Tuesday, October 03, 2006


*Updated, see below...
*Updated again--scroll down

My lack of blogging on the typical Friday afternoon and continuing throught the weekend has caused me to be "behind" in the news. Yesarday I covered the horrid slaying of the young Amish students. Today I am compelled to throw my two cents in on the Foley situation.

First on Foley from The Washington Post:

"Today I have delivered a letter to the Speaker of the House informing him of my decision to resign from the U.S. House of Representatives, effective today," Foley said in a statement.

"I am deeply sorry and I apologize for letting down my family and the people of Florida I have had the privilege to represent."

Foley was the author of the key sexual predator provisions of the Adam Walsh Child Protection and Safety Act of 2006, which Bush signed in July.

Foley, who represents a district in southern Florida, also was a member if the powerful House Ways and Means Committee, which oversees tax and trade policy.
My initial reaction was something like this, "surely this can't be as bad as it's being made to be...surely this is purely politics. Those rat democrats wills top at nothing." I was angry at "them."

As more information has been made available, though, my anger is slowly but surely being redirected. Most infuriating thus far has been Speaker of the House Hastert's reaction and behavior. Now my anger is at "us."From another article at The Washington Post:

Hastert, as the House's top officer and the man in line after the vice president to succeed the president, has been the main target of questions and barbs from both parties. He reiterated yesterday that he recalled hearing nothing about Foley's e-mails until last Friday, but he does not dispute the assertion of Rep. Thomas M. Reynolds (R-N.Y.) that he informed the speaker last spring.

"If Reynolds told me, it was in a line of things, and we were in the middle of another crisis this spring, so I just don't remember that," Hastert told reporters. He defended the decision by several top staffers to handle the Foley matter without telling him. "I see no reason to bump it up to me at that time," he said.

No reason to bump it up? No reason? What kind of response is that? He might as well have said, "well, I wasn't that concerned that one of the Congress members was sending sexually explicit messages that are definately unethical and possibly illegal. I had other things to do so I let one of my hired helpers do my job for me."

Aside from that, Hastert claims he "recalls hearing nothing" of the emails until Friday in the above report. But in a report by The Washington Times, he says that he did see them and that he acted:

Hastert and other leaders have laid out a complicated series of events. They say they first became aware of overly friendly e-mails from Foley to one underage male page last spring, but had no idea that the congressman had sent other sexually explicit messages to additional pages.

Even before then, Foley had been confronted in the fall of 2005 about his communications with the one page, and told to break off contact with him and all other pages. According to a weekend statement issued by Hastert's office, Rep. John Shimkus, R-Ill., who heads the page board, and the House clerk, met with the Florida lawmaker and told him to "immediately cease any communication" with the page.

Boehner, the second-ranking GOP leader, became the latest member of the party's high command to outline his involvement when he answered questions in his radio interview.

"I believe I talked to the speaker, and he told me it had been taken care of," he said, when asked about the e-mails that were not sexually explicit. He said that had occurred last spring.

"In my position, it's in his corner. It's his responsibility. The clerk of the House, who runs the page program, the page board, all report to the speaker, and I believed it had been dealt with. Again, I didn't know the context of what even the original message (said)," he added.

In a seperate editorial, the Times is calling for Hastert to step down. They clearly articulate my precise feelings:

House Speaker Dennis Hastert must do the only right thing, and resign his speakership at once.

Either he was grossly negligent for not taking the red flags fully into account and ordering a swift investigation, for not even remembering the order of events leading up to last week's revelations -- or he deliberately looked the other way in hopes that a brewing scandal would simply blow away.

He gave phony answers Friday to the old and ever-relevant questions of what did he know and when did he know it? 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.

But the President stands behind Hastert:

"I know that he wants all the facts to come out and he wants to ensure that these children up there on Capitol Hill are protected," the president said. "I'm confident he will provide whatever leadership he can to law enforcement in this investigation."

How can Hastert provide the leadership needed when he did not even believe it was a big enough deal for him to personally address when the revolations were made to him in the spring? Simply, he cannot. Sorry, Mr. President, but you are wrong on this one.

I'm not advocating Hastert's resignation from congress, simply just to step down from his chairmanship. But Hastert is not enough...

What about the Page Board? Rumors suggest that Republican leaders on the page board--including WV's own Shelly Moore-Capito (who will be in my home county this weekend)--knew about the incident and did not share the information with Democrats. Unacceptable. I don't like most democrats any more than the next good Republican does, but good God, how is anything going to be done without communication--even with your political enemies.

Although nobody cares--The Vent Pipe is stepping up to the plate alongside The Wasington Times: Mr. Speaker, I urge you to resign. Step aside and allow someone else step up. I also urge that the United States House of Representatives investigate each and every member of the page board. If any member--even my own--had any knowledge of the situation and failed to act or to communicate their knowledge with other members (including Democrats) then they too should step down from their position on the Board. That's to bottom line.

Is this somehow indicitive of a decline in the moral fiber of today? Are the Republicans imploding? Have they single-handedly lost the election for themselves? I think the answers to the questions are YES, YES and YES. But we shall have to see.


Shep Smith on the Fox News Channel just featured a story by Major Garret on the Foley mess. The story ran in the first 15 minutes of the show.

Garret reported that a text dialogue between the boy and Foley about masturbation was just released. The dialogue occurred during debate on a bill concerning FUNDING INCREASES FOR THE IRAQ WAR.

Clarification: Shep just offered a clarification. Foley, apparently left the Chamber to have "cybersex" with a page. The conversation ended with Foley saying, "well, I better go vote, I miss you." The boy replied "I miss you too." Then Foley said, "can I have a kiss goodnight?"

Good GOD. This is a Representative. Sent to Washington, DC to do the people's business--but is he? NO. He's leaving meetings to go have cybersex with some kid.

That's right--while the House was debating sending money to help protect our men and women who are fighting and DYING in Iraq, Foley thought it would be better to talk about his disgusting sexual habbits. This man is scum. How many other bills concerning the life and death nature of the war on terror was he sitting idly by during? How many other times was he talking dirty to young men rather than debating the most important elements of the responsiblities of our Congress? The more I think about it, the more angry I get.


Outside the Beltway covers the developments about the messaging during debate on the Emergancy War Fund Bill (or whatever the proper title was...)

Labels: ,


Post a Comment

<< Home