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September 24th, 2018

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Government in Action

News of the Weird by Chuck Shepherd

By News of the Weird by Chuck Shepherd

Published June 27, 2017

Government in Action

Illinois has problems: a $130 billion unfunded pension crisis, 19 months without a budget, the lowest credit rating and highest property taxes in the country, and the murder rate in Chicago. However, at least the state house of representatives is not standing by idly. In February, it moved to designate October 2017 as Zombie Preparedness Month (basically, adding "zombie invasion" to the list of mobilizations for any natural disaster and urging residents to stockpile food and supplies for up to 72 hours). [Wall Street Journal, 3-7-2017]

Lawyers for former U.S. Rep. Jesse Jackson Jr. have convinced federal officials that his bipolar disorder was "caused" by the stress of being a congressman and thus that he is entitled to "total disability" worker compensation for an "on-the-job" injury -- and thus to about $100,000 a year, tax-free, according to a February Chicago Tribune report. (Jackson, 51, also receives Social Security disability payments.) Lawyers said his disorder (often attributed to genetic factors) surfaced during an investigation into Jackson's looting of his campaign treasury for luxury goods and vacations (charges eventually settled with a guilty plea). Jackson dated his onset to June 2012, meaning that his last 72 House votes came while "totally" disabled. [Chicago Tribune, 2-23-2017]

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