Hastert Will Go — It’s the Disloyalty, Stupid

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Marc Sandalow at the San Francisco Chronicle doesn’t see any way Hastert can survive (nor does our own James Ridgeway), and I tend to agree.

Even if he manages to deflect blame for the humiliating page scandal, he will be left with a Republican leadership team whose disloyalty and instinct for self preservation have been fully exposed….

The conduct of the House has been so troubling that several Republicans are proposing to abolish the page system (which prompted Democratic columnist Harold Meyerson to suggest in this morning’s Washington Post that, rather than punishing the victims, if House members cannot handle the temptation of young pages: “How about building a 700-foot fence around all Republican members of Congress?”

The only live question, so he argues, is when Hastert goes — that is, how the Republicans’ will time his departure so as to minimize the pre-election damage.

…Hastert is becoming the personification of the very entrenched Washington power that voters turned against when Democrats controlled Congress in 1994. …

Hastert was scheduled to make as many as 30 appearances in the coming weeks for Republican candidates. Don’t be surprised if [he] announces that he can not continue in his current capacity long before that.

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WHO DOESN’T LOVE A POSITIVE STORY—OR TWO?

“Great journalism really does make a difference in this world: it can even save kids.”

That’s what a civil rights lawyer wrote to Julia Lurie, the day after her major investigation into a psychiatric hospital chain that uses foster children as “cash cows” published, letting her know he was using her findings that same day in a hearing to keep a child out of one of the facilities we investigated.

That’s awesome. As is the fact that Julia, who spent a full year reporting this challenging story, promptly heard from a Senate committee that will use her work in their own investigation of Universal Health Services. There’s no doubt her revelations will continue to have a big impact in the months and years to come.

Like another story about Mother Jones’ real-world impact.

This one, a multiyear investigation, published in 2021, exposed conditions in sugar work camps in the Dominican Republic owned by Central Romana—the conglomerate behind brands like C&H and Domino, whose product ends up in our Hershey bars and other sweets. A year ago, the Biden administration banned sugar imports from Central Romana. And just recently, we learned of a previously undisclosed investigation from the Department of Homeland Security, looking into working conditions at Central Romana. How big of a deal is this?

“This could be the first time a corporation would be held criminally liable for forced labor in their own supply chains,” according to a retired special agent we talked to.

Wow.

And it is only because Mother Jones is funded primarily by donations from readers that we can mount ambitious, yearlong—or more—investigations like these two stories that are making waves.

About that: It’s unfathomably hard in the news business right now, and we came up about $28,000 short during our recent fall fundraising campaign. We simply have to make that up soon to avoid falling further behind than can be made up for, or needing to somehow trim $1 million from our budget, like happened last year.

If you can, please support the reporting you get from Mother Jones—that exists to make a difference, not a profit—with a donation of any amount today. We need more donations than normal to come in from this specific blurb to help close our funding gap before it gets any bigger.

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