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You no doubt remember the old line attributed to Ben Franklin when he was asked what kind of government the Constitutional Convention had created: “A republic, if you can keep it!” Well, I’ve noticed an interesting thing in recent years: it’s got bi-partisan appeal.

So here's the good news: For all their assiduous efforts, President Donald Trump and Attorney General William Barr have failed to fully weaponize the U.S. criminal justice system. There's never going to be a Russian-style show trial of Trump's 2016 Democratic opponent, Hillary Clinton.

"It is quite astonishing to see with what deadpan and neutral a tone our press and television report the open corruption — and the flagrantly anti-democratic character — of the Iowa caucuses."

A preliminary report from a task force created by the Illinois General Assembly offers several good ideas to start discussions on ways lawmakers can lower property taxes. One in particular could dramatically change Illinois schools, improve education for students and save money for property owners.

The thing about Joe Biden, as the all-important, ultimately trivial Iowa caucuses loom, is that hardly anybody seriously dislikes him. Not really. Oh, it's possible to find dissenters here and there, mainly people who affix slogans such as "neo-liberal" and who think that people who disagree…

Throughout this unsettling conflict with Iran, Joe Biden has stood out as a calming Democratic voice, speaking of the stakes and challenges with deep knowledge of foreign policy. Just another reason for activists on the left backing Bernie Sanders or Elizabeth Warren to lose their minds.

Here’s a basic truth about people who make decisions on public policy: they rarely have all the facts they want. Over the years, I’ve sat in countless meetings in which, after we’d reached a sticking point, someone said in exasperation, “Well, what are the facts?” We’d all look around the ro…

Like many community, Danville and the rest of Vermilion County face a growing problem of how to deal with dilapidated housing in a cost-effective and efficient way. The issue involves both private and public housing, and will play a major factor in the future health of the city and county.

Among the most disappointing 2019 leftovers from the 101st General Assembly is at least one priority that in a just universe would not be difficult to accomplish. But because the universe of the Illinois legislature is not always just, ethics reform proved unnecessarily complicated even in t…

A community’s newspaper plays a daily role in the lives of the people it serves. A newspaper’s primary function is to inform, to provide the facts necessary so residents can make informed decisions.

As of Dec. 26, Kim Jong Un's "Christmas gift" to President Donald Trump had not arrived. Most foreign policy analysts predict it will be a missile test more impressive than any Pyongyang has yet carried off.

Conservative Christians are fond of the adage WWJD — What Would Jesus Do? A good question during the Christmas season is HWJV — How Would Jesus Vote?

With just a few days remaining in 2019, people traditionally begin to look toward the new year ahead. We all hope the new year — and the new decade, in this case — will be better than one just closing out. And looking at what Vermilion County and Danville have going on, 2020 looks like it co…

Here are some of the good things readers noticed around the area recently:

Heavens, no. We don't want the U.S. government to negotiate drug prices for Americans. That would be socialism, conservatives keep saying. So let's have the Canadian government do it for us.

Ten months ahead of the deadline, it would be alarmist to say that time is running out to get your REAL ID Illinois driver's license. But it's certainly not too early to urge you to act now if you intend to use your license or state ID as identification when you fly or visit various federal …

Not long ago, I was in a meeting to talk about a public policy issue. It was a little complex, and as we considered the various angles I began to think about what it would take to translate talk into change on the ground. I wasn’t analyzing the politics of it — I was focused on the types of …

It was a week before Christmas, and I found myself anxious and angry. I was paying more attention to minute-by-minute politics than I had on any other day of the year.

Those who see our children during school days — teachers, administrators and other staff — know the value of a strong family life for students. And they often see the reflection of lessons learned — or not learned — outside of the classroom.

If any state lawmakers think their success this session on pension consolidation gives them the opportunity to take a breather from pension reform, the numbers from the Illinois Teachers' Retirement System and four other state-funded retirement programs should shock them to life.

To hear some people tell it, House Democrats are like the dog that finally caught the car. Voting to impeach Donald Trump could turn out to be politically suicidal. Essentially because voters turned against Republicans for impeaching Bill Clinton — the GOP lost five seats in the 1998 midterm…

Right-leaning opinions have declared British Prime Minister Boris Johnson's trouncing of Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn a favorable portent for President Donald J. Trump in 2020. Not so fast. Other readings of the British election results see the very opposite.

For much of the past two years, ominous clouds have hung over America’s trade relations with the rest of the world. It’s too soon to forecast blue skies and pleasant breezes, but the weather is improving.

A vanity license plate that premiered in 2016 should be considered by the state of Indiana, should the standard plate ever fall out of fashion. The message is that important.

President Trump likes to say he's restored the phrase "Merry Christmas" to the White House after it was banished by his predecessor. That's always been a typical Trump fabrication: Barack Obama said "Merry Christmas" many times, and he actually meant it.

This Week's Circulars

Obituaries

Dixie Myers Hackler, 80, of St. Joseph, passed away at 2:18 p.m., Friday, Jan. 17, 2020, at her home with tears of sadness and joy. Dixie was born July 29, 1939, in Danville, the daughter of Hubert and Pearl (Place) Myers. She grew up outside of Catlin, and graduated from Georgetown High Sch…

Richard Phillip "Dick" Layden, 89, of Hoopeston, Ill., passed away at 9:30 a.m. Tuesday, January 14, 2020, at Heritage Health Therapy and Senior Living in Hoopeston. He was born on the 11th of March, 1930, in Danville, Ill., the son of Edward and Cornelia (Fitzgerald) Layden. He married Cath…