Thursday, October 5, 2006

The Plot Thickens

Matt Drudge has the inside scoop which shows that Florida congressman Mark Foley was apparently played for a fool by a bunch of young guys who were out for laughs. Somehow, the prank went awry and the instant messages wound up in the hands of some people sympathetic to the Democrats.

Not worried, apparently, that a sexual predator might be preying on young men under his charge, whoever had the IMs decided to sit on them until they could be used for political gain.

It's hard to tell who in this sordid tale is sleaziest: The pederastic Mr. Foley, the young men who egged him on, or the people who held onto the instant message exchanges until they could be used to destroy not just Foley, who deserves it, but also any other Republicans they could tarnish.

We say it's a tie between #1 and #3.

Clarice Feldman at The American Thinker believes this is going to have painful ramifications for Democrats:

Present state of play-the Dems and CREW* are implicated; ABC's Brian Ross has his own Rathergate, the FBI and Ethics Committee are going to find out which Dems were involved and CREW will probably lose their tax exempt status. The Dems have shown themselves to be perfectly willing to use homophobia to win when they have no saleable platform or issues; the Republican base is charged up and once again Soros turned his gold into Dem dross.

Foley will become a living example of the Dems' willingness to smear a homosexual for gain and will write a book, go on Oprah and make a mint. He will be this year's wronged victim. Mark my words: A fit ending to a sordid smear.

Patrick Godfrey puts it all together in this fine summation titled The Worst October Surprise, Ever. That is, it's the worst surprise for the Democrats, ever.

*CREW is Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington. The claim to be non-partisan which gives them tax-exemption, but if they're implicated in this fiasco their tax exempt status could be in jeopardy.

Senate Races

The Democrats need to gain six seats to take over the senate in November. Real Clear Politics has them picking up five. The averages of the major polls on the senate races can be viewed here.

Even if the Democrats don't gain control of the senate an increase of five seats would be very worrisome for the Bush agenda. Throw in the half dozen or so liberal Republicans and the Democrats could have enough votes to block a Supreme Court, or federal judgeship nomination, or almost any piece of legislation that Bush tries to get passed.

For those who are hoping that Bush gets to make another nomination to the Supreme Court the possibility of a 50-50 senate is not comforting.

Peace on Earth

Well, it's the holy month of Ramadan and Muslims are presumably greeting each other with wishes of peace on earth and good will toward men. Or not. It turns out that on the Muslim feast of Ramadan the celebrations turn, at least in some Muslim precincts, toward ratcheting up the pace at which the brethren in Allah blow each other to bits. Ethel Fenig has the cheerful details at The American Thinker.

For example:

....a gunbattle erupted at Gaza City's main hospital when relatives of one of Sunday's victims arrived to retrieve his body. Fatah gunmen accompanying them opened fire on Hamas militiamen patrolling the hospital. No one was hurt, hospital officials said.

In the northern West Bank city of Nablus, Fatah militants shot at Deputy Prime Minister Nasser Shaer's bodyguards as they rode in a government car, injuring two of them, said Shaer, who was not present during the attack. Hospital officials said a Fatah militant was also injured.

In Jericho, a Fatah gunman trying to enforce the general strike shot a shop owner in the head, seriously wounding him, Fatah officials said. The wounded man was also a Fatah member, the officials said.

The Al Aqsa Martyrs' Brigades, a Fatah-linked militant group, also circulated a flier threatening to execute Interior Minister Said Siyam, Syria-based Hamas political leader Khaled Mashaal and Youssef Zahar, the head of the Hamas militia.

See how they love one another. Fenig wonders "If all this violence occurs during a holiday period what will happen when the festive month is over?"

Let's all join in singing a couple of verses of Silent Night.

Toronto ID Conference

Denyse O'Leary reports on her experience at an academic conference in Toronto on the ID/Darwinsm controversy. Her report comes in three brief but interesting parts at Uncommon Descent and should be read in this order: Part I, Part II, and, perhaps the most interesting for those who follow the debate, Part III.

Disturbing Fact

According to a NewsMax article:

It is not a widely disseminated, downloaded or discussed fact that the average life expectancy for all pro football players, including all positions and backgrounds, is 55 years. Several insurance carriers say it is 51 years.

The article talks about the injuries associated with football, and suggests that these play a role in the early demise of retired players, but I doubt it. The article never comes out and states flatly what the causes of these deaths are so here's my guess: Most of the early deaths are caused by accidents, homicide, or drug and/or alcohol-related problems. Among those who die from natural causes, however, I suspect the leading killer is heart disease brought on by steroid use and excessive weight.

Despite the tacit message of the article which was that retired players are dying from the cumulative effects of injuries they suffered while playing, I doubt that many of them actually do. It would be interesting, though, to see a study done on the cause of death of retired NFL players and to see a comparison of the causes of death by position. My guess is that offensive linemen and defensive tackles, the behemoths of pro football, have the shortest life expectancies among those who die from natural causes.