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The [Monday] Papers

Catch up with The [Sunday] Papers here, including a brief look at the stunning developments among the George Ryan jury, a challenge to the president of Exelon Nuclear, and the political sidelight of the Chicago Sun-Times's business editor.

In today's papers, there is one story that stands above all others as a must-read. Can even the most die-hard Republicans now claim that we weren't deceived into war by a president lacking judgement, among other shortcomings?

The president also spoke of assassinating Saddam Hussein here.

But denied it here.

Seat Belt Baloney
Is this what this campaign is going to be like? Pressing issues like a seat belt vote in the 1980s? Unless Judy Baar Topinka says she will try to roll back the seat belt law if elected governor, this is lame. (In fact, it might solidify her cred with the conservative/libertarian wing of the party none too thrilled with her generally moderate ways.) If you're keeping score at home, give Topinka half a point just to spite the Dems for wasting our time.

Use of Force
New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg proposed last week adding 800 police officers and 400 civilians to his city's police department. "The crime rate has come down more so than anybody would have ever thought," Bloomberg said. "That's the time to make another investment to keep it going. In business, you would devote more resources to the successful parts of your business and cut back those that aren't successful."

According to 2004 figures cited by The New York Times, the size of Chicago's police force lags behind those of other major cities. Here are the number of officers per 1,000 citizens for the world's four biggest police forces:

LA: 2.4
NYC: 4.5
Philadephia: 4.6
Chicago: 4.7

Mmmm, Telecaster
But barely a mention of Springsteen, who put the Telecaster into the public consciousness as much as anyone? And no reproduction of that loving Tele photo online?

Next Year Is Here Again
With the Cubs and White Sox playing today in an exhibition game in Arizona, it's time to check in on the spring training standings. Not that they mean much, but the White Sox, at 7-18, have the worst spring training record in the major leagues.

Beyond that, four of the top five records in the American League belong to their Central Division rivals: Cleveland, Kansas City, Detroit, and Minnesota.

So, at least briefly, all is right with the world again.

The Cubs, meanwhile, are in the middle of the pack (13-10) in the National League. Their mediocrity is comforting.

The Trigger Was Pulled
Today's Tribune editorial in favor of a state ban on assault weapons appropriately connects the issue to the recent shooting deaths of two young girls in Englewood, but is curiously passive when describing the federal ban that was not renewed in 2004.

"Congress let a federal ban on 19 kinds of semiautomatic assault weapons expire in 2004," the paper says, without noting that while many Democrats were spineless weasels on the issue, both houses of Congress were (and still are) under control of Republicans and that, conveniently enough, a Republican sat (and still sits) in the White House.

And where did the Illinois delegation stand? Let's start naming names.

Race Case
"Why is it that only black people are expected to transcend race?" Laura Washington asks today. "Why is it that when African Americans vote as a bloc, it's called race-based voting, but when whites do it, it's called 'reform'? No doubt a goodly dollop of Claypool support was race-based."

Class Case
This letter appeared in the Sun-Times today:

Museums too costly for poor
The Museum of Science and Industry officials reported being "shocked" by the lack of racial and economic diversity in museum attendance as reported by a recent University of Chicago study. Study authors blandly suggest that, "Admissions fees, hours of operations and transportation are areas institutions may need to reconsider if they wish to broaden attendance."

I always knew those guys at U. of C. were brilliant. I mean, really, it doesn't take a U. of C. study to tell us that the average poor and working-class families can't afford the luxury of museum sightseeing. When my husband and I, both Chicago residents, went to the Shedd Aquarium a couple months ago, it cost us $34 to get into the museum and another $20 to have a sandwich. Our friends, a couple with three young children from Oak Park, paid the nonresident rate--more than $100.

Wake up, museum officials. Poor families aren't "overscheduled with soccer practices." They are trying to cover the essentials of daily life.

Wendy Siegel
North Center

In Today's Reporter
Serialized fiction has arrived at The Beachwood Reporter! Be the first on your block to get hip to the pleasures of "I, Store Detective."

We encourage continued persual of "12 Lists." You won't be sorry.

Timothy Inklebarger lived in Alaska. He has many tales to tell, and we've posted the second installment in this already popular series.

And my favorite team in this year's tournament, George Mason, has made the NCAA's Final Four, just as we predicted. If the team wins the championship, I believe there is a mechanism in the Constitution that allows the school to assume control of the nation.

Use our Tip Line: The U.S. Supreme Court has ruled it Constitutional.


Posted on March 27, 2006

MUSIC - Spring Awakening Wake-Up Call!
TV - Exclusive! Rahm's New TV Gig.
POLITICS - The Political Odds UPDATED.
SPORTS - NHL: CTE Not Our Fault.

BOOKS - Stan Lee, Flawed Hero.

PEOPLE PLACES & THINGS - Chicagoetry: I Am Iron Man.

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