Foleymania! Thursday all-purpose thread; Update: **Three new pages accuse Foley**

posted at 1:32 am on October 5, 2006 by Allahpundit

Rather than scatter posts all over the place, I’ll open this thread so that Bryan, Ian, and I can add to it as developments warrant. Check back frequently. There’s no telling who’s head will have rolled or which kid’s pants we’ll have learned Foley was trying to take off by this time tomorrow.

I’ll get the ball rolling with yet another installment in the Prowler’s popular series of fake-sounding, too-good-to-be-true quotes from “Democratic aides”:

“We’re getting into very dangerous territory, and I’ve warned my colleagues to be careful.” That’s what a Democrat leadership aide was saying on Wednesday, as word circulated about David Corn’s blog posting that revealed that a list of gay Republicans congressional staffers was circulating through emails…

“If that list is made public, all of the political gains we’ve made in the past 96 hours get flushed down the toilet,” says the leadership aide.

Also, a mini-bombshell from the Hill: they claim to have confirmed with the person who gave the e-mails to the media that the page he got them from is a Republican. That would jibe with what we’ve learned tonight about the page from the Drudge Report, but I can’t say more lest I find myself part of the dread “conservative outing mob.” In any case, the page’s political affiliation isn’t important; it’s the middleman who’s key. Which way does he lean politically? And how long were the e-mails in his possession? The Hill’s oddly coy on that subject.

Lots of updates coming eventually, probably!

Update: And here we go! Actually, just a footnote to the Hill article: it sounds like the page who’s the target of the “conservative outing mob” isn’t the one the Hill is talking about. They’re talking about the page (I think) who worked for Rodney Alexander and got the creepy but not overtly sexual “send me a picture of you” e-mail that started this shinolastorm last Thursday. The middleman who spoke to the Hill claims to have shared that e-mail with media outlets in July, but no one published it. Until, that is, ABC got wind of the e-mails posted last week on StopSexPredators.com.

Which brings us back to the question: who’s behind SSP?

Update: A clever attempt to answer that question. Anyone know anyone in Royal Oak, Michigan.

Update: Oy. Rasmussen says 61% believe the GOP is covering up. But GOP control of the House is back up to 48 on TradeSports.

Update: Supposedly Hastert has said he’ll resign if it’ll help the GOP retain control of the House in November.

Update: CNN heard back from the unnamed proprietor of StopSexPredators:

“My plans are to remain anonymous for the foreseeable future,” the Web site’s owner wrote in an e-mail. “I’ve been getting threats from folks and will no longer allow the posting of comments on the website. I can’t believe the anger out there for exposing a hypocritical sex predator.”

Update: Jonah makes the case for lightening up. Momentarily.

Update: Assassination prankster Randi Rhodes welcomes nutroots sex-scandal fave Jeff Gannon to her show this afternoon at 5:30.

Update: Uh oh: “With midterm elections less than five weeks away, the latest Associated Press-Ipsos poll found that about half of likely voters say recent disclosures of corruption and scandal in Congress will be very or extremely important when they cast their vote next month.”

Update: Just posted at the Blotter: ABC non-apologizes for its inadvertent outing of the page whose name I’m not allowed to mention.

Update: Hastert’s holding a presser at 1. Video will be right here.

Update: CNN ruins the suspense: Hastert will announce that he’s staying on. According to internal party polls, though, the scandal has put GOP control of Congress in serious jeopardy.

Update: Here’s a shocker. When Democratic Congressman Mel Reynolds got caught having sex with a 16-year-old, ABC’s coverage was rather less diligent.

Update: Louis Freeh’s going to lead the probe into the page program. Meanwhile, Gateway Pundit says Pelosi and Rahm Emanuel have refused to take polygraphs. I’m not sure about the source on that, though.

Update: Not sure what it means to say that Hastert will “accept responsibility,” but the fact that this news conference has been delayed a full hour suggests that things are in flux.

Update: CBS, as impartial as ever.

Update: I’m cutting video of Hastert now, but Drudge has the big news. I don’t believe it at all but let’s see what the evidence is.

Update: Here’s the Drudge scoop:

According to one Oklahoma source who knows the former page very well, Edmund, a conservative Republican, goaded Foley to type embarrassing comments that were then shared with a small group of young Hill politicos. The prank went awry when the saved IM sessions got into the hands of political operatives favorable to Democrats. This source, an ally of Edmund, also adamantly reports that the former page is not a homosexual. The prank scenario was confirmed by a second associate of Edmund.

The only real scoop is that Democrats were involved. The fact that it was a “prank” — if it was a prank, which I seriously doubt — doesn’t absolve Foley from his predatory intent.

An e-mailer makes a fair point, though: if it was a prank, that might explain why Edmund has (allegedly) hired a criminal defense lawyer.

Update: Fast-moving developments developing fast: Freeh’s appointment blocked by Dems; the House Ethics Committee issues almost four dozen subpoenas and refuses to say if Hastert is the recipient of any of them; and finally here’s the (heavily edited) video of the press conference.

Update: Did Betsy Newmark predict the Drudge scoop?

Update: Good lord. The internal polling is horrendous:

House Republican candidates will suffer massive losses if House Speaker Dennis Hastert remains speaker until Election Day, according to internal polling data from a prominent GOP pollster, FOX News has learned.

“The data suggests Americans have bailed on the speaker,” a Republican source briefed on the polling data told FOX News. “And the difference could be between a 20-seat loss and 50-seat loss.”

Please note: the margin of control is 15 seats.

Update: Rick Moran floats a theory: Could Kirk Fordham, who resigned yesterday as Tom Reynolds’s chief of staff, be the source of the e-mails in the Hill article? Moran notes that Fordham himself was outed, sort of, two years ago (which jibes with my suspicions yesterday that he might be mentioned on David Corn’s list of closeted Republicans).

Update: A mini-bombshell from Bob Novak: “The fact is, Foley was reluctant to run for re-election because of pressure over his homosexuality. He was reportedly considering two private-sector jobs already, after the White House had panned him as a Florida Senate candidate, reasoning that he could not win statewide. But National Republican Congressional Committee (NRCC) Chairman Tom Reynolds (R-N.Y.) talked a reluctant Foley into staying. Naturally, Reynolds, as the campaign chairman, wants all incumbents to stay in the House and to minimize open seats.”

Update: Better politics through technology!

Update: And the avalanche keeps rolling: ABC claims three new pages have come forward about having been propositioned by Foley. Ugliest detail:

The former page also said Foley told him that if he happened to be in Washington, D.C., he could stay at Foley’s home if he “would engage in oral sex” with Foley.

ABC quotes one of the three as saying, “This was no prank.”

Update: More poll woes from Time magazine:

Two-thirds of Americans aware of the congressional-page sex scandal believe Republican leaders tried to cover it up — and one quarter of them say the affair makes them less likely to vote for G.O.P. candidates in their districts come November. Those are among the findings of a new TIME poll conducted this week among 1,002 randomly-selected voting-age Americans.

I’m going on record with my prediction: Hastert steps down before the close of business tomorrow.

Update: Jeff Gannon cancelled his appearance on Randi Rhodes’s radio show this afternoon due to the “insulting” way they were promoting it. Not sure what that means, but it’s perfectly in character for Rhodes.

Update: The kiss of death.

Update: And yet another mini-bombshell: is the largest gay rights organization in America aiding and abetting gay McCarthyism?

Update: “Many conspirators seen behind Foley scandal.”

Update: Bob Owens predicts the GOP will hold the House even if Hastert stays on. Why? Because you can’t beat something with nothing.


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Comments

we need some sort of graphic flow chart to keep all this convoluted information straight.

pullingmyhairout on October 5, 2006 at 4:10 PM

Well either way, thirteen28, I agree.

Even if it’s a prank, it doesn’t excuse Foley. However, it does confirm what most of us would like to believe about our party, that they didn’t knowingly allow pages to be harmed.

Esthier on October 5, 2006 at 4:11 PM

And then came Bill Clinton, who was, by any fair measure, a worse womanizer than Thomas or the rest of them. The Paula Jones sexual harassment lawsuit led, inexorably, to revelations of alleged rape and scandalous behavior with an intern. Forced to choose between power and principle, liberals and feminists held an impromptu fire sale on principles.
Whereas once feminists insisted that “women don’t make these things up,” accusations of rape were dismissed instantaneously. Whereas once zero tolerance was the rule (“no means no”), feminist deity Gloria Steinem suddenly advanced a one-free-grope rule for powerful men. Whereas once even the appearance of impropriety was unacceptable, feminists suddenly argued that everyone should lighten up. Former Sen. Carol Moseley Braun, elected in 1992 — the “Year of the Woman” — as part of the anti-Thomas “backlash,” argued that female interns should count themselves lucky in the Clinton White House. After all, she said, “30 years ago, women weren’t even allowed to be White House interns.”
WELL WRITTEN: from…. well, guess?
link in an above comment also, GoingThere.

shooter on October 5, 2006 at 4:18 PM

It looks as if it was a good idea to question the timing, and question the sources of these IM’s after all.

Democrats getting nervous always means they have something to hide. Perfect!

Brian Ross will soon be forced to ask questions about the IM’s he has reported about. How were they vetted, when were they vetted, and how trustworthy were the sources. Rathergate lives on.

DannoJyd on October 5, 2006 at 4:23 PM

The fangs of the libs extended, did a 180 turn, and are poised for a self-inflicted wound- yet again. They know Freeh will expose their participation in the scandal by election day.

Valiant on October 5, 2006 at 4:29 PM

Prank or no, Foley’s been exposed for the disgusting predator that he is, and his resignation is most welcome.

That being said, I did find it curious that the page in question did not terminate his chat with Foley the minute things started getting creepy. Most 16-year-old boys that I know would have told him off the minute the perv-y stuff started with something like, “WTF!!! Man, you are one sick dude.”

Even if the page was intimidated by Foley’s authority status he could have said something as simple as, “Gotta go, my Mom’s calling me” and broken it off easily. If I recall correctly, in one of the IMs he did in fact have to leave for a minute, but then came right back on. Makes you wonder if he and others were having a giggle-fit and trying to think of what to say next.

Just sayin’…

IrishEi on October 5, 2006 at 4:30 PM

Did Betsy Newmark predict the Drudge scoop?

Did Drudge predict the greatest fallout?
They will regulate the Internet now…That’s really all this is.

Stephen M on October 5, 2006 at 4:35 PM

I give credit where credit is due: That was a funny prank.

frankj on October 5, 2006 at 4:41 PM

rockhauler- thanks for proving there are still some objective thinkers out there. If only we gave Foley the same treatment with regard to his alleged crimes that we give alleged terrorists.

honora-

and an employee and dear friend’s son is being sent to Iraq and the admin walks around free men.

The oooolllld Liberal Infallibility.
Now you can REALLY talk shit about the war because you actually know someone “being sent” over there. Sooo, who was holding the gun to your dear friend’s son’s head as he signed up? Now THERE’s a story.

MY friend’s husband was just assigned to Iraq and she’s 5 1/2 months pregnant. He won’t be back until after the baby’s born. Does she bitch and moan about his choice? NO. She’s just worried she’ll have a boy because if so, her hubby wants to decorate the room with Scarface stuff.

I really fail to see how one congress person is going to affect ALL of the congressional races in the country. The fact that the Dems want to discuss one man’s “lifestyle choice” and who knew what about it when, and turn the FBI into the Federal Boy Investigators during a time of war instead of discussing the REAL issues of this election: terror threats, illegal immigration, social security overhaul, Iraq and how they plan to win it, taxes, etc. just shows how little they have to offer and will motivate the right to slam them back down.
Whew, now that’s a run-on sentence…

NTWR on October 5, 2006 at 5:03 PM

MY friend’s husband was just assigned to Iraq and she’s 5 1/2 months pregnant. He won’t be back until after the baby’s born. Does she bitch and moan about his choice? NO. She’s just worried she’ll have a boy because if so, her hubby wants to decorate the room with Scarface stuff.

Ok, now that’s weird. I imagine when they were trying to conceive, he was always saying “Say hello to my little friend!”

thirteen28 on October 5, 2006 at 5:09 PM

Wasn’t it suggested that Foley didn’t want to run for re-election to start with? This was his way of getting out of it all. Resign and let the chips fall where they may. Sure, he didn’t know it was a prank…if it really was at all…but unhappy people do self-destructive things all the time (like solicticing thought-to-be minors on the Internet).

SouthernGent on October 5, 2006 at 5:10 PM

20 to 50 seat loss? Don’t think so. The elections a month a way and if the prank issue makes the whole thing blow up in the Dems face then all of this will be forgotten at worst or go against the Dems at best. If a similar poll shows similar numbers this time next week, then I’ll buy it.

CT on October 5, 2006 at 5:16 PM

Where this story is going next:
Did Foley give his consent to having his IM chats recorded?

http://www.securityfocus.com/columnists/233

In what jurisdiction was the young man, and Mr. Foley when the IMs were exchanged?

Do you remember Linda Tripp? http://www.infoplease.com/ipa/A0767292.html

Do you remember John and Alice Martin?
http://www.cnn.com/ALLPOLITICS/1997/01/13/tape/index.shtml

Hhhmmm whats this? Quote: to smear the Congressman’s reputation thereby interfering with his duties and responsibilities
http://www.judicialwatch.org/prbobbarr.shtml

Still not finding what I’m looking for. What keywords would you use to search for something along the lines of ‘interfering with congressional representative’s duties’?

rockhauler on October 5, 2006 at 5:18 PM

The polling will change once people have had a chance to absorb and digest what’s really happened. To me it looks like the democraps have just crapped all over a gay man who didn’t want to be “outed”, and in the process destroyed his life and career. I haven’t seen any evidence so far that paints him as a pedophile.

darwin on October 5, 2006 at 5:20 PM

thirteen28- HA! goooood one.

NTWR on October 5, 2006 at 5:22 PM

In related news….John Mark Karr sex case dropped

NTWR on October 5, 2006 at 5:32 PM

“ABC claims three new pages have come forward about having been propositioned by Foley.”

Number one … it’s from ABC. Number two, I don’t care. These really aren’t “children” in the sense ABC would like us to believe.

darwin on October 5, 2006 at 6:15 PM

The three new verbal accounts are in addition to two sets of sexually explicit instant messages provided to ABC News by former pages.

These are verbal accounts?! Anyone can say it happened to them! This appeared to be nothing more than Ross trying to hold onto that story!

Pam on October 5, 2006 at 6:20 PM

Well, well, well, one page is a prank-so THREE more come out! (No pun intended.) First off, Foley is obviously a “sick” man (as the libs like to refer to those accused of untoward acts these days.)

But this is all just evolutionary, after all. It was destined to happen. Liberals are the fitter species, and this is just Darwinism playing out.

In today’s evolutionary struggle we liberals are the fittest species. Conservatives are so easy – accuse them of committing a sin and they resign and disappear from public sight forever. We in the progressive community are much smarter – we don’t believe in sin. It makes us invulnerable to criticism. That’s why we’re taking over this stupid country. However crazy, irresponsible, and outright criminal our behavior is, you can’t call us sinful because that would be forcing your values on us. You can’t call us hypocrites because we never said we were perfect. You can’t say we’ve lost shame because we can’t lose what we don’t have. Human imperfection is our standard, our goal, or breeding ground, our primordial soup if you will. We stand for nothing and have no values except those that may hypothetically exist in a distant socialist utopia that may or may not happen.

NTWR on October 5, 2006 at 6:21 PM

“ABC claims three new pages have come forward about having been propositioned by Foley.”

Number one … it’s from ABC. Number two, I don’t care. These really aren’t “children” in the sense ABC would like us to believe.

darwin on October 5, 2006 at 6:15 PM

Given that ABC has already been “outed” for misleading on this story, I think it’s prudent to wait for some corroboration before believing these latest revelations. Have they even produced any IM’s for these latest accusers?

I won’t be surprised of Foley did exchange nasty messages with other pages; his resignation betrays a guilty conscience. But I’ll be damned if I take any reporting by ABC on this story at face value anymore.

thirteen28 on October 5, 2006 at 6:23 PM

I’d be very interested to know what crime, if any, was committed. If talking dirty on the internet is illegal, that’ll sink the Russian Economy Porn Industry.

Iblis on October 5, 2006 at 6:23 PM

I’d be very interested to know what crime, if any, was committed. If talking dirty on the internet is illegal, that’ll sink the Russian Economy Porn Industry.

I’m not sure any crime has been committed. As far as I can tell Foley never aggressively pursued any of these pages after they discontinued correspondence. Talking dirty on the internet just doesn’t cut it. Of course I’m sure ABC has a story or two in the wings of the horrors of talking dirty on the internet with gay republicans, they’re just waiting for the right time to post it.

darwin on October 5, 2006 at 6:37 PM

This is so effing sad… we’re going to lose the House and maybe the senate because of this? How stupid are Americans? If Canada didn’t suck so much ass, I’d be making the “if Dems win, I’m moving to Canada claim” we always hear from lefties. Hell, I’m only an hour away as it is. Get ready for years of nothing getting done. Pointless investigations aimed at attacking Republicans, obstruction multiplied (if posible), media running wild with “scandals” because all it takes is one line implying something from a Dem. Being in power they’ll be constant. I’m feeling physically sick about what is going to happen. Victory for these evil lying bastards spell the beginning of the end. And why did it happen? Because some douche talked dirty in IMs to some kids. I’m still going to vote, and hope that polls are wrong (which is very often the case), but this week is the first time I’ve not felt very good about the future of the country.

RightWinged on October 5, 2006 at 6:49 PM

This is a libicrat attempt to dispirit the GOP base and keep us home next month. It’s the dem’s only hope.

It. Will. Not. Work.

techno_barbarian on October 5, 2006 at 6:51 PM

The three new verbal accounts are in addition to two sets of sexually explicit instant messages provided to ABC News by former pages.

They’re all verbal accounts.

Just too scared or stupid to call the new ones oral.

Stephen M on October 5, 2006 at 6:58 PM

Sigh.

This still does not prove Hastert and other Republican leaders knew about Foley’s disgusting behavior and tried to cover it up, which is the point we (including Limbaugh, Hannity, and Mark Levin) are trying to emphasize to everybody.

Lady Heather on October 5, 2006 at 7:03 PM

Sigh.

This still does not prove Hastert and other Republican leaders knew about Foley’s disgusting behavior and tried to cover it up, which is the point we (including Limbaugh, Hannity, and Mark Levin) are trying to emphasize to everybody.

Lady Heather on October 5, 2006 at 7:03 PM

Nope. Doesn’t even come close.

It smacks of desperation by Brian Ross and ABC to keep the scandal narrative alive though, in the wake of the prank revelation.

thirteen28 on October 5, 2006 at 7:06 PM

I hope we’re right, thirteen.

I’m very sad about the lack of any fighting spirit in Michelle and Laura Ingraham today too, truth be told.

Lady Heather on October 5, 2006 at 7:11 PM

I hope we’re right, thirteen.

I’m very sad about the lack of any fighting spirit in Michelle and Laura Ingraham today too, truth be told.

Lady Heather on October 5, 2006 at 7:11 PM

Ditto.

thirteen28 on October 5, 2006 at 7:21 PM

thirteen28 and Lady Heather:

Hugh Hewitt’s dead on target today too. Good stuff!

We need strength in all our members. We should be tougher than this. Remember who and what we are, at our core. And then look at who and what the libs are, at their rotting cores.

‘Nuff said.

techno_barbarian on October 5, 2006 at 7:28 PM

WEHT Brian Ross? You would expect him on the ABC News today but I didn’t see him. Or was I in the kitchen when he made his report today?

pjcomix on October 5, 2006 at 7:35 PM

The Republicans should refuse to talk to ABCNews & Brian Ross especially, just on principle.

Iblis on October 5, 2006 at 7:38 PM

thirteen28 and Lady Heather:

Hugh Hewitt’s dead on target today too. Good stuff!

We need strength in all our members. We should be tougher than this. Remember who and what we are, at our core. And then look at who and what the libs are, at their rotting cores.

‘Nuff said.

techno_barbarian on October 5, 2006 at 7:28 PM

Hugh has been great through all this, but unfortunately, he’s in a small minority. Most of the punditocracy is afraid to be seen fighting back like Hugh because they are afraid of being tarred as excusing Foley’s actions – as if the dems/MSM won’t charge them with that anyway.

If we had 1/10th of the fighting spirit as dems we could have buried them for good by now as that intellectually bankrupt party so richly deserves. Instead we leave them hanging around and in striking distance of doing more damage to our country than they already have because we are afraid to call them on their bullshit.

thirteen28 on October 5, 2006 at 7:40 PM

Here’s what Hastert should have said at his press conference today:

When I first discovered Mark Foley was conducting himself in an inappropriate manner, I took him aside and asked him to please cease with this most unacceptable behavior. I told him to stop time and again, but apparently he chose not listen to me.

But at least I tried. That’s the difference in me and some, including all the left-wingers who are attacking me now. They ridicule me for trying. They did not try. I tried.
So I tried and failed.

fogw on October 5, 2006 at 8:06 PM

fogw…Brilliant!

SouthernGent on October 5, 2006 at 9:05 PM

foggy

But at least I tried. That’s the difference in me and some, including all the left-wingers who are attacking me now. They ridicule me for trying. They did not try. I tried.
So I tried and failed.

That’s good… ;o)

thirteen28 (cool nic, btw)

If we had 1/10th of the fighting spirit as dems we could have buried them for good by now as that intellectually bankrupt party so richly deserves. Instead we leave them hanging around and in striking distance of doing more damage to our country than they already have because we are afraid to call them on their bullshit.

Honestly, I think it’s because current GOPers have been relentlessly hammered as being so ruthless and other distortions constantly cast by the left, and they think they’re combatting that image by essentially becoming democrats, or rather, what democrats think and believe themselves to be.

We need to stiffen our collective spines and simply be strong and unafraid. We need to call wrong wrong and right right and let the friggin’ chips fall where they may.

Political correctness is a cancer and we need to excise it and speak the plain truth.

techno_barbarian on October 5, 2006 at 9:06 PM

This could have something to do with why Jeff Gannon didn’t go on Rhodes show:

HOUR 3 GUEST: Jeff Gannon – JUST IN: Gannon has canceled.

Pam on October 5, 2006 at 9:50 PM

Randi Rhodes needs a good ****, but then she’d probably consider consenual sex as rape

SouthernGent on October 5, 2006 at 10:19 PM

She’s such a hypocritical and filthy waste of bandwidth!

Pam on October 5, 2006 at 10:29 PM

Interesting…my local ABC affiliate has a 10pm newscast on a sister station here in Raleigh, NC…they held the Foley story until right before the weather. Are the media getting bored already? (Maybe I’m being too optimistic)

SouthernGent on October 5, 2006 at 10:36 PM

Allah,

Hastert will not step down, nor should he.

What is wrong with you people???

Rightwingsparkle on October 5, 2006 at 11:34 PM

“If we had 1/10th of the fighting spirit as dems we could have buried them for good by now as that intellectually bankrupt party so richly deserves. Instead we leave them hanging around and in striking distance of doing more damage to our country than they already have because we are afraid to call them on their bullshit.”

Exactly. I’m afraid the “new tone” hasn’t helped. It gives a certain air of legitimacy to even the most egregious Democrat lies and even crimes (no prosecutions for treason…) by the tacit assumption that it’s all just “another point of view” that must be respected. I’m a huge W supporter, but I think this is his Achilles heel. When 49% of voters vote in effect for LOSS in a war of aggression against the USA with WMDs, there is no reason in the universe to “talk nice” with the opposition. It would be so great to see W lead the way in talking truth about the Party of Treason.

Halley on October 7, 2006 at 6:04 AM