John Kass's account of Denny Hastert's day in court rises to poetic heights -
For at least 15 excruciating minutes, the courtroom was silent, Hastert waiting. He'd pull at his lips and he'd cover his face again. Not all of his face, just the half where his mouth was.
He looked all hollowed out, chewed up, like paper.
It reminded me of when my brothers and I were children on the South Side. We'd run to Leo's corner store to buy penny candy, like those colored dots, hard sugar lumps on paper rolls. Sometimes we'd take a bite of paper with the candy and later spit it out as we talked of the White Sox or what happens to souls in limbo.
That bit of chewed-up paper would dry in the sun, a lump on the sidewalk that had been paper but was now in altered form.
And so it was with Hastert, irreconcilable with the original, an altered man most likely changed by having to tell his family about why the feds had come after him.
Masterful. The story of the criminal charges is merely crust covering the saga of man who may have used teaching and coaching to prey upon vulenerable kids. Kass is the man to uncoil this yarn.