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Scorecard for a greener Chicago

BY HOWARD A. LEARNER: Given that Tuesday was Earth Day, let’s assess how Chicago has progressed on becoming a “green city” and Illinois as a “green state” while recognizing some key challenges moving forward.

Argument that social issues hurt Republican candidates with women voters doesn’t hold up

MONA CHAREN: Just because your opponent is hurling ridiculous charges does not mean you are free to disregard them. You may think it’s absurd to say that you are engaged in a “war on women.” But contempt for the accusation is not enough.

Kansas outrage proves need to address anti-Semitism

BY CHARLES C. HAYNES: It might be consoling to treat Frazier Glenn Miller’s hate crime in Kansas as an isolated case of a deranged man. But Miller is one of thousands of people who belong to more than 1,000 anti-Semitic, white supremacist, neo-Nazi hate groups. And we underestimate them at our peril.

No easy savings in cutting waste in state social services

BY ELIZABETH POWERS: When it comes to human service programs in Illinois, such as Medicaid and food stamps, the money to be saved by rooting out “waste, fraud and abuse” is considerably less than you might imagine, says a University of Illinois researcher.

Help arriving for jailed mentally ill

BY TONI PRECKWINKLE AND JOHN JAY SHANNON: Roughly 20 percent of the people entering Cook County Jail suffer from mental illness. Now we can provide access to health care to such people being released from jail, which is in the interest of public health and public safety.

Bigots recoil at the sight of a new America

BY JAY TCATH: That non-Jews died when Jews apparently were the intended targets in Kansas last weekend illuminates just how abnormal the assumptions of bigots have become. They are swimming against our nation’s tide of harmonious inter-group relations.

Pay college athletes on the open market

BY SALIM FURTH: The NCAA evades the law by mendaciously classifying full-time athletes as students, says a Heritage Foundation scholar. But unionization is not the answer. The NCAA should allow schools to pay players on an open market.

A one-state solution for Palestinians and Israelis

BY ESTEPHAN SALAMEH: Twenty-one years of negotiations between Israel and the Palestinians will reach a new deadline at the end of April. All signs point to the harsh reality that the current peace effor will end in failure.

Fumbling over athletes and rape accusations

BY MARY ELIZABETH WILLIAMS: Our athletes are the closest things we have in this country to gods. Our sports figures represent the pinnacle of perfection, the American ideal of strength and grace. And when that narrative doesn’t work, when instead an athlete is accused of something as monstrous as sexual assault, too often it’s easier to ignore the unpleasant possibilities than investigate their merit.

Illinois gets it wrong on gay conversion therapy

BY WAYNE BESEN: Illinois House members failed to protect the mental health of vulnerable lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender youth when they voted 44-51 late last week against banning conversion therapy for minors. Allowing this ineffective and medieval practice to continue will cause, in the words of the American Psychiatric Association, “anxiety, depression, and self-destructive behavior” for many LGBT adolescents.

Treating pregnant workers right

BY CRISTAL THOMAS: As expectant mothers stay on the job longer into their pregnancies, there are increasing reports of employers who refuse to accommodate their conditions. Help is on the way.

Facts just killed Obamacare haters

BY JIM NEWELL: The grounds for claiming Obamacare has been an “unmitigated disaster” are receding as more and more numbers trickle out. Republicans who hope to use an upcoming Senate hearing to bash Obamacare may get more than they bargained4 for.

Say yes to a fair income tax

BY RALPH MARTIRE: This November, Illinois voters can ratify two potential amendments to the state’s Constitution. Here’s hoping a third gets on the ballot — one that would allow state income tax rates to track ability to pay. This would permit voters to decide if they’d like to be taxed in a way that’s fairer than current law.

The parasites of Wall Street

BY ANDREW LEONARD: As Michael Lewis explains in his new best seller “Flash Boys,” high-frequency traders are taking advantage of superior technology to insert themselves between buyers and sellers on the market and skim off a piece of the action for themselves. They serve no necessary economic function. They’re parasites.

Why did Jeb Bush drag in the word ‘love’?

BY KATHRYN JEAN LOPEZ: Was Jeb Bush right to insert love into a political debate? Such was the question I was asked on talk radio in response to the former Florida governor’s assertion that some immigrants come into the United States illegally as an “act of love.” It would be trite to say, “All You need is love.” It would oversimplify policy differences. But it could be a start.

Jenny McCarthy: The gray area on vaccines

I am not “anti-vaccine.” This is not a change in my stance nor is it a new position that I have recently adopted. For years, I have repeatedly stated that I am, in fact, “pro-vaccine” and for years I have been wrongly branded as “anti-vaccine.” …

Don’t banish the world’s best and brightest

BY SARAH HABANSKY: Archaic immigration policies limit, discourage and reject the world’s best and brightest to work the United States, even on a temporary basis. The heart of the problem is an obscure, but valuable work visa: the H-1B.