Thursday, December 21, 2006
Yes, Virginia, There is a Santa Claus
By Francis P. Church, first published in The New York Sun in 1897. [See The People’s Almanac, pp. 1358–9.]
We take pleasure in answering thus prominently the communication below, expressing at the same time our great gratification that its faithful author is numbered among the friends of The Sun:
I am 8 years old. Some of my little friends say there is no Santa Claus. Papa says, “If you see it in The Sun, it’s so.” Please tell me the truth, is there a Santa Claus?
Virginia, your little friends are wrong. They have been affected by the skepticism of a skeptical age. They do not believe except they see. They think that nothing can be which is not comprehensible by their little minds. All minds, Virginia, whether they be men’s or children’s, are little. In this great universe of ours, man is a mere insect, an ant, in his intellect as compared with the boundless world about him, as measured by the intelligence capable of grasping the whole of truth and knowledge.
Yes, Virginia, there is a Santa Claus. He exists as certainly as love and generosity and devotion exist, and you know that they abound and give to your life its highest beauty and joy. Alas! how dreary would be the world if there were no Santa Claus! It would be as dreary as if there were no Virginias. There would be no childlike faith then, no poetry, no romance to make tolerable this existence. We should have no enjoyment, except in sense and sight. The external light with which childhood fills the world would be extinguished.
Not believe in Santa Claus! You might as well not believe in fairies. You might get your papa to hire men to watch in all the chimneys on Christmas eve to catch Santa Claus, but even if you did not see Santa Claus coming down, what would that prove? Nobody sees Santa Claus, but that is no sign that there is no Santa Claus. The most real things in the world are those that neither children nor men can see. Did you ever see fairies dancing on the lawn? Of course not, but that’s no proof that they are not there. Nobody can conceive or imagine all the wonders there are unseen and unseeable in the world.
You tear apart the baby’s rattle and see what makes the noise inside, but there is a veil covering the unseen world which not the strongest man, nor even the united strength of all the strongest men that ever lived could tear apart. Only faith, poetry, love, romance, can push aside that curtain and view and picture the supernal beauty and glory beyond. Is it all real? Ah, Virginia, in all this world there is nothing else real and abiding.
No Santa Claus! Thank God! he lives and lives forever. A thousand years from now, Virginia, nay 10 times 10,000 years from now, he will continue to make glad the heart of childhood.
Tuesday, December 19, 2006
One day, a letter came addressed in shaky handwriting to God, with no actual address. He thought he should open it to see what it was about.
The letter read:
I am an 83 year old widow, living on a very small pension. Yesterday someone stole my purse. It had $100 in it, which was all the money I had until my next pension check. Next Sunday is Christmas, and I had invited two of my friends over for dinner. Without that money, I have nothing to buy food with. I have no family to turn to, and you are my only hope. Can you please help me?
The postal worker was touched. He showed the letter to all the other workers. Each one dug into his or her wallet and came up with a few dollars. By the time he made the rounds, he had collected $96, which they put into an envelope and sent to the woman. The rest of the day, all the workers felt a warm glow thinking of Edna and the dinner she would be able to share with her friends.
Christmas came and went. A few days later, another letter came from the same old lady to God. All the workers gathered around while the letter was opened. It read:
How can I ever thank you enough for what you did for me? Because of your gift of love, I was able to fix a glorious dinner for my friends. We had a very nice day and I told my friends of your wonderful gift.
By the way, there was $4 missing. I think it must have been those bastards at the Post Office.
Tuesday, December 12, 2006
It seems we have a little catching up to do:
Let's get the gloating out of the way. My predictions were pretty damn good. (Even a stopped watch is right twice a day, right?) I nailed the Senate races and my predictions for the House were mighty close. I'm still bummed about Tammy Duckworth losing, but hey, you can't win them all.
It's a quagmire. What else is there to say? Good men and women are dying for no good reason and the President and his lackeys have no clear exit strategy. That means those people, Americans and Iraqis, will continue to die. And it is the President's fault. Honestly, I wonder how he can sleep at night.
Wow, I haven't seen this much hype around Christmas time since Cabbage Patch Dolls. But the question I have is this: Is it that people are so enamored of Barrack Obama that they are willing to woo him into running or is it that people are so desperate for change that they just want the anti-Bush. I think it's the second and they seem to have made a good choice. Here is the side by side comparison:
Race : Bush=White; Obama=Man of color
Politics: Bush=Conservative; Obama=Moderate
Iraq: Bush=Started War; Obama=Opposed War from Beginning
Speaking Ability: Bush=Bumbling Butcher of English; Obama=Exceptionally Well-Spoken
Previous Employment: Bush=Oil Executive; Obama=Non-profit Aiding Inner-City Poor
Intelligence: Bush=Barely Survived Yale; Obama=Columbia and Harvard Law
I could go on, but you get the point. Obama is the anti-Bush, but is that enough? Does his lack of experience and his funny name come back to bite him? Can he survive the primary season with enough credibility intact to survive the Republican money machine? I just don't know.
The ethics investigation is over and those involved were found to have ignored their responsibility to protect the Congressional pages from a sexual predator. A Congressional sexual predator. A pederast who they knew to be stalking teenage boys. But apparently, indifference to the well-being of teenagers under their care isn't a punishable offense. I knew that labor laws didn't apply to congressional staff and I knew that smoking bans and the like never applied to Capitol Hill, but I didn't know that promoting the sexual harassment of minors fell in that same bucket.
I guess the Republicans can count on the sexual deviant vote next cycle. I wonder how the religious right feels about that...oh yeah, I keep forgetting, it's often the same lobby.
Tuesday, November 28, 2006
Britney has figured out that camera's follow that vapid, talentless, privilegded tart Paris, and she is using that to get her "assets" in the media before her new album comes out.
Shame on you CNN, shame.
Don't click this link and if you do and it doesn't work, then I'm glad. I just put it up for the truth factor: Britney Flashes Flesh With New Party Pal Paris
Tuesday, November 21, 2006
Monday, November 13, 2006
Of course, elections aren't football games and something more than pride and perhaps a wager with the local bookie are at stake. Lives are affected and even lost depending on the outcomes of elections. The people deciding the issues that impact us every day are being given a nearly sacred responsibility when they are elected, and it is in the best interest of all us football fans to remember that. Winning the election is step one of thousands on the road to change and going home drunk after the game is not an option when it comes to politics.
When the last vote is counted, the time to celebrate or mourn is short because the true game is now afoot. These political athletes will now be forced to live up to our expectations. But the only way to know that they are in fact doing the things that they said they would during the campaign is to remain vigilant.
Just like first-round draft picks, some will succeed and some will fail. Some will prove themselves worthy of our trust and others will disappoint, but as voters, we have an obligation to hold them accountable for their leadership. Personally, I will watching my elected officials to see if they address the poverty wage that the law currently mandates. I will be watching to see if the rich continue to get richer while the middle class struggles just to get by. I will be watching to see if we as a country can return to a foreign policy that emphasizes coalition building over strong arming and unilateral action. And finally, I will be watching to see if our representatives are willing to hold each other to the standards that the rest of us try to abide.
The election is over. The attack ads and campaign rhetoric are just echoes ringing in an empty stadium. Now it is the job of the spectators to be vigilant so that the players understand that they are accountable. Remember, they are playing with our money, our livelihoods, and our lives. Now is not the time to pack up and go home to wait for the next football game.
Thursday, November 09, 2006
Wednesday, November 08, 2006
CNN: GOP officials: Rumsfeld stepping down
Tuesday, November 07, 2006
Monday, November 06, 2006
There is nothing more fickle than a voter. I'm not talking about your hard-core voter, I'm talking about your average voter, and they can do just about anything. I give you my wife as an example. She's a...how to put this....well....a Republican.
There I said it. I'm sure that's some step in some 12 step program. I hope I get credit.
She is voting almost completely Democratic this cycle. She's put off by the war and she looks at her aging, sick father and wonders why anyone would put restrictions on stem cell research. That's about all it took. Not the economy, not gas prices, not illegal immigration ... a war she doesn't think is working and a ban on stem cell research and she's chucking years of loyalty out the window.
God, how I love her.
It seems she's not the only one having a crisis of faith in the Republicans, races across the country are showing a sea change in the power structure of Washington. Democrats are poised to win races in districts and states that just a few short years ago would never have even been in play. It is going to be a wild election night and here are a few predictions from a guy who knows just a bit more than the average bear...but not much more than the crazy guy on the corner who keeps talking to his imaginary dog.
The Democrats take the Senate, but just by one seat. Harold Ford is going to lose in Tennessee but so is Conrad Burns in Montana. If you believe as I do that McCaskill and Webb are going to win in Missouri and Virginia, then the Dems get the Senate, barely.
With such a slim majority in the Senate, not a lot of bills are going to make it to the President. But, the Democrats will have the power of the subpoena to finally try and get to the truth about the war. Progress? Not much. Entertaining? Absolutely.
If Heather Wilson in New Mexico is in trouble and Duckworth is likely to win Henry Hyde's old seat in Illinois then the Republicans are screwed. These are seats that the Republicans should own, and they don't. Therefore I say the Democrats pick up 26 seats and own the House.
We won't know who owns the Senate when the sun comes up on Wednesday. The voting machines that have already shown themselves to be less than reliable in Florida and elsewhere will result in challenges and fights that will prevent extra tight races like the one in Missouri from being decided without a lot of fighting and legal threats.
So go out and buy some No Doze and prepare to be in limbo on Wednesday morning. Personally, I'm going to set a 1 am deadline for myself. Life most go on.
Photo from USAToday.
Monday, October 30, 2006
Hmmmm, does this sound familiar?
That's why I say, give me paper ballots. That's right, paper. With electronic machines, a simple hack can change thousands of votes. But if you want to stuff a ballot box with paper votes, you have to do just that, and it's an awful lot easier to catch.
I know, it's the Computer Age, but there is a reason why they still print books. They are portable and they can be permanent in a way that an electronic record can't be. Once the words are printed on the page, it is very difficult to change them without it being obvious. And you have to do each printed book individually to change more than one.
I may sound like an old fuddy-duddy, but until they figure out a way to make these machines work right and in a manner that is transparent and secure, give me paper. Hell, a hanging chad affects one vote, a faulty machine puts thousands in question. I'll take the chads any day.
Glitches Cited in Early Voting
Thursday, October 26, 2006
Is it because he can't stand when actors get involved in politics? No, he never had a tirade over Tom Selleck or Charleton Heston when they did ads or waxed poetic about the virtues of being a gun-toting Republican.
The real reason Rush accused Michael J. Fox of "acting" to exaggerate the effects of his Parkinson's disease in an ad supporting stem cell research is because the ad works and that's bad for his leash holders, the Republican party and the religious right.
According to HCD Research and Muhlenberg College Institute of Public Opinion: "A new national study revealed that American voters' support for stem cell research increased after they viewed an ad featuring Michael J. Fox in which he expresses his support for candidates who are in favor of stem cell research."
To make matters worse for Rush and his handlers, the study showed that: "Republicans who indicated that they were voting for a Republican candidate decreased by 10% after viewing the ad (77% to 67%). Independents planning to vote for Democrats increased by 10%, from 39% to 49%."
Those are damning numbers in vital races like the Missouri race for the U.S. Senate between Jim Talent (R) and Claire McCaskill (D). This race is separated by just three percentage points in the most recent polls. An ad like this can change a lot of minds in a short period of time and that could mean the difference between a Republican Senate and a Democratic one.
That's why Rush took a cheap shot at Michael J. Fox, because like his Republican handlers, he's desperate. The one party rule this country has endured is in jeopardy and the folks who have enjoyed it the most are pulling out all the stops to protect it.
Rush did it because that's his job. He exists to say the outrageous things that Republican politicians wish they could say but can't. He's the work-around the censor gene that politicians have in their bodies that is supposed to protect them from themselves. When the Republican's are thinking disparaging, ugly thoughts about minorities or gays or ill actors who support Democratic candidates and ideals, they can't say anything. But Rush can...and he does.
Now, even if you think Rush is an over-weight, drug addicted idiot, the seed has been planted that something nefarious is going on with these ads. Rush has done his job, and it is up to time to see if it can grow in the fertile minds of American voters. So, on behalf of your right-wing puppeteers, I'll just quote the movie Babe:
"That'll do pig, that'll do."
(To read more about this study go to:Voters Increase Support for Stem Cell Research After Viewing Michael J. Fox Ad)
Tuesday, October 24, 2006
NEWSDAY Flash Animation Editorial
Thanks to my friend Ken for the tip.
Now we have Mary Carey, the porn star, running for Governor of California. Actually, she just dropped out of the race to care for her sick mother, but hey, it was fun while it lasted. And I just read this story today about another woman who was trying to capitalize on her "frontal assets" in the race for Governor in Alabama.
Crazy? Maybe. But you have to love the choice she is offering voters.
"More of these boobs ... less of these boobs (picture of incumbents)"
"A" for effort and entertainment value Ms. Nall. Good luck in 2008.
Alabama Libertarian runs for governor on boobs vs. boobs platform
Thursday, October 19, 2006
That is why I'm not writing about this:
From the DailyKos.com
Really, I'm not. Just like I'm not writing about this either:
The Rev. Anthony Mercieca, 72, described several encounters that he said Foley might perceive as sexually inappropriate, the Sarasota Herald-Tribune reported. They include massaging Foley while the boy was naked, skinny-dipping together at a secluded lake in Lake Worth and being nude in the same room on overnight trips.
Mercieca said there was one night when he was in a drug-induced stupor and there was an incident but he couldn't clearly remember, the newspaper reported.
As far as I'm concerned, consenting adults can do what they want, but a middle-aged priest hopped up on pills giving nude massages to a 13 year-old boy is just wrong.
Is this supposed to make me feel sorry for Foley? Probably, and it worked. I feel sorry for Foley. This Catholic priest fondled Foley and probably did worse but claims not to remember. Foley is a victim too.
I'll add him to the list.
But let us not be distracted by this sordid picture of a young Mark Foley being victimized by a man of authority. This isn't about what happened to Foley 40-plus years ago. And this isn't just about the many young Congressional pages approached by Foley over the years. This is about the failure of the Republican leadership to appropriately protect the pages in their charge. This is about the Republican leadership choosing politics over ethics. This is about the Speaker of the House and others covering up the disgraceful behavior of a fellow Republican so as not to lose his seat in the upcoming election.
So, read the story. Have a moment of pity for Mark Foley. Then remember that regardless of the abuse that Foley may have suffered as a child, it does not excuse Speaker Hastert and the others for their complicity in a cover-up that put children at risk from a pederast. Dennis Hastert looked the other way because it was in the best interest of his party to do so and for that, he and his party should be punished on election day.
Priest tells paper of inappropriate behavior with Foley
Thanks to my friend Carl for the tip!
Wednesday, October 18, 2006
The crack team of T-Dude comedy critics have reached a decision. And the winner is...Doteffects! And the winning caption is:
"In Texas, all the pages are as big as the Perch in my lake."
Doteffects gets a $20 donation to the congressional race of his choice and my lovely Chicago Bulls baseball cap.
Honorable mention goes to Greg with his entry:
Bush: "Mine's this big, I swear."
Foley: "I heard it was this big."
Thanks to all who participated.
Monday, October 16, 2006
In a televised debate with American Civil Liberties Union president Nadine Strossen, Justice Scalia made it very clear that he doesn't expect the Constitution to be anything more that what was written and intended at the time of it's adoption. This means that, in Scalia's opinion, the right to an abortion, significant portions of the right to privacy, and the use of racial quotas for school admissions are all questionable.
Justice Scalia knows more about the Constitution than I do, but I do know one thing, I do not want to live in a country whose laws and rights are being set by a bunch of slave owning white guys who haven't taken a breath in 200 years. They couldn't fathom the societal, scientific and technological advances we've experienced since the Constitution and the Bill of Rights were first drafted. The problem back then wasn't unwanted pregnancy, it was keeping children and mothers alive. Back then guns weren't the tools of youth gangs, they were a combination grocery store and ready-made military. And back then, we counted minorities as fractions of people when we conducted our census.
The Constitution is a living document. And it's crafters recognized that it cannot identify each and every right afforded citizens of the United States. In fact, that was such an important point that the 9th Amendment actually states: "The enumeration in the Constitution, of certain rights, shall not be construed to deny or disparage others retained by the people."
The Constitution does not specifically give women the right to an abortion, but it doesn't say she doesn't. In fact, in the 9th, it says that absence of a right does not deny it's existence. This is where the gap exists between the left and the right on the political spectrum.
Scalia tries to bridge this gap by sticking to the original words and intent of the crafters. But short of jumping in the Way Back Machine with Mr. Peabody, I don't see how he can hope to determine the true intent of a group of men long dead.
Instead, I would prefer that our Justices look at the theme clearly articulated in the Constitution, the rights of the individual over the rights of the government, and balance the interests of the country accordingly and appropriately for today.
I don't think the British are coming any more, I don't think we have to worry about the military forcing me to take a roommate, and I'm quite sure that Thomas Jefferson isn't going to pop-up from the grave to tell me that flag burning and abortion are wrong. And even if he did show up, I suspect he'd spend more time riding in cars and surfing the net than he would worrying about the role of government in reproductive rights. So Justice Scalia, on behalf of those of us living today, I'd ask that you spend more time thinking about us and less time thinking about dead people.
Scalia Defends Positions in TV Debate
Friday, October 13, 2006
Peter was at a fundraiser with President Bush yesterday. President Bush raised $1.1 million. Peter will get some of that money. Peter is grateful, but not too grateful. Afterward, this is what Peter said:
"I've been very vocal in my separation and criticism of the administration."
Pick a lane Peter.
And get that foot out of your mouth, you don't have to keep chewing on it to prove you still have one.
Bush: Country 'better off' with Hastert in power
Thursday, October 12, 2006
Having once worked in the Executive Branch and on national campaigns, I have nothing but respect for the difficult job the Secret Service does. Putting your life on the line everyday to protect the President and others is an endeavor so noble; it should be rewarded with the highest praise and honor. Yet, for the most part, the Secret Service lives in the shadows, with little or no fan fair. That is why it pains me so when I read stories like this one.
Criticizing Cheney to His Face Is Assault?
Apparently on June 16, Steve Howard, an American citizen with no criminal record had the audacity to stand two feet away from VP Cheney and calmly say "Your policies in Iraq are reprehensible." After he made this statement, he walked away. Ten minutes later while standing with his eight year-old son, he was handcuffed by a Secret Service agent and hauled away to jail.
I don't know for sure what happened, I wasn't there, but I can't blame the Secret Service. I know from experience that their intentions are not political. They are given a thankless task that they can only perform to the best of their abilities in the hope that the unthinkable never happens on their watch.
But I can blame the Bush Administration's systematic erosion of our civil liberties in the name of fighting terrorism. The agent had no choice. This administration has repeatedly engaged in rhetoric that either claims or implies that disagreement with their Iraq policy is somehow un-American and detrimental to the security of our nation. Therefore, anyone with the courage to calmly question our elected leaders performance must be a potential threat that needs to be examined.
These are sad days. People are dying every day in Iraq, our world is growing more dangerous and more volatile, and the very first right afforded to us under the Constitution is being eroded to the point that a simple statement of disagreement with our direction as a nation is being perceived as a potential threat.
Please, don't blame the Secret Service. They do a job that few have the courage or the honor to perform. But do take a moment and reflect on what this means for your rights as a citizen of the greatest country on earth. Suddenly, the country that defined freedom for the world is rethinking its position and personally, I'm not real happy about the direction we seem to be going.
Wednesday, October 11, 2006
Feebies To Interview Fordham...Butts Pucker All Over Capitol Hill)
ABCNews is reporting that on Thursday, former Foley chief of staff Kirk Fordham, will tell the House Ethics committee that he told Scott Palmer, Hastert's chief of staff, about Foley's efforts at Congressional page turning.
A source with firsthand knowledge of events says that this coming Thursday, Kirk Fordham, former chief of staff to both Foley and more recently Rep. Tom Reynolds, R-N.Y. will testify that a few years ago he was told by then-House clerk Jeff Trandahl that Foley had been stopped while trying to enter the pages' dorm in an apparently intoxicated state. The source said Fordham will testify that he recalls this being the event that convinced both him and Trandahl to warn Hastert's office, with Fordham designated to have the conversation with Hastert's chief of staff, Scott Palmer. The source said that both aides had been watching Foley's behavior with pages and that Fordham had counseled Foley to watch his behavior.
The source tells ABC News that Fordham will testify that he alerted Palmer that Foley had a pattern of displaying inappropriate behavior toward pages. Asked about Fordham's claim that he met with Palmer in approximately 2003 to warn him about Foley's behavior, Palmer said in a statement, "What Kirk Fordham said did not happen."
You combine this revelation with Hastert's comments yesterday where he promised that any staffer who had covered up information about Foley would be fired and you get one more open position in the Speaker's office.
Don't worry Scott, I'm sure they'll give you a parachute, if the Republicans do one thing well, its take care of their own.
ABCNews: Foley's Reputed Visit to the Page Dormitory
Tuesday, October 10, 2006
Topinka believes it's time for the page program to end, saying, "I don't know that 16- and 17-year-old kids really and truly ought to be in the heavy climate of Washington."
She wasn't alone in calling for an end to the 150-year-old page program, which brings high school juniors to Washington, D.C., to live, work and study.
Congressman Ray LaHood told NBC 5 last week the program should at least be suspended.
"Is it a program that reflects the 21st Century Congress? I think it's not," LaHood said. "That's a little much in terms of power around these kids. They probably ought to be at home."
Heavy climate? Too much power? Are you freaking kidding me? These kids weren't victims of the program, they were victims of neglect. If this had happened in a program where kids went to Washington DC to do mission work with religious leaders, would the Congress be calling for an end to mission work? If this had happened on one of the thousands of high school trips to DC every spring, would the Congress be banning field trips?
The only thing wrong with this 150 year-old program was the Republican leadership's failure to respond to the problem. You cannot blame the program and expect people to believe you. You can not blame the staffers in the offices of these Congressmen who failed to act. You can only blame those who put the political fortune of their party ahead of the welfare of these kids. To do anything else is an insult to the victims and the people you represent.
Read the whole article here: WMAQ-TV/MSNBC
Monday, October 09, 2006
Newsweek reported Sunday that Foley's former chief of staff will tell investigators that in 2002 or 2003, he told House Speaker Dennis Hastert's influential chief aide, Scott Palmer, that Foley had been found drunk, lurking outside the page dormitory after curfew one night.
This thing just gets uglier as it goes on. First we have slightly uncomfortable emails requesting pictures, then we get very sexual exchanges between pages and Foley, and now we have a report of Foley trolling around drunk outside of the page's dorm after curfew.
This guy was obviously out of control. And he was not an accident waiting to happen, but an accident happening over and over again before the eyes of the Republican staff and leadership.
Hypocrisy, thy party is Republican...and hopefully, hell is coming to breakfast this November.
Sunday, October 08, 2006
You come up with the best (ie funniest) caption for this photo and I'll send you a genuine Chicago Bulls baseball cap as a prize. On top of that, just to show what a great guy I am, I'll make a twenty dollar donation to the congressional campaign of the winner's choice. We'll give it a week, all entries must be posted in the comments section of this entry by October 14. All entries will be judged by me and that judgement will be final.
And listen people, if you think this is some high brow contest, you're crazy. The winner will be lucky to get the damn hat, so no bitchin' about the outcome! And if you happen to win and you don't check back after the contest is over to see that you've won, then don't complain when I don't know how to get a hold of you.
Thank you to the DailyKos for bringing this fine piece of Reuters photojournalism to my attention. If you don't read the DailyKos -- you should.
Saturday, October 07, 2006
I ask that you read the following example of why it is important to read all the way to the end of news articles:
Rep. Joe Barton, R-Texas, wrote a letter supporting Hastert, saying it was inappropriate to ask for the speaker's resignation when similar scandals in the 1980s prompted a "dramatically different standard."
Barton was referring to Democratic Reps. Gerry Studds of Massachusetts and Dan Crane of Illinois, both of whom were censured after having sexual relationships with 17-year-old pages. Crane lost his re-election bid, while Studds survived the scandal.
"No Democrat demanded prescience from Speaker Tip O'Neill, and no Democrat shouted for his resignation. Neither did any Republican," Barton wrote. "The focus was on the members who created the problem, as it should have been and as it should be now."
Joe? Hello Joe? I have a question for you: Are you stupid or something?
Studds -- you have to love the name -- had a single sexual relationship with a 17 year-old male page. He and the page (over a decade after the incident) stood side-by-side and told the media that the sex was consensual. Studds came out of the closet, admitted his actions were inappropriate, was censured by the Congress, and then got re-elected 5 more times.
Crane was accused of having a consensual sexual relationship in 1980 with a 17-year-old female congressional page and was censured by the House in 1983. Crane admitted to the charge and issued profuse, tearful apologies. He was defeated in his bid for re-election and returned to dentistry.
Mark Foley is accused of making sexual advances toward, and engaging in cyber sex with, any number of teenage congressional pages over a period of at least eight years. And it is more and more evident that Republican leaders of the House knew about it for as long as three years and chose to do nothing in order to protect their majority position.
To recap: Studds had consensual gay sex with 17 year-old page, got censured, got re-elected five times.
Crane had consensual sex with 17 year-old page, got censured, lost re-election bid.
Foley engages in a nearly decade long predatory string of often unwanted sexual advances and cyber sex activities with male congressional pages and the Republican congressional leadership -- who know there is a problem -- do nothing in order to protect their party's majority in the House of Representatives.
No offense Joe, but just how stupid do you think the voters in your district are? You don't think they see the difference between a Congressman doing something stupid and wrong, getting caught and paying the price and a cover-up that protects a congressional pederast while placing the interests of the Republican party ahead of the children they were charged to protect?
Joe, life might be like a box of chocolates, but the reason Hastert and the others tried to sweep all this under the rug was because they knew what they were going to get once the voters found out about Rep. Foley's years of trolling for sex with congressional pages.
So, do us all a favor Joe, keep your mouth shut and let the investigations decide the fate Hastert and the others. Hopefully, they'll get what they deserve.
CNN: GOP prods Democrats over Foley scandal
Friday, October 06, 2006
""He really ought not be a sacrificial lamb," former Secretary of State James Baker III said Friday.
"If they throw Denny Hastert off the sled to slow down the wolves, it won't be long before you'll be crying, 'Hey, you've got to throw somebody else over because they knew about it too,'" Baker said.
From AP: Foley Scandal Investigations Heating Up
Really? Anyone who knew about this and did nothing would be thrown to the wolves? You say that like it's a bad thing! I don't care if you are a Democrat, a Republican or a black, gay whale for Christ; if you knew about Foley's teenage penis census and did nothing about it, then you deserve to be fed to the wolves. Slowly. With a lot of special, deep, surging pain.
Despite what the Drudge Report is saying, it appears that Foley the Fondler has been at this for quite some time. Three more Congressional pages have come forward saying that Foley approached them with sexual messages via the Internet. And my, isn't he consistant. The Fondler has a real fasination with the sizes of the page's members. In fact, in one reported exchange, he not only asked the page about the size of his penis, but asked if he could report on the sizes of other pages.
I think Foley should have been a census taker instead of a Congressman.
These latest reports date back to 1998, for those of you who are math challenged, that's eight freakin' years this has allegedly been going on. For eight years a Republican Congressman with a record of fighting to protect children has been approaching teenage boys with sexual advances, including telling one page that if he was ever in Washington DC, he could stay with the Congressman provided he engaged in oral sex with him.
Personally, I don't care if Denny the Rotund Speaker of the House is sorry. If there is one shred of evidence that anyone in his office knew that this type of thing could be going on, then I want him gone. In fact, if there is any evidence that the Republican leadership even thought this could be going on, then I think it is pretty safe to assume that they decided to put the Party first, and the children in their care second -- and they should be punished for it.
From ABC: Three More Pages Come Forward
(Hastert Photo from DGA.org)
Thursday, October 05, 2006
"No I didn't. Honest... I ran out of gas. I, I had a flat tire. I didn't have enough money for cab fare. My tux didn't come back from the cleaners. An old friend came in from out of town. Someone stole my car. There was an earthquake. A terrible flood. Locusts. IT WASN'T MY FAULT, I SWEAR TO GOD."
This is a video edit waiting to happen. Please, someone who knows how to do it. Take that great scene from the Blues Brothers when Carrie Fisher finally has Jake Blues pinned down in the tunnel and paste Hastert's face on Belushi when he gives that speech. Pretty please?
Can I say that? I guess I just did.
Anyway, you just know that Fordham is going to punt that blame right back as quickly as possible. He's claiming he informed the rotund Speaker of the House's staff as long as three years ago. If that's true, then Hastert might well be sending a few of his people packing as he lightens the load on his sinking ship. I'm not saying this is really going to happen, but watch out for the "blame the ex-staffer who is no longer here" ploy, that's a Washington favorite.
From CNN: Aide: I warned Hastert's office about Foley
UPDATE The Ethics Committee has issued 40-some subpoenas after their first meeting on the Foley matter. I wonder if each one of those comes with an easy-payment schedule from your lawyer?
Wednesday, October 04, 2006
For the first course, we have Kirk Fordham, the former Chief of Staff to Foley the Fondler (and current Chief of Staff for Republican Congressman Tom Reynolds) being fired today for reportedly begging congressional leaders not to take allegations against Foley to the Congressional Page Board.
Now this is where it gets fun. First it was reported that Fordham quit. Then it was reported that he got fired for his efforts to keep the allegations from the Page Board. And now Fordham is saying that just the opposite is true and that he actually raised the alarm about Foley with Congressional leaders and is being used as a scapegoat to protect Speaker of the House Hastert.
ABC has also reported that Fordham tried to negotiate a deal with them for an exclusive on Foley's resignation. In exchange for the exclusive, Fordham wanted ABC to promise not to publish the content of the sexually explicit instant messages Foley wrote to a male teenage page.
(See my previous post Foley's Disgusting IM's)
ABC refused the deal.
Whatever the truth is, it is clear that everyone thinks there will be hell to pay on this one and like rats, they'll eat their own to survive.
Here is the text of Fordham's resignation statement as reported by ABC News:
"I have resigned today from Congressman Tom Reynolds’ office. It is clear the Democrats are intent on making me a political issue in my boss’s race, and I will not let them do so.
"I want to clarify a few things: When I sought to help congressman Foley and his family when his shocking secrets were being revealed, I did so as a friend of my former boss, not as Congressman Reynolds’ Chief of Staff. I reached out to the Foley family, as any good friend would, because I was worried about their emotional well-being.
"At the same time, I want it to be perfectly clear that I never attempted to prevent any inquiries or investigation of Foley’s conduct by House officials or any other authorities.
"Like so many, I feel betrayed by Mark Foley’s indefensible behavior. Again, I will not allow the Democrats to make me a political issue in my Boss’s race, and I will fully cooperate with the ongoing investigation."
Whatever dude, you'll land on K street somewhere and make a million. And don't worry, I suspect you won't be the only one looking for work when this whole thing is said and done.
Now...who's up for seconds? I have a lovely Speaker of the House roasting in the oven as we speak.
Thanks to my friend Carl for the tip.
Monday, October 02, 2006
If putting young people at risk from a sexual predator for political gain isn't enough to get you thinking about the motivations of the Republican leadership, then you must have already drunk the Kool-Aid.
From MSNBC: Joe Scarborough wants to know why Hastert didn't do anything
Photo from HuntingtonNews.net
Here is a photo of Congressman Foley with a bunch of young boys. I wonder what that flag is covering up.
If you want to read the actual disgusting exchange between a teenage boy and a 50+ year-old elected official -- go ahead -- but you will be creeped/grossed out.
From ABCNEWS: READER DISCRETION STRONGLY ADVISED: Foley's Exchange With Underage Page
Friday, September 29, 2006
One day a small lizard was walking through the forest. He smelled pot and looked up to find a koala bear sitting in a tree.
The little lizard looked up and said, "Hey koala bear, what are you doing up there?"
The bear replied, "I'm getting high, come on up." So the lizard joined the bear in the tree.
They continued to smoke joint after joint until finally the little lizard said, "My mouth is dry like cotton."
The koala bear agreed and told the lizard to go down to the river and get a drink and in the meantime he would roll another joint.
The little lizard attempted to lean over to drink water from the river and was so stoned, he fell right in and started splashing around.
A crocodile saw this and swam over to help the lizard to shore. He said, "Lizard what is wrong with you?"
The lizard replied, "I've been getting stoned with the koala bear. I needed water and fell in the river."
The crocodile said, "I don't believe this. Take me to the tree you were in."
So they walked through the forest and they come to the tree where the koala bear was sitting. The crocodile looked up and said, "Hey koala bear, what are you doing up there?"
The koala bear looked down and said, "Holy crap dude, how much water did you drink?"
Monday, September 18, 2006
He said: "Welcome to the gentlemen's room. Be sure to check out our newest feature, a mirror that, if you look into it and say something truthful, you will be rewarded with your wish. But, be warned: if you say something false, you will be sucked into the mirror to live in a void of nothingness for all eternity!"
The three men quickly entered and upon finding the mirror, Ralph Nader stepped up and said, "I think I'm the most truthful of us three," and he suddenly found the keys to a brand new eco-friendly car in his hands.
Al Gore stepped up and said , "I think I'm the most ambitious of us three," and in an instant, he was surrounded by a pile of money to fund his next presidential campaign.
Excited over the possibility of having a wish come true, George W. Bush looked into the mirror and said, "I think...," and was promptly sucked into the mirror.
Friday, September 08, 2006
Maybe we'd all be better off if Consumer Reports rated the President instead of the mainstream press.
Senate: No prewar Saddam-al-Qaida ties
Wednesday, September 06, 2006
Judge OKs killing of Delta pilots pension plan
Thursday, July 20, 2006
Thursday, July 06, 2006
Very ugly stuff.
No, this seems more like a guy who had suffered enough stress to power Toledo finally getting the chest grabber that was bound to come sometime.
An awfully tough way to stay out of jail if you ask me.
Thursday, June 29, 2006
But then he did something that made him a hero back home, he pushed around some Pentagon uniform with a body in it about over out of control defense spending. Nothing plays better in Des Moines than pushing some General up against a wall because he's spending 600 bucks a piece for toilet seats. Suddenly, Chuck was the real deal and the folks at home loved him.
Now he's the chairman of the powerful Senate Finance Committee and probably in his seat from Iowa until he either dies or wanders away from the DC retirement home known as the Hart Senate Office Building.
But until that time comes, Chuck isn't sitting on his past glory. He's got more fish to fry, and this time he's targeting pimps and hos.
Yes, that's right. I said pimps and hos. Hookers and Madams. Ladies of the Evening. Streetwalkers. Workers in the World's Oldest Profession. Chuck thinks he has the answer to the vast prostitution problem in Iowa and the rest of the country.
Taxes. He wants pimps to make their hookers fill-out W2 forms and pay withholding taxes or face ten years in the federal pen on tax charges.
I am not defending pimps, but this is just stupid. It was brilliant to get Al Capone on tax evasion, but sending the IRS out after armed pimps is just dopey. Accountants pay pimps, not arrest them.
Besides, all this will do is increase the quality of the prostitution operation. That's right, like the war on drugs, this move will only increase the cost and quality of the hookers available. By making them pay taxes, you are going to force them to become more professional, more business-like. Escort services will flourish and prostitution will be legitimized.
Also, does Sen. Grassley honestly think that the average pimp on the street is paying income taxes anyway? No way. Whoring is a cash business. If you wanted to take them down for tax evasion, you could do that today. You could even have a cool street name for it. Pimps all across the country would be talking about how the pimp up the street was doing time "'cause he got Caponed."
Senator, do us all a favor. Stick to messing with the Pentagon when they are screwing the American taxpayers and leave the pimps to the local Vice squad. They are the real experts when it comes to stopping hookers from screwing the taxpayers for money.
GOP Senator Calls For Pimp Tax
Monday, June 26, 2006
Hey, I'm not complaining. I think this is exactly the kind of thing the mega-rich ought to be doing.
Buffett to begin giving fortune away to charities
For those of you who don't get the reference: Verse 24
Saturday, June 24, 2006
Thursday, June 22, 2006
Iowa Congressman Apologizes for Jest
When did it become o.k. to revel in death but a social sin to suggest that Helen Thomas is not a supermodel virgin? (Is "supermodel virgin" an oxymoron?) We need a little perspective people. Allow me to offer it in the form of a photo of Helen Thomas
I think this says it all. Now, can we all just forget this kind of silliness and have a dose of common sense with our political correctness. She's not pretty and I'm sure she isn't what your average Islamic martyr has in mind when he is thinking of his heavenly reward. Besides, it's a funny line and that's a rare thing coming from a Republican Congressman from Iowa. So, give the guy a break, having a sense of humor shouldn't be something for which you have to apologize.
Wednesday, June 21, 2006
To all of the women in the world, I'd like to let you in on a secret...unless you're obese, men don't really care what you weigh. In fact, we'd rather you look like a woman and not a 12 year-old boy. (Okay, I'm not speaking for Michael Jackson or your local priest, but the rest of us would rather you looked like a woman.)
Thursday, June 15, 2006
Now, I'm not one to take my culture clues from beer commercials. If I did, I'd be surrounded by scantily clad swimwear models holding ice cold beer while I enjoyed a sporting event. (Note to self...re-think current source of cultural clues.) But if this is what it takes to shove these calorie counting, facial using, over moisterized, Prada wearing wussies back into the Bloomingdales changing room where they belong, then I'm good with that.
That's right, the pendulum has finally swung back in the direction of real men, and it's about f&$@king time. I'm a man damn it. I fart and belch. I get dirty and don't really care, shit...I enjoy it. I choose to wear certain clothing because it is climate appropriate, not because it makes "my eyes pop." And skin care to me is resisting that urge to pick the scab on my knee -- you know the one ladies, the one I got reliving my glory days by playing softball with a bunch of other men like me.
Don't get me wrong, I've got nothing against personal hygiene and I've been known to dress rather well from time to time. I just don't believe that fashion and vanity should be considered a lifestyle. You can't build a positive self-image based on skin care products and designer clothing. You have to accept who you are and embrace it, enjoy it, and wear it with pride.
I hope that I can teach my daughters that. It wasn't particularly difficult for me to ignore the Metrosexual Movement and be happy with who I am, I just hope they can avoid the ten-fold greater pressure to conform that girls/women face today and be secure in who they are. So far, it shouldn't be hard. They are both shaping up to be Nobel Peace Prize winning swim suit models with great taste in men. I love it when they say, "Boys are just icky."
Tuesday, June 13, 2006
Saturday, June 10, 2006
Party's Over for Republicans
by Garrison Keillor
People who live in mud huts should not throw mud, especially if it comes from their own roofs. As Scripture says, don't point to the speck in your neighbor's eye when you have a piece of kindling in your own.
I see by the papers that the Republicans want to make an issue of Nancy Pelosi in the congressional races this fall: Would you want a San Francisco woman to be Speaker of the House.
Will the podium be repainted in lavender stripes with a disco ball overhead? Will she be borne into the chamber by male dancers with glistening torsos and wearing pink tutus? After all, in the unique worldview of old elephants, "San Francisco" is a code word for "g-a-y," and after assembling a record of government lies, incompetence and disaster, the party in power hopes that the fear of g-a-y-s will pull it through in November.
Running against Ms. Pelosi, a woman who comes from a district where there are known gay persons, is a nice trick, but it does draw attention to the large shambling galoot who is speaker now, Tom DeLay's enabler for years, a man who, judging by his public mutterances, is about as smart as most high school wrestling coaches.
Read the rest here: Garrison Keillor
Thursday, June 08, 2006
There has to be times that our troops feel like the British during the revolutionary war when the Americans quit marching out in a straight line and instead started hiding behind trees.
Monday, June 05, 2006
That's right, I'm talking about Gay Marriage.
According to our President, "Ages of experience have taught us that the commitment of a husband and wife to love and to serve one another promotes the welfare of children and the stability of society. Government, by recognizing and protecting marriage, serves the interests of all."
Exactly how stupid does he think we are? Does he honestly believe that the average American cares if the two women living next door with their three cats and two children from a third world country have been through some ceremony? I don't. What I do think is that most Americans would like to see that those children have all the rights and benefits to which they are entitled. And that includes the health and wellbeing of their parents.
Bush and his political hacks are confusing the issue of marriage for political reasons. They are trying to shore-up the religious right and prove that the Republican's are still their horse in the race. They want to have a wedge issue that they can drive between the suburbs and the cities, the minorities and the Democrats. But it is a false issue, a phantom created to electrify a portion of the electorate. It is a Hallmark Holiday issue, created solely to sell the Republicans as the moral compass of the country.
The real issue here is whether or not domestic partners can receive and share the same benefits as straight married people. It is about rights, not religious morals. Should gays have access to healthcare? Should the children of lesbian couples be as secure as those of straight couples? Should gays couples be allowed the same rights in divorce and death as straight couples? Those are the questions, not whether or not the very existence of the lesbians next door is somehow eroding the sanctity of my marriage. As a married person, I can tell you that they aren't.
The bottom line is this. If a church will marry two people, it is none of the State's business. This country was founded on that ideal. Now we have to decide if those people should be given the same rights as other citizens, and as equal rights is also a founding principle of the US, then I say yes, regardless of what the bible thumpers may say about it.
Thursday, June 01, 2006
"No dad, I'm busy."
According to my wife, the creature that used to be my sweet, accommodating, always willing to please daughter started growing armpit hair sometime in the past few months. It is the beginning of the end for me.
You see, the beast that is growing under her arms is apparently talking to my daughter, wooing her away from me and I know that I can't compete. Soon, the beast will introduce her to those wily, mop-topped, squeaky voiced things called teenage boys and I will no longer be relevant -- except as a walking ATM. I know the transformation is slow and the metamorphosis is a long way from being complete, but I miss her already. Unfortunately, I see a light at the end of the tunnel and as sure as I am Elmer Fudd, it's a train engine not salvation.
So this weekend, I think I'll make a couple of trips to Home Depot and IKEA. I might as well start outfitting the backyard shed now while the weather is good because like the pet that has fallen out of favor, I'm soon to be relegated to the doghouse.
Besides, once puberty actually hits full force and she and my wife start "cycling" together, I'm pretty sure the shed is going to be the safest place me -- the only estrogen challenged creature in the house.
Wednesday, April 12, 2006
Wednesday, March 15, 2006
I was glad to see that several of my favorite blogs won awards this year in the 2006 Bloggies. In particular, I was glad to see MyBoyFriendIsATwat.com won for best European blog again this year. It is, in my opinion, a good example of a blog with little or no purpose beyond public ranting and entertainment. Zoe has let the world into her life and spares little. From when she sprung a leak to the pain and suffering of living with teenagers, her blog offers all of us web voyeurs exactly what we are looking for, a real window with little dressing to peak into. (And perhaps a place where you won't get flamed for ending a sentence in a preposition.)
I was a bit disappointed to see that the cold sword of celebrity gossip and commentary that is TheSuperficial lost out to GoFugYourself.com in the Entertainment Blog catagory. Personally, I love those catty bitches, but I always thought of their stuff as being more fashion and less entertainment while TheSuperficial takes an obviously demented and obsessed view of the entertainment industry and its stars. Oh well, nothing is perfect. Not everyone thinks that satirical fantasies about kidnapping and defiling low-talent -- yet excessively famous-- starlets is funny.
Anywho, if you're into blogs, checkout the Bloggies, good links to quality blogs.