George Will: Will Obama's overreach be policed?

WASHINGTON — During Watergate, Henry Kissinger's mordant wit leavened the unpleasantness: "The illegal we do immediately; the unconstitutional takes a little longer." President Obama often does both simultaneously, using executive authoritarianism to evade the Constitution's separation of powers and rewrite existing laws.

Dan Corkery: River of disappointment and optimism

In the end, Illinois officials decided more water is not a problem.

In late December, the attorney general's office notified the Indiana Office of Environmental Adjudication that Illinois will not contest the water-quality permit issued to the Singleton Quarry near Lowell, Ind.

Jim Dey: Rigged election maps have Illinois on life support

The Independent Maps organization promoting a state constitutional amendment designed to eliminate partisan politics from the legislative map-drawing process is playing with political dynamite.

John Foreman: Campaigns have yet to heat up

It seems as if tiny trees have grown tall since this year's presidential campaign began — whenever it began.

Candidates getting in. Candidates getting out. Debates. More debates. All scrutinized for who landed a real zinger or who seemed the most energized, as if we were electing a pugilist, not a president.

George Will: The flawed ascent of China

WASHINGTON — China produces an astonishing number of astonishing numbers, including this: In the 20th century, America made automobiles mass-consumption items, requiring prodigious road building.

Jim Dey: Path to freedom getting clearer

A Champaign man convicted of participating in the 1997 Christmas Day mob-stomping death of an alleged customer in a drug deal is moving ever closer to freedom.

The only things blocking Teshome Campbell's release from prison are a possible appeal of the decision overturning his conviction and a retrial by Champaign County State's Attorney Julia Rietz.

Jim Nowlan: Freedom to gamble, lose

Over the recent holidays, my great-niece Camille and I sat down at her laptop to do some daily fantasy sports betting, so I could learn what it was all about.

She pulled up Fan Duel, one of the biggie betting sites, and quickly began to pick her football team for the NFL games the following day. She bet $2, but could have bet $5,000 or more.

Jim Dey: Labor talks at impasse? Sure looks like it

With labor and management talking past each other, the chances of a strike by state employees grow ever stronger.

In the meantime, the war of words between leaders of 35,000-plus members of AFSCME and negotiators for Gov. Bruce Rauner continues unabated.

"Gov. Rauner is wrong to walk away and try to end negotiations," said Roberta Lynch, executive director of AFSCME Council 31.

Sundiata Cha-Jua/Real Talk: Of dreams ... and also nightmares

The defining dream metaphor in Martin Luther King, Jr.'s 1963 "I Have a Dream" sermon has come to embody not only the King holiday, but also the American dream, at least rhetorically, as it pertains to racial and social justice.

Jim Dey: state of affairs

When President Barack Obama, with just a year left in office, delivered his final State of the Union address last week, he divided his time between bragging about his accomplishments and marshaling support for groundbreaking advances — like finding cures for cancer.