Jim Dey: Of crimes and misdemeanors, political missteps and going to pot

A little more than two years ago, Paul Pless got caught fiddling around with numbers.

A month ago, Pless allegedly was caught fiddling around with a prostitute.

One mistake cost him his job as the assistant dean of admissions at the University of Illinois College of Law. The other resulted in his arrest.

Validity of Obama's ACA may hinge on four words

WASHINGTON — Someone you probably are not familiar with has filed a suit you probably have not heard about concerning a four-word phrase you should know about. The suit could blow to smithereens something everyone has heard altogether too much about, the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (hereafter, ACA).

Huckabee's latent terms turn into election fixation

WASHINGTON — We know what Mike Huckabee meant. Sort of. Kind of. But, really?

Huckabee, the former Arkansas governor and Republican presidential candidate, talk-show host and erstwhile Baptist preacher, was trying to demythologize the alleged Republican "war on women" so brilliantly defined by Democrats in 2012.

Vulgar examples snuffing out hope for 'Hispanic rep'

CHICAGO — Long before there was a Sofia Vergara mugging for the cameras, playing up the Latina bombshell role, there was Maria Conchita Alonso. And she's back. Big time.

Jim Dey: Theft cases represent public's worst nightmare

A long-running federal investigation into the theft of state grant funds already has claimed several scalps.

Rauner's minimum-wage comment stirs pot

Republican gubernatorial hopeful Bruce Rauner stuck his foot in his mouth with an impolitic remark recently in the Quad Cities that the Illinois minimum wage of $8.25 an hour should be cut back by a buck-an-hour.

Rauner's three GOP primary opponents and Gov. Pat Quinn immediately piled on, calling him everything from "out of touch" to "cruel, heartless and wrong."

Rename State of Union 'Annual Bromide Act'?

WASHINGTON — As undignified as it is unedifying and unnecessary, the vulgar State of the Union circus is again at our throats. The document that the Constitutional Convention sent forth from Philadelphia for ratification in 1787 was just 4,543 words long, but this was 17 too many.

What others are saying about Smog in China

This week, researchers published results of their study on the amount of smog from China that reaches the U.S., in the Proceedings of National Academy of Sciences.

What others are saying about: Big bucks

Last year, the world had 41 billion-dollar weather disasters, the second highest number behind only 2010, according to insurance firm Aon Benfield, which tracks global disasters. Since 2000, the world has averaged 28 such billion dollar disasters, which are adjusted for inflation.

What others are saying about: UI ties

Thought you had heard the last of Louis Wozniak, the longtime University of Illinois engineering professor and alumnus, who was dismissed by the UI Board of Trustees in November? His case has drawn the attention of at least one advocate of academic freedom.

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