I was going to write about my adventures travelling with my Mac Book, but when I logged on in mid day, I saw that Mark Foley was resigning and George Allen was in deep trouble.
What the fuck?
Come on, this is shit I can barely believe. So I posted up from a B&N because I was stunned
Now, Foley's seat is likely to go Dem.
Because over the last three years, we've worked to challenge the GOP. Like a guerrilla Army, we've started rebellions all over the place. And the mechanics for change exist where none existed before. Which is amazing.
Why? Because we're getting involved and trying to do the best we can.
Thank you for your support, because it makes what we do collectively that much easier.
Stephen Gilliard 217 E 86th St, NMB 112 New York, Ny 10028
Even the pages knew that he was a man to avoid. Those that didn't soon got the unwanted attention of a man old enough to be their grandfather. But this had been the modus operandi for Foley for years.
Rumors about his taste for young servicemen abound in South Florida.
Let's think about this for a second.
Foley's alleged taste in sex partners were much younger, almost inexperienced sexual partners. But more importantly, he liked to prey on partners who were powerless.
Movies often portray servicemen and women much older than they are. Most are teens who look like teens. So what Foley was allegedly doing is crusing these kids, some gay, some curious, some just homesick and desperate for some attention, but all powerless against a Congressman. And all desperate to keep any hint of homosexuality a secret. After all, you get caught in the military, no job, no college, and maybe no home to go back to.
Foley would have an amazing power over such a person.
As he would over a page.
People are getting confused by age of consent and sexuality issues.
But simply put, there is clear and convincing evidence that Foley abused his office in Congress. His target was Congressional pages, high school students.
Even if they were all 18, it's an incredible abuse of power for an elected official to try to seduce pages. But 10th Graders? We normally jail people who seduce children over the internet.
But in Washington, he sought an even younger and more vunerable victim, in a Congressional page. Away from from home for the first time, away from parental supervision. Even if he didn't touch them, he could set the stage for grooming them.
Republicans will try to deflect this. They wil bring up the case of Congressman Gerry Stubbs, who was caught having sex with a 17 year old male page in 1983. Or Clinton.
But the difference is this: Stubbs was censured by the House, who did not protect him. Clinton was impeached, and was not protected. First, this is not 1983, like with sexual harassment and stalking, child predation was treated differently. It wasn't until 1984 that the first big child sex predation scandal in the Catholic Church happened. Now, in 2006, Stubbs most likely would have been forced from Congress, investigated for sending sexually explicit e-mails and IM's to a minor and probably faced prosecution. Resigning from Congress would have been demanded as a minimum
It is clear, like so many other enablers of child sex predators, they tried to handle it internally, instead of calling the police. John Mark Karr, the freak who claimed to have murdered Jonbenet Ramsey, worked as a substitute teacher for years in several US states, was fired for bizarre behavior with kids, yet was never turned in to the police.
Hastert and the House leadership not only left a child sex predator in charge of the caucus of Missing and Exploited Children, they let him remain in physical contact with other pages. It was only when Foley's sexually explicit and possibly criminal communications were released to the public, was he forced from Congress.
Why do you think Karl Rove blocked him from running for Senate. Banging teenaged sailors is not something you want to have come up in a Senatorial Campaign. This is far worse.
Foley's dishonest attempt to claim it was a smear by his opponent was bad enough. No sane person would do that, and risk their own campaign with a backlash which would swamp it.
But the fact remains that the House leadership had a known child sex predator, not only did they not disuade him from running to hold his seat, they kept his secret and did not inform law enforcement about it.
I think it's clear this kind of leadership is unworthy of the House, or a school board.
-‘These web sites are nothing more than a fix for pedophiles,’ Foley said. --
WASHINGTON May 7 Congressman Mark Foley (FL-16), Co-Chairman of the Congressional Missing and Exploited Children’s Caucus, today announced he is introducing a bill to ban so-called online “child modeling” web sites.
“These web sites are nothing more than a fix for pedophiles,” Foley said. “They don’t sell products, they don’t sell services – all they serve are young children on a platter for America’s most depraved. These sites sell child erotica and they must be banned immediately.” Foley, who helped introduce legislation last week reaffirming the 1996 ban on "virtual" child pornography, said "child modeling" web sites that exploit children as young as four, five and six years old, cause immense psychological damage to the children and also put them in physical danger when contact is made with the people who visit their sites.
Contact is made, Foley said, when pedophiles who pay to see photos and video clips of the children in sexually suggestive poses send the children provocative clothing and bathing suits to “model” and converse with them via email. In more extreme cases, “parties” have been held in hotel rooms where the pedophiles can meet the young children they have been paying to view online face to face.
Specifically, this legislation, that will be co-introduced by Rep. Nick Lampson (D-TX), will ban all web sites that charge fees to view models 16 years of age and under that do not promote products or services beyond the child. “If a child is modeling for Gap or Gucci, it’s legal. If the site is selling nothing else than the child via photos or video clips, it’s illegal,” Foley said.
The legislation will be addressed under Title 18 of the Criminal Code as well as the Fair Labor and Standards Act.
Copies of the legislation will be made available when the bill is introduced.
Yeah, besides, there weren't teenage boys on these sites. Otherwise, they would have been a-ok with him
Chairman of the House Page Board, Rep. John Shimkus (R-IL) interviewed Foley last year about some of the contacts with the page. The House clerk, who is also a member of the Board, was also present. Speaker Hastert's office was informed of the interview, but according to GOP leadership sources who spoke to Roll Call, Hastert himself was not informed.
Rep. Dale Kildee (D-MI), the only Democrat on the Board, was not informed of the interview, according to Roll Call.
Rep. Shimkus released the following statement ...
“As chairman of the bipartisan House Page Board in late 2005, I was notified by the then Clerk of the House, who manages the Page Program, that he had been told by Congressman Rodney Alexander about an email exchange between Congressman Foley and a former House Page. I took immediate action to investigate the matter.
“In that email exchange, Congressman Foley asked about the former Page’s well-being after Hurricane Katrina and requested a photograph. When asked about the email exchange, Congressman Foley said he expressed concern about the Page’s well-being and wanted a photo to see that the former Page was alright.
“Congressman Foley told the Clerk and me that he was simply acting as a mentor to this former House Page and that nothing inappropriate had occurred. Nevertheless, we ordered Congressman Foley to cease all contact with this former House Page to avoid even the appearance of impropriety. We also advised him to be especially mindful of his conduct with respect to current and former House Pages, and he assured us he would do so. I received no subsequent complaints about his behavior nor was I ever made aware of any additional emails.
“It has become clear to me today, based on information I only now have learned, that Congressman Foley was not honest about his conduct.
“As Chairman of the House Page Board, I am working with the Clerk to fully review this incident and determine what actions need to be taken.
“The House Page Program has been an integral part of the House of Representatives for many decades. Preserving the integrity of the House Page Program is of utmost importance to me and to the House of Representatives, and we intend to uphold and protect its values and traditions.”
The whole matter has been turned over to the House ethics committee.
Maf54 (7:46:33 PM): did any girl give you a haand job this weekend
Xxxxxxxxx (7:46:38 PM): lol no
Xxxxxxxxx (7:46:40 PM): im single right now
Xxxxxxxxx (7:46:57 PM): my last gf and i broke up a few weeks agi
Maf54 (7:47:11 PM): are you
Maf54 (7:47:11 PM): good so your getting horny
Xxxxxxxxx (7:47:29 PM): lol...a bit
Maf54 (7:48:00 PM): did you spank it this weekend yourself
Xxxxxxxxx (7:48:04 PM): no
Xxxxxxxxx (7:48:16 PM): been too tired and too busy
Maf54 (7:48:33 PM): wow...
Maf54 (7:48:34 PM): i am never to busy haha
Xxxxxxxxx (7:48:51 PM): haha
Maf54 (7:50:02 PM): or tired..helps me sleep ...................... Xxxxxxxxx (7:50:57 PM): i dont do it very often normally though
Maf54 (7:51:11 PM): why not
Maf54 (7:51:22 PM): at your age seems like it would be daily
Xxxxxxxxx (7:51:57 PM): not me
Xxxxxxxxx (7:52:01 PM): im not a horn dog
Xxxxxxxxx (7:52:07 PM): maybe 2 or 3 times a week
Maf54 (7:52:20 PM): thats a good number
Maf54 (7:52:27 PM): in the shower
Xxxxxxxxx (7:52:36 PM): actually usually i dont do it in the shower
Xxxxxxxxx (7:52:42 PM): just cause i shower in the morning
Xxxxxxxxx (7:52:47 PM): and quickly
Maf54 (7:52:50 PM): in the bed
Xxxxxxxxx (7:52:59 PM): i get up at 530 and am outta the house by 610
Xxxxxxxxx (7:53:03 PM): eh ya
Maf54 (7:53:24 PM): on your back
Xxxxxxxxx (7:53:30 PM): no face down
Maf54 (7:53:32 PM): love details
Xxxxxxxxx (7:53:34 PM): lol
Xxxxxxxxx (7:53:36 PM): i see that
Xxxxxxxxx (7:53:37 PM): lol
Maf54 (7:53:39 PM): really
Maf54 (7:53:54 PM): do you really do it face down
Xxxxxxxxx (7:54:03 PM): ya
He was talking about masturbating with a minor. I know people are wondering about the age, but for federal law, majority is 18. So Foley had no business chatting up a kid with questions about how he jerks off. This inappropriate behavior was about grooming this boy for a sexual encounter.
Which makes Foley an alleged child sex predator.
And not only should Congress have acted, they should have informed the US Attorney of this, forget demanding he leave the Exploited and Missing Children Caucus.
People are also wary because of the hysteria which comes with this issue. Read the e-mails, if you got those questions from your boss, wouldn't you be uncomfortable? Well, Foley was dealing with a 16 year old who was very uncomfortable with this going on. His parents may have tried to deal with this, but it never got resolved. So, in a democracy, they did what people do, go to the media.
Make no mistake, this is a disaster for the GOP. Abramoff? Yeah, but that's years of shit to come. No way you throw up an alleged conspiracy to protect a child sexual predator as a way to hide corruption. Attempted child rape is a wee bit more serious than that.
And through serendipity, NBC has a year long series,which is continuing for the next couple of weeks, Dateline NBC: to catch a predator IV. Basically, they show child sex predators meeting teenagers for sex with beer and condoms. It can be high comedy, until you realize they would be raping children. And Mark Foley will be seen as just another one of the pedophiles Chris Hansen, the tall, blonde reporter lauded on Oprah yesterday, nails.
Foley would do well to take whatever deal is on the table before his page groooming target is on Oprah, who now places bounties on pedophiles.
By RICHARD A. OPPEL Jr. Published: September 30, 2006
BAGHDAD, Sept. 29 — American officials have warned Iraqi leaders that they might have to curtail aid to the Interior Ministry police because of a United States law that prohibits the financing of foreign security forces that commit “gross violations of human rights” and are not brought to justice.
The Interior Ministry, dominated by Shiites, has long been accused by Sunni Arabs of complicity in torture and killings.
The American ambassador to Iraq, Zalmay Khalilzad, said in an interview on Friday that “at this point” Iraq had not been formally notified that its national police were in violation of the legislation, known as the Leahy Law. He said he remained optimistic that Iraqi officials would “do the right thing” and resolve the matter. Nonetheless, he said American officials had begun reviewing programs that might have to be ended.
The issue centers on one of the most sensitive subjects within the Iraqi government: the joint Iraqi-American inspection in May and subsequent investigation of a prison in eastern Baghdad known as Site 4.
Within the prison there was clear evidence of systematic abuse and torture, including victims who had “lesions resulting from torture” as well as “equipment used for this purpose,” according to a human rights report later published by the United Nations mission in Iraq.
The prison, run by an Interior Ministry national police unit, had more than 1,400 prisoners crowded into a small area. An American officer said some had been beaten or bound and hung by their arms. At least 37 teenagers or children were in the prison.
EVERMAN, Tex. — Anthony Price does not mince words when talking about corporal punishment — which he refers to as taking pops — a practice he recently reinstated at the suburban Fort Worth middle school where he is principal.
“I’m a big fan,” Mr. Price said. “I know it can be abused. But if used properly, along with other punishments, a few pops can help turn a school around. It’s had a huge effect here.”
Tina Morgan, who works on a highway crew in rural North Carolina, gave permission for her son to be paddled in his North Carolina middle school. But she said she was unprepared for Travis, now 12, to come home with a backside that was a florid kaleidoscope of plums and lemons and blood oranges.
“This boy might need a blistering now and then, with his knucklehead,” Ms. Morgan said, swatting at him playfully, but she added that she never wanted him to be beaten like that. “I’ve decided, we’ve got to get corporal punishment out of the schools.”
Over most of the country and in all but a few major metropolitan areas, corporal punishment has been on a gradual but steady decline since the 1970’s, and 28 states have banned it. But the practice remains alive, particularly in rural parts of the South and the lower Midwest, where it is not only legal, but also widely practiced.
In a handful of districts, like the one here in Everman, there have been recent moves to reinstate it, some successful, more not. In Delaware, a bill to rescind that state’s ban on paddling never got through the legislature. But in Pike County, Ohio, corporal punishment was reinstated last year. And in southeast Mississippi, the Laurel school board voted in August to reinstate a corporal punishment policy, passing one that bars men from paddling women, but does not require parental consent, as many other policies do.
The most recent federal statistics show that during the 2002-3 school year, more than 300,000 American schoolchildren were disciplined with corporal punishment, usually one or more blows with a thick wooden paddle. Sometimes holes were cut in the paddle to make the beating more painful. Of those students, 70 percent were in five Southern states: Texas, Mississippi, Tennessee, Alabama and Arkansas.
One day, one of these kids is going to stroll into school and kill the teacher who paddled them.
Violence only begets violence. And this will cost somone their life
Someone in the House Republican leadership has some serious explaining to do.
Whether or not the kid's parents were fine with letting it go, which the story says is the case, why was Foley permitted to remain in the House GOP leadership for almost a year after they knew he was having sex talk with minors onlinel, minors he met on the job?
Why did the House Republican leadership leave foley as the co-chair of the House body in charge of child sex offenses for a good year after they knew?
Why did the House leadership permit Foley to stay in the House at all, where he would be around other pages every day all day long?
And just as importantly, why did the House GOP leadership let Foley lie publicly yesterday about the emails, claiming they were innocent, and simply a dirty attack from the Democrats, when the House leadership knew the real story?
And finally, we find out that the FBI was contacted two months about this story. Was there any follow-up from the Bush FBI? Or did they just let this potential case of child sex offense go by the wayside because it involved a friend of Bush?
From from the SF Chronicle:
The page worked for Rep. Rodney Alexander, R-La., who said Friday that when he learned of the e-mail exchanges 10 to 11 months ago, he called the teen's parents. Alexander told the Ruston Daily Leader, "We also notified the House leadership that there might be a potential problem," a reference to the House's Republican leaders.
Foley was a member of the Republican leadership, serving as a deputy whip. He also was a member of the House Ways and Means Committee.
Massive coverup for a child sex predator. Reminds me of what Bernie Law did in Boston, and how he just escaped prosecution by fleeing to Rome.
CNN has learned, according to GOP sources, that as you said, Republican Congressman Mark Foley of Florida has decided not to seek reelection. … Foley did admit to a spokesperson that he had that e-mail exchange with the boy, but absolutely flatly denied that that was an inappropriate e-mail exchange. Now, a GOP source tells us now that essentially Foley is worried that there are other potentially politically damaging e-mail or other messages that may be out there and he has concluded that it’s probably best for him not to seek reelection from Florida. That is what we’re told.
Yesterday, ABC News, AmericaBlog, and Raw Story released a series of questionable emails between Rep. Mark Foley (R-FL) and a 16-year-old page. In the emails, sent from Foley’s personal account, Foley “asks the young man how old he is, what he wants for his birthday and requests a photo of him.” Foley is the founder and co-chair of the Congressional Missing and Exploited Children’s Caucus.
By Matthew Mosk and Dan Balz Washington Post Staff Writers Friday, September 29, 2006; Page B06
Maryland Lt. Gov. Michael S. Steele has been reaching out to key Republican leaders in recent days, urging them to continue directing resources to his U.S. Senate bid.
In an interview yesterday, Steele confirmed what some people close to his campaign have said privately -- that tightening races in other key states have taken priority in the year since high-ranking Republicans persuaded Steele to run, in part by promising the party's lasting financial support.
"I understand that they didn't know what the landscape was going to look like a year away," Steele said. "The dynamics have changed."
Steele said he is confident that he will have the money to run competitively. But sources close to his campaign said concerns about the availability of national money increased recently, especially when national Democrats invested $750,000 in television ads for his opponent, Baltimore area U.S. Rep. Benjamin L. Cardin, in the days following Cardin's primary victory.
"They've made the commitment to have Sen. [Hillary] Clinton come here, Sen. [Barack] Obama come here. The natural question is: 'This is what these guys are doing; what are you prepared to do?' " Steele said.
"A lot of people were watching what happened to Kweisi," Steele said yesterday, adding that those voters will want to know, "Will my party be bold in its effort to show that it's commitment is different from theirs?"
Two things: one, Steele desperately needs national party help because he has no base of funders locally. See how much money Russell Simmons hands out. Those white guys filled his ears with that nonsense and now they cut the rug out from under him. Bob Erlich's money people were laughing at him last year.
Now, he has no place to turn but to the people who thunk this up. And they now face a breakthrough on all fronts. He doesn't have people to back him up. He just doesn't have the resources and the Dems have local money to spare.Cardin has local resources which means he doesn't have to rely on ActBlue help.
The fact is that the right blogosphere cannot raise the money to help their candidates and Steele is a victim of that.
Japanese militarism in action Wary Eye Cast on Abe's 'New Japan' The freshly minted premier seeks to revamp the pacifist constitution and instill patriotism in classrooms. His backers deny they're militaristic. By Bruce Wallace, Times Staff Writer September 29, 2006
TOKYO — For those who view Japan's swelling nationalism through suspicious eyes, there is plenty of evidence that the World War II loser is straining at its pacifist shackles.
New Prime Minister Shinzo Abe has vowed to rewrite Japan's war-renouncing constitution. He yearns for a robust role in world affairs, and has even mused about the possibility of a pre-emptive military strike against North Korean missile sites.
Abe's talk of a "new Japan" also includes a plan to inculcate patriotism in schools and put an end to teaching what he calls a "masochistic" version of Japanese history. His newly minted Cabinet tilts so far to the hawkish side of Japanese politics that Mizuho Fukushima, the opposition socialist leader, has christened it "a Cabinet to prepare for war."
So as Abe took power this week, wary observers warned of a virulent form of nationalism they say is moving into the mainstream for the first time since Japan's defeat in 1945. Those voices came from American and European analysts, not just from China and Korea (the usual suspects, to Abe supporters), where memories of Japan's imperial aggression still burn. When Abe suggested during the summer that it might be necessary to take out North Korea's missile bases in self-defense, South Korea's government spokesman said the declaration "unveiled Japan's expansionist nature."
Is Japan sliding back to the dark days of the militarist 1930s? Are the Japanese really prepared to surrender their breathtaking materialism for the sort of foreign adventures that brought ruin upon their grandparents' generation?
Absurd, the Abe crowd responds.
"No single Japanese person thinks we are going back to that period," says Yoshihide Suga, one of the governing Liberal Democratic Party's most conservative members and someone who was an early Abe ally on the need to take a hard line with North Korea. "Other countries accuse us of going in a militarist direction, but we are just trying to become a normal country."
Those who dispute parallels with the 1930s point out that military spending then was the largest single budget item, whereas now it is less than 1% of Japan's gross domestic product. And unlike the 1930s, Japan no longer has a command economy tailored to the needs of the armed forces, and civilian leaders do not bend to the will of the army and navy.
Yet Abe's supporters do want to roll history's clock back if only as far as 1945. Their quarrel is with the political culture that was thrust on Japan after the war. Their targets are the American-imposed constitution and an accompanying education system they accuse of weakening traditional Japanese values and leading to a morally flabby nation.
"When we mention conservative politics, it is not the same as prewar politics or militarism," says Hakubun Shimomura, deputy chief Cabinet secretary of Abe's new government. "It is not an arrogant nationalism. We are not hostile to other cultures. But we want Japanese people to respect traditional Japanese culture, a culture that goes back more than 2,000 years but which has been weakened in the last 60 years."
It is a recurring theme with this new generation of nationalists. Yes, we got rich under the postwar American umbrella, they say. But the excesses of foreign values also infused an individualistic streak that diluted the social harmony at the core of Japanese society.
Foreigners look upon Japan as a remarkably cohesive society, but conservatives here see runaway egotism. And they complain that it has led to more broken families, a dearth of discipline in schools, youths adrift without jobs or hope — and even children who kill their parents.
And they fret that a rapacious capitalism accompanying globalization is undermining Japan's business culture, which has traditionally been far less cutthroat.
"Abe's stance is that postwar Japan is bad," says Takashi Tachibana, a commentator and author who has written about Japan's prewar intellectual class and is a critic of the new prime minister. Tachibana says Abe sees the constitution and the 1947 basic education law as the underpinnings of a stunted postwar era, "the root of all evils that need to be fixed."
Abe's is not a minority view. Polls show nearly two-thirds of Japanese support a new education law that would require schools to teach patriotism. Although teachers have resisted school board directives ordering them to stand, face the flag and sing the national anthem at school ceremonies, others see patriotic education as simply code for restoring discipline in classrooms gone wild.
No one in Asia is going to take this well.
The Japanese act as if someone else raped and murdered their way across Asia.
WASHINGTON, Sept. 28 — The White House ignored an urgent warning in September 2003 from a top Iraq adviser who said that thousands of additional American troops were desperately needed to quell the insurgency there, according to a new book by Bob Woodward, the Washington Post reporter and author. The book describes a White House riven by dysfunction and division over the war.
The warning is described in “State of Denial,” scheduled for publication on Monday by Simon & Schuster. The book says President Bush’s top advisers were often at odds among themselves, and sometimes were barely on speaking terms, but shared a tendency to dismiss as too pessimistic assessments from American commanders and others about the situation in Iraq.
As late as November 2003, Mr. Bush is quoted as saying of the situation in Iraq: “I don’t want anyone in the cabinet to say it is an insurgency. I don’t think we are there yet.”
Secretary of Defense Donald H. Rumsfeld is described as disengaged from the nuts-and-bolts of occupying and reconstructing Iraq — a task that was initially supposed to be under the direction of the Pentagon — and so hostile toward Condoleezza Rice, then the national security adviser, that President Bush had to tell him to return her phone calls. The American commander for the Middle East, Gen. John P. Abizaid, is reported to have told visitors to his headquarters in Qatar in the fall of 2005 that “Rumsfeld doesn’t have any credibility anymore” to make a public case for the American strategy for victory in Iraq.
The book, bought by a reporter for The New York Times at retail price in advance of its official release, is the third that Mr. Woodward has written chronicling the inner debates in the White House after the Sept. 11 attacks, the invasion of Afghanistan, and the subsequent decision to invade Iraq. Like Mr. Woodward’s previous works, the book includes lengthy verbatim quotations from conversations and describes what senior officials are thinking at various times, without identifying the sources for the information.
Mr. Woodward writes that his book is based on “interviews with President Bush’s national security team, their deputies, and other senior and key players in the administration responsible for the military, the diplomacy, and the intelligence on Iraq.” Some of those interviewed, including Mr. Rumsfeld, are identified by name, but neither Mr. Bush nor Vice President Dick Cheney agreed to be interviewed, the book says.
Robert D. Blackwill, then the top Iraq adviser on the National Security Council, is said to have issued his warning about the need for more troops in a lengthy memorandum sent to Ms. Rice. The book says Mr. Blackwill’s memorandum concluded that more ground troops, perhaps as many as 40,000, were desperately needed.
It says that Mr. Blackwill and L. Paul Bremer III, then the top American official in Iraq, later briefed Ms. Rice and Stephen J. Hadley, her deputy, about the pressing need for more troops during a secure teleconference from Iraq. It says the White House did nothing in response.
By LESLIE EATON and MIKE McINTIRE Published: September 29, 2006
To hear Jeanine F. Pirro’s supporters tell it, she is a wronged woman leg-shackled to a loser, an ambitious and effective wife brought low by her badly behaved husband, Albert.
Now her fears about his philandering have set off a federal investigation into possible eavesdropping and have threatened to derail her quest to become New York attorney general.
But to many people who have been watching the couple for decades, the Pirros look a lot like an echo of that other Westchester power couple, the Clintons, who are also political and financial partners whose fates and fortunes are profoundly intertwined. The Pirros live in Rye, the Clintons in Chappaqua.
When it comes to the Pirros, “There’s no question they are partners, there’s no question it’s a symbiotic relationship,” said Murray Richman, a Bronx defense lawyer who knows both of the Pirros. “There’s no question Jeanine would never be where she is without Al.”
Mr. Pirro, 59, a lawyer and lobbyist, has provided money and political contacts for his wife’s career and has financed their way of life: the fancy cars, the expensive houses, the pampered pot-bellied pigs. Her campaigns have been heavily financed by his business associates in Westchester, where he has a hand in many real estate projects. She, in turn, reflected her glamour and political power onto him.
“Picture those two as the celebrities, the royalty, the power brokers in Westchester,” said Bennett L. Gershman, a former prosecutor and professor of law at Pace University who has been a frequent critic of Ms. Pirro, 55.
The Pirros’ relationship has often come with a cost to Ms. Pirro, starting two decades ago when she dropped her bid for lieutenant governor in the face of questions about her husband’s ties to a company in the garbage-hauling business, an activity that was often linked to the mob. (At the time, she said Mr. Pirro was not comfortable revealing his clients.)
During Mr. Pirro’s 2000 trial on charges of tax evasion, it became clear that she had benefited from his largess. But prosecutors said they were not accusing her of knowing that her husband improperly deducted as business expenses items ranging from her two-seater Mercedes to a $135 gold mirror. More recently, mobsters were caught on tape claiming that Mr. Pirro had tipped them off to an investigation conducted by the Westchester district attorney’s office when Ms. Pirro ran it, a claim he denied.
Ms. Pirro’s loyalty to her husband has confounded those inside and outside the political world, and this week she hinted at why she stood by her man. At a news conference on Wednesday, she confirmed that she had talked to Bernard B. Kerik, the former New York police commissioner who is now a security consultant, about planting a listening device on her husband’s boat. But she said no taping was done, and claimed that federal investigators looking into the matter were conducting a “political witch hunt.”
Then she said she was tired of having to justify her relationship with her husband. He is a “great father” to their children, she said — a teenage son and a daughter in college. “These are personal choices that I have made, and I shouldn’t have to keep explaining them.”
But earlier in her career, she was happy to talk about Mr. Pirro, whom she once described as “the most exciting person I knew: quick, bright, always doing, very much an activist.”
I don't care how much money Al Pirro has, he's a fucking loser. He's done this passive-agressive career damaging shitto his wife for over a decade.
What kind of joke would it be to have an Attorney General with a felon for a husband and who claims personal vendetta when investigated by the feds. Come on, she's no victim. He fucks around on her, got another woman pregnant and then still embarasses her.
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.ge
(AP Photo/Joe Songer, Pool) And I will apply the electrodes myself if I need to, and I will need to. The press thinks they're getting back their press room. Hah, it's now the high value interrogation center.
It is the act of the impotent to make threats they cannot carry out. You can rage all you want about torture, but you can't punish anyone, and that is what is needed. The ability to punish. Just like the fundies and the Club for Growth. Ignore them and people run for your seat and run commercials against you.
I heard the same thing after Alito as well. But it's impossible without leverage. You can't get politicians to vote your way unless they fear you. Making threats you will not carry out makes you look weak and ineffective. And you will not carry them out because no matter how disgusted you, more is at stake. And everyone knows it.
The way to prevent people from selling out is simple: they have to fear you. They have to fear what you can do to them. It is better to be loved, but fear works very well in politics. It took conservatives 15 years to scare people and build their base. And they stuck it out, despite a setback here and there. Because, in the end, their goal was to control who sat in Congress. Not just the White House, but Congress. They trained them, they cultivated them and they built networks.
People need to stop with the threats, note this and act to get the power to prevent it from happening in the future. This is a prime demonstration of fear and power. As long as you lack that, you cannot push your beliefs.
Bush is, was and will remain a coward as long as he lives.
The torture bill is a cruel joke, so riddle with flaws, so uncostitutional, it won't survive the District Court. Which is the calculation Dems in tight races made.
They once read people the first Amendment and most of them thought it should be outlawed. Given a choice between politics and right, politicians choose politics. So they duck their heads and pray. Don't be shocked. We elect politicians to do our bidding and can be fired. And some will certainly be.
Debating torture is pointless. Because Bush cares ohnly about power, not the law. so if he has to strap the electrodes to gonads in Poland or Uzbekistan, well, that's that. You cannot debate torture with Bush. You can only expose it and shame him. Because as bad as this is, and it's akin to the Japanese internment or the forced removal of the Indians by Andrew Jackson, it is nothing compared to what is happening in Iraq.
If people knew the stakes of the war in Iraq, they would be outraged at the squandering of the Army, the way Bush is wrecking it by sending it to fight a war where 70 percent of the people want us to go and 60 percent support the resistance. What Bush has done is not only ruin the reputation in the United States, but endanger our allies like Egypt.
Not only are the Taliban learning to fight the US from Iraq, they're training there and probably coming home with the RDX we didn't secure in 2003.
Things could not have gone more wrong. No call for sacrifice, no sense of national duty.
But I save my true ire, not for the Dems, backed into the nastiest of corners, but who don't have the power to stop such madeness, will is another topic for another day.
Congress is supposed to check the President, not ride his coattails. I'm going to read a lot of angry posts about how the Dems didn't do this or that. What about the GOP? Defense of the constitution doesn't just belong to select individuals. It is Congress's job to protect the Consitution, not just run for office.
We cannot give them a pass. We cannot just say that's the GOP. Because if some Democrats played politics, it is the Republicans who betrayed the constitution. It is far too easy to write off their duty to the nation based on politics. Oh, well, they're wingnuts. No, they are elected to defend the constitution, not the Republican party. And in that, they have betrayed this country and it's ideals,
We have a bunch of small business radical conservatives, people who worry more about taxes than the consequences of their actions for oh, American soldiers overseas. The Congress only cares about their narrow issues, and not the good of the county. And that should enrage all of us.
We have the worst Congress possible. One beholden to the White House and refusing to do their job for the sake of party loyalty. They don't believe in America, they believe in the GOP. They are cowards of the worst sort, the kind that knows the consquences of failure and still refuse to act.
By SABRINA TAVERNISE Published: September 28, 2006
BAGHDAD, Sept. 27 — The radical Shiite cleric Moktada al-Sadr has lost control of portions of his Mahdi Army militia that are splintering off into freelance death squads and criminal gangs, a senior coalition intelligence official said Wednesday.
The question of how tightly Mr. Sadr holds the militia, one of the largest armed groups in Iraq, is of critical importance to American and Iraqi officials. Seeking to ease the sectarian violence raging across the country, they have pressed him to join the political process and curb his fighters, who see themselves as defenders of Shiism — and often as agents of vengeance against Sunnis.
But as Mr. Sadr has taken a more active role in the government, as many as a third of his militiamen have grown frustrated with the constraints of compromise and have broken off, often selling their services to the highest bidders, said the official, who spoke to reporters in Baghdad on condition of anonymity because he was not permitted to speak publicly on intelligence issues.
“When Sadr says you can’t do this, for whatever political reason, that’s when they start to go rogue,” the official said. “Frankly, at that point, they start to become very open to alternative sources of sponsorship.” The official said that opened the door to control by Iran.
Mr. Sadr’s militia — dominated by impoverished Shiites who are loosely organized into groups that resemble neighborhood protection forces — has always operated in a grass-roots style but generally tended to heed his commands. It answered his call to battle American forces in two uprisings in 2004, and stopped fighting when he ordered it. But as the violence in Iraq has spread, evidence of freelancing Shiites has accumulated.
After the bombing of a Shiite shrine in Samarra in February, bands of militants dressed in black, the favorite color of Sadr loyalists, drove into neighborhoods, kidnapping and killing Sunnis. Mr. Sadr, who was abroad at the time, returned home and gave a rare public speech calling on his followers to stop, even proposing joint prayer sessions with Sunni clerics. Still, the rampage continued.
In Basra, a province in southeastern Iraq, Mr. Sadr has less direct control over militiamen, and they have tended to operate to suit their own agenda. Local leaders there have said that he has disciplined some members and fired others, but with little overall effect. He has run through four different leaders in Basra, according to the intelligence official, and has even had to shut offices temporarily, when local leaders ignored him and acted on their own.
Mr. Sadr is still immensely powerful, with as many as 7,000 militiamen in Baghdad, the official said. And the cleric has turned that firepower into political might. His candidate list won about 30 seats in Parliament this year, one of the largest shares. The participation was a central goal for American officials, who tried for months to persuade him to stop fighting and enter politics.
Still, six major leaders here no longer answer to Mr. Sadr’s organization, according to the intelligence official. Most describe themselves as Mahdi Army members, the official said, and even get money from Mr. Sadr’s organization, but “are effectively beyond his control.” Some of those who moved away from Mr. Sadr saw him as too accommodating to the United States. Others saw him as too bound by politics, particularly as killings of Shiite civilians in mixed neighborhoods began to soar.
Rogue Sadrists providing cover for criminals and killing as they feel.
French President Jacques Chirac has announced that the pensions of foreign soldiers who fought in the French army are to be brought into line with those of French ones.
The pensions were frozen in 1959 - "crystallised", in the official language - meaning that 80,000 veterans in 23 countries receive less than one-third of the amount given to their French counterparts.
In spite of a long campaign from veterans' associations, successive governments refused to budge.
In 2002 a partial "de-crystallisation" adjusted foreign pensions to take account of the standard of living in the relevant countries, but they still lagged well behind.
In the end, what has pushed the president to act is a new film, called Les Indigenes, telling the story of North African soldiers who helped to liberate France in World War II.
According to some of the cast who attended a private screening at the Elysee Palace, President Chirac was visibly moved by the movie. So too was his wife, Bernadette.
"Jacques, we must do something," she reportedly said.
The announcement on pensions comes on the day Les Indigenes is released in France.
The word means "natives", the term commonly given to African soldiers at the time.
The film is about the campaign from Provence through to Alsace in 1944-45 as seen through the eyes of four soldiers, who leave their homelands in Algeria and Morocco to fight for France.
The Hollywood-esque nature of the film is reflected in its English title, Days of Glory. The fear and courage of the men is evident amid the powerful battle scenes.
There is discrimination but also a warm welcome from the French people. One soldier hopes to marry a French girl he meets in Provence but is forced to leave her behind.
The film also recounts the love-hate relationship between a young Moroccan recruit and his French superior.
The symbolism of some of the scenes is striking.
African soldiers with only a limited command of the French language sing the Marseillaise and hoist the French flag with pride.
Arab men sacrifice their lives to liberate a village in Alsace, but the survivors are ignored as official photographers snap the white French troops who arrive on the scene afterwards.
The bulk of the Free French Army was Moroccan and Algerian from 1942 on. The French have pretended this wasn't true since 1945. It was this experience which set the stage for revolt in the post-war period.
By Amit R. Paley Washington Post Staff Writer Thursday, September 28, 2006; Page A01
BAGHDAD, Sept. 27 -- A $75 million project to build the largest police academy in Iraq has been so grossly mismanaged that the campus now poses health risks to recruits and might need to be partially demolished, U.S. investigators have found.
The Baghdad Police College, hailed as crucial to U.S. efforts to prepare Iraqis to take control of the country's security, was so poorly constructed that feces and urine rained from the ceilings in student barracks. Floors heaved inches off the ground and cracked apart. Water dripped so profusely in one room that it was dubbed "the rain forest."
The Baghdad Police College was built so poorly that feces and urine trickle from the ceilings, and floors rise inches off the ground and crack apart. The Baghdad Police College was built so poorly that feces and urine trickle from the ceilings, and floors rise inches off the ground and crack apart.
"This is the most essential civil security project in the country -- and it's a failure," said Stuart W. Bowen Jr., the special inspector general for Iraq reconstruction, an independent office created by Congress. "The Baghdad police academy is a disaster."
Bowen's office plans to release a 21-page report Thursday detailing the most alarming problems with the facility.
Even in a $21 billion reconstruction effort that has been marred by cases of corruption and fraud, failures in training and housing Iraq's security forces are particularly significant because of their effect on what the U.S. military has called its primary mission here: to prepare Iraqi police and soldiers so that Americans can depart.
Federal investigators said the inspector general's findings raise serious questions about whether the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers has failed to exercise effective oversight over the Baghdad Police College or reconstruction programs across Iraq, despite charging taxpayers management fees of at least 4.5 percent of total project costs. The Corps of Engineers said Wednesday that it has initiated a wide-ranging investigation of the police academy project.
The report serves as the latest indictment of Parsons Corp., the U.S. construction giant that was awarded about $1 billion for a variety of reconstruction projects across Iraq. After chronicling previous Parsons failures to properly build health clinics, prisons and hospitals, Bowen said he now plans to conduct an audit of every Parsons project.
"The truth needs to be told about what we didn't get for our dollar from Parsons," Bowen said.
If you were an Iraqi and this is what you were subjected to, how would you feel about the Green Zone government?
Four of these men help to destroy an American Army in the field. One is doing it as we speak
Army Warns Rumsfeld It's Billions Short An extraordinary action by the chief of staff sends a message: The Pentagon must increase the budget or reduce commitments in Iraq and elsewhere. By Peter Spiegel, Times Staff Writer September 25, 2006
WASHINGTON — The Army's top officer withheld a required 2008 budget plan from Pentagon leaders last month after protesting to Defense Secretary Donald H. Rumsfeld that the service could not maintain its current level of activity in Iraq plus its other global commitments without billions in additional funding.
The decision by Gen. Peter J. Schoomaker, the Army's chief of staff, is believed to be unprecedented and signals a widespread belief within the Army that in the absence of significant troop withdrawals from Iraq, funding assumptions must be completely reworked, say current and former Pentagon officials.
"This is unusual, but hell, we're in unusual times," said a senior Pentagon official involved in the budget discussions.
Schoomaker failed to submit the budget plan by an Aug. 15 deadline. The protest followed a series of cuts in the service's funding requests by both the White House and Congress over the last four months.
According to a senior Army official involved in budget talks, Schoomaker is now seeking $138.8 billion in 2008, nearly $25 billion above budget limits originally set by Rumsfeld. The Army's budget this year is $98.2 billion, making Schoomaker's request a 41% increase over current levels.
"It's incredibly huge," said the Army official, who, like others, spoke on condition of anonymity when commenting on internal deliberations. "These are just incredible numbers."
Most funding for the fighting in Iraq has come from annual emergency spending bills, with the regular defense budget going to normal personnel, procurement and operational expenses, such as salaries and new weapons systems.
About $400 billion has been appropriated for the Iraq and Afghanistan wars through emergency funding measures since Sept. 11, 2001, with the money divided among military branches and government agencies.
But in recent budget negotiations, Army officials argued that the service's expanding global role in the U.S.-declared war on terrorism — outlined in strategic plans issued this year — as well as fast-growing personnel and equipment costs tied to the Iraq war, have put intense pressure on its normal budget.
"It's kind of like the old rancher saying: 'I'm going to size the herd to the amount of hay that I have,' " said Lt. Gen. Jerry L. Sinn, the Army's top budget official. "[Schoomaker] can't size the herd to the size of the amount of hay that he has because he's got to maintain the herd to meet the current operating environment."
The Army, with an active-duty force of 504,000, has been stretched by the Iraq and Afghanistan wars. About 400,000 have done at least one tour of combat duty, and more than a third of those have been deployed twice. Commanders have increasingly complained of the strain, saying last week that sustaining current levels will require more help from the National Guard and Reserve or an increase in the active-duty force.
The Army is collapsing before our eyes. The WH is still in love with the RMA bullshit, this fantasy of robo soldiers and robot planes stomping ass like a Roman legion in Gaul.
Instead, on ABC tonight, a patrol from the Big Red One was supposed to meet up with Iraqis, and they never showed up. Oooops. Yeah. We can train them to fight their cousins.
Someone should ask Bush where Wenck and Steiner are. Because he's getting that delusional.
Ok, we've been asking for contributions and things have gone well. Which is good, because this is our last drive for the year. Once the week is over, we won't be pestering you again until after the new year.
But Jen and I have come to a decision. A surprising one actually.
No, we won't be adopting any orphans or moving to Kenya
We're going to be MacBook owners. Well, Jen is thinking seriously about it.
I'll let that sink in for a minute.
Now, I do most of my work on a custom AMD desktop, and I've had an AMD laptop as a back up. But I don't use the laptop outisde of my house much because it's heavy. Jen has come to the same conclusion. We'd like to be able to travel with a machine and not feel like we're porting supplies for Sherpas.
My laptop isn't extremely heavy, or uncomfortable, but it's enough of a pain in the ass that I don't take it too many places. Jen, owns a Dell which is like a brick, and works on a ThinkPad. She also has an 11+ year old desktop she's replacing before the holidays.
But we can't take our machines too far without adding a lot of weight, and it's a pain in the ass.
Now, many of you are under the misaprehension that we hate Apple. We don't We hate Apple hype and the mindless cult of Apple. This idea that a Mac is some kind of special machine and Jobs is some kind of special genius is silly. And I still hate those idiotic commercials. I hate Apple marketing with it's smug certainty
But I have held the same position on the i/MacBook for years. It is the best product Apple makes, including the iPod. Why? Because it is light, easy to use and has a nice keyboard, better than a lot of Windows-only laptops. See, and that's the other point, Windows only. MacBooks can now run Windows, so I don't have to replace all my software.
The reason I mention this is two fold, one, I expect to take a bunch of shit for this, which I don't mind and you have a right to know how we use our funding. The simple fact is that I can't afford to be offline and need redundant systems. I mean, after all the debates on Mac, where I attack Apple marketing and Apple fans attack me, it would be achingly dishonest not to mention this.
Which is why I didn't buy a MacBook last time out. It also helps to be able to use Safari and Firefox for Mac when dealing with reader issues. But, compared to windows only boxes, it is surprisingly cheap. Sure, you can get an AMD laptop from CompUSA, but have you picked one of them up? They weigh a ton.
Jen opposed my pro-MacBook arguments for years, hell, until this week. But then her technolust took over.
It's a serious financial decision to get another box, but the functionality increase is such that I think it's a wise decision, and I think Jen would agree. She doesn't take money from the site, but I did promise to help her with the desktop because her's is 11 years old. As old as my nephew, no, a couple of months older and he's a sixth grader.
Did I absolutely, positively need it? Honestly, it isn't a critical purchase, I still have working computers, but I think it will make for a better blog. As usual:
Stephen Gilliard 217 E86th St NMB 112 New York, NY 10028