Common-sense interference

Is it government's role to decide whether children will be allowed to play football?

One of the truisms surrounding modern-day government and politics is, the more elected officials fail to fulfill their fundamental obligations — balanced budgets, prudent spending, public safety, etc. — the more grandiose they become in pursuit of other issues.

Politics dominate State of the State

It's hard to imagine a time when the people of Illinois needed an atmosphere of bipartisan problem-solving in Springfield more. But it's not going to happen.

One would have to be a cockeyed optimist to expect anything better than what took place Wednesday in Springfield, when Gov. Bruce Rauner presented his State of the State address to members of the General Assembly.

Abolish traffic cameras

Government is not necessarily your friend.

Consider red-light traffic-enforcement cameras. They're the biggest scam municipalities ever embraced, bogus safety measures designed to generate revenue through automated traffic enforcement.

Case dismissed

What happens when a public official accepts money from a donor and then does favors for the donor? Sometimes, nothing.

A couple months ago, a federal jury in New Jersey could not reach a verdict in the corruption trial of U.S. Robert Menendez.

Delivering good news

President Donald Trump delivered a successful State of the Union address. Now if he can only not step on his message.

Showing a sunny side that is a welcome contrast to his often-combative style, Trump delivered an uplifting State of the Union address Monday that recounted his successes and promised even brighter days ahead.

Helping out the homeless

Those who can fend for themselves ought to assist those who can't.

A local faith-based organization dedicated to providing services to the homeless is holding a fundraising event this weekend.

No ban on Bannon

The University of Chicago has wisely stood by its decision to invite the former Trump adviser to a debate on globalization and immigration.

Steve Bannon, the controversial campaign adviser to President Donald Trump, may or may not be participating in a debate on economic issues at the University of Chicago.

Keystone of fair maps

Pennsylvania could prove to be the model for how states should cure themselves of gerrymandering.

The Pennsylvania Supreme Court recently distinguished itself as the first high court in the nation to strike down legislative districts because they are so partisan that they violate the state's constitution.

Mismanaged managed care

A state audit shows that the Illinois Department of Healthcare and Family Services cannot account for how money was spent in its massive Medicaid program.

Those who are skeptical about the ability of government to effectively manage huge programs got some additional ammunition last week.

A billion here, a billion there

Illinois has spent $1 billion in interest payments on its unpaid bills. That's one of many outrages.

State Comptroller Susana Mendoza released her first monthly financial-transparency report this week, a move that precipitated another round of hand-wringing about Illinois' debased financial state.