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The [Wednesday] Papers

"It makes me wonder if any politician or elected official can get a fair trial," Betty Loren-Maltese writes in a post called "Fair Trial For Blago?" on her new blog.

"What type of peers of Blago's will sit on the jury? Will the system find a suitable cross-section of Illinois politicians who can understand how things are done in this state and judge Blago fairly according to those standards?"

In other words, a jury of Blago's political peers would never convict him! Priceless.


Yes, I will give credit where credit is due. I learned of BLM's blog from Sneed. Who learned of it from BLM.


BLM's blog appears at KTF Media Group. How it came to be is, um, fascinating.

"I have recently made the decision to be a literary contributor to KTF Media Group because of some common experiences that I happen to share with the Publisher, Mr. Joseph Fosco, and part-time contributor Conrad Black," she writes in her introductory post. "All of us have suffered (in some cases considerably) from victimization by the law or the underworld - and, in some cases, by both.

"The Chicago Outfit has victimized Mr. Fosco. The entire judicial branch of the Northern District of Illinois, including the United States Court of Appeals Seventh Circuit, has victimized Mr. Black. Both of these entities have hijacked my life in the past, and I know how difficult and painful it is to go on living after this kind of persecution. I hope I am able to exorcise some of these demons here, much like Mr. Fosco has done, and contribute to the social and political well-being of the greater Chicagoland area."


Who is Joseph Fosco?

"Growing up on the west side of Chicago, where Oak Park, Chicago, River Forest and Elmwood Park meet, positioned me near several of the biggest Outfit families in American history," Fosco said in an interview posted on his site. "To my misfortune, I had actually met some of them and/or their immediate family members in a number of social settings in our community. I am certainly not alone, as many law-biding citizens have been exposed to the same group of people in the community."

Fosco, of course, got himself into a little bit of a jam, see.

But this is my favorite part of the interview:

"In the early part of 2005, [Dr. Joseph L.] Giacchino insisted that I take some 'sample' medication to calm down a bit prior to having lunch with Chicago Tribune columnist John Kass.

"Giacchino had me driven to Tuscany Restaurant in Oak Brook and persuaded me to say a litany of things that I cannot remember today because of the medication that I was on at the time.

"All I seem to remember at this time is that Kass became very uncomfortable when he realized that Giacchino bought our lunch with his credit card, especially since Giacchino was not present.

"Today I believe that Giacchino was hoping my public antics, coupled with our close relationship, would spook the Outfit from continuing to do business with him. I am not sure if it was a good idea or not.

"However, the attention from the Family Secrets case apparently produced an opportunity for Giacchino to cut down on his payroll.

"No doubt, Giacchino's gold-digging wife, Maria Luisa Gil-Giacchino, certainly found new uses for the influx of cash resulting from this reduction in mob pay out."

(I couldn't find a Kass column mentioning Fosco or Giacchino.)

Lo and behold, Kass actually wrote about Giacchino just last Friday.


The KTF in KTF Media, by the way, stand for Keys To Faith.


"There are conflicts, overlaps, subplots, and Machiavellian chicanery everywhere [in Chicago]" writes KTF's Conrad Black.

"Another interesting current legal initiative is the personal campaign of Joe Fosco, scion of a Teamster union family once associated with the Capones, to recover blackmail money he claims was extorted from him by the mob and to establish his good name. He is fighting a lonely battle against public- and private-sector interests who are not accustomed to being treated as if they were accountable."

From the Tribune, September 2009:

"Reputed mobster Rudy Fratto has been charged with tax evasion in a new federal case, the IRS Criminal Investigation Division said Tuesday. Fratto, 65, of Darien, has previously been identified by authorities as a lieutenant in the mob's Elmwood Park street crew. New information filed in federal court alleges that Fratto failed to report nearly $200,000 in income in 2005.

"Fratto this year was among the targets in a civil racketeering claim filed by Joseph Fosco, son of the late Teamsters treasurer Armando Fosco, who alleged that Fratto, reputed Chicago Outfit figure John 'No Nose' DiFronzo and others tried to extort $400,000 from him. Lawyers for the men have contested the suit. An attorney for Fratto was not immediately available Tuesday to address the new criminal case."

Bayless Tweetless
"Rick Bayless, the Chicago superstar chef, was Twittering from the White House kitchen about today's Obama White House state dinner honoring Mexican President Felipe Calderon and his wife, Margarita Zavala. Until the Tweets stopped. The White House kitchen is for cooking, not Tweeting," the Sun-Times reports.

"The White House press operation wanted to downplay the glamor aspect of the state dinner; these are tough economic times."

So instead of canceling glamorous state dinners given the economic times, the White House just doesn't want you to know they're going on without - and despite - you. Talk about focusing on image over substance.

"The White House at first was keen on limiting reporting opportunities from the state dinner, but Tuesday eased up on a restrictions. Michelle Obama and Mrs. Zavala will visit an elementary school in the Maryland suburbs of Washington with students from Central and South America on Wednesday morning. That is the picture of the day the East Wing wants."

And then the president will go back to lecturing the media for being easily manipulated by photo ops and frivolity.

Junk It
This story about Spain by Lori Rackl of the Sun-Times was paid for by Spain.

The Palin Exception
Sexism only matters when you're liberal.

Facebook Follies
Repeatedly alienating your own customers is no way to run a business.

The Tao of Dio
No one ever told him life was kind.

Baseball's Biggest Underachiever
Is neither a Cub nor a Sock.

Toddler Going Out With A Bang
"A FOX Chicago News investigation has uncovered even more '24-9' contracts handed out by the office of Cook County Board President Todd Stroger. In all, Stroger's office issued eight contracts on April 22-- all for $24,995, and all signed by embattled Deputy Chief of Staff Carla Oglesby."


"One contract went to Prentiss Harris, who's part of a rap duo called 'Dude N Nem.' You can find his videos on YouTube, but his company 'Citymerge' is a little harder to locate. When FOX Chicago News went to one address on Harris' contract, we found an empty lot."


This isn't bad, though:


The Beachwood Tip Line: Dude.


Posted on May 19, 2010

MUSIC - Britney's IUD.
TV - Vizio's Best Product Is You.
POLITICS - Climate Deniers' 4 Top Scare Tactics.
SPORTS - The McEnroes In Antarctica.

BOOKS - Foxconned.


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