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The [Monday] Papers

Perusing the news.

1. "The University of Illinois says a record number of prospective freshmen applied this year for admission to its three campuses in Urbana-Champaign, Chicago and Springfield," AP reports.

Because applying to your legislator no longer works.

2. I dunno, what's Swahili for Will The Defendant Please Rise?

3. The Republican National Convention opens today at the Tampa Bay Times Forum, a monument to the newspaper industry's penchant for bungling the branding of its few quality products.


The St. Petersburg Times used to mean something, as did The Des Moines Register and, even, the Chicago Tribune. In each case the brand diminishment was the direct result of corporate decision-making - such as refocusing resources covering snoozy but affluent bedroom suburbs - that had nothing to do with the Internet.

4. "U.S. unemployment is unlikely to fall below 7 percent before 2015 at the earliest under current policies, the Chicago Federal Reserve Bank President Charles Evans said on Monday," Reuters reports.

No wonder applications to U of I are up.

5. "A new study on guns seized by Chicago police shows that suburban gun shops are a main source of guns used in crimes in the city," the Tribune reports.

At 29 percent, the main source but not the overwhelming one. Still.

"Two gun stores in suburban Lyons and Riverdale accounted for more than 10 percent of the guns recovered."

That would be Chuck's Gun Shop in Riverdale and Midwest Guns in Lyons.


From the Sun-TImes:

John Riggio, owner of Chuck's, has never been charged with wrongdoing involving his store.

The shop is small-town charming, its walls adorned with Bears and Sox posters and a photo of the Lone Ranger. There's also a sign warning customers it's illegal to buy guns and ammo for someone else.

Riggio declined to talk on the record, but privately he's happy to chat about the steps he takes to ensure he and his customers are following the law.

As he talked one recent day, a Dolton police officer walked into the store to say hello and helped a customer with questions about how he could legally transport his newly purchased gun in his car.

Riggio and his store don't project the image of an arms dealer indifferent to whether guns wind up in the hands of criminals or honest citizens.

Still, he's been blasted over the years, accused of being an irresponsible gun dealer. The criticism began after a study showed Chuck's sold more guns between 1996 and 2000 that ended up in the hands of criminals than any store in the country.

The store is periodically targeted for protests by gun-control activists such as the Rev. Michael Pfleger and the Rev. Jesse Jackson. In one rally outside the store in 2007, Jackson yelled to hundreds of protesters: "Futures not funerals! Sons not guns!"

John Riggio, you are Today's Worst Person in Chicago, even if you are in Riverdale.

6. "Chicago police have suspended nearly 80 percent of their investigations into nonfatal shootings on the grounds that victims wouldn't cooperate, according to a review of more than 1,100 cases through the first seven months of the year," the Tribune reports.

"The statistics are a stark reminder of both the level of violence on Chicago's gang-infested streets, as well as the difficulties police face in trying to penetrate barriers of mistrust and silence that encompass the city's most dangerous communities."

I'm not condoning it but you can hardly blame them. It's amazing the level of courage we demand from those most vulnerable compared to those most in a position to act honorably.

7. "Windy City Electric Co., its owners and their politically connected husbands have been permanently banned from working for City Hall for orchestrating a fraud scheme that landed them millions of dollars in city contracts set aside for companies owned by women and minorities, Mayor Rahm Emanuel's administration has announced," the Sun-Times reports.

"One of the people Emanuel banned is Anthony P. McMahon, a top precinct captain for Chicago's most powerful alderman, Edward M. Burke (14th)."

Burke refused to answer Sun-Times reporters' questions because he doesn't think he has an obligation as a public servant to do so. He does cash our paychecks, though.


"The Emanuel administration is still investigating Daniel Hebert - the husband of one of Burke's top aides, Michelle Murphy - who helped the McMahon brothers run Ace Mechanical Co., a plumbing company that also got city work and inexplicably paid more than $1 million to Windy City."

What a piece of work is Burke.


"Windy City has been paid nearly $11 million since 2007 under an electrical-maintenance contract with the aviation department. Windy City will continue to work under that contract until a new company is found.

"The McMahon brothers are part of an extended family that has reaped tens of millions of dollars in government deals - including electrical work at city airports and Chicago public schools, and delivering milk to the schools and the Cook County Jail. The family and its business partners have given more than $164,000 to political funds controlled by Burke, plus hundreds of thousands of dollars more to dozens of other politicians."

8. I think if you circle every fifth letter this love note from Rod to Patti says: "Please get me a rock hammer."

9. A Special Place In Hell: Toni Preckwinkle was right.

10. Real Streets & Real Hoods: Chicago's Wild 100s.

11. The White Sox Report: South Side Mystique.

12. SportsMonday: Cutler In Flux.

13. The Weekend in Chicago Rock: You shoulda been there.

14. The Cub Factor will appear on Tuesday this week.


The Beachwood Tip Line: Mystical.


Posted on August 27, 2012

MUSIC - Madonna vs. Moderna.
TV - Sundays With The Military-Industrial Complex.
POLITICS - Private Equity In The ER.
SPORTS - Suspicious Betting Trends In Soccer.

BOOKS - China Holding Swedish Publisher.


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