A new statewide poll confirms what most of us knew anyway. If Barack Obama is the Democratic presidential nominee, he will do a whole lot better in Illinois against Republican John McCain than will Hillary Clinton. But there's more to it than that.


In early 2006, Governor Rod Blagojevich faced a firestorm of criticism from Jewish leaders for his appointment of Louis Farrakhan's "minister of protocol" to the Illinois Hate Crimes Commission. Several Jewish members resigned from the commission in protest of Sister Claudette Marie Muhammad's appointment, but Blagojevich refused to back down and claimed he didn't know who she was when he put her on the commission.

Sam Zell, the owner of the Tribune Company, is fast becoming Public Enemy Number One.

Normally, a tax hike would be the last thing that state legislators would consider in an election year. Tax increases are usually approved in "off years" to give voters time to forget before they vote. So, you'd think that a large income-tax increase in Springfield would be the last thing being considered.

The 2008 general election is almost nine months away, but you don't have to listen too closely to hear some of the first shots of the 2010 governor's race being fired.

There could be some loud fireworks the next time the Illinois Senate Democrats meet behind closed doors.

Governor Rod Blagojevich "It's been anticlimactic," sighed a top House Democratic operative last week when asked about some of the Chicago-area primary races.

I have no idea if a national recession is likely. Even economists don't seem to know for sure. Nobody really does.

But it has been interesting to watch Washington, D.C., react to the potential of a recession.

While I still think things will eventually calm down and Governor Rod Blagojevich's insistence that senior citizens be given free rides on all mass-transit systems will one day be viewed as a welcomed entitlement, it's obvious that lots and lots of Illinoisans don't feel that way right now.

Pure genius. Hot-dogging genius, of course, but brilliant nonetheless.

I'm referring to Governor Rod Blagojevich's announcement last week that he would abandon his much-repeated pledge to veto any tax hike "on people" and go ahead and approve a regional sales-tax hike to fund a mass-transit bailout for Chicagoland. His only caveat was that senior citizens must forever ride free on all transit districts in the state.