Columns

If only president would practice what he preaches

WASHINGTON — President Obama gave a lovely speech at the recent National Prayer Breakfast — and one is reluctant to criticize.

But pry my jaw from the floorboards.

Without a hint of irony, the president lamented eroding protections of religious liberty around the world.

Just not, apparently, in America.


90-year-old lobbyist the master of persuasion

Effective lobbying is absolutely essential to the functioning of a legislative body, where interests clash incessantly.

Full of spit and vinegar at 90, Richard Lockhart has for 55 years been the gold standard in lobbying Illinois government, that is, in getting the right information in the right format to the right people at the right time.


Sticky issues remain with immigration

CHICAGO — Word on the street is that immigration reform is dead — again. But trust me, the word is premature. The issue is bound to stay on life support for some time.


Magic words, numbers constitute Obama years

WASHINGTON — Barack Obama, the first president shaped by the celebratory culture in which every child who plays soccer gets a trophy, and the first whose campaign speeches were his qualification for the office, perhaps should not be blamed for thinking that saying things is tantamount to accomplishing things, and that good intentions are good deeds.


National flood insurance a Gulf Coast entitlement

CLEARWATER, Fla. — Because it is this year's first federal election, attention must be paid to the March 11 voting to fill the congressional seat vacated by the death in October of Florida Republican C.W. "Bill" Young, who served in Congress 43 years. If Democrat Alex Sink wins, the significance will be minimal because she enjoys multiple advantages.


A quality college education has gotten harder to find

WASHINGTON — President Obama is correct in wanting to make higher education more affordable and accessible, but Americans would also be correct in wondering just what they're paying for.

The need for a better-educated populace is beyond dispute. Without critical thinking skills and a solid background in history, the arts and sciences, how can a nation hope to govern itself?


Mitt documentary missing something

CHICAGO — "Why would you want to watch a movie about Mitt Romney?" my son asked me as I queued up Netflix.

Because I wanted a better answer to the question I got most in the run-up to Election Day 2012: "Why don't you hate Mitt Romney?"


Hudson Valley nurturing competitive House race

"There is a certain relief in change, even though it be from bad to worse; as I have found in traveling in a stage coach, that it is often a comfort to shift one's position and be bruised in a new place."

— Washington Irving


Big dollars will likely decide primary

Republican gubernatorial aspirant Bruce Rauner spent more than $4 million in the past quarter alone on sophisticated TV ads to define himself as the anti-union, pro-term-limits candidate who can transform Illinois government.

As a result, the previously unknown candidate is now the clear front-runner in a four-way race, according to recent polls.


Jim Dey: Attacking the shield law

Murder case turns into search for source of stories

A little more than a year ago, Joliet residents were shocked by a brutal double murder and the subsequent arrests of four suspects — two men and two women — for a senseless crime.


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