Wednesday, August 29, 2007

Daily Headliners--The Larry Craig sex scandal all the time

For today's Daily Headliners, I'm going through a number of stories and postings on the Larry Craig sex scandal.

Men's room arrest reopens questions about Sen. Larry Craig: This is a major Idaho Statesman article a comprehensive investigation into allegations of homosexual behavior by Senator Larry Craig. According to the Statesman:

In an interview on May 14, Craig told the Idaho Statesman he'd never engaged in sex with a man or solicited sex with a man. The Craig interview was the culmination of a Statesman investigation that began after a blogger accused Craig of homosexual sex in October. Over five months, the Statesman examined rumors about Craig dating to his college days and his 1982 pre-emptive denial that he had sex with underage congressional pages.

The most serious finding by the Statesman was the report by a professional man with close ties to Republican officials. The 40-year-old man reported having oral sex with Craig at Washington's Union Station, probably in 2004. The Statesman also spoke with a man who said Craig made a sexual advance toward him at the University of Idaho in 1967 and a man who said Craig "cruised" him for sex in 1994 at the REI store in Boise. The Statesman also explored dozens of allegations that proved untrue, unclear or unverifiable.

There is a lot more here within the article.

3 GOP lawmakers call for Craig to resign: This MSNBC story is reporting that top Republican congressmen are calling for Senator Craig to resign. These three top Republicans are Rep. Pete Hoekstra of Michigan, Senator John McCain of Arizona, and Mitch McConnell of Kentucky. The Bush administration is being rather quiet on the entire issue. According to MSNBC:

White House spokesman Scott Stanzel said, “We are disappointed in the matter,” without specifying exactly what was causing the discomfort.

It would appear that the GOP would love nothing more than to get rid of these scandals, so that they will not become another issue to drag the Republican Party down in the 2008 elections. If Craig refuses to resign, and stays in office through 2008, his police mug shot becomes the next poster child for the Republican Party's Culture of Corruption. And that is the last thing that the GOP wants in a 2008 presidential election, where their own party base is demoralized by the Bush administration scandals and the disaster in Iraq. What do you expect when "None of the Above" ends up leading the GOP nomination race for the White House?

GOP asks "What Next" in scandals: This New York Times story goes through listing the scandals that have plagued the Republican Party. But what is really incredible is this little quote by a Republican strategist on the latest Larry Craig sex scandal, and the previous scandals:

WASHINGTON, Aug. 28 — Scott Reed, a Republican strategist, was at a dinner in Philadelphia on Monday night when his cellphone and Internet pager began beeping like crazy. Only later did he learn why. His party was buzzing with news of a sex scandal involving a Republican United States senator — again.

Just when Republicans thought things could not get any worse, Senator Larry E. Craig of Idaho confirmed that he had pleaded guilty to misdemeanor charges of disorderly conduct after an undercover police officer accused him of soliciting sex in June in a Minneapolis airport restroom. On Tuesday, Mr. Craig, 62, held a news conference to defend himself, calling the guilty plea “a mistake” and declaring, “I am not gay” — even as the Senate Republican leadership asked for an Ethics Committee review.

It was a bizarre spectacle, and only the latest in a string of accusations of sexual foibles and financial misdeeds that have landed Republicans in the political equivalent of purgatory, the realm of late-night comic television.

Forget Mark Foley of Florida, who quit the House last year after exchanging sexually explicit e-mail messages with under-age male pages, or Jack Abramoff, the lobbyist whose dealings with the old Republican Congress landed him in prison. They are old news, replaced by a fresh crop of scandal-plagued Republicans, men like Senator David Vitter of Louisiana, whose phone number turned up on the list of the so-called D.C. Madam, or Senator Ted Stevens of Alaska and Representative Rick Renzi of Arizona, both caught up in F.B.I. corruption investigations.

It is enough to make a self-respecting Republican want to tear his hair out in frustration, especially as the party is trying to defend an unpopular war, contain the power of the new Democratic majority on Capitol Hill and generate some enthusiasm among voters heading toward the presidential election in 2008.

“The real question for Republicans in Washington is how low can you go, because we are approaching a level of ridiculousness,” said Mr. Reed, sounding exasperated in an interview on Tuesday morning. “You can’t make this stuff up. And the impact this is having on the grass-roots around the country is devastating. Republicans think the governing class in Washington are a bunch of buffoons who have total disregard for the principles of the party, the law of the land and the future of the country.”

When a Republican strategist is attacking the Republican Party's political leaders as "buffoons," you know that the GOP is in real trouble here.

Craig quits Romney campaign post, removed from site: This little CNN Political Ticker story shows how GOP presidential Mitt Romney is treating Senator Craig as radioactive. On Monday, Craig resigned from his role as a co-Senate Liaison for Mitt Romney's presidential campaign. But it turns out, that there is more here than a simple resignation from the Romney campaign. You see, the Romney campaign has pulled a video of Senator Craig from its YouTube website. In this video, Craig praised Romney for his "strong family values." The Romney campaign didn't like that, now when Craig was busted for soliciting gay sex in an airport men's room. The campaign changed the video to a "private" video on its site. A senior Romney campaign aid told CNN, "Once there was information about his resignation being imminent, there was no reason to have his prior testimonial still present on the site. Our communications shop removed it. We add and edit content all day long on our sites." Of course, there is just one problem for the Romney campaign--The Craig endorsement video still survives. From YouTube;

Americablog has more details on this story, including web snapshots of the YouTube site showing the Romney campaign removing this video.

Fifty-five percent of Idaho voters want Craig to resign: That is what Think Progress is reporting. ThinkProgress got their information through Survey USA. Thirty-four percent of Idaho voters say that Craig should remain in office.

Tucker Carlson says he assaulted man who made pass at him in restroom: I found this incredible story through Americablog. The source story is through Media Matters. On the August 28 edition of MSNBC Live, Tucker Carlson told host MSNBC general manager Dan Abrams he was solicited by another man for sex in a men's room in Washington D.C., and he returned with a friend to attack to attack that individual. Here is the transcript through Media Matters;

ABRAMS: But Tucker, your position has long been on these kinds of stories that their personal lives are not our business. Does this case qualify for that, in your mind, as well?

CARLSON: Let me be clear, Dan. I am not gay. I have never been gay. I overreacted and made a poor decision.

SCARBOROUGH: And you love your -- you love your wife, Tucker. Let me just say for the record, I am not gay, either.

CARLSON: Let me -- let me put it this way. Whether he's gay or not actually is not our business, and I do think it's indefensible that the newspaper in Idaho spent a year interviewing 300 people to answer the question, Is he gay? That's none of your business. Having sex in a public men's room is outrageous. It's also really common. I've been bothered in men's rooms. I think people who do -


CARLSON: Yeah, I have. You know what, Let me just say.

SCARBOROUGH: Wait, hold on a second. Dan, hold on a second. I don't mean to take over, but have you been bothered in public restrooms, Dan? Because I know I haven't.

CARLSON: I have. I've been bothered in Georgetown Park. When I was in high school.

ABRAMS: Really?



SCARBOROUGH: Was he the guy in Georgetown, Tucker?

CARLSON: No, actually. I got that -- my point is -- let me just say --

ABRAMS: Tucker, what did you do, by the way? What did you do when he did that? We got to know.

CARLSON: I went back with someone I knew and grabbed the guy by the -- you know, and grabbed him, and -- and --

ABRAMS: And did what?

CARLSON: Hit him against the stall with his head, actually!


CARLSON: And then the cops came and arrested him. But let me say that I'm the least anti-gay right-winger you'll ever meet --

You can watch the YouTube video of the entire exchange here:

Media Matters received the following statement from Tucker Carlson:

Let me be clear about an incident I referred to on MSNBC last night: In the mid-1980s, while I was a high school student, a man physically grabbed me in a men's room in Washington, DC. I yelled, pulled away from him and ran out of the room. Twenty-five minutes later, a friend of mine and I returned to the men's room. The man was still there, presumably waiting to do to someone else what he had done to me. My friend and I seized the man and held him until a security guard arrived.

Several bloggers have characterized this is a sort of gay bashing. That's absurd, and an insult to anybody who has fought back against an unsolicited sexual attack. I wasn't angry with the man because he was gay. I was angry because he assaulted me.

Excuse me, Tucker Carlson, but YOU ARE ONE STUPID, FRICKIN' IDIOT! Now I can understand that you had a right to defend yourself from this man, if he did physically grab you in the men's room in Washington D.C. You got away from that guy in the men's room. In fact, I can somewhat understand how you wanted to go back with a friend to find that guy--he assaulted your manlihood here! You were a dumb high school kid who didn't realize that you could have just left the entire incident afterwards, or perhaps called the police to report it, or even find a security guard to take to the restroom to arrest that individual. I'm not saying that what you did was right--you committed an assault against that individual. But I can somewhat understand your reasons for going back. You were young. You didn't know any better.

But what I do not understand is how you gleefully boast about this juvenile attack, while at the same time connect the entire gay society with this particular individual. Have you not learned any morals? You laugh and think it is so funny at how you and your friend ganged up to beat the crap out of this guy. You had a right to defend yourself for that first time when that individual supposedly grabbed you. You had no right to go back to assault that man--no matter how much of a slime he was. I would have expected you to realize that now as an adult. But apparently you have not learned anything here. You didn't recite this story in a subdued tone of a rational man who may have reflected on the incident and realized that you were wrong going back after that individual. You laughed at it. You have shown yourself to be a complete slimeball in your own chortle when you recited that story on television. Even worst, you have shown yourself to be a complete ass in your constant linking of the gay society with this incident--almost like all gay men solicit sex in the toilet! And as you descend into the gutter to sling this trash against the gay society, Mr. Carlson, you still have the hypocritical gall to state that you are not gay bashing. Mr. Carlson, you are the worst piece of hypocritical trash that is now on MSNBC.

Go back to the toilet!

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