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The Blotter

The Sunday Washington Post reported on more inappropriate e-mails from Foley to a former page, and confirmed four new pages with whom Foley stayed in touch after they left the program, though no one "interviewed for this article could cite any instance in which Foley had sex with" one.  "Based on the interviews with pages, who spanned most of Foley's dozen years in the House -- and interviews with parents and former program employees -- the congressman's behavior went unchecked because he operated within accepted norms of the program's culture." 

/www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2006/10/21/AR2006102101050.html">Conservative columnist Robert Novak argues that the State Department bureaucrat whom then-White House political director Ken Mehlman allegedly ousted at Jack Abramoff's request "was a notorious political operative inside the Clinton administration."  Novak writes that the charge against Mehlman "typified the standard October surprise" and was pushed mainly by House Government Reform ranking member Henry Waxman.

The Sunday Los Angeles Times reported that a company headed by President Bush's brother Neil, and in which his parents have invested, "is benefiting from Republican connections and federal dollars targeted for economically disadvantaged students under the No Child Left Behind Act."  The act "provides federal funds to help school districts better serve disadvantaged students and improve their performance, especially in reading and math.  But Ignite," Neil Bush's company, "does not offer reading instruction, and its math program will not be available until next year...  Neil Bush said in an e-mail to The Times that Ignite's program had demonstrated success in improving the test scores of economically disadvantaged children.  He also said political influence had not played a role in Ignite's rapid growth." 

Covering recent belt-tightening at news organizations, the Washington Post's Kurtz notes, "It's striking how many of the major probes involving members of Congress were launched because of news accounts...  Real investigative reporting, as opposed to the what-happened-yesterday stuff, is time-consuming, risky and expensive.  And as one news organization after another sheds staff in this tough financial climate, it's worth considering what aggressive journalism has produced lately."