The [Thursday] Papers
"I hate to kick an old man when he's down, or look as if I'm dancing on the grave of his recently deceased wife," Phil Luciano writes for the Peoria Journal Star.
"But literally, upon reading the latest disgusting episode from pathetic George Ryan, my eyes widened and nostrils flared with disgust. Wednesday, the 7th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals gave yet another legal thumbs-down to jailbird Ryan's more recent ridiculous attempt at freedom.
"Yes, that's good. But the persistence of the Ryan camp is beyond galling. Yet there's only one more scene possible in this weary drama: the U.S. Supreme Court. The tiresome plot is obviously a farce, yet Ryan and Co. continue to play it serious. They put on impossibly grim and earnest faces, as if seeking to right a travesty of justice. But, presuming the public to be nothing but dimwits, they keep yammering as moronically as the most senseless silliness of Dumb and Dumber (no offense to Lloyd Christmas).
"Thus on Wednesday, there was Ryan's best buddy Jim Thompson, again somberly and gamely trying to prod public sympathy.
"Totally serious, Thompson vowed to reporters, 'It's not over.'
"Oh, it's over. Trust me, it's over."
"In their 11-page opinion, the appellate judges said the evidence amply 'demonstrates why a reasonable jury could find that Ryan sold his offices to the high bidders,'" AP reports.
"Last year, the district judge who presided over Ryan's 2006 trial, Rebecca Pallmeyer, upheld Ryan's corruption conviction, leading to the appeal.
"Pallmeyer ruled in December that vagueness wasn't an issue in Ryan's case.
"'Ryan clearly understood 'what conduct was prohibited' and could not have been surprised that he was subject to prosecution," she wrote, using language from the Supreme Court ruling.
"Ryan was convicted of steering state contracts and leases to political insiders while he was secretary of state and then as governor, receiving vacations and gifts in return. He also was accused of stopping an investigation into secretary of state employees accepting bribes in exchange for truck driver's licenses."
"You would really have to torture the evidence in this case to prove bribery," Thompson said Wednesday, according to the Tribune's report.
"The district court's opinion canvasses the evidence and demonstrates why a reasonable jury could find that Ryan sold his offices to the high bidders,' the opinion reads. 'It is unnecessary for us to repeat the exercise.'
"Thompson said Ryan's attorneys are also prepared to go to the U.S. Supreme Court or seek executive clemency from the president."
Rahm and Toni
From the Tribune editorial page, June 29: "Rahm, Toni and the Truth: Two doses of reality for insiders and taxpayers."
From the Chicago Headline Club's July 5th e-mail newsletter:
"We are still trying to set up meetings with state, county and city officials to discuss our huge survey that found Chicago journalists face dismal cooperation when trying to obtain information. Attorney General Lisa Madigan's office has expressed interest in a meeting. Not so with Cook County Board President Toni Preckwinkle or Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel's staffs."
"[T]he measure passed Wednesday has several restrictions of its own," AP reports. For example, only indoor ranges are allowed and only in areas of the city zoned for manufacturing. Also, the ranges cannot be within 1,000 feet of schools, residential areas, hospitals, museums, libraries, parks and liquor stores.
"In addition, range operators must pay $4,000 every other year for a license."
"Speaking at the CIPFA conference in Birmingham today, Stephanie Neely said that the city was trying to ask taxpayers how many services they were willing to give up in order to close the city's $700m deficit.
"This is expected to reach $1bn in a few years, and will lead to 'some extremely difficult choices that will drastically change Chicago for the next generation,' she said."
The 1989 Cubs TV Open
Carl's Cubs Mailbag
The Beachwood Tip Line: Entre nous.
Posted on July 7, 2011
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