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The [Tuesday] Papers

"Former Gov. George Ryan's longshot - and likely last - chance to get out of prison early was denied Monday by an appellate court in Chicago," the Sun-Times reports.

"Lawyers for Ryan, who is nearing the end of his 6 1/2-year prison sentence for corruption, had argued last month that prosecutors had failed to prove he took bribes. But in a 16-page ruling issued Monday, the Seventh U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals disagreed, denying the 78-year-old Republican's appeal.

"The appeals court previously had rejected Ryan's arguments for overturning his 2006 convictions but was ordered by the U.S. Supreme Court in April to take another look at Ryan's arguments, saying it should consider whether the instructions given to jurors in Ryan's corruption trial were flawed in light of another high court ruling dealing with an arcane legal issue known as honest services fraud."

That puts the issue to bed; Ryan will be out soon anyway, as noted. And then we can pelt him with tomatoes on his way home to Kankakee.

Save some for his lawyers, too.

"This time, Ryan's attorneys argued that he accepted favors from friends - not bribes, and prosecutors failed to prove he took bribes, as the honest services fraud law requires."

Just favors? Hardly.

"His lawyers had argued that the gifts and vacations he took from people who did business with the state amounted to 'a friend doing a favor for a friend,' in the words of Ryan attorney Albert Alschuler, and not bribes."

That dog of an argument did not hunt.

"'By convicting on the tax counts, the jury found that Ryan knowingly accepted payment in exchange for official acts - that he was bribed, rather than just that he failed to disclose gifts to the public,' Chief Judge Frank Easterbrook wrote for a three-member panel," Courthouse News Service reports.

"Additionally, both the prosecution and the defense argued Ryan's case to the jury as being about bribery, the court noted."

Chicago On Mars
The new rover has already found many of our lost items.

Lolla Got Lucky
Evacuate yes. But to where?

That's Jay!
"Cutler is long gone from junior high, but he remembers how to deliver the type of condescending comment that makes seventh graders feel bulletproof," former Beachwood contributor Ricky O'Donnell writes for SBNation Chicago, where he is the editor.

Amnesty Now!
Chicago wants to forgive you.

Identify The Problem
"If anyone can put an end to black-on-black crime, it's going to be black people themselves," Dahleen Glanton writes in the Tribune today in an article about Minister Louis Farrakhan's efforts to help stem the violence in some of Chicago's most dangerous neighborhoods.

Setting aside for the moment the problematic (to say the least) issue of Farrakhan's message, I must once again point out that if urban violence had any sort of racial motivation, wealthy blacks would be driving down to Englewood and killing poor blacks - or vice versa. Instead, let's understand the nature of the problem. Poor blacks aren't killing other poor blacks because of their race, but because they are poor and proximate. (At least flash mobs on Michigan Avenue take it to the elite.)

For poor black people to think the problem is them is just what whitey wants you to think!

The problem is poverty - and the priorities of those in power. That doesn't mean I condone violence, but we have to understand how folks fall into the life. It's not because of some racial character flaw; in fact, in many ways people in the 'hood are responding rationally to their circumstances. So let's change the circumstances.

*

And by the way, that doesn't simply mean more "programs." It means an honest discussion and restructuring of our economic life and a reshaping of priorities. It means people in power behaving less greedily. (It means, for example, that an airport is built in Peotone to drive the region's economy the way O'Hare drives the economy of the northwest suburbs and city. I doubt O'Hare would be harmed, but if it was, so what? It also means that corporations would no longer be subsidized by taxpayers - and neither would they be depended upon to provide our health insurance. It means mental health clinics and libraries are last on the list at budget-cutting time, not first. It means doing away with talking points on both sides of the political aisle and only rewarding a culture of honesty and tolerance. That means liberals too. Arrgh, enough.)

*

See also: Why Washington Accepts Mass Unemployment.

Hint: Because the problem is "theirs," not "ours."

*

So funny to read stories about how lost "professionals" get when they lose their jobs; those stories litter the landscape, along with advice about how to keep from falling into depression or, at least, from losing your sense of identity. The strains on self-worth, marriage and other relationships. I mean, they still (usually) have their homes and a bank account and, well, a future. Those are stories that become quite frequent whenever economic ills creep into the middle- and even upper-class, but they never go so far as to consider that for those in the lower class, or no class at all, this is the norm. Instead, "they" have character flaws and only "they" can help themselves. It would be a revolutionary act, but it's not very realistic. Even successful businesspeople didn't do it all on their own, as our president has said; they used the economic levers and benefits provided by society as their stepping stones. Too bad those aren't available for everyone.

Runaround City
"I tried to talk to Kimberly Boyd, manager of Northpoint Apartments," Megan Cottrell reports in "Woman May Lose Custody Of Niece Over Eviction From Rogers Park Subsidized Unit."

"She referred me to AIMCO's corporate office. I reached out to AIMCO, the national company that owns Northpoint. Spokeswoman Cindy Duffy did not respond.

"I inquired with the Department of Housing and Urban Development office here in Chicago. Spokeswoman Laura Feldman said their office isn't involved in the matter and referred me to the Illinois Housing Development Authority.

"I contacted IHDA. Spokeswoman Rebecca Boykin said the agency was looking into the matter."

-

The Beachwood Tip Line: Conditions favorable.



Permalink

Posted on August 7, 2012


MUSIC - Fan Note: Malcolm Young's AC/DC.
TV - FCC Wraps New Gift For Sinclair.
POLITICS - FCC About To Ruin The Internet.
SPORTS - The Connor Barf Game.

BOOKS - Inside The Book Of The Dead.

PEOPLE PLACES & THINGS - Safe Stuffing.


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