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Politics

Study shows that daydreaming in kindergarten can cost you

CHICAGO -- We all knew a few spacey kids in kindergarten who just couldn't get their acts together. Their desks were a mess, they never knew what they were supposed to be doing, and they'd lose their heads if they weren't attached.

You won't be shocked to learn that they probably grew up to make less money than the class overachievers.

But ...Read more

Latino travelers report feeling discriminated against by border agents

CHICAGO -- In a perfect world, we would have the utmost confidence that every one of the 60,000-plus employees of U.S. Customs and Border Protection arise each morning with the intention of performing his or her job in a manner that brings honor to the agency.

But many who have re-entered the United States lately have likely experienced CBP ...Read more

Trump doesn't deserve praise for appalling employment gaps

CHICAGO -- It is said that the best lies have a grain of truth in them. That's the ideal way to characterize President Trump's assertion in the State of the Union address that "African-American, Hispanic-American and Asian-American unemployment have all reached their lowest levels ever recorded."

Ummm, sure.

But only if you don't count the ...Read more

The labor of illegal immigrants is the motor of America

CHICAGO -- In my mind, the defining moment of Donald Trump's presidency happened well before he clinched the White House.

It was in January 2016. He showed his true colors when he said, "I could stand in the middle of Fifth Avenue and shoot somebody and wouldn't lose any voters, OK? It's, like, incredible."

Those of us who took him seriously <...Read more

Trump's push for citizenship question dooms 2020 census

CHICAGO -- Here's a riddle for you: What happens every 10 years, tells us how to spend our government's money wisely and is responsible for ensuring that our democracy doesn't fall to pieces?

It's the U.S. census, the decennial count that, among other things, helps determine how much federal funding goes to each community and ensures they are ...Read more

Brokaw's cluelessness shows why we need more Latino journalists

CHICAGO -- I don't usually write about the shortage of Latino journalists in American newsrooms because the issue is well-known to those who have the power to change it (yet never do) and dull inside baseball to everyone else.

However, the issue was brought to the fore on national TV Sunday morning when Tom Brokaw essentially whipped out a salt...Read more

Gillette debate undermined by sheen of commercialism

CHICAGO -- It seems like every week there's a new Rorschach test that determines what kind of person you are -- and, therefore, whether you're someone's political ally or enemy.

The one that most recently emerged to annoy and inflame was a Gillette ad, which debuted its post-#MeToo messaging that we all need to dump "the best a man can get" for...Read more

Americans need to focus on helping migrant children

CHICAGO -- It's the end of January. The government shutdown is dominating headlines, holiday credit-card bills are coming due, and we're gearing up for the Super Bowl.

Life seems very different from last summer, when babies, toddlers and other children seeking refuge were being held in deplorable conditions in government facilities after being ...Read more

Castro's a 'nice guy,' so is he doomed to finish last?

CHICAGO -- It's possible that the worst legacy of the last three presidential elections is that we now expect our candidates to be Washington outsiders and "rock stars."

Like overstimulated children who have been battling aliens on the Xbox all day and are resistant to a peaceful bedtime story, we seem to now be programmed to look for celebrity...Read more

How to fight back against your own hypocrisy

CHICAGO -- Hypocrisy is a human condition. Everyone -- no matter how kind, respectful or generous -- occasionally engages in some form of it, either for his or her own benefit or because there are few, if any, alternatives.

I had two moments of facing my own hypocrisy last weekend as I stood in front of my beloved childhood Sears. Shuttered and...Read more

Michelle Obama's success came from hard work, perseverance -- and plenty of luck

CHICAGO -- You may have heard that Michelle Obama's best-selling book "Becoming" is a well-written and fascinating story of a working-class Chicago girl who overcame obstacles to make it to the White House.

I'm not here to say otherwise -- I unabashedly loved this book.

But I did love it critically. Rest assured, the criticism isn't for ...Read more

Despite her haters, youth is not wasted on Ocasio-Cortez

CHICAGO -- It must be true that the widest cultural gulfs have always been due to age.

This is the only charitable way to explain the simultaneous reactions of fanatical adoration and pearl-clutching disgust over a tweeted video of Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez dancing in college.

Not dirty dancing, mind you. Not suggestive or scantily clad or...Read more

This new year, let's resolve to add to our lives, not subtract

CHICAGO -- The term "self-care" is such a treacly cliche, conjuring up images of narcissistic millennials paying an arm and a leg to do yoga while cats or baby goats take a walk on them, mid-pose.

But after a year like 2018, this is a really good time to rethink the wisdom of New Year's resolutions.

Resolutions -- usually to lose weight, get ...Read more

Trump era takes a toll on Hispanics' faith in America

EDITORS: Please note language in 8th graf.

CHICAGO -- Despite the myth of the monolithic Hispanic voting bloc whose sole concern is immigration, more than a decade of data has shown that education, health care, jobs and the economy have been the most pressing issues on Latinos' minds.

But this past year, after countless hate crimes against ...Read more

This Christmas, open your heart to the stranger seeking refuge

CHICAGO -- It's shocking that in an increasingly secular country, those who complain that Christmas is too commercialized and not Christian enough are almost always the same people who seem to lack a shred of humanity for people who are suffering.

Fox News' Tucker Carlson recently bemoaned "progressive attacks on Christmas," fretting that ...Read more

These diverse books expand our understanding of ourselves as humans, not census data

CHICAGO -- Every holiday season, I make a point of highlighting books that are diverse, but not specifically about diversity.

These books transcend our differences to spotlight issues that affect us all, regardless of our race, ethnicity or gender.

Sometimes people think this category disses books that delve into the important ways that people...Read more

Program offers organizations a hand up instead of a handout

CHICAGO -- Masha Chernyak had an epiphany in the back of an Uber, while listening to her fellow passenger, an aspiring tech entrepreneur, gush about his big, game-changing idea.

"These guys will give me the elevator pitch for their cat-food delivery app, look me right in the eyes and say they're going to change the world," said Chernyak, vice ...Read more

Didn't see this coming: Trump used illegal immigrant labor at his golf club

CHICAGO -- Since President Trump is so fond of giving his political nemeses pet names, allow me to give him one, too: Teflon Don. Nothing sticks to this guy.

He said it himself back in 2016: "I could stand in the middle of 5th Avenue and shoot somebody and I wouldn't lose any voters."

And if he were to say today, "I could employ illegal ...Read more

Hispanic families face higher hurdles at school

CHICAGO -- It's tough being a teacher -- the unrealistic expectations, the high stakes, the low pay and the lack of respect for the profession. But, trust me, it's even harder being a teacher of color in a profession that is 80 percent non-Hispanic white nationally, and over 90 percent in most school districts outside of major urban centers.

It...Read more

Children need to understand our government if they want to save it

CHICAGO -- It hardly seems possible, but it's happening: Students have gotten so fed up that they've resorted to legal action to get the education they need to become productive citizens.

As The Associated Press reported last week, a group of public school students and their parents filed a class-action lawsuit against Rhode Island's governor ...Read more

 

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Paul Szep Michael Ramirez Bob Gorrell Ken Catalino Marshall Ramsey Signe Wilkinson