Jim Dey: Rauner in '18 depends on his political muscle mass

That's going to be some gubernatorial race in Illinois next year — you know, the one featuring Republican Donald Trump against Democrat Michael Madigan.

The donnybrook will feature two hugely unpopular figures in Illinois, each accusing the other of being the equivalent of Lucifer himself.

George Will: Who will protect Americans from their protectors?

WASHINGTON — At their post-Civil War apogee, 19th-century Republicans were the party of activist government, using protectionism to pick commercial winners and promising wondrous benefits from government's deft interventions in economic life.

Dan Corkery: Public doesn't see glitter of Gold Award

The Boy Scouts of America recently returned to the national conversation.

Unfortunately, not so for the Girl Scouts.

Two week ago, the Boy Scouts opened their membership to transgender boys. That follows a decision in 2013 when the Boy Scouts accepted openly gay boys. In 2015, openly gay adults were allowed to be leaders.

David Bernthal/Off the Bench: Federal courts have limited jurisdiction

"Why was this case in federal court?" That was a question asked by a juror following a trial over which I presided a few years back. It was a great question which provided an opportunity to explain the limited jurisdiction of the federal courts. In fact, it is a question that every judge in federal court must ask when a case is filed.

Jim Dey: Kennedy an immediate contender to take on Rauner

Chicago businessman Christopher Kennedy got the state's political wheels spinning last week when he threw his very big hat into what very well could be a ringing race for governor in 2018.

George Will: Where Justice Scalia went wrong

WASHINGTON — With an asperity born of exasperation, Justice Antonin Scalia once wrote, "If you want aspirations, you can read the Declaration of Independence," but "there is no such philosophizing in our Constitution," which is "a practical and pragmatic charter of government." Scalia was wrong, and much depends on Neil Gorsuch not resembling Scalia in this regard.

Jim Dey: Illinois is a nice state that's heading the wrong way

Illinois is now — and has been for a long time — in trouble.

Not so much that the state's elected leaders have been persuaded to address its severe financial and economic woes. But it's been more than enough for those who live with the results of this governmental malpractice to figure it out and take action.

Sundiata Cha-Jua/Real Talk: Trump's deployment of 'blackness'

In the U.S., "blackness" has long been a symbol deployed to mobilize white supremacists, to justify racial oppression and conversely to rally African-American resistance. White nationalists have historically used blackness to frighten whites while nationalistic and radical blacks have used it to generate pride, encourage self-development and organize opposition.

Tom Kacich: Making sense of combined precincts

Questions for Tom? Ask them here

You don't go to a special county board meeting on the consolidation of polling places expecting to find compelling discourse but, I kid you not, that's what happened last week in Urbana.