George Will: Voting for trade, not Obama

WASHINGTON — Before presidential politics — the game of getting to 270 electoral votes — completely eclipses governing, there is the urgent task of getting to 217 votes in the House of Representatives to pass Trade Promotion Authority. This would guarantee a vote without amendments on the Trans-Pacific Partnership trade agreement.

Leonard Pitts Jr.: Jimmy John's bullying workers? Not 'currently'

According to legend, it happened because he didn’t want to leave the gaming table. Maybe he was riding a hot streak.

Jim Dey: Bad news probably not over for Hastert

Ever heard the old saying that it's always darkest just before things get a whole lot worse?

Former U.S. House Speaker Dennis Hastert could write a book about it.

Three weeks ago, he was a venerated (at least by some) former Republican congressional leader who was, at least theoretically, enjoying a lucrative post-congressional career, making a fortune as a lobbyist.

Jim Nowlan: Yearslong political faceoff ahead

Based on a couple of days nosing around the state Capitol at the end of the regular session of the Legislature, which adjourned with a whimper May 31, I sense that Illinois is in for several years of rancorous political conflict. There is a new sheriff in town (Gov. Bruce Rauner), but the old one hasn't left (House Speaker Mike Madigan).

George Will: The super PACs' misleading minuet

WASHINGTON — Campaign finance "reformers" think America would be better governed if the government could thoroughly regulate campaign speech, which is speech about the composition and comportment of the government. Reformers scold the Supreme Court for construing the First Amendment as though it says "Congress shall make no law ...

Scott Reeder: The political game of ghost payrolling

SPRINGFIELD — Way back, in 1973, then-Gov. Dan Walker hired a young Georgetown University graduate and others for his staff but paid them with money from state agencies rather than from the governor's office.

The practice ruffled some feathers, as well it should.

Folks in Springfield started calling them "ghost payrollers."

Kacich: He's got 1 million reasons to do it

Got a question for Kacich? Ask it here

Jim Dey: Increased policing ... a dicey proposition

Over the past year, critics of local law enforcement have repeatedly complained that black citizens are picked on by police — the issues of traffic stops and arming Urbana officers with Tasers serving as vehicles for a series of rhetorical attacks.

Esther Cepeda: Simple reason for lack of minority teachers

CHICAGO — There is a constant rallying cry in education circles: Why don't we have more teachers of color?

The answer is simple — it's not a degree likely to pay off, assuming the student can even make it to graduation.

Jim Dey: Showdown in Springfield

With the exception of their all-too-frequent perp walks, Illinois politicians don't offer much in terms of value.