speaker's Staff Had Information

It's not clear if either of these two sources is the same as the one who came forward to the Washington Post. The trend of those countering Hastert's claims doesn't look good for the good ol' boy.
posted by ericb at 4:04 PM on October 7, 2006


... Protesters said Gov. Bush blew them a kiss, ...As a precaution, the governor was ushered into a T-station supply closet and stayed there until the crowd left. ...
posted by amberglow at 4:23 PM on October 7, 2006


You’re seeing a lot of tepid — but still interesting — MSM stories about the gay Republican subculture of DC running now, including this one in the NYT (excerpt below), that is politely skirting what we all know is a depth of knowledge about who is and isn’t gay in this scandal that the media is withholding. ...
posted by amberglow at 4:32 PM on October 7, 2006


As a precaution, the governor was ushered into a T-station supply closet and stayed there until the crowd left.

What happened when Jeb came out of the closet?
posted by leftcoastbob at 4:37 PM on October 7, 2006 [1 favorite]


Reynolds goes on the air to defend himself to voters.

"I immediately forced Foley to resign," he says.

(I thought it was Brian Ross, myself.)

The Buffalo News on the ad. Congressman tells The News he can't recall key details of his involvement in House page affair.

Reynolds also insisted that he and Kirk Fordham, his chief of staff, never discussed any concerns about Foley even though Fordham previously worked for Foley for 10 years.
posted by CunningLinguist at 4:38 PM on October 7, 2006


The rightwing blog that outed the page's name actually sent out a press release beforehand?!?
posted by amberglow at 4:45 PM on October 7, 2006


It's a complete shame there's so much focus on Foley being gay. What the fuck does it matter he was gay? The important thing is the skeezy creep was wanting to fuck kids. I could not care less what kind of sex he wanted with them: gay, straight, handjobs, netsex, whatever: the problem I have is that he was wanting kids.

The media really ought to fasten on to that. If there's one thing that draws eyeballs, it's kiddyporn stories.
posted by five fresh fish at 6:16 PM on October 7, 2006


the problem I have is that he was wanting kids.

Unfortunately, that's not a problem for the GOP--at all.
posted by amberglow at 6:29 PM on October 7, 2006


Is Hastert protecting himself from being outed?

... If Fordham did warn Palmer about Foley a long time ago, what are the odds that Palmer did not tell Hastert? As close to zero as you can get. Many chiefs of staff are close, very close, to their bosses on Capitol Hill. But none are closer than Scott Palmer is to Denny Hastert. They don't just work together all day, they live together.
There are plenty of odd couple Congressmen who have roomed together on Capitol Hill, but I have never heard of a chief of staff who rooms with his boss. It is beyond unusual. ...

posted by amberglow at 7:23 PM on October 7, 2006


The Family Research Council admits knowing about Foley!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

I guess they were to busy bashing out gays to protect the children!
posted by orthogonality at 8:56 PM on October 7, 2006


Ex-Page Tells of Foley Liaison (at 21)

A former House page says he had sex with then-Rep. Mark Foley (R-Fla.) after receiving explicit e-mails in which the congressman described assessing the sexual orientation and physical attributes of underage pages but waiting until later to make direct advances.
posted by CunningLinguist at 8:08 AM on October 8, 2006


Conflicting Accounts Leave Plot Holes in Foley Saga.
posted by ericb at 9:23 AM on October 8, 2006


If he had sex with one, he had sex with more than one in all those years.
posted by amberglow at 9:52 AM on October 8, 2006


... the Foley scandal dramatizes the long-term dangers of governing with a mind-set that prizes party loyalty over principled independence and denies the value of legitimate checks and balances.
In this environment, for instance, it's not surprising that Republicans didn't notify Rep. Dale E. Kildee of Michigan, the sole Democrat on the House Page Board, when questions about Foley first emerged. Republicans probably didn't think it was remarkable to exclude Kildee because they exclude Democrats from virtually all serious House business.
And it was hardly surprising that GOP leaders and Rep. John Shimkus (R-Ill.), chairman of the House Page Board, didn't press Foley too hard or seriously investigate his contacts with pages. For six years, the White House and congressional Republicans have created a culture in which asking tough questions that might cause near-term political headaches for the party is viewed as conduct disloyal to the team. ...

posted by amberglow at 10:19 AM on October 8, 2006


If he had sex with one, he had sex with more than one in all those years.

pages, pages, you can't stop eating them
pages, pages, you can't stop eating them

hmmm ... i need some potato chips ...
posted by pyramid termite at 11:06 AM on October 8, 2006


Since it's Elephant day, be sure to reserve your framed copy of this week's Time!
posted by maryh at 12:55 PM on October 8, 2006


Hastert and two of his aides are roommates?

I had no idea. Does this mean anything or nothing?
posted by Kickstart70 at 1:01 PM on October 8, 2006


This elephant thing on the front page -- Republican subliminal dirty trick to steer attention away from the Foley scandal! ;-)
posted by ericb at 1:20 PM on October 8, 2006


Republican dirty trick... or Soros-funded prank carried out by freedom-hating Clinton operatives? You decide!
posted by maryh at 2:42 PM on October 8, 2006


Yeah, a man at that age having "roomies" is quite weird. Plausible, but there could be a hell of a lot more to it.
posted by bardic at 3:18 PM on October 8, 2006


Yeah, a man at that age having "roomies" is quite weird. Plausible, but there could be a hell of a lot more to it.

My understanding is that it is quite common for members of Congress to share apartments in Washington DC, since those who aren't basking in millions find it an economical choice, since they carry mortgages on their primary residences in their home districts. Some have even been known to sleep in their congressional offices, most recetnly Denny Rehberg (R. - Montana).
posted by ericb at 3:30 PM on October 8, 2006


I hear what you're saying. But I have a hard time believing a senior Congressman, and the Speaker of the House to boot, is in dire financial straits.

But until Hastert resigns, the hits just keep on comin'.
posted by bardic at 3:46 PM on October 8, 2006


bardic -- good point.
posted by ericb at 4:01 PM on October 8, 2006


I wonder if the GOP will now blame the soldier who came forward too?
posted by amberglow at 4:02 PM on October 8, 2006


Yeah -- the Party of Lincoln should remember that Abraham Lincoln shared his bed with Captain David Derickson. ;-)
posted by ericb at 4:04 PM on October 8, 2006


Hastert and two of his aides are roommates?

And which one of them is going to be outed tomorrow?
posted by amberglow at 4:05 PM on October 8, 2006


Hastert and two of his aides are roommates?

I had no idea. Does this mean anything or nothing?


No, no, I'm sure it's perfectly platonic.

Just like Randolph Scott and Carey Grant.
posted by PinkStainlessTail at 4:40 PM on October 8, 2006


Cokie Roberts gets it [YouTube].
posted by ericb at 5:35 PM on October 8, 2006


Speking of the 'mothers of America.'
posted by taosbat at 6:38 PM on October 8, 2006


why daddy is a republican
posted by pyramid termite at 6:42 PM on October 8, 2006


Rep. Jim Kolbe (R-Ariz.) Saw Foley Messages In 2000.

This may be another interesting week!
posted by ericb at 8:28 PM on October 8, 2006


We're gonna need a new thread.


Reynolds's political fortunes collapsing. He canceled on Stephanopoulous.


Meanwhile, this isn't related, but it's too funny:

Preacher says GOP delaying 2nd coming

Voters should oust congressional Republican leaders because U.S. foreign policy is delaying the second coming of Jesus Christ, according to a evangelical preacher trying to influence closely contested political races.

"Somebody needs to say enough is enough," he said to worshippers who stood, waved and called out in support.
posted by CunningLinguist at 5:15 AM on October 9, 2006


Evangelicals blaming the gays, not the GOP leadership
posted by CunningLinguist at 5:20 AM on October 9, 2006


Preacher says GOP delaying 2nd coming

W
T
F.

So the Republicans are more powerful than the god they believe in? Talk about your logical disconnect.
posted by Kickstart70 at 9:22 AM on October 9, 2006


So, with Kolbe they're going with the secret gay cabal thing--dumb move, since it proves they've been hiding and protecting the cabal all along.
posted by amberglow at 9:35 AM on October 9, 2006


New poll results. Things are looking bad for Denny.
posted by maryh at 11:16 AM on October 9, 2006


Wednesday is National Coming Out Day. Perhaps some of these hypocrites will come out of the closet on Wednesday.
posted by caddis at 12:59 PM on October 9, 2006


Perhaps some of these hypocrites will come out of the closet on Wednesday.

most of them are busy barricading themselves in further, if those news stories are any indication. Notice how Mehlman and Dreier have been invisible on tv thru all this?
posted by amberglow at 1:29 PM on October 9, 2006


tonight, blogactive will out one of these Hastert staffers.

and this is really something (video)
posted by amberglow at 1:43 PM on October 9, 2006


“Comedy gold! Even if you hadn't slunk back in after your profane hissy-fit of an exit, that would be funny. Yeah, I'm a sock puppet. Great work, Columbo.” - posted by soyjoy

I didn’t exit - I have shit to do. I see you have the intellectual chops to discern between a literal statement and a rhetorical sarcastic question while referencing a very topical television show. Comedy gold indeed there, Foxworthy.

Sorry if I offended you by working blue, but what the hell business is/was it of yours? (To make explicit for your soft brain what my “sock puppet” question implied)

Again - I gave an honest opinion on the thing and I get insulted - what’s the point of that? Further - what is the point of your involvement in any of that? Since when has there been problem between us at all? And if there was - I don’t hide behind this cutsey bullshit. I have a problem with someone, they know it. It’s confronted. Maybe it gets worked out, maybe not, but at least it’s not this vogueing to the crowd crap. Profanity is there for a good reason.


/sorry all for pissing in the thread earlier, I figure this is far down enough, not many new folks.

posted by Smedleyman at 3:02 PM on October 9, 2006


First Foley -- now Chafee (D.-R.I.).


posted by ericb at 4:18 PM on October 9, 2006


Mark Foley -- the Early Years.


posted by ericb at 4:21 PM on October 9, 2006


Noted for--being a ladies man...

Did that mean something else back then? ; >
posted by amberglow at 6:22 PM on October 9, 2006


What is up with FOX and the (D) thing?
posted by taosbat at 6:46 PM on October 9, 2006


What is up with FOX and the (D) thing?

At first it seemed like a desperate ploy to mislead viewers, but now it's just beginning to feel petulant. Maybe they think of it like a little troll injoke or something.
posted by maryh at 7:31 PM on October 9, 2006


What is up with FOX and the (D) thing?


Ya gots to go with the winners, and the winners ain't goin' to be no R's.
posted by caddis at 7:46 PM on October 9, 2006


How do you know Republicans AREN'T pedophiles?

The US is way older than 16, but they're fucking that up.
posted by Kickstart70 at 8:18 PM on October 9, 2006


check out this piece of shit: "To me, Russ Feingold's filthy statement just now is far worse than anything [former Rep. Mark] Foley [R-FL] ever did," later saying that "[a]s far as I'm concerned, the filthy Democrats are worse than what Foley did."
posted by amberglow at 8:52 PM on October 9, 2006


Amberglow, I think I missed the O'RLY show that you refered to here. (Even if I haven't, I don't think I could stomach a half hour with that geezerly lickspittle.) Who did the blogger out? Was it Palmer? What was the reaction? Enquiring minds, y'know.
posted by maryh at 8:53 PM on October 9, 2006


... The deep truth is that the elites in the Republican Party have pure contempt for the evangelicals who put their party in power. ...
posted by amberglow at 8:53 PM on October 9, 2006


a 2-fer from Blogactive: Sam Lancaster and Charles "Pete" Meachum
posted by amberglow at 8:56 PM on October 9, 2006


really interesting analysis of sex, the GOP, and "infection": ...What has not been commented on in the "mainstream" is inescapable as a conclusion in the Christanist world – there would have to be a lot of gay Republicans for Mark Foley to fish in the page pool. There would have to be a fairly aggressive safety net to protect him while he was doing it.
Thus, the Christianists are faced with a reality – that reality is that the Republican Party is as infected with the modern and post-modern age as the Democratic Party is. That reality is that the Republican Party promised to protect the country from the stain of sexual corruption, and instead covered it up. ...

posted by amberglow at 10:32 PM on October 9, 2006


oops---here's the link
posted by amberglow at 10:32 PM on October 9, 2006


This is because the repressed homoerotic desire mixed with xenophobia - the permission to both act out sadistic forbidden desires and the permission to attack others for having them - is what got their base up out of bed and to the polls. Not tax cuts, not Medicare D. The xenophobia itself. Now that the base has begun to see the Republican leadership as alien, the writing is on the wall.

Amberglow, that Stirling Newberry essay is amazing, and deeply unsettling. I read your Tucker Carlson link afterwards and was struck by Carlson's passive voice in describing the 'elite' that dismiss evangelicals- he seems to be aligning himself with the xenophobic base to protect himself, and by doing so reaffirms the 'authenticity' of the very worst of American rightwing culture. God, I've totally had it with that stupid winners vs losers, sports metaphor lovin', mine-is-bigger, ponzi-scheme-for-Christ mindset, but now that it's been unleashed and gone free-range, I don't know how long it's going to take to rein it in again. If that's even possible.
I feel for some of these closeted gay staffers, but then I think of the harm they do to gays trying to live thier lives honestly and with integrity. Newberry had a good (but depressing) point about Foley's seduced-by-clergy excuse:
The fear that this reality creates is that it creates opportunities for the infection narrative. This is why Foley said he was abused by a priest, in order to connect the scandal with the "homosexual conspiracy" that the reactionary base is sure exists. Thus, people willing to sacrifice sex life for the cause are laudable, until such time as they becom suspected of being "carriers".

So the colorful but incompetently nailed together metaphor once again trumps the real... This, if there's even a breath of truth in it, makes me despair for the future of our population.
posted by maryh at 12:30 AM on October 10, 2006


It really is unsettling, but not at all surprising--the GOP helped create and strengthen and reinforce these beliefs, and now are stuck with the results.

Women (even reactionary and extreme rightwing ones), of course, are smarter on the whole, and instinctively recoil from all this when they see kids preyed upon. The rhetoric he talks about almost always comes from and is used by men and i think it's meant to work on men first and foremost--It's not women who go on about torture and sadism--or dirty old men's IMs-- as being "pranks" and stuff, or the whole "predatory" and "contagious" gay thing.
posted by amberglow at 7:22 AM on October 10, 2006


The Tucker Carlson thing is indicative too, of the difference in the ways men and women are talking about this--men seem to shy away from the people involved and their actual actions--the kids, what Foley actually was doing, and what the others didn't do--while women are much more clear about it all:This is how the majority of women are talking about it, i think
posted by amberglow at 7:28 AM on October 10, 2006


Women (even reactionary and extreme rightwing ones), of course, are smarter on the whole

Ahem...let's not get into that little fallacy, shall we? Bring it up in a new FPP so we can debate it properly, if you wish.
posted by Kickstart70 at 8:22 AM on October 10, 2006


I don't know, Kick--i never hear the contorted explanations or worldviews anywhere comparable to what i hear from men--about everything--especially when it comes to scandal, sexuality, or abuse of power.
posted by amberglow at 8:34 AM on October 10, 2006


“That roving promiscuity that comes from a man with power who sponges weaker wills to his ends...in the world of deeply closeted men, there are those who penetrate, and those who are penetrated...They would be less moral if they could be, which is why they support their elites in success.”
Thanks for that Newberry piece Amberglow.

It’s not his point, but I think he alludes to something relevent as well. There is the sublimated concept - within American society, but most certainly within the Republican party of this kind of hierarchical loyalty. That is - while on the bottom you remain loyal to those on the top and that loyalty will be rewarded. This occurs in nearly any political party, but has been more prominent in the Republicans for some time. The “reward” takes different forms and has meant anything from naked power or wealth to the advancement of an idea. Surrounding this (well, both parties really) are a multitude of ideas that have been in and out of fashion and their adherants have fluctuated with them. Republicans used to be the party of conservationism for example - now, not so much. Conservatives and others who adhere to principles (most certainly the religious folks) as well as fanatic types (often within the same aforementioned groups) view loyalty as only a means to an end. The ideal being that end. To them, this represents a subversion of those ends. An abandonment of those ideals. Certainly there have been others, but this one has more impact for, well, all the reasons Newberry mentions.
Strange that revulsion should have such an effect on principle. Jefferson said “in matters of taste swim with the current, in matters of principle stand like a rock.”
In politics, this is almost never the case. Taste, and indeed perception, is typically the reality. While it’s the fanatics that must be catered to by fostering this grand illusion, it’s fairly clear everything is secondary to gaining or retaining power. While I agree with Newberry that that homoerotic narrative exists, I think it’s just window dressing for what he alluded to before - the (Orwellian) asexuality sublimated by service to power. That, in terms of identity and politics, is far more dangerous.
Would (pre-scandal) Foley have self-identified first as a Republican or as a gay man - or indeed, as anything else? Privately I mean. In casual conversation.
You often hear certain people saying “Well, I’m a X-ian,” before they talk about their job, their family, their sexuality (incidentally of course e.g. ‘I’m seeing this very attractive man/woman this weekend’), etc.
posted by Smedleyman at 8:58 AM on October 10, 2006


OK, smedleyman, let's recap:

Here's what you said:

You know what? Fuck it. You don't want a conservative viewpoint here? Go fuck yourself.

And here's what I said:

All righty then. Drive recklessly!

I don't know if "You know what? Fuck it" is now some ironic TV catchphrase meaning "I'm sticking around for the duration," but where I come from it means "I'm through with this, I'm done, I'm outa here." To drive home this interpretation, the phrase "Go fuck yourself" is often added. Oh look, there it is!

So after you've wielded this patent insult to everybody in the thread, I provided a snarky rejoinder along the lines of "drive safely," only - and here's the comedy gold part - I changed "safely" to "recklessly."

From this exchange, after reversing your pissy departure, you:

* Charge me with being a sock puppet, which still makes me chuckle just to type it, whether or not it's some "topical" TV reference or not

* Claim I've asserted "There's some reason [you] don't have a right to post an opinion" and challenge me to refute said opinion - as though "Go fuck yourself" is an opinion...? Wha...?

* Claim that I've "insulted" you by posting two-word snark that does not come close to the obnoxiousness of your outburst

* Directly and repeatedly insult me and my meager "intellectual chops" and "soft brain" - again, any counterpart in anything I've said about you? Thought not...

* Term me "offended" by your profanity (comedy bronze, that, at any rate)

* Go into some bizarre macho chest-thumping about confrontation vs. "vogueing" which is too convoluted for me to adequately parse - I'm assuming telling everybody to fuck themselves is "confrontation" while what everyone else does is "vogueing to the crowd."

From all this, I'm still not clear on whether you think I'm someone else, since so many of your charges are so far off base, or whether you're just generally confounded by the process of posting on threads on the Internet. At any rate, good luck with all of that.
posted by soyjoy at 9:07 AM on October 10, 2006


More on Hastert's living arrangements in D.C. with his chief of staff, Scott Palmer and top deputy, Mike Stokke.
posted by ericb at 9:18 AM on October 10, 2006


Hastert Holds Latest Press Conference In A Grave Yard...

Smedley, even the sublimation is weird, and not seen in other political parties today. If the GOP wasn't so anti-gay, and didn't use that as a wedge issue, would people still have to sublimate to the extent we see there? Is it the GOP's posture/stance/persona that demands it, or the actual individuals who wield the most power nowadays who demand it? Or is it that the whole setup is inherently unstable?
posted by amberglow at 9:59 AM on October 10, 2006


the right speaks: Homosexual Blackmail on Capitol Hill -- ... the Republicans have only themselves to blame for this scandal. House leaders permitted homosexuals to infiltrate and manipulate the party apparatus while they publicly postured as friends of family values and traditional marriage. The facade is now in ruins. ...
posted by amberglow at 10:04 AM on October 10, 2006


and this: ... For the sake of honest and open government, not to mention protection of the children, the secret Capitol Hill homosexual network must be exposed and dismantled. But only Republican leaders can do that. Their failure to do so suggests that the network may go higher and deeper—and have more power—than even the New York Times article indicated.

higher, deeper, more power? ; >
posted by amberglow at 10:08 AM on October 10, 2006


From amberglow's link:

What Rogers [the lefty blogger who outed several gay GOPers] is saying is that secret Republican homosexuals are working behind-the-scenes to sabotage a conservative pro-family agenda in the Congress. They are acting more like Democrats than Republicans, if indeed they are Republicans. Whatever their actual party affiliation, these operatives are using the liberal media, homosexual publications, and radical bloggers like Rogers to accomplish their objectives.

WOW. Talk about missing the point! The closeted gay Republicans, in order to protect thier place in the hierarchy, have probably done as much or more to promote the 'values' agenda than thier straight counterparts, even to thier own detriment. This essay reads like a point by point proof of Newberry's argument.
I also love how the writer of the piece wags his finger at the GOP for "having only themselves to blame", then shoots off a line like "They are acting more like Democrats than Republicans, if indeed they are Republicans. " Just wow.
posted by maryh at 12:21 PM on October 10, 2006


(Also, I don't think that's at all what Rogers was saying. I think it's the conservative writer that missed the point, in case I wasn't clear.)
posted by maryh at 12:27 PM on October 10, 2006


It's like somebody uploaded a virus into the hive mind computer brain, and it's picking the positronic pathways apart one by one.

It's rather fascinating to watch, too.
posted by zoogleplex at 12:28 PM on October 10, 2006


Congressman Jim Kolbe (R-AZ) and congressional pages.
posted by ericb at 12:42 PM on October 10, 2006


The American Spectator:
"One of the stories going around Democrat Party circles is that party operatives like Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington (CREW) and American Family Voices weren't quite ready for primetime with the opposition research materials they had gathered for the 2006 election cycle.

According to one political consultant with ties to the DNC and other party organizations, 'I'm hearing the Foley story wasn't supposed to drop until about ten days out of the election. It was supposed the coup de grace, not the first shot.'

So why the rush? According to another DNC operative: bad polling numbers across the country"....more
posted by ericb at 12:48 PM on October 10, 2006


Kolbe warned clerk about Foley, denies confrontation

WASHINGTON (CNN) -- Denying a newspaper report that he confronted Rep. Mark Foley directly about his exchanges with teenage congressional pages, Rep. Jim Kolbe said Tuesday he knew of e-mails that made a page "uncomfortable" and passed them on to Foley's office and the House clerk.

Though The Washington Post reported that Kolbe, R-Arizona, learned of the correspondences in 2000, Kolbe's spokeswoman, Korenna Cline, said it may have been later, perhaps 2001.

Kolbe was a member of the House Page Board when the e-mails were brought to his attention.

"Some time after leaving the page program, an individual I had appointed as a page contacted my office to say he had received e-mails from Rep. Foley that made him uncomfortable," Kolbe said in a written statement...

The clerk at the time, Jeff Trandahl, said Tuesday he will speak to investigators about Foley but will make no public comment on the issue.

"Jeff Trandahl will cooperate fully with the FBI and the House ethics committee investigations," his attorney Cono Namorato said. "At this time, Mr. Trandahl will not be airing his recollections with the media."

Trandahl, who was overseeing the page program at the time, closely monitored Foley's interaction with pages and repeatedly raised concerns about Foley to GOP leaders before 2005, which is when Republicans said they learned of the correspondences, sources said.

Trandahl resigned from his post in 2005...
posted by taosbat at 12:48 PM on October 10, 2006


Group Fires Back, Says The American Spectator Story Untrue.
posted by ericb at 4:18 PM on October 10, 2006


Republicans Want to Turn Over a New Page
posted by taosbat at 5:11 PM on October 10, 2006


ABC News: Foley's Reputed Visit to the Page Dormitory -- New Testimony May Pose Problems for GOP Leadership.
posted by ericb at 5:22 PM on October 10, 2006


Double entendre
posted by ericb at 5:23 PM on October 10, 2006


Republicans Want to Turn Over a New Page

Oops -- I wanted to say: the double entendres keep writing themselves for this story.
posted by ericb at 5:24 PM on October 10, 2006


;)
posted by taosbat at 5:26 PM on October 10, 2006


Pages or republicans, which gets turned over?
posted by caddis at 5:46 PM on October 10, 2006


pubic
posted by taosbat at 5:47 PM on October 10, 2006


Pages or republicans, which gets turned over?

Apparently, first one, then the other...
posted by taosbat at 5:48 PM on October 10, 2006


You are not putting the word "pubic" into the ballot in the home of the CRC.
posted by caddis at 6:04 PM on October 10, 2006


i've got a GREAT idea for ruining the pubic, i mean, tulip festival next year ...
posted by pyramid termite at 6:25 PM on October 10, 2006


...then another...yet some other...
posted by taosbat at 6:56 PM on October 10, 2006


Republicans are Whistling Past the Foley Graveyard.
posted by ericb at 7:27 PM on October 10, 2006


Rep. Jim Kolbe (R-Ariz.) took two male pages with him on a three-day camping trip in 1996 ...
posted by amberglow at 7:42 AM on October 11, 2006


...A source with firsthand knowledge of events says that this coming Thursday, Kirk Fordham — former chief of staff to both Foley and more recently Rep. Tom Reynolds, R-N.Y. — will testify that a few years ago he was told by then-House clerk Jeff Trandahl that Foley had been stopped while trying to enter the pages' dorm in an apparently intoxicated state. The source said Fordham will testify that he recalls this being the event that convinced both him and Trandahl to warn Hastert's office, with Fordham designated to have the conversation with Hastert's chief of staff, Scott Palmer. The source said that both aides had been watching Foley's behavior with pages and that Fordham had counseled Foley to watch his behavior. ...
posted by amberglow at 8:44 AM on October 11, 2006


weird---An Indian Christian evangelist who boasts he persuaded warlord Charles Taylor to give up the Liberian presidency came to House Speaker Dennis Hastert's home Tuesday on a similar mission: to get the Republican leader to step down over the congressional page scandal.
...

posted by amberglow at 8:47 AM on October 11, 2006


We'd heard a few murmurs of House Speaker Dennis "Hasturd" Hastert's fondness for young men (particularly young Asian men) before, but wanted to wait until they were more than just a whisper.
Lucky for all of us who enjoy watching the downfall of others, The Wayne Madsen Report has confirmed from Washington insiders that Turd-Face does, in fact, like it in the butt. ...

posted by amberglow at 8:57 AM on October 11, 2006


...over the last three years Foley's sexuality had become the central issue in his career, with even the White House weighing in on his electability. Reporters who knew the facts should have been honest with readers instead of dancing around the details and self-censoring key information. ...
Foley's sexual orientation was relevant to a news story; he held a press conference in 2003 in order to address it. At the now-infamous May 22, 2003, press gathering, Foley made sure voters understood he was "disgusted" by the gay talk, that any discussion of his homosexuality was "revolting and unforgivable" and that he wasn't going to be "dragged into the gutter" by "rumormongers." Then-House Majority Leader Tom DeLay even rushed to Foley's side and attacked as "despicable" the evildoing "liberal Democratic activists" who were spreading "underhanded" rumors about Foley. (That's the same DeLay who labeled Santorum's slur about homosexuality and bestiality as "courageous.")...

posted by amberglow at 9:07 AM on October 11, 2006


Foley Cruising in His BMW; Another Dorm Visit in 2000.

MSNBC's David Shuster: Foley Scandal Not Going Away.
posted by ericb at 12:04 PM on October 11, 2006


Page: Foley touched page on House floor.
posted by ericb at 12:28 PM on October 11, 2006


And just like that, this thread surpassed the number of comments in the original 9/11 thread.
posted by quin at 12:37 PM on October 11, 2006


except 50% of the threadcount go to ericb and amberglow.
posted by crunchland at 12:56 PM on October 11, 2006


K A Paul, the mysterious preacher who recently visited Dennis Hastert (amberglow's link), was also the subject of an expose in the Houston Press. What is this guy's connection to the Republicans, anyway? And what, exactly, ever happened to that planeload of 'orphans', hmm....
posted by maryh at 12:56 PM on October 11, 2006


quin writes "this thread surpassed the number of comments in the original 9/11 thread."

500 comments isn't really that much, active membership has doubled in the last four years. Besides, look at the front page for september 01. There were a hand full of 9/11 related posts everyday. The Foley discussion has been more concentrated.
posted by Mitheral at 12:57 PM on October 11, 2006


except 50% of the threadcount go to ericb and amberglow.

Oh, I settle for nothing less than a 300-threadcount in my bedsheets.

The Foley discussion has been more concentrated.

True -- this current thread and one other (while a third was deleted).
posted by ericb at 1:32 PM on October 11, 2006


crunchland : except 50% of the threadcount go to ericb and amberglow.

True that. A very impressive series of links.

Mitheral : 500 comments isn't really that much, active membership has doubled in the last four years. Besides, look at the front page for september 01. There were a hand full of 9/11 related posts everyday. The Foley discussion has been more concentrated.

Also very true. But to me the 9/11 thread represents the quintessential example of MeFiers using the thread to keep abreast of the news as the story breaks. This seemed (and continues) to be an excellent example of the same kind of dynamic.

Your right about all the subsiquent 9/11 posts. The MeFi response Foley issue has been remarkable in that it really has been more or less constrained to this thread. Clearly we are mastering our self control :)
posted by quin at 3:21 PM on October 11, 2006


Missing Person Alert: Can anyone find Ken Mehlman?
posted by amberglow at 5:08 PM on October 11, 2006


Voters are tying both of these scandals together," said Paul A. Miller, president of the American League of Lobbyists, a lobbyist trade group in the capital. "First with Abramoff and now with Foley, corruption has risen to play a big role in this election. It disappoints me, but it's happening."
posted by amberglow at 5:21 PM on October 11, 2006


I think it would actually be kind to the database server were we to start a new thread. It foolishly retrieves all umpteen hundred messages every time.

If the Republican Party wants to really stump everyone, they should all claim to be gay.
posted by five fresh fish at 7:53 PM on October 11, 2006


Mark Foley: Worst Coming Out Story Ever
posted by amberglow at 8:13 PM on October 11, 2006


this is good too: Please, Go Back In
posted by amberglow at 8:49 PM on October 11, 2006


Foley Case Snags House Incumbent in Ohio
posted by taosbat at 7:31 AM on October 12, 2006


Jon Stewart on Hastert's choice of setting for his big speech (from C&L).

It foolishly retrieves all umpteen hundred messages every time.

HA! Foolish database server! Now who's better at playing chess, hmmm???
posted by soyjoy at 7:50 AM on October 12, 2006


To the point of self-restraint vs. server strain, the Ethics committee questioning starts today, which may lead to another rat jumping off the sinking ship, either by leaving their job, or squealing, or both. Such a development would probably be a good excuse for a new thread, no?
posted by soyjoy at 7:53 AM on October 12, 2006


Karl Rove twisted Foley's arm to run again.
posted by caddis at 8:06 AM on October 12, 2006


Foley's E-mail to Governor Jeb Bush Voices Fear White House Snubbed Him.
posted by ericb at 9:37 AM on October 12, 2006


"The House ethics committee Thursday questioned a Republican member of the House page board who said afterward that GOP leaders hid from her Rep. Mark Foley's inappropriate approaches to teenage male pages.

Rep. Shelley Moore Capito, R-W.Va., said after the closed-door session, 'I'm a member of the page board who was not informed of the e-ail messages that were sent. I want the investigation to go forth quickly and reach a conclusion.'

Capito's Democratic opponent had earlier accused her of failing to protect the high schoolers in the page program.

Keeping Capito out of the loop would raise questions about whether other Republicans tried to tell as few people as possible about Foley as part of a cover up."

[Associated Press | October 12, 2006]
posted by ericb at 9:41 AM on October 12, 2006


Foley-bot: Chat with former Republican Congressman Mark Foley!
posted by ericb at 12:02 PM on October 12, 2006


Media Matters for America Report: Debunking the Foley Myth Machine.
posted by ericb at 12:03 PM on October 12, 2006


The Secret Gay Cabal is behind it all!!!

Republican Gays are Closeted Dems
"...the GOP has played a trick on itself. The party brought so-called gay Republicans into positions of power in Congress only to realize that the confidential information they held about a secret gay network was political dynamite that could backfire....

A New York Times story by Mark Leibovich confirmed that gay Republicans have occupied 'crucial staff positions' in Congress and 'have played decisive roles in passing legislation, running campaigns and advancing careers.'....

If you are getting the idea that gay Republicans may be closeted Democrats, then you are beginning to understand how the Mark Foley scandal could have been a Democratic Party dirty trick.... gay Republicans are in reality 'liberal activists' who want to use the party to advance the same homosexual agenda embraced by the Democrats....

Ominously, the Foley scandal suggests that this network has inside information about the sexual behavior of members of Congress and their staffers that can be exploited in order to create scandals at a moment's notice.... It is now apparent that this power has been used to sabotage the party from within....

It is also beyond dispute that the current scandalous state of affairs will outlive the Foley scandal unless the secret network of bludgeon and blackmail is exposed....

It's early in the probe, but we may be looking at emerging evidence of a homosexual recruitment ring that operated on Capitol Hill. It's time to get beyond partisan politics and follow the evidence wherever it leads. Our media should not be intimidated by charges of 'gay bashing.' They must lead the way in getting to the bottom of this terrible abuse of power."
posted by ericb at 6:48 PM on October 12, 2006


Page scandal exposes GOP's gay identity crisis.
posted by ericb at 6:51 PM on October 12, 2006


The Last Transcript
On his way to political oblivion, Mark Foley works out all the angles.
posted by maryh at 6:54 PM on October 12, 2006


...Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice warmly acknowledged the family members of Mark Dybul, whom she was swearing in as the nation's new global AIDS coordinator.

As first lady Laura Bush looked on, Rice singled out his partner, Jason Claire, and Claire's mother. Rice referred to her as Dybul's "mother-in-law."

The celebratory moment for a gay couple was emblematic of the political identity crisis facing the Republican Party, two years after an election the GOP won in part by making gay marriage an issue and less than two weeks after revelations about a Republican House member's advances toward teenage boys.


This plays with their base, how?
posted by taosbat at 7:18 PM on October 12, 2006


Heh, I'll bet they feel about the same way I did when Powell gave his cartoon show at the UN.
posted by taosbat at 7:20 PM on October 12, 2006


That's what Foley has done--provided an emotional space within which people can reevaluate their views without having to question themselves or their previous beliefs too deeply. I believe there has been a growing sense in the country that things are going badly, very badly, on all sorts of fronts. Foley, frankly, doesn't have much to do with that. But now it's OK to step up and say, "Hell with it, I'm tired of this crap." And change your vote. (from TPM)
That may be the most significant part of the Foley scandal, it breaks the inertia voters feel after having so invested themselves in the GOP. No one wants to just up and admit they were wrong, they want to change their view based upon a change in circumstance. Foley's actions and the apparent coverup has perhaps provided it.
posted by caddis at 8:20 AM on October 13, 2006


Ney joins Foley in the alcohol excuse!


posted by ericb at 8:34 AM on October 13, 2006



posted by ericb at 8:49 AM on October 13, 2006


Washington Post: How Foley skirted rules to pursue pages -- Former members of congressional program describe lawmaker’s advances.
posted by ericb at 10:32 AM on October 22, 2006


State Department sends directions: How to vote for Foley replacement
posted by taosbat at 12:57 PM on October 24, 2006


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