Kathleen Parker: It's better to duck when topic is same-sex marriage

WASHINGTON — This Christmas season a strange white-bearded fellow uttering quack-quack-quack has streaked across the continent, dumping a large sack of something on America's hearth.

Esther Cepeda: Find mentors who honestly mentor

CHICAGO — "Aim higher."

This was the message from a wise elder to a diverse roomful of whiz kids who recently gathered in downtown Chicago to network with already successful professionals in their chosen fields.

Bruce Kauffmann: George Washington gives up power

"I did not defeat King George III to become King George I." — George Washington

George Will: It's a hard lesson when liberals are in charge

WASHINGTON — This report on the State of Conservatism comes at the end of an annus mirabilis for conservatives. In 2013, they learned that they may have been wasting much time and effort.

Limit gambling marketing to limit damage

I walked recently down the main street of my hometown to the R Bar tavern to try out the new video gaming machines. Not a gambler, I did so for research on this column about why the state of Illinois pushes gambling onto its citizens in such an unseemly way.

Quotes of the week

"I would have pulled my shirt over my head, but my body doesn't look like his."

— Illini basketball coach John Groce, recalling that after the UI's big 65-64 win over Missouri, starting muscle-beach guard Rayvonte Rice pulled his jersey over his head and let out a primal scream.

"Hopefully, they will stick around and find some other eagles in the area."

Jim Dey: Gubernatorial race is about to heat up

The days left in 2013 are dwindling down to a precious few. By this time next week, it'll be 2014.

A new year is generally perceived as a hopeful sign. It signals a light at the end of the tunnel, a fresh start — unless, of course, you're either a Cubs fan or a realist.

Esther Cepeda: Immigration reform can move without citizenship

CHICAGO — Immigration reform is not dead — it's just waiting for lawmakers to drop the politics, strike a compromise and get it done.

George Will: 'Sledgehammer' justice exacting high societal cost

WASHINGTON — Federal Judge John Gleeson of the Eastern District of New York says documents called "statements of reasons" are an optional way for a judge to express "views that might be of interest." The one he issued two months ago is still reverberating.

Kathleen Parker: Kris Kringle, Jesus can be color we want

WASHINGTON — When, what to my wondering eyes should appear, but a miniature sleigh, and eight tiny reindeer.

And a penguin?

In case you missed the most pressing issue of the season — Santa's race — Fox News' Megyn Kelly reaped a whirlwind when she recently declared that not only is Santa white but so was Jesus.

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