At 100, Federal Reserve's performance is mixed bag

RICHMOND, Va. — A display case in the lobby of the Federal Reserve Bank here might express humility. The case holds a 99.9 percent pure gold bar weighing 401.75 troy ounces.

'Argo' no winner, Iran government says

Not everybody loves "Argo."

"Argo," the movie that won this year's Oscar for the best picture, may have won the hearts of moviegoers across the country, but it's facing a tough sell to the government of Iran.

Illinois stands to run off road

With all the recent legislative focus on issues like gun control and same-sex marriage, one could easily forget that Illinois' finances are on life support.

There's good and bad news about Illinois finances contained in the recent analysis of the state's fiscal health that was prepared by Chicago's Civic Federation.

My way or the highway?

Even Chicago politicians can't ignore court rulings.

Almost everyone who pays attention knows that Chicago is a world unto itself in political terms — a combination kleptocracy, feudal kingdom and den of iniquity.

Patent poses seeds of dispute

The big guy is not always wrong. In a patent protection case before the Supreme Court, mega-corporation Monsanto has a better argument than an Indiana farmer who bought and reused herbicide-resistant seeds.

Guest commentary: Senate should hold public hearings on drone strikes

The Senate Intelligence Committee is supposed to do oversight of the Central Intelligence Agency. Since the CIA is conducting drone strikes in Pakistan, Yemen and Somalia, and since this is a controversial policy, the Senate Intelligence Committee should be doing oversight of that.

Claims of sequester chaos example of apocalypse not

WASHINGTON — Even during this desultory economic recovery, one industry thrives — the manufacture of synthetic hysteria. It is, however, inaccurate to accuse the Hysteric in Chief of crying "Wolf!" about spending cuts under the sequester. He is actually crying "Hamster!"

Chase continues for diversity in education

CHICAGO — Back when I was oblivious about what went on in underperforming public schools, I had fanciful notions that the key to encouraging social mobility was college access.

And not the kind of access that would diversify the ranks of college graduates by race, mind you, but access based on the only relatively colorblind assessment: family income.

Guest commentary: School board, community must work together for kids' sake


On Feb. 12, Unit 4 schools and Dejong Richter (a public engagement firm — on Unit 4's behalf) made a presentation to the community about options for a comprehensive building plan, including a number of new school buildings.

Renominate Mayor Prussing

Mayor Laurel Prussing has earned a shot at a third term in office.

Democratic voters in Urbana will go the polls on Tuesday to choose their party's nominee, and given the heavily Democratic bent of voters there, probably the city's next mayor.