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home : opinion : editorial April 30, 2016

The Lesser of the Evils?
It's pretty darn depressing when political writers are essentially writing off the 2016 election as a choice between the lesser of two evils -- seven months in advance of the election. It's one thing when, after months of negative ads, we shake our heads in disgust, but we haven't even really started yet.
Friday, April 29, 2016

Anderson Jewelers

US consumer sentiment slips in April
WASHINGTON (AP) — American consumers were a bit more downbeat in April.
Friday, April 29, 2016

US fears rise of jihadists in moderate Bangladesh
WASHINGTON (AP) — The slaying in Bangladesh of a U.S. Agency for International Development employee has intensified U.S. concern that the strategically located South Asian country with traditions of religious tolerance is under threat from Islamic extremists.
Friday, April 29, 2016

What Trump will change -- and what he won't
Donald Trump's presidential campaign is in the middle of a much-discussed reworking. There's a lot of reworking to do. But Trump, who now has the advice of several political professionals recently brought into the campaign, faces a risk of doing too much.
Thursday, April 28, 2016

Puerto Rican bonds and the small investor
The TV ads flash the noble faces of American retirees and urge Washington to help protect their savings. The back story is kept rather vague. It's that many older people invested in Puerto Rican bonds. The U.S. territory's economy is in deep crisis, and it has begun defaulting on this debt.
Thursday, April 28, 2016

Plato, Aristotle and, oh dear, Trump
CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va. -- When it comes to rhetoric, Plato was right and Aristotle -- not so much.
Wednesday, April 27, 2016

The working-class meltdown
During an era of headline-grabbing advances in medicine, the United States is experiencing a health cataclysm.
Wednesday, April 27, 2016

Viewer's Guide: 5 candidates vie for validation in 5 states
Polls in all five states close at 8 p.m. EDT. Delaware typically does the quickest count, with half its vote counted by a little after 9 p.m. Pennsylvania, Connecticut and Rhode Island should have half their vote reported by around 10 p.m., with Maryland getting there by 10:30 p.m. Delaware should have 90 percent of its votes counted before 10 p.m., Pennsylvania and Rhode Island by 11 p.m., Connecticut and Maryland closer to midnight.
Tuesday, April 26, 2016

Let's Break From Identity Politics
Both parties sort voters by color and gender. Though there's nothing new about promoting solidarity on the basis of genetics, it can get old really fast.
Tuesday, April 26, 2016

Voters in 5 states speak out on their presidential choices
Voters in Pennsylvania, Connecticut, Delaware, Rhode Island and Maryland are casting primary ballots for presidential candidates in contests pivotal for Republicans and Democrats alike.
Tuesday, April 26, 2016

Karma tastes rich in new, humane economy
As the human circus of presidential politics has plodded along for what seems a decade now, a revolution has been taking place in the ever-more-dignified animal kingdom.
Monday, April 25, 2016

US to states: Make it easier for ex-prisoners to obtain IDs
WASHINGTON (AP) — Attorney General Loretta Lynch is urging the nation’s governors to make it easier for convicted felons to obtain state-issued identification after they get out of prison, part of a broader plan being announced Monday to help smooth the path for state and federal inmates who are preparing to re-enter society.
Monday, April 25, 2016

Delegate math: How Tuesday could close door on Sanders bid
WASHINGTON (AP) — Hillary Clinton can’t win enough delegates on Tuesday to officially knock Bernie Sanders out of the presidential race, but she can erase any lingering honest doubts about whether she’ll soon be the Democratic nominee.
Monday, April 25, 2016

Donald Trump says something sensible
Donald Trump said something that makes sense. It shouldn't be a headline, but it is (which says more than the rest of this column, really). 
Saturday, April 23, 2016

Black votes matter
African-Americans in the South can't get a break when it comes to voting, as history can't deny. 
Saturday, April 23, 2016

What's in your wallet?
Harriet Tubman was literally a freedom fighter. The "Moses" of the Underground Railroad liberated herself and dozens of others from slavery over the years in a biopic-worthy life of bravery and idealism.
Saturday, April 23, 2016

A trans-ient dilemma
As Archie Bunker might say, the world is going down the terlet.
Friday, April 22, 2016

From The Sheriff's Desk: Preventing the trauma of sexual assault
April is Sexual Assault Awareness Month. It is our goal as a department and as a community to raise awareness and educate the public on how to prevent such a traumatic and unfortunate health and human rights issue.
Thursday, April 21, 2016

Higher ed needs major disruption
There's been much talk on the campaign trail about helping students pay for college and not enough about exactly what they're buying. It's ludicrous that student debt has passed $1 trillion and that nearly 20 percent of the undergraduates who borrowed for college are in default on their student loans.
Thursday, April 21, 2016

Clinton moving to cast herself as the all-but-certain nominee
NEW YORK (AP) — Hillary Clinton is closing in on the Democratic nomination.
Wednesday, April 20, 2016

GOP Convention: Roberts Rules would block new nominee
WASHINGTON (AP) — A member of the Republican National Committee trying to revamp GOP rules for nominating a presidential candidate says without the change, party leaders could exert “almost dictatorial power” at this July’s nominating convention.
Tuesday, April 19, 2016

Viewer's Guide: Size matters, Trump looks for big win in NY
WASHINGTON (AP) — Donald Trump loves to reminisce about his long ride down the escalator in Trump Tower in June to announce his campaign for president.
Tuesday, April 19, 2016

The outrageous campaign against Exxon Mobil
It's not easy to make one of the world's biggest fossil-fuel companies a sympathetic victim, but a collection of state attorneys general, led by Eric Schneiderman of New York, has managed it. 
Tuesday, April 19, 2016

llinois Policy Institute: "Stop asking taxpayers to pay for lawmakers' ineptitude"
CHICAGO —  Friday, Democrat state Rep. Lou Lang introduced a bill he said would increase taxes in Illinois by $1.9 billion. This comes just one week after Senate President John Cullerton proposed tracking Illinois drivers to tax them by the mile, and on the heels of news Illinois lost 105,000 residents on net to other states in 2015 – the largest exodus in state history.
Saturday, April 16, 2016

Is GOP Headed for its own Bush v Gore
It's now likely Republicans are headed toward a contested convention in July. But they might be headed toward more than that -- the party could be on its way to an internal version of the 2000 election, the race in which the candidate who lost the popular vote won the presidency, leaving injured feelings and diminished faith in the legitimacy of the electoral system.
Saturday, April 16, 2016

Why Democrats Love Bernie
Why do Democrats love Bernie Sanders? OK, it's not just because he's "cute" (as some younger voters are calling him). In point of fact, could someone tell me when 74-year-old bald Jewish men became America's symbol of "cute"? Larry David pulls it off, but I'm not so sure about Bernie Sanders.
Saturday, April 16, 2016

Retailers launch Two Cents Campaign in Illinois
SPRINGFIELD, Ill. — Illinois retailers launched a statewide campaign this week ( aimed at shining the spotlight on how little profit margin exists - just two cents - on every dollar spent in an Illinois retail establishment. The retailers Two Cents movement will highlight an industry increasingly burdened with a litany of cost mandates at federal, state, and local level resulting in scaling back employee hours, laying off employees and impacting overall growth.
Saturday, April 16, 2016

Sanders to Clinton on Wall Street: 'Banks must have been crushed'
WASHINGTON (AP) — Her intent was to mar the voting record of her rival. But Hillary Clinton also cast aspersions on the presidential record of her husband in testy exchanges with Bernie Sanders over Wall Street regulation.
Friday, April 15, 2016

Trump says former 'Apprentice' contestants are 'failing wannabes'
’NEW YORK (AP) — A winner of “The Apprentice” and five other former contestants on Donald Trump’s reality show are speaking out against the Republican front-runner’s presidential campaign.
Friday, April 15, 2016

Sanders issues global call to action on wealth inequality at Vatican
VATICAN CITY (AP) — Democratic presidential candidate Bernie Sanders issued a global call to action at the Vatican Friday to address “immoral and unsustainable” wealth inequality and poverty and warn of the consequences to future generations if solutions are not found.
Friday, April 15, 2016

Bill Clinton was right
Bill Clinton trespassed against the cardinal rule of contemporary Democratic politics, which is that Thou Shalt Not Contradict Black Lives Matter Protesters.
Thursday, April 14, 2016

Speaker: Can see why Trump comments rattle Mideast allies
WASHINGTON (AP) — House Speaker Paul Ryan said Thursday the whole world is watching American politics and that he can understand how Middle East allies would be rattled by Republican front-runner Donald Trump’s provocative comments.
Thursday, April 14, 2016

Fashion-backward in North Carolina
It's been a long while since South Carolina could look down upon its neighbor to the North.

Thanks to North Carolina's anti-LGBT legislation (HB2), also referred to as the "bathroom bill," the state effectively has begun redefining itself from its long-popular characterization as a "valley of humility between two mountains of conceit" (South Carolina and Virginia).

Thursday, April 14, 2016

On the record: Garland on criminal justice and civil rights
(AP) — President Barack Obama's nominee for the U.S. Supreme Court, Merrick Garland, has been characterized as a moderate who, if confirmed, would nudge his divided colleagues slightly to the left because he would replace conservative stalwart Antonin Scalia.
Wednesday, April 13, 2016

They love NY: Sanders, Trump and Clinton all touting ties to Empire State
NEW YORK (AP) — Three presidential candidates call themselves New Yorkers. Bernie Sanders is from Brooklyn, Donald Trump is from Queens, and Hillary Clinton owns a home in Westchester and represented New York in the U.S. Senate.
Wednesday, April 13, 2016

On the record: Garland on guns, Gitmo and gov't regulation
(AP) — An Associated Press review of Garland's record on the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit — more than 5,000 rulings and 17,000 pages since 1997 — suggests he is a judge who only rarely, and perhaps reluctantly, has found himself at odds with the government agencies that appear before him.
Tuesday, April 12, 2016

Ivanka and Eric Trump won't be voting for their dad next week
ROCHESTER, New York (AP) — Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump’s children may be among their father’s most loyal cheerleaders. But only one of his three oldest children will be able to vote for him in next Tuesday’s Republican primary in New York.
Tuesday, April 12, 2016

US retreat from global economic stage would be mistake
WASHINGTON (AP) — Treasury Secretary Jacob Lew said today that Americans have reaped significant benefits from the international architecture put in place after World War II and the United States would be making a serious mistake to retreat from its global leadership role.
Monday, April 11, 2016

Pope Bernie
Imagine emerging from a rocky political week only to announce, as Bernie Sanders did, that, oh, by the way, the Vatican called. Actually, it was the Pontifical Academy of Social Science, but close enough, I suppose.
Monday, April 11, 2016

Experts tell US agency to slow down on self-driving cars
WASHINGTON (AP) — Engineers, safety advocates and even automakers have a safety message for federal regulators eager to get self-driving cars on the road: slow down.
Monday, April 11, 2016

The people's race
The spectacular strangeness of this presidential election may require a new display in Ripley's Odditorium of believe-it-or-nots.
Saturday, April 9, 2016

A Sanders loss? Blame it on the system
WASHINGTON (AP) — The standard line in Bernie Sanders’ campaign speeches goes like this: “Despite what the corporate media is telling you, there is a path to the nomination.”
Friday, April 8, 2016

Cruz or bust
If the Republican Party is to be saved from Donald Trump, Ted Cruz's runaway victory in Wisconsin will have been the inflection point.
Friday, April 8, 2016

Do not fear the chalk
Students at the University of Michigan called police the other day -- because someone had written Donald Trump's name in chalk. 
Thursday, April 7, 2016

Thinking is hard
Donald Trump is learning how hard it is to pretend to be something he's not.
Wednesday, April 6, 2016

Obama lauds Duckworth's service to veterans in endorsement
CHICAGO (AP) — President Barack Obama has officially endorsed Democratic U.S. Rep. Tammy Duckworth for Senate, saying “few people fight as passionately for our veterans.”
Wednesday, April 6, 2016

Wisconsin turnout huge; Cruz win leaves Trump damaged
NEW YORK (AP) — Wisconsin election officials predicted a big turnout in Tuesday’s primary — and then voters blew their number away.
Wednesday, April 6, 2016

'Dog the Bounty Hunter' helps kill Idaho bounty hunter bill
BOISE, Idaho (AP) — The reality TV star known as “Dog the Bounty Hunter” says he helped kill an Idaho measure to regulate bounty hunters because it would have prevented them from wearing badges.
Tuesday, April 5, 2016

The Streets of San Francisco, a Libertarian Take
"Sometimes I think we're so liberal that we're OK stepping over dead people on our sidewalks," Daniel Bergerac of the Castro Merchants Association and Castro Cares told me as we discussed the state of the streets of San Francisco. As he knows, people stepping over dead people does happen in San Francisco. 
Tuesday, April 5, 2016


SPOKANE, Wash. (AP) — The actions of two rural Oregon sheriffs during an armed standoff at a national wildlife refuge were striking: one worked with federal officials to end the siege while the other questioned the FBI's authority and offered words of support for the occupiers.


Tuesday, April 5, 2016

Thinking is hard
Donald Trump is learning how hard it is to pretend to be something he's not.

Case in point: Since deciding to run for president -- and maybe before, but who knows? -- Trump has insisted he is pro-life. America learned otherwise with his recent remarks that a woman should be punished were she to have an illegal abortion. Since abortion is  legal, this is a circumstance that doesn't exist, otherwise known as a hypothetical query.

Monday, April 4, 2016

Solutions to state's unemployment woes
Illinois’ unemployment rate rose again to 6.3 percent -- the fourth highest in the nation, and well above the national average. We’ve heard this news before and we all know the answer: a stable and predictable business climate.
Saturday, April 2, 2016

Obama says comments like Trump's show ignorance about world
WASHINGTON (AP) — President Barack Obama said Friday that suggestions from people like Donald Trump that nuclear weapons would help South Korea and Japan show a lack of understanding of the world.
Saturday, April 2, 2016

Over Here: Competence amid repulsive politics
Belgians planning to "march against fear" today were told to stay home out of fear for more violence. Americans in Europe, meanwhile, are being advised to "exercise vigilance." What about Americans in America?
Saturday, April 2, 2016

The feminist blind
This is not a column I am happy to write. Such things shouldn't happen; but they do. And unless we admit it, the whispers will undermine us all. In my book, that special place in hell can welcome one more group: women who play on the sisterly, feminist and instinctual trust many of us have for other women our age, women who have fought similar battles in their professions and paid heavy prices.
Saturday, April 2, 2016

Fox's Kelly: O'Reilly and CNN should have done more for her
NEW YORK (AP) — Fox News Channel’s Megyn Kelly is taking notes on who she feels hasn’t supported her in her feud with Donald Trump, and colleague Bill O’Reilly and CNN are both on her list.
Friday, April 1, 2016

Present at the destruction
Donald Trump never ceases to amaze, but his answer at a CNN town hall about the pledge he had taken to support the Republican Party's nominee was still jaw-dropping.
Friday, April 1, 2016

Trump fends off controversy hoping to clinch Wisconsin
MADISON, Wis. (AP) — Next Tuesday’s Wisconsin presidential primary is emerging as a crucial lifeline for Republicans desperate to stop Donald Trump’s march to their party’s nomination. One of his worst weeks of the 2016 campaign is colliding with a state already skeptical of his brash brand of politics.
Friday, April 1, 2016

A more prepared Trump
The Trump campaign did something last Monday evening that other campaigns do all the time but that the Republican front-runner has never, ever done. It sent out an email with the prepared text of Trump's speech to AIPAC, the pro-Israel group meeting in Washington.
Thursday, March 31, 2016

Must America pick up everybody's defense bills?
It seems strange that so few of my fellow TV binge-watchers have submitted to the fascinating Norwegian political thriller, "Occupied." Friends, this is eight hours of your life you won't mind not getting back.
Thursday, March 31, 2016

Sanders has big fund raising haul in March
NEW YORK (AP) — Democratic presidential candidate Bernie Sanders raised more than $39.7 million in March and is aiming to surpass $43.5 million for the month, his campaign said today as both he and rival Hillary Clinton face monthly fundraising deadlines.
Thursday, March 31, 2016

What now?
So what are we to do?
Wednesday, March 30, 2016

Trump's win-at-any-cost approach: 'Nothing is presidential except victory'
WASHINGTON (AP) — Sitting on his plush private plane surrounded by a gaggle of reporters, Donald Trump laid bare the depths of his win-at-any-cost political philosophy.
Wednesday, March 30, 2016

Yes, the delegates can decide
Donald Trump has made his first threat to sue over the procedures for selecting delegates to the Republican convention. It surely won't be his last.
Tuesday, March 29, 2016

Feds block Texas from testing aid recipients for drugs
Texans want to drug test applicants seeking billions in welfare and unemployment benefits in the state, but Uncle Sugar says no. At least for now.
Monday, March 28, 2016

California lawmakers to scrutinize new bullet train plans
SACRAMENTO, Calif. (AP) — State lawmakers will have their first opportunity to quiz the officials responsible for California’s $64 billion high-speed rail plans at a committee hearing Monday to review a new business plan that calls for overhauling its proposed route and postponing the first service by three years.
Monday, March 28, 2016

Trump ready to visit Wisconsin, but Cruz has head-start
OSHKOSH, Wisconsin (AP) — Donald Trump is planning to make his first campaign visit to Wisconsin on Tuesday, where the upcoming Republican presidential primary could mark a turning point in the unpredictable GOP race.
Monday, March 28, 2016

Federal officials, advocates push pill-tracking databases
WASHINGTON (AP) — The nation’s top health officials are stepping up calls to require doctors to log in to pill-tracking databases before prescribing painkillers and other high-risk drugs.
Monday, March 28, 2016

Why Superdelegates Count
Every time I see a tally of the delegate race that excludes so-called "superdelegates," I have to laugh. "Of course they count," I want to scream at The New York Times, which otherwise offers a flawless tally. That's precisely why I, and a minority of others, fought so hard against the introduction of superdelegates.
Saturday, March 26, 2016

Sinking to old lows
When a presidential election devolves into a hydrant-watering contest between leading contenders about the relative attractiveness of their respective wives, not only does America look ridiculous but we diminish our moral standing to denounce other cultures' marginalization of women.
Saturday, March 26, 2016

GOP ads hand Democrats the anti-Trump attack playbook
WASHINGTON (AP) — “Bimbo. Dog. Fat pig,” disgusted women say, looking straight into the camera. Another explains, “Real quotes from Donald Trump, about women.”
Friday, March 25, 2016

A look at California's June primary
To clinch the Republican presidential nomination, a candidate needs to accumulate at least 1,237 delegates, which is a majority of the 2,472 delegates to the Republican National Convention in Cleveland. California, the nation’s most populous state, awards the most delegates.
Friday, March 25, 2016

This truly is a year when the rules don't apply. If they did, John Kasich would be back in Columbus trying to figure out whether he sells his soul to Donald Trump or endorses Ted Cruz.
Friday, March 25, 2016

Tech companies may make it so that they can't provide info
SAN FRANCISCO (AP) — Although it fiercely opposes the FBI's demand for help unlocking a San Bernardino shooter's encrypted iPhone, Apple has never argued that it simply can't do what the government wants. That might not be true for long.
Thursday, March 24, 2016

What did you do to stop him, Daddy?
Now that Donald Trump has spoken before the American Israel Public Affairs Committee (AIPAC), a pro-Israel lobbying group, Americans have learned the following:
Wednesday, March 23, 2016

Ryan slams 'ugliness'in politics amid Trump-driven chaos
WASHINGTON (AP) — House Speaker Paul Ryan on Wednesday decried ugliness and divisiveness in American politics, delivering a veiled but passionate rebuke to GOP presidential front-runner Donald Trump and the nasty tone of his campaign.
Wednesday, March 23, 2016

Garland Merrick - How Liberal?
WASHINGTON (AP) — Merrick Garland's judicial record over nearly two decades indicates he would side more often than not with the Supreme Court's liberal justices on a range of cases splitting the court along ideological lines.
Monday, March 21, 2016

Trump vs. Kemp
Marco Rubio's speech suspending his campaign after his crushing loss in the Florida primary was a requiem for an entire style of Republican politics.
Saturday, March 19, 2016

Lawyers abandon federal lawsuit over CIA head's resignation
WASHINGTON (AP) — A Florida woman’s federal lawsuit over an investigation that led to the resignation of former CIA director David Petraeus is collapsing after her lawyers asked a judge Friday to let them withdraw from the case. They cited irreconcilable differences.
Saturday, March 19, 2016

Obama, Republicans take Supreme Court fight to airwaves
WASHINGTON (AP) — President Barack Obama called again Saturday for Senate Republicans to consider his nominee for the Supreme Court, Merrick Garland.
Saturday, March 19, 2016

Our George Wallace
George Wallace knew how to handle the hecklers who routinely disrupted his events. "These are the folks," he declared at a rally in 1968, "that people like us are sick and tired of. You've been getting a good lesson in what we've been talking about. They talk about free speech but won't allow it to others."
Friday, March 18, 2016

In correctional facilities, everything has a purpose
TAYLORVILLE — What are your first thoughts when you hear the word “jail”. Jail is a word that gives some individuals an uncomfortable feeling or, on the flip side, a sense of security.
Friday, March 18, 2016

Understanding the Islamic State
One wouldn't call them bedfellows, strange or otherwise, but President Obama and Donald Trump are both inadvertently helping the Islamic State through rhetoric that is either too cautious or too rash.
Thursday, March 17, 2016

Trump: "We'd have riots."
Republican presidential front-runner Donald Trump says that if the GOP tries to deny him the party’s nomination even if he’s within reach of sufficient delegates at convention time, “We’d have riots.”
Wednesday, March 16, 2016

Trump's success still does not guarantee nomination
WASHINGTON (AP) — Donald Trump is the only candidate with a path to clinching the Republican nomination for president before the party’s national convention in July, according to an analysis of the delegate math.
Wednesday, March 16, 2016

Fla. Gov. Rick Scott is endorsing Trump
Gov. Rick Scott is endorsing Donald Trump one day after the billionaire won the Florida presidential primary.
Wednesday, March 16, 2016

Next GOP debate could be one-man show
Ohio Gov. John Kasich’s spokesman says he won’t debate without Donald Trump onstage. Trump said earlier today he won’t be there.
Wednesday, March 16, 2016

Paul Ryan "will not accept a nomination"
House Speaker Paul Ryan’s spokeswoman says he “will not accept a nomination” to be the Republican running for president — even if his predecessor, John Boehner, nominated him.
Wednesday, March 16, 2016

Clinton says she was mistaken about coal
WASHINGTON (AP) — The latest on the race for the Republican and Democratic presidential nominations a day after critical primaries in five states (all times local):
Wednesday, March 16, 2016

Shame, shame, shame
As Donald Trump continues to surge forward as the most-likely Republican nominee, perfectly sane people are beginning to wonder: "Was there something we missed? Maybe he's not really so bad?"
Monday, March 14, 2016

Political spending groups
(AP) — A look at the type of groups raising money for elections and what information they are required to disclose:
Monday, March 14, 2016

With no rate hike seen, Fed's outlook on economy is awaited
WASHINGTON (AP) — The financial world is awaiting the Federal Reserve’s response to a critical question: How stable are the world’s economies and financial markets?
Monday, March 14, 2016

Essay: Will the First Amendment survive the information age?
As Apple tries to fend off government demands for access to iPhone content, the company is leaning on free speech arguments as a key part of its defense in a California courtroom.
Saturday, March 12, 2016

2 Trumps: Trump the quiet thinker vs. Trump the flashy showman
PALM BEACH, Fla. (AP) — Are there two Donald Trumps? The quiet thinker and the flashy showman?
Saturday, March 12, 2016

The Billy Mays of the GOP
The presidency has been occupied by lawyers, ex-generals, a former actor and even a peanut farmer, but never before by a pitchman.
Friday, March 11, 2016

Fact Check: GOP Debate big on policy, off the mark on details
WASHINGTON (AP) — They exaggerated, they generalized, they got some things flat-out wrong.
Friday, March 11, 2016

Obama narrowing list of possible Supreme Court candidates
WASHINGTON (AP) — Despite calls to select a Supreme Court nominee from outside the judicial monastery, President Barack Obama doesn’t appear to be ready to leave the faith.
Thursday, March 10, 2016

Farewell Prince of Tides
Soon after "The Prince of Tides" became a blockbuster movie in 1991, People magazine put the film's leading man, Nick Nolte, on its cover as the "Sexiest Man Alive." 
Thursday, March 10, 2016

Dress codes and female dignity
How many among us recognize the name of Yolande Betbeze Fox, the Alabama beauty who died recently at the age of 87? Fox blazed quite a trail through American culture when, as Miss America of 1951, she refused to reign in a bathing suit. The swimsuit-maker sponsoring the pageant was not pleased.
Thursday, March 10, 2016

Sanders' upset win in Michigan might crank up intensity in debate tonight
WASHINGTON (AP) — Bernie Sanders' narrow upset win over Hillary Clinton in Michigan could crank up the intensity level between the Democratic presidential contenders at their eighth debate tonight in the political proving ground of Florida.
Wednesday, March 9, 2016

Can Trump really make good on his promise? Great wall faces great hurdles
WASHINGTON (AP) — Can Donald Trump really make good on his promise to build a wall along the 2,000-mile U.S.-Mexican border to prevent illegal migration? What’s more, can he make Mexico pay for it?
Tuesday, March 8, 2016

Four more states weigh in on presidential campaign today: what to look for
WASHINGTON (AP) — Michigan is the crown jewel today as voters in four states deliver verdicts on the presidential campaign. It’s the first big industrial state to weigh in, and should offer clues about how the candidates will play in important Midwest contests to come. But it will be Wednesday on the East Coast before the night’s final prize gets awarded in Hawaii.
Tuesday, March 8, 2016

The Democrat's Archie Bunker
It was the "excuse me" that echoed around Democratic politics.
Tuesday, March 8, 2016

The end of Reagan nostalgia
If there's anything we thought we knew about the GOP, it is that it is the party of Reagan.
Saturday, March 5, 2016

Fed proposes rules to boost stability of financial system
WASHINGTON (AP) — The Federal Reserve has put forward new rules aimed at addressing one of the primary causes of the 2008 financial crisis — the financial exposures that the biggest banks had with each other.
Saturday, March 5, 2016

Supreme Court puts hold on Louisiana abortion clinic law
WASHINGTON (AP) — The Supreme Court on Friday blocked enforcement of a Louisiana law that could force all but one of the state’s abortion clinics to close, a sign that a similar law in Texas also could be in peril.
Saturday, March 5, 2016

Inoculated against truth
By now it's obvious that lecturing Donald Trump supporters about why they shouldn't vote for him only confirms their convictions.
Friday, March 4, 2016

NJ newspapers say Christie should resign
NEWARK, NJ — Six New Jersey newspapers say Gov. Chris Christie should resign over his endorsement of Donald Trump. They add that if Christie refuses to quit, New Jersey citizens should initiate a recall effort.
Wednesday, March 2, 2016

Judge tosses ballot challenge against Cruz
CHICAGO (AP) — A judge has dismissed a claim that Republican presidential candidate Ted Cruz isn’t eligible for the Illinois ballot because he was born in Canada.
Wednesday, March 2, 2016

NY court says fraud suit against Trump U may continue
ALBANY, N.Y. (AP) — A New York court on Tuesday refused to throw out a fraud lawsuit against Donald Trump over his former school for real estate investors.
Wednesday, March 2, 2016

Long before Clinton, DNC rules gave edge to establishment
WASHINGTON (AP) — Long before Hillary Clinton, superdelegates have been there for the establishment.
Wednesday, March 2, 2016

No surprises Tuesday
Wednesday, March 2, 2016

US pending home sales decline in January
WASHINGTON (AP) — Fewer Americans signed contracts to buy homes in January, as cold weather and limited inventory appears to be curbing the recent hot streak in sales.
Monday, February 29, 2016

The black and white of politics
If Donald Trump speaks for disenfranchised whites, Hillary Clinton speaks mostly to blacks who feel the same.
Monday, February 29, 2016

How Trump helps Clinton
Could Donald Trump win the nomination? Yes. You have to say that. To say no is to ignore what is happening, and what can happen in a process that is largely not controlled by the Republican establishment. New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie is no fool. He could be vice president. So what if neither of them has any foreign policy experience?
Monday, February 29, 2016

Vets of '05 Senate truce don't see accord over court pick
WASHINGTON (AP) — With ideological control of the Supreme Court at stake and senators trading insults, lawmakers who helped the Senate avert a meltdown over judges a decade ago say today’s political climate is too toxic for a bipartisan pact to replace the late Justice Antonin Scalia.
Monday, February 29, 2016

Why Trump voters accept the good with the bad
In a recent interview with Donald Trump, Fox News' Greta van Susteren posed a simple question from a viewer: "Why don't you act more presidential?"
Saturday, February 27, 2016

Davis urges FEMA to weigh gov's request
Washington, DC — U.S. Reps. Rodney Davis (R-Ill.), Mike Bost (R-Ill.), and John Shimkus (R-Ill.) releashed the following statements after the Illinois Congressional Delegation sent a letter urging President Obama to support Governor Rauner’s request for federal assistance to help 21 of the hardest-hit counties recover from recent severe flash and river flooding. The request includes Christian County.
Saturday, February 27, 2016

Trump's failure to release returns puzzling
WASHINGTON (AP) — Republican presidential front-runner Donald Trump is sticking to his new explanation for why he can’t yet release copies of his recent tax returns: The IRS is auditing him, as Trump says it has for the last 12 years.
Saturday, February 27, 2016

Debate fact check: Uhh, Donald Trump objects to cursing?
WASHINGTON (AP) — Donald Trump, offended by coarse language?
Friday, February 26, 2016

Finally. . .Rubio makes the move on Trump
WASHINGTON (AP) — Marco Rubio unleashed a campaign’s worth of harsh criticism on Donald Trump in the final Republican debate before Tuesday’s crucial primaries.
Friday, February 26, 2016

In Florida, Trump looms as a cloud in Rubio's Sunshine State
MIAMI (AP) — Donald Trump is a part-time Florida resident — and a full-time problem for the home-state senator running for president, Marco Rubio.
Friday, February 26, 2016

Melania Trump: From small-town Slovenian roots to NYC with big dreams
SEVNICA, Slovenia (AP) — Melania Trump has seen more of the world than most people — a journey propelled by her own big dreams concocted as a young girl growing up under Communism.
Thursday, February 25, 2016

In Chicago, Sanders found his place in civil rights movement
CHICAGO (AP) — Bernie Sanders was in his first year at the University of Chicago, 20 and with a thick New York accent, when he took to the steps of the administration building to rail against a university policy of racially segregated housing.
Thursday, February 25, 2016 'passive' on heading off fraud
WASHINGTON (AP) — With billions in taxpayer dollars at stake, the Obama administration has taken a “passive” approach to identifying potential fraud involving the president’s health care law, nonpartisan congressional investigators say in a report due out Wednesday.
Wednesday, February 24, 2016

Carson, in fading campaign, questions Obama's 'blackness'
WASHINGTON (AP) — Ben Carson is trying to reinvigorate his campaign for Republican presidential nomination by becoming the latest to question Barack Obama’s blackness ahead of critical upcoming votes.
Wednesday, February 24, 2016

With Nevada win, Trump has trifecta; Rubio beats Cruz for second
LAS VEGAS (AP) — With a big win in Nevada, Donald Trump claimed a third straight commanding victory in the race for the Republican presidential nomination. Marco Rubio edged out Ted Cruz in a tight race for second that offered little evidence that Republicans were ready to coalesce around one strong alternative to the businessman billionaire.
Wednesday, February 24, 2016

Cruz, Rubio and Kasich all face must-wins in home states
AUSTIN, Texas (AP) — In their efforts to derail Donald Trump from the Republican presidential nomination, Texas Sen. Ted Cruz, Florida Sen. Marco Rubio and Ohio Gov. John Kasich are all facing enormous pressure in their home state primaries, which account for about a fourth of the delegates up for grabs in the next three weeks.
Wednesday, February 24, 2016

Unlock the terrorist's phone
One school of thought years ago was that the Large Hadron Collider, the enormous contraption built to bash particles together, might inadvertently become a doomsday device. 
Tuesday, February 23, 2016

What would Scalia do?
As Republican presidential candidates invoke Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia's legacy, all insisting that his suddenly vacant seat shouldn't be filled until a new president is in place, it is helpful to ask: What would Scalia do?
Saturday, February 20, 2016

Put puppy-whistle politics on a leash
In politics, the "dog whistle" is coded language designed to delight a targeted subgroup and pass over the heads of everyone else. Other terms, such as "establishment," "Washington insider" and "free trade," are not quite full-grown dog whistles. Let's call them puppy whistles.
Saturday, February 20, 2016

Obama to Democratic governors: Protect voting rights
WASHINGTON (AP) — President Barack Obama urged states on Friday to protect voting rights, saying “it’s about making democracy as good as it can be.”
Saturday, February 20, 2016

How the presidential caucuses in Nevada work
CARSON CITY, Nev. (AP) — Small Nevada — population 3 million — became one of the first four states in the presidential nominating process thanks to an effort a decade ago to add more diversity to the early voting calendar.
Friday, February 19, 2016

Cruz looks to replicate Iowa ground game in S. Carolina
GREENVILLE, S.C. (AP) — For months, Ted Cruz’s campaign has touted an expensive and sophisticated get-out-the-vote operation as its antidote to Donald Trump’s broad populist appeal.
Friday, February 19, 2016

Labor divides over Democratic presidential candidates
LAS VEGAS (AP) — Union members banged thundersticks inside a hall festooned with a Hillary Clinton mural as she strode to the stage. The recent rally was one of a series of union events the Clinton campaign staged to show off its backing from the labor movement, a pivotal player in the next state to vote in the Democratic presidential contest.
Friday, February 19, 2016

GOP Iraq battle shines new spotlight on Jeb weakness
It's entirely reasonable to say the war in Iraq was a disaster. Maybe you disagree, or maybe you think that's too harsh, but it's an arguable proposition.
Thursday, February 18, 2016

Southern Poverty Law Center critics say it's as intolerant as those it accuses
BIRMINGHAM, Ala. (AP) — Many consider The Southern Poverty Law Center’s annual list of U.S. extremist groups an authoritative glimpse into racist and anti-government activity, but some of its targets contend the civil rights advocacy group is actually focused on silencing conservative viewpoints — sometimes with serious consequences.
Thursday, February 18, 2016

Senate owes Obama no deference
According to Sen. Elizabeth Warren, the future of the republic teeters in the balance. Unless the United States Senate bows to the will of President Barack Obama and approves his replacement for Justice Antonin Scalia on the Supreme Court, everything we hold dear will be lost. 
Wednesday, February 17, 2016

Cancer patients snagged in health law's tangled paperwork
WASHINGTON (AP) — Walt Whitlow was under treatment for cancer when he got an unwelcome surprise.
Monday, February 15, 2016

Clinton, Sanders speak at Las Vegas church
LAS VEGAS (AP) — Hillary Clinton and Bernie Sanders are speaking from the pulpit as they campaign ahead of next weekend’s Democratic caucuses in Nevada.
Monday, February 15, 2016

George W. Bush: From South Carolina cameo to starring role
GREENVILLE, S.C. (AP) — George W. Bush won a bruising South Carolina presidential primary on his way to the Oval Office, as his father did before him.
Monday, February 15, 2016

Into the mosh pit: Republican campaign talk gets nastier
WASHINGTON (AP) — In 2011, eyebrows shot up when former vice presidential candidate Sarah Palin used a salty acronym — WTF — to mock the policies of President Barack Obama.
Monday, February 15, 2016

Trump runs free
Donald Trump's crushing across-the-board victory in New Hampshire had the breadth and depth that one would expect of a future nominee. If the result doesn't shake the lazy complacency about Trump that has held in Republican circles for months -- and was reinforced by his disappointing Iowa finish -- nothing will.
Friday, February 12, 2016

Fact check: Clinton, Sanders in debate on health care, climate and donors
WASHINGTON (AP) — In their latest debate, Hillary Clinton glossed over the big-money donors juicing her White House ambitions while Bernie Sanders offered disputed numbers behind his plan for a government-financed health system.
Friday, February 12, 2016

Obama recites love poem to wife on Ellen DeGeneres Show
BURBANK, Calif. (AP) — Someone call the fire department. It’s about to get hot at the White House.
Friday, February 12, 2016

Viewers' Guide: Clinton-Sanders back in debate ring tonight
WASHINGTON (AP) — Grudge match.

Democratic presidential candidates Hillary Clinton and Bernie Sanders get back in the debate ring tonight with an increasingly bitter family score to settle. The debate comes just 48 hours after Sanders’ victory over Clinton in the New Hampshire primary by 22 percentage points, a jagged pill made more so because she lost with women, her presumed base of support.

Thursday, February 11, 2016

Fiorina: 'A feminist is a woman who lives the life she chooses'
DES MOINES (AP) — Former technology executive Carly Fiorina exited the 2016 Republican presidential race Wednesday, after winning praise for her debate prowess but struggling to build a winning coalition in a crowded GOP field.
Thursday, February 11, 2016

Excerpts from the president's address to the General Assembly
SPRINGFIELD — Following are excerpt of President Obama’s remarks on politics to the Illinois General Assembly yesterday:
Thursday, February 11, 2016

Government keeps rural West going
The 187,000 acres on which sits the Malheur National Wildlife Refuge never belonged to the state of Oregon, much less the band of cowboy exhibitionists who'd taken it over. This and other federal lands were acquired through conquest over, purchases from or treaties with Mexico, Russia, Spain, England, France and Native Americans.
Saturday, February 6, 2016

Donald Trump: sore loser
It was the shortest speech anyone can remember him giving. He was clearly in a state of disbelief.
Saturday, February 6, 2016

Gun control not resonating as key issue in New Hampshire
CONCORD, N.H. (AP) — With each mass shooting in the United States in the past year, a debate raged about whether gun-control measures were overdue to make Americans safe.
Saturday, February 6, 2016

Fact check: A look at some of the claims in the Democratic debate
WASHINGTON (AP) — Hillary Clinton cast the financial industry as an adversary in her presidential campaign — despite the money that industry has poured into her White House effort. Bernie Sanders once again mischaracterized the share of the wealth taken by the very richest Americans.
Friday, February 5, 2016

Trump's loss a victory, but don't discount him yet
Donald Trump's loss in Iowa wasn't just a victory for conservatives, but a loss for the mogul's routinely low and dishonest style of campaigning.
Friday, February 5, 2016

Senate Democrats block energy bill in impasse over Flint
WASHINGTON (AP) — Senate Democratst oday blocked a comprehensive energy bill after majority Republicans rejected hundreds of millions of dollars in emergency federal aid to Flint, Michigan, to fix and replace the city’s lead-contaminated pipes.
Thursday, February 4, 2016

Drug price hikes: Pharmacy CEO smirks and takes the Fifth
WASHINGTON (AP) — Pharmaceutical chief Martin Shkreli refused to testify today in an appearance before U.S. lawmakers over severe hikes for a drug sold by a company that he acquired, yet even without answering questions, managed to leave them infuriated.
Thursday, February 4, 2016

Trump's loss could point to bigger problems ahead
Donald Trump's supporters showed up at the Sheraton Monday night fully expecting their man to win the Iowa caucuses. And why shouldn't they? Trump had held a lead of varying sizes in 13 of the last 13 polls listed in the RealClearPolitics average of Iowa polls. How could that not win?
Wednesday, February 3, 2016

Rubio's the one
You can pick your headline for Iowa: "Trump Didn't Win!" "Hillary Didn't Lose!" "Rubio's the One!"
Wednesday, February 3, 2016

Paul calls it quits today
COLUMBIA, S.C. (AP) — Republican Sen. Rand Paul dropped his 2016 campaign for president today, eclipsed by other candidates who kept his base of support from growing into a viable force in the crowded 2016 field.
Wednesday, February 3, 2016

We live in the age of working-class discontent
We live in the age of working-class discontent, which, if it wasn't obvious before, has been made plain by the passions roiling 2016 presidential politics. 
Tuesday, February 2, 2016

US manufacturing weakens in line with China factory slowdown
WASHINGTON (AP) — Factory activity in the world’s two biggest economies — the United States and China — slowed in January, a discouraging trend for the global economy.
Monday, February 1, 2016

The quisling establishment
Few expected Donald Trump would be in a dominant position days before the Iowa caucuses. Fewer still expected the Republican establishment would be among the mogul's deluded enablers.
Monday, February 1, 2016

Oh, Donnie boy
If you ask Donald Trump fans what they like about him, there's an excellent chance they'll say, "Because he's not politically correct."
Monday, February 1, 2016

Trinity Dodge Fixed

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