Dan Corkery: Some punctuation marks just aren't my type

Brackets — punctuation, not March Madness — are a peculiar beast.

For the 40-some years I have been typing and writing, I've never used brackets.

Until recently, I don't recall even noticing them — marks so rarely used, they didn't leave a mark on my memory.

Now that I edit text from a wide variety of writers, I see them often. And that puzzles me.

Leonard Pitts: Conservative pundits shattered reality

Ordinarily, I might gloat.

Last week, a prominent conservative pundit conceded a point yours truly and countless others have been making for a long time. Namely, that in their constant assaults on mainstream news media, conservatives have wrecked the very idea of objective, knowable fact. In effect, they broke reality. And Donald Trump came oozing out of the ruins.

Tom Kacich: Trump gaining ground on Clinton in area fundraising

Questions for Tom? Ask 'em here

Donald Trump is gaining on Hillary Clinton.

That is, the Republican presidential nominee is catching up in terms of fundraising among residents of East Central Illinois, although he has a very long way to go.

Jim Nowlan: Fractured state of Illinois

This is the first in a series of eight essays about politics and policy-making in Illinois, which will run between now and the November election, interspersed here and there with a few columns on timely topics.

Dan Corkery: Playing hide and seek with public documents

Funny how government officials react to laws.

When issued subpoenas, officials — whether they are elected, appointed or civil service — comply.

But when confronted with a request under the Freedom of Information Act, some officials balk.

Do I have to?

If public officials are sworn to uphold the law, why is FOIA a law they try to challenge?

Sundiata Cha-Jua/Real Talk: 150 years of data on police violence

Race riots or pogroms (organized racial cleansing) have a long history in the U.S. They can be traced back to the so-called Cincinnati race riots of 1829. However, the definitive trigger incident characterizing anti-black racial pogroms and later black rebellions did not emerge until after emancipation.

Leonard Pitts Jr.: Listen, before it's too late

As racial martyrs go, you could hardly do worse than Sylville Smith.

Jim Nowlan: Angry white males redux

I received some flak, though less than I expected, over my recent column about angry white males. In that piece, I expressed support for strikes by service workers, as among tools that might increase compensation for those in the lower and middle classes.

George Will: All eyes on the Silver State in November

LAS VEGAS — Nevada, which calls itself the "Battle Born State," actually was born prematurely because of Republicans' anxiety. Now, 152 years later, it again is a subject of their anxiety.

Dan Corkery: This won't hurt a bit ... the check's in the mail

Last Tuesday, I had a root canal.

And that was the least painful part.

Before leaving the endodontist's office, I stopped at the receptionist's desk to make my next appointment.

And to pay up.

"$1,100, please."

Yo, doc! My credit card could have used a shot of novocaine, too. (Actually, dentists use articaine.)