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Gov.-elect Bruce Rauner thanks the volunteers at the Thanksgiving Food Blessing at New Beginnings Church on Sunday, Nov. 23, 2014. | Brian Jackson/ Sun-Times

Charity event looks like turkey tokenism

During the holiday season, a lot of churches will hand out turkeys along with grocery bags filled with ingredients needed to make a festive dinner. Churches that opt to serve hot meals also are ensuring that people who do not have a place at their own family’s table won’t have to spend the holiday alone. But this compassionate act can smack of tokenism when politicians get involved.

Fox News Channel's Bill O'Reilly (Left) interviews then-U.S. Sen. Barack Obama (Right).

Thanks for fracking — and chocolate

Typically on this holiday we give thanks for family, friends and the good things in our lives. Perhaps this year it might be appropriate to expand our gratitude to those things in our society that contribute so much to the good things in our lives.

Supporters of legislation that will raise the minimum wage in Illinois rally outside the Illinois State Capitol in Springfield last week. (AP File Photo/Seth Perlman)

Higher minimum wage for Chicago alone would be devastating

A $13 or $15 minimum wage in Chicago would drive businesses and jobs out of town, writes the 19th Ward alderman.  Let’s raise the minimumin a smart and uniform manner.

Visitors line up outside the Governor's Mansion in January 2003 to greet newly elected Gov. Rod Blagojevich. | Charles Arbogast/AP

Rauner getting a fixer-upper: governor’s mansion

Mansion expansion? Dave Bourland, the Lord of the Manor, is waiting. Curator and director of the 159-year-old governor’s mansion in Springfield, Bourland is eager to meet its next occupant — Gov.-elect Bruce Rauner, who plans to renovate the historic home with private funds.

Neil Steinberg and Adina Aaron, who plays Bess in the upcoming "Porgy and Bess" at the Lyric Opera House. Tuesday, November 4, 2014 | Brian Jackson/Sun-Times

‘Porgy’ star: Opera is fini if fat lady keeps singing

The good news is: advertising works. Ever since the newspaper started running an ad (Page 27 today) promoting our Sun-Times Goes to the Lyric contest, people who never brought up the subject before are asking me about opera. Another surprisingly common reader reaction is succinctly stated by Bill Anders: “I think it is wrong not to give some attribution in the ad to the lovely woman you stand next to. She is not identified.”

Luis Rivera, 30, said he came home this weekend to find his apartment at 2022 S. Throop empty--one of numerous tenants victimized by questionable tactics from a landlord faced with a court order to vacate the building. | Mark Brown/Sun-Times

City needs to put its house in order in protecting tenants

In an all-too-familiar scenario, tenants of a Pilsen apartment building walked into court Tuesday freaked about a judge’s order to vacate their apartments by the end of the day — a piece of bad news most had only recently learned. Their surprise was compounded upon learning that their landlord had been instructed in September to empty the building.

Patrick Daley Thompson near the State Street bridge over the Chicago River in 2011. | Al Podgorski/Sun-Times

Deja who? Some names in next year's ward races could ring a bell

It’s among the most memorable lines in a book full of spot-on observations: “A Chicago Rip Van Winkle could awaken to the political news columns and, reading the names, think that time had stood still.” Forty-three years have passed since Mike Royko’s “Boss” described the era of Mayor Richard J. Daley. But familiar names again popped up on the new list of candidates for the City Council in the February election.

A couple embraces as a grand jury's decision is delivered Monday night in Ferguson, Missouri. A St. Louis County grand jury decided to not indict Ferguson Police Officer Darren Wilson in the shooting of Michael Brown. | Justin Sullivan/Getty Images

Reaction to Michael Brown shooting boils down to trust

The worst part of the Michael Brown police-involved shooting was the waiting: Waiting for his dead body to be removed from the street. Waiting for his devastated parents to express their anguish. Waiting for the authorities to identify Ferguson Police Officer Darren Wilson as the man who killed the 18-year-old . . . 

President Barack Obama awards former Illinois Rep. Abner Mikva the Presidential Medal of Freedom on Monday during a ceremony in the East Room of the White House in Washington. | Jacquelyn Martin/AP

Abner Mikva receives Presidential Medal of Freedom

WASHINGTON — It’s a story so good, it bears retelling, and President Barack Obama did on Monday as he awarded a Presidential Medal of Freedom to Abner Mikva. “As a University of Chicago student, Abner Mikva stopped by the local Democratic headquarters and asked to volunteer,” Obama said. “I love this story. A committeeman asked who sent you. And Ab said, nobody. And the committeeman said, 'we don’t want nobody nobody sent.' That’s Chicago for you.” That phrase from Mikva’s retelling of his encounter with an 8th Ward Democratic boss — "we don’t want nobody nobody sent" — came to be the defining shorthand in explaining how Chicago machine politics worked.

Shoppers walk past the Santa Claus photo booth in at the Westfield Mall in Annapolis, Maryland, last week. AFP FILE PHOTO / Jim WATSONJIM WATSON/AFP/Getty Images

The real reason we’re offended by stores opening on Thanksgiving

Oh my gosh, the thought that someone could purchase Aunt Jane’s Christmas present on Thanksgiving Day sure has left us with our collective shorts in a knot, hasn’t it? My initial reaction when I heard this year’s growing outcry over more retail stores opting to open on Thanksgiving: what a bunch of hypocrites.

 
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