Monday, October 02, 2006

The march of Foley

One of the most amazing spectacles in modern public life is the sight of high officials and celebrities seeking  redemption in rehabilitation clinics, that contemporary replacement for the confessional.

Former Republican Rep. Mark Foley, under FBI investigation for sending sexually explicit Internet messages to underage male congressional pages, reportedly checked into an alcohol rehabilitation facility over the weekend after resigning from Congress on Friday.

House Speaker Dennis Hastert of Illinois, responding to questions about what and when Republican leaders learned about the scandal, strongly denied knowing the explicit sexual nature of Foley's messages until they surfaced on Friday.

He picked the wrong time to dry out. If ever there was a time to hit the bottle, this is it. But maybe he needs to be sober to write the Book, the one that will inevitably sell a million copies. And Speaker Hastert may have a few wicked things coming his way, too. The Drudge Report says it has an advance copy of a Washington Times editorial calling on Hastert to resign.

WASHINGTON TIMES ON TUESDAY WILL CALL FOR SPEAKER HASTERT'S RESIGNATION, NEWSROOM SOURCES TELL DRUDGE... DEVELOPING... Editorial titled: 'Resign, Mr. Speaker': 'House Speaker Dennis Hastert must do the only right thing, and resign his speakership at once... Mr. Hastert has forfeited the confidence of the public and his party, and he cannot preside over the necessary coming investigation, an investigation that must examine his own inept performance'... -- Washington Times, October 3, 2006...

These are the moments when one wonders what value the words "Congressional Oversight" have -- that magic formula designed to protect the Public from intelligence failures -- an then realize by what slender margins civilization survives from one day to the next.


Blogger Meme chose said...

As somebody once observed, "there's a lot of ruin in a country".

I've never been a Hastert supporter, and his reaction to the whole Congressional office raid episode was unimpressive, but it appears that on this occasion he's being railroaded by the Washington Post and the Democrats, for purely electoral purposes. They seem to be in a very great hurry to get their denunciations on record before the facts can come out.

10/02/2006 08:54:00 PM  
Blogger buddy larsen said...

He picked the wrong time to dry out. If ever there was a time to hit the bottle, this is it.


10/02/2006 09:10:00 PM  
Blogger Reocon said...

I'm waiting for further developments before I make a judgement but the public perception is awful, especially with Rep. Reynolds (R-NY) basically claiming that Hastert lied in not knowing about the emails. Reynold's revelation also made Boehner look weaselly, for first claiming that he too had informed Hastert then quickly retracting to the WaPo.

I think the final nail was Hastert's press conference tonight in which he refused to take questions and scurried away after making a brief statement. His staff should have coached him to stand tall and face the pack, to stick his chest out, show his indignation and appeal for an investigative process. He needed to fight tonight like his career depended on it. Didn't happen.

Conservative blogs like Lashawn Barber and even Human Events are following the Washington Times lead. The Washington cess pool shouldn't surprise an ol' cynic like me but this one has me scratching my head.

10/02/2006 09:14:00 PM  
Blogger tckurd said...

This is the next best thing to the famed Cheney Frog March that Fitzmas was supposed to deliver but fizzled. This was held on to until the last minute... If Hastert did what they say he did, he has to go. Foley, on the other hand, is just another in a long list of sleaze to ruin the republic.

10/02/2006 09:21:00 PM  
Blogger wretchardthecat said...

It's a lot like watching a train wreck. And it provides a pretty depressing window on human nature. The Congressional page and White House intern programs were meant to expose promising young people to government. But as Mssrs Clinton, Barney Frank and Foley have shown, it all depends on what the word "expose" means.

10/02/2006 09:35:00 PM  
Blogger BigLeeH said...

Just the confessional? Hardly. Rehab has replaced the whole cathedral. It's a place you can take refuge -- with your lawyer up on the roof, yelling "Sanctuary! Sanctuary!" as he pours boiling oil on the reporters outside.

10/02/2006 09:49:00 PM  
Blogger buddy larsen said...

It's a bona fide waking nightmare, in that you want to run, but you can't, because there's no place to run to. Everywhere you go, a Congressman looms up and you can't get past.

10/02/2006 09:59:00 PM  
Blogger Deuce ☂ said...

Like it or not, the Foley story is a mirror of the the Democratic Congressional postal scandal of fifteen years ago. The American public sees Congress as a bunch of self indulgent phonies under an inept cynical leadership. Come November, I'll paraphrase Kissinger. Too bad they both can't lose. Too damn bad the Martians got to Perot.

10/03/2006 12:41:00 AM  
Blogger Doug said...

Different Strokes for Different Folks:
Investigate This
Yesterday I outlined the peculiar and suspicious genesis of the Foley matter which is the Dem-Media’s scandal of the day.

In July a blog appeared, designed it said to trace sex predators. Few posts were made in that month or the following month. All recounted years old stories. Then on September 18, the blog printed the fairly innocuous email exchange between Congressman Foley and an unnamed page...
Note that this 2-step pattern of conflation is similar to what we saw in the Plame case, where Joseph Wilson was interviewed as an anonymous source for 2 stories which made very sensational charges. He then wrote a far more muted Op Ed for the New York Times. The result was that everyone read the three pieces together, lending weight and audience to the sensationalism of the anonymously-sourced material, and allowing Wilson later to deny what had only appeared under cover of anonymity.
Keep in mind that Democrat Rep. Gerry Studds was re-elected five times to the House after acknowledging a sexual relationship with a male page who was a minor, receiving a censure from the House (not expulsion, as was demanded by Newt Gingrich, but voted down by the Democrat majority). The Democrats did not demand his resignation for conduct far more serious than the emails seen by the GOP leadership, and even the salacious IM’s.
- American Thinker

10/03/2006 01:13:00 AM  
Blogger Mom said...

This kind of issue is a no-win for Republicans. If Republicans had jumped on Foley when all that was known about the emails was that they were "overly friendly" it would have been spun as homophobic Republicans out to get a harmless gay man. Who truly believes that the militant gay lobby didn't enter into the thinking of the Republican leadership who "knew" there was something there but didn't know exactly what when the question of what to do about Foley's emails first came up.

10/03/2006 02:08:00 AM  
Blogger Doug said...

This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

10/03/2006 04:31:00 AM  
Blogger Doug said...

New Post on Censorship
Also, Huntress sends this LINK to the audio interview on Pat Campbell's show featuring Lt Col Barry Johnson, refered to in this post titled An Open Letter to Lt.Col. Barry Johnson.

10/03/2006 04:32:00 AM  
Blogger Teresita said...

Keep in mind that Democrat Rep. Gerry Studds was re-elected five times to the House after acknowledging a sexual relationship with a male page who was a minor, receiving a censure from the House (not expulsion, as was demanded by Newt Gingrich, but voted down by the Democrat majority)

I suspect that if Foley did not resign, he too would have only received censure by the House, and that probably after the election.

Foley voted for the Defense of Marriage Act, so America is safe from the spectacle of having two little bride figurines stuck in the frosting on the top of wedding cakes, but whether teenaged page boys are safe is another matter.

Hugh Hewitt's spin is to separate the emails from the IM's, because the emails could be read as fairly innocent (Congressmen are not generally assumed to be pervs), but the IM's put the emails into proper context so in the voter's mind they're all the same thing.

They've picked a replacement but Foley's name will still appear on the ballot. If there is not a huge edumacation campaign that reaches every GOP voter that seat will be a loss for the 'Pubs because not even Foley's Republican constituents will be able to stomach punching a chad for a gay pedo.

Foleygate could be just the first scandal waiting on the runway for the Main Stream Media with five weeks to go until the election.

10/03/2006 04:43:00 AM  
Blogger goesh said...

Aren't they just a bunch of scum, the whole lot of them? Maybe he will kill himself thus doing the honorable thing. One wonders if even his family would mourn his death. I can't register my contempt strongly enough and who would suppress a cheer if he jumped from a high building?

10/03/2006 04:46:00 AM  
Blogger 3Case said...

I haven't heard...were any cigars involved?...was anyone's lip bitten?

We're still amonth out from the election. Heaven protect us from the slime that's, surely, being stirred up offstage somewhere....

One change in the law that needs to be made: Members of Congress and their senior staff need to be made mandated reporters. It's unconscionable that this was known 3 months ago and only reported last weekend.

10/03/2006 05:08:00 AM  
Blogger 3Case said...

Oh yeah...Gerry Studds...then again, he came from a part of our great land where it is permissible to kill women using a Buick, a bridge and a bay....

10/03/2006 05:29:00 AM  
Blogger Doug said...

That Merry Ferry was an Oldsmobile.
The tune however was changed to:

10/03/2006 05:42:00 AM  
Blogger Doug said...


10/03/2006 05:54:00 AM  
Blogger Doug said...

Higher Bandwidth Versions Here

10/03/2006 06:10:00 AM  
Blogger Pyrthroes said...

To 2164th:

An unmentioned problem with Congress as presently constituted is the absence of term limits: Maximum two Senate terms, six House terms. This major Constitutional lacunae orginally showed up as the perpetuation of post-Reconstruction (typically populist, racist) Dixiecrat Senators, exemplified even today by Robert Byrd.

As time went by, and the 10-hour incumbent workweek aligned with major personal entitlements, the idea of a citizen legislature faded to a nimbus of corrupt self-dealing, gerrymandered districts, special interest constituencies. Now we have a geriatric forum wherein arrogant and insular ideologues confront each other like shuffle-boarders at an Alzheimers' clinic.

Today's House of Representatives is no such thing. Mostly lawyers, who have time and money to campaign; trustafarians professing only attitudes, immune to principle; occasional extremist upstarts, appealing to partisan communities divorced from public interest.

The cliche is, that the American Congress exhibits less turnover than Britain's House of Lords. True, but by default: The prevailing do-nothing stasis is the antithesis of what the Founders envisioned, of what the American people as a whole deserve.

Three recommendations: Return Senatorial nominations to State legislatures (no more Corzines, Hillarys, etc.); impose 12-year Term Limits, as above (g'bye, Teddy-- what's it up to, 40 years?); resolve gerrymanders by requiring Districts be compact, contiguous, uniform and stable (only incremental changes over time).

While we're at it, base Electoral College votes on County rather than State boundaries: End extreme urban overweighting, whereby (for example) Boston, New York, Chicago drive corrupt tallies to award entire States. (LBJ himself admitted that Daley's machine in Chicago captured Illinois for JFK, cheating Nixon of a valid victory. Tammany Hall and Boston need no reminders.)

None of these measures will be debated, because Congress has long become a judge in its own case, a law unto itself. Meantime, not only governmental competence suffers, but First Amendment and other fundamental rights fray away bit-by-bit as anti-libertarian precedents acrue unchecked by legislators who, frankly, have got theirs and now care less.

Unduly cynical? As in all such contexts, we are our own enemies. To those who say, "Politically impossible!" we answer: It wasn't in 1776.

10/03/2006 06:29:00 AM  
Blogger desert rat said...

Slammin' Teddy for not being a "good" swimmer, won't cut any musard on Election Day. Nor will crying that this is whole thing is not Proportional.

Hastert should have known, if you sleep with dogs, you'll get both fleas and bit in the ass.

10/03/2006 06:36:00 AM  
Blogger Doug said...

You have an "issue" with Alzheimers'shuffle-boarders?

10/03/2006 06:38:00 AM  
Blogger Doug said...

Try this on:
"A Vote for Folley is a
Vote for Me."
That should do it.

10/03/2006 06:40:00 AM  
Blogger RWE said...

This is another Plame scandal, a horrible crime where no crime was committed with the punishment imposed before the facts even are known. No one has come forth and said that he was molested, and while I would hardly enjoy receiving a homosexual e-mail from any man, I am sure I have received SPAM that was far worse - and with pictures.

As far as a "cover-up" goes, just how far down does House leadership
insight go - and how far should it? Note that the people screaming loudest about this scandal wax hysterical over the idea that the FBI could find out what library books you have checked out or that a public library might keep kids from logging onto sexually explicit websites - or that people might not be able to call 1-800-alQueda and still be secure.

As for being "exposed" to the government in action - no one should have to experience more of that than about 3 months. Longer exposure risks the creation of more Adolf Hitlers or Ted Kazinskies, depending on which way you break.

10/03/2006 06:40:00 AM  
Blogger Doug said...

Foley's Follies.

10/03/2006 06:41:00 AM  
Blogger Doug said...


10/03/2006 06:48:00 AM  
Blogger Deuce ☂ said...

I thought Ted Kennedy's choice of weapon was a Lincoln Continental.

10/03/2006 06:51:00 AM  
Blogger Doug said...

All Republicans should rssign.
To cover for the people that covered for a pedophile at the expense of children and the nation.

10/03/2006 06:51:00 AM  
Blogger desert rat said...

A Vote for FOLEY
is a Vote for BUSH

Vote Early
Vote Often

10/03/2006 06:59:00 AM  
Blogger Pyrthroes said...

To Doug:

"Issue with Alzheimers shuffle-boarders"? I are one!

10/03/2006 07:35:00 AM  
Blogger Ash said...

wretchard, the fact that foley resigned and immediately sought counselling for Alcoholism struck me as remarkable as well. The resignation is an admission of guilt and alcoholism is his excuse. Seems all to prevelant in our North American society - weren't my fault, just the booze talking. Yeah, riiiiight.

10/03/2006 07:55:00 AM  
Blogger Habu said...

Perot has been through rehab under the watchful eye of the Uranus' parapsychology unit and marching band.

And in retrospect I don't think Clinton debased the Presidency at all. He ,realizing it was a coequal branch of government was simply trying to reach the same level of decorum that pervades the House and who knows what goes on under those Supreme Court robes.
He was just try'in to take a whack at it.

10/03/2006 09:04:00 AM  
Blogger Habu said...

I think we need to reexamine some of our political saying you are a political "supporter" of a candidate be they male of female can be misinterpreted by a facile press. Similarly, "getting behind your man" can cause great hardship.
So let's think anew.

10/03/2006 09:09:00 AM  
Blogger buddy larsen said...

the whole idea of language is impossibly lewd

10/03/2006 09:18:00 AM  
Blogger Habu said...


"Let's get behind Foley's replacement"
"We're solid behind Foley's replacement"

Neither one good ..I understand one of the Foley IM's was simply explaining to the page the Islamic ritual of the prayer position known in the West as "butt-ups"

10/03/2006 09:19:00 AM  
Blogger buddy larsen said...

making jokes about poor Foley
(no matter how cute or droll-y)
cause me to holler "Holy Simoley"
thinking of Speaker Nancy Peloley.

10/03/2006 09:51:00 AM  
Blogger buddy larsen said...

Blind to any mob done-deed,
triumphant in his Vegas greed,
proud-prancing on his stolen steed,
comes fiery Senator Harry Reid.

10/03/2006 10:08:00 AM  
Blogger desert rat said...

The Republicans were not funding Foley, oh no. Foley was funding the Republicans

"... GOP Congressional Campaign Chair Tom Reynolds (R-Soon-to-be-Minority) learned that Foley had been sending inappropriate emails to an underage boy who had been a page in the spring of this year. He did not call the cops. Did not call the FBI. Did not even call the toothless hounds at the House Ethics Committee. But he did take $100,000 from Foley for the NRCC, a contribution the New York Daily News called “unusually large.” Think about that. Reynolds knew Foley was having some sort of inappropriate contact with a child, but he took $100,000 from him. ..."

For the complete Democratic talking points, they're here, by spelled out by Paul Begala

10/03/2006 10:11:00 AM  
Blogger 3Case said...

I got it!...Direct Sexual Contact by a Democrat (whether or not followed by the demise of the contactee) EQUALS a drunken, closeted Republican at a keyboard...such are the relative states of noblesse oblige, I guess.

10/03/2006 10:17:00 AM  
Blogger desert rat said...

Proportionality of response is no argument, not in Lebanon nor in DC.

To expect proportional responses is to live in a world of balance, equity and equality.

10/03/2006 10:37:00 AM  
Blogger buddy larsen said...

Don't the respective campaign committees *normally* take donations from member office-holders? Isn't it just like a scurrilous humpback dwarf like Begala to try to cast it as a personal bribe/hush money to the GOP campaign committee chairman? The 'tells'--where did the money go, and was the donation public record--are both s.o.p. aren't they?

I mean, lets bash what ought to be bashed, not go Carville/Begala berserkoidal.

10/03/2006 10:50:00 AM  
Blogger Habu said...

I think Foley should have stuck it out.

10/03/2006 11:09:00 AM  
Blogger buddy larsen said...

habu, fred, nice satire--"immoral relativism"?

10/03/2006 11:16:00 AM  
Blogger Habu said...

Democracy is a pathetic belief in the collective wisdom of individual ignorance.
H. L. Mencken

Morality is the theory that every human act must be either right or wrong, and that 99 % of them are wrong.
H. L. Mencken
The cynics are right nine times out of ten.
H. L. Mencken

Every election is a sort of advance auction sale of stolen goods.
H. L. Mencken

10/03/2006 11:24:00 AM  
Blogger The Edge said...

This is FABULOUS...uhhh...did I say, this is FABULOUS.

10/03/2006 11:36:00 AM  
Blogger Teresita said...

pyrthroes wrote:

None of these measures will be debated, because Congress has long become a judge in its own case, a law unto itself.

I guess we will have to take it up in the Second Constitutional Convention, which will be convened right after they try to subsume our sovereignty in a North American Superstate.

habu said:

I think Foley should have stuck it out.

No, he should leave it zipped up.

10/03/2006 11:46:00 AM  
Blogger buddy larsen said...

Whatever, but don't waver

10/03/2006 12:07:00 PM  
Blogger Annoy Mouse said...

Emailing Under the Influence?

Does alcoholism cause pedophilia or inappropriate emailing?

10/03/2006 12:08:00 PM  
Blogger Annoy Mouse said...

Drudge Report: New Foley Instant Messages; Had Internet Sex While Awaiting House Vote

How do you have internet sex. I haven’t seen any appropriate device on my computer.

10/03/2006 12:11:00 PM  
Blogger buddy larsen said...

i think it has to be a laptop

10/03/2006 12:15:00 PM  
Blogger Annoy Mouse said...

Right Buddy,
Those desk tops are hard on the back.

10/03/2006 12:23:00 PM  
Blogger buddy larsen said...

and you can, y'know, fall off the desk, too

10/03/2006 12:26:00 PM  
Blogger Doug said...

Mouse, you Feuhl, your laptop is not House Enabled.

10/03/2006 12:27:00 PM  
Blogger Doug said...

Europeean Union Internetsex.

10/03/2006 12:29:00 PM  
Blogger Habu said...

Annoy Mouse

It's the hard drive on your laptop,you just need the right adapter.

10/03/2006 12:32:00 PM  
Blogger Habu said...

It's just been reported that Foley was pushing a bill that would have removed chairs from the Representatives and have them sit on stools instead.

10/03/2006 12:34:00 PM  
Blogger Doug said...

Who Whacked the Deck?

10/03/2006 12:40:00 PM  
Blogger Annoy Mouse said...

send me a paige when you get off.

10/03/2006 12:42:00 PM  
Blogger Habu said...


If I's all about resume building and the parents.

The parents encourage it so their son/daughter/don't as,don't tell will be able to get inot Princeton with a 1.2 GPA and as SAT of 750.

The parents, who can afford the tuition also get to bask in the reflected glory, at cocktail parties, that their progeny are working for Senator X or Rep Y or OMG (trumpet sounds Brandenburg concerto in the background) "THE PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES".
The the proud dad shows off the cuffflinks and the pround mom the broach.
Muffy or Ellington gets into Princeton and the beat goes on....

10/03/2006 01:08:00 PM  
Blogger Doug said...

Rush reminds us that if the Dems take control, there will immediately be 2 resignations from the Supreme Court.
Happy Happy

10/03/2006 01:25:00 PM  
Blogger Doug said...

Don't Ass, Don't Tell.

10/03/2006 01:26:00 PM  
Blogger Habu said...

All Congressmen are now to fly to Europe only on AER LINGUS.

10/03/2006 01:43:00 PM  

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