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The [Tuesday] Papers

The drought of 2012 is already legend, its destruction of corn, soybeans and most crops well-documented," the Sun-Times reports.

"But there is one cash crop in Northern Illinois that has fared OK during the drought, albeit a small one - grapes.

"It turns out drought is not as hard on grapes used in making wine as it is on corn, soybeans or even the bluegrass in people's lawns."

And that's good news for the state's winemakers. Click through for the rest.

Big Z
"After a state investigation into his troubled charity, ex-Bear Chris Zorich will be required to pay back almost $350,000 in funds that remain unaccounted for and will be barred from taking a leading role in any charity in Illinois, according to a consent decree expected to be filed Tuesday," the Tribune reports.

"The civil filing would cap a two-year review by the Illinois attorney general's office, prompted by Tribune reporting on the Chris Zorich Charitable Foundation. The newspaper reported in June 2010 that Zorich's charity was in disarray and that Zorich didn't have bank statements that could account for the charity's unspent funds."

It's not a pretty chapter in what was once the storybook arc of Zorich's life.

Speaking of Storybook Arcs
Meet the town doctor in downstate Rushville. He still charges $5 a visit.


"Part of the formula, he says, is keeping costs low. He doesn't take health insurance or do any billing. When patients arrive, there are no forms to fill out. Just tell the doctor what's wrong, and he'll do his best to help. If he can't, he'll send you to someone who can."

Health care crisis solved.

Chief Wiggum
On Chicago Tonight last week, police chief Garry McCarthy was asked The Crime Numbers Game, a book that documents how the NYPD in particular jukes its crime stats. McCarthy used to oversee the NYPD's vaunted CompStat program, which he's instituted here.

McCarthy played dumb.

"That's a drumbeat people have been beating for years," he said. "NYPD has a very, very, very, very stringent method of reviewing if those numbers are accurate. If they're not, careers are ended. How do you do that? I don't understand. That's virtually impossible."

Hardly. Just look at Milwaukee, "where thousands of violent assaults were not included in the crime rate since 2006."

Garry McCarthy knows full well how crime stats are manipulated, whether he's participated in it, condoned it or tried to uncover and fix it. If he doesn't, he has no business being the police chief of Chicago. But then, playing dumb and lying ought to be a disqualifying factor too.


It's not the first time McCarthy has played dumb - or exhibited massive dumbness. During the NATO protests, he said he had no idea what kettling was and seemed befuddled by the notion that agents provocateur might be employed by the authorities to discredit dissent.


Or you can believe he's George Washington.


McCarthy also said that the city had just experienced one of the lowest crime rates for a July in 30 years.

"That's a direct result of the implementation of a number of components of our anti-gang strategy," he said.

So how does he explain this?

Speaking of Agents Provocateur
Man Who Armed Black Panthers Was FBI Informant, Records Show.

Double Play
"The Secretly Successful White Sox System?/Starlin Castro's Makeup Concerns."

Market Play
"The CME Group is planning to start a European derivatives exchange, in a significant expansion of the American market operator's global footprint, a person briefed on the matter said on Sunday," the New York Times reports.

"The move is the latest effort by an American exchange to plumb for new ventures. As their core business has come under pressure and margins shrink, industry leaders have been expanding into lucrative areas like overseas markets and derivatives trading. CME, whose $18 billion market capitalization makes it one of the most valuable market operators in the world, now makes most of its profit from derivatives.

"CME has been particularly aggressive, using a combination of deal-making and creating new platforms."

Shouldn't they be regulated by the gaming commission instead of the SEC?

Fantasy World
"Quick," asks the Tribune editorial board, "Do you remember your high school valedictorian?

"Chances are, you actually do. You also may recall the long, rambling speech at graduation."

Um, no. I have no clue who the valedictorian was. I doubt many others do either - if they do, that's sad. And speeches? I suppose there was at least one, but again, no clue. In fact, I'm pretty sure I didn't know who the valedictorian was or remember a speech the day after graduation - if not ever.

I don't know what world the Tribune editorial board lives in sometime, but I like mine a whole lot better.

Local Music Notebook
From Boy Illinois to Billy Branch.

The Cub Factor
New Excuses, Same Results.


The Beachwood Tip Line: Juke box.


Posted on August 21, 2012

MUSIC - Millions Of New Guitar Players.
TV - "One America News" is AT&T.
POLITICS - When Wall Street Came To My Mobile Home Park.
SPORTS - Tonyball, Bears On The Run, Eyes On The Sky & More!

BOOKS - China Holding Swedish Publisher.


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