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Lake County man declines rabies treatment, dies

Tuesday, Sep 28, 2021 - Posted by Rich Miller

* Unbelievable…

The Illinois Department of Public Health (IDPH) is reporting the first human case of rabies in Illinois since 1954. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) today confirmed the diagnosis after testing at its lab.

In mid-August, a Lake County resident in his 80s awoke to a bat on his neck. The bat was captured and tested positive for rabies. The individual was advised he needed to start postexposure rabies treatment but declined. One month later, the individual began experiencing symptoms consistent with rabies, including neck pain, headache, difficulty controlling his arms, finger numbness, and difficulty speaking. The individual subsequently died. People who had contact with secretions from the individual were assessed and given rabies preventive treatment as needed.

“Rabies has the highest mortality rate of any disease,” said IDPH Director Dr. Ngozi Ezike. “However, there is life-saving treatment for individuals who quickly seek care after being exposed to an animal with rabies. If you think you may have been exposed to rabies, immediately seek medical attention and follow the recommendations of health care providers and public health officials.”

While cases of human rabies in the United States are rare with only 1 to 3 cases reported each year, rabies exposures are still common with an estimated 60,000 Americans receiving the post-exposure vaccination series each year. The rabies virus infects the central nervous system, ultimately causing disease in the brain and death. Without preventive treatment, rabies is typically fatal.

“Sadly, this case underscores the importance of raising public awareness about the risk of rabies exposure in the United States,” said Lake County Health Department Executive Director Mark Pfister. “Rabies infections in people are rare in the United States; however, once symptoms begin, rabies is almost always fatal, making it vital that an exposed person receive appropriate treatment to prevent the onset of rabies as soon as possible.”

Bats are the most commonly identified species with rabies in Illinois. Wildlife experts did find a bat colony in the home of the individual who died.

People usually know when they have been bitten by a bat, but bats have very small teeth and the bite mark may not be easy to see. If you find yourself in close proximity to a bat and are not sure if you were exposed, (e.g., you wake up and find a bat in your room), do not release the bat as it should be appropriately captured for rabies testing. Call your doctor or local health department to help determine if you could have been exposed to rabies and if you need preventive treatment. Call your local animal care and control to safely remove the bat.

If the bat is available for testing and the results are negative, preventive treatment is not needed. The only way rabies can be confirmed in a bat is through laboratory testing. You cannot tell just by looking at a bat if it has rabies.

So far this year, 30 bats have tested positive for rabies in Illinois. More than 1,000 bats are tested for rabies each year in Illinois due to a possible exposure. Approximately 3% of tested bats are positive for rabies.


Question of the day

Tuesday, Sep 28, 2021 - Posted by Rich Miller

* Groundbreaking today at the Obama Presidential Center site…

* The Question: Caption?


*** UPDATED x1 *** Not that it really matters, but Dems relaunch online remap portal

Tuesday, Sep 28, 2021 - Posted by Rich Miller

* Press release…

The Illinois House and Senate Redistricting Committees have relaunched an online map making portal which will allow residents to draw and submit proposed congressional boundaries for lawmakers to consider as redistricting efforts continue.

The map making portal can be accessed at and Returning users that have previously used the portal do not need to create a new account.

The relaunch of the portal comes ahead of a series of public hearings the committees will hold in October to gather input on the makeup of new congressional districts. Additional details about hearings will be announced in the coming days as Democrats remain committed to a redistricting process centered on public participation with more accessibility than ever before. Members of the public may also submit written testimony or draft congressional maps at any time at and

“It’s never been more important that every resident of Illinois has a strong voice in Congress, and that starts with ensuring everyone has a voice in the mapmaking process,” said Rep. Elizabeth Hernandez, D-Cicero, Chairperson of the House Redistricting Committee. “This mapmaking tool gives everyone the opportunity to share their thoughts and help us create districts that reflect our state.”

“Now is the time for residents across Illinois to make their voices heard to ensure our state has strong representation in Washington,” said Sen. Omar Aquino, D-Chicago, Chair of the Senate Redistricting Committee. “We encourage residents to take advantage of these opportunities to directly participate in the map making process, as the best map is one that reflects the diverse voices across our state.”

* Lynn Sweet asked Senate President Don Harmon about the congressional remap process last week. Some of Sweet’s questions are paraphrased here

LS: Will the congressional remap be passed in the veto session?

DH: Yes. We will be returning to Springfield in October, and the first priority is to pass a congressional map.

LS: Do you have a draft already, or drafts?

DH: We do not. We are just beginning the process, we’re beginning to schedule the public hearings. We want to take testimony from Illinoisans from the top to the bottom, from the east to the west, and make sure that all that public input is factored in to any map that we produce.

LS: Have you had meetings with any of the delegation members to get their views, or when does that happen?

DH: I expect that we will be having subsequent conversations going forward. There have been no formal sit-downs with any members to talk about redistricting.

LS: We have to lose a district, where do you think it will come from?

DH: This is a great question and I wanted to remind folks, in reapportionment, we went from 18 districts to 17 districts. That doesn’t mean that the district disappears so much as all the other districts get a little bit larger, and everybody in Illinois, including the entire congressional district, lives in one district or another. We’re going to follow the population shifts, we’re going to try to draw districts that are fair and reflect the diversity of the state of Illinois, we’re going to follow the Federal Voting Rights Act as well as the Illinois Voting Rights Act, and try to build districts that best represent all of Illinois.

LS: Have you looked at the maps drawn by Cook Political Report US House editor Dave Wasserman?

DH: I have not. I don’t know him. I know that the map caused a fair amount of controversy, but I also knew that nobody in charge of passing the maps, participated in drawing it.

Please pardon all transcription errors.

…Adding… React…

State Representative Tim Butler (R-Springfield) issued the following statement today in response to House and Senate Democrats announcing the relaunch of their much-maligned public map-making portal for new congressional boundaries:

“The sad truth is that this is just another attempt by Democrats to act like this is a free and fair process, but the facts have proven otherwise,” said Butler. “The relaunching of a portal that included a multitude of malfunctions that went unaddressed by them before, I don’t expect much to be different this time around.”

*** UPDATE *** Press release…

The Latino Policy Forum is gravely disappointed in the Illinois legislative maps that were signed into law last week, which do not provide equitable opportunities for Latinos to elect the representatives of their choice. These maps do not accurately reflect the state’s Latino population, nor its true diversity within the halls of government, and they do not bode well for a more equitable future of our election systems.

“Despite Illinois adding 309,832 Latinos to its overall population according to 2020 census data, the state did not add any Latino-majority districts. In fact, we lost one Latino-majority House district, from 14 to 13,” says Latino Policy Forum President and CEO Sylvia Puente. “This is not fair, just, or equitable.”

“The map signed into law by the Governor, after having had a second opportunity to get it right and after an increase in the state Latino population that should result in an increase in Latino-majority districts, falls very short,” says former State Senator and former Chicago City Clerk Miguel del Valle, who testified alongside the Forum in hearings on redistricting this year. “I’m very disappointed that the general assembly and the Latino caucus voted for this inequitable map, which is an injustice to Latinos statewide.”


Poll: Most say glass is half full on vax boosters

Tuesday, Sep 28, 2021 - Posted by Rich Miller


• A Kaiser Family Foundation survey found that 71% percent of unvaccinated respondents said boosters are a sign that vaccines are not working.

• The split in attitudes toward Covid vaccines broadly continues to be a largely partisan one, the survey data shows.

• Some 90% of respondents who are Democrats said they have received at least one coronavirus vaccine dose compared with 58% of Republicans.

Results are here

Overall, the booster discussion seems to have increased rather than decreased the public’s confidence in the COVID-19 vaccines, though the opposite is true for those who remain unvaccinated. More than six in ten adults overall (62%) say the news that some people might need boosters “shows that scientists are continuing to find ways to make vaccines more effective” while one-third say it “shows that the vaccines are not working as well as promised.” Among those who are unvaccinated however, seven in ten (71%) say news about boosters is a sign that the vaccines aren’t working, including 69% of those in the “wait and see” group and 82% of those in the “definitely not” camp. Views on this topic also diverge by partisanship, with eight in ten Democrats (82%) seeing the booster discussion as a sign that scientists are continuing to find ways to make vaccines more effective and Republicans more evenly divided between this view (44%) and believing that boosters show the vaccines aren’t working well (52%).

* I’m pretty sure people would say the polio vaccine worked…

Also, I get a flu vaccine every year.

…Adding… Well, they know their audience

When President Joe Biden announced his administration would require vaccines or weekly COVID tests for federal workers and businesses with 100 or more employees, Republicans pounced—as the saying goes—into fundraising mode.

The day after the announcement, the Republican National Committee began blasting out emails and text messages asking supporters to reach into their pockets to help fund a coming legal challenge against the supposedly “authoritarian” mandate. […]

The solicitations went out almost daily for the next two weeks, and grew increasingly Orwellian in tenor. Texts attacked Biden as “UN-AMERICAN” and a “TYRANT,” and emails played up fears of “fascist” overreach.

“You MUST step up RIGHT NOW and fund our efforts against Biden to end this EVIL vaccine mandate or all will be lost!” read an email sent Sunday, Sept. 12. Another sent around the same time reminded recipients that “lawsuits like this are expensive,” and again suggested a $45 contribution would be sufficient to back the effort.


2021 Illinois State Fair attendance down 7.2 percent from 2019, but still second highest since 2014

Tuesday, Sep 28, 2021 - Posted by Rich Miller

* Press release

The 2021 Illinois State Fair saw over 472,000 visitors walk through the gates making it the second highest attended fair since the department began tracking formal attendance numbers in 2014. Attendance at this year’s fair was surpassed only by the historic records set in 2019. The first weekend of the 2021 fair also saw attendance numbers increase by over 15,000 people compared to 2019.

“The record attendance at this year’s state fair marks not only a successful return to the fairgrounds but a return to treasured traditions, community competition, and family fun after a difficult year,” said Governor JB Pritzker. “Most importantly, the Department of Agriculture and the organizers of this year’s fair were able to welcome us back safely with strong COVID protocols in place – making sure the health of fairgoers came first as we enjoyed all the fair has to offer.”

“We were happy to be able to hold the 2021 Illinois State Fair after it was canceled in 2020 and now seeing how many people came out to enjoy it with us is really special,” said Illinois State Fair Manager Kevin Gordon. “Obviously this being the first fair after 2019’s near record setting year for attendance, the bar was set pretty high. I think being able to overcome the challenges brought on by the pandemic and safely bring back so many families to the fairgrounds is a great accomplishment.”

Grandstand ticket sales and revenue saw over 44,500 tickets, generating over $1.5 million in revenue. Overall revenue numbers are not final, but the 2021 Illinois State Fair is estimating an overall revenue slightly over $5 million, ranking ninth for total revenue out of the last 20 years.

Lot of optimistic spin in that release.


COVID-19 roundup

Tuesday, Sep 28, 2021 - Posted by Rich Miller


A month ago, Pritzker said that while also announcing an indoor mask mandate along with vaccine requirements for P-12 teachers, healthcare workers, and higher education students.

Since that announcement, Illinois COVID-19 cases have significantly declined from a high of nearly 6,000 on September 3 to just a little more than 2,000 on September 27. […]

“It’s a combination of vaccination, masking and the mitigation strategies that we have,” Dr. Vidya Sundareshan, SIU school of Medicine infectious disease doctor, said. […]

Statewide, a massive spike in administered vaccine doses happened in the days following Pritzker’s announcement.


[Ameri Klafeta, director of the ACLU of Illinois’ Women’s and Reproductive Rights Project] says workers relying on the [Illinois Health Care Right of Conscience Act] is a stretch.

“The way this act was written, it was always intended to apply to health care professionals, people who are delivering health care services,” Klafeta said. “What we’re seeing now is a really unprecedented expansion, or attempt to expand, the protections of the law and really turning it on its head.”

She thinks this expansion of the right of conscience law will face legal challenges.

“It seems like the people who are really these mandates that Gov. Pritzker has issued are relying heavily on this law and I wouldn’t be surprised if they proceed through the court and I think that would be up to the courts to determine how broadly to interpret this,” Klafeta said. “It’s always possible that in the meantime the legislature could come back and amend the law, potentially to narrow some of the terms that people are relying on to bring the law back to its original scope.”

* More on the HCRCA from Fox Illinois

Carl Draper, an employment attorney with Feldman, Wasser, Draper & Cox, says it may be unfortunate from a public health perspective, but from a legal perspective, the timing of this law could challenge the governor’s emergency powers.

“This law was adopted in 1998 after most of that emergency authorization power was already on the books, so the courts will interpret this as modifying and superseding the other emergency preparedness laws,” Draper explained.

Draper says there haven’t been many lawsuits applying vaccination debates to the HCRCA, but there was one in March of 2020, and the decision puts more power in teachers’ hands.

“The appellate court sided with the employee on every argument about the breadth of this,” Draper said. “That’s very powerful for individuals who object to the vaccination requirement, and even so much as the testing.”


Much of Illinois is also seeing signs the summer surge in cases is behind us. New hospital admissions for COVID-related illness have been declining for nearly three weeks and now fewer than 2,000 people are hospitalized with the virus.

In a state with a population of 12.7 million people, COVID-related hospitalizations represent .015 percent of the population. Yet, Governor JB Pritzker’s administration has not said how close we are to lifting the statewide indoor mask mandate that went into effect August 30.

If history repeats itself, we’ll see another surge in the fall and winter as people go back inside.

* Sun-Times

The mother of a Chicago Public Schools student at Jensen Elementary has passed away after battling COVID-19, according to her family, while hundreds of students, including her own, were ordered to quarantine because they were exposed to several confirmed cases of the virus at the school.

The district, which has faced criticism from the Chicago Teachers Union and some parents over its safety plan as it reopens full-time this fall, has claimed since the start of the pandemic that there has been little, if any, in-school transmission of the virus, and again Monday denied finding any evidence that the eight cases at Jensen were passed on to others in the building or at home.

Before she died late last week, Shenitha “Angel” Curry — described by family as “vibrant and outspoken” — said she was frustrated and angry with the school system’s COVID-19 protocols, particularly the contract tracing program which she said never reached her for an interview. Curry’s sister said Monday that Curry, who was unvaccinated, told her in her final days that she was sure her illness stemmed from the school. Curry’s 44th birthday would have been later this week.

Anxiety was already high at Jensen before parents learned of Curry’s death from teachers and union organizers as they brought their kids to school Monday. Over the past two weeks, 205 students have been sent home after they were identified as close contacts to at least one of eight children or educators who contracted the virus, according to district records. That left 11 of the school’s 17 classrooms in quarantine, with eight classes due to return Monday from their two-week remote learning period. The Lawndale school enrolls 297 students, most of whom are too young to be vaccinated.

Get your shots, folks.

* Sun-Times

Former Chicago Fraternal Order of Police President Dean Angelo Sr., was in an intensive care unit Monday night due to COVID-19 complications.

Angelo’s son, Dean Angelo Jr., a sergeant with the Chicago Police Department, confirmed Monday evening that his father was taken to the intensive care unit at a local hospital on Sunday and remained there as of Monday night.

COVID-19 has killed more police officers than anything else this year and last.

* NY Magazine

As we head into the fall, debate over vaccine policy has coalesced around two anchors: the matter of juvenile vaccination and the matter of boosters. On September 22, the FDA authorized booster doses of the Pfizer vaccine for the elderly, high-risk individuals, and those with frequent exposure but not the population as a whole; later in the same week, the CDC director overruled internal advisers to make the same recommendation. To this point, much of the debate around boosters has focused on waning immunity — and it is clear now, in study after study, both that protection does wane and that boosters, already delivered abroad in more than a dozen countries, help significantly. The waning is most visible among the elderly, as many of the studies have shown. But just as important, and much less discussed, is what it would mean to restore that immunity to that group. Because of the age skew, the social impact of elevating protection among the most vulnerable by even a few percentage points would be absolutely enormous. That’s because if vulnerability is hundreds of times higher in one group than another, the impact of that boost is going to be much, much larger too.

* More…

* Childhood COVID-19 cases fall for second week, as experts say student quarantines, testing are curbing virus spread

* Limited childcare options causing problems for Effingham County parents

* Southwestern Illinois teachers file lawsuit over state vaccine, masking requirements

* Six Naperville firefighters suing city, health system, Pritzker over vaccine, testing mandate

* Religious freedom group says Southern Illinois Healthcare is being unlawful

* Teacher placed on unpaid leave after defying COVID-19 vaccination card or testing mandate

* The Nonsensical Loophole in Biden’s Vaccine Mandate: A weather report can’t replace an umbrella, and a coronavirus test can’t replace a shot.

* Unvaccinated United Airlines’ Staff Faces Firings as Early as Today as Deadline for Covid Shots Passes

* COVID Booster Shots: What Illinois Residents Should Know as Extra Doses Begin

* Traveling nurses help rural hospitals during the pandemic, but they come with a high price tag

* Kankakee earmarks $1.35 million in federal COVID funding


Group pushing for early release of mentally ill prisoners kept in solitary confinement

Tuesday, Sep 28, 2021 - Posted by Rich Miller


Christopher Knox already had a long history of living with mental illness when he was sentenced to time in an Illinois prison. He has had a litany of diagnoses, including bipolar disorder and PTSD, and a history of self-harm going back to when he was just 7 years old. When he was locked inside prison at age 19, his mental health deteriorated. He lashed out at a fellow prisoner and he said he was sent to solitary where he was in a cell 23 hours a day, seven days a week.

“It caused me to go into the dark places that I never want to ever go again,” Knox said. “It put me in a mind frame where I didn’t care about anyone or anything. I just gave up. I had lost all hope.”

In solitary, Knox mutilated himself and attempted suicide multiple times. Other times he’d yell or throw things at staff. That too, he said, was a kind of self-harm. If he provoked staff, they may rush into his cell and violently drag him out. Those interactions gave him the painful sensations he craved, and he hoped maybe one day an officer might kill him so it could be over.

During 17 years in solitary, Knox was criminally charged for spitting on an officer and was sentenced to an extra five years behind bars. His conviction for kicking a guard added four more years. A conviction for throwing liquid soap at a guard’s face landed him another six. As he continued to get in trouble, what started out as an anticipated 11 years in prison turned into a projected 41 years behind bars, according to data from the Illinois Prison Project, an advocacy organization.


Jennifer Soble, executive director of the Prison Project, said she can’t imagine that Knox would have been charged with new offenses behind bars, let alone multiple cases, if he hadn’t spent so many years in solitary with little to no mental health treatment.

The project currently represents 43 clients it says have similar stories to Knox. They were all convicted of staff assaults, many for spitting or throwing urine on staff. According to Soble, all their clients have mental illness, and about 60% were on suicide watch at the time of the crime.

Soble said the prison environment, especially solitary, exacerbates people’s mental illnesses, and then the prison system punishes them for it. The punishments can be severe. The prison project said its clients have had an average of 15 additional years added to the time they expect to serve in prison — collectively, an additional 842 years.

This week the prison project plans to file 43 petitions for commutation that, if approved by the governor, would move up their release dates.

* Related…

* Some lawmakers, advocates want to restore voting rights to those in prison: Matt Dietrich, spokesman for the state’s election authority, said the board members’ opposition isn’t “philosophical,” but based on the bill’s constitutionality, which they believe is “problematic.” “What we have said is ‘change the constitution first, and then let’s do this,’” Dietrich said.

* State Partners With Legal Aid Network To Expunge Cannabis-Related Records: State Rep. La Shawn Ford, a Democrat from the West Side of Chicago, believes more outreach is needed.


Governors Edgar and Quinn look back at their relationships with Chicago mayors

Tuesday, Sep 28, 2021 - Posted by Rich Miller

* Derrick Blakly

Edgar’s governorship coincided with the early years of Mayor Richard M. Daley’s twenty-year reign on the fifth floor of Chicago’s City Hall. Republican governor. Democrat mayor. It was a bumpy ride.

“I didn’t have a big problem with Rich Daley. I think he had more of a problem with me,” said Edgar. “Richie had been mayor about two years when I came in. That’s when they increased the income tax, giving an additional amount to the cities. So he got a big boost there. They did Navy Pier, too. All this happened as Jim Thompson was going out the door. When I came in, we were in the midst of a recession, and we had a huge deficit. I had to cut a lot of things, which means I had to say no. He always referred to me as ‘Governor No.’”

Daley and Edgar had other flash points as well. Daley wanted the state to pay for a Soldier Field rehab for the Bears but Edgar refused, preferring a multi-purpose facility at McCormick Place. Daley wanted to close Meigs Field (which he eventually did after Edgar left office) but Edgar fought to keep it open. After the infamous Loop flood, Daley wanted Edgar to promise to pay half the repair costs. Not knowing what the costs were and unwilling to sign a blank check with the state practically broke, Edgar refused. And Daley wanted Edgar to sign off on a bill rushed through the statehouse limiting the power of rebellious City Treasurer Miriam Santos. Edgar again declined.

“Daley told me, I really need you to sign this bill,” Edgar said. “I said, Mayor, I got all the Hispanic leaders leaning on me. They feel like this bill is an attack against them. I got half the Hispanic votes in a close election. I felt pretty close to the Hispanic community. I vetoed the bill. He thought it was a personal slap. From then on, things were pretty tense.”

Go read the rest.


Today’s quotable: Rodney Davis predicts Pritzker will be one-term governor

Tuesday, Sep 28, 2021 - Posted by Rich Miller


Illinois lawmakers have yet to draw up the every-ten-years redistricting map for congressional seats. Until they do, U.S. Rep. Rodney Davis (R-Taylorville) will be waiting.

Davis, who now represents the 13th District, says 2022 will be a Republican year regardless of whether he runs for Congress or governor.

“I think Gov. (JB) Pritzker is going to be a one-term governor,” said Davis Monday. “I think we Republicans will nominate a candidate that will rally Illinoisans around him or her and be able to change Illinois. Change the way things are going in Illinois. And you do not have to look too far to see what corruption in Illinois means. Look at (former Illinois House Speaker) Mike Madigan and his henchmen that have run this Capitol for decades, and many in the news media turned a blind eye to it.”


It’s just a bill: The Protecting Heartbeats Act

Tuesday, Sep 28, 2021 - Posted by Rich Miller

* Press release…

Today, State Representative Margaret Croke (IL-12) introduced HB4156, a bill to protect Illinoisans from gun violence and hold those putting more guns onto our streets accountable. The Protecting Heartbeats Act will allow Illinois residents to take civil action against gun manufacturers, importers, and dealers whose firearms are responsible for injury or death in the state.

“Too many Illinoisans die each year from senseless gun violence and we need to be doing everything in our power to keep people safe and prevent more guns from flooding into our communities,” said State Representative Margaret Croke. “In its ruling in Texas, the Supreme Court allowed citizens to take civil action against anyone in violation of the law. Our state has the opportunity to employ this same logic to hold gun manufacturers, importers, and dealers accountable for their actions and stop preventable tragedies from taking the lives of more Illinoisans.”

Everytown for Gun Violence, a leading gun violence prevention organization, estimates that 1,363 Illinoisans die of gun violence every year. From 2009 to 2018, the rate of gun deaths in Illinois increased by 32%, compared to 18% in the same time period nationwide. Illinois has the 9th highest rate of gun homicides in the country, and Black people are 34 times as likely to die by gun homicide as white people, compared to just 10 times nationwide. Everytown also says that firearms are the number one leading cause of death among children and teens in Illinois.

A recent report from the Chicago Tribune, which found that one single gun was responsible for 27 shootings and an untold amount of damage to Chicagoans and their loved ones in just a 20 month period, includes research that estimates the cost of just one gunshot injury is over $1 million. These costs include medical expenses, the earning power of a victim, the loss of business to the affected community, and more.

Under the Protecting Heartbeats Act, any Illinois resident other than a state or local government officer or employee may bring a civil action against a gun manufacturer, importer or dealer whose gun is responsible for bodily injury or death. If the claimant wins the suit, the court will award injunctive relief and damages of no less than $10,000 for each person injured or killed by the firearm manufactured, imported or dealt by the liable party.

The bill is here.

…Adding… Sun-Times

But Richard Pearson, the head of the Illinois State Rifle Association, doesn’t think going after manufacturers is the way to curb the gun violence the state is seeing.

Pearson called the measure a “terrible bill” because the state “can’t control” what people do with guns or anything else.

He equated the measure to people suing farmers for accidents after agronomists sell their corn to an elevator that in turn sells the grain to a company that makes alcohol, which is “ridiculous.”

None of the gun laws already on the books in the U.S. will “stop criminal activity, no matter what you do, because criminals want to be criminals,” Pearson said.

“The only thing that has worked in the past is — when you get crime rates to drop — you put more police on the streets, you take the criminals who get caught, and you convict them and you put them in jail for a long time and people decide to stop doing bad stuff, but, until you do that, right now it’s just going the opposite way, like a revolving door,” Pearson said. “It’s a pretty terrible system right now.”

More react at the link.


*** UPDATED x1 *** Danny Davis believes R. Kelly will be “welcomed back” in Chicago, but it will depend on how he reconciles “for the acts that he may have committed”

Tuesday, Sep 28, 2021 - Posted by Rich Miller

* AP

R. Kelly, the R&B superstar known for his anthem “I Believe I Can Fly,” was convicted Monday in a sex trafficking trial after decades of avoiding criminal responsibility for numerous allegations of misconduct with young women and children.

A jury of seven men and five women found Kelly, 54, guilty of all nine counts, including racketeering, on their second day of deliberations. Kelly wore a face mask below black-rimmed glasses, remaining motionless with eyes downcast, as the verdict was read in federal court in Brooklyn.

Prosecutors alleged that the entourage of managers and aides who helped Kelly meet girls — and keep them obedient and quiet — amounted to a criminal enterprise. Two people have been charged with Kelly in a separate federal case pending in Chicago.

He faces the possibility of decades in prison for crimes including violating the Mann Act, an anti-sex trafficking law that prohibits taking anyone across state lines “for any immoral purpose.” Sentencing is scheduled for May 4. […]

Several accusers testified in lurid detail during the trial, alleging that Kelly subjected them to perverse and sadistic whims when they were underage.

* US Rep. Danny Davis, who is facing a primary challenge backed by Justice Democrats, was asked by TMZ if R. Kelly would be “welcomed back in Chicago” when his sentence is finished

Well, let me tell you, as an artist, one who’s gifted, and is gifted, I think he’ll be welcomed back into Chicago as a person who can be redeemed.

You know, I’m a big believer in what is called ’second chances.’ And I actually have a bill that we got passed called The Second Chance Act, which gives individuals the opportunities to to be redeemed and to redeem themselves. So it will really all depend on him.

Davis was then asked what he would tell R. Kelly what he should do during his time in prison

Try and find peace with his maker and peace with himself and reconcile with the universe for the acts that he may have committed.

The convicted felon faces federal charges in Chicago, as well as charges in Cook County and Minnesota.

*** UPDATE *** From Davis’ Democratic primary opponent Kina Collins…

“Congressman Davis’ statement today was thoughtless, distasteful, and incredibly disappointing for a man charged with representing thousands of Black women and girls in our district.

“I’m shocked that my Congressman would choose today of all days to focus on second chances for a serial abuser rather than uplifting survivors. Second chances for those reentering communities from prison are critical. But by holding R. Kelly — a man who leveraged his wealth and power to evade justice and harm Black girls — as an example of what second chances look like, Davis is undermining the broader fight for justice.

“It took years of activism — led by Black women — to hold R. Kelly accountable. He has caused immeasurable harm to so many women in our district and across Chicago. He hasn’t even been sentenced, let alone begun to serve his time. When so many survivors are just now finally able to begin their healing process, Congressman Davis’ statement shows just how out of touch he is with the community he claims to represent.

“My heart goes out to survivors in IL-07 and across the country today. Our district deserves better than thoughtless leadership.”

* Related…

* R. Kelly: The history of allegations against him

* R. Kelly Is Found Guilty on All Counts, Twenty-five Years Too Late

* R. Kelly’s conviction a victory, especially for Black women, in a battle we can never stop fighting


Open thread

Tuesday, Sep 28, 2021 - Posted by Rich Miller

* Have at it.



Tuesday, Sep 28, 2021 - Posted by Rich Miller

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