Democracy proceeds from liberty

WASHINGTON — In a 2006 interview, Supreme Court Justice Stephen Breyer said the Constitution is "basically about" one word — "democracy" — that appears in neither that document nor the Declaration of Independence. Democracy is America's way of allocating political power.

Jim Dey: Griffith rises to newest challenge

Last week, he was in Champaign-Urbana watching the Fighting Illini football team. On Tuesday, he was in East Lansing to get a look at Michigan State. Next week, it's off to Iowa City to see the Hawkeyes.

Life on the road can be taxing, but Howard Griffth's daily schedule is no picnic either.

Adding a silent T to CBS

WASHINGTON — In selecting Stephen Colbert to replace David Letterman as host of the "Late Show," CBS has waged war on America's heartland — or so proclaims that Palm Beach font of heartland mirth, Rush Limbaugh.

Don't you believe it, heartlanders.

Jim Dey: Former senator now follows politics from a distance

A longtime political power in Illinois, former U.S. Sen. Alan Dixon now holds the unofficial title of elder statesman — and getting more elderly every day.

"If my luck holds, I'll be 87 in three months," Dixon jokes.

Strung along on immigration reform

CHICAGO — The week's award for truer words were never spoken goes to David Martin, who served as deputy general counsel at the Department of Homeland Security in the first two years of the Obama administration.

Pathway to a balanced budget

PHOENIX — From the Goldwater Institute, the fertile frontal lobe of the conservative movement's brain, comes an innovative idea that is gaining traction in Alaska, Arizona and Georgia, and its advocates may bring it to at least 35 other states' legislatures.

Jim Dey: Hearings into IHSA just might clear things up

IHSA executive director Marty Hickman contends his organization is a model of transparency that has been "unfairly targeted" by wrong-headed critics.

Kochs, the cause that refreshes

WASHINGTON — Rush Limbaugh can relax. The popular "demon of the right" has been replaced at least through the midterms by the Koch brothers, Charles and David.


Exactly. Though cable and online news junkies know the names, the vast majority of Americans probably have no idea who the Kochs are. They're about to find out.

Tax reform's champion facing an uphill battle

WASHINGTON — The Sisyphean task of tax reform should be tried only by someone who will not flinch from igniting some highly flammable people — those who believe that whatever wrinkle in the tax code benefits them is an eternal entitlement.

Jim Dey: Many obstacles remain for proposed map amendment

Charlotte Hampton's work is done. Rupert Borgmiller's is just beginning.

These two people — one a great-grandmother from Paxton and the other a Springfield bureaucrat — hold separate, but still key, roles, in an effort to amend the Illinois Constitution and uproot the political status quo.

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