Mark Foley’s Upcoming Personal Disclosures

While I don’t wish to appear unsympathetic to the plight of former representative Mark Foley, who I hope receives all the counseling and care he needs, I can’t help but notice that Foley’s now-daily disclosures of terrible personal secrets, genuine as they may be, also look very much like the performance of a politician dramatically and publicly falling on his sword in order to provide his former (and now somewhat panicked) colleagues the evidence they need to suggest that he was so darn screwed up that people should focus on that, rather than, say, the moral poverty of a Congressional leadership that allowed a man IMing sexually-charged messages to teen pages to remain the co-chair of the House Caucus on Missing and Exploited Children.

As effective as these personal disclosures of Foley have been in drawing attention to his own screwed-uppedness, however, the media still seems to show an annoying tendency to ask the house leadership about its role in the mess. This is not optimal, particularly with the election so close at hand. Clearly, what needs to happen is a continual stream of poignant revelations from former representative Foley, on the pace of one a day or so, in order to keep the focus on him, not on Hastert, Boehner, Reynolds or any other prominent House Republican that one may care to name.

And as it just so happens, one of my sources on Capitol Hill has slipped me the following information: The next ten heart-rending personal disclosures from Mark Foley. This list of tragedies will keep the media busy through at least next week, which is more than enough time to concoct some mass hysteria-causing fake crisis that can be fed to the public via Fox News allow congressional leaders to effectively address the public’s concerns.

Mark Foley’s Next Ten Heart-Rending Personal Disclosures

1. Functionally illiterate, which explains his IM grammar

2. Is a “transmelinaed” — a badger trapped in a human’s body

3. Previously undisclosed kleptomania caused him to steal IM transcripts from Denny Hastert’s desk

4. Psychologically scarred at the age of eight when his cat perished in a horrible bacon-taping incident

5. Bedwetter? Bedsaturater

6. Never got over not being related to Axel Foley

7. Naturally smells of jasmine and lilacs — not a good thing in gym class

8. Not only unable to solve a Rubik’s Cube, but also deeply flummoxed by the Pyraminx

9. Pathological fear of toast

10. Shameful addiction to New Wave of British Heavy Metal; has entire discography of Judas Priest, but oddly, nothing from Girlschool

There! Now you’re ahead of the news cycle.

Get well, Mark Foley. Privately, if you please.

98 thoughts on “Mark Foley’s Upcoming Personal Disclosures

  1. Last night Foley’s lawyer was on TV. Fortunately, not only do I have very little time to watch TV, I can “click” … oh, that Timmy Turner, ha! Cosmo! They kill me.

  2. Last night Foley’s lawyer was on TV. Fortunately, not only do I have very little time to watch TV, I can “click” … oh, that Timmy Turner, ha! Cosmo! They kill me.

  3. Indeed. What a great blast from the past ref. Where’s my Rubix Snake and Matel Electronic Football Game?

  4. Indeed. What a great blast from the past ref. Where’s my Rubix Snake and Matel Electronic Football Game?

  5. Oh sure.

    Continue the heartless mocking of the toastphobics! Do you understand the tragedy of never being able to go out for breakfast. Ever? Anywhere? For fear that the crusty breadstuff will appear on an adjoining table?
    Of course it would drive anyone to inappropriate uses of IM. Without the appropriate application of toast, juice and milk (part of this nutritious breakfast) how is anyone supposed to grow up with a proper sense of right and wrong?

  6. I think what I enjoy most about this whole affair is that it’s fairly clean. Unlike most scandals of this nature, there’s no small child who’s been molested; I understand that it went no further than naughty text messages, which teenagers can blow off better than anyone. The naughtiness is clean enough that I can find pleasure in Foley’s (and, by extension, the GOP’s in general) discomfort and embarrassment, untainted with sympathy for the victim. Mmmm, pie.

  7. It’s being required to listen to Harold Faltermeyer all the time that would eventually drive you insane.

  8. It’s being required to listen to Harold Faltermeyer all the time that would eventually drive you insane.

  9. Jeff Mountjoy, *cough* hostile work enviroment *cough*

    I don’t know, I got a little uncomfortable when they were reading some of the messages (and those were even redacted because you can’t broadcast them). As for kids shrugging them off (I said *shrugging* John), they still remember them from all the interviews I’ve heard. I think it affected them more than their outside signals attest to.

  10. Hey! Harold Faltermeyer programmed alot of Girogio Moroder’s disco hits! When you slag Axel F. you slag disco! And when you slag disco, you slag Gay America! And when you slag Gay America, the terrorists have won!

    The new Republican strategy is reverse~reverse~reverse~reverse~reverse psychology!

  11. Steve:
    Yah, I wouldn’t want to underestimate the sensitivity of teenagers. I remember those days (barely). In retrospect I’m surprised by some of the major, serious things that we just ignored, and some of the minor slights that seemed so traumatic at the time. I’m not sure where naughty IMs from your boss would fall on the scale.My other big surprise in this whole mess is that Foley didn’t know better than to send naughtiness via such a traceable, easily forwardable medium as text messaging. Possibly he had some sort of tube-related misunderstanding about how these things work….

  12. Steve:
    Yah, I wouldn’t want to underestimate the sensitivity of teenagers. I remember those days (barely). In retrospect I’m surprised by some of the major, serious things that we just ignored, and some of the minor slights that seemed so traumatic at the time. I’m not sure where naughty IMs from your boss would fall on the scale.My other big surprise in this whole mess is that Foley didn’t know better than to send naughtiness via such a traceable, easily forwardable medium as text messaging. Possibly he had some sort of tube-related misunderstanding about how these things work….

  13. Personally, I am not inclined to be so generous towards this cretin. As someone who was molested, to me, the best thing he could do is shut up and commit suicide. I’m not kidding.

  14. Oh, I doubt very much he’s an alcoholic or was sexually abused as a child, and even if he was, so what? These are excuses he’s making – true or not – to try and evade responsibility and divert attention from his evilness. He’s human garbage and a waste of space on the planet, more so because of his position as the chair of the congressional committee which fights child molestation. Great in- plain-sight place for a pedophile to hide, wouldn’t you say? It is unlikely that he’ll be charged and go to jail, but if we’re fortunate enough for that to happen, I can only hope that he gets killed in prison.

  15. We’ve already had the typical accusation of the Democrats (because everything is their fault, you know): the timing of the news story is suspicious, and if the Dems knew about this and held it until last Friday then they have knowingly endangered other children. That’s from House Majority Leader John Boehner, quoted on CNN.com.

    But my personal favorite – for its sheer idiocy – is Newt Gingrich. I’m paraphrasing, but he said that if the House leadership had acted on allegations in 2005 or earlier, then they would have been accused of gay bashing.

    Because of course, soliciting sex acts from a minor is the same thing as being gay. WTF?

  16. We’ve already had the typical accusation of the Democrats (because everything is their fault, you know): the timing of the news story is suspicious, and if the Dems knew about this and held it until last Friday then they have knowingly endangered other children. That’s from House Majority Leader John Boehner, quoted on CNN.com.

    But my personal favorite – for its sheer idiocy – is Newt Gingrich. I’m paraphrasing, but he said that if the House leadership had acted on allegations in 2005 or earlier, then they would have been accused of gay bashing.

    Because of course, soliciting sex acts from a minor is the same thing as being gay. WTF?

  17. Tari said:

    “Oh, I doubt very much he’s an alcoholic or was sexually abused as a child, and even if he was, so what? These are excuses he’s making – true or not – to try and evade responsibility and divert attention from his evilness. He’s human garbage and a waste of space on the planet, more so because of his position as the chair of the congressional committee which fights child molestation. Great in- plain-sight place for a pedophile to hide, wouldn’t you say? It is unlikely that he’ll be charged and go to jail, but if we’re fortunate enough for that to happen, I can only hope that he gets killed in prison.”

    Foley sounds like a screwed up man who sent some disgusting and potentially hurtful messages to minors. He abused his position of power, and resigned, as he should. Maybe his actions were even illegal; I’m no expert on this part of law.

    But Tari, calling for this man’s death? That’s extreme. There are better ways to deal with pain and suffering than vengeance killings.

  18. Jennie,

    Because of course, soliciting sex acts from a minor is the same thing as being gay. WTF?

    Yup, and to top it off – implying that soliciting sex acts from minors is the same thing as being gay is by itself a form of gay-bashing.

    So clever Newt got to perform gay-bashing while claiming he couldn’t do the right thing because people would call it gay bashing.

    Talk about being too clever for one’s own good! To think this passes as argument these days. Lord save us all.

  19. I don’t see how Meester Newt even think that passes for an argument. For one thing, shouldn’t his constituency go, “So you were willing to support gays in order to not turn a pedophile in your own ranks?” And obviously, they (The Republicans) have never really worried about our calling them immoral, dangerous, and ethically bankrupt as they’ve perpetuated an entire war, so why would they twitch about being accused of gay bashing.

    And as already pointed out….stupid to equate gay with pedophile.

  20. Foley gives alcoholics a bad name, in my opinion. Also, I don’t know that it has been definitely proven that he did not have sexual contact with a page, or another minor. I haven’t seen anything out of Foley that indicates that he is saying that his behavior was liminted to sexual IMs, and I’ve seen reports that he drove around town with male pages in his car.

    And for a page, who happens to be gay, to fall for his line of bs and sleep with him wouldn’t be any more unusual that a female or male page sleeping with a senator or congresscritter of the opposite gender. Which has certainly happened.

    In fact, I would be surprised if before the elections, at least one page didn’t publicly state that he slept with Foley. I’m not saying anything about gay men in general, but given Foley’s confirmed behavior, and his statements about his past and alcohol abuse, I would be shocked if Foley were NOT promiscious. And given the already confirmed behavior that we know about, he doesn’t seem the type to exhibit the judgement required to limit his partners to 18+.

  21. Foley gives alcoholics a bad name, in my opinion. Also, I don’t know that it has been definitely proven that he did not have sexual contact with a page, or another minor. I haven’t seen anything out of Foley that indicates that he is saying that his behavior was liminted to sexual IMs, and I’ve seen reports that he drove around town with male pages in his car.

    And for a page, who happens to be gay, to fall for his line of bs and sleep with him wouldn’t be any more unusual that a female or male page sleeping with a senator or congresscritter of the opposite gender. Which has certainly happened.

    In fact, I would be surprised if before the elections, at least one page didn’t publicly state that he slept with Foley. I’m not saying anything about gay men in general, but given Foley’s confirmed behavior, and his statements about his past and alcohol abuse, I would be shocked if Foley were NOT promiscious. And given the already confirmed behavior that we know about, he doesn’t seem the type to exhibit the judgement required to limit his partners to 18+.

  22. And now one of the other congresscritters is calling for a suspension of the page program until it can be sorted out, to protect the children of course, cause they are just so darn hot and irresistible that it is unreasonable to ask an adult over the age of 30 to act appropriately so lets get rid of the source of the problem, the teens!

  23. Tari, I very much empathize with your position, as I was repeatedly molested at a young age by a friend of my father. Though I repressed the memories until my teen years, I know it messed with me in immeasurable ways. I still have issues with it. I’m still fighting against the innate distrust that experience instilled in me. I instinctually look at all relationships between adult men and children with suspicion, even if I know I have no reason to. If I heard tomorrow that the perpetrator of my abuse had been killed in a rather gruesome way, no tears would be shed.

    But I cannot agree with your wish for Foley’s death. Maybe because I’m categorically against the death penalty. Or maybe because within this century it was my discovered that my own father had a thing for porn featuring pre-pubescent boys (I’ve not spoken to him since that time, though we have recently exchanged a few emails). He has served time in prison, he is currently seeking treatment for his sickness and he is attempting atone for his participation in the destruction of innocence, though he swears he did nothing more than possess the porn. I don’t know if I believe him, but considering that initially he denied even that, even though the FBI found the porn on several of his computers (including at work – the man is a computer person from way back, so ignorance of what computers do is not an excuse), I’m not dismissing his claims.

    I find what Foley did reprehensible. I am not one to take such things lightly. But I hope he gets treatment for his real problem, instead of hiding behind the guise of alcoholism. I hope he opts for chemical castration. But I cannot hope that he gets killed.

    BTW, I’m anonymous for this post because I am a fairly regular commentor here, but this is not I story I tell to many people. Those close to me know and that’s enough for me.

  24. Jokes aside:

    It doesn’t make a difference whether it’s a straight elected public servant who is a sexual predator of minors at work…

    …or a gay elected public servant who is a sexual predator of minors at work…

    …or a Democrat straight elected public servant who is a sexual predator of minors at work…

    …or a Republican gay elected public servant who is a sexual predator of minors at work…

    …or a Republican straight elected public servant who is a sexual predator of minors…

    …or a Democrat gay elected public servant who is a sexual predator of minors at work…

    …it still is wrong, corrupt, and also a sign of incompetence. Even worse, if the predator is being protected by the silence of his superiors and colleagues (regardless of party affiliation), this reminds me of how certain churches protect sexual predators among the clergy.

    These are the people you elected to serve you? America, I weep for thee.
    :(

  25. Jokes aside:

    It doesn’t make a difference whether it’s a straight elected public servant who is a sexual predator of minors at work…

    …or a gay elected public servant who is a sexual predator of minors at work…

    …or a Democrat straight elected public servant who is a sexual predator of minors at work…

    …or a Republican gay elected public servant who is a sexual predator of minors at work…

    …or a Republican straight elected public servant who is a sexual predator of minors…

    …or a Democrat gay elected public servant who is a sexual predator of minors at work…

    …it still is wrong, corrupt, and also a sign of incompetence. Even worse, if the predator is being protected by the silence of his superiors and colleagues (regardless of party affiliation), this reminds me of how certain churches protect sexual predators among the clergy.

    These are the people you elected to serve you? America, I weep for thee.
    :(

  26. So what do you do if you’re a major political party and can’t handle the heat a scandal is bringing down on you? You get your propagandists to make it look like the bad guy is on the other team. Nice.

  27. Foley’s Follies may be the beginning of the end for repuglicans control of the government. It is ironic that the people who make the laws for the rest of us are the ones who tend to violate them. The hypocrisy is on both sides.

    There should be another law that will double the penalty if the violator is in the position to change or implement it. We have seen it in the case of Randy Cunningham and now Mark Foley. These are just examples of “special circumstances” that warrant penalties that are much more severe than simple ethical violations.

  28. Since the age of consent in the District of Columbia is 16, the term “minor” in this case can only be used in terms of ability to vote or purchase booze, but not in regards to sex acts. With that caveat, I agree with all of A.R.Yngve’s comments with the exception of his last one (since presumably the voters in Foley’s district would have rejected him had they known of his proclivities). Well, I guess even that comment applies to the 10th Congressional District in Massachusetts. You know, the one that re-elected Gerry Studds three times following his censure by the House for having had sex with a page.

  29. Anonymous,

    I instinctually look at all relationships between adult men and children with suspicion, even if I know I have no reason to.

    Sadly much of the rest of society tends to do this as well. Anyone who has any training in coaching lately is being told explicitely that they should NEVER ever be alone with the youths, for their own protection as well as the kids.

    It is too bad it has to be this way but as an adult male I accept that responsibility when I work with kids. The other evening my daughter had a sleepover but got ill. I considered whether it was appropriate for me to drive her 10 year old friend home at 10 PM. We’ve known their family for years and I trust them completely but I ended up asking my wife to do it. Obviously nothing at all would have happened but I didn’t want to cause any potential problems.

  30. Janiece, I sincerely doubt that OneBallJay is joking. BradBlog is a hell of a site and the fellow who runs it, Brad Friedman, is up on pretty much everything in the politcal arena. His speciality is election protection, but everything interests him. If it’s in BradBlog, you can bet it’s true.

    (Disclosure: dear friends of mine have done extensive work with Brad Friedman and I’ve done coordinating work on events he’s MCd. I happen to think that Brad rocks.)

  31. I’ve seen the Foley emails described as “lurid” “disgusting” “perverted” and “graphic.”

    Am I jaded, or are they really not that bad, text-wise? I think the only sex organ descriptor used was “wood.” I’ve heard much worse locker room talk–hell, I’ve used stronger language in front of my teenage nephews (ahem, not to my nephews). Are people just taking a position? At best, I would describe the text as suggestive in reality and inappropriate in context. But lurid?

  32. I’ve seen the Foley emails described as “lurid” “disgusting” “perverted” and “graphic.”

    Am I jaded, or are they really not that bad, text-wise? I think the only sex organ descriptor used was “wood.” I’ve heard much worse locker room talk–hell, I’ve used stronger language in front of my teenage nephews (ahem, not to my nephews). Are people just taking a position? At best, I would describe the text as suggestive in reality and inappropriate in context. But lurid?

  33. the timing of the news story is suspicious, and if the Dems knew about this and held it until last Friday then they have knowingly endangered other children. That’s from House Majority Leader John Boehner, quoted on CNN.com.

    I thought the most grevious “find a way to blame the Democrats” move was Tony Snow’s, who said something to the effect of “we’ve had inappropriate behavior in Washington before, and it’s been worse than a few naughty e-mails,” referring, apparently, to Bill Clinton’s affair with Monica Lewinsky. I believe this was a lame attempt at the “both sides do it, so this isn’t so bad” defense.

    But my personal favorite – for its sheer idiocy – is Newt Gingrich. I’m paraphrasing, but he said that if the House leadership had acted on allegations in 2005 or earlier, then they would have been accused of gay bashing.

    Again, a lame attempt at deflecting attention/responsibility. I could certainly imagine a scenario, though, where Democrats come to the defense of Foley (not having all the facts), and accuse the Republicans of making up the part about underage boys in an attempt to suggest that all gays are pedophiles. Sad, but not implausible. Today’s follow-up question to Gingrich, though, should be, “Wouldn’t you rather be attacking a ridiculous Democratic accusation than defending a heinous crime that was left unpunished?” But that would be asking too much from the media, I think.

    Here’s the bottom line (in my OPINION, OK John? ;-) ): politics is a sleazy business, and there’s plenty of sleaze to go around. If the Democrats knew about this & held it until October, that’s sleazy. Ditto the press. Ditto the Republican leadership. Any Democrat who’s currently campaigning on the new mantra, “Republicans are soft on pedophiles,” even if their opponent wasn’t one of the leaders that covered it up is being sleazy too. So are the people that are calling the Republicans “bad Christians” for not defending the children – especially after bitching for so many years that the Republicans involve too much faith in the governing process.

    But all of this is beside the point.

    Foley injured children, deserved to lose his job, and likely deserves to go to jail. Leaders who knew about his problem, and decided to warn the pages to stay away from him, rather than risk losing a house seat, put children in danger of being injured. They deserve to lose their jobs as well. Anyone else who knew and did nothing (including Democrats and the media) deserve to pay a price.

    The most likely scenario, though, is that the whole thing blows over in a couple of weeks. The Democrats are still under the illusion that people will vote them into office because they hate the Republicans, despite over a decade of evidence to the contrary. Most of the congressional leadership that are under fire right now are not up for re-election, and while people will rail against the GOP in opinion polls, they will probably trust their Congressman when he says, “I wasn’t involved” and vote for him anyway…

  34. All the glee is a bit much….it’s still just one sick fool finally getting what he deserves. Whatever political hay there is to make is probably limited to the man himself – although it appears that some in party leadership may have some issues to deal with as well.

    Can’t blame the Dems for doing what they can with it, but please, folks, don’t fool yourselves into believing the Dems handle such matters any better. This ain’t “excusing” or “accusing”……just a knowledge of history…..

  35. I think the representation as “lurid” is appropriate in the context of a 52 year-old man offering to that he would love to help a 16 year-old boy “slip them (his clothes) off of you”. Add in the issue that the 52 year-old heads a legislative committee to oversee the protection of children from….well, exactly that kind of behavior, and you see the context.

    Is this graphic?
    “Maf54: You in your boxers, too?
    Teen: Nope, just got home. I had a college interview that went late.
    Maf54: Well, strip down and get relaxed.”

    Maybe not, but it’s CREEPY to me.
    It would be just as upsetting to me regardless of the orientation.

  36. But hey, don’t listen to me — listen to Dick Morris:

    “What is important is that all of the venality and hypocrisy, so evident when congressmen hire their wives or freeload on trips paid for by lobbyists or cram the budget with unjustified earmarks or encourage their sons and daughters to become highly paid lobbyists cashing in on their special access — all of those misdeeds, have suddenly acquired a poster boy: Rep. Foley!”

    http://thehill.com/thehill/export/TheHill/Comment/DickMorris/100406.html

  37. Most of the congressional leadership that are under fire right now are not up for re-election, and while people will rail against the GOP in opinion polls, they will probably trust their Congressman when he says, “I wasn’t involved” and vote for him anyway…

    Brian, all the congressional leaders under direct fire for this are in the House of Representatives, all of whom are up for re-election this year–as they are every two years, without exception. Hastert, the Speaker of the House, and the one among the leadership who is most obviously lying about what he knew when (Boehner, Alexander, and others have said specifically that they told him), has to go face his social-conservative, values voters constituents on Nov. 7, just like all the others.

    It’s the Senate that has only 1/3 of its members up for re-election each election year, and that’s not where this scandal is concentrated.

  38. Brian Greenberg:

    “Most of the congressional leadership that are under fire right now are not up for re-election…”

    Uh, all the House seats are up for re-election this year, as they are every national election cycle, and at least one of the key players in this scandal, Rep. Reynolds, is in a tough race, as I understand it.

    I disagree that this will blow over in a couple of weeks — I think that’s a wildly optimistic assessment — but I think I’d agree that if the Democrats want to take the House, they need to make sure they have more going for them than this scandal. But it does seem that voter trends are moving more in their favor — they were prior to this, and this only accelerates the trend.

  39. WizarDru:

    You misread me: I said I thought the conversation, in and of itself, is hardly lurid or graphic.

    Creepy is a contextual reaction. If this was an exchange between two 16 year olds or two 52 year olds, would it be creepy?

  40. WizarDru:

    You misread me: I said I thought the conversation, in and of itself, is hardly lurid or graphic.

    Creepy is a contextual reaction. If this was an exchange between two 16 year olds or two 52 year olds, would it be creepy?

  41. Mark DF – there are lots of things I said at 16 that would be creepy now, but weren’t then. The point isn’t that if you take them out of context, they aren’t that bad – the point is the context – a much older man was clearly hitting on a much younger man. And the instant messages are even worse. Who knows what they would have discovered had they actually bothered to investigate when they first recieved the emails…

  42. all the House seats are up for re-election this year, as they are every national election cycle

    Mea culpa. I had my houses mixed up. Interesting, though, in all the articles I’ve read about this, never once has anyone mentioned the polling results in Hastert’s race. Am I to assume that he’s basically assured re-election, despite all of this?

    Also, a question regarding Fox News/AP labelling him a Democrat. For anyone who’s actually been watching Fox News (as opposed to just looking at screenshots), are the talking heads just above the incorrect headlines talking about him as if he were a Democrat? My guess is probably not.

    In fact, my guess is that the overwhelming majority of the conversation revolves around the Republicans and how they’re going to deal with this. If that’s the case, then it’s probably just an error, and a minor one at that…

    Every mistake Fox News makes gets spun into some sinister plot to undercut the Democrats. If this is such a plot, it’s a pretty poor one, I think…

  43. Axel FOLEY! I read Axl Rose.

    Nothing from Girlschool! We’ll just have to send Lemmy round to put him right. Cure him of any addiction to young boys, anyway.

    What I really, really don’t get is going into the gossip capital of the Universe and chasing the boys there. I mean, how could be possibly imagine he wasn’t going to end up on the front pages in exactly the way that would see him kissing . . . goodbye to his career?

  44. Axel FOLEY! I read Axl Rose.

    Nothing from Girlschool! We’ll just have to send Lemmy round to put him right. Cure him of any addiction to young boys, anyway.

    What I really, really don’t get is going into the gossip capital of the Universe and chasing the boys there. I mean, how could be possibly imagine he wasn’t going to end up on the front pages in exactly the way that would see him kissing . . . goodbye to his career?

  45. Martyn Taylor:

    What I really, really don’t get is going into the gossip capital of the Universe and chasing the boys there. I mean, how could be possibly imagine he wasn’t going to end up on the front pages in exactly the way that would see him kissing . . . goodbye to his career?

    One word can answer that question: hubris.

    All politicians possess it to some degree (or else they wouldn’t run to begin with) and a large percentage of Republican congressfolks seem to have more of it running through their veins than your average politician.

  46. Brian Greenberg:

    “Every mistake Fox News makes gets spun into some sinister plot to undercut the Democrats.”

    I don’t think there’s much meat to the Fox News thing either, but I do think it’s interesting it made the same mistake more than once, over more than one show, over (if I recall correctly) more than one day. You’d think an organization ostensibly concerned with accuracy would eventually get it right.

  47. Interesting, though, in all the articles I’ve read about this, never once has anyone mentioned the polling results in Hastert’s race. Am I to assume that he’s basically assured re-election, despite all of this?

    He certainly was before this; I don’t think there’s really been a chance to poll the district since this situation started coming apart on him. Later this week, maybe we’ll get an idea whether it’s having an effect, and what kind.

    Oh, and the mislabeling Foley as a Democrat thing? In the AP story, this was the section as it originally appeared:

    Dobson also said he has been “very irritated and disappointed with the Republican Party” and that GOP candidates whom “values voters” helped elect in 2004 have “sat on their majorities and not used them productively.”

    He touched on the uproar over former U.S. Rep. Mark Foley, D-Florida, who resigned Friday in a scandal over electronic messages he sent to former teenage male congressional pages.

    “Neither party has a cornerstone on morality,” he said.

    Notice that in that form, with Foley labelled with the “D”, it appears to be citing Foley as evidence of Democratic morality problems.

  48. As Napoleon Bonaparte said: “Never ascribe to malice that which can be explained by incompetence.”

    Thus, I tend not to worry if some production assistant on a low budget TV “news” channel types the wrong letter on an overlay label. The same with the consipracy theories about the surfacing of those IMs being held back until after the primary. If they had come out months ago, Foley would have had to drop out of the race (or be defeated in the primary). Now his majority Republican district may have no choice except to vote for the Democrat. (Uh, unless they follow the example set by the Massholes* who kept returing Stubbs to office.)

    ————————–
    *This is a term of deep affection that we Rhode Islanders sometimes use for our neighbors… especially when they cut into our lane without signaling on I-95 or do something stupid like repeatedly voting for a pederast.

  49. As Napoleon Bonaparte said: “Never ascribe to malice that which can be explained by incompetence.”

    Thus, I tend not to worry if some production assistant on a low budget TV “news” channel types the wrong letter on an overlay label. The same with the consipracy theories about the surfacing of those IMs being held back until after the primary. If they had come out months ago, Foley would have had to drop out of the race (or be defeated in the primary). Now his majority Republican district may have no choice except to vote for the Democrat. (Uh, unless they follow the example set by the Massholes* who kept returing Stubbs to office.)

    ————————–
    *This is a term of deep affection that we Rhode Islanders sometimes use for our neighbors… especially when they cut into our lane without signaling on I-95 or do something stupid like repeatedly voting for a pederast.

  50. Brian Greenberg said quoting John Scalzi:

    “all the House seats are up for re-election this year, as they are every national election cycle:”

    Mea culpa. I had my houses mixed up. Interesting, though, in all the articles I’ve read about this, never once has anyone mentioned the polling results in Hastert’s race. Am I to assume that he’s basically assured re-election, despite all of this?

    Even before last Friday, it was thought that the Democrats had a reasonable chance to regain the majority in the House. So yes even though Hastert may have no re-election worries, his position as Speaker could well be up for grabs.

    George

  51. There’s an only-partly-joking bit of advice lawyers pass around: if you’ve done something that gets you in trouble with the State Bar, develop a drinking problem fast. The idea is that if you can present your incompetence as due to some external, curable problem, like Demon Rum, the consequences you face are much lighter than if you just said “I’m an incompenent loser.”

    So perhaps Foley does have a drinking problem. But I can’t help but think that whoever hustled him off to rehab, it was probably a J.D. rather than an M.D.

  52. I wouldn’t read too much into Fox labeling Foley a “D”. I seem to remember they made the same mistake in the other direction with Jefferson (you know, the guy they found $100k in cash in his freezer), labeling him an “R”. Occam’s razor: don’t invoke malice when sheer stupidity will do.

  53. ok, actually, i am actually against the dealth penalty too, i think it is pretty uncivilized, even for people who premeditate murder, but i really hate child molesters. with a serious passion. i think their lives should be ruined the way they ruined those of kids.

    so the above suggestion of castration is a good one, cause that way, they can live and suffer, but maybe not chemical, maybe an old fashioned knife, because that way, every time they go to the bathroom, they are reminded and it’s not reversible like chemical castration.

    and a really good beating too. the bone-crunching type. and then when they heal up, another one. something for them to look forward to.

  54. Why, Tari… politicians are a special class of people! They deserve the red-carpet treatment, not any sort of punishment fit for common criminals… after all, your elected representatives work hard to protect their voters’ interests.

    In fact, they work so hard they get hard…
    (*SATIRE*)

  55. Why, Tari… politicians are a special class of people! They deserve the red-carpet treatment, not any sort of punishment fit for common criminals… after all, your elected representatives work hard to protect their voters’ interests.

    In fact, they work so hard they get hard…
    (*SATIRE*)

  56. …and as for it being accidental, the link i posted above shows a screen capture of something called ‘Big Story Sunday’, whatever that is, and there seem to be three talking heads discussing whether the democrats did enough to stop their congressman.

    funny accident.

  57. dael:
    there seem to be three talking heads discussing whether the democrats did enough to stop their congressman. funny accident.

    This is exactly the question I was asking – who are those three people? Are they really talking about Foley like he’s a Democrat? If so, they risk being laughed at as fools for the rest of their lives. My guess is they’re talking about him like a Republican and the overlay is just wrong.

    And John – I agree with you that a news organization should have enough fact-checkers running around to catch this, but I can see how the mistake happens more than once. The overlay is created once & used over and over again, until someone finds the error. Then it’s gone for good.

    I once built a reporting system that had a spelling error in the common report header. Hundreds of reports all printed with the same error and no one noticed. When someone did notice, one small change made it disappear forever. A dumb mistake, yes, but no one who knew how the system worked would have dreamed of calling it hundreds of dumb mistakes…

  58. Because I’m feeling inspired by TNH and PNH reposting John Ford’s comments.

    The leadership cloak room in 2003.

    “Denny?”

    “I told you, while I’m wearing the suit it’s Mr. Speaker. Alaska invades Kamchutka”

    “Sorry, Mr. Speaker.”

    “Why do you disturb me while I work?”

    “Mr. Speaker, I have a page outside who says he’s been receiving inappropriate email messages from Representative Foley.”

    “Florida Fruit Foley or that other one? Egypt invades Saudi Arabia.”

    “Florida Fruit, Mr. Speaker.”

    “Ah, well, you know how it is with them. Tell the page we’ll deal with it right after we get done with this Iraq war. That should only be a few weeks, a month at most. We don’t want anything to distract us from the war. Surely, if this page is any sort of man, he can understand. Western US invades Central America.”

    “I will tell him, Mr. Speaker.”

    “And get me some new dice. I can’t seem to win any of these battles.”

  59. Because I’m feeling inspired by TNH and PNH reposting John Ford’s comments.

    The leadership cloak room in 2003.

    “Denny?”

    “I told you, while I’m wearing the suit it’s Mr. Speaker. Alaska invades Kamchutka”

    “Sorry, Mr. Speaker.”

    “Why do you disturb me while I work?”

    “Mr. Speaker, I have a page outside who says he’s been receiving inappropriate email messages from Representative Foley.”

    “Florida Fruit Foley or that other one? Egypt invades Saudi Arabia.”

    “Florida Fruit, Mr. Speaker.”

    “Ah, well, you know how it is with them. Tell the page we’ll deal with it right after we get done with this Iraq war. That should only be a few weeks, a month at most. We don’t want anything to distract us from the war. Surely, if this page is any sort of man, he can understand. Western US invades Central America.”

    “I will tell him, Mr. Speaker.”

    “And get me some new dice. I can’t seem to win any of these battles.”

  60. I thought you might find this amusing – I was browsing the web, and some strange fascination drew me to http://www.gop.com.

    On the top right hand side, it tells you what GW is doing today – they couldn’t make it up!

    “President Bush will be in Washington, DC where he will participate in a briefing on No Child Left Behind this morning at the Department of Education; make remarks on No Child Left Behind at 11 a.m”

  61. “I’ve got it, babies. What’s more down homey than a politico kissing babies. There’s got to be a baby around here I can kiss on camera.”

    “Mr. President, that may not be the image we really want to project at this time, smooching unsuspecting toddlers. See, it won’t play well on the news.

    “Maybe we could have Dick kiss some babies. I mean the media love to portray Dick as a black hat. This can only help.”

    “Babies cry whenever the VP comes in the room, Mr. President. I don’t think that would be good TV.”

    “Well, Laura tells me it’s school time again, maybe we could do something with that legislation of mine, the No Child’s Behind Act.”

    “That would be the “No Child Left Behind Act,” sir. I set something up for tomorrow morning.”

    “I have to have children around me so those pesky reporters stop asking all those uncomfortable questions about sex. Maybe I could give one of the kiddos a neck rub to show how much I care about ‘em.”

    “That would be unwise, sir, given the last time we tried a neck rub on TV. I suggest we just have them stand over to the side, away from the door, just in case.”

    “Good thinkin’ Karly. Make it so.”

  62. Brian Greenberg said:
    This is exactly the question I was asking – who are those three people? Are they really talking about Foley like he’s a Democrat? If so, they risk being laughed at as fools for the rest of their lives. My guess is they’re talking about him like a Republican and the overlay is just wrong.

    And John – I agree with you that a news organization should have enough fact-checkers running around to catch this, but I can see how the mistake happens more than once. The overlay is created once & used over and over again, until someone finds the error. Then it’s gone for good.

    “DID DEMS IGNORE FOLEY EMAILS TO PRESERVE SEAT?” doesn’t look like a plausible “honest mistake” to me, Brian. The wrong party initial, once or even twice, yes, but repeatedly, over two or three days, on their big-budget and high-rated shows? In such a high-profile story, and no one catches it? They didn’t have a previously-existing graphic for such a prominent Republican member of the House? But, yeah, maybe it could happen.

    But not “DID DEMS IGNORE FOLEY EMAILS TO PRESERVE SEAT?” You really think they had that graphic lying around, from some other, Democratic “Foley scandal” involving emails? Or that when they created this one, “DEMS” instead of “GOP” was as easy to miss as the mistaken use of “D” for “R” would be? Does that really seem plausible to you?

    Remember, if they are doing this, they’re not going for the audience that already knows Foley’s a Republican; they’re going for the audience that believes they can’t say something on TV if it’s not true.

  63. Brian Greenberg said:
    This is exactly the question I was asking – who are those three people? Are they really talking about Foley like he’s a Democrat? If so, they risk being laughed at as fools for the rest of their lives. My guess is they’re talking about him like a Republican and the overlay is just wrong.

    And John – I agree with you that a news organization should have enough fact-checkers running around to catch this, but I can see how the mistake happens more than once. The overlay is created once & used over and over again, until someone finds the error. Then it’s gone for good.

    “DID DEMS IGNORE FOLEY EMAILS TO PRESERVE SEAT?” doesn’t look like a plausible “honest mistake” to me, Brian. The wrong party initial, once or even twice, yes, but repeatedly, over two or three days, on their big-budget and high-rated shows? In such a high-profile story, and no one catches it? They didn’t have a previously-existing graphic for such a prominent Republican member of the House? But, yeah, maybe it could happen.

    But not “DID DEMS IGNORE FOLEY EMAILS TO PRESERVE SEAT?” You really think they had that graphic lying around, from some other, Democratic “Foley scandal” involving emails? Or that when they created this one, “DEMS” instead of “GOP” was as easy to miss as the mistaken use of “D” for “R” would be? Does that really seem plausible to you?

    Remember, if they are doing this, they’re not going for the audience that already knows Foley’s a Republican; they’re going for the audience that believes they can’t say something on TV if it’s not true.

  64. Brian Greenberg said:
    This is exactly the question I was asking – who are those three people? Are they really talking about Foley like he’s a Democrat? If so, they risk being laughed at as fools for the rest of their lives. My guess is they’re talking about him like a Republican and the overlay is just wrong.

    And John – I agree with you that a news organization should have enough fact-checkers running around to catch this, but I can see how the mistake happens more than once. The overlay is created once & used over and over again, until someone finds the error. Then it’s gone for good.

    “DID DEMS IGNORE FOLEY EMAILS TO PRESERVE SEAT?” doesn’t look like a plausible “honest mistake” to me, Brian. The wrong party initial, once or even twice, yes, but repeatedly, over two or three days, on their big-budget and high-rated shows? In such a high-profile story, and no one catches it? They didn’t have a previously-existing graphic for such a prominent Republican member of the House? But, yeah, maybe it could happen.

    But not “DID DEMS IGNORE FOLEY EMAILS TO PRESERVE SEAT?” You really think they had that graphic lying around, from some other, Democratic “Foley scandal” involving emails? Or that when they created this one, “DEMS” instead of “GOP” was as easy to miss as the mistaken use of “D” for “R” would be? Does that really seem plausible to you?

    Remember, if they are doing this, they’re not going for the audience that already knows Foley’s a Republican; they’re going for the audience that believes they can’t say something on TV if it’s not true.

  65. My apologies for the double-post; I thought I had caught that “anonymous” post in time, but obviously not.

  66. You make it sound like one has to be some sort of diabolical genius to work at Fox TV. Let it slide, folks.

    Please take off your party hats and ask yourselves: are you or are you not sick of corrupt politicians as such? Where is it written in the Constitution that “all men are created equal except Congressmen and Senators, who are above the law and can interpret it as they like anyway”?

  67. You make it sound like one has to be some sort of diabolical genius to work at Fox TV. Let it slide, folks.

    Please take off your party hats and ask yourselves: are you or are you not sick of corrupt politicians as such? Where is it written in the Constitution that “all men are created equal except Congressmen and Senators, who are above the law and can interpret it as they like anyway”?

  68. Yes, pay no attention to the deliberate smearing of the Bleeding Heart Weak Kneed Liberals, I mean, the Democratic Party. After all, it’s not like Fox News prides itself on being “fair and balanced.” Just like Sybil Leak.

    And aren’t you all sick of all politics? I mean, as this scandle knocks out the wind from some of the Republican’s base for get out the vote campaigns, all those BHWK Liberals could just stay home because each side is just as bad.

  69. You make it sound like one has to be some sort of diabolical genius to work at Fox TV. Let it slide, folks.

    When Fox initially assigned Foley to the Democrats, I thought it was funny. I could easily believe that it was a simple mistake…after all, Fox blames the Democrats for everything so typing a D instead of an R seems a believable error. But when I saw the “DID DEMS IGNORE FOLEY EMAILS TO PRESERVE SEAT?” banner yesterday I was less convinced that one was a simple screw up. I’m not willing to sign on to a Big Fox Conspiracy theory, but I do think Lis has a point.

    When I first saw the “DID DEMS…” caption I couldn’t help remembering the bit Jon Stewart did a while back on all those “innocent” questions news organizations flash at the bottoms of their screens. I can just hear Stewart reading this one.

  70. Actually, I think the Republican Party really deserves to lose the election over this scandal — and it probably will.

    But I would have thought the same about any party. Honestly. (Some people have their party hats so tightly screwed on, their brains are asphyxiated.)

  71. I’m waiting for “I wasn’t trying to seduce the boys, I was trying to seduce their body thetans.”

  72. “Remember, if they are doing this, they’re not going for the audience that already knows Foley’s a Republican; they’re going for the audience that believes they can’t say something on TV if it’s not true.”

    And the audience of people glancing at TVs left on with the sound down.

  73. Judas Priest got me through high school man…rock on bud..Turbo Lover and Breakin’ the Law were a couple of my favorites

    P.S. Add more things you might do to the cat to your “To Do” list. I might just do similar things to my cat and compare results w/ ya

  74. Judas Priest got me through high school man…rock on bud..Turbo Lover and Breakin’ the Law were a couple of my favorites

    P.S. Add more things you might do to the cat to your “To Do” list. I might just do similar things to my cat and compare results w/ ya

  75. There’ve been a number of people this week saying that they should end the page program. I wasn’t really paying attention to that until I heard it repeated again this morning on one of the Sunday political shows.

    It suddenly dawned on me that what they’re really saying is, “We, your elected officials cannot be trusted to control our basest impulses”.

    Well, Jeez! That’s encouraging.

    Maybe we should have schools taught by minors since the problem isn’t that some teachers are pedophiles. I mean, hey, it’s not they’re fault. Who ever came up with the idea of putting all that temptation in front of adults? We obviously need to abolish schools.

    Maybe kids should stay at home with they’re parents until they’re 18 and get all education and entertainment via streaming video. So what if they’ll emerge with the social skills of a turnip.

    So, by all means, abolish the page program instead of, I don’t know, telling old men to keep they’re hands (and minds) off the kiddies.

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