Tuesday, August 14, 2007

Contrary to Planet Denny Hastert's repeated bellicose denials, it appears that the House will soon have to do without his galactic presence


It's been pretty much a foregone conclusion here at DWT that former House Speaker "Planet Denny" Hastert now carries so much baggage that he wouldn't dare submit his planetary presence again even to "his" voters.

Even if he didn't face a heap of legal and, shall we say, "public relations" problems, it was clear from the time he announced he would give up his leadership role in the House that he wasn't going to find much interest as a plain old member of Congress, in particular as a member of the party whose new minority status he did so much to bring about.

Of course Planet Denny has heaped ridicule on suggestions, notably last January, that he wouldn't run for reelection. Now it appears that, exhibiting the same stalwartness displayed by the growing procession of Republicrooks who have made made those whiplash-quick 180-degree turns from pusilaminous protestations of innocence to monotonal recusals at plea-bargain time (although, disappointingly, we have yet to witness another display as dramatic as the famous Niagara-like cascade of "Duke Cunningham tears"), our Denny will announce at a press conference Friday that--gasp!--he will not be running for reelection! Who'da thunk it?

As of last night, Chicago's channel 2 was reporting on its website:

CBS 2 Exclusive: Hastert Leaving Congress

News Conference Scheduled for Friday

Former U.S. House Speaker Dennis Hastert is in Asia, but he's scheduled a news conference in Kendall County for Friday.

CBS 2 Political Editor Mike Flannery reports exclusively sources say that they expect Hastert to announce he will not seek re-election next year.

Flannery took big-time heat in January when he reported this same news, only to be slapped down by the Planet Man.

But, the sources believe this time it's real, and they point to sure signs of [Planet Denny's] decision not to run again. Several key players in previous Hastert campaigns have already signed on with other politicians this time, including important advisors and a top fundraiser. Republican State Senator Chris Lauzen of Aurora said Hastert's political Web site is now out of action.

Lauzen is apparently only one of a number of Republicans preparing to jump into the race as soon as the news becomes official.

There is as yet no confirmation of rumors that the onetime wrestling coach wants to devote his energy to opening his new Planet Denny Hastert Academy for Young Wrestlers.


It's safe to say that Lane, a former congressional staffer, is taking Planet Denny's retirement from the House personally. On his new blog, News For The Left, he provides this introductory note:
My first experience with blogging, www.stopsexpredators.blogspot.com, was the anonymous blog where I posted the emails from Mark Foley to a sixteen year old House Page. That began the saga that has become famously known as Foley-gate. This site is for liberals and progressives for news and commentary. It will evolve over time, so please visit often.

Not suprisingly, Lane has posted today on the subject, writing in part:
I haven't forgotten that the House Ethics Committee Report on the Foley scandal gave us clear evidence that [Planet Denny] knew that Mark Folely was engaged in unethical behavior with House Pages. In spite of this, he did nothing to stop Foley from continuing his inappropriate behavior.

Further, he was fully willing to allow his staff to blame the entire ordeal on Kirk Fordham and Jeff Trandahl, Foley's Former Chief of Staff and the Former House Clerk, respectively. We know from that same Ethics Report that Kirk and Jeff are the only Republicans that did anything to stop Foley's actions. In fact, they went to great lengths to stop it.

He adds video of a local news report from that time of troubles "where Hastert does what Republicans do best, blame Democrats and the media for their troubles," and concludes: "Yesterday, Karl Rove. Today, Dennis Hastert. This could be a good week."

In a note to friends and colleagues Lane expresses the particular hope that we "remind folks that [Hastert] knew about Foley's penchant for pages for at least 3 years and chose to ignore it." Consider yourselves reminded.


I want to remind everyone that although progressive Fightin' Dem John Laesch has softened Hastert up for the kill, an opportunistic self-proclaimed Blue Dog, with millions of dollars to buy himself a seat, is trying to insert himself into the equation. This is a good time for grassroots, anti-war progressives to step up for John Laesch. So unless it's just Planet Denny Hastert's personality and corruption you don't like and you actually would like to see the Representative from IL-14 working to end the occupation of Iraq and working for universal health care and for a wide array of progressive values, maybe that Foster Blue Dog would be fine for you. For people who do care about progressive issues, let's do what we can for John.

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At 2:36 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Coach Hastert LIKES his sushi, apparently particularly Basashi, raw horse meat. The rumor/speculation is will he take his recent (sudden?) real estate profits and merge with Cavel? The last horse slaughter plant in the US, coincidentally just outside of DeKalb, Illinoissssssssss.

Or teach a class at Northern Illinois University on how to Manage Senate Pagessssssssssss.

Yes, Teacher-Coach-Speaker, that IS a hiss.

At 7:18 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hi All,
We at the Laesch campaign thank you as always for your help. We'll be on the courthouse steps for the big announcement on Friday, and will try to get whatever news there is to be had to Howie asap.

Lisa Bennett
aka Downtowner
blogging for the Laesch campaign

At 7:51 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

(Jon Laesch Campaign)
So much for SissyHawkssssssssssssss
leading the Congresssssssssssssssss
to optional warssssssssssssssssssss

Denny Hastert, teacher, coach, sssssssssssssssssssssssssssspeaker


At 12:53 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Thanks, Howie. I hope one day further on up the road, when the immediate task at hand has been accomplished, we can meet and you can regale me with tales of the 415 days. I remember the night that Romeo Void came to town like it was yesterday.

Jeffrey Hearn
Research Director, Friends of John Laesch
& once-upon-a-time editor of The Psychedelic Boneyard, Champaign-Urbana, IL, ca. 1981-83.

At 10:27 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Good riddance to the fat pig.

When do we start the prosecution?


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