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Whole Lotta Lies…Time To Clean House

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UPDATE:  More on the source of the Foley e-mails:  Republican.  Long-time GOP person.  Republican staffer from the Hill.  Member of the GOP.  Emphatically NOT a Democrat.  Can we put this crap to bed now?   Can the Republican leadership in the House and the wingut-o-sphere, just this once, pause for a moment to consider their accountability, and what they could have done — and ought to be doing — to protect the safety of the kids in the page program.  And just this one time, actually take some real responsibility for a change instead of pointing fingers?  (Hmmm…not holding my breath.)

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The Foley mess just got new legs.  As if it needed them.  And the Republican leadership has a lot of 'splaining to do.  From the WaPo

The staff member said Hastert's chief of staff, Scott Palmer, met with the Florida Republican at the Capitol to discuss complaints about Foley's behavior toward pages. The alleged meeting occurred long before Hastert says aides in his office dispatched Rep. John M. Shimkus (R-Ill.) and the clerk of the House in November 2005 to confront Foley about troubling e-mails he had sent to a Louisiana boy.

The staff member's account buttresses the position of Foley's onetime chief of staff, Kirk Fordham, who said earlier this week that he had appealed to Palmer in 2003 or earlier to intervene, after Fordham's own efforts to stop Foley's behavior had failed. Fordham said Foley and Palmer, one of the most powerful figures in the House of Representatives, met within days to discuss the allegations.

Palmer said this week that the meeting Fordham described "did not happen." Timothy J. Heaphy, Fordham's attorney, said yesterday that Fordham is prepared to testify under oath that he had arranged the meeting and that both Foley and Palmer told him the meeting had taken place. Fordham spent more than three hours with the FBI on Thursday, and Heaphy said that on Friday he contacted the House Committee on Standards of Official Conduct to offer his client's cooperation.

Well, I'm sure that Denny Hastert will want to clear that up with all those GOP supporters that started marching out to his defense on the "he only found out Friday" line of lies. Unless, of course, all those supporters already knew it was a crock…and wouldn't that be a good thing to look into for the press? (Is it me, or does everyone else sense a whole new round of finger-pointing in the works?) 

Hey, Holy Joe, how you feeling about that if you criticize the GOP handling of this mess, you are just a mean old partisan message now?  Moron.  There is a reason your idiotic ego-driven faux bipartisanship image doesn't work well — it's because you always, always fall for the lies, and you drag the Democratic party down with your idiocy. 

Hastert's Chief of Staff Palmer — and by extension Hastert, because what his CoS knows, the Speaker knows — have known about Foley's "issues" for years.  Years.  And yet you jumped to judgment to give Denny Hastert cover…why, exactly?Turncoat Joe, don't you dare wag that nagging finger in our faces ever again — all of those kids in the page program have been put as risk for the last few years, and you want to protect the GOP leaders who enabled it.  "Holy" is NOT the adjective I'm thinking of as a modifier for you, this morning — and that goes for any parent reading this out there as well, I'm sure.

As for members of the press, can someone explain this:

Months ago, several major media outlets learned about troubling e-mails Rep. Mark Foley had sent to former pages — but they didn't feel they had enough information to go public with the story. Brian Ross of ABC News got the same information back in August — but he found a way to crack the scandal open.

Reporters and editors at Florida's St. Petersburg Times, The Miami Herald and the Fox News Channel all say they obtained e-mails that seemed to be between Rep. Mark Foley and a former congressional page — but that they didn't have enough to go public with the story….

And there it largely stood for nearly a year.

So, let me see…Fox News has had these e-mails for a year, but for the last couple of weeks they have fronted out Sean Hannity, faked a Democratic label for Foley on O'Reilly's show and the shrill brigade, including Gingrich, pretended that perhaps the Democrats planted this story for election purposes — knowing full well that this is a LIE, because they have had copies of these Foley e-mails for close to a year.

Could someone call them on this publicly please?!?

There are a series of articles out this morning which put the "GOP out of control" meme front and center.  Eleanor Clift in Newsweek says that Americans are having serious trust issues with the Republican party.  Howard Fineman asks the questions that all of us have been pondering all along:

Read the supposedly benign and ambiguous e-mails that the House leadership has known about for nearly a year. If they were so benign, why did they warn Foley to have no further contact with the boy in question? And if they did warn Foley, why didn’t they launch an investigation?

In my experience, if something like this raises enough of a red flag for you to issue a warning, then you have some understanding that there is a whole lot more. And when you add in the possible drunken trip to the page dorm that a GOP leadership member brought up on the leadership call last week, and the warnings that the WaPo is reporting this morning…well, you get a big, fat red flag, and a sense of how much CYA lying the Republican leadership has really been doing this week. Dissembling doesn't even begin to cover it as a descriptor.

The NYTimes reports this morning that this scandal is sapping the energy of the "values voters" that the GOP has spent the last few years snowing into supporting them.  MSNBC just reported, via Mark Mabry of Newsweek, that their latest poll numbers put George Bush's approval rating at 33%, and that the Democrats are leading in moral values, terrorism, and a whole lot of other numbers across the board.

It sounds to me like a whole lot of folks across the country are thinking that we need to clean house — and that they have had enough.  Now is the time to sign up to help a local candidate and to help get out the vote.  More than ever before, the work needs to be done — for your family, for your community, for your nation. 

It's time for some accountability — for all of the many, many lies.  Had enough?

(H/T to reader cbl for the photo.  Seemed appropriate, somehow, this morning…)

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Christy Hardin Smith

Christy Hardin Smith

Christy is a "recovering" attorney, who earned her undergraduate degree at Smith College, in American Studies and Government, concentrating in American Foreign Policy. She then went on to graduate studies at the University of Pennsylvania in the field of political science and international relations/security studies, before attending law school at the College of Law at West Virginia University, where she was Associate Editor of the Law Review. Christy was a partner in her own firm for several years, where she practiced in a number of areas including criminal defense, child abuse and neglect representation, domestic law, civil litigation, and she was an attorney for a small municipality, before switching hats to become a state prosecutor. Christy has extensive trial experience, and has worked for years both in and out of the court system to improve the lives of at risk children.

Email: reddhedd AT firedoglake DOT com

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