William Katz:  Urgent Agenda

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A TALE OF TWO ILLINOISANS – AT 9:23 A.M. ET:  Is there any state right now as sad as Illinois, the president's home state, in which he shows no interest?  These two stories tell a wretched tale.  First, from CBS:

CHICAGO (CBS) – A teenage girl–an honor student who had just performed at President Obama’s inaugural–was gunned down Tuesday afternoon in the Kenwood neighborhood, just blocks from the high school she attended.

CBS 2’s Mike Parker reports the victim, 15-year-old Hadiya Pendleton, was taking shelter from the rain with a group of 10 to 12 teenagers under a canopy in Vivian Gordon Harsh Park on the 4500 block of South Oakenwald Avenue around 2:30 p.m., when someone jumped a fence, ran up to them, and opened fire.

Just days before, Hadiya performed with her high school band at President Obama’s inauguration.

The park is near King College Prep High School — where Pendleton was an honor student, volleyball player, and majorette.

And also from CBS:

Former Illinois Gov. George Ryan left the federal prison in Terre Haute, Ind., early Wednesday morning, and moved to a halfway house on the Near West Side to complete his sentence, CBS 2′s Vince Gerasole reports.

Ryan most likely will have to stay at the halfway house until his final release date in July, although there’s a possibility he could earn the right to spend the last few weeks of his sentence on house arrest.

COMMENT:  How pathetic.  And the second story relates to the first.  Corruption is rampant in Illinois, especially in Chicago.  Several governors have gone to prison.  Former Congressman Jesse Jackson Jr. faces federal charges.  Some of the people running for his Chicago congressional seat have conviction records.

It's one of the reasons nothing gets done – the pathetic, dishonest leadership.  But ask some of the "leaders" what causes gun violence, and they'll blame the gun manufacturers or the movies.  Never the murderers, never the cultural pathologies, never the rap music, which refers to women as "bitches" and "ho's," never local hacks who couldn't care less about the murder rate.  No, it's the gun makers.  And, oh yes, the big banks.  Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel is now asking banks not to give loans to gun manufacturers – the same manufacturers who supply weapons to our armed forces and his police department.  Brilliant step.  That'll sure stop the violence.

I wonder if Obama will comment on the murder of a little girl who had the highlight of her life at his inauguration.  Don't bet on it.  And if he does mention it, he'll do it to push his own gun proposals, which are largely ineffective.

January 30, 2013