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The [Wednesday] Papers

A member of the defense team in an ongoing trial offers to blog for a local newspaper and neither the editor of the paper or one of the town's few media critics can think of a reason to say no?

Here's one: He's a member of the defense team in an ongoing trial!

My God.

If I have to explain why that's a problem, neither of you deserve your jobs.


Wait, it's even worse than I thought.

"I did not volunteer I was recruited," the lawyer in question, Joseph "The Shark" Lopez, writes in a comment to the Reader post.


Does the Sun-Times get to edit Lopez's posts? Or his slant considered more valuable to readers than a proper vetting? Does it question Lopez's characterizations the way an editor would with a reporter? Does the Sun-Times ever ask Lopez what he's holding back?


Is there any concern by the Sun-Times that they are being used by a defense lawyer who would love to influence the jury?


Does the Sun-Times believe they are contributing in any way to the pursuit of justice - or were their internal discussion focused more on page views?

It's just horrid.


Maybe just have your very own noted policy expert and professional dilettante Margot Pritzker blog the trial. Or Stella. She's got free time on her hands now. Of course, she wouldn't be capable of blogging a transaction at a lemonade stand unless it came to her in a press release but we can all pretend she's one of the city's great journalists.

My God.


Dear Margot: If time is better than money, I'll trade you my time for your money. Make me an offer!


Today in the Sun-Times's Daily Splash: Mayor Emanuel Says Local Economy Is Booming. By Mayor Rahm Emanuel. No kidding.


Jim Kirk, you are now officially a Klown.

Foreign Correspondence
The Journatic Olympics.

Proco Zone
Ald. Joe Moreno announces the First Ward Values Accreditation System.

Town And Pawn
"Des Plaines aldermen checked the potential spread of pawn shops Monday, rejecting a request to open one just over a mile away from Rivers Casino," the Tribune reports.

"Aldermen voted 5-2 to deny a request from Lake in the Hills resident Peter Kozysa to amend Des Plaines' zoning code and allow him to open a pawn shop in a strip mall at 1926 E. Touhy Ave. Aldermen Dan W. Wilson and Michael Charewicz voted against the denial.

"'Adding a bunch of additional pawn shops to the city of Des Plaines is not my idea of community development, and I am not interested in having them in my ward,' said Ald. Mark Walsten, whose 6th Ward includes both Rivers and the strip mall."

Now, pawn shop owners (and their bulging pocketbooks) are welcome to live in Des Plaines - just as long as they make their money somewhere else.


Pawn shops vs. casinos. Discuss.


"Senior Planner Scott Malone said city hall has gotten more inquiries about pawn shops since Rivers opened in July 2011."

Damn it, let them hock their stuff in someone else's town! Near the shuttle bus to Rivers!

Cred Shred
"A credit rating agency has changed its outlook for Chicago Public Schools bonds from stable to negative because of the district's troubled financial situation," the Tribune reports.

"Fitch Rating, with headquarters in both New York and London, said the district's financial challenges in 2014 when CPS will face $338 million in back pension payments is leading to the negative outlook."

Maybe CPS should visit a pawn shop. Or open one.


"Last month, CPS officials proposed a budget that called for depleting the district's cash reserves. That led Moody's Investor's Services to downgrade the district's bond rating to A1 from Aa3.

"Moody's downgraded bond rating will mean $1 million to $2 million more in interest payments for bonds issued in the coming year, CPS officials said. The change in outlook by Fitch should not have that kind of effect, said CPS spokeswoman Becky Carroll."



"Fitch recognizes the positive steps the Chicago Public Schools have taken toward the path of financial stability in cutting more than a half-billion in spending over the last year, while also underscoring the mounting financial challenges facing the district," Carroll said. "We are committed to making the tough decisions necessary to move the district toward long-term financial stability, while also protecting and investing priorities that are necessary to boost our children's academic achievement."

Wow. I'm dizzy.


And here comes a third credit rating agency to the party; apparently they too recognize the positive steps the Chicago Public Schools have taken!


I'd rather CPS just tell the truth, because it's so powerful and ultimately tilts toward its advantage. Maybe something like this: "The system has been screwed up for years, and despite everything you read over the last 20 years, Richard M. Daley did most of the screwing. Then (bipartisan) Wall Street drove the economy into a ditch and the resulting global financial crisis has crippled us all. We're in a hole and the actions of these credit agencies - no angels themselves, of course, in aiding and abetting the world's financial disaster - just reflect that. We don't like it, but there's not much we can do about it."

And then I wish they'd add this: "As the fiasco on Wall Street shows, putting key public assets into the hands of profit-seeking privatizers whose objectives have little to do with the public interest isn't a great idea. So instead of selling off little pieces of the system here and there, we're rededicating ourselves to the notion that our public schools should be golden public assets that receive true top priority from our government, not just as places of education but as neighborhood linchpins that can help build community and aid in the reduction of poverty and the delivery of social services."

But we'd need a different mayor for that to happen.

Update: Obama's America
Kill lists, secret prisons, torture, assassination, warrantless wiretaps and a war against whistleblowers and the journalists who listen to them.

Marshall Tucker Man, Mick And Muddy
In our Local Music Notebook.

All The Pieces Are In Place
And none of them are Bears. In Fantasy Fix.

Shake Your Tambourine
McDonald's is testing a new After Midnight breakfast menu. Here's an idea: Do it at franchises near the local Applebee's.

Curiosity Kodachrome
Next, Instagram.


The Beachwood Tip Line: Down by the river.


Posted on August 8, 2012

MUSIC - Can Making Music Remake The Mind?
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SPORTS - The Women's Fall Chicago Tennis Classic.

BOOKS - Against Ramp Meters.

PEOPLE PLACES & THINGS - Recall! Elk Grove Village Empanadas.

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