Pope Francis calls for family resurrection

WASHINGTON — News that Pope Francis will visit the U.S. next year for the triennial World Meeting of Families brings elation to Catholics, excitement to pope watchers — and perhaps a little chagrin to some who too soon interpreted Francis' broad compassion as a precursor to doctrinal changes related to marriage.

Jim Dey: With Kilgore, the past isn't past because he's basically the same guy

University of Illinois faculty supporters of onetime SLA terrorist James Kilgore have one less reason to rage at the machine now that they've won the argument over the convicted murderer's rehiring.

Dan Corkery: Talking turkey: Urbana the holiday epicenter

Laura Hastings will be relaxing this Thanksgiving.

That might not sound like news, but it is for anyone who has volunteered at the Urbana High School Thanksgiving dinner in recent years.

"This is the first year in eight that we are not involved," she wrote to me in an email late last week.

Gambling preys on the poor for 'success'

A state agency recently reported that gambling revenues in Illinois were up more than 7 percent in the past year. This gives me the opportunity for my annual rant about how the state almost shoves gambling down our throats. The big losers are the poor, as I show below.

Rockefeller recalled in biographer's book

WASHINGTON — Seen through the prism of subsequent national experience, Nelson Rockefeller resembles a swollen post-war automobile — a land yacht with tail fins, a period piece, bemusing and embarrassing. He remains, however, instructive.

Using a bludgeon in Wisconsin

MILWAUKEE — It is as remarkable as it is repulsive, the ingenuity with which the Obama administration uses the regulatory state's intricacies to advance progressivism's project of breaking nongovernmental institutions to government's saddle.

Jim Dey: Lincoln's library has own fight on secession

President Abraham Lincoln waged a costly civil war to prevent secession. Now, nearly 10 years after a presidential library in his honor was opened in Springfield, supporters of this nation's 16th president are waging their own war of secession.

Jim Dey: Lawyer's suspension almost a victory

State regulators thought local lawyer Brian Sides was so bad at his profession that he represented a threat to the public.

Obama's legacy of dishonesty

WASHINGTON — Post-election analysis falls somewhere between amusing and clueless.

In the amusing camp are Democratic strategists who intone that more Democrats would have won if only more people had voted. The gods surely blush with envy.

Bruce Rauner's budget dilemma

In less than three months, Gov.-elect Bruce Rauner has to present a budget that is balanced — and do so with $4 billion less available revenue than is in the present $35 billion general funds budget, because of the automatic January 1 rollback of much of the 2011 income tax increases.