Friday, December 08, 2006

the foley finale?

today was the last day of the 109th congress, and while the still-GOP-led house generally decided not to do anything over these past few weeks, instead punting various important work to the 110th, they did at least manage to get one thing finished: the official report of the ethics investigation into the mark foley scandal.

the report concludes that right down the line, at pretty much every level, republican leadership was negligent and even "willfully ignorant" in its attempts to brush aside and cover up the scandal. furthermore, according to the report, "The failure to exhaust all reasonable efforts to call attention to potential misconduct involving a Member and House page is not merely the exercise of poor judgment; it is a present danger to House pages and to the integrity of the institution of the House."

but despite all that, the report concludes (surprise, surprise), that no house rules were broken. (CREW disagrees.) thus there will be no punishment for any representatives or staff.

the biggest bombshell in the report is that the GOP knew about foley's predilection for teenage boys back in october 2001!

In approximately October 2001, while he was a freshman in college, the former Kolbe page told Rep. Foley in an IM conversation that his girlfriend was coming to visit him. While the former page cannot recall the precise wording of the IM he received in response, he recalls that Rep. Foley made reference to the size of his penis. According to the former Kolbe page, after consulting with his parents, he forwarded Foley's IM as an attachment to an email directly to Rep. Kolbe through Rep. Kolbe's personal email account. In his email to Rep. Kolbe, the former Kolbe page explained that Rep. Foley had said something inappropriate to him and asked Rep. Kolbe to "take care of it."

after the story broke, the former page got back in touch with kolbe about what he should do if contacted by investigators. in response, kolbe allegedly told the page that no good could come from telling anyone about the IM because foley had resigned, thus "it is best that you don't even bring this up with anybody."

also, the report concludes that as-of-now-ex-speaker hastert knew about foley at least as early as this spring (i.e., he lied):

The Investigative Subcommittee finds that the weight of the evidence supports the conclusion that Speaker Hastert was told, at least in passing, about the e-mails by both Majority Leader Boehner and Rep. Reynolds in spring 2006.

this report is a disgrace. despite overwhelming, undeniable evidence of systematic negligence on behalf of house leadership, nobody will be punished. even foley will not be disciplined by the ethics committee... though it's possible he'll be prosecuted, and in that case could end up in jail.

on the bright side (for foley, not for justice), foley will still get his large congressional pension, even if he's convicted of a felony. duke cunningham still gets his pension, too, despite his multiple felony convictions. foley can just sit back, collect his pension, and live comfortably for the rest of his life without ever having to work again. (not as comfortably as he was used to as a congressman, but more comfortably than anyone i know is living, anyway.)

(in contrast, if you're convicted of a drug felony in the US, you are then forever ineligible for welfare. you can be a convicted murderer, rapist, molester... you name it, and still get your food stamps. but if you're caught with an ounce of weed or any amount of a drug like cocaine, you're screwed. but if you're a congressman, you can get multiple felony convictions [as long as they aren't for treason or espionage], and still get an enormous pension. damn, that's a sweet deal.)

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

not only are you ineligible for welfare if you get a drug felony, but you are also cut off from student loans, forever. it's not like we want those druggies to be able to get an education and do something better with their lives... they don't deserve it, after all.