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Bringing real democracy to Illinois, one step at a time

BY RYAN BLITSTEIN AND KATHLEEN YANG-CLAYTON: This month, the Illinois General Assembly passed a sweeping voting rights bill that brings our state’s antiquated election system into the 21st century. Yet the bigger story is what the success of SB 172 portends for Illinois’ rising reform movement. The bill never would made it through the legislature without strong support from the diverse, nonpartisan Just Vote coalition, which mobilized people across the state.

Probing the heart of the Midwest

BY RICHARD C. LONGWORTH: The problem with talking about the Midwest is that it defies definition. It’s a mistake to see the Midwest as either industrial or agricultural: in fact, it’s both.

World’s two largest economies meet in Chicago

BY MYRON BRILLIANT AND GREGORY GILLIGAN: This week, senior members of the U.S. and Chinese governments will meet in Chicago for the 25th Session of the U.S.-China Joint Commission on Commerce and Trade (JCCT). With a U.S. presidential election in 2016, now is the time for China to boldly demonstrate the political will to make the requisite changes that would open its market wider to U.S. investors.

Eavesdropping bill strikes right balance between privacy, public accountability

Your phone rings and the person on the other end starts a conversation about guns, abortion and gay marriage. You weigh in with your thoughts. Can that caller secretly record your conversation and do pretty much whatever he wants with it? Right now, in Illinois, …

Durbin: Torture report a bipartisan undertaking

BY SEN. DICK DURBIN: More importantly, this type of public disclosure of the excesses and abuses of government power is what free and democratic governments do and dictators detest.

Albert Einstein on race in America: An ‘entrenched evil’

BY ALBERT EINSTEIN: The more I feel an American, the more this situation pains me. I can escape the feeling of complicity in it only by speaking out.

Work-based wellness programs may not work

BY JULIE ROVNER: If you get health insurance at work, chances are you have some sort of wellness plan, too. But so far there’s no real evidence these plans work.

Turn tax money back into blighted city neighborhoods

BOB FIORETTI: The talk around City Hall is that we’re broke and the sacrifices we have made over the last few years, the increased fines and fees, and the shuttering of schools and mental health clinics are needed. But that narrative ignores what many agree is an area that needs reform: TIFs.

Liberal termites eat away at American history

President Barack Obama has launched a new initiative to get American schools to teach computer science. Appearing at a Newark, New Jersey, middle school, the president suggested that students, especially girls and minorities, should learn “not just how to use a smartphone but to create …

Our last footprints on the moon

BY CARL M. CANNON: Four decades later, the Moon remains, in the words of astronaut Gene Cernan, “God’s front porch.”

Campus hysteria explains rape story

BY LINDA CHAVEZ: By pushing the rape culture narrative, activists, irresponsible journalists and university administrators may actually undermine the credibility of genuine victims.

No defense for Rolling Stone rape story

Like the best crime fiction, Rolling Stone’s infamous article about a purported gang rape at the University of Virginia was vividly written. I’m embarrassed to say that it almost convinced me. My first reaction to the article’s premise was incredulity. Seven UVA students assault a …

Democrats enable the super rich

BY ROBERT REICH: The carried interest tax loophole is the most flagrant of all giveaways to the super-rich.

Special prosecutors needed for killings by police

BY DON ROSE: Long before the police killings in Ferguson and Staten Island, Chicago learned the hard way that local prosecutors are loathe to indict police officers. Permanent special prosecutors are needed.

A GOP reply to Limbaugh

Rush Limbaugh is a savvy guy who thinks Republican leaders are wrong to shun the idea of another government shutdown. Appearing on “Fox News Sunday,” he argued that the only important poll is the one held on Election Day. “(The GOP) won a landslide election …

The real border stopping immigrants

BY ROBERT B. REICH: The nation’s attention is focused on the border separating the United States from Mexico. But the boundary separating white Anglo upscale school districts from the burgeoning non-white and non-Anglo populations in downscale communities is becoming a flashpoint inside America.

Cosby hits back at accusers

BY MARY ELIZABETH WILLIAMS: But his apparently profound sense of entitlement has been at the heart of this whole sad, ugly tale from the beginning.