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Here in Chicago, we like to view ourselves as the kings and queens of political corruption, like we invented the beast.
But even a hometown booster like myself has to give props to the folks in New Jersey and New York. I mean nothing, absolutely nothing, conceived in Chicago—not Hired Truck, Tomczak [PDF], the Duffs, Sorich, Blago, you name it—comes remotely close to the scandal those folks cooked up.
It sounds like the start of a joke about the priest, the minister, and the rabbi walking into a bar. At last count, it's got three mayors, two state assemblymen, and five rabbis.
The feds had a mole posing as a crooked realtor. People were passing money in cereal boxes. They were hawking off body parts. They were—well, read the New York Times story yourself. It's too astounding to miss.
But before we get too down thinking that we're no longer number one, consider this: great feats motivate others to even greater feats. Such is the nature of humanity and the reason for our progress as a civilization.
Just as Mark Buehrle's masterpiece and DeWayne Wise's sensational catch will motivate Little Leaguers to work on their game, so this mess out of Jersey will inspire our locals to unimagined greatness. Why, there's probably some starry-eyed dreamer in City Hall devising a diabolical scheme at this very moment.