But first . . . this just in from the Borowitz Report:

Breaking News
All Species Under Review, President Says

Just days after Christine Todd Whitman departed her post at the Environmental Protection Agency, President George W. Bush announced ambitious new plans to phase out the environment altogether by 2004.

“In addition to cutting taxes, it is the goal of this administration to cut our wasteful, bloated environment,” Mr. Bush said in a speech before the Association of Indiscriminate Applauders in Washington, D.C.

While plans to eliminate the environment entirely are still being formulated, the general strategy of the White House is to phase out the environment gradually “so that hardly anyone will notice it’s gone,” an aide said today. . . .

“If it comes down to choosing between air and water, the President will probably scrap water,” one aide said. “After all, the Iraqis haven’t had water in weeks and look how well they’re doing.”

And now . . .

Mark Foley wants to be my Senator. The rumor is that he is gay, in an 18-year committed relationship. How he is choosing to handle the rumor is interesting.

When asked by the Miami Herald, his response led to this headline Friday:

Foley: My sexuality is private
Questions about homosexuality ‘revolting and unforgivable,’ Senate candidate says

If he’s not gay, he’s making it very difficult for himself. All he need say is, ‘I’m straight.’

That he doesn’t leads one to assume the rumors are true.

If they are true, and he’s gay – but, being a Republican, he feels he cannot say so – it’s not that hard, either. All he need say is: ‘Listen guys, like it or not, I want this race to be about my positions and my hard work for the people of Florida. I’m just not going to discuss any aspect of my personal life. And every time you ask me, this is all I’m going to say.’

And every time they asked, that is what he would say.

Instead, according to the Herald,

He called the innuendo about his private life ‘revolting and unforgivable,’ and blamed it on Democratic activists who fear his strength as a candidate.

The implication: It is revolting to be accused of such a disgusting, horrible thing.

It is unforgivable to insinuate it – like insinuating that someone is into kiddie porn or engages in (harkening back to Senator Santorum’s image) man on dog.

Mark himself might tell you that he did not mean to broadcast this message. After all, despite his conservative voting record on almost every other issue, on issues involving equal rights for gays and lesbians, his voting record is near perfect. No homophobe, he.

Yet if it’s revolting and unforgivable to suggest that someone is gay, what homophobic message does that send? What if someone had suggested he was part Native American or part Jewish or part African-American? Would that have been revolting and unforgiveable?

The Herald continued:

‘Elected officials, even those who run for the United States Senate, must have some level of privacy,” Foley, 48, of West Palm Beach, said during a half-hour conference call with newspaper reporters from across Florida.

Well, and who can argue? There has to be some level of privacy, even for United States Senators. Surely we are not going to start wanting to know the names – even meet – their spouses or life partners. My God, man! Next you’ll be wanting to know if they have children! Or what sports they enjoy! Is there no end to the sick voyeurism we have sunk to?

Mark Foley is a fifth-term Florida Congressman and Deputy Republican Whip. I appreciate his good stands on most GLBT issues, but respectfully disagree with many of his other positions, so would vote for his opponent whatever his sexual orientation. (Well, and – as I feel compelled occasionally to point out to newcomers to this site – I’m treasurer of the Democratic National Committee.)

But straight or gay, and knowing he was going to be on the phone with all the newspapers in the state specifically to discuss this topic, he could have handled it a good deal better.

Tomorrow (probably): Back to Paying Your Bills


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