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Surrounded by friends and family members, Bob Dold, Republican candidate for U.S. representative from the 10th District, makes his concession speech in Lincolnshire on Nov. 6, 2012. Dold is running to take back his seat in Congress from U.S. Rep. Brad Schneider, D-Ill., who narrowly defeated him in 2012. | Sun-Times library

Rove-related group jumps in Schneider-Dold race in 10th District

WASHINGTON — Crossroads GPS, a spinoff of a group founded by Karl Rove — the conservative strategist Democrats despise — is running an ad ripping Rep. Brad Schneider, D-Ill., for opposing the repeal of Obamacare, a message potentially hindering the comeback bid of former Rep. Bob Dold, R-Ill. I hear the Dold team — seeking to portray Dold as an independent-minded moderate Republican — was not pleased with the Crossroads Grassroots Policy Strategies ad.

U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder (L) talks with Capt. Ron Johnson, right, of the Missouri State Highway Patrol at Drake's Place Restaurant Wednesday in Ferguson, Mo. (Photo by Pablo Martinez Monsivais-Pool/Getty Images)

Ferguson unrest shows grim past can be repeated

If we do not learn from our mistakes, history repeats itself. Most of us have experienced this universal law in our personal lives. So why is it so hard for us to accept that principal when it comes to America’s racist past?

A receipt for nominating petitions is filled out for a candidate for an Elgin office in 2012. | Michael Smart/Sun-Times Media

Under the gun in petition challenges

A couple of months after Julieus Hooks signed a political party’s nominating petitions, a man with a gun walked up to Hooks as he left his home in Oak Park. The man said he was a private investigator. He told Hooks the petition that he had signed was fraudulent and asked him to sign something. Hooks hastily agreed to sign the paper. This isn’t something out of a V.I. Warshawski novel. It’s part of the behind-the-scenes legal maneuvering that Democrats and Republicans alike are engaging in to help boost the chances for their candidates for governor in November.

(AP File Photo/Florida Times-Union, Bruce Lipsky)

Undermining kindergarten, one test at a time

It used to be that kindergarteners were considered too young for school-wide testing, but times have changed, and from September until June they participate in five sets of standardized tests. This is far too many tests, stressing out students, depriving them of precious time to grow and explore and consuming massive amounts of teacher time that could be better spent educating.

A packed room listens to Karen Lewis, president of the Chicago Teachers Union, as she talks with journalist Walter Jacobson Tuesday night at the Beverly Woods Banquet Hall. File Photo. | Michael Schmidt/Sun-Times

Teachers could help Karen Lewis teach Rahm Emanuel a lesson

A Karen Lewis candidacy has something going for it that could help make up for an expected multi-million fund-raising deficit. In the teachers union and its 30,000 members, Lewis would begin a mayoral campaign with a built-in field organization of energized activists capable of reaching across racial lines into every corner of the city, where they already live and work. Before it’s all over, however, Lewis’ teachers union support could prove a two-edged sword in a campaign against Mayor Rahm Emanuel. 


Fullerton Avenue Beach in the summer of 1959. Sun-Times File Photo.

How air conditioning remade America

Because of air conditioning, Americans are more likely to eat, watch and do the same stuff across the country. 


Jackie Robinson West Little League manager Darold Butler lifts third baseman Cam Bufford onto his shoulder and carries him off the field after Bufford's grand slam gave the Chicago team a 10-7 lead en route to a 12-7 win over New Albany, Ind., in the Little League Central Regional baseball championship game in Lawrence, Ind., on Aug. 9, 2014. | Charlie Nye/Indianapolis Star via AP

Gov helps Jackie Robinson West team’s coach cover his bases

Sneed hears that Gov. Pat Quinn, who was awed by Little League coach Darold Butler volunteering his time to Chicago’s Jackie Robinson West team, called Butler’s boss to make sure his job was safe because he had to take time off from work.

A demonstrator is arrested Tuesday while protesting the killing of teenager Michael Brown in Ferguson, Mo. (Photo by Scott Olson/Getty Images)

Is Ferguson the new American normal?

Could it be that our long national nightmare is just beginning? Could it be that after decade upon decade of refusing to address the cost of racism in America, the bill has finally come due? 

Jennifer Hodge, principal of Our Lady of Victory school, greets children who entered the school on their very first day of school. Our Lady of Victory was one of three Catholic schools that escaped the budget ax last spring. | Al Podgorski / Sun-Times Media

Northwest Side’s Our Lady of Victory lives up to its name

Tuesday marked the first day of school at Our Lady of Victory in Portage Park, the annual ritual taking on added significance this year. Not a tear was observed to fall from a child’s eye, but I can’t vouch for some of the parents who hurried away. Mostly there were smiles all around, which wasn’t the case just eight months ago when this Catholic elementary school was slated for closing by the Archdiocese of Chicago because of shaky finances


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