Mr. President, on behalf of an ungrateful nation, thank you

Author: Editor

I’ve never written a column like this. Readers rarely believe it, but I am not on any political team. Generosity toward the high and mighty isn’t among my few virtues. But this needs to be said: Americans are lucky to have Barack Obama as president and we should wake up and appreciate it while we can.

President Obama will go down in history as an extraordinary president, probably a great one. He will have done this in era that doesn’t aggrandize leaders and presidents, but shrinks them. All presidents have had profound opposition, vicious enemies and colossal failures. A few were beloved and others deeply respected in their day, but none in the modern era and certainly not Obama.

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In a fast-changing culture, can the GOP get in step with modern America?

Author: Editor

Mike Huckabee — former Fox News personality, Arkansas governor and Baptist preacher — gathered with a modest crowd here in the back of Breadeaux Pizza on his “Main Street American Family” tour and opened the floor to questions.

The very first one set the tone. Jeff Hontz, 49, a Baptist pastor in town, said he has been anxious because he sees “America going down the wrong roads morally.” God decreed unchanging standards in Scripture, Hontz argued, but society keeps changing — and fast.

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Dan Vera replaces James Smith as chairman of Rialto board

Author: Editor

James Smith, the embattled chairman of the Rialto Square Theatre board during the marquee crisis, was replaced in an election of officers on Wednesday.

The new chairman is Dan Vera, who had been vice chairman and has been taking an increasingly bigger role on the board since the marquee issue started.

The marquee issue arose again Wednesday as the board learned that it will cost about $40,000 to update the existing sign. The board voted to seek bids on auxiliary work needed to update the sign without making a final decision on whether to spend the $40,000.

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Kirk's re-election bid complicated by controversial statements

Author: Editor

Sen. Mark Kirk's reference Thursday to an unmarried Senate colleague and presidential candidate as a "bro with no ho" is the latest in a string of controversial remarks that figure to make an already challenging 2016 re-election bid even more difficult.

While most of Kirk's verbal gaffes have been made in speeches or interviews, his remark Thursday about South Carolina Republican Lindsey Graham was off-the-cuff and presumably meant to be private. Kirk was chatting during a Senate committee vote when his words were picked up by a live microphone.

"He's a bro with no ho," Kirk said, apparently talking to a colleague. "That's what we'd say on the South Side."

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$34 million controlled by Rauner, allies looms over legislative session

Author: Editor

As state lawmakers find themselves in their typical late May posture of trying to pass a budget, a new political dynamic hovers over the proceedings: more than $34 million in campaign cash under the control of Republican Gov. Bruce Rauner and his allies.

Rauner already has sprinkled a total of $400,000 in contributions to every Republican legislator as he talks about the need for the GOP to "stay unified" at the end of session. Democrats have made those campaign donations an issue, citing what they say are the bad optics of Rauner doling out money at the same time he's asking Republicans to take tough votes for what he calls his "Turnaround Agenda."

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