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DCMadam Fallout

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The hits just keep on coming from Deborah Jeane Palfrey, whose DC escort service's phone records are being mined by ABC News for an upcoming 20/20 that must have some Beltway Boys' panties in a twist. First Harlan Ullman was named by Ms. Palfrey two weeks ago. He's the guy who coined the phrase "shock and awe."

Yesterday, another Rolodex card fell outta Ms. Palfrey's handbag. The ABC investigative team dialed the number and:

Deputy Secretary of State Randall L. Tobias submitted his resignation Friday, one day after confirming to ABC News that he had been a customer of a Washington, D.C. escort service whose owner has been charged by federal prosecutors with running a prostitution operation. Tobias, 65, director of U.S. Foreign Assistance and administrator of the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID), had previously served as the ambassador for the President's Emergency Fund for AIDS Relief.

President Bush's Ambassador for his abstinence-based anti-AIDS plan for Africa wasn't exactly, um — abstinent? Oh, wait:

According to ABC News, Tobias said he contacted the escort service "to have gals come over to the condo to give me a massage" and that there had been "no sex" involved.

Yeah, right. Where do they GET these guys? Well, he's:

a former chief executive of pharmaceutical giant Eli Lilly & Co…. [and] AT&T vice chairman.

Wasn't President Bush going to restore honor and integrity in Washington? I can't wait for more honor and integrity to fall out of Ms. Palfrey's Rolodex. She's the frosting on the cake being baked by Chairman Waxman and Chairman Conyers.

PS for Hugh — What number are we up to now on the Bush Scandal list?

UPDATE — IRONY ALERT (thanks, Christy!) According to Think Progress this morning:

Former U.S. AID director Randall Tobias, who resigned yesterday upon admitting that he frequented a Washington escort service, oversaw a controversial policy advocated by the religious right that required any US-based group receiving anti-AIDS funds to take an anti-prostitution “loyalty oath.” Aid groups bitterly opposed the policy, charging that it “was so broad — and applied even to their private funds — that it would obstruct their outreach to sex workers who are at high risk of transmitting the AIDS virus.” But President Bush wouldn’t budge. He signed a 2003 National Security Presidential Directive saying prostitution “and related activities” were “inherently harmful and dehumanizing.”

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Teddy Partridge

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