Ever since yesterday's shock revelations, it seemed like news like this would come out as the underlying bad act behind Denny Hastert's public downfall. Because of that, the almost decade old Mark Foley scandal has rushed back into the minds of everyone who covered that story at the time. To review, if you weren't around at the time, in the death throes of the old Republican majority, in September 2006 it emerged that Congressman Mark Foley had had sexual interactions with male members of the Congressional page program, i.e., high school age students. Foley was not out as a gay man; though I think it was widely known or at least assumed that he was gay.
We now have the first indication of the underlying 'misconduct' that led to Denny Hastert's downfall: he paid off a man over sexual abuse in the distant past, seemingly when Hastert was a wrestling coach in Yorkville.
Yesterday, when the Hastert news first broke, I went in thinking that the timeline made sense because Denny Hastert, like so many other politicians, got an extremely lucrative job as a lobbyist after leaving Congress. When Individual A approached Hastert in 2010 asking for money, that made sense because it was only then that he had the kind of wealth that would make it even remotely conceivable for him to pay out $3.5 million.
I'd assumed that he'd started making money in 2007 from a cold start. But I'd forgotten that Hastert, who entered public life in the middle class, left public office a very wealth man.
We're hiring a Reporter to work out of our Washington, DC office. Job description and listing after the jump ...
Remember a month or so back when those two gay hoteliers from New York got in a heap of trouble for hosting the extremely anti-gay rights Ted Cruz at a dinner/fundraiser at their luxe New York apartment? But, wait, no it wasn't a fundraiser!
Well, yes it was. The two guys, Ian Reisner and Mati Weiderpass were just getting some good press this weekend in the Times ... finally ... now portrayed as well-meaning but bumbling political neophytes who'd stumbled into the Cruz mess. But now it comes out, after the fairly glowing weekend article and repeated denials, that Ian Reisner actually did give a max-out contribution to Cruz right when the dinner took place.
TPM Reader MM responds to my piece yesterday on the DNC's apparent christening of Bernie Sanders as Hillary's official opposition ...
The big DNC hug for Bernie is interesting. I think there’s more to it than simply everyone knowing how the story ends.
Having watched many of these stories unfold in real time, I left work yesterday with a sense of foreboding about the late-breaking Hastert story - something like seeing a fuse already lit and waiting for a bomb to explode. And yet, to my great surprise, we're into the next day and no news organization appears to have uncovered, at least in a publishable form, what happened.
A Pam Geller acolyte named Jon Ritzheimer is holding a 'draw muhammad' contest outside the Arizona mosque attended by the two men who tried to shoot up Pam Geller's event in Garland, Texas. Anderson Cooper had a talk with him last night. Watch.
Brendan James wrote up this column by Rich Lowry in Politico in which Lowry says that to protestors "some black lives really don't matter." In part, this is no more than a more biting version of the old saw of 'why don't blacks get more upset about black on black crime?.' - a high-toned form of concern trolling.
I'm not interested in digging into the outrage tug of war over this. But there's a pretty elemental blindspot to all these arguments.
Let's back up first for some context.
It was quite a shock to hear that former Speaker Denny Hastert had been indicted under a law used to prevent people from concealing movements of major amounts of cash. So what could it possibly be about and why was Hastert trying to conceal the movement of roughly $1 million in cash.
We now have the indictment and the charges stem from Hastert's efforts to pay off an unnamed individual to conceal "past misconduct by defendant against [the individual] that had occurred years earlier."
I'm gonna need you to help me with some extra WTFs here. But former Speaker Denny Hastert has been indicted on charges of 'structuring' a cash withdrawal of almost $1 million and lying about it to the FBI.
It's going to be quite the irony if Hastert is the member of that leadership team who ends up doing time.
Hulu pulls episodes of Duggar mass-kid reality show as scandal spreads.
Scott Walker won three straight elections in four years. But the budgetary mess he created is now sinking his presidential ambitions.
Scott Walker is onboard with a new 20-week abortion ban for Wisconsin. No exceptions for rape or incest.
Texas open carry activist calls for arrest and execution of all Texas officeholders for voted against open carry law.