Ask any reasonable columnist and they’ll tell you, there are editors and then there are editors. Like anything else in this imperfect world, you’ve got the good, the bad, and the ugly. And despite the lack of certainty this existence unmercifully thrusts upon us, I can say with certainty that Tim West was the good.
You see, editing an op-ed page ain’t a science, it’s an art borne of balance. Not only do the words have to fit the page, but you have to give all the devils their due while setting your own aside. Because if you let your own pride and prejudices get in the way, then you become part of the problem and not the solution.
And just when you think you’ve done it by pulling off the impossible (again) – along comes one of your bleepin’ know-it-all opinion columnists to tell you exactly where you went wrong.
And they’re always so gracious about it too!
The sad truth is, opinion columnists are the biggest pains in the ass on this planet and I should know because I was the king pain.
Oh did we fight! “You cut my column again.” “Why can’t I use ‘grow a pair’ – they say it on TV.” “I don’t want to rewrite the fifth graff, it’s fine the way it is.” “Whaddaya mean I’ve written about Chairman McConnaughay too much?” “Oh c’mon! that Tea Bagger joke was fricken’ hilarious!”
But in the end, we’d always find some sort of compromise. He knew I had something to say and I knew he ran all sorts of interference for me. We were like brothers who implicitly understood that all the silly fighting only made us stronger. When it was time to face the politicians and the public, we had each others backs.
We knew some things were far more important than either one of us.
I suppose one could say that editing an op-ed page is the art off pissing off the most people the least. Thankless, doesn’t even begin to describe it.
Now, add to that onerous burden having to endure regular surgeries while you’re doing your best to fight off a rather persistent cancer. There were some phone calls where I didn’t think Tim was going to make it through the day, but he always did.
And in this era of incessant whining, he never complained about it – not once.
In fact, if I didn’t pry it out of someone else, he never would’ve told me he had cancer. On rare occasion I could get him to talk about it, but he was always convinced that the latest surgery would do the trick and a cure was just around the corner.
Even when it became clear the cancer wasn’t going anywhere and he was toiling for a fading enterprise, Tim went to work every day, he did his job, and he persevered. And as hard as I tried, I still couldn’t slip anything past him.
But on May 14, the cancer finally accomplished something I never could, it got the best of Tim West. He peacefully passed away at Edward Hospital in Naperville.
Getting back to those too-rare certainties. I can, with certainty, say, I’m a better person for knowing Tim, a better writer for his unrelenting editorial persistence, and that I’ll miss him.
And here’s today’s show:
Then I went on to prove that Ronald Reagan was a liberal, the IRS scandal isn’t a scandal, and hypocritical Republicans are using Benghazi to promote their stilted revisionist agenda.
All in a days work, I suppose! Enjoy the show!
- The IRS going after the Tea Party. It couldn’t have happened to a nicer bunch of people!
- Benghazi! Where were all those Republican voices after 9/11 – the biggest government lapse since Pearl Harbor.
- Should the Justice Department be going after the Associated Press? Jeff says “no!” and that’s all that matters.
And just when you thought it couldn’t get any better, forensic video expert Barnet Fagel, The Red Light Doctor, joins the show.
Of course, we always love your calls at 847-931-1410.
See you then!
When a confluence of events points to a specific and irrefutable logical conclusion, like Sherlock Holmes, I just can’t pass it up.
And this one started with Geneva developer Joe Stanton showing a sudden interest in purchasing the decrepit Mill Race Inn property. After the Pure Oil building debacle – the building he swore couldn’t be turned into a bank drive through until he did – we all know when Joe starts paying attention to something, it’s worth our attention too.
After announcing his interest, Stanton pounded his fist on the pulpit and, while shedding the requisite crocodile tears, paid all sorts of lip service to putting another restaurant on that very spot. For about three seconds that is, until he launched into a soliloquy about high-density condos.
Perhaps, to complete the scene, he could stand atop the Little Traveler and launch into a chorus of “Don’t Cry for Me Oh Geneva! (Mandy Patinkin, eat your heart out.)
Then, no more than a scant week later, Mayor Burns takes to that same microphone and suddenly explains, “We are fed up with the eyesore [Mill Race Inn] and want to move quickly on eliminating it. We are perilously close to requiring and demanding that the bank move posthaste on razing that property, or I will work with the city council and appropriate staff to invest our own resources to do so.”
If by quickly he means two years, then I understand. Why the sudden interest in removing a building that already had serious problems when they closed it on January 16, 2011, you say? How many times has it flooded since then?
Is it a mere coincidence that these two stalwart and altruistic Genevans show a similar interest simultaneously? Not nearly.
Being a bettin’ man, I called an impeccable source and asked them the following question; “Did the Geneva City Council, and other concerned parties, receive a dire missive from Mr. Stanton describing how, if left unattended, that building would bring on the end-times.
The source didn’t want to answer, but when faced with my impeccable logic, they gave in and replied affirmatively.
You see, if Geneva condemns the building before anyone buys it, let’s say a random individual like Joe Stanton, the buyer won’t have to bear the $100,000 tear down cost burden. Either the bank will have to do it or we will.
“But Jeff! Isn’t the fact that Stanton ratted out the bank to further his own self-interest the sign of an astute businessman.” Maybe, but here’s what bothers me. Do a simple online search for Geneva, IL foreclosures and you’ll come up with between 130 to 180 homes. And that’s probably a bit low.
But even if we’re talking just 100, there’s bound to be one in your neighborhood. And if it’s anything like the one in mine, it’s flooded, falling into gross disrepair, overrun with vermin, and, visitors can immediately locate it by the two foot grass and lovely pile of rotting free newspapers in the driveway.
Of course, you can call the City of Geneva and ask them to do something about it, but they’ll only tell you to call the bank.
So here’s my thought. Instead of wasting your time on all that nonsense, simply send all of your neighborhood foreclosure listings to Joe Stanton. Who knows? If you play your cards right he may just buy the one right next door. And then the city will immediately lean on the bank to set things straight.
The only problem is, after the bank (or city) finally tears it down, Stanton will probably put up a 10 story condo. I suppose there’s no such thing as a prefect solution. At least they’ll mow the grass.
How did those Clapton lyrics go, “You’re fooling around, I can’t stand it!” That pretty much sums up what’s been going on at the Kane County Chronicle – fooling around.
So now I have to take yet another break from my book (Chapter 2: Barack Obama is a Conservative President), to deal with yet more of those folks’ stupidity. As if Brenda Schory wasn’t bad enough.
If you’ve read today’s sad excuse for a local newspaper, you will have noted that someone on their editorial board wrote an editorial castigating Kane County Chairman Chris Lauzen for threatening to hire a $25 per hour Community Outreach Coordinator and a $12 an hour assistant to that position.
And you’d fucking think the sky was falling. Though this utterly disparages the use of the word, their “logic” was this:
1. This was just like hiring a county administrator, which Lauzen promised he wouldn’t do.
2. This hire would be even more heinous than Lauzen’s Deputy Chairman proposal.
3. Lauzen was circumventing the hiring freeze.
4. The position of Outreach Coordinator is too vague and Lauzen will likely hire an ally.
Really? Really!! Apparently the fine folks at the Chronicle think we all live in a vacuum where external events are to be selectively ignored and never considered in any sort of linear fashion. Well, either that or they’re just bleepin’ lazy.
So with that thought in mind, let’s examine their sorry excuse for an argument:
1. The fact they could even write that this potential hire is a fine example of a hypocritical and hands-off chairman belies a complete ignorance of what the job truly entails. Even when her highness, Queen McConnaughay, was filling that role, I repeatedly wrote that the Kane County Chairman should be making AT LEAST $150,000 a year, if not more.
You’re taking 12 to 15 hour days – including weekends, dealing with a cast of county board members who all believe they can do a better job than you, and an endless parade of constituent concerns. The fact that the Chronicle even promoted this contention is absurd and shows just how far they’ve fallen.
2. The whole deputy chairman idea came out of Lauzen’s Springfield legislative experience. It may not have been one of his best thoughts, but it certainly wasn’t a nefarious undertaking.
And speaking of nefarious, where was the Chronicle when McConnaughay was hiring the unborn children of her political cronies and contributors? That’s right – nowhere!
They completely ignored the then Animal Control director, the fact that Phil Bus clung to the county payroll like a tenacious barnacle, those 50 percent raises until they were the subject of a lawsuit, and a myriad of other questionable hires.
Yes! You do have to hold Lauzen to a higher standard because he ran on that standard, but the second McConnaughay said she “would not and has not engaged in pay-to-play,” the Chronicle should’ve picked up that gauntlet and proved her wrong just like I did. And I was a fricken’ freelancer for god sakes.
3. The county hiring freeze is as worthless as the paper on which it’s written. Again, if the folks at the Chronicle weren’t so allergic to hard work, they may have noted that, during the freeze, and under Ms. McConnaughay, at least 30 resolutions seeking to circumvent it were approved with nary a peep from the board.
People were being hired all the time and no one gave a flying you-know-what about it. And thus, the hiring freeze was even less meaningful than the Kane County Chronicle currently is.
4. Again, where was the Chronicle when McConnaughay was hiring an Animal Control director for $94,000 a year with absolutely no experience? Where were they when Ken Shepro was a Deputy State’s Attorney, the County Board Attorney, and McConnaughay’s attorney all at the same time? Where were they when Phil Bus was hired as the county’s Fit For Kids consultant at $30,000 a year?
Have you seen Phil Bus?
Where was the Chronicle when the former chairman was raking in $1,500,000 in campaign contributions – more than five times what her predecessor, Mike McCoy, brought in – primarily from folks with county contracts?
So now the Chronicle suddenly decides to fucking wake up? Right!
And let me say that this blog post has nothing to do with Chris Lauzen and is not an attempt to defend him or this new county position. It’s solely about the most disingenuous and hypocritical piece of writing I’ve ever seen come out in any newspaper – ever. And I’ve seen a lot.
Please, please, please! Cancel your subscription to the Chronicle and put them out of our misery.
And you can listen to it right here:
Thank you to insurance expert C. Steven Tucker for calling in and not only offering reasonable alternatives to Obamacare, but debunking that whole “death panel” myth.
Another tip of our hat to LR&Y host emeritus Tim Elenz for also calling in and encouraging Republicans and Democrats to get along.
Meanwhile Pat Brady is out as Illinois GOP Chairman and, with South Carolina’s reelecting Mark Sanford, the Republican Hypocrilypse 2013 is in full swing.
Listen to the show!
I’m going to take a break from my busy book writing schedule to put the demise of “Celebrity Rehab” into the proper perspective.
Yes! After 6 years of parading irreparably damaged C list celebrity misfits in front of a television camera for fun and profit, having the temerity to claim, “I am tired of taking all the heat, it is just ridiculous,” circus ringmaster “Dr.” Drew Pinsky is calling it it quits.
The “heat” to which Pinsky is referring is having to answer for the post show deaths of Rodney King, country star Mindy McCready, Alice in Chains bassist Mike Starr, Taxi star Jeff Conaway, and The Real World’s Joey Kovar.
Having no shame whatsoever, Pinsky actually told the press, “To have people questioning my motives and taking aim at me because people get sick and die because they have a life-threatening disease, and I take the blame?”
Uh! Yeah! Maybe not all of it, but what the bleep do you think is gonna happen when you when you dangle cash and a temporary return to stardom in front of scarred people stuck at rock bottom and then proceed to make them look like complete morons in front of a national audience to generate ratings?
It’ doesn’t take a fricken’ genius to predict an 11 percent mortality rate. I’m actually surprised it wasn’t higher.
Look, if you go on the Springer show, you know exactly what you’re getting yourself into, but worthless human beings like Pinsky and Dr. Phil wrap their modern circus freak show in the holiest of intentions which makes them particularly pernicious and especially evil.
Do I really have to explain why rehab really ain’t supposed to be a spectator sport? And if you’re going to turn it into one for your own personal gain, they why would you be surprised when people call you out for what you truly are?
A person who has absolutely no regard for any other human being.