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Creeeeeeeeepy. This is approaching "live boy" territory.

A 16-year-old male congressional page concerned about the appropriateness of an e-mail exchange with a congressman alerted Capitol Hill staffers to the communication.

Congressman Mark Foley's office says the e-mails were entirely appropriate and that their release is part of a smear campaign by his opponent.

In the series of e-mails, obtained by ABC News, between the page and Rep. Foley (R-FL), Foley asks the page how old he is, what he wants for his birthday and requests a photo of him.

The concerned page alerted congressional staffers to the e-mails. In one e-mail, the page writes to a staffer, "Maybe it is just me being paranoid, but seriously. This freaked me out."

Foley's office acknowledges that Foley wrote the e-mails to the page but says they were completely innocent and that Foley is only guilty of being overly friendly.

The e-mails were sent from Foley's personal AOL account. In one, Foley writes, "did you have fun at your conference...what do you want for your birthday coming up...what stuff do you like to do."

In another Foley writes, "how are you weathering the hurricane...are you safe...send me an email pic of you as well..."

The page forwarded that e-mail to a congressional staffer saying it was "sick sick sick sick sick."

Aravosis has the emails (follow the link above to read them), and has one in which Mark Foley emails the page to tell him how hot his (the page's) friend is.

I just emailed will...hes such a nice guy...acts much older than his age...and hes in really great shape...i am just finished riding my bike on a 25 mile journey now headed to the gym...whats school like for you this year?

This story has hit the district press. Bizarre? Yeah. But it has legs.

What a crazy election this has become.

On the web: Tim Mahoney for Congress (Democratic candidate in the district)

Originally posted to Daily Kos on Thu Sep 28, 2006 at 09:37 PM PDT.

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Comment Preferences

  •  hahaha! I posted... (21+ / 0-)

    ...this a few hours ago:

    The only thing that can hurt him is "to be caught in bed with a dead woman or a live boy"...

    Arrogant lips are unsuited to a fool-- how much worse lying lips to a ruler - Proverbs 17:7

    by Barbara Morrill on Thu Sep 28, 2006 at 09:38:36 PM PDT


    Man thats sick...

    It sucks living next door to Richard Nixon.

    by jkfp2004 on Thu Sep 28, 2006 at 09:39:00 PM PDT

    •  EWWWW indeed, plus (6+ / 0-)

      this Foley guy seems to have a problem with the English language (learned from dear leader, I'm sure)... never uses apostrophes.  And what the hell is "i am just finished riding..." anyway?

      Like the page said, sick sick sick sick sick sick.

      •  FROM A BLACKBERRY (3+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Ted Hitler, PatsBard, flumptytail

        Foley is clearly sending this from a BlackBerry, (while outside of the office).

        You see he gets urges, (bad thoughts), and the only way to get rid of them is through exercise, lots of exercise.

        "i am just finished riding my bike on a 25 mile journey now heading to the gym...whats school like for you this year?" --Any doubt this is from a BlackBerry and sent outside of the office?

        Nothing like chatting up a 16yr old.

        Historic "Kiss Buttons" available here!

        by DeanFan84 on Thu Sep 28, 2006 at 10:38:26 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

    •  So Foley's office is saying (11+ / 0-)

      it's "entirely appropriate" to be "overly friendly" with a page?  Jeeez.  Who's writing their official response? Dick Wadham?

    •  Before I head into the shower (10+ / 0-)

      let me explain that there is NO justification for this, especially the "send me a picture" part.

      Foley was trolling, there is no doubt in my mind, and given that I have a young son, if he had shown me these emails I would have reported the sender to the police, no questions.

      My god, torture, Katrina, the war in Iraq...and this?  oh, and  Allen?  and the GOP, that is the party that American wants to represent them?  My god these people are sick.

        •  This is right on. (10+ / 0-)

          I've worked with enough perverts to know this is a pervert. This kid has his number and he's right on.  And Foley is in the party of the Christian Right.  Forgive me, but the ones who are adamant about their values are not trustworthy.  Let's elect Mahoney.

          •  It is creepy. (3+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            x, flumptytail, ca democrat

            I must say tht even if this turns out not to be trouble for Foley, this will most likely take his career down. Look at what happened to Condit for having the "creep" effect? And that was the opposite sex adult women.

            Once you bring up the prospect of a congressman /women messing with a 16 yr old, innocent or not, and it looks creepy,it is hard to get the ooooze off.

            We are talking about children.

            I think this guy is done.

          •  Look at his bio and read between the lines! (0+ / 0-)
            Representing one of the most popular tourist destinations in the country, Congressman Mark A. Foley first elected to Congress in 1994, is now serving his sixth term as the U.S. Representative from Florida's sixteenth congressional district. Throughout his tenure in Congress, several conservative national groups and organizations have recognized Congressman Foley for his efforts to control federal spending, promote fiscal responsibility, and provide real tax relief to hard-working Americans.
             The National Taxpayers Union, U.S. Chamber of Commerce, and National Federation of Businesses are just a few of the many organizations that have praised Congressman Foley's work promoting legislation to stimulate economic growth. At the beginning of the 106th Congress, Congressman Foley was appointed to the powerful  House Ways and Means Committee. He plays an important role in reforming the tax code, providing tax relief, expanding trade, seeking solutions to save social security, shoring up Medicare, reforming welfare, and addressing child safety issues.In addition to his committee assignment, Congressman Foley serves as a member of the House leadership as a Deputy Majority Whip. He is also Co-Chairman of the Missing and Exploited Childrens Caucus and Co-Chairman of the Travel and Tourism Caucus.

            Congressman Foley has been instrumental in passing important legislation. He secured $200 million in federal funding  towards the preservation of the Florida's Everglades; the first ever financial contribution towards this cause.  Furthermore,he supported legislation expediting the deportation of non-violent criminal aliens serving their sentences in federal prisons.

             A testimony to his commitment to youth, he also passed a law allowing volunteer youth-serving organizations to have access to F.B.I. fingerprint background checks when denied that access by state law. To ensure student safety, he eliminated federal prohibitions on notifying a campus community when a student commits a violent crime.

            Foley also successfully sought a solution for surviving heirs of Holocaust victims who were unable to collect on life insurance policies. In support of healthcare issues, he passed legislation that doubled funding for rare disease research, which was signed into law by President Bush.  

             Even more, Congressman Foley has assisted over 1,500 individuals with Social Security concerns, veterans' benefits, immigration and more; secured over $35 million in funding for important local projects; joined with Senator Chuck Hagel to propose a prescription drug discount plan for seniors; and authored legislation to protect businesses from frivolous lawsuits or "drive-by lawsuits" based on disability  laws.

            Prior to his public service, 20-year-old Foley launched a small family restaurant  in Lake Worth. He later started a catering  business and began an independent real estate business. At 23,  he was appointed to the Lake Worth City Commission and served as Vice Mayor from 1983-84. In 1990, Mark was elected to the Florida House of Representatives and, in 1992, to the State Senate. Congressman Foley has been recognized for his service to the community with several awards,  including the Florida Farm Bureau's "Legislator of the Year Award" and the Florida Medical Association's "Distinguished  Layman Award." Always a friend of the taxpayer and small  business, Congressman Foley has received awards for every year of his service from the U.S. Chamber of Commerce as well as the National Taxpayers Union.

               The son of Edward and Fran Foley, Congressman Foley was born September 8, 1954,  in Newton, Massachusetts. He moved to Florida at the age of three and has lived in the West Palm Beach area ever since. Southern Florida's sixteenth congressional district includes residents of Charlotte, Glades, Hendry, Highlands, Martin, Okeechobee, Palm Beach and St. Lucie Counties.

            A confirmed bachelor? How quaint... Must be dedicated to service of his district.

            Livin' the Murkin Dream!

            by smartinez on Fri Sep 29, 2006 at 05:38:35 AM PDT

            [ Parent ]

          •  Dark and disturbing secrets have a habit of (0+ / 0-)

            coming out of prominant and outspoken leaders in the religious right (remember Baker?).  I've come to believe that the reason a certain segment of the population is so adament and vocal about their religious values is that they likely feel guilt and fear about skeletons in their closet.  The reasoning seems to be that if they build enough churches, raise enough money, convert enough people, pray ardently enough, and change legislation enough in the name of God, they will be forgiven for their sins.  In other words, they're trying to bribe God.  As I understand it, this is how conservatives can simulatenously endorse things such as torture and violence against minority groups while so vigorously defending religion.  Somewhere deep down, they know these things are wrong, that they can't be reconciled with the teachings of Christ and must therefore be the most ardent defenders of Christianity, hoping to redeem themselves before God through acts of bribery.

        •  Kid's instinct plus pattern of behavior (5+ / 0-)

          If I had teenage staffers and wanted pictures of them, I'd have photo albums and bulletin boards with pictures of all of them while they worked in my office. People would be pulling out cameras at special events, etc. Newsletter style.

          After that, I'd hope all of them would be sending pictures with their holiday cards, occasional notes about their progress.

          Out of the blue to ask for a picture from a former page? Yes, creeeeeepy.

          Foley's 'look'? Energetic, eager, a bit off, and he knows what sin is. Don't know if from personal experience or heard about it in church, but he looks like he knows.

        •  That's one level from 'would you like some candy? (5+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          x, aitchdee, Drocket, Sanuk, flumptytail

          Ew, ew, ew, ew, ew.

          This story needs to keep going. That THIS is the sort of "family values" you get from these people.

          "When fascism comes to America, it will be wrapped in the flag and carrying the cross" - Sinclair Lewis

          by Loboguara on Fri Sep 29, 2006 at 12:27:57 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

      •  i almost hate to say this (5+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Al Rodgers, Jake Nelson, x, jackieca, Sanuk

        but foley does have that look...

        weather forecast

        The palaces of kings are built upon the ruins of the bowers of paradise. - Paine

        by Cedwyn on Thu Sep 28, 2006 at 10:47:55 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

  •  Wow (6+ / 0-)

    That's messed up.

    Deny My Freedom
    "Inconvenient truths do not go away just because they are not seen." -Al Gore

    by PsiFighter37 on Thu Sep 28, 2006 at 09:39:42 PM PDT

  •  I understand that... (11+ / 0-)

    ...Foley's lead is in the double digits.  I can't wait to see the next poll.  :-D

    Arrogant lips are unsuited to a fool-- how much worse lying lips to a ruler - Proverbs 17:7

    by Barbara Morrill on Thu Sep 28, 2006 at 09:39:45 PM PDT

  •  "send me an email pic of you" (15+ / 0-)

    sounds like predator talk to me. Seriously, this behavior reported does sound like grooming activity.

  •  Are you trying to seduce me, Mr. Robinson? (20+ / 0-)

    Man With No Name: You may run the risks, my friend, but I do the cutting. We cut down my percentage - uh, cigar? - liable to interfere with my aim.

    by Cartoon Peril on Thu Sep 28, 2006 at 09:39:59 PM PDT

  •  did anyone else just (6+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    MarkC, varro, jackieca, SecondComing, Arken, Drocket

    get a michael jackson song stuck in their head?

  •  Aaaahhh!!!! I said stop already!!!!! (9+ / 0-)

    Now you are re-re-re-re-re-re-exploding my head!  You are like a WTF machine on crack!

    And, yuck, by the way.

    "If I don't get my crackers, I'm going to get angry." -7.50; -6.21

    by sgoldinger on Thu Sep 28, 2006 at 09:40:24 PM PDT

  •  Foley (19+ / 0-)

    A few years ago, he was going after family nudist resorts in Florida, because, he implied, nude adults and children together would encourage pedophilia.

    That makes this story even more interesting.

    What is it that makes so many Republicans into textbook cases of repression and projection?

  •  Yeah, but what do the Democrats stand for? (6+ / 0-)

    I mean just because they're not pedophiles...


    Yeah that's innocent all right. That's pretty frickin' sick to ask for the picture of a kid.

  •  How are you weathering the hurricane? (5+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    lapin, jackieca, cathy b, PatsBard, Granny Doc

    Send me pics? Whaaaa???

    Let's run down the list. Closeted? Check. Pedophile? Check. Exploiter of hurricane fear and suffering? Check. Incompetent head of Sex Crimes initiative? Triple check.

    i am just finished riding my bike on a 25 mile journey now headed to the gym

    25 mile bike ride, huh? Has this cretin ever ridden with Bush? That's a serious inquiry. Bush does a lot of bike riding and spends time in Florida. It's not farfetched to suppose that Foley has been part of Bush's riding entourage.

  •  And remember (7+ / 0-)

    Catch Congressman Foley on this week's new episode of Dateline: To Catch a Predator!

    It sucks living next door to Richard Nixon.

    by jkfp2004 on Thu Sep 28, 2006 at 09:43:05 PM PDT

  •  I thought it was an open secret that Foley's Gay (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Joelarama, ca democrat

    Not that that excuses this kind of thing (or implies that all Gay men act the same way).

    But I'm pretty sure I read something just a couple years back that said he was gay (although he isn't officially out).

    •  He denies it (6+ / 0-)
      Don't ask, because Mark Foley won't tell
      By ADAM C. SMITH
      Published June 1, 2003

      It's a basic political premise: Get in front of a potentially damaging story before it overwhelms you. That's certainly what Republican U.S. Senate candidate Mark Foley had in mind when the five-term congressman called an unusual press conference recently.

      Reports that he's gay are about to spread from alternative and gay media outlets to major Florida newspapers, Foley said. He blamed Democratic activists for spreading the rumor and decried the "repulsive" campaign tactic.

      He wanted reporters to know that he won't answer questions about his sexuality; it has nothing to do with his candidacy.

      •  Hahahaha (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:

        Here is what i don't get: Either you want to help gay people get rights, or you don't.

        If you do, and you are gay, hiding it is cowardly and dumb. More gay people being elected, being more visible in our society HELPS them. So if you are gay and you want to help gay rights, dont say shit like "Im not asnwering that question."

        If you aren't gay, then its easy. Just say you aren't gay. Saying "we shouln't have to ask people" as a pro-gay rights tactic is dumb too, the problem isnt the asking, its that people have a problem with gays in the first place.

        On the other hand, if you are gay, but hate gays and hate gay rights, then you have a strong incentive to hide it because you are ashamed of it.

        So basically, anybody who answers the question with "I dont want to answer that" is either a moron or a gay-hating gay.

        It amazes me that people still keep doing this.

      •  that's an admission (0+ / 0-)

        "Justice is truth in action." - Benjamin Disraeli

        by mtibbens on Fri Sep 29, 2006 at 05:18:53 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

    •  He's a sexual predator (11+ / 0-)

      Gay men are not sexual predators.  The Catholic Church still gets hung up on that distinction.

      We do not rent rooms to Republicans.

      by Mary Julia on Thu Sep 28, 2006 at 10:08:30 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  It's not about gay. It's about 16. (eom) (9+ / 0-)

      Shut it Down before the sig virus gets you too!

      by subtropolis on Thu Sep 28, 2006 at 10:15:51 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Precisely. The legal/ethical issues here are: (4+ / 0-)

        (1) whether the intern(?) was not at the age of consent; (2) the power differential; and (3) Foley's "closetedness."

        But that Foley is gay (this is well-known in D.C.) is worth reporting.  Gay people are good or bad in equal measure and in the same variety as the wider population.  But it should be noted here:  too often the media are skittish about mentioning the fact that a person is gay.  The alleged target of these flirtations (or whatever) is a male.  Foley is well-known to be gay.  His record is anti-gay.  It should be mentioned, in a matter-of-fact and neutral way.

        Conservatives who believe gay people (like me) are pedophiles will believe it.  Sensible people will recognize that most gays are good, a few are less so, like anyone else.  The fact that Foley is gay should be reported by the media, and it is relevant here..

        "How am I not myself?" -- I ♥ Huckabees

        by Joelarama on Thu Sep 28, 2006 at 11:49:42 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

      •  It's all about being a gay Republican. (3+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        cathy b, subtropolis, ca democrat

        And where he stands on the issues, the rhetoric he's supported for years, and the career he's built on the sands on the Treasure Coast because being Repub was more electable than Dem.  I'd like to hear him go into them megachurches of Florida and talk about being gay and religiously Right, and sex with children.  Yes, this has been a open secret since he was in high school.  

        Eloquent speech is not from lip to ear, but rather from heart to heart. William Jennings Bryan

        by Yalobusha on Fri Sep 29, 2006 at 02:04:27 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

    •  what has being gay (or straight) have to do w/ (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:


      God bless our tinfoil hearts.

      by aitchdee on Thu Sep 28, 2006 at 10:20:10 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Well, the hypocricy.... (3+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        mojo workin, trashablanca, Joelarama

        I havent looked up his voting record, but i'm pretty sure he's gone along with Republican efforts to deny gay rights, ban gay marriage, ect ect....

        So he's a hypocrite. It would be like Ken Blackwell having a rally with the local KKK. Pretty hypocritical...

        Of course being a pedophile is the worse of the two charges...

        •  Whoops! (0+ / 0-)

          Just looked it up..he's made several statements in opposition to the gay marriage bill....

          Still though, i'd say that its pretty hypocritical to be a gay Republican even if you are trying to weave "pro-gay" in there. Republicans have demonized gays so badly that there shouldn't be a decent homosexual person left in that party.

        •  you still haven't answered my question (3+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          trillian, davidincleveland, rgdurst

          What does any of it have to do with pedophila?

          God bless our tinfoil hearts.

          by aitchdee on Thu Sep 28, 2006 at 10:40:39 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  None of this has anything to (0+ / 0-)

            do with pedophilia. Possibly illegal and definitely disturbing behavior. But not pedophilia.

            Iraq was not involved in 9-11. But what about Pakistan and Saudi Arabia? Why do they get a free pass?

            by Zaphod Beeblebrox on Thu Sep 28, 2006 at 10:47:09 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  I'll rephrase (0+ / 0-)

              Mikesco posted about Foley being hypocritical because Foley is (ostensibly) gay and yet he votes antigay.

              I asked Mikesco what that has to do with the subject at hand.

              His reply didn't answer the question.

              Now I don't know what you, Zaphod, are trying to insert at this juncture, but in light of your previous activity, it's probably obscurantist at best.

              So with the hope of avoiding a deliberate derailing of the conversation, I will rephrase: What does Congressman Foley being gay (if he is gay--he's been outed I believe but he himself has not confirmed it)... what does that have to do with THESE allegations?

              God bless our tinfoil hearts.

              by aitchdee on Thu Sep 28, 2006 at 11:43:54 PM PDT

              [ Parent ]

              •  You bastard. (0+ / 0-)

                You made me look up obscurantist. My point was quite simple, there isn't sufficient evidence at this point to accuse pedophilia, although that's certainly a possibility. Then again he may well be into some other form of sexually deviant or anti-social behavior. But being the elitist asshole I am, I don't like it when people jump to conclusions without evidence, especially when they fundamentally misunderstand what it is they are discussing.

                Hot gay sex with a 17 year old does not constitute pedophilia nor does it necessarily constitute deviant or anti-social behavior. It depends on the circumstances. For example, here's a blast from the past of Congressional sex scandals.

                Iraq was not involved in 9-11. But what about Pakistan and Saudi Arabia? Why do they get a free pass?

                by Zaphod Beeblebrox on Fri Sep 29, 2006 at 12:41:11 AM PDT

                [ Parent ]

          •  It doesn't (0+ / 0-)

            I was just asking if anybody else had heard this. I responded the way I did because for a lot of people the nature of his hitting on a guy seemed a surprise.

      •  Not a pedophile. (5+ / 0-)

        Pedophiles target children less than 14. This guy may be a creep, but lets be reality based.

        Iraq was not involved in 9-11. But what about Pakistan and Saudi Arabia? Why do they get a free pass?

        by Zaphod Beeblebrox on Thu Sep 28, 2006 at 10:46:19 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  Did you read how he was treating the kid? (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          jackieca, aitchdee

          Like a child, not like a potential romantic partner.  I'm guessing that 16 was not his preferred age range, but he targeted the kid because he had the opportunity to.  Also, notice his extensive interest in protecting children from sex offenders and porn. A great goal, but looks a little suspect now.

          •  He may well be a pedophile... (2+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            dietznbach, jackieca

            but more evidence is needed. I will say this, there is probable cause for the police to investigate him. And I won't be shocked to find he's got bigger things to hide. He does strike me as a total creep.

            Iraq was not involved in 9-11. But what about Pakistan and Saudi Arabia? Why do they get a free pass?

            by Zaphod Beeblebrox on Fri Sep 29, 2006 at 12:18:30 AM PDT

            [ Parent ]

          •  I am sorry (0+ / 0-)

            but when 52 year olds want to have relationships with 16 year olds it is deviant.

            If you want something other than the obvious to happen - you've got to do something other than the obvious...Douglas Adams

            by trillian on Fri Sep 29, 2006 at 06:47:31 AM PDT

            [ Parent ]

        •  asdf (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:

          a 50 y.o. man beds a 16 y.o. boy: he's not a pedophile?

          God bless our tinfoil hearts.

          by aitchdee on Thu Sep 28, 2006 at 11:49:42 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  Correct. (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:

            If he touched a kid less than 14, then it is possible he's a pedophile. Even then, he may not be. Some men, who are not pedophiles, rape children. They are not sexually motivated, they do it because they are sadistic... kind of like Bush/Cheney I guess.

            Pedophilia is one of the most misunderstood pschological disorders out there. Micheal Jackson is almost certainly a pedophile, but R. Kelly... he's probably just really fucking sick. It's complicated.

            Iraq was not involved in 9-11. But what about Pakistan and Saudi Arabia? Why do they get a free pass?

            by Zaphod Beeblebrox on Fri Sep 29, 2006 at 12:22:59 AM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  you said: (0+ / 0-)

              Some men, who are not pedophiles, rape children.

              Where in the world are you getting your information?

              God bless our tinfoil hearts.

              by aitchdee on Fri Sep 29, 2006 at 12:40:29 AM PDT

              [ Parent ]

              •  Follow the link... (3+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                texas dem, aitchdee, spacespace

                and become educated. Pedophilia is a mental disorder which causes people to become sexually orientated towards children. Some people who do not have this disorder, in other words they are sexually orientated towrds adults and have no sexual desire to touch children, rape them anyways. Not for sexual gratification or the desire to establish a romantic relationship, but as a way of humilating and controlling their victims. These people are best described as sadists, or better yet, sick assholes.

                I suppose I could just chalk this sort of behavior up to a vast government conspiracy, but I prefer logical analysis of the available data. I think some people call that science or something.

                Iraq was not involved in 9-11. But what about Pakistan and Saudi Arabia? Why do they get a free pass?

                by Zaphod Beeblebrox on Fri Sep 29, 2006 at 12:47:15 AM PDT

                [ Parent ]

                •  your 'available data' (2+ / 0-)
                  Recommended by:
                  hhex65, Zaphod Beeblebrox

                  is pathetic, dated and incorrect--but the rating is for the scuzzy little, nasty little, supercilious little post. Look it up, math boy.

                  God bless our tinfoil hearts.

                  by aitchdee on Fri Sep 29, 2006 at 02:09:18 AM PDT

                  [ Parent ]

                  •  You're childish. (1+ / 0-)
                    Recommended by:

                    If only your maturity matched your vocabulary, maybe this discussion would be productive. Much less entertaining, but perhaps productive.

                    your 'available data' is pathetic, dated and incorrect--

                    Really? Where's the updated data? You wanna back that up? Or is it more of your faith based bullshit?

                    Iraq was not involved in 9-11. But what about Pakistan and Saudi Arabia? Why do they get a free pass?

                    by Zaphod Beeblebrox on Fri Sep 29, 2006 at 02:31:53 AM PDT

                    [ Parent ]

                    •  i just finished reading the entire thread (2+ / 0-)
                      Recommended by:
                      cathy b, Zaphod Beeblebrox

                      every comment, stem to stern. And I've changed my mind rather dramatically.

                      As a straight woman who 'noticed' a handsome and chatty 18-year-old boy not too long ago (noticed, nothing more)--I too am unwilling to go along with the idea that only a pedophile (a mentally ill person) would do what Foley allegedly did. I'm actually unwilling to say that only a pedo could become attracted to an older teen: a good friend of mine, aged 35, is married to a young woman whom he fell in love with when she was but 17; they were married three years later and are happy as doves. There's no doubt they're made for each other.

                      The pedophile answer to any and all instances of adult/teen affinity is a very PC idea that, now that I've observed for myself the oppressive directions in which it can go, only a very tightly corseted Victorian could love. Dude, you were right the first time, the subject is bloody complex. I will have to rethink many of my presuppositions.

                      i reversed the trolly rates. cheers.

                      God bless our tinfoil hearts.

                      by aitchdee on Fri Sep 29, 2006 at 04:27:30 AM PDT

                      [ Parent ]

                      •  No problem. (2+ / 0-)
                        Recommended by:
                        aitchdee, cathy b

                        I was all pissed off because you seemed to be implying something which in retrospect maybe you weren't.

                        The whole War on Pedophiles is looking more and more like the War on Drugs and the War on Terror. Sure, drug dealers and pedophiles and terrorists are dangerously anti-social people. But politicians can use these issues, and hype and manipulate people's fear about them, to pursue all sorts of bad policies and hidden agendas. I personally know guys who had sex with girls who were in the age range of 16-19 years old when they were 5-10+ years older than them. This was not something they necessarily did often, and I promise you they're not bad people and they didn't hurt anyone.

                        While I understand the need for boundries, those boundries need to be based on science. Not on conventional wisdom about what's "gross" or "weird" or "unhealthy". They also need to be realistic. If a 17 year old girl decides she wants an older boyfriend, nothing is going to stop that from happening. It's interesting, when the 17 year old Anna Kournakova was caught up in a love triangle with 28 year old Sergei Federov and 31 year old Pavel Bure (both famous Russian hockey players) people were quick to wink at it and then change the subject. But if Average Joe does the exact same thing, under far less sleazy circumstances where it's a more conventional boy-meets-girl scenario, he'd be crucified and possibly charged with sexually assaulting a child. Something's off about that. Michael Jackson doesn't get that sort of treatment when there are allegations that he molested a 12 year old, everyone knows that's actually unacceptable behavior. If the prosecution could have proven their case, he'd be in jail and would forever be shunned. As it is, people look at him with great suspicion. But nobody really thinks Federov and Bure did anything wrong. The answer is simple, with Kournakova, it's just so absurd to suggest that there is anything odd about a guy wanting to be with her, and it's obviously normal that she would also be interested, so people just looked the other way and told themselves it was a platonic thing.

                        People need to quit bullshitting themselves and keep it real on this issue. The law should make sense, and people shouldn't be so quick to demonize people. That said, this guy should never have sent emails like that to a 16 year old kid. It just seems totally innappropriate on it's face, and the guy comes off like a creep. I figure if he really is it'll come out. We'll see.

                        Iraq was not involved in 9-11. But what about Pakistan and Saudi Arabia? Why do they get a free pass?

                        by Zaphod Beeblebrox on Fri Sep 29, 2006 at 04:55:31 AM PDT

                        [ Parent ]

                  •  I don't know why this got so ugly... (1+ / 0-)
                    Recommended by:

                    and I certainly don't see myself as being elitist. But whatever the reason was, it was probably not worth carrying a grudge about, let's not fight anymore.


                    Iraq was not involved in 9-11. But what about Pakistan and Saudi Arabia? Why do they get a free pass?

                    by Zaphod Beeblebrox on Fri Sep 29, 2006 at 03:48:06 AM PDT

                    [ Parent ]

            •  It's complicated. (2+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              cathy b, Zaphod Beeblebrox

              It may well be. But not when you are a Congressperson serving on many committees that have to do with children and you have been outed as a gay man.

              It sould appear to me that is simple, Stay away from kids, do not email them, do not ask what they want for their birthday that is four months away, and do not commet on their physique or any one they may know or you may know in front of them.

              If I was a parent, I would definatly be asking questions about this man.

              •  No question about it. (3+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                jackieca, aitchdee, cathy b

                I find his actions foolish at best, disturbing at worst. It's the sanctimonious one's you really have to watch out for, too.

                I am never surprised when one of these "family values" guys gets busted for molesting kids. However, while the emails were innappropriate at a personal level and stupid from a political standpoint, the pedophile stuff is very premature.

                Iraq was not involved in 9-11. But what about Pakistan and Saudi Arabia? Why do they get a free pass?

                by Zaphod Beeblebrox on Fri Sep 29, 2006 at 04:58:49 AM PDT

                [ Parent ]

                •  lol-suddenly I can't disagree with a word of you (1+ / 0-)
                  Recommended by:
                  Zaphod Beeblebrox

                  Never have I been so thoroughly flipped. Never! I have more to say to you, however, re: your last to me (hint: you say you would take desire to task with science; I say love will elude your microscope every time!) but it will have to wait until tomorrow. Will you check back or are you done with it? I'm too poodoodled now.

                  God bless our tinfoil hearts.

                  by aitchdee on Fri Sep 29, 2006 at 05:31:44 AM PDT

                  [ Parent ]

                  •  You should check the recent FP post. (1+ / 0-)
                    Recommended by:

                    This guy may not be a pedophile, but he's definitely got some 'splaining to do.

                    I think this guy is about to become a the target of a criminal investigation. And I while I still say, don't make baseless charges those charges may soon have a base.

                    Iraq was not involved in 9-11. But what about Pakistan and Saudi Arabia? Why do they get a free pass?

                    by Zaphod Beeblebrox on Fri Sep 29, 2006 at 05:37:39 PM PDT

                    [ Parent ]

                    •  alright (0+ / 0-)

                      I checked. It's bad. Really bad. Foley's a wheedling slimeball, no doubt about it. There's nothing normal ('normal') and everything manipulative and self-serving about the words, the style of the words, and the medium he used. (IM? a 13 year-old girl I used to nanny for tried for years to engage me in IM volleys after I'd left her family's employ--I wouldn't do it, for better or worse, for all the obvious, self-protective reasons.) I wouldn't be surprised if allegations of even worse behavior emerge; as it is, in view of who he is, I'd think he could be brought up on sexual harassment charges if nothing else, perhaps with the page's age as a special circumstance.

                      But do you notice--I dunno. There are Kossacks out there with blood in their eye. Is Foley a pedophile? A mentally sick person? Is his brain necessarily festering with disease? (And where's the accountability in that? If you're sick, you're sick.) Is he a monster? A damnable devil? Is he even human, for crissake? The maddog pitch of the rhetoric all of a sudden is making me a little uncomfortable. And I think it's ratcheting up-up-up the way it is here on dailykos (in a way that it might not on a less left-leaning site) paradoxically because we have perhaps a proportionately larger number of pro-gay rights and/or protective, PFLAG types (that's me) ever at pains to disown as a pure pedophile any adult who'd look twice at anyone under the age of 18--a somewhat dishonest, if understandable, PC endeavor (which you've cured me of, by the way). It is transparently just exactly what I was up to yesterday when we got into our merry dust-up; I'm still embarrassed at my unthinking, knee-jerk reaction; it's not like me. (Hmmmm.)

                      It would be so much easier to armchair adjudicate the case if the 'victim' were twelve, but alas he's not a child, he's a young adult. With that, as you held from the outset and now I cannot shake, we must fire up our brains, enter complexity, and leave the cut-and-dried easy answers behind.

                      God bless our tinfoil hearts.

                      by aitchdee on Fri Sep 29, 2006 at 10:37:23 PM PDT

                      [ Parent ]

                      •  Agreed. I think Democrats should approach (1+ / 0-)
                        Recommended by:

                        every issue that way. That's obviously what's needed to fix the mess in the Middle East. The "War on Terror" is the most destructive foreign policy in our nation's history. But then the "War on Drugs" is the most destructive domestic policy in our history. You should watch this video. It's only 15 minutes and it will really open your eyes at what's wrong with the whole "zero tolerance" mentality. Both our counter-narcotics and counter-terrorism efforts need to be drastically overhauled. You can't wage war on a thing or an idea. There have been multiple terrorist movements in the world before al Qaeda, and there are far more effective ways to eliminate terrorist organizations than the destructive and counterproductive nonsense we're doing now. I'f you haven't already seen The Power of Nightmares I highly recommend it. It lays out exactly what's wrong with our counter-terrorism policy, a policy which is much more about political manipulation than increasing security. There are three episodes and it's long, about three hours. But it's very informative. You'll see how 9-11 happened, who exactly was behind it, and how absurd it is that this issue wasn't resolved years ago. It's a textbook case of what happens when you base policy on hype and hysteria, and how beneficial that is to unscrupulous politicians.

                        As far as Mr. Foley goes, he has definitely violated Federal Law. It is a felony to engage in "cybersex" with a minor. That's a Federal Law, as the internet falls under the Interstate Commerce Clause of the Constitution. He's going to Federal Prison, probably for a while.

                        The common sense approach, in my mind, to this matter would follow the following model. The age of consent would be 16 in most cases, the conventional "boy meets girl" type of situation. However, the age limit would rise to 18 in the following exceptional situations.

                        1. Commercial Sex: Prostitution, Pornography, or any other sort of quid pro quo situation.
                        1. Any case where a relationship of trust or authority exists: Teacher, Coach, Clergy, Physician et cetera.
                        1. Electronic communication: Cybersex/Phonesex or "flirting" with people by these means.
                        1. Sexual Harrassment: Sexual harrassment is of course unacceptable behavior in any situation, but where a minor is involved it would be a criminal offense.

                        That would about cover it. Violaters of these laws would face heavy penalties. As far as every one else is concerned, mind your own business. I read some comments in the last 24 hours where people argued that it matters whether a person who does something like this is an 18-25 year-old or over 25. I rolled my eyes, like that makes any difference! A 25 year-old is not fundamentally different from a 40 year-old, he's just got more hair. The key issue is the nature of the relationship, not so much the age difference. Although, that does come into play when both persons are very young (I wouldn't freak out over an 18 year-old and a 15 year-old couple, but a 30 year-old and a 15 year-old couple is definitely quite a different matter). But yeah, it's complicated. The good news is, the standard I propose is the law in most states as well as Canada and much of Western Europe (there are inadequate protections in Eastern Europe, where there is rampant sexual exploitation of minors). The bad news is, if the mob mentality people are giving into ever took charge, the laws would likely be much more restrictive and many would be jailed in a counter-productive attempt at forced behavior modification.

                        George W. Bush is not a protective father, he's a deadbeat dad.

                        by Zaphod Beeblebrox on Sat Sep 30, 2006 at 05:17:44 AM PDT

                        [ Parent ]

    •  ugh (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      ca democrat

      Yeah, I remember that too.  Wasn't he testing the waters for a Senate or Gov bid a couple years ago, and then the gay rumors started floating around... etc etc

      I used to be a Log Cabin Republican. Yes yes I know.  I admit I am closer to traditional Repub (as opposed to Bush/DeLay Repub) positions on economics and to a degree on foreign policy.  (On social issues I am as left as anybody at dKos.) But ultimately I decided I could no longer be complicit in my own oppression.  Would a Jew support the Nazis because they had a good economic program?   That's how I started feeling.

      But for alleged closet cases like Foley -- they make this pact with the Devil to have this secret double life, and then their sexuality ends up getting expressed in inappropriate ways.  And sometimes illegal ways I might add -- the age of consent in Florida is 18 (unless one party is 24 or under, in which case it is 16).

      "We have known for many years that Saddam Hussein is seeking and developing weapons of mass destruction." -- Ted Kennedy, September 27, 2002

      by jimsaco on Fri Sep 29, 2006 at 05:59:30 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  Foley is gay... So I'm torn... (5+ / 0-)

    While I do like seeing gay GOP'ers... Under 18 boys and Congressman--that's just not good.  At least pick on kids over the age of consent.  Then again, a very similar scandal (even worse actually) happened to Barney Frank, and he's one of the best Democrats around...

    So call me totally torn on this one.

  •  Foley has always been a little werid... (0+ / 0-)

    and gross at times heh. This is just another example of it. I'll say this it doesn't put the gay rumor to rest either.

    "Reality has a well known Liberal Bias." -Stephen Colbert.

    by dieharddemocrat on Thu Sep 28, 2006 at 09:46:21 PM PDT

    •  Creepy. (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      DC Scott

      That's the best way to label this guy. Those emails were just weird, bizarre almost.

      Iraq was not involved in 9-11. But what about Pakistan and Saudi Arabia? Why do they get a free pass?

      by Zaphod Beeblebrox on Thu Sep 28, 2006 at 10:48:26 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  duh, he's gay (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      ca democrat

      of course foley is gay.  you've got to be living in a hole to not know this.  but as i've posted elsewhere, this is all coming out because of mahoney's disgusting gay-baiting campaign against foley.

      "Language is the liquid that we're all dissolved in. Great for solving problems after it creates them." --Isaac Brock, indie rocker imitating wittgenstein

      by Beyondo98 on Fri Sep 29, 2006 at 04:57:22 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  I wonder (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        cathy b, ca democrat

        if you donated money to the DNC or the DCCC, could you ask them that your contributions not be used to support a gay-baiting creep like Mahoney?

        It's bad enough when Republicans use homophobia to attack their opponents.  I would hope that in this day and age, Democrats would refrain from homophobic innuendo and distortion.

        January 20. 2009 cannot come soon enough.

        by Crisis Corps Volunteer on Fri Sep 29, 2006 at 05:26:02 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

  •  Foley was "outed" in 2004 (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    Found this on Wikipedia:

    Search for Foley, its about halfway down in hte article

    •  Lets all be adults shall we? (7+ / 0-)

      I realize someone has already said this above but I fail to see the correlation between being gay and seducing young boys over the internet.

      •  you just took a huge leap... seducing boys (0+ / 0-)

        over the internet?  that was NOT the allegation - that charge has NOT been made - just sleasy accusations by using a choice word that is very biased and slanted - i.e. "creepy".

        damnit, folks - don't you see what is in play here?  someone has made an accusation of intent where none has been proven - or shown - to my satisfaction or to the satisfaction of the law!

        yet, we are here - slaughtering the man's reputation without proof.

        i damn well care about that type of slander - be it democrat OR republican.

        that he is gay would be a major reason for the republicans to "eat their own" - if this young man were aware of his sexuality and had deep prejudice (something which i do NOT know as fact, btw), how easy would it be to do a hatchet job?

        c'mon! folks!  get real here - at LEAST have some real time facts before wildly speculating about this!

        •  Misfire, Misfire, Misfire! (0+ / 0-)

          The situation is creepy. I won't go beyond that and act as judge and jury but they would have creeped me out without Kosakian prompting. Having used this series of tubes for so many years it doesn't take much effort to read between the lines in cases like these.

          My comment was aimed at the myriad of people linking to previous allegations of homosexuality as if they have any bearing. If anything I'd think that goes hand in hand with your own reasoning.

          Homosexuality != pedophilia

          And that's what I was saying.

    •  Allegations, no proof (4+ / 0-)

      Gayness not the issue here, predatory behavior is the issue.

    •  So he's gay. What's your point? (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Michigan Paul, Trix, davidincleveland

      I don't undertand what you're trying to say.

      God bless our tinfoil hearts.

      by aitchdee on Thu Sep 28, 2006 at 10:21:23 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  simultaneously gay, and anti-gay (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        ca democrat

        that's becoming the modus operandi for many of the most vociferous of the Republican leadership.

        that's what's creeping me out so much.

        these guys don't know who they are, but they will engage in the most vile dirty tricks to stay in power.

  •  This is creepy indeed (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Granny Doc

    My first question is whether the page's email account was an official House email address. If so, the Congressman risked getting the page in trouble over inappropriate messages. Secondly, Foley is risking a sexual harassment charge.

    You're one microscopic cog in his catastrophic plan designed and directed by his red right hand

    by RandyMI on Thu Sep 28, 2006 at 09:56:22 PM PDT

    •  A sexual harassment charge would be the least (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      subtropolis, rgdurst, ca democrat

      he is risking.  His entire political career, come to mind.

      Join the Black Arm Band Brigade, TODAY!

      by Granny Doc on Thu Sep 28, 2006 at 09:58:01 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  But also (0+ / 0-)

        Foley exposed the House to serious trouble as the page was a minor under the organization's watchful eye. Other employers could easily be sued over this.

        You're one microscopic cog in his catastrophic plan designed and directed by his red right hand

        by RandyMI on Thu Sep 28, 2006 at 10:44:21 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

    •  as a victim of sexual harrassment on the job (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:

      and the winner of a successful harrassment suit, i can ASSURE you that those emails are NOT sexual harrassment!

      damn, people, give it UP!  

      sexual harrassment is real and cuts to the core - it hurts, it embarrasses, it is traumatic and leaves long term residual aftereffectss...

      maybe that is why this witchhunt is bothering me so much... if we casually toss around emotionally laden issues and then group them with unrelated events, we then dimenish the REAL ones and minimize the response to those that are harmful!

      those emails do NOT reach the level this is being played out - that the kid thought they were "creepy" - another might not have.  that the kid "suspected" the congressman was gay and is using these emails to "gay bash" is highly likely.

      i do not know either way what the real story here might be - and i'd rather wait to find out the whole truth before leaping gaily off the cliff!

      we have more important issues to deal with and bigger fish to fry - and if winning that seat means trashing someone for an issue that may very well be misconstrued, then i'd rather see us go after the ones who NEED trashing - like pombo, duncan, etc.

      IF (and this is a BIG 'if') this man is guilty of something, THEN we can go after him - but now, like this?  it stinks and smacks of coulterism.

      •  I feel your pain. (0+ / 0-)

        It's a long hard battle to get people to understand that there is a line being crossed in situations like this that they should at least admit that they are trampling.  So-called "snark" and "humor" will give vent to subtle - and not-so-subtle - gay bashing and discounting of the feelings of people who have really been in a situation such as yours - or been the victim of pedophilia - all in the interest of being the first to say something unoriginally non-humorous.  Be prepared to be told that you lack a sense of humor and are overly-sensitive.

        Interesting that you brought up Coulter.


        Teacher's Lounge opens each Saturday, sometime between 10am and 12 noon EST

        by rserven on Fri Sep 29, 2006 at 09:12:41 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  when i have an immediate visceral reaction to (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:

          something, there is usually a good reason...

          i have the following visceral reactions to this and the previous diary on this topic:

          ann coulter
          bill o'reilly
          max cleland
          john kerry
          mathew shepherd
          salem witch trials
          my cousin who hung himself a month ago
          o&y construction (jim horan - the boss who was sued)

          ok - THAT is what this diary and the other one brought immediately to mind - and when all those topics flood together at the same time, i don't like it one bit - it smells, this story does - and our reaction to it smells even worse!

          thanks for acknowledging that pain - which is made worse by the response of this "win or else" attitude.

          i'd rather lose an election than my belief system and principles...  painful as that might be - but with that alternative facing us, it means that i need to work MUCH harder so that we DON'T lose those elections.  all i ask is that we use the good ammo instead of the antipersonnel mines and cluster bombs that kill and then kill again innocents who tread into them after our damage is done.

        •  second thought here - sounds like you know (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:

          from experience from whence i speak!

          also, this is ONE area where my sense of humor runs very thin... especially right now.  you hit the nail on the head of the second thing that irritates me so much - the attitude is that it is OK for us to do this and we shouldn't be "overly sensitive" about it because the stakes are so great.

          how many people are now forgetting the results of the "end justifies the means" attitude - isn't that what got us into iraq, into the financial disaster it has wrought, the disentigration of our social programs that fdr and others built, the huge rending of the "safety net"?

          a little compromise here, a little bending of rules there - a tweak and a twitter as we sell out one by one each and every principle upon which this nation was built - how then can we scream about the loss of the bill of rights and the constitution if we, ourselves are helping to tear it asunder?

  •  God, I love America. (6+ / 0-)

    when we aren't torturing brown people, we are thinking about having our naughty way with little boys.

    I'd love to live during the end days of the Roman Empire.  Just to see how it all went down.

    •  The end of Rome (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Ted Hitler, trashablanca

      Treasury bankrupted from mismanaged debt. Army in tatters from mismanagement and proken pay promises. Rest of the world united in hatred and anger towards them.

      Also they stupidly built a lead plumbing system. They drank tap water out of lead pipes, poisoning themselves. Kinda like we do global warming...

  •  Can we throw someone out (4+ / 0-)

    For not using apostrophes?

  •  New Law for ALL Politicians (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    DC Scott

    No underaged pages - let them march in the HS band for a little while longer...

    Consider; is it better to plot a strategy and wait, or set a course, and run? - BMM

    by keechi on Thu Sep 28, 2006 at 10:00:18 PM PDT

  •  Hoo boy... (0+ / 0-), that came out wrong.

    But seriously, damn, that's about as bad of news as you can get as a congressman.  Next to maybe what happened to Bob Bauman.

    All your vote are belong to us. Warner/Feingold 2008

    by Harkov311 on Thu Sep 28, 2006 at 10:00:56 PM PDT

  •  Jumping to conclusions (6+ / 0-)

    You know, after 15 Democratic senators today just voted for torture, I'm not willing to pass judgment on a congressman for emailling a congressional page asking him what he likes for his birthday or saying he hopes he's safe from the hurricane.

    He also did not say the pages friend was "hot", he said he's in great shape.  Men say that all the time about each other.

    Apparently, this page contacted the congressman for a recommendation.  I'm sorry, I'm not going to condemn this congressman before all the facts are in.  Maybe the 16 year old is paranoid, maybe the congressman is out to seduce him.  We don't know yet.
    And frankly, Kos, I'm a little surprised you would take the low road like this.  Wait until the facts are in before you start smearing the man.

    "The only thing we have to fear, is fear itself."-FDR

    by Michigan Paul on Thu Sep 28, 2006 at 10:01:00 PM PDT

    •  Where was the smear? (0+ / 0-)

      Several of us have had a bit of fun with the idea, but I did not detect a "smear".

      Join the Black Arm Band Brigade, TODAY!

      by Granny Doc on Thu Sep 28, 2006 at 10:02:58 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  No, men do not say this all the time (15+ / 0-)

      You're one microscopic cog in his catastrophic plan designed and directed by his red right hand

      by RandyMI on Thu Sep 28, 2006 at 10:03:25 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Watch a football game lately? (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:

        Do you ever watch a professional or college football or baseball game?  Ever hear the commentators say things like "This is a real good-looking young player", or "This player is a great lineback, in great shape."  I hear it all the time.  If you ever go to the gym, you hear perfectly heterosexual men comment on other mens ability to bench press and all that.  We hear the political commentators say how wonderful it is for Bush being able to ride his bike or jog so long.  Really, people, in your zeal to score political points, stand back and wait until the facts are in before you jump to conclusions.

        (P.S)- this email exchange happened over a year ago, and no complaint was filed on it, according to the office in charge of the congressional pages.

        "The only thing we have to fear, is fear itself."-FDR

        by Michigan Paul on Thu Sep 28, 2006 at 10:27:45 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

    •  You're kind of skipping over the part (5+ / 0-)

      of his asking for a picture of the kid.

      •  the picture (3+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        finocchio68, redcardphreek, GATXER

        I said, don't smear him until we know all the facts.  I was not defending him, just asking us to withold the "creepy" talk and child pedophilia charges until we get the whole story.

        I read the link that Kos posted, and a staffer for the congressman said that it is their policy to ask for photos of all the pages so that they remember them in the future if they call and ask for recommendations.  Really, are we that sick as a nation that asking for a picture from someone is bona fide evidence of pedophilia?

        And for all those so happy to see this happening to a Republican, I can only say "Barney Frank" and his ring of male prostitutes.  

        "The only thing we have to fear, is fear itself."-FDR

        by Michigan Paul on Thu Sep 28, 2006 at 10:13:40 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  i wouldn't go so far as the pedophile label (3+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          aitchdee, greeseyparrot, Ted Hitler

          but i think it's fairly abovious what Foley was up to here. At least, it is to most of us. And it's not only inappropriate because of the kid's age, but also his job.

          These are not innocent remarks.

          Shut it Down before the sig virus gets you too!

          by subtropolis on Thu Sep 28, 2006 at 10:21:50 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  I don't think the emails alone are enough . . . (2+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            cathy b, davidincleveland

            to completely destroy someone's career like this.

            I don't like the GOP as much as the next guy, but we might reserve judgment on something like this till we have more of a smoking gun, rather than subjective reading-between-the-lines.

            There are plenty of people in the world with low social skills who are also caring and chatty.

            Give the guy a break until we know a bit more. . .

            •  Are you a parent? (1+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              cathy b

              After years of watching your kids with various adults - teachers, coaches, parents' friends, friends' parents, you get a good sense of what is appropriate discourse between a 52 year old and a 16 year old.

              This isn't it.  It was clearly in the beginning stages but it is clearly off.

              The kid knew it too.  Just like you can tell when someone is hitting on you - regardless of how innocuous the conversation might seem.

              If you want something other than the obvious to happen - you've got to do something other than the obvious...Douglas Adams

              by trillian on Fri Sep 29, 2006 at 07:01:55 AM PDT

              [ Parent ]

        •  Their are lines, and Mark Foley (9+ / 0-)

          plowed right through them. Honestly, to send e-mails like that from a private account? (not

          Foley and the page weren't friends. For him to e-mail in the colloquial about the gym, where each other are located, someone being mature and in good shape, when's your birthday and what do you like to do? It's more than unprofessional. It's outlandish. For God's sake, the Congressman is chatting this young man up.

          The real proof of the pudding will be when other young men come bravely forward. Tip of the iceberg, I'd wager.

          Historic "Kiss Buttons" available here!

          by DeanFan84 on Thu Sep 28, 2006 at 10:29:15 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  I guess (2+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            cathy b, davidincleveland

            Well, I don't know.  We will see.  Since I never "chatted a young man up", I guess I don't know such behavior when I see it.  It all sort of sounded like small talk to me.  I had a nice teacher in the sixth grade, and he asked me similar questions, but all he wanted was for me to win the spelling bee, which I did.

            "The only thing we have to fear, is fear itself."-FDR

            by Michigan Paul on Thu Sep 28, 2006 at 10:36:05 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  As long as "winning the spelling bee" (0+ / 0-)

              wasn't a euphemism.

            •  Your teacher asked you questions like this? (2+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              trillian, aitchdee

              or he called you when you had already left his class and moved out of state?

              This wasn't the congressman making small talk at the office Christmas party.  He e-mailed him from his blackberry when the kid was home in Louisiana, "weathering the hurricane".

            •  I do agree that the quotes above sound innocent (0+ / 0-)

              and small-talky to me, too.

              I could imagine asking most of those questions of teens I know. Like if I met a bookish, quiet teen who reminded me of myself when young, or especially if a kid I was around seemed troubled, I would feel like looking out for her/him and being friendly. I might write a note or an email, although I wouldn't follow it with a second if the first one was ignored. But I'm a married mom and it would not likely be perceived the way the congressman's emails had--a double standard or just reality about the frequency of men vs women hitting on kids. (Those weird women teachers that sleep with boys get on the news, but they are actually pretty rare.)

        •  BREAKING NEWS !! (11+ / 0-)

          CNN is now reporting, Foley asked the teen if "liked Gladiator movies"

          "ma ca ca - yo pee pee"

          by Al Rodgers on Thu Sep 28, 2006 at 10:31:11 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

        •  I agree-- calm down, everyone (6+ / 0-)

          Given the facts that have been presented so far, It think that far too many conclusions have been jumped to here.  I'm no defender of Foley for being a closeted Republican, but I think that not enough is known to warrant all of these "burn-the-witch" comments, which frankly sound like the sex-panicky inflammatory posts I expect from GOPers.   People are acting like he sexually propositioned an 8 year old instead of what could easily have been a routine exchange with a overly-sensitive and homophobic 16 yr old page.  

          Foley is so paranoid about being outed, do you really think he's going to openly flirt with a teen page?  I think it's more likely the page knows about Foley's "open secret" and is jumping to paranoid conclusions because Foley is you know, that way.    Get a grip, people.

          Besides, it's much more likely that a closeted Republican would seek sex at a rest-stop or something.  Where he could be anonymous.  Either that or at a Log Cabin orgy.

          •  do I think he'd flirt with a page? (5+ / 0-)

            sure, why not? people do stupid things when it comes to sex. I don't put anything past anybody when it comes to sex.

            Who would've thought that a sitting president would have sex with a 20-year-old intern right next to the oval office after barely getting the nomination due to a sex scandal? but he did it. why? there was sex to be had.

            "The test of our progress is not whether we add more to the abundance of those who have much; it is whether we provide enough for those who have too little."

            by vawolf on Thu Sep 28, 2006 at 10:40:39 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  Foley is not as reckless as Clinton (4+ / 0-)

              Of course people do dumb, risky stuff.  But since Foley has been constantly asked and harrassed about his sexual orientation and he feels his job is at risk if his "secret" is ever known, I think he's more likely to be careful than most.  I grant you that stupidity is possible, however.  Of course it is.

              I still maintain that it is far more likely that it is the REPUBLICAN teen page who is overreacting to some innocuous emails.  Grossing himself out by reading too much into it, and in a "gross-me-out" context because his queer congressman grosses him out.  I'm disappointed that so many people here are doing the same thing.  God, we wouldn't be jumping down a Dem's throat like this would we?  I never thought i'd be defending Foley in a million years, but I think in the end most people here will owe him an apology.  

              •  Read the email (0+ / 0-)

                It may be you feel the kid has overreacted, but the Congressman was clearly feeling the kid out. There was nothing appropriate about him emailing a page and asking for a picture. This is a 16 y.o. kid. He may be of legal consent in some states, but it's still creepy. I taught sixteen-year olds. If I approached one in that way, it would be inappropriate...and transparent, besides.

                "We support your war of terror!" -- Borat Sagdiyev (a/k/a Sacha Baron Cohen)

                by FischFry on Fri Sep 29, 2006 at 08:49:42 AM PDT

                [ Parent ]

        •  Oh no. (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          trillian, Ted Hitler

          He's creepy. Maybe not a pedophile, and there's a tremendous amount of ignorance as to what constitutes a pedophile and what is and isn't sexually deviant behavior... but the creepy charge he totally deserves.

          He should've known better.

          Iraq was not involved in 9-11. But what about Pakistan and Saudi Arabia? Why do they get a free pass?

          by Zaphod Beeblebrox on Thu Sep 28, 2006 at 10:55:42 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

        •  Yes and (0+ / 0-)

          I am sure that that menial task is assigned to the Congressman personally...

          If you want something other than the obvious to happen - you've got to do something other than the obvious...Douglas Adams

          by trillian on Fri Sep 29, 2006 at 06:58:37 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

    •  Pedophiles (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Sanuk, ca democrat

      There is, to me, perhaps nothing worse on this earth.

      I treat the email exchange with that in mind.

      I also know that Republicans are a party made of up a lot of people who pretend to be saintly but are really full of the sin they are suppposed to be so against.

      A stroke of good luck has unmasked Foley. Yes, innocent until proven guilty...but this seems suspicious. Search his computer. I'd bet he's got child porn on there....

    •  This is a witch hunt. (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Michigan Paul, nightsweat, cathy b

      And I really found the behavior inappropriate too. The guy was acting creepy, and it's fair game to use it against him, especially considering the sexual hypocrisy of the theocrats in the GOP.

      But remember Gerry Studds? Now this is different. And if the guy was being weird with a 16 year old... imagine if it were your kid. But all this talk about how he's a child molester makes me wonder when we're gonna light the torches.

      Iraq was not involved in 9-11. But what about Pakistan and Saudi Arabia? Why do they get a free pass?

      by Zaphod Beeblebrox on Thu Sep 28, 2006 at 10:54:02 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  Ummm ... (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:

      >He also did not say the pages friend was "hot", he said he's in great shape.  Men say that all the time about each other.

      Are you joking?

      If I had a mutual friend, and he had been, say, 100 lbs. overweight, or recovered from cancer, I might say "he's in great shape."  In the context this was written, no way.

      •  Maybe all the men I've ever men in my life are (0+ / 0-)

        anomalies, or maybe it's a regional dialect thing, but I don't remember ever hearing a man refer to another man as "hot."  Men refer to women as hot, and women refer to men as hot.  Actually, gay people I know do occasionally refer to other guys as hot.  I have never, ever heard an adult refer to a teenager as "hot."  

    •  You're joking, right? (0+ / 0-)

      This is absolutely predatory behavior. Why was he doing it from his AOL account? Why asking for a picture? Congress is in the throws of serious (and fucked up) deliberations on torture, wiretapping, etc., and yet Foley is taking the time to chit-chat with a 16-yr-old page about his school and ask for a freaking picture?

      It is not unfair for Kos to report on this, particularly since it's in the media. Of course, if this were Red State or something and Foley was a Democrat, this would become a full-blown scandal with 10 posts a day. Scaife would bankroll some sleazy investigators in Fla. to start pre-texting Foley's calls, having him followed, etc.

      Dear, we better get a drink in you before you start to bore us.

      by Whigsboy on Fri Sep 29, 2006 at 05:11:13 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  I'm with you (0+ / 0-)

      I don't think this is necessariy tawdry.

      I'm not ruling out the possibility, but we're kind of wishing for something horrible here that may not be true.

      I'd rather wait and see if more information surfaces.

      Osama bin Laden? Osama been livin' in Pakistan and the admin ain't done a damn thing about it.

      by nightsweat on Fri Sep 29, 2006 at 06:48:40 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  Um, I'm sorry (0+ / 0-)

      but if I caught one of our fifty something male friends eyeing my sons and talking about their physiques and asking for photos and trying to charm them with gifts and impress them with their 25 mile bike rides and workouts at the gym - he'd be out of our lives pronto.

      If you want something other than the obvious to happen - you've got to do something other than the obvious...Douglas Adams

      by trillian on Fri Sep 29, 2006 at 06:54:42 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  To Catch A Predator IV: (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    Hypocritical and Creepy Republicans Edition!

    Friday Septermber 29 on your local NBC station!

    "People place their hand on the Bible and swear to uphold the Constitution. They don't put their hand on the Constitution and swear to uphold the Bible." --J.R.

    by michael1104 on Thu Sep 28, 2006 at 10:01:25 PM PDT

  •  Baby Got Back (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Fishgrease, vawolf, ew73
    Oh. My. God. Foley. Look at his Butt.
    It's so young and firm.
    He looks like one of those congressional pages.

    I like young boys and I cannot lie
    All you other 'publicans can't deny
    When a boy comes in after riding on his bike
    Name of Larry, Brad or Mike
    You get sprung

    The World's a Giant Disco Ball; We're Tiny Mirrors One and All

    by The Why Not Guy on Thu Sep 28, 2006 at 10:08:41 PM PDT

  •  This is where. . . (6+ / 0-)

    Chris Bowers reminds us why we should have a Dem in every district.  By the way, I love the fact that its the kid who came forward because he thought the Congressman was creepy.  Awesome. . .

  •  I Like Young Boys (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Michigan Paul, aitchdee, trashablanca

    ...especially coaching them soccer.  I don't know that I would email them in this day and age if they were on my soccer team.

    Okay, now that I think about it, that is creepy.  I actually was thinking I would rather not have such behaviour, if it is innocuous, twisted to make me look like a pedophile, made a joke title, and tried to make a point, but actually, I could not see myself emailing boys with probing questions like that.  Ew.  Ok.

    It's nothing like what I liked doing:  patting little tow-heads for a good job kicking a ball on a sunny field.  Teaching them character, soccer, and sportsmanship.

    Sidebar Story:  I only joined Little League Baseball for a year, to coach my kids' team.  What a different world that was!  Swearing, cheating, whining, intimidation, you name it!  And I'm talking about the parents!  (ba dum cha)  Well, the coach, coach Andy (ass, even to his own... wait, especially to his own kid) was busted that year for solicitation of sex to a fourteen-year-old over the internet in a sting operation.

    I still think a sting operation is Unconstitutional, but that's beside the point.

    •  Same here (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:

      only I'm a single, straight, man in my late 30's and I coach high school and junior high girls soccer.  My daughter is not on the team.  I have great fun with these girls.  Yeah, sure, I sometimes hear from a mom every now and then about how cute it is that their daughter is flirting and in all cases I've been clueless to the flirtation.  It's just big fun and I enjoy the teenage energy.  I don't hang out with them outside of practice and games though, and I certainly don't send probing e-mails to them.  yuck.

      Oh, and I don't allow any of that nonsense from the parents on my sidelines.  I give my parents specific instructions that they are not to give direction from the sidelines.  Drums, horns, cheering and "atta-boys" are all encouraged.  No direction.  I also regularly cheer good plays from both teams (drives my girls nuts though, heh heh).

  •  It's not pedophilia (11+ / 0-)

    Just for the record.

    I don't know about D.C., but in New York, guys are legal at 16.

    Frankly, I think this whole thread is disgusting. Foley's behavior is, without question, inappropriate. It is unbecoming for powerful men to leverage their influence for sexual seduction. BUT...

    I don't think that's what all the "EWWs" are about. I think they're a response to the fact that dude likes 16-year-old guys. May not be my cup of tea, but it's not illegal (in many places), and morally--well, are we going to start judging people's sexual preferences here at dKos? Way to go, "liberals."

    I really hope I've sincerely misjudged the true nature of this hysterical condemnation.

    •  yup (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      cathy b, begone

      Anyhoo … very inappropriate.

      Shut it Down before the sig virus gets you too!

      by subtropolis on Thu Sep 28, 2006 at 10:24:57 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  It's illegal in a lot of places. (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Subterranean, cathy b

      C'mon. I'd be as grossed out if it was a 54yr old Congress-Man, hitting on a 16yr old high school interness. The age factor alone is abominable.

      Historic "Kiss Buttons" available here!

      by DeanFan84 on Thu Sep 28, 2006 at 10:32:28 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  come on! (3+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Subterranean, cathy b, rgdurst

        <snark following>

        You're being so unfair and anti-gay! If he were straight, you would think it was GREAT that he was seducing a 16-year-old. Think back to high school: didn't all the 16-year-old girls you knew want to get swept off their feet by 52-year-old, gray-haired Republican Congressmen?

        •  but if a straight guy did it... (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          TrueBlueDem, davidincleveland

          nobody would be making a point of discussing his heterosexuality in conjunction with it... we would think that the Congressman was gross and dangerous for being a 16 year old girl, but no one would be making references about the Congressman being known to be heterosexual.

          Yet if it happens in a same sex context, it suddenly becomes important to work the word "gay" into it.

          Let's just be clear, we're dealing with two distinct issues here:

          1. Sexual orientation (gay, straight, bi) refers to the sex of the people someone is sexually attracted to, which has nothing to do with
          1. The age of people that someone is attracted to

          Once social change begins,it cannot be reversed. You cannot uneducate the person who has learned to read...You cannot oppress people who are not afraid anymore.

          by terjeanderson on Fri Sep 29, 2006 at 03:58:37 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  3. (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            DC Scott

            I don't even think the problem here is the age of people someone is attracted to. It's not disgusting in and of itself for a 50-year-old guy to find a 16-year-old attractive. The disgusting part is him doing something about it by sending skeevy, disingenuous flirtations to the kid. I'm sure high school teachers of any gender and orientation sometimes find their students attractive, but decent people don't ACT on it.

      •  Jeez, I would (um, have) been grossed out by 54 (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:

        year old men hitting on me.  And I'm 30!

    •  What you forget (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Jake Nelson, cathy b, tritium

      Is that this is happening in the "workplace" of the US House. What you should also keep in mind in that a page is ultimately under the care of the Members of Congress (I believe the term is "en loco parentis" but I could easily be wrong). Foley, along with every other Member is responsible for his well-being and how he is treated.

      You're one microscopic cog in his catastrophic plan designed and directed by his red right hand

      by RandyMI on Thu Sep 28, 2006 at 10:33:24 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  All you need to say is what a commenter on (6+ / 0-)

        AmericaBlog said...

        If this was a 48 year old male teacher acting this way to a 16 year old girl who asked him for a recommendation would you still be disgusted?

        Answer for me is yes.

        Whether he is or isn't gay has nothing to do with this.

      •  Oh, I'm not denying it's creepy (8+ / 0-)

        No no. It's wrong on so many levels.

        That said, no--I do not think the reaction would be strings of "EWWWW"s if it were a 16 year old girl. I think there would be a sort of general "can you believe these dirty old dudes?" and, naturally, good-natured partisan rejoicing that Foley got himself into political hot water.

        But do I think a hetero equivalent of all the boysex "jokes" would have been posted? Hell, no. And I think you know I'm right about that.

        •  Point taken (3+ / 0-)

          And you're right there is a double standard, especially if it is a Democratic president with an adult woman (Larry King erroneously tried to apple in loco parentis to the Lewisnky case, which was totally bogus). If it had been an attractive female member of Congress, there might even be admiration for the page.

          You're one microscopic cog in his catastrophic plan designed and directed by his red right hand

          by RandyMI on Thu Sep 28, 2006 at 10:56:28 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

        •  Are you serious? (0+ / 0-)

          People would have been just as grossed out if the kid was a girl, because THE INTERN IS A CHILD.  Yes, you do often see elderly men with hot girls.  The difference is, the hot young girls are actually young women who are over the age of 20 and no longer live with mommy and daddy.

          Clinton's relationship with Lewinsky was gross and inappropriate, but bedding a college graduate is miles away from hitting on a kid who can't operate a car without an adult present.

          •  Are YOU serious? (3+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            texas dem, rabel, aitchdee

            Did you see American Beauty? Did it disgust you? Unless you're part of a tiny minority, of course it didn't. Kevin Spacey's actions weren't admirable, to be sure, but they were "human" and "understandable."

            Now, imagine that the cheerleader had been a male football player. Our reactions to the movie would have been completely different. Not because he was gay!!!!!! No no no no no!!!!! But because, uh, well, you see, the kid's underage!!!!!

            Here's another telling example:

            Remember that debacle with the Debra Lafave bedding a 14-year-old boy a few years ago? Aside from a couple of lone voices, there was no "disgust" or "outrage" associated with that. Chick didn't even go to jail. She didn't even have to pay a fine.

            No--instead, the internet message boards lit up with "lucky little dude," "I wish  I were him," "when I was in school, there was this teacher I wish I had banged," etc. etc. etc.

            In fact, the only widespread outrage I recall--at least on the internet, behind walls on anonymity--was directed toward the KID for ratting on his teacher.

            If Foley was an attractive woman, there would be NONE of this. If Foley had targeted a girl, there would have been reprimands, but they would have been more along the lines of condemning his moral weakness than snickering at him for his "perversion."

    •  I think my only "ew" (4+ / 0-)

      is that the emails made the kid uncomfortable.

      If the kid had been fine with it, if there had been a friendship between them that evolved into a mutual relationship--even though I'd be icked-out in the same way I am when guys date naive, much-younger women--I'd say it was none of our business.

      The fact that the kid felt weird about it meant that Foley was pushing too hard to make a connection, he was being controlling. When I was a teen there were men like that who paid attention to me, and I remember the sick feeling of unwanted attention.  

      Also--the thing about asking for a photo? Okay, I could see the kid's immediate boss or an office manager asking for the photo because that's what they ask of all interns, but to have the congressman himself making sure a little paperwork detail like that is taken care of is sort of weird.

      •  yeah, I think this is well put (6+ / 0-)

        there are things that are creepy about it that aren't just defined by the numbers.  

        "what stuff do you like to do?" asks the Hon. Mark Foley, Republican from the 16th District.

        The kid is a congressional page, probably a smart kid who is politically interested, somewhat worldly, and a Congressman is writing to him by adopting, faking, the voice of a semi-literate classmate signing the kid's yearbook.

        "what stuff do you like to do?"  That's what creeps me out.  

    •  WHAT?!?!?! (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      vawolf, TrueBlueDem

      I remember once a Republican told me "If we give gays rights today, next year you'll be asking us to give pedophiles rights!"

      I shook my head in disgust that he'd even try to make a connection like that.

      Now you've done it. You say "who are we to judge his sexual preferences." That's the fucking NAMBLA argument.

      Well this is who we are: adults who aren't going to force our desires on kids who aren't even old enough to vote. Kids who aren't nearly through puberty, who might not even be in their third year of high school.

      That's were we come from. Am i going to now judge an adult who wants to force his desires upon a 16 year old child? You bet i am.

      •  This is the kind of hysterical talk (4+ / 0-)

        that takes concerned adults and turns them into sex nazis.

        "A 16 year old child." Stuff like that. Let's go back to reality for a second, where 16 y.o.s aren't "children." They're teenagers, who are, amongst other things:

        the wealthiest people in America (as measured by disposable income),
        the healthiest people in America, and
        the most crime-prone people in America.

        Not kiddie stuff. Are they "mentally adults"? There's no such thing. Twentysomethings aren't as mature as thirtysomethings aren't as mature as fortysomethings aren't...

        Moreover, the idea that teenagers aren't ever attracted to adults is just silly. Remember the response to that Florida teacher (LaFave or somesuch) who diddled a 14 y.o.? It was raucous cries of "lucky kid" and "I had a teacher I wish I had..." etc.

        As for your little strawman bit about this being "the NAMBLA argument." As I understand it, NAMBLA believes that 50 year olds and 9 year olds are capable of having nurturing sexual relationships. Beyond the fact that this doesn't pass the straight face test, and beyond the fact that 9-year-old sexuality is so tremendously different from 50-year-old sexuality as to make the two ludicrously incompatible, NAMBLA has, to the best of my knowledge, failed to produce a single example of that sort of relationship making all parties happy in the long term.

        But I personally know dozens of long-term couples who started dating when one of the two was in his/her teens (and where big age differences exist). Everybody's happy. Too bad you weren't there to let them know how perverted they were.

        •  Just to clarify (4+ / 0-)

          This is not meant to be a wholesale endorsement of adult men running out to dance the quick Fandango with teenagers.

          And it sure as HELL isn't an endorsement of Foley's behavior.

          I just think wholesale condemnation of any relationship which offends your aesthetic sense is pretty judgemental.

          •  Kossacks hate gays now? That's pretty funny (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            DC Scott

            To gloss over the very obvious pedophilic tendencies expressed by Foley to accuse Kossacks of gay-bashing is completely outrageous. This is about a teenager being damn near propositioned by a 52 year old Congressman. Foley went out of his way in his personal time to try to befriend a boy, even to hang out with him apparently.

            If that page was my son I'd be headed to jail for decking a Congressman.

            (-2.38, -3.28) Independent thinker

            by TrueBlueDem on Fri Sep 29, 2006 at 08:54:42 AM PDT

            [ Parent ]

        •  Do you have teenage children? (0+ / 0-)

          And will you send me their e-mails, please?

          (and pictures would be great.)

          Historic "Kiss Buttons" available here!

          by DeanFan84 on Thu Sep 28, 2006 at 11:51:13 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  Do you have a 30-year-old sister? (3+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            rabel, aitchdee, davidincleveland

            Can you send me her e-mail, please?

            (and a picture would be great.)

            Sorry. I actually think your point is well-taken. In no way did I intend to minimize the very real threat posed by sexual predators, nor did I intend to suggest that teenagers aren't particularly vulnerable to said predators.

            My point is only that a 16- or 17-year-old being involved in a relationship does NOT make said relationship inherently coercive and predatorial. It's very different from a 9- or 10-year-old being involved in a NAMBLA-style relationship, if for no other reason than NO so-called "relationship" involving a 9- or 10-year-old has EVER ended happily, whereas plenty of 16/26 relationships end in years and years of blissful marriage.

            •  And if we were talking about real people (1+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              cathy b

              (like your kids), you would and should be freaking out.

              Read what you wrote. It was an attempt at rationalization. Where I'm from, over an age you don't even look at college students, let alone high school kids.

              Historic "Kiss Buttons" available here!

              by DeanFan84 on Fri Sep 29, 2006 at 01:51:40 AM PDT

              [ Parent ]

    •  it is in Florida (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      cathy b

      If you're over 24, the age of consent for the other party is 18.

      If you're 24 or under, the age of consent for the other party is 16.

      "We have known for many years that Saddam Hussein is seeking and developing weapons of mass destruction." -- Ted Kennedy, September 27, 2002

      by jimsaco on Fri Sep 29, 2006 at 06:06:44 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  IMHO the Ewww factor (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      cathy b

      comes from the idea that he's 52 and a powerful important Congressman.

      If the kid was 40 year old male lobbyist - most of us wouldn't care - except for the hypocracy.

      If Foley was in his 20s and trolling for a real relationship with someone he was genuinely interested in...fine with me.

      But there is creepy here no doubt about it.

      Foley needs help.  He seems deeply conflicted about who he is and what he wants.

      If you want something other than the obvious to happen - you've got to do something other than the obvious...Douglas Adams

      by trillian on Fri Sep 29, 2006 at 07:08:59 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  I certainly like to hope (0+ / 0-)

      that I'd find it just as disturbing if Foley's 16-year-old page was female.

      As a parent, I feel pretty confident that I would.

      This is a HIGH SCHOOL STUDENT. There'd be more room for a gray area if it was a college student. We're talking skeevy-band-teacher-feeling-up-a-cheerleader here. It's really Not Appropriate.

    •  It'd "eww" if 16 y.o. girl (0+ / 0-)

      "We support your war of terror!" -- Borat Sagdiyev (a/k/a Sacha Baron Cohen)

      by FischFry on Fri Sep 29, 2006 at 08:45:18 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  new stories (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Sanuk, rgdurst

    How do you know a Republican is lying? Ask one: If the Republicans can lower gas prices for 60 days before an election, why won't they do it all the time?

    by ca democrat on Thu Sep 28, 2006 at 10:12:31 PM PDT

  •  Crazy? No. (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    rabel, ca democrat

    They've all been like this - it's just in the past we didn't have 1 million bloggers out there getting audio and video and posting it everywhere. A lot of closet doors are getting kicked open that previously were left closed.

    -6.00, -7.03
    "I want my people to be the most intolerant people in the world." - Jerry Falwell

    by johnsonwax on Thu Sep 28, 2006 at 10:16:10 PM PDT

  •  Isn't Jeff Gannon in this movie? (5+ / 0-)

    Merry Fucking Christman, everybody!

    Woo Hoo!

    "ma ca ca - yo pee pee"

    by Al Rodgers on Thu Sep 28, 2006 at 10:25:17 PM PDT

  •  Could'a just been innocent (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Michigan Paul, vawolf, TalkieToaster

    and to quote Sargeant Schultz from Hogan's Heroes fame "Just Stoopitd!" But either way - a closet pedophole or a clueless idiot in Congress? No thanks.

    The Dem candidate in OH-18 is named "Zack Space."

    I found that amusing...

    This world needs a bigger, drier pretzel -8.88 -5.08

    by SecondComing on Thu Sep 28, 2006 at 10:26:37 PM PDT

  •  It's the hypocrisy, not the boy (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    jackinthebox4, ca democrat

    Republicans aren't supposed to be doing this sort of stuff, they're adults with self control. It's only us libs who are unable to control our sexual desires.

    What is this world coming to when you can't trust a Republican not to hit on the teenagers he is supposed to be mentoring?


  •  The right-wing noise machine response? (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    IOKIYAR, bitches!

    "The test of our progress is not whether we add more to the abundance of those who have much; it is whether we provide enough for those who have too little."

    by vawolf on Thu Sep 28, 2006 at 10:32:55 PM PDT

  •  Austria (0+ / 0-)
    Sunday elections will be held in Austria.
  •  I know people who have been involved (10+ / 0-)

    with girls who were 16/17 years old at the time. While I think that's generally a really, really bad idea, it's not illegal. Not always anyway. The age of consent in the US is 16, 17 or 18 (depending on what state you're in). In most states it's 16, with higher standards applied to persons in positions of trust or authority (like a teacher or coach).

    It's certainly a murky issue from an ethical standpoint and I don't really want to defend that sort of behavior, but having sex with a 16 year old does not make a person a  pedophile. But then people in the US are pretty weird about sex, if a mature adult dates an 18 year old people freak out. I'm similar to the case of Gerry Studds. He was unapologetic, and after being censured he was elected to five more terms. Dan Crane on the other hand, was forced to resign in disgrace. Both men had consensual sex with a 17 year old. Neither man broke the law in doing so. But Studds was gay, and Crane was straight. Also, Studds represented Massachusetts as a Democrat while Crane was an Illinois Republican.

    This is different, in that the kid was obviously not interested. Besides that, using the internet to try and get laid is forbidden with persons under 18, as I understand the law. I agree that the behavior is creepy, and no doubt this is political death for Foley. But I always roll my eyes a bit when something like this happens and people get the vapors and freak out, running around lobbing accusations of pedaphilia and other forms of deviance... this from the same society that had Britney Spears shaking her artificially augmented tits on national television at 17 while singing "Hit me Baby One More Time!". Spare me the sanctimony.

    Iraq was not involved in 9-11. But what about Pakistan and Saudi Arabia? Why do they get a free pass?

    by Zaphod Beeblebrox on Thu Sep 28, 2006 at 10:42:31 PM PDT

    •  the issue is people who vote in DC different (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Fraggle, Zaphod Beeblebrox

      than how they really believe. Because they believe they have to do that to keep their jobs. Thera are lots of DEMS and REPS who do that everyday (and more when they are in session).

      How do you know a Republican is lying? Ask one: If the Republicans can lower gas prices for 60 days before an election, why won't they do it all the time?

      by ca democrat on Thu Sep 28, 2006 at 10:49:01 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  I totally agree. (4+ / 0-)

        Studds and his 17 year old lover both gave a press conference stating that what they did was legal, and invited the people of the United States to mind their own goddamned business. I have tremendous respect for him for doing that.

        There is simply no evidence that consensual relations between high school age persons and adults is harmful where no coercion was involved. As the age of consent is at least 16 all states, and sexual harrasment (quid pro quo) of minors is criminal offense in most states, I think the law does a good job of establishing the necessary boundries. So if it's legal, butt out.

        The age limit in Canada, the UK, Germany, all the Scandanavian countries and (while I'm not certain) most of the EU nations. So I think it's pretty well accepted that 16 year olds aren't children and  it's reasonable to expect that they're going to have the sex. Again, the hypocrites in Congress deserve whatever they get, especially when they foster and manipulate the ignorance of the mob. And based on the circumstances, Foley looks like a creep who may have been guilty of harrasment or inappropriate behavior. But it's still troubling to me that we have become a nation of nosy little busybodies and, apparently, amateur psychologists.

        Iraq was not involved in 9-11. But what about Pakistan and Saudi Arabia? Why do they get a free pass?

        by Zaphod Beeblebrox on Thu Sep 28, 2006 at 11:16:33 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

    •  52 year old man... (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      DC Scott, 0wn

      ...16 year old boy.  And actually, this happened last year, so does that mean he was 15 at the time?  At any rate, that's just wrong.

      Arrogant lips are unsuited to a fool-- how much worse lying lips to a ruler - Proverbs 17:7

      by Barbara Morrill on Thu Sep 28, 2006 at 11:32:42 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  I never said it was right. (0+ / 0-)

        But it isn't a black and white issue. That's something people here should understand. However, I was unaware he was 15 at the time.

        16 is the threshold of what I'm willing to give any benefit of the doubt on. If he has been after 15 year old kids, then that's too much. You do have to draw the line somewhere.

        Iraq was not involved in 9-11. But what about Pakistan and Saudi Arabia? Why do they get a free pass?

        by Zaphod Beeblebrox on Fri Sep 29, 2006 at 12:05:24 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  Yeah, it is a black and white issue. (0+ / 0-)

          An adult (over the age of 25 or so) who choses to involve themselves romantically with teenagers is sick.  There are always power issues, and the adult generally has a raft of other issues.  It may be technically legal, but it never is a healthy relationship.

          •  That simply isn't true. (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:

            The available evidence does not support that theory at all. It's a myth that victim advocates (as well as others with agendas to push) promote by using cherry picked data.

            The fact is, any balanced analysis of this issue has found that there is no greater likelyhood of it being a positive, negative or neutral experience for the younger person than in control groups. Almost all report the relationships to be neutral, neither helpful nor harmful.

            That changes, however, when the older person is in a postion of power. Such as a teacher or coach.  

            Iraq was not involved in 9-11. But what about Pakistan and Saudi Arabia? Why do they get a free pass?

            by Zaphod Beeblebrox on Fri Sep 29, 2006 at 12:29:58 AM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  I haven't done an extensive literature review, (1+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              DC Scott

              but I find those claims to be highly suspect.  In every instance that I am aware of, the teenager/adult relationship is a trainwreck.  At the very least, there is an unequal power relationship.  Sometimes, there is an unintended pregnancy and then abandonment.  Many times there is a domestic abuse.  Often, one or both parties also has a fairly significant substance abuse problem.  

              •  I never said it was the best possible scenario. (1+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:

                However, I think there needs to be much more research done on it. I am aware of only two peer reviewed studies - one in the US (which caused Tom DeLay to go ballistic on the House Floor back in 1998) and another comissioned by the Canadian government back in the 80's. I also am aware of more anecdotal evidence which is consistent with what I said.

                The nature of pedophilia is fairly well understood, with regards to the damage sexual relations between persons over 16 and persons under 14 (with more than a five year difference) causes to the younger persons. But when it comes to intergenerational relationships involving teenagers (16-19 years old) no one even wants to go there. I suspect it's because people know they will find out there is no rational justifiction for throwing people in jail for this stuff, and we'll be forced to come to terms with the fact we're a nation of prudes.

                I have a friend whose brother-in-law's nephew is doing a 5 year term in State Prison because he had sex with his 16 year old girlfriend when he was 21. He's bi-polar and had alot of problems and probably wasn't exactly Mr. Right as far as the girl was concerned. But he shouldn't have been chucked in the slammer for that even if isn't "healthy". I mean, since that's the standard, if a guy gives a 16 year old a pack of cigarettes, does he get 5 years too? It's just too authoritarian for my liking.

                Iraq was not involved in 9-11. But what about Pakistan and Saudi Arabia? Why do they get a free pass?

                by Zaphod Beeblebrox on Fri Sep 29, 2006 at 01:20:45 AM PDT

                [ Parent ]

                •  You're making my point. (1+ / 0-)
                  Recommended by:
                  DC Scott

                  Maybe two positive studies in the 50+ years people have been doing sex research.

                  I have a friend whose brother-in-law's nephew is doing a 5 year term in State Prison because he had sex with his 16 year old girlfriend when he was 21. He's bi-polar and had alot of problems and probably wasn't exactly Mr. Right as far as the girl was concerned. = TRAINWRECK!  And he was barely an adult.

                  Maybe adults having sex with teenagers is frowned upon not because we are prudes and unenlightened, but because it is a supremely bad idea.

                  •  Doing drugs is a bad idea. (1+ / 0-)
                    Recommended by:

                    But the law enforcement community is coming to the conclusion that throwing people in jail for it is a bad idea. If you have 15 minutes to spare, you should really watch the video.

                    Furthermore, our exchange underscores a logical fallicy in the pro-criminalization argument. Many of the cases which result in prosecution involve less than ideal circumstances, well of course. That's usually how the police get involved in the first place. What about the ones which don't? Most intergenerational relationships are not trainwrecks. But you don't know that because you never hear about it. Do you expect some one to come up to you and say "Hi, I'm 17 and my boyfriend is 31. He's a great guy are treats me well. We have a good time together."? Like homosexuals in the past, people in these type of relationships usually keep it quiet.

                    Which brings me to my earlier point about cherrypicking. If your only pool of subjects are people involved in criminal prosecutions as alleged victims, what do suppose such a pool of respondents will likely show? A high percentage of asshole guys. But that wouldn't be any different if you drew from a pool of people in more conventional relationships (age difference wise) who were caught up in legal prosecutions. Stable, healthy people tend to avoid being prosecuted for crimes.

                    In the following countries... Canada, the UK, Germany, Sweden, Holland, Denmark, Iceland, Norway... the age of consent is 16 in most cases, with some restrictions on involvement with minors by persons in positions of trust or authority (It is also 16 in about half of the states in the US). These are some of the more progressive societies in the world, and they wouldn't base such an important legal matter on anything but the best available evidence. I think it's the most logical way to establish the necessary boundries, and I see no particular danger in it. In other words, I don't think having higher limits really does any good for society or results in any net gain.

                    As far as 50 year olds getting jiggy with 16 year olds, that's bizarre. Most people won't do it because it's really weird. It's probably a good idea to encourage young people to avoid said weirdness. But law enforcement doesn't really have a place here.

                    Iraq was not involved in 9-11. But what about Pakistan and Saudi Arabia? Why do they get a free pass?

                    by Zaphod Beeblebrox on Fri Sep 29, 2006 at 02:14:21 AM PDT

                    [ Parent ]

    •  Shit. Fraudian slip... (0+ / 0-)

      I'm similar to the case of Gerry Studds.

      Should read, It's similar to the case of Gerry Studds. Oh boy, now the rumors are really going to start flying.

      For the record, I like women who are old enough to vote, being a political junkie and all that.

      Iraq was not involved in 9-11. But what about Pakistan and Saudi Arabia? Why do they get a free pass?

      by Zaphod Beeblebrox on Fri Sep 29, 2006 at 12:10:56 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  Timmy, do you like movies about gladiators? (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    rgdurst, DC Scott

    Some call it taking a shit. I call it erecting a statue of George W. Bush

    by steelman on Thu Sep 28, 2006 at 10:43:22 PM PDT

  •  Bad even without the creepy. (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    begone, ca democrat, Icarus Ascending

    You know, even if the content weren't creepy, I'd find those email messages disturbing.

    This guy's a sitting Congressman in his 50s. He can't compose an email message that uses capital letters, sentences, or any punctuation beyond ellipses and question marks?

    Call me a fuddy-duddy, but I find it somewhat alarming that a man partially responsible for drafting the laws of the land can't express himself in writing as well as the average blog commenter.

  •  Whats all the hype? (0+ / 0-)

    Says right on his Bio that he is a member of the Subcommitte on "trade" in Ways and Means. They just forget the word "Young" in front of it.

  •  Cool! The Peter Graves character from'Airplane!' (3+ / 0-)

    In real-life!

    "Do you like Gladiator movies?"

    Visit Satiric Mutt -- my contribution to the written cholesterol now clogging the arteries of the Internet.

    by Bob Johnson on Thu Sep 28, 2006 at 11:30:22 PM PDT

  •  Grooming (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Jake Nelson, RandyMI, rabel

    I act as a judge on disciplinary panels for teachers and have unfortunately served on cases dealing with sexual interference. I have received extensive training with regard to the actions of a sexual predator, including their grooming of potential targets. This kind of exchange appears on its face to be a classic example of such grooming. Had the boy showed any inclination to engage in the exchange, I fear that the interest on the part of the Congressman would have been amped up.

    At the very least, this clearly unwanted attempt to gain personal information about a junior employee on the part of a person in a powerful senior position is invasive and, arguably, threatening. It is made more grave by the fact that the Congressman as an office-holder has pledged to uphold the public trust.

    I think that the young man has done well to avoid escalating these unsought exchanges while seeking the assistance of others and forcefully indicating that the Congressman's attention to details of his personal life is intrusive.

    Canada - where a pack of smokes is ten bucks and a heart transplant is free.

    by dpc on Thu Sep 28, 2006 at 11:30:33 PM PDT

    •  Yeah it is (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:

      Oprah today did a show about child molestors. They had the reporter from Dateline who arranges those stings to implicate sexual predators. I wonder what motivates these sick men. For DC related travel advice, please visit that link.

      by jiacinto on Fri Sep 29, 2006 at 12:04:11 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  One other thing (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:

      Also the images that people have are of men who look ugly and scary. A lot of these predators--at the least the ones shown on Dateline--looked like upstanding men in the community. One of the people arrested was a prominent rabbi in a local town. For DC related travel advice, please visit that link.

      by jiacinto on Fri Sep 29, 2006 at 12:05:30 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  Correct. (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      dpc, rabel

      And as founder and co-chair of the Congressional Missing and Exploited Children's Caucus, Foley might have come across or some info or been briefed re: how kids are groomed by predators.  Either the guy is lying about the fact that he didn't know the emails were inappropriate, or he is an utter moron who shouldn't be allowed to be a representative on a condo board, much less Congress.

      •  The E-Mails (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:

        I have seen quoted alone would probably result in a verdict of professional misconduct in our jurisdiction. I really admire the young man in this story - attention from a powerful member of society can be an alluring thing to an impressionable teen.

        Canada - where a pack of smokes is ten bucks and a heart transplant is free.

        by dpc on Fri Sep 29, 2006 at 12:26:53 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

  •  Well (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    jackieca, Sanuk, Mikesco

    If I were Foley, right now, I'd decide to "spend more time with my family"--and retire. For frankly I don't see how he gets away with this and overcomes this issue. It is sick and creepy. For DC related travel advice, please visit that link.

    by jiacinto on Thu Sep 28, 2006 at 11:38:50 PM PDT

  •  Damn... (0+ / 0-)

    ...sure hope Mahoney wasn't counting on the NAMBLA vote.

    p.s. Spread the Word: Iraq-Nam

    "Never think that war, no matter how necessary, nor how justified, is not a crime." -- Ernest Hemingway

    by spread the word IRAQ NAM on Thu Sep 28, 2006 at 11:40:14 PM PDT

  •  Question for the experts (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    If the very same interaction took place in, say, a Fortune 500 Company with a member of Senior Management and a 16 year-old intern (or full employee), what would have happened to the senior official?

    You're one microscopic cog in his catastrophic plan designed and directed by his red right hand

    by RandyMI on Thu Sep 28, 2006 at 11:43:08 PM PDT

    •  Well (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Ted Hitler, Sanuk

      Most likely the company would have fired the executive or "reassigned him". At the same time the company would probably have the intern sign a confidential settlement awarding him an undisclosed sum without admitting liabiltiy and precluding any further legal action. The Fortune 500 company would probably handle it quietly--and try to make it go away with the least amount of discomfort for all parties involved. For DC related travel advice, please visit that link.

      by jiacinto on Fri Sep 29, 2006 at 12:00:19 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  nice legs n/t (0+ / 0-)

    Most people are idiots... But don't tell them. It'll spoil all the fun for those of us who aren't.

    by d3n4l1 on Thu Sep 28, 2006 at 11:45:12 PM PDT

  •  FYI, Foley's website. curiously (0+ / 0-)

    The top two issues listed have to do with kids and sex. Not what I would have expected, given the urgent crises that surround us.

    WASHINGTON - Congressman Mark Foley (R-FL), Co-chairman of the Missing and Exploited Children Caucus, applauded Senate passage of legislation he authored and introduced overhauling our nation’s sex offender registration and notification laws.

    WASHINGTON - {Congressman Mark Foley (R-FL) introduced legislation last night along with Congressman Michael Fitzpatrick (R-PA) that goes after the Internet child porn industry and for the first time would hold credit card companies and Internet service providers accountable if they knowingly facilitate child pornography.

    #2. If I met Foley I'd ask him what the hell kind of phony is he on this one:

    "Supporting Our Troops"

    Link on his website...I was eager to read all about what he has done to support our troops for real, but it's just a link to to how YOU can support the troops with your own money and time, with links to pre-approved organizations. Thank you notes, phone cards, fluff like that.

  •  Do you like gladiator movies? :-) n/t (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Dump Terry McAuliffe


    by Lupin on Fri Sep 29, 2006 at 12:03:36 AM PDT

  •  Check out my snark-filled diary... (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    Bush on Torture: The Early Years

    And don't hesitate to recommend, if you feel so inclned.

    Visit Satiric Mutt -- my contribution to the written cholesterol now clogging the arteries of the Internet.

    by Bob Johnson on Fri Sep 29, 2006 at 12:09:59 AM PDT

  •  foley (0+ / 0-)

    Foley will no doubt go down in flames as a result of his inappropriate emails.  But I'd still rate him a notch above the creeps in the Senate who voted to endorse torture today.

  •  Are the page's parents involved in this at all? (0+ / 0-)

    If this were my son, I would be all over Foley with lawyers at this point.  Arrests would be made, charges would be brought, and I would ensure that the sick motherfucker who was talking to my sixteen year old in this manner was outed in every media outlet I could contact.

    Any word on the party affiliation of the page's parents?  Not that I am making insinuations about their parenting based on that, I am just wondering who they are. Sixteen year old kids don't get gigs like that unless Daddy knows someone.

    Conquer the liar with truth. -- The Dhammapada

    by deliciae on Fri Sep 29, 2006 at 12:19:23 AM PDT

    •  He's a Republican (0+ / 0-)

      they are probably republicans also.

      Now, I can just imagine that when their son started working for Foley, they told him "look son, this is a good job, and will help your career, but keep on the lookout of that fag you are working for.  Fags like to recruit boys like you for their homosexual lifestyle, so keep all email, especially those that refer to your age or going to gym."

      I have a feeling that the kid was "freeked out" because he got it in his head by his parents.

      January 20. 2009 cannot come soon enough.

      by Crisis Corps Volunteer on Fri Sep 29, 2006 at 05:35:51 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  A bit unfair... (0+ / 0-)

        Even if they are Republicans they are still parents of a child who may have been the subject of something not so nice. I doubt very much they wanted their son's situation to be splashed all over the newspapers. Even if they don't use his name, I am sure their country club buddies in West Palm Beach know exactly who this is.

        I tell my kids to be careful on the internet and if they feel creeped out, I am certainly not going to blame myself for alerting them to the possibility.

        Its simple...a congressman asking personal questions and asking for a picture of a sixteen year old kid is very suspicious. If this info was needed for the job, the congressman could have had staff members ask for the info. Why would he place himself in a situation that would look bad if he had innocent intentions? Doesn't he have better things to do than to email future pages?

        Its all very odd. I would feel EXACTLY the same way if his sexual orientation was unknown or if he were happily married.

  •  Perhaps it's innocent (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    Just for fun assume this: All this interaction is a way for usually Mr. Bigshot Congressman to interact with someone who had to wait until junior/senior year to participate in a program like this. Perhaps the Congressman- for legitimate reasons- needs a photo of the young page- for files or something. Fine.

    Here's the trouble: Even if you give the Congressman all that leeway there's still one big problem- in an election year, a Congressman from his personal email somehow finds the spare time to single out a staff page. This is like the Dan Crane/Gerry Studds episode all over again.

    Congressmen like this gentlemen really screw things up for the rest. They suck so much.

    •  I wonder (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      DC Scott

      if a congressman would actually be the one to ask for the paperwork. Wouldn't he have staff members to contact the prospective page and get the photos? It just seems a bit odd to me.

      •  If the request for a photo were legit... (0+ / 0-)

        then the Congressman would have explained to the youngster that "I like to have a photo on file so that I will be able to remember you in the future" or some such.

        To ask for a photo during such casual banter does is so obviously suspicious (especially coming from the congressional leader on sexual predatorary behavior!).  You just don't ask a teenager for a photo from your private email account without providing a reasonable explanation at the time of the request.

      •  I'm gay and this smells. To high heaven. (0+ / 0-)

        My stomach turns that an adult in a power position starts contacting a high school kid on a personal email account and asking him about his day, his studies, his athletic activities (25 mile bike ride?  Give it a rest, Congressman.)  I interned years ago for a Senator was was not gay (thank God) who had a not-very-well-closeted counsel.  I assure you, I got nowhere near the Senator except for a photo on the steps of the Capitol and sharing a quick cup of bean soup in the Senate dining room with four other interns.  Congressmen have too much to do to spend their time chatting up unpaid interns on their down time.  The not-very-well-closeted counsel I worked for was cordial yet professionnal.  He not once asked whether I had worked up a good sweat during a lunch time workout.  

        But, then, I wasn't a hottie, so maybe that was the issue.  

        Seriously, stories like this make me want to puke.  Whether his opponent is gay-baiting or not, men in power positions who cross boundaries with teens in a workplace environment should be shitcanned.  Right away.  And hauled into court.  Fuck 'em.

        Had enough? Vote Democrat, 2006.

        by DC Scott on Fri Sep 29, 2006 at 07:34:24 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

  •  What a sicko... (0+ / 0-)

    There should be a law where stuff like that could get you kicked out of Congress, but then again with all the immunity this guys have is probably just wishfull thinking on my part.

  •  Creepy? Yes. Harrassment? No. (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    It's not difficult to gauge Foley's interest in jailbait from the e-mail exchange, but that doesn't make him a predator and he certainly didn't do anything illegal.
    According to the HRC, Foley has the second best voting record on gay issues of any Republican, behind only openly gay, retiring Jim Kolbe of Arizona.

    •  This could be a perfect excuse (0+ / 0-)

      for the Republicans to drop one of their own.  If 2006 turns into a rout for the Republicans, why not use that as an excuse to purge the party of as many gay (closeted or otherwise) politicians as possible?

      January 20. 2009 cannot come soon enough.

      by Crisis Corps Volunteer on Fri Sep 29, 2006 at 05:39:19 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  All part of the great media "Crime" tidlewave (0+ / 0-)

    Well, in this case, it isn't EXACTLY a crime, but it plays into the glut of stories that emphasize the vulnerability of young men and women to the 'salacious' advances of their elders (that "To Catch a Preditor" series of reports on I think CBS is a prime example of this)

    I honestly believe all this 'protect our children' stuff is part of a massive media campaign to advance the Bush agenda to abolish democracy by (further) encouraging citizens to aspire towards some kind of (facisic) system of law enforcement that throws out any concept of civil rights and puts a premium on 'efficiency'.

    Therefore, even though the target of this story is a Republican, I hardly find any reason to cheer if it ends up having 'legs' when the media has ignored so many more critical issues.

  •  October Surprise!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! (0+ / 0-)

    two days early. And not of our making.

  •  This was diaried (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    previously, a blogsnot page was linked to where the emails can be seen.....and it was/is tagged "Troll Diary." (not by me)
    Should this, then, also be tagged "Troll Diary?" Do we have a double standard thing going here?
    Just asking........let's keep it real

    "One of the penalties for refusing to participate in politics is that you end up being governed by your inferiors." Plato

    by kestrel9000 on Fri Sep 29, 2006 at 04:26:36 AM PDT

    •  this was troll rated because (0+ / 0-)

      it was more or less obviously from mahoney's campaign.  no double standard.

      "Language is the liquid that we're all dissolved in. Great for solving problems after it creates them." --Isaac Brock, indie rocker imitating wittgenstein

      by Beyondo98 on Fri Sep 29, 2006 at 04:55:13 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Less (0+ / 0-)

        than more, from where I sit. And the evidence presented is the same. So now that Aravosis and Kos are on it, it's an acceptable subject?
        If the netroots coordinator for a certain Senate campaign posts further evidence of the opponent's race problems, will that be trollrated too?

        "One of the penalties for refusing to participate in politics is that you end up being governed by your inferiors." Plato

        by kestrel9000 on Fri Sep 29, 2006 at 05:02:12 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

  •  A Prosecutor's is illegal. (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    And a clergy's unethical.

    For a living, now, i train prosecutors, research, and write on the topic of online child sexual exploitation.

    Does this guy, perhaps, meet the clinical definition of "pedophile"?  Maybe not.

    But that's not the point.  You don't have to meet a clinical DSM-IV definition of pedophile to be a sex offender.

    The point is that a 16 year-old page was subject to (what appears to be) the beginning of a dialogue that certainly appears (from Foley's point of view) to have less-than-platonic intentions.

    Under federal law--which applies everywhere--a minor is defined as 'under 18'.

    It's about power.  It's about abuse of power.  It's about protecting kids.  It's about protecting our kids.

    I'm all for sexual liberty--for adults.  I'm all for proportionality and reasonableness when there's a 16 year-old dating a 19 year-old, where a sexual relationship might be 'technically' illegal.

    But that's not what we have here.  

    I wonder how many other many other pages...hmmm.  

    •  congratulations! YOU just fell into the trap! (0+ / 0-)

      "appears" to be...?

      "abuse of power"...?

      "sex offender"...?

      you have muddied enough here to win the ann coulter smear award for the day!

      JEEZ people, slow down - there is NOTHING that has been uncovered here that would even remotely qualify this to be illegal!

      smear campaigns don't set well with me - on EITHER side!  this is a flat out smear - it is ugly and it SHOULD be something we do not engage in when it is only a shadowy "allegation".

      damn - and i thought this site was more honest than this!

  •  i fucking diaried on this (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Crisis Corps Volunteer

    i wrote about three weeks ago that foley's opponent was gay-baiting, and some dickwad whose handle i forget (harveymilk, i think) called me a concern troll.  then davidnyc shot me down too.  meanwhile, this is ALL coming out because of mahoney.  whatever.  enjoy you guys' smear-fest on foley.  i take no pleasure in seeing a bunch of piranhas feed on a man i knew to be gay, i knew to be kind of creepy, but who i also knew to be decent in every other regard.  if it comes out that he's a pedophile, that's one thing.  but this is all innuendo and e-mails right now.

    "Language is the liquid that we're all dissolved in. Great for solving problems after it creates them." --Isaac Brock, indie rocker imitating wittgenstein

    by Beyondo98 on Fri Sep 29, 2006 at 04:53:33 AM PDT

    •  I agree with you (0+ / 0-)

      Mahoney appears to be using gay-baiting to take down his opponent, and that creeps me out.  The kid may have legitimate concerns, but I wonder what his parents may have whispered into his ear to influence his opinion of a congressman who, while closeted, was well known to be gay (in those circles).

      January 20. 2009 cannot come soon enough.

      by Crisis Corps Volunteer on Fri Sep 29, 2006 at 05:43:20 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  thank you for writing this - i also have problems (0+ / 0-)

        with this type of vague "creepy" smear!

        the man heads the congressional committee for missing and exploited children - he may genuinely care what happens in kids lives without it being sexual.

        the post referring to him being gay makes more sense that this would come out now - a chance to "go after" gays.  caring and writing kids and communicating with kids does NOT mean that someone is soliciting them.  i've worked with children for years - i don't see those emails as "creepy" - i see someone writing a young person who had worked with him.  too bad we are so quick to "judge" based on so little.

        this really worries me - for how much does it make "us" like "them" (the rovian smear machine)?

        careful, folks - this is NOT as cut and dry as it looks - and, as i mentioned last nite on another thread, the implication, innuendo, insinuation that he is a (ok, i'll use the word) pedophile is a common republican theme - all gays molest little boys.

        in actuality, that isn't true at all -

        we need to be very careful in how we spread the gossip - otherwise we are just fox news (or cnn, for that matter) on a keyboard.

        there IS no "case to be made" here - not without proof - not without habeus corpus - and isn't that what we have been screaming about for days now?

    •  Gay = no problem (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      DC Scott

      Hitting on 16-year-old pages = problem.

      I certainly hope I'd be just as disturbed by this story if Foley's page was female. I'm pretty sure I would. Being attracted to a 16-year-old isn't the same kind of gross that being attracted to a 6-year-old is, but flirting them up is completely inappropriate, especially when you're much older and in a boss-like position of power.

      If the hit-upon youth wasn't a minor I might be with you on this, but in what way is flirting with a young teen acceptable?

  •  Charlie Crist Next? (0+ / 0-)

    One could only hope there are photos of the 3-way including Charlie Crist the Republican Governor candidate....


    I bet that the picture with the boy scouts is off his splash page and his banner within 24 hours!

    They are in crisis mode!

    He's either a pedophile or so stupid that he didn't realize that he was having inappropriate communications about and with a minor.

    I wonder if he's been hittin' the Jesus Juice.

    Mark"Don't call me Jacko" Foley.

    Livin' the Murkin Dream!

    by smartinez on Fri Sep 29, 2006 at 05:12:07 AM PDT

    •  i did and was interested in reading that he (0+ / 0-)

      has authored legislation to protect kids - including ... well, read it for yourselves:


      As a founder and co-chair of the Congressional Missing and Exploited Children's Caucus, Mark has been instrumental in the development and passage of legislation designed to protect our children.

      He authored legislation that became law -- the Volunteers for Children Act -- that gives volunteer organizations that work with children, such as scouting and sports groups, access to FBI fingerprint-based background checks to ensure that they are not inadvertently hiring child molesters.

      He has also cosponsored legislation toughening the penalties levied at those who hurt children and, most recently, has joined forces with the Administration and Congress to fight child predators. His Sex Offender Registration and Notification Act, which has passed both the House and Senate, will overhaul the way we track and monitor predatory pedophiles. He has also introduced and cosponsored legislation designed to eliminate child pornography and exploitive child modeling web sites.

      Over the years, Mark also has worked closely with the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children and John Walsh (host of Fox TV’s America’s Most Wanted) on a variety of child protection programs. Among the latest of these is a program designed to show children how to protect themselves from online predators.

      my sixth sense here tells me we are hanging this guy out to dry unjustly - i REALLY REALLY am uneasy about this... REALLY REALLY uneasy about OUR leaping to conclusions over scant fact.

      •  The emails were inappropriate! (0+ / 0-)
        They were!

        Even if they were "innocent".

        They indicate a serious lapse in judgement.

        This is a campaign season and a candidate's judgement is fair game.

        We need to frame our argument and make our case, without exception. Unjust?  Nope... it's politics.

        This is hardball!

        This is accountability!

        Wait for facts on November 8th? No! Demand answers now!

        Livin' the Murkin Dream!

        by smartinez on Fri Sep 29, 2006 at 08:59:55 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  how about a "novel" idea - like having the facts (0+ / 0-)

          FIRST - then question!

          sacrifice principles for winning?  isn't that the republican mantra?

          lie to get votes?  isn't that what we criticize the republicans for?

          distort fact to smear a candidate?  isn't THAT the republican way?

          swiftboat a candidate at the expense of their reputation?  isn't THAT what we so vigorously object to?

          sorry, hardball at the sake of my principles isn't the political game i wish to play - let us win on the FACTS - and there are enough of those to do so without selling our souls down the river like the opposition party has done!

          to "win" i don't believe that we have to become "them".

          sorry - no sale here...

  •  LET'S GET ACCOUNTABLE (0+ / 0-)

    These stories always come up, especially around election time.  Any other time and they are swept under the rug.

    We need some real accountability in our leaders. The corruption has leaked into every nook and cranny.  (or is that crony?)

    The only thing that will make a difference now is the complete and total election reform.

    California has a chance to join Arizona and Maine in changing the system.

    Complete election funding reform will give others a chance to make their case about why they are good leaders.  It will also force incumbents to debate even in safe systems.

    Here in CA we're trying to pass Prop 89 (Clean Money - Fair Elections), but we're up against the big money.  


    Help us out!!!  

    We can't do it without you.

    goto BUCK THE SYSTEM and tell others.

    If it comes to California, it will come to your state!

  •  He's watched too much Mr. Smith... (0+ / 0-)

    ...Goes to Washington.

    You aren't actually allowed to take the pages camping!

  •  Ugh! (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
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    First of all, that sets off my creep-o-meter, and it obviously set off the boy's. It's likely he was doing exactly what it sounds like he was doing: flirting with a 16-year-old in a way he hoped would be plausibly deniable.

    But second, even it really was naively clumsy attempts at being friendly (and I hope it was), this guy is WAY TOO STUPID TO BE IN CONGRESS anyway. Every high school teacher in the COUNTRY knows you don't try to act like 'one of the guys' with a 16-year-old student, because at best you'll freak him out and at worst you'll end up in jail.

  •  It is not a question of criminality (0+ / 0-)

    What we have here is evidence of poor character, just like with the Allen/macaca scandal.

    Republicans have been telling us for years that elections are all about character.  

    This episode says a lot about Foley's character, and nothing good.

  •  Where is "Will"? (0+ / 0-)
    1. The simple truth...this was not professional behavior.
    1. male or female difference.
    1. Being gay...nothing to do with it.

    As a 43-year career teacher of high school "children" who has been extremely close friends with hundreds of students both at the time of the teaching relationship and later throughout the years, I can assure you that the emailing, style of prose, picture request, comments about Will, etc. was not appropriate.

    Wonder where "Will" is and what he has to say?  Didn't he also receive emails from Foley?

    "Do nothing; say nothing; be nothing."

    by Apple Annie on Fri Sep 29, 2006 at 08:24:48 AM PDT

  •  What does IOKIYAR mean? n/t (0+ / 0-)

    "Do nothing; say nothing; be nothing."

    by Apple Annie on Fri Sep 29, 2006 at 08:25:24 AM PDT

  •  Republican homo-erotica? (0+ / 0-)

    More Republican homo-erotica. Six-term Rep. Mark Foley (R-FL 16-CD) sent a series of e-mails to teenage pages that suggested at least a homo-erotic interest in them.

    This goes along with the homo-erotic torture bill the Senate overwhelmingly passed. I'm sure the House with enthusiastically pass it.

    Similarly, Rep. Geoff Davis (R-KY 4-CD) sponsored a public school strip search bill that recently passed. (Rep. Davis' children are home schooled.) Coupled with the strip search bill and with the President's $14 million to public schools for urine testing, the smell of homo-erotica gets stronger.

    The most benign non-drug that urine testing looks for is marijuana. The lift one gets from marijuana lasts only about 2.5 hours. Yet the metabolites remain in the body for as long as 30 days. So its easy to detect.

    Even Kentucky's Lieutenant Governor Steve Pence (R) jumped on the strip search bandwagon. This is masqueraded as making our schools "drug free." There's already enough legislation on the books to do that.

    Nude prisoners, homo-erotic torture techniques, solicitous e-mails to page boys, strip searches of public school students, urine testing--do Republicans have a homo-erotic affection?

    "The care of human life and happiness, and not their destruction, is the first and only legitimate object of good government." Thomas Jefferson

    by Androgyne on Fri Sep 29, 2006 at 09:37:20 AM PDT

  •  Foley dropping out (0+ / 0-)

    Just flashed on CNN's "Breaking News" banner

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