The Note: Bugging Indecisions

Foley: the messages:

The Hill reports that the source who -- in July -- gave news media Rep. Mark Foley's (R-FL) suspect e-mails to a former House page says the documents came to him from a House GOP aide. LINK

"These revelations mean that Republicans who are calling for probes to discover what Democratic leaders and staff knew about Foley's improper exchanges with under-age pages will likely be unable to show that the opposition party orchestrated the scandal now roiling the GOP just a month away from the midterm elections."

After reviewing some of then-Rep. Foley's instant messages, the Washington Post's Jonathan Weisman and Juliet Eilperin write: "Foley appeared aware that he was behaving badly, chastising himself but unable to stop. It was that behavior that his former chief of staff, Kirk Fordham, seemed to allude to when he said yesterday that he turned to the most senior House leadership officials to intervene when his own efforts to stop Foley's actions had failed." LINK

Foley: Republicans weighing in on Hastert:

The Wall Street Journal's ed board comes to Hastert's defense on the Foley matter: "What is Mr. Hastert's supposed firing offense, anyway? We've seen no evidence to date that he lied or attempted a cover-up. His office responded to complaints from the parents of a former page by having the head of the page board and clerk of the House speak with Mr. Foley and order him to stop communicating with the minor. Republicans should also have alerted the Democrat on the page board to the warning, but to force a Speaker's resignation because he didn't demand an investigation into every communication between Mr. Foley and current and former pages is politically convenient hindsight."

But the Journal slips in that maybe Hastert should be out in the next Congress because of the party's legislative record.

From the Washington Examiner's interview with Vice President Cheney: "'I'm a huge Denny Hastert fan -- I think he's a great speaker,'" Cheney said in his private cabin aboard Air Force Two. 'And it makes no sense at all for him to think about stepping down.'" LINK

On ABC News' "Good Morning America," Diane Sawyer asked former Secretary of State James Baker if Speaker Hastert has to go. "I really don't know the answer to that. I don't think he ought to be hounded out of office. It depends on what's there," Baker said. He also praised the Speaker for calling for a full investigation of the matter.

The Wall Street Journal's David Rogers bides his time another day and focuses on Majority Whip Roy Blunt (R-MO) "implicitly" criticizing the Speaker for "deferring to the parents when more answers were needed. 'You have to ask all the questions you can think of,' Mr. Blunt said. 'You absolutely can't decide not to look into activities because one individual's parents don't want you to.'"

The Washington Times' Charles Hunt also ponders the impact of Blunt's comments. LINK

Foley: Reynolds' role:

The New York Times' Hernandez writes up how the Foley scandal has dogged Rep. Tom Reynolds (R-NY) back home around Buffalo. LINK

Foley: political fallout:

The Wall Street Journal's Jeanne Cummings looks at the political fallout with a heavy emphasis on MN-06. LINK

In a must-read, USA Today's Judy Keen looks at the politics of Foley. LINK

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