[ • 25 Apr 2017 • No Comment]
PARIS–As I write this, the first-time, center-left candidate Emmanuel Macron has about 24 percent of the vote vs. Marine Le Pen’s 22 percent in the first round of the French presidential elections, remarkably close to the past month’s polling. Several of the remaining nine candidates, left and center-right, rushed to endorse him against the ultra-right-wing Le Pen, giving him a distinct advantage in the runoff two weeks hence. There was a huge 80 percent turnout Sunday, with...

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[ • 25 Apr 2017 • One Comment]
The $30,000 fee Northeastern Illinois University was going to pay former White House adviser Valerie Jarrett was just the latest in a series of big fees the financially troubled state school has paid to snag prominent graduation speakers, records show. Despite its money troubles — a Wall Street credit agency just dropped Northeastern deeper into “junk-bond” status — the state university has handed out five-figure fees to each of the speakers at its May commencement events the past four years. Read...

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[ • 20 Apr 2017 • No Comment]
Embattled Illinois Governor Bruce Rauner caught a bit of good news lately: According to a nationwide poll, he’s only America’s eighth-worst governor. He dropped a notch from ninth when Alabama’s governor recently resigned while facing impeachment. Republican Rauner can look on the bright side: There’s just 41 governors deemed less-worse, and he’s gradually growing less-unpopular. And there are still seven governors viewed as worse, including New Jersey’s Chris...

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[ • 18 Apr 2017 • No Comment ]
No–I’m not worried about getting dragged off my flight to Paris in a few days–where, among other things I’ll cover the first round of the French elections–but the past week has left me with a few serious concerns. The good news, such as it is, is that Steve Bannon has been pushed aside, perhaps demoted and may soon depart. I suspect, however, Trump will keep him on because, as LBJ used to put it about guys like Bannon, “it’s better to have him inside the...


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[ • 18 Apr 2017 • No Comment ]
Kicking off a campaign for Governor, Sen. Daniel Biss dances with noted agitator, Rep. Jan Schakowksy
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[ • 18 Apr 2017 • No Comment ]
Last Friday, payroll employment data, from a survey of businesses, showed the US created just 98,000 jobs in March. The consensus of forecasters had expected job growth of 175,000. The other jobs number, which comes from a survey of households, showed 472,000 new jobs in March. Private jobs have now grown for 85 consecutive months, and the US economy is on the eve of completing its eighth consecutive year of growth. For comparison, the average post-World War II recovery is just 61 months. Some analysts...


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[ • 11 Apr 2017 • No Comment ]
Forgive me (or don’t) for sounding like a cynical old man when I ask, “Would Donald Trump have launched a missile attack on a Syrian air base if his ‘favorables’ at home were 65 percent instead of 35 percent?” Rule Number One in every head-of-state’s handbook is, when you’re in big trouble at home, launch a foreign military engagement to divert attention and show you are one tough leader. (Remember Grenada?) Sometimes known as “wagging the dog,”(after...


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[ • 11 Apr 2017 • One Comment ]
Three class days were cancelled to cut costs during the budget impasse, and union leaders are planning a rally to protest the school’s financial straits — but Northeastern Illinois University was planning to pay former White House adviser Valerie Jarrett $30,000 to speak at its commencement ceremony. Those plans changed after a few university trustees objected — and the Sun-Times began asking questions. Northeastern said late Monday that a donor came forward to pay the five-figure speaking...


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[ • 5 Apr 2017 • No Comment ]
With precincts 100% reported, Jake Leahy has officially been elected as a member of the board of education for Bannockburn School District 106, the K-8 School serving Bannockburn residents. With four candidates on the ballot, he was the top vote getter in the race. Results showed Leahy with 10% more votes than the next closest competitor. Jake Leahy will become the youngest elected official in Illinois when he takes office on May 2 and the youngest school board member in Illinois history (Congressman...


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