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The [Monday] Papers

"The judge and attorneys in Rod Blagojevich's corruption retrial today were set to resume the daunting task of selecting jurors who can put aside what they've heard about the high-profile case and give the former Illinois governor a fair trial," AP reports.

"Judge James Zagel was expected to individually question up to 40 more people out of a pool of more than 100 potential jurors to assess their suitability. Each filled out a 38-page jury questionnaire as the retrial started last week."

Here's the important part:

"But he refused defense requests to send home several people who seemed biased against Blagojevich, including a retired auto shop owner who wrote that, 'Based on news accounts, my personal bias is - he is guilty.' Zagel said he accepted the man's assurances in court that he could set aside his preconceptions and focus solely on the evidence."


I always thought Zagel was a decent judge but his track record makes one wonder if he's still naive after all these years.


"Blagojevich himself has seemed closely involved scrutinizing potential panelists, scribbling notes on a yellow pad as would-be jurors answered questions."

You can see a copy of those notes here.


"His wife, Patti, also has taken detailed notes sitting on a nearby spectators' bench."

You can see a copy of those notes here.

Canucks Catastrophe
A guide from Canada's National Post.


Plus, our very own Canucks Minds Thoroughly Blown.

Wilco World
New album due in September.


I guess they couldn't get it together in time for Rahm's inauguration.

Grad Rate 1010
New Chicago schools chief Jean-Claude Brizard's latest dissemblings are scheduled for 5:30 p.m. today on Rochester TV.

WLS "reporter" creates "news" by making lame remark to defendant!

Del Valle's Stand
Won't work for City of Chicago.


"Del Valle made it clear that he was sincere in stepping out of city politics the day after the election, when he was offered a position on the Emanuel transition team.

"'Rahm called me the next day and asked me if I would be a culture of transition to him and I said no,' del Valle said. 'I've been around long enough to know how transition teams work. He was asking me to implement his agenda, which I criticized during the campaign. It would be totally inconsistent and would have affected my credibility quite a bit. People would have perceived that as me setting the stage to get some kind of appointment and I made it very clear from the beginning that I would not do that.'"

Our Proud Tax Cheats
"Some big Chicago-area retailers have found a way to avoid paying high local sales taxes on their wholesale purchases," Rich Miller writes. "They've essentially set up their own 'tax havens' in downstate counties that have no local sales taxes. The havens mostly are just one-person offices with a fax machine.

"The retailers contract to purchase mass quantities of fuel or construction equipment or lumber or whatever, and then those contracts are faxed to their little downstate offices, stamped as received and then faxed back to headquarters and - voila - no local sales taxes are owed."

It's nice to see we're a nation of stand-up people eager to take responsibility as good citizens.

Crime Against Writing
At least their lead wasn't "Hair today, gone tomorrow."

Top Cop Chop
"Police Commissioner Charles Ramsey is aware of the chatter, aware that people's expectations of him jumped considerably earlier this month when he received a $60,000 raise to stay in Philadelphia after flirting publicly with the idea of taking the top cop's job in Chicago," the Philadelphia Daily News reports.

Q: How did your family and friends react in Chicago?

A: They were disappointed. A lot of people thought I was really going there. . . . Some of the things that were written in the papers out there just weren't true.

Q: Such as?

A: That I was asking for big money and a house. It was just misinformation. I asked for a real-estate agent who could steer me to a place to rent, because, at one point, I was seriously considering going.

That sounds like Ramsey was actually offered the job - as does this:

"I would have enjoyed coming and working with Mayor Emanuel," Ramsey told the Sun-Times. "It was a tough choice."

Though Ramsey was likely referring to this:

"Sneed hears rumbles Philadelphia Police Chief Charles Ramsey, who lost a bid to become Chicago's top cop because he was angling for big bucks, also wanted a home tossed into the mix."

The Weekend in Chicago Rock
Including Arcade Fire, Duran Duran, Material Re-Issue, The National, Jonathan Coulton and Chris Cornell.

Dolla TV
42nd Campbell, the hottest block in Chicago.

Jobless Should Buy iPads
Pundits say.

Starlin Sushi
Good but raw. In The Cub Factor.

Even Ozzie Is Bored
Giving up? In The White Sox Report.

Really Old Book For Sale
The Nuremburg Chronicle dates to 1493.

Someone Might Still Love Me
Zeus farts and snores.

Programming Note
I'm back behind the bar tonight at the venerable Beachwood Inn. The Chicago Code is a rerun; we'll show it upon customer request or just stick with the jukebox.

(It's the one about Cabrini-Green, which is actually kind of cool because it's the first time - I think - that show creator Shawn Ryan dipped into the history of Chicago and really lent a richer and innovative texture to the show. Plus, the focus is on Alderman Gibbons, who grew up in Cabrini, and is by far the most interesting character played by the show's best performer.)

Either way, we'll have free pizza as usual, Old Styles for $2.50, and the usual witty banter from various ne'er do-wells and Beachwood contributors. 5 p.m. to 2 a.m.


The Beachwood Tip Line: Break the code.


Posted on April 25, 2011

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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