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The [Monday] Papers

1. 1,825 days later.

2. If beef stew and squealing tires in the rain is all that is left in the quiver of George Ryan apologists like Rob Warden, the former pharmacist from Kankakee ought to start training for the prison dispensary.

3. "In one of the counts [federal judge Rebecca] Pallmeyer dismissed, Ryan had been accused of a supposed role in a fraud committed by Arthur 'Ron' Swanson, who collected a $50,000 fee in 2001 from a Downstate town to lobby for locating a prison there. In fact, the decision to locate the prison there had already been made - and Swanson knew it. At Ryan's trial, however, the government produced not a shred of evidence that Ryan knew of Swanson's fraud," Warden writes in his beef stew piece.

Warden leaves out the not inconsequential fact that Ryan was the one who told Swanson the confidential information about which town had been chosen for the prison.

Warden cites two counts that Pallmeyer threw out - despite the jury's decision to convict on them - as proof that the jury failed to do its job honestly. He conveniently ignores convictions on the other 16 counts that Pallmeyer let stand.

4. "Members of Congress tell the whole truth only about a quarter of the time when debating major legislation on the floors of the House and Senate," the Pew Research Center reports.

"Instead, legislators mostly rely on half-truths, misleading exaggerations or outright inaccuracies when debating the nation's business, according to two political scientists who have studied the quality of debate in Congress."

5. "Apparently there's no national standard for driver's ed, although it seems like an awfully big coincidence that everybody came up with the idea to use fluorescent orange cones on their own," writes Paige Wiser.

6. Perhaps the media is missing the real story in the case of the white Beverly 14-year-old who was beaten in July by, according to police, three African Americans. The case prompted calls from the neighborhood to label the incident as a hate crime, and the ensuing debate has framed the story. But maybe the real story is the racial animus that whites in the neighborhood feel for the alleged attackers. Perhaps that's where the hate emanates from. Consider:

"According to investigators, the attackers' only motive was to commit a robbery, even though one of them referred to Ryan as a 'goofy-looking white boy,'" we learn deep into a Sun-Times report on Sunday. "But even before that remark was made public, there was an outcry from the neighborhood about why the beating was not considered a hate crime."

So even the slimmest of reeds - the goofy white boy remark - wasn't even known when the good folks of Beverly started screaming that this ought to be considered a hate crime. Why? Solely because of the races of the kids involved.

"The Cook County state's attorney's office has maintained there was no hate crime," the Sun-Times says, "though Chicago Police are reviewing the incident because of those remarks."

To be polite, I'm sure.

Even the kid's mother "believes the attack was a random act of violence."

The neighborhood response, however, was anything but random.

7. "Color Us Hypocrites."

8. So much for any lingering notions anyone had of the hard-nosed Bears reflecting a blue-collar fan base. "It costs a family of four $439.59 to attend a Bears game, according to Team Marketing Report," as cited by the Tribune. That's the third highest "fan cost index" in the league, behind Patriots and Redskins games. Least expensive: Buffalo Bills games, at $246.17. (Packers games: $331.45)


10. Life imitates art imitating life. On CBS.


12. "Q-Ray Inventor Gets More Than Wrist Slap."

And customers can line up at my place for head slaps.

13. "State-funded Trade Group 'To Wind Down.'"

Mission accomplished.

14. "We All Sanctioned Undocumented Workers."

15. The Tribune's Christi Parsons bid farewell to Springfield on Sunday on her way to a new assignment in the paper's Washington, D.C. bureau. Parsons notes that the state capitol is "corrupt, sneaky, and underhanded."

Just like every newsroom I've been in.

16. I'm not sure the Tribune editorial page sees the connection between low prices, low wages, and a low economy.

17. I'm not sure the Tribune editorial page will ever see the light as articulated by Alan Gandelman of Glencoe.

18. Janice Davis of Elmhurst has a fine idea: Rename State Street between Washington and Randolph Honorary Marshall Field Way.

The Beachwood Tip Line: Better than shopping.


Posted on September 11, 2006

MUSIC - Lyric Opera Strike Settled.
POLITICS - USA Today's Op-Ed Disaster.
SPORTS - SportsMonday: Come On, Vic!

BOOKS - Chicago Book Haul: The Dial.

PEOPLE PLACES & THINGS - Chicagoetry: West Town Blues.

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