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Speaker of the House Starts Blogging

CowboyNeal posted about 9 years ago | from the grass-roots-politics dept.

United States 330

Bjimba writes "Denny Hastert, the Speaker of the U.S. House of Representatives, has just started his own blog on the official site. I don't know if he'll keep up with it, but from reading his initial post, it seems clear that he's not employing ghostbloggers."

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GET THE FACTS! (850779) | about 9 years ago | (#13893471)


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Pshaw! (0, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 years ago | (#13893479)

Whining about oil refineries, hurricanes and why red-blooded, stalwart American companies like errr BP aren't being patriotic and building US refineries??? Booo---ring!

Harriet miers [] has been blogging for ages, and her blog is so much more fun to read! Check it out (-;

His words seem genuine (3, Insightful)

phaetonic (621542) | about 9 years ago | (#13893482)

While its simply an opinion, his blog seems like he says it like it is and is more genuine than any speech I'll see on T.V.

Re:His words seem genuine (1)

controlguy (818801) | about 9 years ago | (#13893516)

I believe they are his words as well, and I also believe he (and the republicans) believe its a channel by which they can reach young (tech savvy) Americans. It's a good idea. Thank goodness he doesn't have a "talkback" feature ;)

Re:His words seem genuine (1, Funny)

plover (150551) | about 9 years ago | (#13893639)

Thank goodness he doesn't have a "talkback" feature

I was going to disagree with you, but then I got an image of just how many penis birds and gnaa posts would be filling his server. *shudder*

Of course, if that simply diverted the trolls away from slashdot for a while, I guess that'd be all right with me...

Re:His words seem genuine (0, Offtopic)

ceejayoz (567949) | about 9 years ago | (#13893672)

That's what hoodwink.d [] is for.

Re:His words seem genuine (3, Interesting)

Clockwork Apple (64497) | about 9 years ago | (#13893850)

They are always happy to reach out with their message, but its a one-way street.

From the blog:
"This is the future. And it is a new way for us to get our message out."

We need some folks in office who listen to the folks they talk at.


Re:His words seem genuine (2, Interesting)

yog (19073) | about 9 years ago | (#13893566)

He sounds genuine but he doesn't say very much of substance, only that he doesn't plan to spend as much as $250 billion for hurricane damage.

The web could be used to powerful effect to outline one's policy stands and to encourage comments and feedback from his voters. This would be a true virtual town meeting.

Unfortunately, this will probably never come to pass because of the many who abuse the system and ruin it for everyone else. I have seen many forums degenerate from high quality postings by the original, idealistic people to rant sessions and flame wars by idiots who drive out the reasonable participants. It's hard to regulate this behavior.

Anyway, it's probably better that a blog exists at all, but I'd like to see a more meaningful exchange of ideas between the elected and the electorate.

Re:His words seem genuine (0, Offtopic)

aussie_a (778472) | about 9 years ago | (#13893627)

I have seen many forums degenerate from high quality postings by the original, idealistic people to rant sessions and flame wars by idiots who drive out the reasonable participants.

As have I. Still, there are some idealistic people here at slashdot.

Re:His words seem genuine (0, Offtopic)

deanj (519759) | about 9 years ago | (#13893801)

he doesn't say very much of substance

Well, to be fair, either do most bloggers. :-)

Re:His words seem genuine (1)

Geoffreyerffoeg (729040) | about 9 years ago | (#13893597)

But do you really want Mr. Hastert to say it like it is?

It "doesn't make sense to me" to rebuild a city under sea level, says he. "It looks like a lot of that place could be bulldozed. You know, we build Los Angeles and San Francisco on top of earthquake fissures and they rebuild, too. Stubbornness."

I expect similar great insight from this man on his blog. Let NO, SF, and LA be destroyed by the next natural disaster - for a stronger America!

His words are lies (-1, Troll)

Winkhorst (743546) | about 9 years ago | (#13893698)

Maybe, when they walk into a pharmacy and the druggist tells them they can't buy a condom because it's against the bible, they will finally get it. These folks work for the corporations and the fundamentalist right and anybody who thinks they are genuine is kidding themselves.

Re:His words are lies (1)

ThreeE (786934) | about 9 years ago | (#13893830)

Please tell me where the bible speaks of condoms. I'm sure it speaks of pre-marital sex, but that's certainly not the same thing.

Of course, you're probably speaking in hyperbole -- in both sentences.

Re:His words seem genuine (1)

drinkypoo (153816) | about 9 years ago | (#13893860)

It "doesn't make sense to me" to rebuild a city under sea level, says he. "It looks like a lot of that place could be bulldozed. You know, we build Los Angeles and San Francisco on top of earthquake fissures and they rebuild, too. Stubbornness."

It's nice to see that he has his head screwed on right, though. I fully agree with these statements. Of course, it's possible to build buildings that will withstand some pretty gnarly earthquakes, but what are you going to do about floods? Put everything on stilts? That'd look nice on bourbon street.

Re:His words seem genuine (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 years ago | (#13893704)

|_Denny Hastert

No comments? (4, Interesting)

Frodo Crockett (861942) | about 9 years ago | (#13893496)

Smart man.

Re:No comments? (1)

ackthpt (218170) | about 9 years ago | (#13893525)

Smart man.

And to think I believed he saved all his "no comments" for the press...

admit it, you thirst to moderate messages on his blog

Blogosphere... sounds like a planet the enemies of Popeye would come from.

Right it's him (2, Funny)

ackthpt (218170) | about 9 years ago | (#13893501)

No spelling errors, nearly typed. it's been scrubbed by a staffer.

Looks OK, Sir, I just editted out the part about letting all those filthy stinking liberals in New Orleans rot in their own stew.

Re:Right it's him (4, Funny)

Humorously_Inept (777630) | about 9 years ago | (#13893543)

Technically, it may be OK. The problem I have with his blog is the style it's written in. He writes like an elementary school student. Someone should teach him about varying sentence length and structure. Reading his blog is like reading an incoming telegraph. He's got a case of stop and go traffic going on there. Robots might appreciate it but humans probably would not. This has been a demonstration.

Re:Right it's him (1)

Capt'n Hector (650760) | about 9 years ago | (#13893567)

I suppose you hate Hemmingway then. (well, *ahem*, that's not the reason you should hate him...)

Re:Right it's him (1, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 years ago | (#13893701)

At least he's genuine. I'll bet any other day of the week, you complain that politicians are survey-driven spinmeisters who make sure every word is run through a marketing machine before it's made available to the people they represent.

Reading his blog, I have no doubt that I'm listening to the REAL Speaker of the House. That's pretty damn refreshing if you ask me.

Which grade, now? (1, Offtopic)

ScentCone (795499) | about 9 years ago | (#13893708)

Technically, it may be OK. The problem I have with his blog is the style it's written in. He writes like an elementary school student.

Well, at least at my elementary school they taught us not to end a senence with a preposition.

"...the style it's written in."

should be

"...the style in which it's written."

But I'll forgive all because you know how to correctly use an apostrophe.

Why's that unusual? (2, Insightful)

ThePyro (645161) | about 9 years ago | (#13893549)

I should certainly hope that a member of congress could submit a single page of text without spelling errors. I'm sure that many slashdot readers have written longer error-free posts to their own blogs. Why should the lack of errors indicate that it's been "scrubbed" by a staffer?

Re:Why's that unusual? (2, Insightful)

gr84b8 (235328) | about 9 years ago | (#13893713)

Why should the lack of errors indicate that it's been "scrubbed" by a staffer?

Sure, he *could* write a blog without spelling mistakes. But you've got to be kidding me if you think this is for real. There is absolutely no way a main stream politician like this would rif in true blog format - it is far too risky. Just like no company does anything publicly without the marketing folks scripting, no politician can afford to shoot from the hip. This just a lame attempt to 'connect with mainstream america'.

Re:Right it's him (1)

bryan8m (863211) | about 9 years ago | (#13893599)

Internet should be capitalized.

Re:Right it's him (1)

geekoid (135745) | about 9 years ago | (#13893767)

not anymore, to generic. It wold be like typing The Freeways.

Re:Right it's him (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 years ago | (#13893837)

generic - meaning a work used to describe lots of different things?
Mr Bush, is that you?

Re:Right it's him (1)

wombert (858309) | about 9 years ago | (#13893720)

"Neatly typed" ... were you expecting him to blog in longhand?

Re:Right it's him (1)

Inthewire (521207) | about 9 years ago | (#13893879)

If "Part of that money to made sure that kids have a school to go to" didn't generate an error in your parser than I'm not sure you're qualified to judge.

(Only one t in edited, nearly typed, lowercase initial letter in a sentence not written by ee cummings...have I been trolled?).

Uh oh... (4, Funny)

47Ronin (39566) | about 9 years ago | (#13893513)

Better hope he's not Catholic cause his Sunday school teacher might object to him blogging!

Re:Uh oh... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 years ago | (#13893792)

Don't you mean flogging?

Oh wait, Catholic... /ducks

Notice no comment section (4, Insightful)

Safe Sex Goddess (910415) | about 9 years ago | (#13893515)

I think blogs without user comments are destined to failure.

I know I'd sure like to comment on Hastert's mention of fiscal responsbility. It's refreshing to know that cutting money to find deadbeat dads is top on the Republican's fiscal responsibility list.

Flame Warning Heaven forbid we cut corporate welfare to the most profitable corporations in the country. I wonder how many of them are actually headquartered in the country? Returning to anti-flame levels

Re:Notice no comment section (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 years ago | (#13893541)

I suspect three little people named Glenn Reynolds, Cory Doctorow, and Joshua Micah Marshall may disagree with you on the "blogs without comments are doomed to failure" bit.

Re:Notice no comment section (2)

Marxist Hacker 42 (638312) | about 9 years ago | (#13893669)

I suspect three little people named Glenn Reynolds, Cory Doctorow, and Joshua Micah Marshall may disagree with you on the "blogs without comments are doomed to failure" bit.

Who are they and why should we pay any attention at all to their opinion?

Re:Notice no comment section (1)

demonlapin (527802) | about 9 years ago | (#13893878)

You don't have to pay attention to their opinions, but a lot of people do. Google them. All have blogs, none allows comments.

Re:Notice no comment section (4, Insightful)

Daniel Dvorkin (106857) | about 9 years ago | (#13893552)

Yep. And in this context, without comments it's not much of a blog at all; it's just another vehicle for delivering political addresses.

Re:Notice no comment section (1)

bypedd (922626) | about 9 years ago | (#13893605)

Very true, but it's better than nothing. In theory, what he says here doesn't have to go through party colleagues and PR agents. Perhaps we'd all be better off with politicians and authorities blogging, as you could know how the person thinks on a day to day basis, not just the month before an election. I know I'd be interested if a mayor campaignin on affordable housing has 1% of his meeting time devoted to the issue or 15%.

Re:Notice no comment section (2, Insightful)

Daniel Dvorkin (106857) | about 9 years ago | (#13893625)

If it offers insight into the day-to-day thinking of someone who makes decisions which can initimately affect the lives of millions of people, I'm all for it. I'm just deeply skeptical that that's what it is; it feels like another type of campaigning to me. Offering some visible means of feedback would go a long way toward alleviating that skepticism.

Re:Notice no comment section (1)

k_187 (61692) | about 9 years ago | (#13893671)

true, but do you really think it wouldn't devolve into a bunch of assholes ranting about how much they haet BUhs!!1!!1eleven. I'm all for constructive discussion, but I'd imagine that the signal to noise ratio of something like this would be astronomical.

Re:Notice no comment section (1, Insightful)

bwalling (195998) | about 9 years ago | (#13893648)

It's refreshing to know that cutting money to find deadbeat dads is top on the Republican's fiscal responsibility list.

So, you had sex with a loser, got knocked up, and now that he ran out on you (surprise!), it's the government's job to find him for you?

Re:Notice no comment section (1)

user317 (656027) | about 9 years ago | (#13893761)

its to bad someone marked this as a troll. i would really like for someone to explain to me why is it the governments job to help you with your personal affairs.

Re:Notice no comment section (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 years ago | (#13893762)

So, you had sex with a loser, got knocked up, and now that he ran out on you (surprise!), it's the government's job to find him for you?

Yes, in as far as it's their job to enforce the law. And the law is that you have to pay your child support. It helps that enforcing this same law also helps prevent ongoing poverty, crime, and increases the standard of living of the country. Kind of a no-brainer.

And before you say it, Child Support is different from other "contracts". The government doesn't have to help the phone company get you to pay, but I understand that child support is a wholly different thing.


Re:Notice no comment section (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 years ago | (#13893885)

Yes, in as far as it's their job to enforce the law. And the law is that you have to pay your child support. It helps that enforcing this same law also helps prevent ongoing poverty, crime, and increases the standard of living of the country. Kind of a no-brainer.

What's next, is the government going to exact laws to help my cell phone company track me down and force me to pay the balance of my contract because I quit for shitty service? Is the government going to force me to pay my overdue mortgage payment after I lose my job? There are already civil penalties for failing to make your fiscal responsibilities, there's no point in criminalizing them.

Re:Notice no comment section (1)

Xarius (691264) | about 9 years ago | (#13893688)

I think blogs without user comments are destined to failure.

I don't know, Dooce [] and Maddox [] get a hefty helping of readers without any kind of comments system above emailing the author.

Re:Notice no comment section (1)

sunwolf (853208) | about 9 years ago | (#13893732)

What about the GoogleBlog? []

Although, admittedly, I would not count a blog a success without viewer feedback, to know that people are reading and what they think.

Re:Notice no comment section (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 years ago | (#13893765)

I think blogs without user comments are destined to failure.

If by "destined" to failure you mean "read faithfully by thousands" you would be right.

For starters forget that its called a 'blog'.

And look at it for what it is: the seemingly unfiltered direct musings of the Speaker of the House. Provided he continues to put out meaningful posts ...people will be genuinely interested in reading them, and the page will get a lot of hits.

He has no competition. His page isn't substitutable. If I wanted I could run a nerdy news portal to compete with /., with a better moderation system, fewer dupes, valid css, and do it all on a beowulf cluster running on toasters and idling gpus... and gradually win over the /. crowd until this place was a barren wasteland. ;)

But I can't do that to the "Speaker of the House blog"; no matter what I do I'm not the speaker of the house, even if my "This is what I'd be saying if I was speaker of the house blog" became a big success in its own right it wouldn't detract from the real one, ever.


But how long until it'd be 99.999% spam? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 years ago | (#13893784)

> It's refreshing to know that cutting money to find deadbeat dads is top on the Republican's fiscal responsibility list.

Where, exactly, does it say that? I read the fine blog and I see nothing of the sort mentioned in there. I did see something about cutting "wasteful" spending, but no indication that he thought that program wasteful.

If you're going to criticize, please at least quote the part you have a problem with or give us some kind of source here. I mean, it'd be like me complaining that you and your website "encourage pedophilia" (you don't--at least, I hope you don't) without bothering to mention what might have led me to that belief.

I understand you hate corporate welfare, but... (1)

LeonGeeste (917243) | about 9 years ago | (#13893805)

which corporation gets more in subsidies than it pays in taxes? Please count ONLY things that are unambiguously subsidies, i.e., direct payments or direct provision of goods on unequal terms to the rest of America.

And what actual-welfare recipient pay more in taxes than he/she gets in benefits and uncompensated damage (murder, theft) he/she causes?

I don't deny that there's some cronyism, but you need to keep things in perspective. If you want to rape "corporations" because some of them get favors or do bad things... why not rape poor people too? (rape in the metaphorical sense of course)

Oh, and before I forget... ever wonder why a corporation would want to put its offices offshore? Couldn't be because of a punitive tax strucutre that makes even western Europe look good...

Re:Notice no comment section (1)

slashdotnickname (882178) | about 9 years ago | (#13893826)

Heaven forbid we cut corporate welfare to the most profitable corporations in the country.

Translation, successful people should be taxed more than the rest of us lazy slobs.

Re:Notice no comment section (1)

Lehk228 (705449) | about 9 years ago | (#13893869)

blogs without user comments are the only kind someone as high profile as the speaker of the house could have. imagine....
"Tonight on Fox News: Speaker of the house forced to shut down website due to vandalism by an internet gang known as the GNAA"

Pretty good, but the Republican Playbook is bogus (2, Insightful)

Marxist Hacker 42 (638312) | about 9 years ago | (#13893520)

If they think they can rebuid NOLA and the other towns hit hard by hurricanes in the gulf for only $62.5 billion, AND still keep taxes down, then I'd say we need to be doing pee tests on the House Leadership. Still, Mega Points for actually attempting to blog, but he's missed the feedback section in his implementation, I think on purpose. Can't have any nasty liberals leaving him messages, can we?

Re:Pretty good, but the Republican Playbook is bog (4, Insightful)

goldspider (445116) | about 9 years ago | (#13893626)

Right, because the anonymity of the Internet brings out only the best in people, especially when they have an opinion!

Re:Pretty good, but the Republican Playbook is bog (1)

Marxist Hacker 42 (638312) | about 9 years ago | (#13893649)

More Information is always useful, regardless of where it comes from. Especially if that information makes you reexamine old prejudices and pre-concieved notions.

Re:Pretty good, but the Republican Playbook is bog (1)

goldspider (445116) | about 9 years ago | (#13893663)

" More Information is always useful, regardless of where it comes from."

You mean like GNAA posts and Goatse re-directs? If you want reasons to filter "information", you need only to read Slashdot at -1.

Re:Pretty good, but the Republican Playbook is bog (1)

Marxist Hacker 42 (638312) | about 9 years ago | (#13893685)

It's easy to ignore the garbage to find the good....or ignore the irrelevant for the relevant. Posts like that mean something too when it comes to governing: it means that there are always a certain number of retards that we should not be ignoring.

Re:Pretty good, but the Republican Playbook is bog (1)

Wyatt Earp (1029) | about 9 years ago | (#13893660)

Because you as a poster on /. know how much it's going to cost to "rebuild" places damaged by the Hurricanes. Hint, you could throw a trillion dollars at them and they'd never be rebuilt.

As for the not leaving it open for feedback, he is simply saving himself tons and tons of hate and spam from not just "nasty liberals", but jackasses of all stripes.

His favorite sites (2, Funny)

scallions (681924) | about 9 years ago | (#13893521)

Seems Denny's partial to amateur wrestling and Johnny Cash. Don't call him Sue.

Re:His favorite sites (1)

ackthpt (218170) | about 9 years ago | (#13893542)

Seems Denny's partial to amateur wrestling and Johnny Cash. Don't call him Sue.

His server is holding up under teh attempted slashdotting. Your tax bux at work, eh?

No Rebuttal (1)

geomon (78680) | about 9 years ago | (#13893522)

I've noticed that many blogs now require registration before you can submit a comment. I'm sure that is in response to the flood of spam and crap that gets posted in response to the blog content. The unfortunate thing about this particular trend is that it is turning blogs into monologs. I'm not sure if that is what they were intended to be, but that is how they are going to end up without rebuttal and commentary.

Speaker Hastert isn't any different in his blog approach than the issue ads pushed by the RNC on their site - or the issue ads on the Democratic Party site. In fact, I haven't found many political blogs that still allow unfiltered comments on their sites.

It is so much easier to defend your position when you don't have to deal with opposing viewpoints.

You want a rebuttal? (1)

nwbvt (768631) | about 9 years ago | (#13893835)

Start your own blog. Its free, easy, and you can say virtually anything you want. And if you want to respond in a way in which he will be forced to listen, we have a way [] to do that as well. Its just not as popular with younger generations.

New Political Reality (4, Insightful)

Thunderstruck (210399) | about 9 years ago | (#13893547)

Creating weblog entries on a regular basis often requires one to post thoughts, ideas, and opinions that have not been thoroughly thought out. They're like email, too easy to write, and impossible to recall. How many of us have sent an angry email and later wished we had not.

If we expect our policiticans to start web-logging their daily thoughts, we're going to have to be a lot less hard on them about what they say. Our politicians, like the rest of the human race, are going to have ideas that, when fully thought out, are really bad. In maintaining weblogs some of these bad ideas are going to see international publication.

Will we allow our politicians to recant later, and say "well, yes, I guess that article I wrote was racist/imperialistic/unconstitutional, now that I look at it again, please don't hold it against me?" More importantly, will the news media be willing to let things like that die or pass unnoticed?

(Yes, I used the preview button once, No, I didn't give this post a lot of thought.)

Re:New Political Reality (4, Insightful)

Daniel Dvorkin (106857) | about 9 years ago | (#13893584)

I will gladly give politicians a break for saying dumb things in their blogs if they later admit that they said dumb things, but that's a big if. I have the nasty feeling that their campaign advisers will tell them never to back down, because it will be seen as a sign of weakness. The sad thing is, those advisers are probably right. It seems like consistency to the point of insanity ("doing the same thing over and over and expecting different results") is valued by a large portion, perhaps a majority, of the electorate over reasoned views that may evolve over time in response to new information or a changing situation.

Re:New Political Reality (1)

Logic Bomb (122875) | about 9 years ago | (#13893707)

What's "regular"? I make blog entries maybe 3 times a week. They're usually 500 words or a little less, and I probably spend an hour doing the actual writing. Having a blog doesn't mean you're spewing the lame chronicles of your daily existence.

Re:New Political Reality (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 years ago | (#13893788)

Possible future entries:

10/28 I'm so glad Fitzgerald didn't indict me. Rove called. I hung up on him, HAH!

10/30 Had to deny any Presidential aspirations on MTP. Did I look sweaty?

10/31 Met with Cheney. He needed to borrow some staffers.

11/01 Consulted with lawyers. Being President sounds like a lot of work!

11/02 Being President is a lot of work! The lobbiests are even friendlier now. Greenspan keeps calling. My returning staffers were too busy staking out turf to tell me, until after lunch, must call him tomorrow.

11/03 The inflation is not my fault! Neither is the market crash!

11/04 I have decided to resign, effective immediately. The lawyers said I had to choose, because of conflict of interest. I would rather speak my mind, and rake in those blog advertising dollars, than continue to wear the albatross that is this Office.

11/06 Had to deny any connection to the porn industry on MTP. Did I look sweaty?

Re:New Political Reality (1)

laughingcoyote (762272) | about 9 years ago | (#13893797)

If I -ever- heard a politician later -genuinely- admit that they were wrong, BEFORE a massive scandal erupted, I'd be so shocked I'd likely not say a word. Currently, all we get are flashy ads, that manage to distort everything in 30 seconds or less, and any speeches are written, not by the politician, but by his/her speechwriter, with all meaning carefully removed, and worded so that in all cases possible it sounds like the nice guy is actually on -both- sides!

I'd gladly trade that in for some real speech. I don't want to hear what their speechwriter thinks, I don't want to hear what the party thinks, I want to hear what my own damn Congressmen and Senators think. I want to hear it in their words and without all the careful obfuscation quite deliberately constructed to avoid taking a stand on anything.

And if that meant cutting them some slack in later recanting what they said, I'd be happy to do it. Anyone that expects -anyone- else never to make a mistake or say something that upon further reflection wasn't quite right is an idiot.

However, that is also the EXACT reason that comments are necessary. While it certainly might bring out some morons, it would also allow two-way communication between the people reading the blog and the official, and if something was out of line or not thought through, it'll give them feedback before it ever gets to the media.

Denny just started his own blog, eh? (1)

Joey Patterson (547891) | about 9 years ago | (#13893554)

Looks like George [] and Dick [] beat him to it. :)

RSS feed missing. (4, Insightful)

thenetbox (809459) | about 9 years ago | (#13893557)

It would be nice for all our government officials to start public blogs. Keeping in touch with the people and getting feedback is highly important in our sort of society.

I have noticed that his blog does not have any sort of RSS/Atom/XML feed and that makes it difficult to keep up with his latest posts.

Another thing is that there are no places to post public comments. I wouldn't mind if the comments ended up being moderated but I believe there should be atleast some way to post comments on his blog. He could spend a few minutes of his day responding to the people or he could get a staff member to pick out a few good ones each week and he could reply. That would send a very good message to the people.

Re:RSS feed missing. (1)

ballantrae (586683) | about 9 years ago | (#13893734)

Now that is a good idea.


Better Late Than Never (4, Interesting)

Sundroid (777083) | about 9 years ago | (#13893561)

Right off the bat, this Republican Senator did something his Repblican colleagues probably won't like -- he criticized oil companies. From his blog:

"Today, energy companies started reporting their 3rd quarter earnings, and while Americans paying were record prices at the pump, energy companies were making record profits. This is America. And Republicans don't believe in punishing success. But what are these oil companies doing to bring down the cost of oil and natural gas?"

Welcome to blogosphere, Senator.

Re:Better Late Than Never (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 years ago | (#13893619)

He is the Speaker of the House, not a Senator. :)

Re:Better Late Than Never (1)

dinaui (733236) | about 9 years ago | (#13893628)

Um, Hastert is Speaker of the House. He's a Representative (albeit the most powerful Representative), not a Senator.

Re:Better Late Than Never (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 years ago | (#13893644)

Maybe you should read the story title again. Politics: Speaker of the House Starts Blogging. The house and the senate are two different things...

Re:Better Late Than Never (1)

given_to_fly (87484) | about 9 years ago | (#13893659)

Just to nit pick
He's not a senator. He's the speaker of the HOUSE. Which means he's a member of the house of representatives.

Re:Better Late Than Never (1)

Sundroid (777083) | about 9 years ago | (#13893705)

True that. I gave him the wrong title. But he's the Speaker of the House, so he's third in the line of presidential succession, after the Vice President, so he's pretty high up there.

Re:Better Late Than Never (1)

whereizben (702407) | about 9 years ago | (#13893664)

He is a congressman, specifically Speaker of the House. Thank god he is not in the Senate! :)

Re:Better Late Than Never (2, Insightful)

Joe the Lesser (533425) | about 9 years ago | (#13893873)

Republicans don't believe in punishing success.

Unless of course, success gets you a intern under your desk.

Getting in on the trend (1)

u2pa (871932) | about 9 years ago | (#13893564)

Blogs are a huge thing in the capital, with sites like the drudge report [] having huge impact.

Anonymous political blogs often serves as whistleblower outlets. For Mr. Hastert to make an official blog, and actually post relevant political opinions must take some guts.

Should have named it (1, Insightful)

billstewart (78916) | about 9 years ago | (#13893569)

Or really, but the DNS system does have too much leftover US-centricness and that's unlikely to change.

There are *way* too many government people who don't understand DNS and abuse it because they don't bother paying attention. For a while there were standards for naming within .gov and .us, but they're widely ignored. If you're going to have DNS structures for geographical and governmental organizations, you should use them.

And too many (mostly US) government organizations are giving themselves .com DNS names because they think it looks cool. For instance

  • - obviously the Marines are now admitting they're mercenaries...
  • Louisiana's Attorney General used to have a website - what kind of commercial business was he in? Taking bribes?
  • US Postal Service can't decide if it's a .gov or a .com, though it is somewhat of a hybrid organization. Some of its subdomains or web servers bounce you from one side to the other - mainly redirecting * requests to *, but sometimes the other way around.

On (1, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 years ago | (#13893718) is the recruiting side of the USMC web network. The actual marines site is a .gov. My USMC email address is a .gov. The reason the Recruiting command decided on a .com for the recruiting web presence was because it is much easier to get someone interested in the marines to remember rather than I bet if you took the average kid and asked him what the marines website might be, they'd say

So... that's why.

Re:Should have named it (1)

geekoid (135745) | about 9 years ago | (#13893745)

You know .Com stands for Computer and not commercial, right?
It was not created for 'profit' only.

Re:Should have named it (1)

TheSpoom (715771) | about 9 years ago | (#13893871)

Where on Earth did you hear that? The .com [] domain has always stood for commercial, just as .net has been for network-oriented services such as ISPs and .org has been for non-profit organizations. Do some research before making claims.

Re:Should have named it (1)

windows (452268) | about 9 years ago | (#13893750)

I'm not so sure it's such a bad thing.

While someone here surely knows the difference between a .gov and .com, most people don't. Many people just assume everything ends in .com.

Awhile back, actually was a porn site. I don't think an unsuspecting person hoping to view the White House's website would be amused by being instead directed to a porn site. Instead of forcefully taking domains, some government agencies choose to buy the .com, .net, and .org names as well as their .gov.

I think this is a perfectly reasonable thing to do.

I've been saying..... (2, Funny)

imboboage0 (876812) | about 9 years ago | (#13893571)

I've been saying for years that we should be trying to /. US governement sites other than NASA!!! That, or Microsoft depending on what you dislike more.

Comments (1)

scarolan (644274) | about 9 years ago | (#13893579)

Too bad there's no comments section on the blog, but I can see why they would never allow something like that. It would be an instant flamefest.

Refineries (2, Interesting)

The Bungi (221687) | about 9 years ago | (#13893580)

I thought it was interesting that he commented on the record profits the oil companies have been pulling in and how they had done nothing to alleviate the costs at the pump for the rest of us. True, he says 'republicans don't punish success' or something like that, but for the life of me I cannot fathom why he would bring up the refineries issue. I heard on NPR the other day about how the price of heating oil was going to go up *more* this winter because many of the oil companies were shipping refined product from the US to other countries instead of feeding the surplus back into the national market and taking a small hit on the bottom line.

The democrats won't let them build new refineries because that might kill some migratory bird, and the republicans allow them to ship the stuff out to make a few cents more on the barrel because they refuse to legislate more stringent regulations into the system...

It's a free market and all, but sometimes you have to wonder if they're not a little bit more evil than they should be.

Yes, let's hope you support him (0, Troll)

Southpaw018 (793465) | about 9 years ago | (#13893589)

As he expressed much lament over Katrina, unless you lived in New Orleans, where the votes didn't go his way. He said NO shouldn't be rebuilt, and that most people there were better off now. I can only imagine what he'll say on this blog, where ostensibly he doesn't have a direct audience.

Re:Yes, let's hope you support him (4, Insightful)

lpangelrob (714473) | about 9 years ago | (#13893641)

Dennis Hastert is a representative of north central Illinois, namely DeKalb. The votes couldn't have "not gone his way", because New Orleans is in Louisiana. The people in his district were the ones who elected him.

As for Katrina, he said rebuilding seven feet under sea level didn't make any sense. Frankly, it still doesn't if you approach it with common sense, but emotional and cutural importance seem to have rendered this argument silent.

Ahh, about the only time you'll hear from Dennis (1)

lpangelrob (714473) | about 9 years ago | (#13893593)

This... could be interesting, I suppose. At least I'll get to know what he's up to.

Anyone who's followed House politics over the last decades understands how in-the-background Dennis Hastert actually has been. Compare to, oh, say, Newt Gingrich. He's more of the quiet leader type. Not controversial, not loud. Just does his job.

About the only other thing I've heard about him is that he's trying to make our state (Illinois) a receiver state when it comes to federal funding of transportation, as opposed to a donor state. Currently we receive $0.80 of every dollar that Illinois taxpayers put towards highways. With Dennis Hastert, representatives Ray LaHood and Henry Hyde, along with Democrat senators Barack Obama and Dick Durbin, most of their energy has gone towards helping the state with their combined influence.

FEC (1)

DisasterDoctor (775095) | about 9 years ago | (#13893612)

I wonder if the FEC will silence his blog 60days before and election like all of the others.

Needs reader comments (3, Funny)

Slashdoot (926440) | about 9 years ago | (#13893617)

Just so Rush Limbaugh can be right there shouting, "FIRST!!!11"

The future (1)

DrRobert (179090) | about 9 years ago | (#13893632)

Funny how people stumble on something from the past (blogging) and call it the future. Some people are so detached that they cannot even manage the present.

This should get good (5, Funny)

stinerman (812158) | about 9 years ago | (#13893658)

A future Hastert blog:

OMG!!!! What a day! :-(

Georgie said that he didn't think that I was doing enough to kill the McCain amendment in conference committee. Then I got a call from Dick, and he said that I needed to get the troops in line for the upcoming appropriations bill. They both are so mean sometimes! WTF!!! I just want to do fun speaker stuff like bang my gavel and shout "THERE WILL BE ORDER IN THE HOUSE!" at freshman congressmen, but these guys make me feel really underappreciated. I told Tom about it, and he said that I should just chill out and not worry about them. :-( [sigh]

I was feeling really depressed until I got a call from Condi, who said that she wanted someone to go shopping with her. I had an excellent time with her. We went to The Mall and bought a few odds and ends. She really cheered me up when she did an impression of John Kerry. She spoke in a monotone voice and pulled the sides of her eyes down to look like a basset hound and she said "GLOBAL TEST! GLOBAL TEST!" and "I VOTED FOR IT BEFORE I VOTED AGAINST IT!" ROFLMAO!!!! After we were done laughing, some lady next to us was shopping for flip-flops! Can you believe it! LOLLERSKATES!!!!

Re:This should get good (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 years ago | (#13893777)

-1: Redundant is more like it. Slashdot moderators need to make up their fucking minds.

blog? bah. (5, Informative)

jpmatth (926485) | about 9 years ago | (#13893693)

hastert's colleague in the senate, barack obama, has been doing an excellent podcast [] for several months now.

Who are you going to call? (0)

hobotron (891379) | about 9 years ago | (#13893807)

Well the ghostbloggers of course.

Fireside Chat? (1)

thedarkone64 (890959) | about 9 years ago | (#13893808)

This is a rather interesting parallel. It is very similar Roosevelt's Fireside Chats. A political official using a (relativly) new medium to have a one-on-one chat with the nations population. I expect (and hope) that we see some more down-to-earth political blogs soon.

Ah, I remember when... (1)

Enamon (811678) | about 9 years ago | (#13893847)

Ah, I remember when "blogs" were called "webpages" and were hosted on Geocities and Tripod instead of Blogger and Livejournal. Blogs are nothing new. Same thing - new name.

Re:Ah, I remember when... (1)

planetoid (719535) | about 9 years ago | (#13893870)

I think it's more accurate to say that .plan files were a more analogous precursor to weblogs, depending on how some people used them. Especially software developers and sysadmins.
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