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IDOT political hiring is setback for Quinn

EDITORIAL: Everybody who knows anything about Illinois’ sordid political history knows this: Almost every chapter includes abuses related to hiring or to contracting. So what to make of Friday’s news about patronage abuses at the Illinois Department of Transportation under Gov. Pat Quinn? He should have known better.

Kids pay the price for weak oversight of charter schools

EDITORIAL: For the next week, more than 400 frantic families who had planned to enroll at a new charter school near Chatham will instead be scrambling to find a new school. Those 400 plus kids and 40 laid-off teachers are paying a huge price, just the latest and strongest indication that CPS and the charter school community must do a better job overseeing and policing Chicago’s charter schools.

When Europe pays  kidnappers, Americans die

EDITORIAL: For years, the United States and Great Britain have followed a steadfast policy against paying ransom for the release of a kidnapped citizen. But dollars regularly flow in the rest of Europe. The result is a thriving kidnapping trade by al-Qaida and its affiliates. If the West wants a shot at ending this horrifying practce, America, Britain and the rest of Europe must agree on a single response to ransom requests.

Who sez da mare ain’t no real Chicagoan?

EDITORIAL: Rahm Emanuel, people keep saying, is not a “real Chicagoan,” which is ridiculous. It’s not as if Mayor Emanuel grew up on the wealthy North Shore, went to New Trier, danced ballet instead of playing bare-handed softball, built a career in Washington and married an artsy girl from a suburb of Cleveland. No, wait. That’s exactly what he did. But Emanuel, in our book, is a real Chicagoan all the same. Real enough, anyway.

Ferguson, race and remedies

EDITORIAL: Does the shooting of Michael Brown in Ferguson, Mo., raise “important issues about race that need to be discussed?” Depends on who you ask.

America needs healthful food at affordable prices

EDITORIAL: The news from farms across the Midwest is of a record corn crop, made huge by months of wet weather. Why then do so many Americans still go hungry?

Critic of Israel doesn’t belong on Gaza fact-finding panel

EDITORIAL: As if there were no one else for the job. The United Nations last week chose a law professor who has made inflammatory anti-Israel statements to head a commission charged with examining possible war crimes in Gaza. It’s a mistake to include Canadian William Schabas, an expert in international criminal and human rights law, on the three-member panel. Schabas should recuse himself or the U.N. Human Rights Council should replace him.

Despite progress, math gender gap remains

EDITORIAL: The number of women who earn more bachelor’s degrees in math, science and engineering has grown significantly over the last several decades.

Bet smarter on the Illinois lottery

EDITORIAL: Bet smarter on the Illinois Lottery

A preference for CPS grads in city hiring helps more than it hurts

EDITORIAL: Chicagoans are good at lamenting the sorry state of affairs in some of our neighborhoods — the violence, the high unemployment, the weak schools. We don’t doubt their sincerity. But when it comes to taking steps, even modest ones, that might make a difference, that’s often when resistance flares. Chicago should — Chicago must — fight that impulse.

South Side ballplayers a gift to Chicago

EDITORIAL: Win or lose, Jackie Robinson West All-Stars, you’ve already made Chicago proud. The 13 boys, drawing from an array of South and Southwest side neighborhoods, play their first game in the Little League World Series tournament Thursday.

End “consent searches” by police, end racial profiling

EDITORIAL: For at least a decade now, Illinois state troopers have been guilty of racial profiling when conducting “consent searches” of cars and trucks. The Illinois State Police have tried to train troopers to be more sensitive to racial profiling and quit doing it. But retraining has not worked, and let’s stop pretending it ever will. The only recourse is for the state police — and police departments across Illinois — to stop doing consent searches altogether.

What lit the match in Ferguson, Mo.

EDITORIAL: The urban and racial despair to be found in the St. Louis suburb of Ferguson and elsewhere across the country cannot be denied or ignored. We must arrest the looters who struck after police killed an unarmed black man in Ferguson on Saturday. But we dare not reduce the causes of the rioting in Ferguson to a simple-minded crime story — good guys versus bad.

U.S. needs partner against ISIS in Iraq

EDITORIAL: President Obama was caught flat-footed this summer by the rise of the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria. But the conviction guiding him is sound.

Draw the line on drones

EDITORIAL: We would be wise to learn from history and not wait for untold disasters before putting rules in place to regulate the hordes of private drones likely to roam our skies someday soon.