It’s been one of those weeks.
Nothing has screamed out, “I deserve to be a column.”
My mind has raced in 100 directions, looking for that one topic I can turn into 400 or 500 words of lucid commentary. Of course, if such a topic existed, it’s only a 50-50 chance I’d make good on that promise of lucidity.
So, instead, I offer what likely will become a semi-regular feature in this column space: Rapid-Fire Rants:
• This is seriously where we are at with public pension reform in Illinois? We spent $40,000 on Wednesday for a special session of the Legislature so we could form a committee. Come. On.
In case you didn’t notice, we are years beyond the committee-forming stage of the problem. In fact, we are years beyond the we-have-a-solution stage of dealing with the issue. Yet, here we are, creating committees to find a solution while the pension debt racks up $17 million a day.
We’ve been forming pension committees for nine years. That we have no solution for an unsustainable public pension system after all these years is beyond laughable. It truly is depressing and head-shaking.
• Bruins fans don’t really think Rene Rancourt is good, right? Good thing Jim Cornelison is belting out the anthem before Saturday’s Game 5 in the Stanley Cup Final.
• The Northern Illinois University Board of Trustees spent time Thursday thanking outgoing president John Peters for his years of service at the university. Sounds like they didn’t spend much time talking about the problems and issues with former police chief Don Grady and outgoing executive vice president and chief of operations Eddie Williams that occurred on Peters’ watch.
• NBA officiating is ruining the sport.
• Go figure. The amount of money that Illinois is raking in from the state’s cigarette tax is decreasing. The Springfield-based State Journal-Register reported Thursday that the state is expected to bring in $212 million in the current fiscal year. That’s 39 percent less than the projected $350 million.
As a result, the state’s school construction fund will get about half of what it expected. Who didn’t see this coming? As people start taking better care of themselves and the cigarette tax increases, people are going to buy fewer packs of cigarettes. That’s why depending on revenue from “sin taxes” is a bad idea. I’ve only been writing that since January 2011.
• I’m really not interested in hearing the Chicago Symphony Orchestra perform “Chelsea Dagger.” You can cease sending out links inviting me to watch it.
• Can townships go away already?
• Finally, I’m hoping Attorney General Lisa Madigan runs for governor if for no other reason it likely would mean the end of Michael Madigan’s political reign in Illinois.
• Jason Schaumburg is editor of the Northwest Herald. He should be enjoying the Stanley Cup Final more, but, as a Blackhawks fan, he finds it agonizing. Reach him at 815-459-4122 or via email at firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow him on Twitter at @Schaumy.