Disappearing fathers pose big threat to our children

WASHINGTON — News that women increasingly are the leading or sole breadwinner in the American family has resurrected the perennial question: Why do we need men?

Maureen Dowd attempted to answer this question with her 2005 book, "Are Men Necessary?" I responded three years later with "Save the Males."

Modern regulatory state is a costly nation unto itself

WASHINGTON — Texting while driving is dangerous, especially if you are driving a train. A commuter train engineer was texting on Sept. 12, 2008, near Los Angeles, when he missed a stop signal and crashed into a freight train. Twenty-five people died.

Education is for parents as well

CHICAGO — When I saw a recent Pew Hispanic Center report with the sunny title, "Hispanic High School Graduates Pass Whites in Rate of College Enrollment," I thought, "What's the catch?"

Quotes of the week

"This is my last shot, and I just wanted to make sure it was the right decision. I feel like it is, and I'm excited for the opportunity to get there and start working."

Steidl litigation over, but money fight just starting

In late March, a long-running federal civil rights case stemming from a 1986 Edgar County double murder was settled out of court.

Feelings for our pets are real, but not in a legal way

WASHINGTON — Lord Byron was, according to one of his legion of lovers, "mad, bad and dangerous to know," but he also loved dogs, which explains his cameo appearance in a recent Texas Supreme Court opinion. It answered an interesting question in a way that shows how courts can avoid creating opportunities for trial lawyers.

Obama's sex harassment campus rules over the top

WASHINGTON — Barack Obama, vowing to elevate Washington to the level of his fastidiousness, came from Chicago, where the political machine inoculates itself from scandals by the proliferation of them: Many scandals mean merely cursory scrutiny of most.

Jim Dey: Memory lingers on a lonely stretch of road

Monday is Memorial Day. But every day is a day of memorial for individuals grieving over lost family members, loved ones or friends, and they find different ways to cope with and express their grief.

Quotes of the week

"For those legislators who are enamored with the shiny object (of) expanding gaming in Illinois, that has to wait until we get the important priority of pension reform done. If we don't buckle down and focus on pension reform, we will truly regret it. We really need to keep everybody's attention on public pension reform in these next 11 days.

Government may try, but it can't tell you what to say

WASHINGTON — Early in an opinion issued recently by a unanimous three-judge panel of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit, Judge A.