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The Asylum

Welcome to the Asylum. This is a site devoted to politics and current events in America, and around the globe. The THREE lunatics posting here are unabashed conservatives that go after the liberal lies and deceit prevalent in the debate of the day. We'd like to add that the views expressed here do not reflect the views of other inmates, nor were any inmates harmed in the creation of this site.

Location: Mesa, Arizona, United States

Who are we? We're a married couple who has a passion for politics and current events. That's what this site is about. If you read us, you know what we stand for.

Monday, October 02, 2006

Foley Fallout

Rep. Mark Foley resigned last week amidst a sex scandal that the liberals are only so happy to jump on. Let me state for all of our readers that we at The Asylum condemn Rep. Foley's lecherous and illegal actions. Resignation is the easy way out, and he could be (and should be) looking at criminal charges. The boy he had relations with was sixteen at the time; underage is underage. Had the young boy been over the age of consent there would be no scandal involved. (And if anyone thinks that such a relationship is a scandal, then I want Barbney Franks tossed from the House. We don't bring up his lifestyle which is quite legal, though repulsive to many.)

What is interesting to note is the timing of the relase of this information. First of all, these IMs and e-mails were known about, by House leadership--both SETS of leaders--for more than a year. And here we are, just 36 days left to go before the election, and this is unfolding before us. His seat was a solid Republican seat, and it's now in play. And, of course, the newest polls coming out are showing the House race closer than ever.

Coincidence? I don't believe in coincidence. Call it a good lawyer's trait.Nothing happens by coincidence. Things happen by design, and it's apparently been designed by a few to make sure the GOP loses this seat. Am I excusing the behavior of Rep. Foley, or the House leadership? Absolutely not. The story thus far is that the parents of this young boy asked that this be kept quiet. They were afraid of any embarrassement tat might have been caused to their son, and their family. I can understand that completely. What I don't understand, and can't forgive, is the refusal by House members to discipline Mark Foley behind the scenes. A censure? Stripping him of his committee seats? Something? No, they gave him a warning, and in essence, they gave him a pass.

And the liberals are out there accusing our side of wanting to whitewash this. Again, nothing could be further from the truth. We want the truth. There have been calls from our side demanding to know what GOP leaders knew (namely Rep. Hastert), and when did they know it? We need this out in the open and completely transparent if people are going to have any faith in the GOP. And as we investigate that aspect of the scandal, there's a nother one catching attention in the blogosphere.

Passionate America, Just Barking Mad, The American Thinker, Flopping Aces, and 186 Per Second are all on top of the story that seems to be missing media attention today. There appears to be some discrepencies in the Foley e-mails. They've noticed them, and are asking questions. In addition to these astute bloggers, Little Green Footballs and Hot Air have also noticed this latest inquisitive journalism some from the best int he blogosphere. They're also asking the questions. The differences are minor, but they are there, and Passionate America has screen-caps of those differences that you can click on to enlarge them, and see the difference for yourselves.

Personally, I believe that the release of this information was politically-motivated. Before the Mark Foley scandal, the Democrats were looking at the projections for November, and were losing their giddiness. The map wasn't looking as good as they had hoped. And while they continued to hype the GOP members in trouble, they were overlooking their own troubled candidates, like Ned Lamont, who is soundly getting his rear handed to him by Joe Lieberman in the latest batch of polls. And who can forget Jon Tester, debating Conrad Burns last week, when he stated he'd "repeal the Patriot Act;" a tool that has been quite effective in this war. In short, the Democrats were looking at the same "push" that Thomas had predicted. Little seats changing hands, and the GOP still holding onto control of both Houses.

With the Foley scandal unfolding, this gives the Democrats more firepower, and I'm sure the talking points will sound something like this:

"Sure you may be able to trust the GOP on national security, but you can't trust them with your kids."

Low blow, and low-brow, as indictments go. Foley is one man, and he hardly represents the whole of the party. The reaction by the GOP base shows that they're not excusing or condoning his behavior. Mark Foley has been left to the wolves, and wished nothing but malice down the path he chose. He deserves every verbal beating he takes; He deserves every ounce of scorn heaped on him. (Just be honest about it, okay?) That seat is now completely up for grabs, and the GOP has named Joe Negron to take his place. As per Florida Election Laws, Foley will stay on the ballot (under the law it can't be changed), and all votes for Foley will be transferred to Negron's totals.

Negron's political bio is here. Here are his interest group ratings. And here is his voting record. In short, dear readers, Joe Negron is a solid conservative that has kept his nose clean. And the issues are what's going to propel him to hold that seat, not the mudslinging the Democrats are preparing for. They will, no doubt, be throwing plenty of it in that race.

As Thomas often says, 'you reap what you sow,' and that is true for Mark Foley. He got caught in a crime, and while I and others question the timing of this revelation, it doesn't change anything. He broke the law. As with any other member of Congress--Republican or Democrat--if they break the law, they should be ousted from their seat whether it be voluntary, or by force. If the House leadership spins this, and sweeps it under the carpet, there will be Hell to pay at the ballot box this coming November. No spin. No whitewash. Come out with the truth, and show America that even Congress isn't above the law. They need to show that they will hold elected officials accountable for their actions,a nd that their apparent inaction caused much of this scandal.

Sabrina McKinney

UPDATE: Right-Wing News, of which I missed in the rounds today) points out that based on those e-mails, the House did the right thing in 2005:

Back in 2005, the House Leadership is alerted that Mark Foley has written some "overly friendly" emails to a page, that the page's parents want the emails to stop, and that they don't want to take this any further.

Here are the emails in question.

Now, are these emails a little creepy, inappropriate, "overly friendly," for a Congressman to be sending to a 16 year old page? Yes. But, let's talk about what these emails aren't: they're not sexually explicit or illegal and Foley didn't attempt to set up a meeting.

So, what action do you take if you find out about these emails? Do you refer them to Capitol Hill Police? Why would you? No crime had been committed.

Do you refer them to the ethics committee? Why would you? The emails aren't an ethics breach.

So, what
ended up happening?

"(T)he Chairman of the House Page Board and the then Clerk of the House confronted Mr. Foley, demanded he cease all contact with the former page as his parents had requested, and believed they had privately resolved the situation as the parents had requested."

... But, what about the sexual instant messages Foley sent to a page? The House Leadership learned about them not in 2005, but last week, just like everyone else, and they reacted appropriately to them:

"Unlike the first communication, the second communication was a set of instant messages that contained sexually explicit statements and were reportedly generated three years ago. Last week, ABC News first reported these sexually explicit instant messages which led to Representative Foley's resignation. These sexually explicit communications warrant a criminal referral in two respects. Initially, since the communications involve interstate communications, there should be a complete investigation and prosecution of any federal laws that have been violated. In addition, since the communications appear to have existed for three years, there should be an investigation into the extent there are persons who knew or had possession of these messages but did not report them to the appropriate authorities. It is important to know who may have had the communications and why they were not given to prosecutors before now.

Therefore, I also request that the Department undertake an investigation into who had specific knowledge of the content of any sexually explicit communications between Mr. Foley and any former or current House pages and what actions such individuals took, if any, to provide them to law enforcement. I request that the scope of your investigation include any and all individuals who may have been aware of this matter-be they Members of Congress, employees of the House of Representatives, or anyone outside the Congress."

So, did the House Leadership handle this issue correctly back in 2005? Yes, they did. Are they handling it right today? Yes, they are.

Okay, given this new information, and thoroughtly reading over the e-mails that started this, I'm forced to agree with Mr. Hawkins' assessment. There was nothing overt or sexual in the e-mails from a year ago. However, there is a veiled intent in the messages, and that is probably why the House reacted as it did. Cease, and desist, or else. Now come the IMs, and this time the House wasted little time in dealing with the situation. There job is to get to the bottom of it. Who knew, when did they know it, and why wasn't action taken immediately when these messages were first known about. I'll ease off the House leadership a little, but I still want some accountability. It starts with who-knew-what-when, and why it wasn't addressed more firmly.


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