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April 21, 2014

Andrew Silow-Carroll: Passoverkill? Suggestions to make next year's seders even more culturally sensitive

Sara Israelsen Hartley: Seeking the Divine: An ancient connection in a new context

Christine M. Flowers: Priest's execution in Syria should be call to action

Courtnie Erickson: How to help kids accept the poor decisions of others

Lizette Borreli: A Glass Of Milk A Day Keeps Knee Arthritis At Bay

Lizette Borreli: 5 Health Conditions Your Breath Knows Before You Do

The Kosher Gourmet by Betty Rosbottom Coconut Walnut Bars' golden brown morsels are a beautifully balanced delectable delight

April 18, 2014

Rabbi Yonason Goldson: Clarifying one of the greatest philosophical conundrums in theology

Caroline B. Glick: The disappearance of US will

Megan Wallgren: 10 things I've learned from my teenagers

Lizette Borreli: Green Tea Boosts Brain Power, May Help Treat Dementia

John Ericson: Trying hard to be 'positive' but never succeeding? Blame Your Brain

The Kosher Gourmet by Julie Rothman Almondy, flourless torta del re (Italian king's cake), has royal roots, is simple to make, . . . but devour it because it's simply delicious

April 14, 2014

Rabbi Dr Naftali Brawer: Passover frees us from the tyranny of time

Greg Crosby: Passing Over Religion

Eric Schulzke: First degree: How America really recovered from a murder epidemic

Georgia Lee: When love is not enough: Teaching your kids about the realities of adult relationships

Cameron Huddleston: Freebies for Your Lawn and Garden

Gordon Pape: How you can tell if your financial adviser is setting you up for potential ruin

Dana Dovey: Up to 500,000 people die each year from hepatitis C-related liver disease. New Treatment Has Over 90% Success Rate

Justin Caba: Eating Watermelon Can Help Control High Blood Pressure

The Kosher Gourmet by Joshua E. London and Lou Marmon Don't dare pass over these Pesach picks for Manischewitz!

April 11, 2014

Rabbi Hillel Goldberg: Silence is much more than golden

Caroline B. Glick: Forgetting freedom at Passover

Susan Swann: How to value a child for who he is, not just what he does

Cameron Huddleston: 7 Financial Tasks You Should Tackle Right Now

Sandra Block and Lisa Gerstner: How to Profit From Your Passion

Susan Scutti: A Simple Blood Test Might Soon Diagnose Cancer

Chris Weller: Have A Slow Metabolism? Let Science Speed It Up For You

The Kosher Gourmet by Diane Rossen Worthington Whitefish Terrine: A French take on gefilte fish

April 9, 2014

Jonathan Tobin: Why Did Kerry Lie About Israeli Blame?

Samuel G. Freedman: A resolution 70 years later for a father's unsettling legacy of ashes from Dachau

Jessica Ivins: A resolution 70 years later for a father's unsettling legacy of ashes from Dachau

Kim Giles: Asking for help is not weakness

Kathy Kristof and Barbara Hoch Marcus: 7 Great Growth Israeli Stocks

Matthew Mientka: How Beans, Peas, And Chickpeas Cleanse Bad Cholesterol and Lowers Risk of Heart Disease

Sabrina Bachai: 5 At-Home Treatments For Headaches

The Kosher Gourmet by Daniel Neman Have yourself a matzo ball: The secrets bubby never told you and recipes she could have never imagined

April 8, 2014

Lori Nawyn: At Your Wit's End and Back: Finding Peace

Susan B. Garland and Rachel L. Sheedy: Strategies Married Couples Can Use to Boost Benefits

David Muhlbaum: Smart Tax Deductions Non-Itemizers Can Claim

Jill Weisenberger, M.S., R.D.N., C.D.E : Before You Lose Your Mental Edge

Dana Dovey: Coffee Drinkers Rejoice! Your Cup Of Joe Can Prevent Death From Liver Disease

Chris Weller: Electric 'Thinking Cap' Puts Your Brain Power Into High Gear

The Kosher Gourmet by Marlene Parrish A gift of hazelnuts keeps giving --- for a variety of nutty recipes: Entree, side, soup, dessert

April 4, 2014

Rabbi David Gutterman: The Word for Nothing Means Everything

Charles Krauthammer: Kerry's folly, Chapter 3

Amy Peterson: A life of love: How to build lasting relationships with your children

John Ericson: Older Women: Save Your Heart, Prevent Stroke Don't Drink Diet

John Ericson: Why 50 million Americans will still have spring allergies after taking meds

Cameron Huddleston: Best and Worst Buys of April 2014

Stacy Rapacon: Great Mutual Funds for Young Investors

Sarah Boesveld: Teacher keeps promise to mail thousands of former students letters written by their past selves

The Kosher Gourmet by Sharon Thompson Anyone can make a salad, you say. But can they make a great salad? (SECRETS, TESTED TECHNIQUES + 4 RECIPES, INCLUDING DRESSINGS)

April 2, 2014

Paul Greenberg: Death and joy in the spring

Dan Barry: Should South Carolina Jews be forced to maintain this chimney built by Germans serving the Nazis?

Mayra Bitsko: Save me! An alien took over my child's personality

Frank Clayton: Get happy: 20 scientifically proven happiness activities

Susan Scutti: It's Genetic! Obesity and the 'Carb Breakdown' Gene

Lecia Bushak: Why Hand Sanitizer May Actually Harm Your Health

Stacy Rapacon: Great Funds You Can Own for $500 or Less

Cameron Huddleston: 7 Ways to Save on Home Decor

The Kosher Gourmet by Steve Petusevsky Exploring ingredients as edible-stuffed containers (TWO RECIPES + TIPS & TECHINQUES)

Jewish World Review August 19, 2013/ 13 Elul, 5773

Forget the tears. The Jacksons know they got off easy

By John Kass

John Kass


JewishWorldReview.com | (MCT) It's obvious there was much drama in the courtroom as Jesse Jackson Jr. and his wife, Sandi, waited to be sentenced in the theft of $750,000 from his campaign fund.

He cried and she cried, and after the drama came the actual sentence.

So let's talk about what actually happened. Let's put off the discussion of the wet tissues and the echo of sniffles, and that vague and unproven spin about Jackson's reported, but unsupported, mental illness.

First, consider what federal Judge Amy Berman Jackson (no relation) did to Chicago's royal political couple from that courthouse in Washington.

She didn't bring her federal hammer down. She didn't throw the book at them. She didn't even give them a sharp slap on the wrist.

She gave them some federal time, but not as much as they deserved.

In real terms, Jackson will serve a little more than two years, and she'll serve one. Not a bad price for stealing and spending three-quarters of a million dollars.

This is not a tragedy for the Jacksons. It's a victory.

But for us?

It's a sad joke.

He's a former U.S. representative, and she's a former Chicago alderman. Junior made six figures as a congressman. She made six figures as an alderman. He also paid her hundreds of thousands of dollars in extra money as a consultant. That sum was also taken from campaign funds, but was deemed "legal" by the Federal Election Commission.


On top of the hundreds of thousands in legal cash coming in each year, the Jacksons wanted more.

So they took three-quarters of a million dollars that didn't belong to them and spent it wildly, on spas, jewelry and junk. Included in the pile of junk was that ridiculous Michael Jackson memorabilia, the Eddie Van Halen guitar and those absurd stuffed elk heads.

And for that he gets a little over two years in real time and she does 12 months? Not bad.

And what do the rest of us get? Not even a vial of their happy tears.

But at least America received a twisted civics lesson from one of Jesse Jackson Jr.'s lawyers, Reid Weingarten.

He suggested that politicians who steal from their own campaign funds don't really hurt anybody. He downplayed it as if he wanted us to think it was a victimless crime.

"This wasn't a Ponzi scheme," Weingarten told the judge. "There are not widows and orphans surrounding the courthouse wanting his head."

Yes, he's correct. There were no impoverished widows and orphans demanding Jackson's head.

But far outside the courtroom, in their own homes or at what jobs they can find, were hundreds of millions of Americans who pay their bills and play by the rules and get slapped around by the political class.

Still, Weingarten's argument was so catchy it deserves a special name so that it may be taught in law schools: The Reid Weingarten Widows and Orphans Absolution.

According to the Weingarten Absolution, it is a victimless crime for a politician to loot his own campaign fund. Then what, pray, is a political campaign fund in America, if what the Jacksons did is OK?

Nothing but a box full of bribes.

After they got their rather light sentence, Jesse Jr. left the courtroom and made his final speech outside for the TV cameras. It wasn't Blubbering Junior, but Junior Seeking Redemption.

"I still believe in the power of forgiveness," he said. "I believe in the power of redemption. Today I manned up and tried to accept responsibility for the errors of my ways. And I still believe in the resurrection."

If Jackson truly wants forgiveness, I hope he receives it. Personally, I'll forgive him right now. But he should do something else first: four years in prison, which is what the feds suggested, and what's called for under the recommended federal sentencing guidelines. Junior got half of what he had coming.

Though the Jacksons might play the wounded spirits, they've got to be celebrating. They're not naive. They've had their behinds smooched for years in Chicago. Each graduated from law school. So they know the rules.

Just try stealing $10,000 and see how much time you'll get. Knock off a gas station for a few hundred dollars and get caught and see what the judge gives you.

The judge won't give you a lecture, as did Judge Jackson to the Jacksons. You won't have high-priced legal talent working pro bono, as the Jacksons received. If you're poor, you'd get a public defender. Some are quite good at their jobs. But most PDs are overworked and underpaid.

You'd get real time. And your roommate won't likely be another crooked politician who'll quote Shakespeare or Edmund Burke. Your roommate will most likely be an illiterate who amuses himself by kicking your teeth out.

What's odious about the Jackson case is the carefully leaked media spin that the theft was the result of Junior's reported mental problems.

Junior is tightly wound, no doubt. Watching him narrowly skip away from that business of allegedly trying to buy a U.S. Senate seat demonstrated how uptight he is.

But prosecutors in court Wednesday said that none of Jackson's claims about his mental illness was supported by any evidence or testimony from psychiatrists. In other words, it was just spin.

At least Chicago can look past the tears and the wet tissue to see what happened:

The Jacksons had money. They didn't need to steal. They took $750,000 because they felt like it.

And they got off easy.

Every weekday JewishWorldReview.com publishes what many in the media and Washington consider "must-reading". Sign up for the daily JWR update. It's free. Just click here.

John Kass is a columnist for the Chicago Tribune. Comments by clicking here.



Previously:



08/13/13 Bros filling the void --- with 'My Little Pony'
07/31/13 A serial sexter stays in New York's mayoral race. What’s next?
07/26/13 Show some appreciation for the new prince
05/29/13 Mr. President, save us from Xbox One
05/23/13 Tornadoes sound like eerie silence --- then evil
05/15/13 How the unassimilated are transformed into terrorists
05/07/13 Lives lost mean 'Benghazi' should be more than a political buzzword
04/30/13 American football industry is on its deathbed
04/25/13 Boston terror can't be packaged neatly for American audiences
04/18/13 In the world of acts, the urge to help overwhelms
03/11/13 Senate battle between a libertarian whippersnapper, crotchety establishment
02/25/13 If only Jesse Jr. would have read his own book
02/11/13 Secret drone strikes simplify Obama Doctrine
01/29/13 Making a pet project out of Neanderthals
01/17/13 Spielberg stops 'Robopocalypse,' perhaps on orders of evil master robot
01/07/13 Reality TV, how deep can it sink?
11/08/12 Thanks, voters, for caring enough to argue
11/05/12 It's Romney by a head
11/01/12 Sandy swoops in to save Obama. Should it be allowed to?
10/18/12 The other side of the emergency room curtain
10/15/12 Droopy Chia candidates get a do-over
10/04/12 :Schoolchildren's stomachs rumble; drama queens grumble
10/01/12 : Chia Obama vs. Chia Romney: May the best greenfro win
09/25/12 : With bitter campaign in full swing, you need to watch some movies
08/02/12 : Toasting culture's absurdities
04/24/12: Why do you have to sell your privacy to win?
10/13/11: Stupid things men say to pregnant women
09/26/11: Desk zero: ‘Contagion’ lurks just outside office bathroom
09/08/11: Light up your lottery tickets, pass the Hopium
08/31/11: It was only a paper moon , but a legendary hoax
05/27/11: For 2012, it's Obama vs. the smoothies
05/05/11: Is it time to de-friend Pakistan?
04/12/11: China stretches the bounds of decency with cow-human-breast milk
03/23/11: No you're not in control; get over it
02/28/11: Chicago wanted a strongman, and it got one
01/26/11: Oh, c'mon, c'mon, Rahm-bo a victim? That's a stretch
12/13/10: WikiLeaks and Assange pretend there are no consequences
12/09/10: Trendy toys don't stand up to playthings of yore
10/11/10: Obama and his pals need some scarce Hopium for the next election
09/14/10: Obama gets a little bossy with tacit endorsement of Emanuel
08/18/10: Dead Meat walking, but heat to be applied again
07/28/10: No verdict, but Blagojevich trial still has its winners, losers
07/26/10: Obama's fall guy in Shirley Sherrod case is Vilsack the Pooh
07/21/10: Loathing of Steinbrenner softens after his death
07/19/10: Summertime, and the race cards are easy
06/28/10: Does Congress have the guts to fix what court gutted? Honestly, no
12/17/09: Belt-tightening presidential aspirant leaves room for Spam
09/27/09: ACORN can teach the GOP a thing or 2
09/03/09: Blago as author gets it wrong yet again 06/22/09: Obama's latest political play should shock no one
06/17/09: Presidential satire takes Hopium break
06/11/09: E-Verify works, so, of course, let's not use it
06/09/09: First Lady Macbeth's the man, so in your face, Eminem
06/02/09: Judge Sotomayor would think me most unwise
05/12/09: Parents, enjoy this time, in all its creepiness
03/18/09: Stem cell policy shift brings a sinking feeling
03/09/09: Name That Blago Book contest names its winner
03/05/09: Contest: Name Blagojevich's book
02/16/09: Dems undercut aid for U.S. workers
01/20/09: Let the carving begin on Tombstone's tomb
01/12/09: Obama serves Reid taste of Chicago Way
01/02/09: Jesters don't pick up the race card in a nationally televised news conference and slam it into the face of every Dem in the Senate, a palm heel strike to the tip of the nose, leaving all of them watery-eyed, their lips stinging
12/24/08: Governor waxes poetic, but Combine rolls on
12/23/08: Got corruption? Get Jesse Junior G-Man
12/18/08: Will ‘feditis’ spread to Obama and Daley?
12/15/08: Man behind curtain is wizard of Rod, Rahm

© 2012, Chicago Tribune. Distributed by McClatchy-Tribune Information Services.

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