Silly Excuses

Tom Maguire, who I genuinely think is interesting and has a lot to offer the blogosphere, pens perhaps the silliest excuse possible (although I have not checked the Powerline’s deep thoughts on the matter, so ‘silliest’ might not be fair) for why the GOP leadership sat on the Foley story and did nothing:

However, picture this headline – “House Leadership Boots Allegedly Gay Republican On Trumped-Up Pedophilia Charges”. Ugly. Worth Avoiding. Listening to Andrew Sullivan decry the homophobes in the House would not have been worth it. So they played it a bit too cautiously and slowly and here we are.

They didn’t do anything because they were afraid of Andrew Sullivan.


Here is an alternate theory that makes more sense- the GOP is full of shit and more concerned about retaining power than governance, and therefore decided that if they could quash the story and keep Foley in a ‘safe’ seat, they would.

Which of those two scenarios sounds more plausible? And btw, am I the only who thinks it is profoundly offensive that it is just assumed that because Sullivan is gay, he is going to go to bat for a pervert?

Things I Wish I Had Said

Dick Armey:

In an interview with Ryan Sager, author of the book “The Elephant in the Room: Evangelicals, Libertarians, and the Battle to Control the Republican Party,” Armey said the GOP was “adrift and rudderless” in its commitment to small government.

When pressed by Sager about what he feels is wrong with today’s Republican Congress, Armey – who became majority leader when the GOP took control of Congress in 1994 and retired in 2003 – said: “The criteria of choice in just about every behavior you see in Congress today is politics. Where in the hell did this Terri Schiavo thing come from? There’s not a conservative, Constitution-loving, separation-of-powers guy alive in the world that could have wanted that bill on the floor.

“That was pure, blatant pandering to James Dobson. That’s all it was. It was silly, stupid, and irresponsible. Nobody serious about the Constitution would do that. But the question was will this energize our Christian conservative base for the next election.”

Sager asked why it seems that Christian conservatives are more powerful now than in the 1990s. Armey replied: “To a large extent because Dobson and his gang of thugs are real nasty bullies. I pray devoutly every day, but being a Christian is no excuse for being stupid. There’s a high demagoguery coefficient to issues like prayer in schools. Demagoguery doesn’t work unless it’s dumb . . . These issues are easy for the intellectually lazy and can appeal to a large demographic.”

Armey, who was first elected as a Congressman from Texas in 1984, toned down his remarks – but only slightly – in an op-ed piece in the Wall Street Journal on Sept. 23. He again brought up Dobson: “The national representatives of the social conservative movement used to be sophisticated and tolerant. Today, they are sophomoric and angry. It’s an embarrassing spectacle seeing leaders bullied around by the likes of James Dobson, or watching the Christian Coalition team up with in support of bigger government.”

To be h0nest, I think I have said all of that. And what are these ignorant fools, these acolytes of the lunatic Christianist movement, Dobson’s merry band of thugs, up to now? Assaulting the Constitution:

With little public attention or even notice, the House of Representatives has passed a bill that undermines enforcement of the First Amendment’s separation of church and state. The Public Expression of Religion Act – H.R. 2679 – provides that attorneys who successfully challenge government actions as violating the Establishment Clause of the First Amendment shall not be entitled to recover attorneys fees. The bill has only one purpose: to prevent suits challenging unconstitutional government actions advancing religion.

Praise the Lord! Congress is saving us all from… well, nothing.

And just for some extra fun, here is ignoramus James Inhofe speaking at the Values Voter Summit:

In a sense, Inhofe was one of the most honest politicians to speak at the summit. He said he supports “core conservative values,” which, when you look at them, he explained, “you’ll find these things are all scriptural.’

“I could name about 10 of them – you can talk about flag burning, you can talk about ‘one nation under God,’ you can talk about homosexuals, you can talk about abortion – but I will only use two just as an example, and they are the abortion and homosexuality,” Inhofe stated. “When we talk about ‘litmus test,’ to me a litmus test is something that’s scriptural. If it’s scriptural, it’s a litmus test, and it should be. So I’m going to give you the scriptures … so when you go out among other people that don’t believe, you’ll be able to carry something with you.”

Good thing that buffoon doesn’t do anything important, like chair Senate committees. Who knows what crazy shit he might do if he had any power…

The Foley Scandal Gets Better

Not only was Foley attempting to bugger pages left and right, but key members of Congress knew about his habits and did nothing:

“House Majority Leader John A. Boehner (R-Ohio) told The Washington Post last night that he had learned this spring of inappropriate ‘contact’ between Foley and a 16-year-old page. Boehner said he then told House Speaker J. Dennis Hastert (R-Ill.). Boehner later contacted The Post and said he could not remember whether he talked to Hastert.

It was not immediately clear what actions Hastert took. His spokesman had said earlier that the speaker did not know of the sexually charged online exchanges between Foley and the boy.”

You’re doing a heckuva job, John Boehner!

And Rep. John Shimkus (R-Ill.) who oversees the congressional pages as head of the Page Board, the group responsible for the teenagers who work essentially as gofers and doorholders for lawmakers, knew even earlier.

The Post report contained the following passage:

“Shimkus said in a statement last night, ‘in late 2005, I was notified by the then Clerk of the House,’ that Alexander had told the Clerk ‘about an email exchange between Congressman Foley and a former House Page. I took immediate action to investigate the matter.’

“In the e-mail, ‘Foley asked about the former Page’s well-being after Hurricane Katrina and requested a photograph,’ Shimkus said. He said Foley assured him it was an innocent exchange, but ‘nevertheless, we ordered Congressman Foley to cease all contact’ with the boy and to respect all pages. ‘Only now have I learned that Congressman Foley was not honest about his conduct,’ Shimkus said.”

That is the kind of committment and dedication to duty that we have grown to expect from this corrupt Congress and loathesome administration. And you wonder why the war in Iraq is such a mess- these are the do-nothing fools providing the “oversight.”

Think they are going to do a better job providing oversight on torture, now that they have just greenlighted that?

I Swore I Wouldn’t Touch This

I swore I was not going to talk about this, but it is getting funnier by the minute. Apparently a bunch of people posted a photo-shopped picture of Michelle Malkin’s head in a bikini, and she is still furious (almost as mad as she might get if a cemetary design was crescent shaped, or some other grave capitulation to the terrorists that would be taken as a sign that we are losing the war on terror):

I have had a nice afternoon with my family. I was not going to post on the lying hate-mongers again, but they will not stop. If they think I am going to shut up about their continued deranged smear job, think again.

Ken Layne (who, FWIW, has achieved legendary status here at Balloon Juice and is still one of my favorite bloggers ever) is continuing to fan the flames:

Our boss is IM’ing us with stuff like, “Why is Malkin bothering me?” and “Please make it stop!” But if he thinks a couple of lowly bloggers can stop a force of jingoistic bullshit like Michelle Malkin, he is sadly mistaken.

The story so far: Malkin is apparently claiming the all-but-naked picture of her is somehow “photoshopped,” whatever that means. Sure it is, Michelle, sure it is. We happened to find that picture on Flickr, which clearly identifies itself as “The best place to store, search, sort and share your photos.” Nothing at all about “photoshops.” Nice try, Soviets!

Michelle is now threatening to sue, although for what, I am not sure. I am not sure how attaching someone’s head to an attractive looking female in a bikini is a crime, although, to be honest, I didn’t know it was a photoshop job either (I guess I just wasn’t looking closely enough at her neck). My actual first reaction was “Wow. She looks pretty good in a bikini, ” so I guess I fail to see how this was a grievous assault on one’s dignity. I guess bikini shots aren’t very popular with the Amish community Red State America (save Mark Foley’s district), so maybe this is a cobblestone street cred issue. In my defense, I am not very good at spotting child predators, either, so when it comes to photoshop jobs and child molesters, this is not a very useful website.

At any rate, I will try to keep you all posted as this story undressesunfolds.

I would like to add that if a picture of me from 1993 being kissed by a drag queen dressed up as Marilyn Monroe in a gay bar in Morgantown ever turns up, it is real. And I was shit-canned drunk and I think I went home with a young college girl that night (I hope it was the one who dragged me there).

Have a good night. I am heading out for martinis.

*** Update ***

It is official.

Thre martinis (vodka, dry, up, extra olive), one shot of Tuaca, two four-finger servings of Laphroiag (one on the rocks, one neat), and this story is still funny. Funnier, actually.

*** Update ***

The humor potential for this ‘smear’ to go one for a while is unlimited, and I have to say I am digging it.

I Guess We Can Add Pervert

To the list of titles applicable to the Republican congressional majority:

Rep. Mark Foley, R-Fla., submitted a letter of resignation from Congress on Friday in the wake of questions about e-mails he wrote a former male page, according to a congressional official.
Foley, 52, had been considered a shoo-in for re-election until the e- mails surfaced in recent days.

Campaign aides had previously acknowledged that the Republican congressman e-mailed the former Capitol page five times, but had said there was nothing inappropriate about the exchange. The page was 16 at the time of the e-mail correspondence.

Foley’s election opponent, Democrat Tim Mahoney, has called for an investigation.

The first I heard of this was last night, when a commenter linked to this story. I defended him, because I thought the emails were innocuous.

And once again, I was wrong. He is a pervert. Apparently, as cynical as I am, I am still naive about predators.

Really, I don’t know why any of you even read me. Am I ever right about anything?

*** Update ***

DKos notes Foley is a member of the Missing and Exploited Children Caucus. I guess he really did love kids.

*** Update #2 ***

Wikipedia has this:

Foley has been one of the foremost critics in the House of child pornography. Foley introduced a bill in 2002 to outlaw websites featuring controversial images of nude preteen children, saying that “these websites are nothing more than a fix for pedophiles.”[5] In June 2003 he wrote letters to the governor and attorney general of Florida, asking them to review the legality of a program for teenagers of a Lake Como nudist resort in Land O’Lakes, Florida.

Foley’s legislation to change federal sex offender laws was supported by the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children, America’s Most Wanted host John Walsh, and a number of victims’ rights groups. President George W. Bush signed it into law as part of the Adam Walsh Child Safety and Protection Act of 2006.

Foley also succeeded in getting a law passed that allows volunteer youth-serving organizations like the Boy Scouts of America and Boys and Girls Clubs to have access to FBI fingerprint background checks to help protect children.[6]

*** Update ***


Joementum Comes to PJ

This actually is kind of interesting- PJ Media interviewed Joe Lieberman.

And before the catcalls start about me bowing to my corporate masters, I like the way things have evolved at PJ as far as the design.

Just a Refresher

Just in case you were not sure what yesterday’s bill allows, here is a quick run-down:

Included in the bill, passed by Republican majorities in the Senate yesterday and the House on Wednesday, are unique rules that bar terrorism suspects from challenging their detention or treatment through traditional habeas corpus petitions. They allow prosecutors, under certain conditions, to use evidence collected through hearsay or coercion to seek criminal convictions.

The bill rejects the right to a speedy trial and limits the traditional right to self-representation by requiring that defendants accept military defense attorneys. Panels of military officers need not reach unanimous agreement to win convictions, except in death penalty cases, and appeals must go through a second military panel before reaching a federal civilian court.

By writing into law for the first time the definition of an “unlawful enemy combatant,” the bill empowers the executive branch to detain indefinitely anyone it determines to have “purposefully and materially” supported anti-U.S. hostilities. Only foreign nationals among those detainees can be tried by the military commissions, as they are known, and sentenced to decades in jail or put to death.

At the same time, the bill immunizes U.S. officials from prosecution for cruel, inhumane or degrading treatment of detainees who the military and the CIA captured before the end of last year. It gives the president a dominant but not exclusive role in setting the rules for future interrogations of terrorism suspects.

Written largely, but not completely, on the administration’s terms, with passages that give executive branch officials discretion to set details or divert from its protections, the bill is meant to provide what Bush said yesterday are “the tools” needed to handle terrorism suspects U.S. officials hope to capture.

And if you don’t like it, well tough:

Anticipating court challenges, the administration attempted to make the bill bulletproof by including provisions that would sharply restrict judicial review and limit the application of international treaties — signed by Washington — that govern the rights of wartime detainees.

Explain to me how this makes us safe from terrorists again?