In this issue
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 Dec. 23, 2008 / 26 Kislev 5769

Got corruption? Get Jesse Junior G-Man

By John Kass

John Kass
Printer Friendly Version
Email this article

http://www.JewishWorldReview.com | With so much news on the impeachment of Gov. Rod Blagojevich, I almost missed an incredible aspect of this amazing case:

The Jesse Junior G-Man Task Force to Fight Political Corruption thing.

So I called the federal building in Chicago and asked for the Jesse Junior G-Man Task Force.

"Pardon me?" asked a female federal employee.

Don't be obtuse. It's been all over the national TV news, U.S. Rep. Jesse Jackson Jr. (D-Bud Light) working with the feds to fight corruption. So connect me to the Jesse Junior G-Man headquarters.

"I don't know what you're talking about," she said.

It might not be a formal "task force." Perhaps there's another name for it, like Jesse Junior G-Man Blago Working Group. I'm a reporter. You can tell me.

"Sorry," she said. "No Junior G-Man office here."

Oh, c'mon! Just stop with your little bureaucratic games. The story was on TV. Jackson's been working with the feds, which means he's a good guy.

But she had nothing for me, so I called someone else.

"Jesse Junior G-Man? No," a guy said. "Not on this floor."

Just tell me. The Junior G-Man works in a high-tech complex buried deep underground, right? Behind a series of cool interlocking steel doors, protecting the Cone of Silence, right?

"No," the guy said. "This is the second call you've made on this subject. We're tracking you. Now stop. I mean it."

Jeez. Could TV news be wrong? Could it have just been media puffery and political spin that got out of control?

The Junior G-Man thing began after the governor was charged with trying to sell the Senate seat of President-elect Barack Obama to the highest bidder, including emissaries of an unidentified Candidate 5, who later was identified as Jackson.

The Chicago Tribune then reported that a group of Indian businessmen held a fundraiser for Blagojevich - with Jackson's brother Jonathan in attendance - and quoted several businessmen that they raised the money hoping Blagojevich would make Jackson the next senator.

"I never sent a message or an emissary to the governor to make an offer, plead my case or propose a deal about a U.S. Senate seat, period," Jackson said.

Jackson was in a bind. He wasn't being accused of a crime, but people who wanted him in the Senate were willing to pony up, and things were getting sticky. You could imagine the Jackson brain trust pacing the floor in fear, stroking their chins, muttering, "What to do? What to do?"

So on Monday, unnamed "sources" told Chicago WLS-TV that Jackson wasn't only Candidate 5, but that he was actually feeding information to the feds about Blagojevich. Wow, that's so cool.

"Sources tell (WLS) that Jackson has been in regular contact with the feds and has told the government that in 2003, Blagojevich denied the congressman's wife, Sandi, an appointment as Illinois lottery director because Jackson would not donate $25,000 to the governor's campaign fund," said reporter Charles Thomas.

But if Blagojevich was truly shaking down Jackson, why would Jackson later actively seek Blagojevich's support for the Senate? Didn't those "sources" know that Blagojevich believed the Senate seat was, like, bleeping golden?

Thomas' report made all of broadcast news seethe with jealousy. The others just had to have one. So the next night, "NBC Nightly News" went national with a "bombshell" of a story.

"Now we shift focus to Illinois, a new bombshell in the scandal surrounding the governor of Illinois, Rod Blagojevich," anchor Brian Williams said. "Congressman Jesse Jackson Jr. now says he has been an informant, talking to federal authorities about the governor (dramatic pause) for years!"

And lo, Jackson was transformed, from Candidate 5 to Candidate Snitch.

My sources tell me that he'd been spotted hanging out on Rush Street while lobbying for the Senate job. Clearly, he was undercover.

"Maybe he's like the Big Pussy character in 'The Sopranos,' when Big Pussy wired up on Tony and started to think he was a G-man, too," said Wings, my able assistant. "He lectured the feds about legal strategies for racketeering indictments. He was so into it, remember? Big Pussy talking about RICO predicates to the feds?"

Yes, Wings, I remember. It was so touching, especially the episode when Big Pussy tried to make an arrest as a federal agent. All he was missing was a decoder ring.

And, at that exact moment, I wished I were a TV reporter, so I could interview the fat guy who played Big Pussy on HBO and ask him about how federal investigations really work and about Illinois political corruption.

Unfortunately, Wings ruined everything by reading me a statement from Jackson spokesman Kenneth Edmonds, who said Jackson passed knowledge of "perceived corruption" to the feds but insisted that Jackson was no "informant."

And I believe it. Jackson's no informant, he's a Junior G-Man. Now if I can only get his secret number, we can sit in the Cone of Silence and talk.

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.


12/18/08: Will ‘feditis’ spread to Obama and Daley?
12/15/08: Man behind curtain is wizard of Rod, Rahm

© 2008, Chicago Tribune. Distributed by McClatchy-Tribune Information Services.