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The [Thursday] Papers

Is Tony Rezko afraid of getting whacked?

I had somewhat similar thoughts as Mark Brown yesterday upon hearing about the weirdest aspect of the Rezko verdict.

"I know that there are those, like John Kass, who would like me to decry Chicago politics more frequently. I'll leave that to his editorial commentary."
- Barack Obama, March 14

"I'm saddened by today's verdict. This isn't the Tony Rezko I knew, but now he has been convicted by a jury on multiple charges that once again shine a spotlight on the need for reform. I encourage the General Assembly to take whatever steps are necessary to prevent these kinds of abuses in the future."
- Barack Obama, June 5

A) I meant I'll leave that up to John Kass and the General Assembly.
B) The Tony Rezko I knew never would have gotten caught!
C) So you'll give your political mentor Emil Jones a call?

Gov. Baloneyvich
"He stopped only briefly for reporters who shouted questions after he left the podium.

"'I have a $2 billion budget deficit on my desk. I've got to get back to work,' he said. And then he returned to his private offices."

A) And turned on a replay of the previous night's Cubs game.
B) And sent the budget bill back to the General Assembly and called it a day.
C) And then called in legislative leaders and worked into the night hammering out a good budget for the people of Illinois. Oops, that's what Bizarro Blago did!

Heavy Lifting
"Foreman Michelle DiBartolomeo said the jury spent three days wrestling with [count 13], poring over a 14-page transcript of a phone call between Levine and [businessman] Robert Weinstein," the Tribune reports.

This was the count that the jury almost deadlocked on, sending a note to the judge at one point saying it could not reach a decision.

It was also just one of 24 counts the jury had to consider.

The Cynics
"The trial provided ample fodder for cynics who see Illinois' political insiders as a cozy club motivated more by greed than public service or ideology," the Tribune says.

Is that the way "cynics" see it, or is that actually reality? Seems to me the cynics are the ones in the cozy club - and the shoulder-shrugging members of the media who rejoice in their own sense of savvy by knowing the intricacies of how the game is played.

The Road From Ryan
"Two principal lessons emerged from Operation Safe Road:

"First, when campaign contributions are mixed with official government business (such as in the sale of truck licenses for contributions) the results can be toxic and tragic. Second, when insiders who are not on the government payroll are granted authority in government decision-making (such as awarding lucrative real estate and consulting contracts), government loses accountability. Decisions are based on the insiders' agenda, not the public's," writes former federal prosecutor Patrick Collins.

"Sadly, it appears these lessons have fallen on deaf ears."

Division Street
Go there after you read the rest of today's Beachwood.

* I live-blogged the Rezko announcement coverage on CLTV.
* BGA to Blago: Tell The Truth.
* Another disingenuous ad from the Children's Museum

And more!

Russ Feingold would burnish the Obama brand.

Off The Rails
"The Second City ranks only third of the four finalists selected Wednesday in Athens by the International Olympic Committee's executive committee," the Tribune reports. "Technical evaluations by an IOC working group cited weak spots in Chicago's transportation plan; construction budgets that appear to be too low; and financial guarantees that don't meet IOC requirements.

"Apparently United States Olympic Committee Chairman Peter Ueberroth was on target this spring when he said the Chicago bid is nowhere near being No. 1 in the race for the Summer Games."

The CTA is clearly one of the biggest problems with the Chicago bid - though the IOC is concerned about holes in the entire transportation grid.

"The city's application said Chicago plans to spend $27 billion on road and transit projects by 2016, the report noted. But it specifically listed only $2.7 billion in actual work planned.

"Chicago also fell flat in describing how it would help Olympic spectators travel from venue to venue.

"'The working group had difficulty in identifying the location of transport projects and therefore assessing the coherence between transport projects and the Olympic Games concept,' the report said.

"It also noted that the sports venues along the lakefront were a long distance from rail stations."

Hit Job
Holy Christ.

Sin Bin
"God's word forbids his Christians from committing adultery, fornication, rape, homosexuality, pedophilia and incest among other sexual transgressions," Sun-Times sportswriter Lacy J. Banks writes on his cancer blog.

Here's what one his commenters said, and his response:

"Does the Sun Times really need this kind of blog? Have we not reached the point where a major newspaper won't offer a forum for someone who both thinks women are secondary to men (created apparently as an afterthought to comfort men) and places same-sex love, which this dude clearly doesn't get, on a par with bestiality and pederasty?

"Banks' response: Homosexuals are no more evil than adulterers, fornicators, thieves, liars, murderers, haters and any other sinners."

Question for Banks: Does the J. stand for Jesus?

The Beachwood Tip Line: Come all ye sinners.


Posted on June 5, 2008

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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