October 2, 2006

They're going down, on the dirty boulevard

Ann Forbush, Autumn Returns

* Top ten conservative idiots. excerpt:

1. Mark Foley

"Okay, who guessed that Mark Foley would be at the top of the list this week? Wow - all of you!

"Yes, Rep. Mark Foley (R-Sexual Predator) resigned last week after it was revealed that he had exchanged sexually explicit instant messages with teenage boys.

"In the one chat session that we have a copy of (PDF), "Maf54" presses a 16-year-old congressional page to describe what he's wearing and discusses masturbation techniques in frank terms, before the young man signs off with:

Xxxxxxxxx (8:16:53 PM): well i better go finish my hw...i just found out from a friend that i have to finish reading and notating a book for AP english

"Eww. And it turns out that Foley's unwarranted attention was directed at not just one, but at least five pages:

His sudden resignation as a Congressman, a position he loved, came only hours after he was confronted with e-mails and AOL instant messages he had exchanged with a pair of teenage boys. ABC News since has reported that as many as five boys - all congressional pages - have come forward.

"But this isn't your everyday Republican congressional teenage sex scandal - it turns out that Mark Foley was, believe it or not, founder and co-chair of the Congressional Missing and Exploited Children's Caucus.

"Foley was very proud of his work looking after our nation's children. His website - which was obviously deleted last week - had a whole page called "Child Protection."

"And the irony doesn't stop there. There's a video of Mark Foley talking to John Walsh about his new legislation to track down child predators. Foley's classic last line, 'If I were one of these sickos I'd be nervous with America's Most Wanted on my trail.'

"At this point I'd like to thank DU's Blue-Jay who has already won the Foley scandal-naming contest with 'Masturgate.'"

* For the latest on Masturgate, including Tony Snow's comment that this scandal is nothing more than "Simply naughty emails,' check americablog and talking points memo regularly today.

* "The human race has had long experience and a fine tradition in surviving adversity. But we now face a task for which we have little experience: the task of surviving prosperity." -- Alan Gregg

* Washington Post on the "anything goes" administration. excerpt:

"THE INTERIOR Department's inspector general says the department suffers from an 'anything goes' ethical culture.

"'Simply stated, short of a crime, anything goes at the highest levels of the Department of the Interior,' Inspector General Earl E. Devaney told a House Government Reform subcommittee last month. 'Ethics failures on the part of senior department officials -- taking the form of appearances of impropriety, favoritism and bias -- have been routinely dismissed with a promise 'not to do it again.'

"At the Education Department, its inspector general found, officials violated conflict-of-interest rules and steered contracts for its $4.8 billion Reading First program to favored textbook publishers."
"Meanwhile, three top officials at the Department of Housing and Urban Development told the inspector general there that Secretary Alphonso Jackson had said 'it was important to consider presidential supporters when candidates for HUD discretionary contracts were being considered.'
"And then there was the U.S. Coalition Provisional Authority in Iraq, which sent -- in the account of The Post's Rajiv Chandrasekaran, 'the loyal and the willing instead of the best and the brightest' to help rebuild Iraq -- with a screening process that featured questions on whether applicants voted for George W. Bush or even what they thought about Roe v. Wade.

"A 24-year-old who lacked a background in finance -- but who had applied for a White House job -- was detailed to reopen Baghdad's stock exchange. The head of a faith-based relief organization that provided health care while promoting Christianity in developing countries was sent to replace a physician with extensive experience in postwar health administration because, the physician was told, the White House wanted a 'loyalist' in the job.

"These dots connect to form a disturbing picture -- not so much of greed-fueled corruption as of ideologically driven coziness. Those who differ from the party line are excluded from the benefits of power, while those who toe it are welcomed and, if they err, quickly forgiven. A more responsible president would put a quick stop to this. A more responsible Congress would insist."


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