They've got muck; we've got rakes. TPM Muckraker

Following the arrest of a Homeland Security Department spokesman for soliciting sex from a minor, the House Homeland Security Committee will take a closer look at how DHS hires and screens its employees.

A third DHS employee now appears to have criminal sexual tendencies involving children.

For a Dateline NBC segment on sex predators, Southern California police set up a sting: A decoy pretended to be a 12- or 13-year old online at home, alone. Sex predators found the decoy on the Internet and arranged to meet. When they showed up, the police arrested them.

Caught in the net was Michael Burks, 30, a former La Verne, Calif. police officer who was a DHS "agent," according to a Jan. 14 Los Angeles Times article (not online).

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Look familiar?

And no, CNN didn't even say please.

Thanks to all the TPMm readers who sent this in.

Josh asks, "Has new media finally arrived?"

Amidst all the public theater of DeLay's pending resignation yesterday, it was easy to lose track of the maneuvering by prosecutors and DeLay that's been informing it all.

Look at the predicament that DeLay is in. On Friday, one of his former aides, Tony Rudy, pled guilty to accepting bribes while working in his office. Rudy also pointed the finger at Ed Buckham, DeLay's former chief of staff and man on K Street, increasing the likelihood that Buckham will go down too (DeLay certainly seems to think so). As we've said before, Buckham is key. If the Justice Department were eventually bring DeLay up on charges, Buckham would be their star witness.

If Delay were backed into a corner, what could he do?

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Oh, my goodness.

As I noted earlier, a senior Homeland Security Department law enforcement agent was busted last October for exposing himself to a girl in the food court of a mall.

Next to the recent arrest of DHS spokesman Brian Doyle on child sex charges, this was just one more reason to take Operation Predator away from DHS, I said. "Predator" is the agency's program to bust child sex criminals.

Now we discover -- that law enforcement agent, Frank Figueroa, used to run Operation Predator.

The victim, a 16-year-old girl, said Figueroa pulled up a leg of his shorts, exposed himself and masturbated for about 10 minutes, according to the Tampa Tribune.

Figueroa was in court this morning; he pleaded no contest to charges of exposure of sexual organs and disorderly conduct He had formerly said he was not guilty. His trial is expected to begin tomorrow.

A couple days ago I raised an eyebrow -- okay, both eyebrows -- at a blog hosted by the Cincinnati Enquirer's online division,

Titled "Grandma in Iraq," the blog is an unvariably upbeat diary of U.S. successes in the effort to rebuild Iraq.

It's written by a Public Affairs Officer for the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, Suzanne M. Fournier. Except the site didn't identify her job, and Fournier appeared to have mentioned it specifically only once in the last several months.

Folks called, Editor and Publisher got involved, and now the site has changed her attribution -- it reads:

Suzanne Fournier of Alexandria, grandmother of 15, posts from Iraq. Fournier is the Public Affairs Officer for the Gulf Region Southern District, U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, Iraq.

The disclosure is nice to see. I'm still curious to hear from media ethics folks on how they think readers are served by giving a government flack access to publish directly to a newspaper's Web site.

Rep. Katherine Harris (R-FL) "quietly deposited $3 million of her own money into her campaign last week, far less than the $10 million she promised on national television," the Miami Herald reports.

Chris Ingram, Harris' new spokesman, said not to worry. "The plan is still the same," Ingram told the paper. "You start with the foundation, and then you put up the walls and the roof."

Deputy press secretary for the Department of Homeland Security Brian Doyle, shortly after being arrested on charges of seducing a child, courtesy of the Montogomery County Police Department...

Abramoff will start serving time on June 29th at two in the afternoon. That's the word from the Florida judge in the fraud prosecution against him. Remember he's yet to be sentenced for his role in the bribery investigation - that won't happen for a number of months. He'll likely end up with a total sentence of 9 1/2 to 11 years.

As for which prison he'll end up in, it's unclear, although his lawyers are lobbying for somewhere near his home in Maryland, according to Roll Call.

Another reason DHS shouldn't be allowed to chase child predators -- from the Tampa Tribune's coverage of the Doyle kiddie sex bust:

The charges against Doyle are the second involving a Homeland Security official and alleged improper sexual conduct toward a minor in Central Florida in the past six months.

In October, Tampa's newly appointed Immigration and Customs Enforcement special agent in charge, Frank Figueroa, was arrested in an Orlando shopping mall, accused of exposing himself to a teenage girl.

Figueroa is scheduled to appear in court this morning to enter a guilty plea in that case.

Immigration and Customs Enforcement -- ICE -- is the branch of DHS that runs the agency's anti-child-exploitation program, Operation Predator I mentioned below.

By the way, Doyle is said to have confessed to police. He's charged with seven counts of use of a computer to seduce a child and 16 counts of transmission of harmful material to a minor.