William Katz:  Urgent Agenda

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OUTRAGEOUS – AT 11:33 A.M. ET:  In the post below I mentioned Chicago, and its looney-tunes approach to crime.  The gun-conviction rate in Chicago is notoriously low.  The politicians seem to blame everyone for crime but the people doing the shooting.

And one curse in Chicago is the low quality of leadership, especially in "inner city" communities.  Take the 2nd Congressional District, represented until recently by the now-fallen Jesse Jackson Jr.  What a history of disservice to the people of the community.  From AP, in the kind of courageous, politically incorrect story that is rarely written: 

CHICAGO (AP) -- They elected a Harvard-educated Rhodes Scholar and ended up with a congressman who was convicted of having sex with an underage campaign worker. They voted for the son of a famous civil rights leader and got someone who illegally spent campaign funds on everything from furniture to Bruce Lee memorabilia.

Call it Chicago corruption at its worst or simply uncanny coincidence, but residents of Illinois' 2nd Congressional District haven't been represented in Congress in more than three decades by someone who didn't end up in serious ethical or legal trouble. That hangs over them as they go to the polls Tuesday for a special primary to begin picking a replacement for disgraced former U.S. Rep Jesse Jackson Jr.

It began with Gus Savage, who took office in 1981 and was defeated a decade later after allegations of sexual misconduct with a Peace Corps worker while on a congressional visit abroad. Then there was Mel Reynolds, who won office in 1992 and was convicted of fraud and having sex with a minor. This past week, after 17 years in office, Jackson pleaded guilty to spending $750,000 in campaign money on personal expenses.

"They all drank from the same cup," said Charles Hill, an unemployed father of five. The Chicago resident once supported Jackson, but the legal drama has left him so drained he's not even paying attention to the batch of nearly 20 candidates vying for the spot. "It's a sad commentary."

Even by Illinois' corruption standards - where four of the last seven governors were sent to jail - troubles in the district are astonishing. The attempts to explain it - among voters, experts and the most recent candidates vying for the seat - range from a culture of corruption to pure coincidence.

COMMENT:  What has the mainstream media been doing all this time?  If Republicans had done some of these things, the headlines would be screaming.  But the culprits here are Democrats, and minority Democrats at that.  There is little outrage in the media, especially the national media. 

Lack of outrage allows the corruption to continue.  And it makes the population feel powerless to do anything about it.  Maybe it's the gun manufacturers.  It's all their fault.  And Hurricane Katrina was caused by George Bush.

February 24,  2013