Saturday, September 30, 2006

the next barney frank?...if only he was a dem...

Foley shocker jolts race, GOP
Palm Beach Post Staff Writers
Saturday, September 30, 2006
WASHINGTON — Mark Foley abruptly resigned from Congress on Friday, ending his political career amid a growing scandal involving his conduct with teenage boys.
After being confronted with a series of sexually explicit chat messages and e-mails he allegedly sent to congressional pages, Foley resigned within hours.

Rep. Mark Foley resigns over Internet contact with teens
ABC News releases a 2003 Internet chat between Mark Foley and a former congressional page.Warning: Reader discretion advised. Material contains sexually explicit language.Read the chats:

Who will win Foley's House seat?
Democrat Tim Mahoney
GOP replacement candidate
Foley's district was shocked by the news. Republicans in Washington worried about losing Foley's seat and control of Congress. And GOP leaders in Florida scrambled to find a new candidate to run against Democrat Tim Mahoney, who instantly went from long shot to front-runner.
Meanwhile, Foley went into seclusion at his Washington townhouse facing the possibility that the scandal destroying his political career could result in further investigation of his conduct.
"I am deeply sorry and I apologize for letting down my family and the people of Florida I have had the privilege to represent," Foley said in a statement released by his office.
Foley, 52, faxed his resignation to Gov. Jeb Bush at 3:41 p.m. and sent a copy to House Speaker Dennis Hastert.
"I hereby resign as the representative of the 16th Congressional District of Florida, effective today," Foley said in the one-sentence letter.
Hastert told reporters he has asked the head of the board that oversees congressional pages "to look into this issue regarding Congressman Foley. We want to make sure that all our pages are safe and the page system is safe.... None of us are very happy about it."
Foley, who is single, was first elected to the U.S. House of Representatives in 1994. He is a former Lake Worth city commissioner, state representative and state senator. He moved to Fort Pierce last year.
Popular and affable, Foley built a reputation as a hardworking moderate Republican who at times was at odds with the White House. He was an outspoken opponent of sexual predators and pushed for stronger laws against them.
Minutes after his resignation, the normally open front door to Foley's congressional office was closed. A copy of BusinessWeek and two copies of Aviation Weekly were on the floor outside. His guest book had just one undecipherable signature for the day — someone from Palm Springs.
"If the charges are true, it is indefensible," said Sid Dinerstein, chairman of the Palm Beach County Republican Party. "I'm in shock. This is a guy who is one of the most popular congressmen in the country."
But apparently there was another side to Foley.
On Sunday, reports began circulating about e-mails that Foley sent a year ago to a former 16-year-old congressional page from Louisiana. The e-mails were posted on a blog devoted to exposing sexual predators. How the blog acquired the e-mails is unclear, but the boy had passed them to a congressional staffer last year, calling one of Foley's e-mails "sick, sick, sick, sick."
In the e-mails, Foley asked for a photograph of the page, how old he was going to be on his birthday and what he wanted for his birthday. The page relayed Foley's e-mails to a staffer for Rep. Rodney Alexander, R-La., who had recommended the student for the page position.
Alexander told The Palm Beach Post on Friday that he became aware of the e-mails about 10 months ago when his press secretary was asked about them by a reporter. Alexander said he contacted the page's family members, who said they did not want to talk about the matter.
Alexander said the page never discussed the e-mails with him and that his staffer, who has since left his office, did not mention them to him. The mother of the page told The Post on Friday that she was aware of the e-mail exchange between her son and Foley but declined to comment further.
The situation grew worse for Foley on Friday when ABC News received copies of AOL instant messages between Foley and another teenage boy.
Foley's language with the boy is extremely sexually explicit. At one point in the conversation the boy says he will "brb (be right back), my mother is yelling."
Congressional staff members who asked not to be identified said it was widely known among Hill staffers and some House leaders that Foley had been engaging in inappropriate conduct and language with young aides.
One highly placed staff member said Foley's abrupt resignation may have been demanded by Republican leaders who have been aware for some time about allegations of inappropriate behavior.
Foley's campaign staff had said Foley routinely asked for pictures of former interns and others who might be seeking a recommendation.
But staff directors for Reps. Robert Wexler, D-Delray Beach, and Alcee Hastings, D-Miramar, said they do not ask for photographs and if such a thing were done it would be done by a staffer, not the congressman.
E-mailers flooded blogs and Web sites Friday with allegations that Foley is gay, allegations he has confronted in the past by saying it was no one's business and he would not address it.
Florida Democratic Party Chairwoman Karen Thurman, who served with Foley in the state Senate and in Congress, said in a statement that "today's news is disturbing. As a public servant, there are two things Congressman Mark Foley needs to do now, out of respect for all Floridians: Come clean and get help. Congressman Foley needs to seek counseling in addition to accepting any consequences related to the law."
Fellow Republican U.S. Rep. E. Clay Shaw of Fort Lauderdale also had tough words for Foley:
"This type of behavior is what I try to protect my grandchildren from. It is unacceptable. He should have resigned. Members of Congress are responsible for protecting the most vulnerable among us — our children. I support the speaker's decision to investigate the page program."
And Mahoney, the Democrat who hoped to defeat Foley in the November election, said: "The challenges facing Congressman Foley make this is a difficult time for the people of the 16th District. The families of all of those involved are in our thoughts and prayers."
Foley's decline was so rapid that some had trouble grasping it.
"I love Mark Foley," said Ann Decker, his district manager. "Next to my husband I couldn't love him any more."
Sobbing, Decker said: "Of course, it's bad. At 3 o'clock you get a call that he is resigning from Congress. It is devastating."
Kirk Fordham, who worked as Foley's chief of staff for 10 years, returned to Foley's side to advise him during the past couple of days.
"He has the ability to look forward and see how things play out," Fordham said. "He wanted to do what was right for his family and for his district."
Throughout his career, Foley was always trying to figure out how things would play out.
A Lake Worth High School graduate, Foley was so eager to make a name for himself that he skipped college to go to work. At 20, Foley opened a restaurant in Lake Worth, The Lettuce Patch. By age 23, he was on the Lake Worth City Commission. In 1990, he was elected to the state House and surprised everyone two years later when he ran against incumbent Democrat Eleanor Weinstock for her state Senate seat.
Foley won that 1992 race, then surprised everyone again when he ran for Congress in 1994 when Republican Tom Lewis decided to retire.
His biggest setback came in 2003, when Foley abandoned a U.S. Senate race after his father became ill with cancer. Foley's older sister, Donna, his closest confidant and campaign adviser, was being forced to take care of their parents. Brother and sister decided the race could not go on.
An uncontrollably sobbing Foley broke the news to a Post reporter.
With his statewide career over, Foley appeared content to stay in the U.S. House, building on seniority and climbing the ranks of the powerful Ways and Means Committee.
Internal Republican Party polls suggested that Foley would retain his congressional seat in November despite a vigorous challenge from Mahoney.
That was good news to Hastert and other GOP leaders, who have been worried that they will lose control of Congress to the Democrats this year because of voter unhappiness with the Iraq war, the Bush administration and congressional scandals.
Foley's apparently safe seat had allowed Republican strategists to concentrate on other races, but Foley's resignation now increases the odds that Mahoney will win the seat and helps the Democrats' chances to win control of the House.
Foley's campaign staff Thursday blamed the revelation of the e-mails on Mahoney. Mahoney's campaign denied any involvement but called for an investigation.
Before Foley's resignation, Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington filed a complaint Friday with the House Ethics Committee calling for an investigation of Foley's conduct. The group also asked the FBI to investigate Foley.
That request to the ethics panel now becomes a moot issue because the committee investigates only the conduct of current members.
Sgt. Kimberly Schneider, spokeswoman for the U.S. Capitol Police, said they were not investigating.
Ironically, Foley has been an outspoken opponent of sexual predators. As chairman of the Missing and Exploited Children's Caucus, he introduced legislation in July to protect children from exploitation by adults over the Internet. He also sponsored other legislation designed to protect minors from abuse and neglect.
"We track library books better than we do sexual predators," Foley said.

Friday, September 29, 2006

proof that tom gordon is insane...


at unc...bunting must go...

Bunting's charisma is not enough
UNC defensive end Melik Brown (58) and running back Ronnie McGill (25) joke with head coach John Bunting as he plays with his cap during a team photo shoot in Kenan Stadium in August.
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Slideshow: Carolinas college football • SCORES: Top 25 Nation SEC ACC 1-AA • POLLS: AP CoachesScott Fowler Q&AACC standingsMatchupsOddsInjuriesForumFull coverage
Since Mack Brown left for Texas after the 1997 season, North Carolina has won 41 football games and lost 57.
In those eight seasons the Tar Heels have played in only two postseason games, the Chick-Fil-A Peach Bowl and Charlotte's Muffler Tire Whatever Classic.
Basketball obviously takes precedence over football at North Carolina, as Mack will attest. But if there's a reason the Tar Heels can't win football games, I have yet to hear it.
The campus is stunning, the town beautiful and the facilities fine. If you think the school doesn't care about football, why would the athletics director pay assistant coaches salaries that not long ago would have sufficed for a head coach?
To say that fans don't care is ludicrous. Of course fans care. But the coach has to give them a reason to get excited, a promise that better times will come next week or next season. John Bunting has not.
So, in part two of my Fire Friday series -- last Friday I urged N.C. State to dump Chuck Amato -- I encourage North Carolina to let Bunting go when the season ends.
I know Bunting wasn't North Carolina's first choice to replace Carl Torbush, who coached the team from 1998 to 2000. But after meeting Bunting, I thought the Tar Heels made a great hire.
The man oozes charisma. He has the gift to make you see what he sees and want what he wants. And what he wants is for folks to feel as strongly about his school as he does. Spend 10 minutes with Bunting, a former North Carolina and NFL linebacker, and you want to put on a helmet and pads.
And if you're willing to tackle somebody, you might start. The defense has a playmaker at linebacker and a playmaker in the secondary but collectively is a sieve.
I just got over the flu. I figured the quickest way to get well was to drive past the doctor's office, proceed to Chapel Hill and carry the ball against the Tar Heel defense.
North Carolina is 1-3 after Saturday's 52-7 battering by Clemson. The lone victory came against Furman, and barely. Bunting is 16-26 in the ACC and 25-39 overall.
Other teams have nice seasons. The Tar Heels have nice recruiting classes. But where do those players go?
Willie Parker, an obscure runner in Chapel Hill, went to the Pittsburgh Steelers and a star turn in Super Bowl XL. What happens to the others?
And why doesn't UNC have a quarterback? Was the departure of senior Darian Durant, the school's all-time leading passer who left after the 2004 season, a surprise?
Bunting would make a wonderful fundraiser. He's the kind of man you want your college-aged kids around, as long as you don't insist that they be members of a competitive football team.
Speaking of competitive, N.C. State won a game against a genuine NCAA Division 1A opponent the day after my 'can Amato' column ran. This week, two Tar Heels fans independently asked me to write a fire Bunting column to fire up their team.
So, go Heels. Win that bye.

Thursday, September 28, 2006

allen a threat to dems

not just about the senate race...
dems see allen as a reagan type threat in 2008

September 28, 2006Piling on George AllenBy Cal ThomasIn football, there are penalties for piling on and unsportsmanlike conduct. In politics, you can get away with almost anything.Democrats are playing a very dirty game - the political equivalent of a crack back block - in their attempt to smear Sen. George Allen, (R-Va.) and elect his Democratic opponent, James Webb. The latest is a charge by an acquaintance and a former college football teammate at the University of Virginia that Allen used the "n word" and other racial slurs in the early 1970s. Allen adamantly denies it, but these days the charge alone is enough to sully one's reputation and create doubt in some minds.Allen's chief accusers are R. Kendall Shelton, a radiologist in North Carolina, who says he used to be a Democrat but is now an Independent, and Christopher C. Taylor, an anthropologist at the University of Alabama. Shelton says Allen's alleged racial slurs make him unfit for public office. That's funny. Before these allegations, Allen was fit enough to serve as governor of Virginia and as a United States senator. And it is more than coincidental that this sliming is taking place just six weeks before an election.Unlike the "macaca" incident a few weeks ago, which he allowed to fester and did not apologize for until the political damage was done, Allen wasted no time responding to this latest charge. Among those rushing to his defense was another former teammate, Rob Berce, a wide receiver who graduated in 1976. Berce told The Washington Post, "I have never heard him use that word" (the n word). He just seemed to be a pretty upfront, good guy."The head football coach at Wake Forest University, Jim Grobe, told the Post he is "shocked" by the allegations. "I never heard George say anything like that," he said. Even Allen's first wife, Anne Waddell, denied Taylor's story that Allen used the n-word during a visit to their house. "I can say with absolute certainty that (Taylor's) recollection that George said anything at all that could be considered racially insensitive is completely false. He would never utter such a word." You can't do much better than to have an ex-wife as a character witness.The piling on continued with an accusation by the political action committee that Allen voted against a bill to provide advanced body armor for American soldiers in Iraq and Afghanistan. spent nearly $45,000 for a television commercial that claims Allen voted for body armor that could be easily pierced.'s board of advisers includes 2004 Democratic presidential candidate Gen. Wesley Clark and former Democratic Senator Bob Kerrey. The Web site looked into the substance of the TV commercial and found none. As reported in The Washington Examiner recently, this nonpartisan Web site is associated with the Annenberg Public Policy Center of the University of Pennsylvania. The organization says the commercial overstates the body armor problem and that Allen did not vote against money for the vests.The strategy by Allen's opponents is to get him off-message about the war, taxes, economic opportunity and a host of other issues and to sow doubt among undecided voters as to his character. Here is a man who grew up in a football family with a father who coached the Los Angeles Rams and Washington Redskins, two teams with many black players. Allen's father earned the loyalty of his players - black and white. He was a leader and a motivator of men. If Allen, the father, were a bigot, or allowed his son to be one, he could not lead men on the football field or enjoy the admiration of black and white fans.This is politics at its dirtiest and meanest. People wondering why more good men and women don't run for office have their answer in this piling on of George Allen. If this were a football game, the Democratic team would be penalized for unsportsmanlike conduct and Allen would have an automatic first down. But this is politics and it's easier to wipe off the mud from a hard tackle than it is to clean yourself up after being struck by political 2006 Tribune Media Services, Inc.

Sunday, September 24, 2006

w bush's to mexican's

truly yearning to be free


Irish Use Huge Fourth Quarter to Top Spartans
Terrail Lambert 's interception return leads Notre Dame to victory.

Sept. 24, 2006
Final Stats Notes Photo Gallery
Final Stats (PDF)
EAST LANSING, Mich. (AP) -Notre Dame looked beaten and Michigan State looked unstoppable.
Then, in a stunning turn of events, cornerback Terrail Lambert capped a furious rally by returning an interception 19 yards for a touchdown with 2:53 remaining to give the 12th-ranked Fighting Irish a 40-37 victory over the Spartans on Saturday night.
The loss stunned Michigan State (3-1) and its pumped-up fans, who remained in the stands despite heavy rain in the second half, convinced they were going to see the Spartans beat the Irish (3-1) for the eighth time in 10 games.
But it wasn't to be.
Lambert made sure of that, following up his score by ending the Spartans' hopes moments later with a juggling interception of Drew Stanton's pass in the closing seconds of the game.
"Late in the game, I made some stupid mistakes," Stanton said.
That the decisive plays came from the Irish defense, exposed in a blowout loss to Michigan last week and for much of the game Saturday, may have been the most surprising development.
But the Irish offense also clicked late, led by quarterback Brady Quinn.
Quinn started slow, going just 2-of-8 for 6 yards in the first quarter as Michigan State jumped out to a 17-0 lead.


But he finished 20-of-36 for 319 yards with five TDs against one interception.
"Give all the credit to Notre Dame," Michigan State running back Javon Ringer said. "They stepped up when they had to."
The Irish trailed 37-21 entering the fourth quarter. But Quinn threw TD passes to Jeff Samardzija (43 yards) and Rhema McKnight (14 yards) to cut the lead to 37-33 with 4:57 remaining.
Michigan State's Jehuu Caulcrick finished with 111 yards and a TD on eight carries. Stanton ran for 53 yards, and completed 10 of 22 passes for 114 yards. He had two TD passes and the two interceptions.
Michigan State looked like it might continue its recent good fortune against the Irish, which included a 44-41 overtime victory in South Bend last year after which a few Spartan players planted a school flag near midfield.
The Spartans led this one 31-14 at halftime and looked as if they should be preparing for another postgame celebration.
"When we went into halftime we said if we don't play 30 minutes of complete football we have no chance." Notre Dame coach Charlie Weis said