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Opinion


President Trump: Don’t let people of color down

Donald Trump is sworn in as the 45th president of the United States by Chief Justice John Roberts as Melania Trump looks on during the 58th Presidential Inauguration at the U.
Letters to the Editor: January 22, 2017

Letters to the Editor: January 22, 2017

Re: Jan. 11 article, “Closure of school for autistic children a blow for students, parents.” Thank you, Claire Osborn, for your article about the closing of the Ponce Academy for Autistic Children. This school needs to reopen! Imagine your extremely smart child. Imagine that child never having a friend. Imagine that child being overwhelmed at public school by the noise, number of kids...
Todd Staples: America would benefit from a Rick Perry frame of mind

Todd Staples: America would benefit from a Rick Perry frame of mind

Staples is president of the Texas Oil and Gas Association. Energy security: Two simple words with a world of meaning. Every nation is competing for energy investment dollars and every consumer on the planet has the hope of a reliable, affordable and sustainable energy supply. Given that Texas is a global energy leader, the future of energy policy in America would be in good and capable hands with...
Facebook comments: Jan. 22, 2017

Facebook comments: Jan. 22, 2017

As reported by the American-Statesman’s Asher Price, Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton announced that Texas is suing the Obama administration’s environmental rule. The announcement came Wednesday afternoon, at which point there was less than 48 hours left for the adminstration. The suit was filed on behalf of the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality and sought review of a U.S. Environmental...
Commentary: Defunding Planned Parenthood defunds Texas taxpayers

Commentary: Defunding Planned Parenthood defunds Texas taxpayers

Estrada is board chair and president of Texas Doctors for Social Responsibility. Texas’ decision to cut Medicaid funding for Planned Parenthood is a fiscally irresponsible choice that carries harsh consequences for Texan women, their families, and taxpayers. In a sense, this news comes as no surprise — Texas has a long history of denying the economic benefits of Medicaid funding. This...
Commentary: Kleptocracy fears

Commentary: Kleptocracy fears

Youngblood is former assistant attorney general of Texas. The election as president of the United States of a successful billionaire with extensive, worldwide financial interests has prompted much discussion, bordering on fear that the United States will become a kleptocracy, a government purposely operated to enrich the rulers at the expense of the governed. Apparently, Donald Trump’s ownership...
Will Texas benefit or lose from Trump presidency? Time will tell

Will Texas benefit or lose from Trump presidency? Time will tell

All eyes now are on President Donald Trump as he takes over the most influential office in the world, leading the most powerful nation in the world. And despite anti-Trump protests in Austin and across the United States — which are protected by the First Amendment — Trump should be given the respect of the Oval Office as well as a chance to be a president who can and will improve the lives...
Letters to the Editor: January 21, 2017

Letters to the Editor: January 21, 2017

It is becoming increasingly obvious Republicans only believe in local control if it pollutes. Should a municipality try to solve local pollution problems with local legislation, they whine about a “patchwork of regulation.” The Austin bag ban has been the most effective law I have seen of any kind — perhaps save seat belt laws, which are much more of an infringement on personal liberty...
Herman: Texas’ Rick Perry has oops-free energy secretary job interview

Herman: Texas’ Rick Perry has oops-free energy secretary job interview

Rick Perry, who for so many years was large and in charge, found himself in a tables-turned situation Thursday with a bunch of folks who always think they’re larger and more in charge than anybody else. Mr. Ex-Gov, meet the duly elected members of the U.S. Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee, the first round in Perry’s effort to get confirmed as President-elect Donald Trump&rsquo...
Mona Charen: Trump the anti-business businessman

Mona Charen: Trump the anti-business businessman

Charen is a senior fellow at the Ethics and Public Policy Center. We’ve been instructed not to take our new president literally but instead seriously (in the felicitous phrasing of journalist Salena Zito). As I write, there are hints that the inaugural address will focus on the theme of “America First.” President-elect Donald Trump may or may not be familiar with the historical taint...
Commentary: Obama’s environmental legacy will benefit Texas for years

Commentary: Obama’s environmental legacy will benefit Texas for years

Metzger is the director of Environment Texas, an advocate for clean air, clean water and open spaces. “We do not inherit the earth from our ancestors; we borrow it from our children.” This proverb may well have guided President Barack Obama over the past eight years as he protected our landscapes and led the world to limit the worst impacts of global warming. From the Climate Action Plan...
Letters to the Editor: January 20, 2017

Letters to the Editor: January 20, 2017

A big decision in Congress is coming with the Affordable Care Act: repeal or change. This should be an easy decision. The law controlling our nation is contained in a document known as the Constitution. This document grants no authority to the federal government to spent one penny on medical care for anyone. A state can, if its residents approve, establish a medical plan for their state. All lawmakers...
Star Parker: Sessions’ conservatism does not make him racist

Star Parker: Sessions’ conservatism does not make him racist

Parker is an author and president of the Center for Urban Renewal and Education. The confirmation hearings of Alabama Sen. Jeff Sessions, President-elect Trump’s nominee for Attorney General, provided plenty of drama that can help explain why racial tensions never seem to go away in America. This was particularly evident in the concluding panel of the hearings, which consisted of six black men...
Carl P. Leubsdorf: President Trump and the great unknown

Carl P. Leubsdorf: President Trump and the great unknown

Leubsdorf is a columnist for the Dallas Morning News. As a candidate, Donald Trump touted the merits of uncertainty to keep adversaries off guard, vowing “we must as a nation be more unpredictable.” Unsurprisingly, his presidency is beginning with more unpredictability than certainty. This, in itself, is somewhat unusual. Presidents tend to lay out campaign agendas and seek to implement...
Commentary: Which wolf will you choose, Mr. Trump?

Commentary: Which wolf will you choose, Mr. Trump?

Newby is an Austin writer and marketer. Dear Sir: In a few short days you will become the 45th president of our United States. You have big shoes to fill — not just from the past eight years but also the preceding 220. The legacy of our country asks that you do your part to facilitate our becoming a more perfect union. That your power be balanced. That you maintain our freedoms and adhere to...
Michael A. Lindenberger: Boycotting inauguration is disrespectful

Michael A. Lindenberger: Boycotting inauguration is disrespectful

Lindenberger is a columnist for The Dallas Morning News.Lindenberger is a columnist for The Dallas Morning News. Liberal lawmakers and others who find the prospect of a Donald Trump presidency untenable are busy making plans to be anywhere but Washington come Friday, when Chief Justice John Roberts asks one of the biggest purveyors of falsehoods in modern memory to swear on a Bible to uphold the Constitution...
Jay Ambrose: Making U.S. great again is not impossible

Jay Ambrose: Making U.S. great again is not impossible

Ambrose is an op-ed columnist for Tribune News Service. It is here, it is upon us, it is the utterly, totally, completely impossible presidency of Donald Trump, and he has opportunities galore to rejuvenate the best in this country. Some of his ideas could get us there as he is also reversing the worst of President Barack Obama. Will it happen? Will he make America great again? No. That, at least...
Jack Hunter: Could Trump be the “change” candidate Obama wasn’t?

Jack Hunter: Could Trump be the “change” candidate Obama wasn’t?

Hunter is politics editor for Rare.us. Columnist William Greider wrote three months into Barack Obama’s presidency in 2009 after the bank bailouts, “During the past nine months, gigantic financial bailouts amid collapsing economic life made visible the crippling divide between governing elites and citizens at large.” “People everywhere learned a blunt lesson about power, who...
Letters to the Editor: January 19, 2017

Letters to the Editor: January 19, 2017

Re: Jan. 3 article, “Will a Williamson County lawsuit upend the Endangered Species Act?” Some view the Bone Cave Harvestman and the Endangered Species Act only as threats to property rights. Your author characterizes him as “pitiful … eyeless … scuttling about in the dark.” Whether it’s the culmination of 3.5 billion years of evolution or one of God&rsquo...
Commentary: Texas Education Agency rankings are a work in progress

Commentary: Texas Education Agency rankings are a work in progress

Scheberle is senior vice president for education and talent at the Austin Chamber of Commerce. On Jan. 6, the Texas Education Agency released a preliminary report card for schools based on its new accountability system. It was a promising start. However, before we read too much into what receiving an “A” or an “F” means on any of the individual performance measures, there are...

Christian persecution thriving in left-wing America

Actress Meryl Streep’s political diatribe at the Golden Globes awards isn’t the only surprise attention-getting provocation from the event. Nominee film “Hidden Figures,” a box-office hit about the true story of three black women mathematicians who played important roles at NASA in the early days of the space program, is also generating unexpected controversy. The controversy...
Dale: It’s time to act on statewide ride-hailing services

Dale: It’s time to act on statewide ride-hailing services

Dale represents southwestern Williamson County, which includes Cedar Park, Leander, Brushy Creek and parts of Austin and Round Rock. It has been just over a year since the Austin City Council chose to rewrite regulations for ride-hailing services that led to a shakeup of transportation in the city. It claimed that fingerprinting drivers was absolutely necessary to guarantee public safety. However...
Letters to the Editor: January 18, 2017

Letters to the Editor: January 18, 2017

Re: Jan. 8 article, “Top issues of 2017” Thanks for heads-up about what to expect from the Texas Legislature. Now I know to watch my back. Like the MoPac “improvement” project, the upcoming legislative session promises to be nothing more than one setback after another. It’s disheartening when Texas’ most influential people abuse their power to undermine the lives...
John Young: No shiny shoes at this inaugural ball

John Young: No shiny shoes at this inaugural ball

The longtime Texas newspaperman lives in Colorado. He can be reached by email at jyoungcolumn@gmail.com. Looking around the ballroom, the first thing you notice is the lack of regalia — no tuxes, no flowing gowns, no shiny footwear, no clinking jewels. Nor should there be, for this is the Inaugural Consolation Ball for the people of Not Trump Nation. There is nothing to celebrate for them &ndash...
Letters to the Editor: January 17, 2017

Letters to the Editor: January 17, 2017

Re: Jan. 7 article, “Bad grades, lapses in hiring process doomed Austin’s crime lab leader.” While I find the hiring of Scott Milne troubling, particularly due to poor practices that led to the lab’s closure and required a top notch leader to rectify, another, more problematic statement caught my attention: “Texas Forensic Science Commission had said … some lab...
Commentary: Texas should not push narratives that put lives at risk

Commentary: Texas should not push narratives that put lives at risk

Sylvester is an author in Austin. As Texas legislators prepare for the 85th session, state Rep. Jason Villalba is planning a celebration of Texas authors. I am honored to be part of our state’s literary community and appreciate the invitation to be recognized. However, I won’t be going. My novel, “Chasing the Sun,” was published in 2014 and “Everyone Knows You Go Home&rdquo...
Commentary: We need vulnerability, empathy in professional coaching

Commentary: We need vulnerability, empathy in professional coaching

Roberts is the founding director of the Center for Sports Leadership and Innovation at the University of Texas and is the author of “Call an Audible: Let My Pivot from Harvard Law to NFL Coach Inspire Your Transition.” On the day after the NFL regular season ended, Gary Kubiak, the now former head coach of the Denver Broncos, made the most valuable play of the 2016 season. The teary-eyed...
Opinion: What Martin Luther King Jr. may have thought about U.S. today

Opinion: What Martin Luther King Jr. may have thought about U.S. today

Cokley is a professor of educational psychology and black studies and director of the Institute for Urban Policy Research and Analysis at the University of Texas. As we celebrate Martin Luther King Jr.’s birthday, I wonder what MLK would think about the country for which he dedicated his life to fighting racial oppression and advancing civil rights. Would he be pleased with the state of affairs...
Opinion: Today we honor Kings’ legacy by resisting Trump administration

Opinion: Today we honor Kings’ legacy by resisting Trump administration

Tzintzun is the executive director of Jolt, a Texas-based organization that lifts up the voices of Latino families to win positive social change and co-authored “Presente! Latino Immigrant Voices in the Struggle for Racial Justice.” Today we celebrate Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., a man who altered the course of history and through his courage and conviction worked to make our nation live...
Harrington: This year’s MLK celebration should be different from others

Harrington: This year’s MLK celebration should be different from others

Harrington, a human rights attorney in Austin, is founder and director emeritus of the Texas Civil Rights Project. In years past, the Martin Luther King holiday has been a happy celebration with lively marches, exalted oratory and the like. However, this year, as everyone knows, is different. In the past, we have honored the holiday as representing a milestone in American history — a day signifying...

Re: Jan. 6 article, “Texas schools and districts get their letter grades from state.” I read the article with a bit of schadenfreude. What a treat to learn that administrators are squirming over receiving letter grades for their schools! What hypocrisy! School administrators subject students to rampant grading and testing, but then turn around and whine about how their own grades &ldquo...

Commentary: Another chance for Congress to get something done

A lone traveler said to have mental issues pulls out a gun in a busy South Florida airport terminal and proceeds to shoot anyone in his path — killing five and injuring another six — before he runs out of bullets. This is all so familiar, in a bad way. Not only because on Friday we suffered yet another inexplicable mass shooting on U.S. soil. But we can already see that most lawmakers...
Legislature should address state’s biggest crisis: Texas children

Legislature should address state’s biggest crisis: Texas children

If one were looking for a moral theme for the legislative session that convened last week, it would not be bathroom bills nor so-called sanctuary cities. It would be Texas children. Specifically, the welfare of children in the state’s beleaguered foster care system and the more than 5 million children attending public schools. Those are the crisis points. And lawmakers would be wise not to delay...
Commentary: The Texas death penalty is dying

Commentary: The Texas death penalty is dying

Johnson is communications fellow at the Conservatives Concerned about the Death Penalty. The Texas Coalition to Abolish the Death Penalty, a statewide grassroots organization working to end the death penalty, recently published its annual death penalty report, which illustrates that some Texans are rethinking their views on capital punishment. The findings by the coalition, also known as TCADP, reveal...

The American-Statesman’s Marty Toohey recently tackled the question on many people’s minds this time of year: Why can’t we just wipe out allergy-causing cedar trees? Experts from the Texas A&M Forest Service and the Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Johnson Center explained there were several reasons for not eradicating the trees. Among them: Mountain cedar is so well adapted to Central...
Herman: Driver needed. Must be willing to spend time with Sid Miller

Herman: Driver needed. Must be willing to spend time with Sid Miller

It seems that Agriculture Commissioner Sid Miller, he of the cowboy ways and colorful words, drives some people nuts. Now you have an opportunity to drive him everywhere. The commish is looking for a driver. The official title on the job posting is “Special Assistant to the Commissioner — Vehicle Driver,” and the “job objective” portion of the posting says the special...

Letters to the editor: Jan. 14, 2017

Re: Jan. 3 article, “Chain-link fences along Redbud Trail cliffs soon to be removed.” This was a bad idea from the beginning — and fabricated without any input from those of us who use this roadway on a regular basis. I traveled this route twice a day for about 40 years and never once was hit by a rock or escaped a close encounter, even during heavy rain events. Perhaps it was instigated...
Mona Charen: Goodbye to one selfie president, hello to another?

Mona Charen: Goodbye to one selfie president, hello to another?

Mona Charen is a senior fellow at the Ethics and Public Policy Center. On Feb. 12, 2015, President Obama made a selfie-stick video for BuzzFeed. You may remember it — or perhaps not — because if there’s one thing Barack Obama delivered during his eight years in office, it was plenty of celebration of himself. The country was treated to Obama slow-jamming the news with Jimmy Fallon...
Herman: At long last, Texas might get an official state gun — a big one

Herman: At long last, Texas might get an official state gun — a big one

Hey kids, it’s time to play Know Your Texas State Symbols, the quiz that tests your knowledge of stuff declared official by Texas lawmakers because they had extra time on their hands after solving all our problems, lowering our taxes and bringing great honor upon our beloved state. The official state bison herd is A. A stuffed one someplace, probably at a mall B. The one at Bicentennial Park...
Herman: Should highway be named for preacher who said gays go to hell?

Herman: Should highway be named for preacher who said gays go to hell?

An obscure bill at the legislative starting line could force lawmakers to put a late preacher’s life on a scale. Can a lifetime of good works be outweighed by virulently anti-gay comments from the pulpit? Lobias Murray, born in 1927 to a poor farm family in East Texas, died in 2011 after he had been a community leader in Dallas for a half century as founder of the Full Gospel Holy Temple. The...
Commentary: School choice means accountability to parents