Evidence points to suicide, not homicide, as the cause of a Chicago-area woman's death in a Texas jail cell outside Houston, Texas, officials say. Yet the arresting officer's dash-cam video raises serious questions as to why Sandra Bland was arrested in the first place.
Bland, 28, from suburban Naperville, became a tragic national news story ...Read more
If anything is certain about Donald Trump's bizarre bid for the Republican presidential nomination, it is the huge favors he does for the Democrats.
That thought occurred to me last weekend, for example, as Trump was lobbing verbal mud balls at Sen. John McCain's heroic war record at an appearance in Ames, Iowa.
Had national attention not been...Read more
As President Obama talked to reporters after becoming the first American president to visit a federal prison, his thoughts appeared to flash back to "the Choom Gang."
That was the nickname of the pot-smoking crew to which the future president belonged in his Honolulu high school days, according to Obama biographer David Maraniss. "Choom" was ...Read more
What are we to make of the two biggest political pseudo-surprises of this mid-summer: the spectacular crowds drawn by Donald Trump and Bernie Sanders.
I say pseudo-surprises because, in some ways, we should have expected both men to do well in polls. Trump has higher name recognition than any of the other 15-and-counting major Republican ...Read more
Suddenly Bill Cosby has become the Confederate battle flag of the entertainment world. Everybody seems to want to take him down.
For months the iconic showman's defenders have tried to dismiss the parade of women who have accused the now 77-year-old of drugging, raping and otherwise sexually molesting them.
But now his own testimony in a 2005 ...Read more
I applaud Republican presidential candidate Rick Perry's call for the Grand Old Party to patch up its differences with African-Americans, among other voters of color. Although I eagerly wait to hear how he would follow up his words with deeds, lip service is better than no service at all.
The former Texas governor's olive branch offers a ...Read more
At this stage, the 2016 presidential campaign is looking a lot like high school. New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie, for example, sounds like the locker room bully who would torture Louisiana Gov. Bobbie Jindal with wedgies.
And Donald Trump? He's the class clown. He's the student government candidate who sells fake ID card on the side -- which he ...Read more
One of the most ironic things about U.S. presidents is how soon after they get comfortable with the job that it's over.
That's a happy thought to those who can't wait to see President Barack Obama go -- as the ranks of hopeful Republican candidates grow well past a dozen.
But the president's attitude? "Bucket."
That's what he said with a ...Read more
Silevethiel: The Vaelinel Trilogy, Book OneAndi O'Connor
Princess Irewen Donríel is betrayed and left for dead in the forests of Mistwood. Rescued by an elf prince, Irewen awakes an exile. But the nightmare is only beginning.
The world of Vaelinel is failing-its fate bound to her in ways no one fully understands. A mysterious elven ...
What a deal. The Supreme Court's Obamacare decision reminds me of a demand that an aide to the late Chicago Mayor Richard J. Daley is said to have given to reporters: Don't say what the mayor says, say what he means.
Conservatives hoped that the high court would hold congressional Democrats to what they wrote in the Affordable Care Act, better ...Read more
Could this, at last, be the end of the Civil War?
Or, as some fans of Southern heritage call it, the War Between the States?
Or the War of Northern Aggression?
That question came to mind as I watched South Carolina's Republican Gov. Nikki Haley do what I thought I might not live to see a South Carolina governor do. She called for the removal ...Read more
Witnesses say that the white gunman who killed nine people at Charleston's historic Emanuel African Methodist Episcopal Church was quite vocal about his motives: He wanted to kill black people.
Quoting a survivor of the horror, Sylvia Johnson, whose cousin Rev. Clementa Pinckney was one of three ministers killed in the church, said the shooter ...Read more
Perhaps we African-Americans should feel flattered that Rachel Dolezal wanted so desperately to be one of us.
Or maybe we should feel insulted, as some of her critics say, by her demonstration of white privilege even as she boldly lived a life of opposition to it.
You know who I'm talking about. Everybody's been talking about Dolezal, the 37-...Read more
His campaign is a long shot, but I'm happy to see Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders putting forth a good impersonation of a serious challenge to Hillary Clinton's presidential campaign. Like a near-sighted javelin thrower, the self-described democratic socialist may not score many points but he'll keep the crowd alert.
The former first lady, senator ...Read more
Keeping the pronouns straight. In my experience, that's the hardest part of adjusting to a friend's sex-change operation.
My experience in this case consists of working in the same newsroom as Ridgely Hunt, an award-winning war correspondent for the Chicago Tribune, as he became Nancy Hunt in the mid-1970s.
Or as Nancy probably would prefer to...Read more
It's not easy to find a middle ground between the tough-on-crime and "#BlackLivesMatter" movements, but it has to be done.
As police officers find their routine stops or arrests recorded increasingly by civilians with their smartphones, a rising chorus of critics fear that wary cops already might be bringing the nation's 20-year crime dip to an...Read more
After watching the fuss Republican presidential wannabe Mike Huckabee made about Beyonce Knowles early this year, it has been amusing to watch him try to wriggle and squirm his way out of the Duggar family's scandal.
In his latest book, the former Arkansas governor and Baptist pastor got all judgy about the president and first lady allowing ...Read more
This story is not new.
On March 6, Matthew Kenny, a police officer in Madison, Wis., shot and killed an unarmed 19-year-old black man named Anthony Robinson Jr., who, he said, had attacked him. The shooting triggered days of peaceful protests. An autopsy found a cocktail of illicit drugs in Robinson's system. Earlier this month, ...Read more
For all the decades of its existence, American social conservatism has been rooted in a premise simple enough to be fully expressed in just three words:
Us versus them.
As in, an implicit promise to defend the former against the latter. This was its mission when it pushed for immigration quotas in the 1920s, when it animated the Red Scare of ...Read more
(Bill Press is filling in for Clarence - ed.)
HAVANA, Cuba -- If you want to see the face of the new Cuba, talk to Niuris Higuiera, co-owner and chef of Havana's Paladar Atelier (paladar's the name Cubans use for privately-owned restaurants).
Higuiera's not only a top chef, the Alice Waters or Nora Pouillon of Cuba, she's as sharp an ...Read more
Maybe some people didn't understand the question.
It was posed in this space a few weeks ago by Tracy, a self-described 55-year-old white woman from Texas who is sick and tired of the mounting litany of police violence against unarmed African-American boys and men. She wanted to know what actions she, as an average person, might take to help ...Read more