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ISSUE #108
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ArrowWelcome to the Monkey House
On Safari at “The Chapel” in Getzville

Ian Murphy

ArrowI, Left Gatekeeper
Why the "9/11 Truth" movement makes the "Left Behind" sci-fi series read like Shakespeare
Matt Taibbi

ArrowGet on Board
A farewell to Habeas Corpus in one act.

Allan Uthman

ArrowThe Madness of King Us
Think we're turning a corner? Think again

Donnie Dobovitch

ArrowSexual Predators
What can you do?

ArrowHow the Media Lies About China
"Try harder," American worker – and Thomas Friedman thinks everything will be fine
Matt Taibbi


ArrowPig Roast
Tom Reynolds is done. Let’s all stick forks in him.
Allan Uthman

ArrowBEAST Staff Aids Non-Millionaire
“Relief for Reynolds” Campaign a Modest Success
Josh Bunting

ArrowCaring is Hard Work!
A selection of transcripts from our neighborhood canvass in the 26th district.


ArrowThe Beast Page 3
Incredibly Full of Shit Asshole

ArrowKino Korner: Movies
Jackass Number Two, The Guardian, Flyboys, All the King's Men, School for Scoundrels, Fearless

As divined by your ethereal guide

Arrow[sic] - Letters
Partisan Bickering, A Bold Challenge, Crocodile Punter, Reynolds R.I.P. and more

Pig Roast
Tom Reynolds is done. Let’s all stick forks in him.
Allan Uthman

Tom Reynolds PigTom Reynolds has made one thing clear in the series of press conferences he’s been forced to hold in the last couple of days: he is a very uncomfortable man. Watching him sway and fidget like the hastily procured children he was hiding behind at a conference Monday, it seemed nobody was more acutely aware of how much trouble he was in than Reynolds himself. I’ve seen a lot of clumsy theatrics used to deflect unpleasant questions, but I’ve never seen the human shield concept applied before. Reynolds is a real innovator when it comes to sleazy manipulation, a talent that no doubt led to his chairmanship at the NRCC. But no maneuvering can help Tom now; he’s a goner.

Make no mistake; Reynolds is up to his ears in the Foley page scandal, or pedo-gate, or whatever they’re calling it. Every day, every few hours really, another incriminating detail comes to light. First, the day after Foley resigned, Reynolds released a statement that he had informed House Speaker Dennis Hastert about Foley’s “hint-hint” e-mails sometime in the spring. This was a bitter pill for Hastert, who had already claimed the day before to have just heard about Foley’s indiscretions “last week.” Hastert backtracks; he can neither confirm nor deny the conversation; he doesn’t remember. This discrepancy has been covered as a crossing of wires, an example of poor intra-party message coordination, but it’s clearly the first sign that Hastert and Reynolds are trying to pin responsibility for the scandal on each other. In claiming ignorance of the scandal, Hastert hung Reynolds out to dry, and Reynolds wasn’t willing to take the hit.

This blame-wrestling has become more obvious, as well as more hairy, and in just the last few hours as I write this, Reynolds and Hastert seem to have succeeded in destroying each other. This morning, October 4th, in the New York Post, the ghoulish yet reliable Bob Novak dropped a bomb that should finish Reynolds for good: “A member of the House leadership”—which means either Hastert, Boehner or Blunt, and my money’s on Hastert—“told me that Foley, under continuous political pressure because of his sexual orientation, was considering not seeking a seventh term this year but that Rep. Tom Reynolds, chairman of the National Republican Congressional Committee (NRCC), talked him into running.” 

Reynolds confirmed the story to Novak and publicly today at a press conference. This was after he had been made aware of Foley’s e-mails, which, despite having been described as only “overly friendly” by Republicans, were weird enough to freak out the young page they were sent to. As Novak reports, Reynolds considered Foley’s seat a safe win even for a newcomer, but still he encouraged Foley to run, “in hopes of keeping non-incumbent seats to a minimum.” Oh yeah, and then Foley gave Reynolds $100,000 for the NRCC.

There is no plausible deniability of a cover-up here. Reynolds has sought to absolve himself, saying he “took it to [his] supervisor,” but advising Foley to run for reelection well after those events clearly demonstrates that he knew Foley wouldn’t be held accountable for his actions, and he had no problem with that. In fact, his real reason for alerting Hastert to the problem can be seen in Hastert’s explanation of why he “doesn’t remember” the exchange: Reynolds would have told him about Foley in the course of relating “other things that might have affected campaigns.” That’s all this was to them, just another possible pothole on the road to reelection of the Republican majority. You have to admit, though, they were right; it certainly does seem to be affecting the campaigns.

Apparently, Reynolds responded to the Novak column by sending his chief of staff on a kamikaze mission against Hastert. Just this afternoon, Kirk Fordham, Foley’s chief of staff for ten years before taking the same position with Reynolds, resigned and then immediately blasted Hastert with the allegation that over three years ago, Fordham had warned Hastert’s office more than once about Foley’s “over-friendliness.” This, of course, totally screws up Hastert’s story.

Fordham’s resignation itself wasn’t surprising, as he was rapidly assuming a major role in the scandal. When the e-mails hit the press, Fordham went to Foley’s side and launched into fixer mode, managing to worsen the scandal by attempting to persuade ABC not to print the damning instant message exchanges which caused Foley’s immediate resignation. Both Fordham and Reynolds claim Fordham acted alone, but it’s entirely likely Reynolds sent Fordham to do as much damage control as possible, as well as to make sure Foley didn’t say anything stupid about his congressional cohorts.

But Fordham didn’t just resign; he resigned and then immediately broadsided Hastert. This was a calculated strike, the kind Fordham would have to resign for, in order to inoculate Reynolds from the appearance of involvement. Of course, Reynolds had other reasons for washing his hands of Fordham, including the fact that he’s gay and in the middle of a scandal that Republicans keep misreading as being about homosexuality rather than pedophilia, revealing the bigotry inherent in their ideology.

And about that: What is going on here? Tom Reynolds’ congressional predecessor, mentor Bill Paxon, resigned in the wake of allegations of a gay affair. Reynolds’ chief of staff is gay, and he used to be chief of staff for Foley, who’s gay and then some. Exactly how many repressed homosexuals are there in the GOP? And if so many of Reynolds’ friends and associates are gay, why is he voting against gay marriage and gay adoption? Since he’s clearly not an authentic homophobe, this is just another example of Reynolds’ inexhaustible hypocrisy. All you rabid anti-sodomites out there take note: Tom Reynolds is only pretending to hate gays.

This kind of phony Puritanism is perhaps the most psychologically troubling aspect of the social conservative movement. These people, who demand that everyone else conform to inhumanly boring sexual standards, are only so vehemently uptight because they are vainly attempting to shout down the stirrings in their own loins. It’s a rare and satisfying thing to see a man like Foley, whose status as founder and co-chair of the Congressional Missing and Exploited Children's Caucus reveals an obscene level of duplicity, exposed as a total fraud. But it won’t compare to the joy of hearing Reynolds’ concession speech next month.


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