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The [Thursday] Papers

George Ryan, the former Kankakee pharmacist, was sentenced to six-and-a-half years in prison on Wednesday. See my take in The [Ryan] Papers.

Jesse Jackson Jr. put the chances of his running for mayor at 75 percent, which means I'll have to rejigger The Political Odds today.

I don't think it's a secret to those who have read this column that I think Jr. is a pretty sharp guy. I saw an extended excerpt of the press conference he held outside his South Side home yesterday and found it hard not to be impressed.

Not so fond of "listening tours," but I suspect Jackson will spend a fair amount of time on the North Side assessing whether he can make a citywide campaign.

The homefront appears secure.

"He's passionate about Chicago and it's time he brings that passion home to Chicago," Sandi Jackson said, according to a report today in the Defender.

Daley Dose
From the Tribune. Insertions mine.

"While Daley says he has not decided whether to run for re-election [even though he removed the chief executive of the Chicago Housing Authority from his post in order to run the campaign he hasn't officially declared exists], he has begun forming a campaign team and last week hinted [meaning, he actually said it but doesn't want the press to get the idea that he means it until it's politically opportune for him to hold an artificial event to say so] that only some unforeseen circumstance could prevent him from seeking a sixth term [which is somehow seen by the press as less than an acknowledgement that he is running. Unless he means an indictment or his own death, neither of which would necessarily prevent him from running again, but which might cause a reappraisal of the situation.]"

Good Will Huntley
"But the bulk of the evidence indicates that people high up in the White House did seek to punish Wilson by unmasking his wife, and that the vice president's chief of staff did his best to conceal this effort from the special prosecutor," the Tribune's Steve Chapman writes today, in what might be considered a rejoinder to what the Sun-Times's Steve Huntley wrote last week.

"For that evidence, we should thank the much-maligned Fitzgerald, whose sole sin is doing his job conscientiously. But the only people who are grateful are those who put truth and accountability above their own narrow interests."

Compare and contrast.

Onion or Tribune?
"Book Says Rove Ordered Office Exorcism."

Katie Cakes I
Zay Smith's suggestion for Katie Couric's sign-off: "Please join us tomorrow. You never know when we will actually report some news. Goodnight." (last item)

Katie Cakes II
Did watching Couric interview President Bush make you feel more secure about our nation?

Katie Cakes III
After she asked Bush what his greatest fear was, I decided I couldn't wait around for the cooking segment.

Katie Cakes IV
Couric said she has gotten more than 20,000 e-mails suggesting what she should use for her sign-off. Pointing a finger at viewers, she vowed to personally go through each and every one of them.

Looks like a long weekend for the interns.

Katie Cakes V
If you can't come up with your own sign-off, maybe you shouldn't have one.

Invasive Procedures
The City Council is working with the restaurant industry on a trans fat compromise, the Sun-Times reports.

"Next week, Dr. Terry Mason, the city's health commissioner, will fly to New York City to get a firsthand look at whether Manhattan restaurants have voluntarily agreed to take trans fat off their menu, as city officials there have requested," the paper says.

Mason works for Daley. However . . .

"On Wednesday, Mayor Daley took yet another shot at aldermen hell-bent on sticking their noses in their constituents' lives.

"'Here we go again. Foie gras . . . they're gonna tell you not to eat ethnic foods. They're gonna tell you what to eat. They're gonna go into your living rooms, your dining rooms every day and your kitchen [while you're] sitting there. We have other things to worry about,' Daley said."

Yeah, I hate it when the city sticks their noses into our lives, like telling us where and when we can park, where and when we can buy alcohol, and when we have to yield to oncoming traffic. We have other things to worry about, like giving the city a reading list and arguing about street names.

Like Wisconsin
The city's Unified Communications Vehicle finally arrived. This was the only photo I could find.

Special Ops Cops
"Authorities are expected to arrest four Chicago Police officers today in a corruption investigation that could lead Cook County prosecutors to drop more than 100 criminal cases because they were tainted by the allegedly crooked cops," the Sun-Times reports.

"The officers are members of the department's elite Special Operations Section, a citywide unit that seizes guns and drugs in crime hot spots."

Officials did not say whether reconfigured statistics would show that crime actually went up, not down, in hot spots, thanks to the elite special ops unit.

"Sources said prosecutors in the Cook County state's attorney's office noticed last year that officers in the Special Operations Section were not showing up for court in cases involving large amounts of narcotics," the Sun-times said.

But prosecutors in the Cook County state's attorney's office under Richard M. Daley didn't notice that suspects interrogated by Jon Burge's unit showed signs of being tortured.

Letters Assessment
The mayor says the city is moving in the right direction. A leader of the Logan Square Neighborhood Association writes to the Sun-Times to say, "Unfortunately, the only direction thousands of Chicagoans are moving is out of the city." (fourth item)

Also in letters: Cook County Assessor James Houlihan calls Chicagoland Chamber of Commerce President Jerry Roper a liar. (seventh item)

The Beachwood Tip Line: Never surprised. Sometimes happy.


Posted on September 7, 2006

MUSIC - Who's Next In Chicago Rap.
TV - Tribune-Nexstar Deal Is Bad News.
POLITICS - Big Soda Hates You.
SPORTS - Harold vs. the Haters.

BOOKS - Wright Brothers, Wrong Story!

PEOPLE PLACES & THINGS - Go Ahead, Eat Raw Cookie Dough!

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