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Dennis Hastert, Slime-Master and Enemy of Truth

These are the qualifications for Speaker of the House?
There’s some discussion of this at Talking Points Memo and Political Animal.
As reported in Lloyd Groves’ column in the Daily News:

On “Fox News Sunday,” [Speaker of the House Dennis Hastert] insinuated that billionaire financier George Soros, who’s funding an independent media campaign to dislodge President Bush, is getting his big bucks from shady sources. “You know, I don’t know where George Soros gets his money. I don’t know where – if it comes overseas or from drug groups or where it comes from,” Hastert mused. An astonished Chris Wallace asked: “Excuse me?” The Speaker went on: “Well, that’s what he’s been for a number years – George Soros has been for legalizing drugs in this country. So, I mean, he’s got a lot of ancillary interests out there.” Wallace: “You think he may be getting money from the drug cartel?” Hastert: “I’m saying I don’t know where groups – could be people who support this type of thing. I’m saying we don’t know.”

My response:

I don’t know where Speaker Hastert gets his kicks — if it’s from having intimate relations with goats or some other kind of animal. I’m just saying we don’t know.

That statement has as much validity as Hastert’s. Maybe more, since it’s very unlikely that “drug groups” would fund Soros. Since George Soros is a philanthropist who has advocated legalization of medical marijuana and eliminating the failed war on drugs, he would be very unpopular with drug traffickers.
You see, legalization would take a huge chunk of the massive profits now part of the illegal drug trade, and require those selling drugs to become legitimate – paying taxes, following regulations, insuring the product is safe, not selling to children, accepting legal competition’s efforts to drive down prices, etc. No drug cartel is going to support Soros’ efforts.
If a “drug group” is going to support anyone with contributions, it would be a drug warrior like Dennis Hastert, not a legalizer like Soros.
And, as it turns out, we know that there are “drug groups” that fund Dennis Hastert. Noted right here, in the 2003-2004 funding cycle, Dennis Hastert received $114,500 from the Pharmaceuticals/Health Products Industry.
There are two kinds of drug groups:

  1. Those who deal in drugs (some safe, some dangerous) that have been deemed illegal by the government. These groups make huge profits (that far offset risk costs) with limited competition because the product is prohibited.
  2. Those who deal in drugs (some safe, some dangerous) that have been deemed legal by the government. These groups make huge profits (that far offset research costs) with limited competition because the product is patentable.

Both these groups wish the drug war to continue as it has. One of them, for sure, contributes to Dennis Hastert.
I’m just sayin’…
By the way, if you live in the Illinois 14th District, you might want to support Ruben Zamora, who is running against Hastert.
Update: Thanks to War Liberal who points out Soros’ ideas (from a Salon profile):

“I would establish a strictly controlled distribution network through which I would make most drugs, excluding the most dangerous ones like crack, legally available. Initially I would keep the prices low enough to destroy the drug trade. Once that objective was attained I would keep raising the prices, very much like the excise duty on cigarettes, but I would make an exception for registered addicts in order to discourage crime. I would use a portion of the income for prevention and treatment. And I would foster social opprobrium of drug use.”

Nope. The drug cartels would not like Soros. Hastert, maybe.

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