Jim Dey | Pardon in hand, former Illini star Matt Sinclair plots next step

Jan. 11 — just nine days ago — was a date that former University of Illinois football player Matt Sinclair and former Illinois Gov. Bruce Rauner anticipated with excitement — but for very different reasons.

George Will | Trump is an almost inexpressibly sad specimen

WASHINGTON — Half or a quarter of the way through this interesting experiment with an incessantly splenetic presidency, much of the nation has become accustomed to daily mortifications. Or has lost its capacity for embarrassment, which is even worse.

Real Talk | MLK, education and unintended consequences

Martin Luther King's birthday is unique among U.S. holidays. It's the only federal holiday that commemorates the life and contributions of a private citizen and an African American. Moreover, it is as much a commemoration of the movement as it is of the man.

Jim Dey | Illinois Supreme Court may give juvenile killer a break on sentence

When it comes to juveniles who commit murder, how long of a prison sentence is too long, at least in the constitutional sense?

That was a question the Illinois Supreme Court wrestled with Tuesday in just one of a series of pending cases that raise that very question.

Jim Dey | Promises, promises from Pritzker — but of what, exactly?

New Illinois Gov. J.B. Pritzker delivered a warm, buoyant inaugural address Monday, general enough not to ruffle too many feathers but specific enough to thrill his supporters.

Scott Reeder | Rauner, Trump parallels are frightening

SPRINGFIELD — Am I the only Illinoisan who is experiencing déjà vu when it comes to the latest antics in Washington?

It seems a petulant chief executive is at loggerheads with a speaker of the House and is allowing a portion of the government to go unfunded unless he gets what he wants.

It could be Gov. Bruce Rauner circa 2015 or President Donald Trump in 2019.

Off the Bench | Tough decisions often left to judges

Ready or not, we have entered a new year. As is usually the case, many people are talking about their New Year's resolutions.

The minister in a recent church service even made them the centerpiece of his sermon. He observed that most of these resolutions are the same and will be abandoned by Easter.

Dan McCaleb | Illinois State Capitol remains an unsafe workplace

The best journalists are the ones who ask tough but fair questions. Ethically challenged politicians don't like those journalists and often try to silence them because they don't like the questions being asked.

Jim Dey | If state isn't growing, is it shrinking?

Illinois Gov. Bruce Rauner will turn into a pumpkin Monday, at least in the political sense.

His four-year term ends with the swearing-in of Gov.-elect J.B. Pritzker, the billionaire Democratic businessman who crushed Republican Rauner's bid for a second term in the November election.

Jim Dey | Was 'messed up' murder confession legal? Just barely, appeals court says

Weep no tears for Decatur hoodlum Matthew Higgins-Vogt.

He's a bad guy. That's why he's serving a 60-year sentence in federal prison.

Higgins-Vogt's partner in crime — Kelton Snyder — is even worse. Snyder is serving a life sentence.