Monday, June 1, 2015

Five Reasons Why the Dennis Hastert Scandal Disgusts Me

by Thomas Lifson

May 30, 2015

1. It looks like the man Republicans turned to as a unifier in the wake of Newt Gingrich being driven from the speakership engaged in homosexual sexual abuse when he was a high school teacher and wrestling coach back in Yorkville, Illinois, prior to his entry into politics. And not just with one boy, whose silence he was apparently attempting to buy, but with at least one other boy. This presumes that prosecutors who have been speaking off the record to the media are telling the truth.
Supporting evidence of this is the very weird telephone call from someone who identified himself as “Bruce,” Hastert received when he was a guest on C-SPAN’s morning call-in show, Washington Journal, a week after the 2014 midterm elections.
"Hello, Denny,” the caller said.
“Do you remember me from Yorkville?” he added, before laughing and hanging up.

This sounds a lot like someone whose life was turned upside down by a homosexual experience with a figure of authority who abused the trust placed in him. This is a seriously heinous crime, like all childhood sexual abuse. Unfortunately, the perps are often charming people who are able to hide their malevolence beneath a veneer of easy-going friendliness. They are, in other words, sociopaths, and capable of doing tremendous damage to others.

Dennis Hastert in youth

Of course, Hastert has not even accused of a crime in this regard. It may not be true, but if it is true, it is disgusting beyond my ability to express.
That said, there are other, loess obvious reasons why this entire affair disgusts me. 

2.The indictment of former House Speaker Dennis Hastert could not have come at a better time for Democrats. With scandal upon scandal piling up around Hillary Clinton, her shakedown foundation, and her horn dog Orgy Island-visiting husband having difficulty staying off the stage, it is a welcome distraction for the media.

3. The reason the whole affair came to light is the Patriot Act-created ability of the feds to monitor cash transactions, and the criminalization of  “structuring” – avoiding mandatory reporting of bank withdrawals of more than $10,000 in cash by withdrawing amounts slightly below that figure multiple times. In other words, taking your own money out of your own bank account is a crime if you act to keep the government’s nose out of your business. The libertarian in me doesn’t like this, though the pragmatist in me realizes this is useful in uncovering terrorist plots and drug dealers. But it seems to me that criminalizing this -- which is what Hastert was indicted on – ought to be contingent on it being related to other underlying crimes. Just keeping the government out of your own business should not be a crime in my book.

4. The FBI and DoJ seem to me to have a slightly odd set of priorities.  There doesn’t seem to be enough manpower to even interview victims of the IRS’s admitted targeting of conservatives under Lois Lerner, who has taken the Fifth Amendment. But tracking down Hastert’s bank withdrawal and devoting God only knows how many resources to bribery at FIFA, which is not an American organization, and which did not commit criminal acts on American soil (only incidentally touched the American banking system), are priorities instead. Sure, I am enjoying the hypocrisy at a sacred cow crooked NGO as much as anyone. But how many agents had to be flown to Zurich? How much expense will be involved in extradition?  I am more concerned about a terrible abuse of the IRS’s awesome powers to target political actors – a crime that threatens the legitimacy of our very democracy – than I am about foreigners bribing other foreigners over sports.

5. I am disgusted that Hastert had a spare $3.5 million available for payoffs to cover his apparent sexual abuse of boys.  That somebody who was a high school teacher and who, at his apogee as a public “servant” (ha-ha) could come up with that kind of scratch tells us a lot about what’s wrong with our political class of both parties. Was it the lucre as a lobbyist, or was it crooked land deals, like Harry Reid? Mollie Hemmingway explains:
This is a man that went from being a high school teacher to an elected official where his top earnings should have been around $174,000. From a Chicago Tribune story in 2006:
Hastert entered Congress in 1987 a man of relatively modest means, worth no more than $290,000. His financial disclosure forms, which provide broad-range estimates, reported that he and his wife held assets totaling between $120,000 and $275,000. The largest: farmland from his wife’s family in southern Illinois and a half-interest in a building in Plainfield, Ill., that had housed his father’s Clock Tower Restaurant. He listed total debts of between $70,000 and $165,000.

The disclosure did not require him to list the equity he had built in his home at the time. But Hastert had just seven months earlier purchased a home in Yorkville for $225,000, Bonjean said. County records show that he had taken a mortgage of $140,000 when he bought the property.
Now his net worth appears to be more than $6.2 million, a figure that his staff does not dispute.
And that was before he retired from Congress to become a lobbyist that helps corporations and government navigate the federal trough.
I am sure that with an election pending, we will get a ton of dirt on Hastert. A great distraction from the Clintons.

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~ §~

"... Forgive us our trespasses as we forgive 
those who trespass against us ..."

~ Christ Jesus


  1. Well, if it makes you feel any better, structuring laws predate the Patriot Act by quite a bit and most countries have them. Only a retarded sycophant of the rich and crooked would think there should be no monitoring of large bank transactions. You don't want to be that, right?


    1. So you would have been fine if Hastert had simply told the bank that he wanted to withdraw $3.5m to give away to former friends and associates, right?

    2. Who's poppin' up from
      Outta the woodwork
      Sportin’ an aura
      That blackens air?
      Who's kickin’ high to
      Break up a rainbow?
      Everyone knows it's Jersey.

      Who's stalkin’ on the
      Threads of the website
      Bloviatin’ to
      Each one he sees?
      Who's swattin' gnats
      And swallowing camels?
      Everyone knows it's Jersey.

      And Jersey has stormy eyes
      That flash when he's telling lies
      And Jersey from freedom flies
      Where e’er he can.
      Where e’er he can,

      And Jersey has stormy eyes
      That flash when he tells his lies
      And Jersey from freedom flies
      To watch us crawl.
      To watch us crawl.

      Who's stalkin’ on the
      Threads of the website
      Vilifyin’ and
      Puffed up and proud?
      Who's reachin' out to
      Rupture the moment?
      Everyone knows it's Jersey.

    3. But NATCH. ;-)

      Too bad we can't produce music with our words when called for, eh?

      'Twould make blogging much livelier –– or don't you agree? ;-)

    4. So you would have been fine if Hastert had simply told the bank that he wanted to withdraw $3.5m to give away to former friends and associates, right?

      How does that follow, Farmer?

    5. There would have been no "crime".

      All "structuring" does is cover Banker's asses so that THEY cannot be accused of aiding and abetting a criminal enterprise. The Currency Transaction Reports that they file simply force drug dealers, et al, to hold large quantities of cash instead of writing "checks". And there's nothing illegal in holding large quantities of cash.

      In Hastert's case, that's 1.5 briefcases... Assume that a bundle of 100 $100 bills is approximately 2.5" x 6" x 0.5". If memory serves, the briefcases you see in the movies are usually ~25" x 18" x 4" (10 bills by around 3 bills by pretty thin). So something like 10x3x8 = 240 wads of bills, at $10,000 per wad, for a grand total of $2.4 million per briefcase.

    6. FT,
      Too bad we can't produce music with our words when called for, eh?

      And a lot more fun!

    7. FJ - that's how it would work.

      Speedy, it may be true that structuring laws "cover Banker's asses" but that means the same thing as "not allowing our banks to become massive international criminal money laundering hubs."

      FT, very clever! Gotta love Windy! Of course, you could switch our monikers and the song would remain the same. ;)


    8. So, a law intended to prevent law breaking by banks turns innocent citizens into lawbreakers. Way to go, Jersey. Bankers lives matter!

    9. Jersey, I gotta love ya. You're a good sport, even if you if you come down too often on the wrong side of history.

      Very few can take a joke today, and not let themselves get kicked into high dudgeon.

  2. Once "The Rich" have been unseated
    ALL of us will be defeated,
    'Cause once "The Rich" have been destroyed,
    Naught will be left, except a Void --
    A Bottomless Pit -- A Big Black Hole 
    Where everyone lives on the Dole,
    And I don't mean ol' RINO Bob,
    Who’s just a lackey to Those Who Rob.
    I'm talkin 'bout The Oligarchs,
    Whose money once created parks
    And enhanced universities,
    Built hospitals to fight disease, 
    Palaces where Opera's housed ––
    Places at which no one's groused,
    Libraries and Railroad Stations
    Fit for endless celebrations,
    Until that old New Deal was struck.
    That changed the rules and killed good luck.
    Since then "The Rich," forced to connive
    To find a way they might survive,
    Have joined with Statists to despise,
    Deter, discourage those who'd rise.
    We call it Crony Capitalism,
    And it has caused the mammoth schism
    Yawning now twixt rich and poor,
    'Cause we let Marxists in the door.

    ~ FreeThinke


    1. Really brilliant, FT, but your point may be too subtle for most to grasp. At any rate, thanks for not pandering to the lowest common denominator. Whatever you do, please "don't give up the ship."

      -----------------------------> Katharine Heartburn

    2. Thank you, Katharine. I'm glad you still bother to look in on us. It's been too long since we've seen you last.

  3. I am sure that with an election pending, we will get a ton of dirt on Hastert. A great distraction from the Clintons.

    Imagine it was the other way around: Goppers would have a field day with it! (If you believe otherwise, I've couple of bridges in Brooklyn to sell you)

    Negative campaigning was practically invented in the US!

    1. Really? But who, do you suppose, invented дезинформация?

      1, 2, 3, 4

    2. Yeah, and Dems are Soviets now?

      C'mon Farmer, try and be a little more serious and a little less conspiratorial.

      This is just a political scandal like any other. This one's gefundenes fressen for the Dumbos. I promise you your turn will come soon! ;-)

  4. Lifson nails it, as usual.

    The Clintoons must have a pact with the devil. Their 'Foundation' is nothing more than a scandalous slush fund, and they filled the coffers by selling US government access. And nary a peep from the press on Bill's criminal sexual activity with underage girls on that Millionaire liberal Democrat's Sex Slave Island.

  5. Now that Hastert is outed as a gay pedophile, will the left embrace him?

    Many aspects don't make sense. Why did the man wait so long to blackmail him?

    Why did this come out now?

    Is any of this related to information gleaned by the Clinton Dirty Tricks Team from all those 'missing' FBI records they seized, combed through, and then suddenly 'found?'

    How did Hastert's criminal predations stay quiet? There had to be multiple victims. Pedophilia is a sickness, and there had to be more than one victim. How did this stay quiet in a small town? Not one peep from anyone when he suddenly rose to Speaker?

    1. SF,
      Those aspects you mentioned are indeed strange -- particularly the timing.

      Is it all about discrediting born-again Christians -- and Christianity in general? I have to wonder.

    2. No one knows precisely what "offense" Mr. Hastert is supposed to have committed. The broad assumption that he "must" be guilty of "gay pedophilia" is only that –– an ASSUMPTION based on "facts not in evidence."

      I think we should try to be more circumspect in the way we discuss matters regarding public officials and those who rise to local prominence as well.

      Assumption plays the Midwife at the birth of most every canard and "urban legend," and often stays on to be the Wet Nurse in Attendance as well.

      For all we know Mr. Hastert might have been seduced by a teenaged girl and gotten her pregnant. Or he might have told a few dirty jokes or smoked a joint or two behind the proverbial barn with some kids who were just a few years younger than he.

      I took a job teaching for the United Negro College Fund at age 21. Some of my students had already served in the Armed Services, and were considerably older than I. Never mind their functional illiteracy, they were far more "street wise" than I. Even today you would be astonished and should be shocked at some of the highly "creative" suggestions they made to me as to what "services" they'd be glad to perform on my behalf un exchange for a good grade.

      I was shocked then, and fifty-odd years later those "propositions" still depress me, and make me shudder with revulsion.

      I can well imagine that if I had become a rich, prominent pubic figure one or two of those dubious, shady characters might take it upon himself to cash in on Something That Never Happened outside their low, coarse and ill-bred minds.

      We live in a world where virtually everyone seems ready, willing, able –– and eager –– to think the worst of everyone else. A perfect breeding ground for tragedy and terrible injustice.

    3. AOW, I had no idea Mr. Hastert was well known as a Born-Again Christian. Is that really a factor in this sad, oddly-tmed case?

    4. AOW:

      I don't believe the press has a conscious agenda. I think their spotlighting certain things comes from their inherent ideological biases, and also, sex sells.

      However, I do wonder if someone or some group knew about this all along and let it out at this time. We know that has happened in the past.

      I doubt it is to discredit Christians. More likely, the Hastert Affair privides a nice flash bang diversion from embarrassments on the Democrat side.

      As FreeThinke has astutely pointed out, its all speculation at this point.

    5. FT,
      I had no idea Mr. Hastert was well known as a Born-Again Christian. Is that really a factor in this sad, oddly-tmed case?

      I found the information at Wikipedia with this footnote:

      Hastert became a born-again Christian as a teenager and, after high school, enrolled in Wheaton College, the Christian liberal arts school that also counts evangelist Billy Graham among its graduates. (dated 2008)

      I suggested what I did about the timing of the Hastert story because of the recent information about Josh Duggar.

    6. I've never heard of Josh Duggar before. As you know I avoid "Pop Culture" as much as possible.

      I tend to believe those who choose to make an exhibition of themselves are almost BEGGING to be "targeted."

      That is what our culture is all about now –– BRINGING OTHERS DOWN.

      I have strong faith in what I believe, but tend to take that well known biblical advice about praying secretly in the closet.

      From what I have just learned I am not greatly in sympathy with the Duggars.

      "For every action there is an equal and opposite reaction."

  6. snort, stomp, and gruntJune 1, 2015 at 10:53 PM

    Huh? Discredit Born Again Christians? Strange.

  7. At any rate, DENNIS HASTERT is NOT the real issue here. How easily lurid suggestions of possible illicit sex acts distract us!

    The very idea that we do not have free, unfettered access to our own money, unless we carry it on our person, hide it under the mattress, or bury it in our back yard SHOULD be of utmost concern to every person of even the most modest means.

    THE fundamental question at the ROOT of this case involves LIBERTY v. SECURITY.

    Is it ever a good idea to let the interests of one violate those of the other?

    Try to answer that, and we might start to have a worthwhile discussion. "Sex," I strongly suspect, is merely a red herring in this particular case.

    1. FT, this is childish. My God man, grow up! This is the real world we're talking about here. You can't have banks just open the flood gates to mass money movement with no records, no reporting! Are you a loon? Do you have any idea what would happen if you did that?

      Get your mouth off the anus of the rich for two seconds and think man.


    2. ¯\_(ツ)_/¯

  8. FreeThinke: Point well taken. Salacious sex speculation is infinitely more fun that banking regulations

  9. Yeah, FreeThinke! Freedom and liberty are dangerous! We need Big Daddy government up our asses 24/7!



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