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October 05, 2006

Congressmen obviously can't be trusted around young people, says congressman

Via The Carpetbagger:

On Monday, responding to the political crisis created by the Mark Foley sex scandal, Rep. Ray LaHood (R-Ill.) insisted Republicans "need to up and do something dramatic." His solution: abolishing the congressional page program altogether.

This morning, LaHood appeared on CNN to defend his proposal. According to the transcript, emailed by Carpetbagger regular J.W., LaHood didn't exactly do the Republican caucus any favors.

LAHOOD: It just — it's a program that simply is flawed. It has its flaws. We should fix it. And then if it's a valuable program, perhaps bring it back.

M. O'BRIEN: Well, that's kind of a sorry state of affairs. In essence, what you're saying is that members of Congress can't be trusted to be around young people.

LAHOOD: Well, that's pretty obvious.

What? A six-term House member said, on national television, that it's "obvious" members of Congress can't be trusted to be around young people? And Republicans sent this guy onto CNN this morning, why?

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Comments

The Republicans have been caught flat footed with covering up serious transgressions by one of their own in order to protect his seat in Congress. This party of "family values" has once again been shown to be the biggest bunch of hypocrites imaginable!
GOP, proving Lord Acton's maxim correct!

I don't suppose it would occur to a congressman that they be held to, lets just say, the standards of ethical behavior they endlessly blather about during their campaigns. better to let the pages make the laws and eliminate certain congressmen.


Hey! we got an election comming up! We can do some eliminating.

They just cannot fathom how anyone in power can be, like, naturally ethical...

I think that American politics attracts people with deeply warped personalities. Apart from the pedophila/molester/stalker issue that exists and which is not new, I don't think that the average House member or Senator should be anywhere near a young person.

Politicians set a bad example. Remember what Will Rogers said?

I was wondering why the congressional page program existed, too. It seems mostly to be a way for politicians to reward supporters by sending their children to a high prestige summer camp. Do we need this?

Bet there are very few working-class kids in the program.

If this program did not exist, would anyone think it a good idea to create it now? I think that the answer is a clear "no".

Do other democracies have similar programs? I doubt it.

Never could understand what it meant to accomplish.


Maybe that's why Congressman Tom Reynolds (R-NY) has stopped hiding behind kids. His new human shield is the First Lady.

"I was wondering why the congressional page program existed, too. It seems mostly to be a way for politicians to reward supporters by sending their children to a high prestige summer camp. Do we need this?"

Answer: "The Pages serve primarily as messengers, delivering legislative material between the various buildings of Capitol Hill. During the course of the day, the Pages accumulate points for “runs” (or deliveries). Those with the highest number of points may be excused early when the House goes into late-night sessions."


Also : "The pages are paid approximately $1,568 gross per month, with an automatic payroll deduction of $400 to cover the cost of the dorm and five breakfasts, five lunch and seven dinner meals per week. It will be prorated for less than a month. They are responsible for their transportation to and from Washington and their uniform. In addition, a one-time refundable security deposit of $100 payable to the U.S. Treasury is required for the dorm."

So, that's $18, 816 a year, compared to a minimum wage worker who gets $10, 010. I suppose running messages as a page deserves a higher wage over other forms unskilled labor.

Yup, this dastardly page program must go, because that's the real take home message of:

M. O'BRIEN: Well, that's kind of a sorry state of affairs. In essence, what you're saying is that members of Congress can't be trusted to be around young people.

LAHOOD: Well, that's pretty obvious.

Why stop at pages? There should be a minimum age requirement for constituents visiting their representatives. Don't bring your kids along! And no more pictures with children, you hear, Mr. Reynolds? Because congressmen just can't keep their hands off that sweet, sweet teenage booty. And now the page program is suddenly this horrible discriminatory waste of tax dollars that Republicans were completely comfortable with until just recently, by incredible coincidence.

Could you please hurry up and decrement your concern troll counter to zero, Count?

This is very strange. Ever since Newt Gingrich shot down the other Foley (Tom) in 1994, the Republican spin machine has been kept cleaned and oiled with the sights properly adjusted. They always had their talking points memorized and all sang from the same page. The Repugs may be thieves and crackpot zealots, but they have heretofore been a disciplined, tightly drilled chorus line. Now what? Everyone's yelling at once and running off in every direction. Before, they’d have had everyone shut up and wait till the leadership figured out what the official story was going to be, then they’d all line up and parrot the same fax.

This has to be more than the fact that this caught them on the weekend. They’ve dealt with crises just as tricky before without appearing panicky. Are they losing their nerve?

"Could you please hurry up and decrement your concern troll counter to zero, Count?"

Excuse me, I didn't quite follow the point of that comment.

Wait, you don't actually know what "Count Zero Interrupt" means? Poseur! Why aren't kids forced to read the classics anymore?

More to the point, it was part of my overreaction to your criticisms of the page program itself. While they hold some validity, they are also entirely irrelevant to the current scandal. Republicans aren't talking about eliminating the program because of its inequities, they're talking about eliminating it because they've been caught covering up for a sexual predator. Any attempt to analyze the page program on its merits at this point skirts dangerously close to "concern trolling," though not as close as Lanny Davis. So I suggested decrementing your concern troll counter to zero; i.e., abandoning this unfruitful tangent on the issue.

"Wait, you don't actually know what "Count Zero Interrupt" means? Poseur! Why aren't kids forced to read the classics anymore?"

I don't know "kid", why don't you explain what it is to me what exiting a loop has to do with a statement about pay scales of pages? And since when is "Count Zero" considered a classic?

"More to the point, it was part of my overreaction to your criticisms of the page program itself. While they hold some validity, they are also entirely irrelevant to the current scandal."

Who are you to decide relevenacy or not? I find it ironic that a Republican congress can't increase minimum wage, but is willing to pay 16 year old kids well over what anyone on minimum wage makes. So you're the self-appointed "Decider" now? You and G.W. have alot in common, he likes to tell others how they should think and act as well.

"Republicans aren't talking about eliminating the program because of its inequities, they're talking about eliminating it because they've been caught covering up for a sexual predator."

You have a gift for the obvious, thanks.


Any attempt to analyze the page program on its merits at this point skirts dangerously close to "concern trolling," though not as close as Lanny Davis. So I suggested decrementing your concern troll counter to zero; i.e., abandoning this unfruitful tangent on the issue.
I
can talk about any issue we want to here, and I certainly don't think it's your right to tell me what is relevent and what is not. I suggest you decrement your self righteous meter to zero, and abandon you're need to tell others what should and shouldn't be discussed.

I love the smell of concern troll righteous indignation in the morning. Smells like.. liquified viscera (that's a Greenwald joke). I don't see that I've used my superpowers to delete any of your comments supporting the newfound Republican desire to avoid the point of this scandal by eliminating the page program. So feel free to continue commenting however you want. And I'll feel free to criticize you for doing it.

You have a gift for the obvious, thanks.

Really? 'Cause your comments didn't seem to be addressing the obvious point at all. But then again, perhaps now really is the time to sit down and empanel committees to investigate the fundamental problems of the page program. It's not like there's anything else to focus on.

I love the smell of concern troll righteous indignation in the morning. Smells like.. liquified viscera (that's a Greenwald joke). I don't see that I've used my superpowers to delete any of your comments supporting the newfound Republican desire to avoid the point of this scandal by eliminating the page program. So feel free to continue commenting however you want. And I'll feel free to criticize you for doing it

You know, when you start calling people "kid", and start calling people troll for pointing out other issues, that makes you more of a troll than I am. You're entire post is a seething vitriolic attempt to deride discussion, the very thing a troll attempts to do.

Lindsay:
"Unlike a lot of interns and work experience students, the pages actually get paid pretty well for high school students. Pages earn $18,817 in the House, $20,491 in the Senate. It's important to have paid opportunities available for students whose parents can't afford to underwrite enrichment activities."

I suppose she was 'self-trolling' in mentioning this fact also in her next topic.

'Cause your comments didn't seem to be addressing the obvious point at all. But then again, perhaps now really is the time to sit down and empanel committees to investigate the fundamental problems of the page program.

My second comment on minimum wage disparity in the country was provided in addendum. My original comment was in answering Phantoms question as to "what do they do", which does have relevance, and does address the point. Obviously. Though you have a gift for the obvious, it's not obvious that you can read it.

Well, what would you trust around Congress?

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