Wednesday, June 5, 2013

A DAY IN THE LIFE (of Chicago): Jackson’s health public, or a secret?

In just under one month, Jesse Jackson, Jr., is going to face sentencing for the criminal charges he pleaded guilty to as they relate to his use of campaign funds for personal expenditures.

JACKSON: Public, or private?

Attorneys for Jackson, the former Congressman from Chicago’s Far South Side and surrounding suburbs, have made it clear they want his health issues (he’s been diagnosed as being bipolar) to be a factor in what a federal judge for the District of Columbia takes into account when imposing a sentence.

BUT THOSE ATTORNEYS this week made it clear there are limits as to how much of his health data ought to be public. They want part of a sentencing memorandum to be sealed to the public.

The parts related to his health; specifically the parts that contain letters written by doctors who provide medical details of just how ill Jackson truly is.

There have been enough people who oppose Jackson for politically partisan reasons who hate the idea that health and physical fitness will be a factor at all. I’m sure they’re prepared to start ranting about how this is some sort of cover-up.

As though they won’t be happy unless they get personal details that they can then use to try to humiliate Jackson further than he already feels.

WHICH MEANS WE have to figure whether we agree with the attorneys, who this week said that releasing those doctor letters would, “disclose unnecessarily the defendant’s and his family member’s medical information, diagnoses and treatment to the public.”

Personally, I’m amazed that the Mayo Clinic (where Jackson went for some treatment prior to his indictment) provided as much detail as they did about bipolar disorder.

Although I’m pretty sure some people (the ones who think that the potential for a five-year prison term that Jackson faces isn’t sufficient) are going to complain no matter how this situation turns out on July 1 – the date that Jackson and spouse Sandi (the former 7th Ward alderman) are scheduled for sentencing.

What else is notable in the land along Lake Michigan where two mediocre-to-sorry baseball teams prevail?

MOVING ON?:  First Crete. Now Joliet.
... except for detention

The latter city this week said it was no longer interested in being the location for a detention center designed for people who face federal immigration law violations.

Federal officials want to hire Nashville-based Corrections Corp. of America to build five privately-run facilities to hold people facing deportation – including one in the Midwest near Chicago.

But every single site considered thus far has aroused the anger of locals who don’t want any such structure built near them. Combined with the people who hate the idea of privately-run facilities for these offenses, it’s a wonder if any place will ever be willing to have a jail-like facility located nearby.

LET THEM COME. HECKLE THEM INSTEAD:  The Gay Pride Parade will be held this year on June 30, and the question is whether any political people will be seen among its participants.
They usually are. But there’s a petition drive these days from people who say they want the elected officials kept out – on account of the fact that the Illinois House of Representatives could not be bothered to vote on the measure that would have legitimized marriage for gay couples.

Personally, I think that’s short-sighted. Keep in mind that the Illinois state Senate approved the measure (back on Valentine’s Day). Perhaps any political gesture should be aimed at the Illinois House.

Or better yet, let the political people march in the parade – if they have the nerve. Because I suspect the boos, heckles and taunts they would receive would make for a very uncomfortable environment. Maybe that’s what it will take to make them realize the short-sightedness of their actions last week.

DEFINE ABORTION!:  Rev. Michael Pfleger of the St. Sabina Parish is used to saying things that manage to tick people off. Although I suspect he will upset, and confuse, many interests when it comes to abortion.
FLEGER: Looking out for poor, regardless of who's offended

Pfleger, who spoke Monday night at Governors State University about how he thinks our society these days is doing harmful things to children, used the “A” word. Although he didn’t define it as a medical procedure.

He says that corporate entities, schools and others commit acts all the time that harm the chances of children to grow to adulthood and succeed in life, and he considers those just as bad.

“Whatever harms a child from growing to term, that is an abortion,” he said.


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