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Unclean and Sober

A big welcome to our newest snowbird: Former Congressman Mark Foley, who has escaped the chilly climes of Florida for a 30-day stay at the luxurious environs of Sierra Tucson. Foley's attorneys told The Associated Press last week that the instant-message wizard was being treated for his drinking problem at the northwest-side rehab center.

The little-known Foley skyrocketed to fame last month after a series of sexually explicit instant messages he had sent to teenage pages made headlines. Among the revelations: One teenager Foley was reaching out to was turned on by plaster casts and Catholic schoolgirl outfits.

Foley's attorneys asked that his "privacy be respected," according to the AP, although it may be a little late for that.

The Foley episode--more than out-of-control spending, the Iraq quagmire, the Jack Abramoff scandal or the destruction of New Orleans--is threatening to end GOP control of Congress.

In related news, retiring local Congressman Jim Kolbe has returned to the United States but is declining to answer any questions about his own actions after being informed about Foley's overly familiar communications with pages circa 2001. Kolbe told Arizona Daily Star reporter Josh Brodesky that he would cooperate with any congressional investigation.


Off Course

Arizona Sen. John McCain last week called for the deployment of an additional 20,000 troops to Iraq.

"Roughly, you need another 20,000 troops in Iraq, but that means expanding the Army and Marine Corps by as much as 100,000 people," McCain said while campaigning in New Hampshire, according to the New Hampshire Union-Leader.

Meanwhile, The Associated Press reported that at least 103 U.S. soldiers were killed in Iraq in October in an escalating wave of violence. The AP also noted that an estimated 1,170 Iraqi civilians had been killed in October, the highest number since the news agency began keeping count in May 2005.

In related news: You know all those times that Bush said the U.S. needed to "stay the course" in Iraq? Turns out he didn't really mean it, according to White House spokesman Tony Snow, who explained in a press conference last week that "what you have is not 'stay the course,' but, in fact, a study in constant motion by the administration and by the Iraqi government, and, frankly, also by the enemy, because there are constant shifts, and you constantly have to adjust to what the other side is doing."

Snow also found himself answering questions after Vice President Dick Cheney appeared on a radio show and said that a "dunk in water" was a "no-brainer" if it would save American lives. After the program, White House officials insisted it was certainly not a reference to subjecting terrorist suspects to water boarding, leading to the following exchange between the press corps and Snow:

Q: What could "dunk in the water" refer to if not water boarding?

SNOW: I'm just telling you--I'm telling you the vice president's position. I will let you draw your own conclusions, because you clearly have. He says he wasn't talking--

Q: I haven't drawn any conclusions. I'm asking for an explanation about what "dunk in the water" could mean.

SNOW: How about a dunk in the water?

Q: So, wait a minute, so "dunk in the water" means what, we have a pool now at Guantanamo, and they go swimming?

SNOW: Are you doing stand up? (Laughter.)

Q: I'm asking--well, let's start with something basic. Dunk in the water refers to what? If it doesn't refer to water boarding, tell me what it could possibly refer to?

SNOW: No, because the transcript is there. You read it, you interpret it. I'm telling you what the vice president says. He says he wasn't referring--

Q: What other way is there to interpret this?

SNOW: What you're saying is the vice president is wrong in reporting what he says. I'm sorry. I'm telling you what the vice president says. I can't go any further, and I'm not going to engage in what-could-he-mean because he said what he meant. He said--he said he wasn't talking about water boarding.


Case Closed

Tucson Police Department detectives reported that Lee Boyd Malvo, 21, who terrorized the Washington, D.C., area alongside John Allen Muhammad as the infamous D.C. snipers in October 2002, confessed to shooting Tucson resident Jerry Taylor in March 2002 at the behest of Muhammad. Taylor was golfing at the city's Fred Enke Golf Course when he was killed by a shot to the head.

Malvo is now serving multiple life sentences for the D.C. killings. Muhammad is on death row.

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