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US Rep. Mark Foley Resigns From Congress

Welcome Instapundit readers!   **NEW UPDATE AT 9PM BELOW**

A friend of mine in DC is telling me that the Associated Press is reporting the imminent resignation of US Rep. Mark Foley (R-FL). 

**UPDATED**Foley has resigned from Congress this afternoon, according to the Associated Press at 3:18PM.

For those of you who haven’t seen the news about his email exchange with a 16-year old Congressional Page, the Washington Post had it on p. A7 this morning

The Democratic opponent of Rep. Mark Foley (R-Fla.) is calling for an investigation into an e-mail exchange that Foley conducted last year with a 16-year-old boy who had worked as a congressional page.

Foley, 52, has served in the House for six terms and is seeking reelection. He said that the five e-mails he wrote to the boy were harmless and that their publication is part of an attempt by Democrats to smear him.

In the brief but chatty e-mails, which were first reported by ABC News, Foley asked how old the boy was, inquired what he wanted for his birthday, requested a picture of the young man and told him that he had just finished a long bike ride and was going to the gym.

According to ABC, the boy forwarded the e-mail that requested his picture to an unidentified congressional staffer and wrote that the e-mail was “sick sick sick sick sick.” In another e-mail to a staffer, ABC reported, the boy wrote: “Maybe it is just me being paranoid, but seriously. This freaked me out.”

I was going to wait to see how this turned out before blogging on it.  But with reports coming out now about a resignation, I figured it was time to post on this.

First, in the interest of full disclosure, I would like to state that I have personally contributed to Rep. Foley’s House campaigns and his abandoned US Senate race.  I was friends with a number of his Congressional staff when I lived and worked in the DC metro area.  And I interacted with Rep. Foley on several occasions at business-related social functions and official meetings.  He was always a gentleman and one of the more knowledgeable Members of Congress I had ever met.

That being said, three immediate thoughts came to my mind when I first read this story earlier today: 

First — a 16-year old!?!?  I just don’t get that!!!

Second — Think a long, long time before you put stuff in email.  It never goes away and travels all around the world.

Third — Foley will be lynched, while Rep. Barney Frank (D-MA) was given a pass for having his call-boy boyfriend running a prostitution ring out of Frank’s townhouse and he has won re-election ever since.

Aside from that, I am interested in seeing how the facts play out before casting judgment on anyone involved.

**FURTHER UPDATE**It sounds like a criminal investigation will (and should) occur.

Hours earlier, ABC News had read excerpts of instant messages provided by former male pages who said the congressman, under the AOL Instant Messenger screen name Maf54, made repeated references to sexual organs and acts.

In a statement, Foley said, “I am deeply sorry and I apologize for letting down my family and the people of Florida I have had the privilege to represent.”

**MORE** – The folks at National Review Online have a look at the political fallout in Florida’s 16th District in the wake of Foley’s departure.

And, here’s a history of Congressional sex scandals… one-stop shopping!

Even more Foley round-up over at StopTheACLU.

**9PM UPDATE** – There is an obsession by some commenters as to why I never “outed” Mark Foley if I knew he was gay, assuming I did. 

Unlike Liberals, I do not believe that being gay and Republican is a crime. In fact, I don’t think it is a crime to be gay with any political persuasion.  Those on the Left obviously disagree since they are obsessed with “outing” people.

But my question is, why did the St. Petersburg Times not expose Foley as a possible child sex predator if they had the story last November?

Efforts to reach the boy were unsuccessful, but he told the St. Petersburg Times last November, “I thought it was very inappropriate. After the one about the picture, I decided to stop e-mailing him back.” The Times didn’t publish the comments until Friday.

What responsibility does the St. Petersburg Times have to expose allegations of a very serious crime when they become aware of it….versus sitting on it until Election time?  It really makes me wonder what they were thinking.  Tom Bevan of RealClearPolitics agrees with me.

So if the St. Pete Times could have nailed the story down a long time ago and didn’t, that leads us to two fairly divergent pieces of speculation: Was the paper planning on springing the story closer to the election and got scooped by CREW and ABC News? Or was the paper deliberately ignoring the story in an effort to cover for Foley? Neither seems all that likely to me, so I’m at a loss as to what motivated the St. Petersburg Times to keep a lid on this story for the better part of a year. 

What is going on here?

-Bruce (GayPatriot)

WaPo Goes All Napoleon Dynamite On Democrats

Posted by Bruce Carroll at 9:31 am - September 29, 2006.
Filed under: 2006 Elections,War On Terror,World War III

Gosh!  You Dems are such idiots!

Democrats are citing the intelligence estimate as proof that Iraq has been a catastrophe. Those among them who prophesied four years ago that an invasion would provide new recruits for al-Qaeda’s cause can justifiably claim some vindication. But the report also poses problems for Democratic leaders such as House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (Calif.) and Sen. John F. Kerry (Mass.), who say the solution in Iraq is an early withdrawal of U.S. troops. The report supports Mr. Bush’s contention that Iraq is now a central front in the war on terrorism; it says “perceived jihadist success there would inspire more fighters to continue the struggle elsewhere,” while defeat would mean that “fewer fighters will be inspired to carry on the fight.”

The larger thrust of the report goes well beyond Iraq or the cacophony of the midterm election campaign. It says “the most powerful weapon in the war on terror” over time will be not military success in Iraq or the capturing and killing of al-Qaeda leaders, but “the Muslim mainstream.” The vast majority of Muslims are likely to reject the extreme political solutions proposed by al-Qaeda and its allies, and they will be more likely to do so if “democratic reform efforts in Muslim-majority nations progress” and entrenched problems of “corruption, injustice, and fear of Western domination” are alleviated.

The U.S. mission in Iraq since the overthrow of Saddam Hussein has been largely aimed at those goals, in one of the Muslim world’s most important countries. It should be little wonder that the effort, like U.S. promotion of democracy in Lebanon and within the Palestinian Authority, has provoked an extremist backlash. Were it to retreat altogether from the Middle East, the United States could probably reduce the number of Islamic extremist recruits in the next five years. Yet any careful reader of the intelligence estimate will find it hard to conclude that the war can be won that way.

The Surrendercrats are smacked upside the head by one of their own.  Gotta love it.

-Bruce (GayPatriot)

Log Cabin Belatedly Raps Dems For Blocking HIV/AIDS Funding

**UPDATE at 1:30PM below**

Well, for about the first time in three years, Log Cabin actually grew a set and remembered that they have the word “Republicans” in their name!   I’m glad to see they finally got on the boat with this since I’ve been talking about it for quite some time.

From Log Cabin (Republicans) Press Release – September 27, 2006

Log Cabin calls on six Senate Democrats to allow reauthorization of the Ryan White CARE Act.   “Failure to pass this law by October 1st will have a devastating impact on tens of thousands of people with HIV/AIDS,” said Log Cabin Executive Vice President Patrick Sammon.

“Senator Clinton and her five democratic colleagues should stop playing politics with this life-saving program.” Six Democratic Senators are using a procedural maneuver to block the CARE Act’s reauthorization.  The Senators blocking the bill include Sen. Hillary Clinton, Sen. Chuck Schumer, Sen. Mark Dayton, Sen. Bob Menendez, Sen. John Corzine and Sen. Barbara Boxer.  “It’s time for these Senators put the national interest above local special interests,” said Sammon.

The Ryan White CARE Act is the principal federal program that provides assistance to Americans infected with HIV/AIDS.  Senators and House members from both parties have developed a bipartisan compromise to update the program with reforms that reflect changes in the epidemic.  There’s near unanimous agreement that this bill should be passed.  While the changes in the proposed bill will lead to small reductions in certain states, many other states with critical funding shortages will benefit from the new law. 

“In total, this bill is in the best interest of our nation and those suffering from HIV/AIDS,” said Sammon.  “Now is the time for action.” U.S. Senator Mike Enzi (R-WY), Chairman of the Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions (HELP) Committee said, “An agreement must be reached. 

If the bill is not reauthorized by September 30, several states including California, Massachusetts, Maryland, Illinois, and the District of Columbia would receive drastic reductions in funding and the program that people infected with HIV and AIDS rely on for drugs and other services will not be able to provide them with the treatment they desperately need.” Nearly all Senate Democrats agree this bill must be passed. 

Senator Ted Kennedy (D-MA), the ranking member of the HELP committee with Sen. Enzi said in a statement on Tuesday, “There are few more urgent responsibilities for Congress this week than to pass this bipartisan legislation.” While Log Cabin supports reauthorization, we understand this isn’t a perfect bill.  During the appropriations process, lawmakers will need to provide at least a $55 million increase to the AIDS Drug Assistance Programs (ADAP). 

“Flat funding ADAP will create additional stress on a program that is already stretched too thin,” said Sammon.

Maybe with the Massachusetts Liberal Guerriero no longer steering the ship, Log Cabin can start to become the organization it is supposed to be.  I’m not holding my breath given the current LCR Board Chair is a habitual donor to liberal Democrat politicians and causes.

**UPDATE** In response to a commenter, the current Log Cabin Board President is Tim Schoeffler.  You may gander at his past history of liberal Democrat donations here and hereHis political spending has moderated lately, but come on — no real Republican would give one penny of his hard-earned money to Teddy Kennedy.

Bruce (GayPatriot)