Columns

Columns

Jim Dey: Budget, contract fights threaten state worker pay

The salaries of thousands of state of Illinois employees are up for grabs.

Caught in the midst of two political battles — the 20-month old budget standoff and a management-labor contract dispute — state worker pay is on the line.

Dan Corkery: Whatever happened to ... big plans for a new ice arena

"Make no little plans," Daniel Burnham, the famous architect, once said; "they have no magic to stir men's blood and probably will not themselves be realized."

That may have worked in Chicago, but it didn't in Champaign-Urbana.

Fourteen years ago, the University of Illinois, developer Peter Fox, industrialist Lou Mervis and other local leaders made their own big plans.

Sundiata Cha-Jua/Real Talk: Trumpistan: A legal police state

A year after Langston Hughes' death, Gil Scott-Heron followed his idol to Lincoln University. Within two years Scott-Heron was poised to succeed Hughes as the leading griot or poetic chronicler of the African-American experience.

John Foreman: I just don't understand

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Sometimes, I think the more I know, the less I understand.

George Will: An adult voice amid pandemic childishness

WASHINGTON — In his 72 years, Judge J. Harvie Wilkinson III of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit, who was raised in segregated Richmond, Va., acknowledges that he has seen much change, often for the better, including advances in the 1960s.

Austin Berg: State senators testing new tax hikes

By AUSTIN BERG

Every week, there seems to be news of yet another massive tax hike out of Springfield.

First came the multibillion-dollar income tax hike.

Then a statewide tax on sugary drinks.

Then, on top of all that, a new payroll tax on the "privilege of doing business" in Illinois.

Yes, that's a real quote from the bill.

Jim Dey: Rauner in '18 depends on his political muscle mass

That's going to be some gubernatorial race in Illinois next year — you know, the one featuring Republican Donald Trump against Democrat Michael Madigan.

The donnybrook will feature two hugely unpopular figures in Illinois, each accusing the other of being the equivalent of Lucifer himself.

Dan Corkery: Public doesn't see glitter of Gold Award

The Boy Scouts of America recently returned to the national conversation.

Unfortunately, not so for the Girl Scouts.

Two week ago, the Boy Scouts opened their membership to transgender boys. That follows a decision in 2013 when the Boy Scouts accepted openly gay boys. In 2015, openly gay adults were allowed to be leaders.

George Will: Who will protect Americans from their protectors?

WASHINGTON — At their post-Civil War apogee, 19th-century Republicans were the party of activist government, using protectionism to pick commercial winners and promising wondrous benefits from government's deft interventions in economic life.

Jim Dey: Kennedy an immediate contender to take on Rauner

Chicago businessman Christopher Kennedy got the state's political wheels spinning last week when he threw his very big hat into what very well could be a ringing race for governor in 2018.