George Will: Year's worth of overreach

WASHINGTON — E.B. White reportedly said "the most beautiful sound in America" is "the tinkle of ice at twilight." In 2015's twilight, fortify yourself with something 90 proof as you remember this year in which:

Jim Nowlan: Illinois' place in Georgia

The Illinois onument at the Kennesaw Mountain Civil War battlefield north of Atlanta is a rather nondescript vertical block of marble.

Dan Corkery: And in this corner, a heavyweight from Arkansas ...

About two years ago, we stopped running Gene Lyons' column. At the time, we were subscribing to several political columnists, while publishing only a handful of them.

In a fit of frugality, I dropped Lyons' column. No point in buying a gallon when a pint will do.

George Will: Creationists of the secular kind

WASHINGTON — Presidential campaigns inflate expectations that power wielded from government's pinnacle will invigorate the nation. Thus campaigns demonstrate that creationists threaten the creative ferment that produces social improvement. Not religious creationists, who are mistaken but inconsequential. It is secular creationists whose social costs are steep.

George Will: Trump jeopardizes conservative tradition

WASHINGTON — If you look beyond Donald Trump's comprehensive unpleasantness — is there a disagreeable human trait he does not have? — you might see this: He is a fundamentally sad figure.

Jim Nowlan: Madigan rules by his rules

A reader asked why Illinois Speaker of the House Mike Madigan is so powerful in Illinois politics.

The fundamental answer is that virtually no piece of legislation introduced in either the House or the Senate by the other 176 lawmakers can ever be enacted into law without the speaker's OK.

Esther Cepeda: Pols overlook Latino voters

CHICAGO — The "Latino vote" has been a political object of desire for the past few election cycles. It has not, however, been taken seriously as a long-term investment.

Dan Corkery: Spending money it doesn't have on an illusion

The state of Illinois is like a massive ship. It's hard to stop.

Laden with $7.8 billion in unpaid bills, the S.S. Illinois couldn't stop itself from spending an extra $3 million this year — on a dead-end project.

George Will: The freedom of STEM

WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind. — Although he is just 22, Andrew Zeller is a fourth-year Ph.D. candidate in mathematics at Purdue University. He is one reason the school is a rare exception to the rule of unreason on American campuses, where freedom of speech is under siege.

Kacich: Tough decisions await Parkland

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