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The [Wednesday] Papers

"What a horse's behind," Mark Brown writes this morning about former Gov. George Ryan, who reports to federal prison in Oxford, Wisconsin today.

Far from apologizing, Ryan still insists he has done no wrong, despite not only his conviction by jury but two federal appeals court rulings that found the evidence against him "overwhelming," and announced his intention to prove his innocence.

He's going to conduct his own search for the real killer?

Even Dan Webb and Jim Thompson haven't been able to save him - and their last appeal to the U.S. Supreme Court is the thinnest of reeds, though this is a court even more wacky than the one that twisted itself into a legal corkscrew to award George W. Bush the presidency, so who knows.

"I've been fortunate to have at my disposal the finest legal team in the country in Winston & Strawn," Ryan said in a statement he read yesterday.

I guess the finest legal team in the country ain't what it used to be.

"However, there are many less fortunate with fewer means than I have still fighting for justice."

And Webb and Thompson will get right back to defending them pro bono as soon as my appeal is finally over!

"It would have been easy over the course of these years to fold under the unrelenting pressure and enter into a plea bargain that would've spared my family a lot of pain," Ryan continued. "But such a plea would just not have been truthful."

Plus, I thought maybe I could hang a jury!

"We have all been guilty of errors in judgement," Ryan said when he was inaugurated as governor in 1999, the Tribune editorial page notes. "But you can rest assured that I will do my very best to honor your trust in me. If I make a mistake, I'll tell you, and we'll try again."

"He was lying," the Tribune says. "By the time he gave that speech, Ryan had committed multiple crimes against the citizens who had given him their trust."

Including the Tribune editorial page, which endorsed Ryan despite a career filled with the kind of shenanigans that were already coming undone while the man was Secretary of State. ( See The [Ryan] Papers.)

People are who they are - and most never learn.

Long Line
"Ryan's Gone," the Trib edits headline says. "Who's Next?"

A) Rod Blagojevich
B) Richard M. Daley

Shame on us, writes John Kass.


You're either with 'em or agin' 'em.

Media Included
"I'm so tired of all of it," Kass writes. "Tired of the noise. Tired of his favored pals, the Nobel Prize nomination suck-ups, and the spinners who drank his whiskey and ate his steak and bonded over free golf."

Sneed Feed
Predictably, the Sun-Times deemed Michael Sneed's "scoop" that Ryan's last meal at home in Kankakee as tortellini soup and banana cream pie as full front-page material.

Apparently Sneed also has a clear conscience - and no sense of shame.


Ryan said he was ready to go, but forgot to add that he was fired up.


This photo of a welcome sign should have been the front page of the Sun-Times instead of buried inside.

"Actor Mike Farrell of M*A*S*H fame, a fan of Ryan for his work on the death penalty, called the case against Ryan 'disgraceful' and said he hoped the Supreme Court would throw it out," the Sun-Times reports.

Farrell is set to play Dean Bauer in Hell on Wheels: The George Ryan Story.

Family Affair
In his statement, Ryan mentioned his children and other family members by name, but forgot to detail the graft he bestowed on each. He didn't want to start any jealous feuding.

Gov Club
In a statement, Rod Blagojevich said he too was looking for the real killer.

Persons of Interest
Craig Stebic said he can relate to what Ryan is going through. In tomorrow's Sun-Times!

Irony Alert
What if Ryan got in an accident with a trucker on his way to Wisconsin? Just sayin' . . .

Prison Welcome
Ryan said the other day that he "got screwed." And maybe . . . nah, too easy.

Another Innocent Man
Former Sun-Times boss Conrad Black says he doesn't regret not taking the stand at his recent trial.

"I mean, I could've dealt with the questions but it would've prolonged the trial and it would've confused things," Black told Bloomberg News.

Yes, better to just get your conviction over with than prolong a trial and confuse a jury about your innocence.

Police Probe
The Chicago Police Department is now conducting consumer satisfaction surveys. Apparently it doesn't like the ones it already has.

Green Screen
"Though the city once claimed that about 25 percent of its garbage was being recycled, a 2005 Tribune investigation put the figure at around 8 percent," the Trib editorial page notes. "The city's own study found that roughly13 percent of households participated - and less than 2 percent in some wards. The only real beneficiaries of the blue bag program were the political insiders who got the contracts."

A) That's what we mean about a "green" mayor.
B) Did we say "green" mayor? We meant "greed" mayor.
C) The mayor says he's searching for the real litterer.

Cable Crawl
A Comcast ad across the top of the Trib's website the last couple of days looks just like breaking news. I'm sure it's an oversight and they never intended to deceive readers.

Oprah Dope
I think I might have known this, but Oprah on Tuesday said this was the most-watched video in YouTube history.

Mystery Restaurant Theater
See if you can find Andrew Kingsford, the Angry Australian of Humboldt Park, on the new MySpace site for the Flying Saucer restaurant.

Andrew co-owns the restaurant and is a member of the Beachwood's Mystery Debate Theater team.

Photo File
A guilty, unrepentant man.

And his last tasty meal for quite some time.

The Beachwood Tip Line: Mmm, banana cream pie . . .


Posted on November 7, 2007

MUSIC - Who's Next In Chicago Rap.
TV - Tribune-Nexstar Deal Is Bad News.
POLITICS - Big Soda Hates You.
SPORTS - The Ex-Cub Factor.

BOOKS - Wright Brothers, Wrong Story!

PEOPLE PLACES & THINGS - The Bad News About Human Nature.

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