Former Republican Speaker of the house Denny Hastert has been indicted by a Federal Grand Jury. He was caught in a net of his own making, and my sympathy for him is very limited.
I know I’m in a small minority, but I like Newt Gingrich. Newt (and Rush) led the 1994 uprising under the banner of The Contract With America and swept in a large crop of Freshman Republicans ready to really change government. One of the goals was making laws passed by Congress apply to Congress. The establishment pushed Newt out of being the Speaker after the 1998 election, even though the Republicans maintained control of the House, neutering Bill Clinton’s ambitions. Dennis Hastert replaced Newt.
Hastert has been indicted for “structured bank withdrawals” – he needed $100k a month in cash to pay off some unspecified person for some not yet disclosed reason. The Bank Secrecy Act of 1970 laid the foundation for requiring banks to report cash transactions of over $10,000 and making it illegal to make withdrawals of less than $10k to avoid the reporting by the bank.
In the post 9/11 era, the government needs to know everything about everything – lest an ISIS terrorist unleash Anthrax on Washington DC. The incentive of civil forfeiture for “suspicious” quantities of cash – to fight the war on drugs, of course makes possession of cash a presumptive indicator of criminal intent.
You really don’t think which brand of soap you buy at Walmart isn’t The government’s business, do you? A bar of soap and Shinola shoe polish could be used to make a fake gun to hijack an airplane, after all. The Department of Precrime needs as much information as Big Data can hold. We can never be too safe.