If you're looking for a real nothing column, Mark Brown today try Sun-Times, where we get the latest off the top of his hairless head about the George Ryan jury. Setting up the problem faced by the judge, mistrial or not, and to be faced by appeal judges, ditto, he tells "what Ryan's lawyers seem to think" (he's not sure? Webb says he's appealing) but says he will "leave that to the legal experts."
Legal experts. They wouldn't return his calls? None are cited or quoted, not even anonymously. We know they are a shifty lot, but couldn't he nail down even one? Not even on background? No, he could not. Instead, he offers his "own take, as [he] wrote earlier." Great. That's why we buy the Sun-Times, to get his "take," the hell with experts, and warmed over, at that. They don't call him King of the Cracker Barrel for nothing.
Meanwhile, Chi Trib has Dennis Byrne -- on a Sunday, no less -- asking where the heck are corporate biggies who give millions for a park, support "quixotic-like" (sic: "quixotic" will do, or if he insists, "[Don] Quixote-like") reform endeavors, and fund civic reports but exercise no muscle to achieve reform. Byrne gives a brief history of Illinois corruption and gubernatorial convictions and refers to "career criminals like George Ryan and some in Mayor Daley's inner circle" along the way, concluding:
I don't mean that we should turn government over to a corporate junta. But the 12 honest jurors who convict the likes of Ryan sure could use some help.
Last but not least, John Kass has questions for jurors in the coming trial of Mayordaley's patronage chief, as:
If you're the 19-year-old son of a Carpenters Union boss, shouldn't you be made a building inspector--in the wake of fatal porch collapse and nightclub disasters--even though you're unqualified?Doesn't being a member of the 19th Ward Democratic Organization entitle you to make more than $100,000 a year as a city graffiti blaster? If the answer is "No," what are you? Stupid?Are you black, white, Hispanic or other in real life and on paper? [For designation as oppressed minority in need of special treatment and rich contracts]
Kass is pretty good in these matters, but even Homer, also of Greek extraction, nodded. So he speaks of the mayor being "aggravated," meaning "angered." Sorry, Kass, it don't compute. "Aggravate" means to make matters worse. That's what Kass does when he does all this reporting and summarizing of city corruption: that is, he aggravates the situation facing City Hall and in so doing angers the powers that be.
How's "pissed off"?