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Opinion


Commentary: The real reason Trump wanted Cuba restrictions

President Donald Trump’s reversal of his predecessor’s Cuban policies proves once again that all politics are local. The White House says that the regime of Raúl Castro should reform its own political structure, become more democratic and release political prisoners. However, the U.S. does not impose these broad internal reforms on other nations such as Russia and Saudi Arabia....


Commentary: West Texas figures out why Abbott hates on public schools

Commentary: West Texas figures out why Abbott hates on public schools

My hero this week is Graydon Hicks, Fort Davis superintendent of schools. A West Texas publication published his open letter to Gov. Greg Abbott and Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick raking them over the coals for “the lack of positive legislative action for public schools in Texas” at the most recent session, which adjourned at the end of May without passing a school finance bill. Hicks is a West...
Viewpoints: AISD trustees should take more time to call bond election

Viewpoints: AISD trustees should take more time to call bond election

The Austin school board on Monday is expected to call for a November election on a bond package that at least for now totals nearly $1.1 billion and is clouded by uncertainty. Trustees should delay the vote. Several factors warrant slowing the process. Some projects the board is weighing, such as relocating Eastside Memorial High School to the Old Anderson campus and creating a new medical magnet...
Two Views: Abbott’s pick-up sticks play politics with a special session

Two Views: Abbott’s pick-up sticks play politics with a special session

With apologies to Joyce Kilmer, the American poet and hero killed in World War I, we might begin a look at the upcoming special session of the Texas Legislature by rudely rewriting a bit of Kilmer’s most famous poem: Laws are made by fools like thee But only God can make a tree. Only the governor can set agenda items for a special session — and Gov. Greg Abbott has used that power to demand...
Two Views: Special session offers opportunity for conservative reforms

Two Views: Special session offers opportunity for conservative reforms

There’s a scene in the 1984 film, “Romancing the Stone,” when Kathleen Turner’s character, whose sister has been kidnapped and held for ransom until she delivers a treasure map, says to her hero, “That map is my sister’s life.” Jack T. Colton, played by Michael Douglas, replies, “Like hell it is. Whatever’s at the end of that map (“El Corazon&rdquo...
Commentary: Language barrier shouldn’t be a barrier to democracy

Commentary: Language barrier shouldn’t be a barrier to democracy

Though voting should be a simple process, it’s undeniable that some people face more obstacles at the polls than others. When English is not your first language, the voting process can be especially difficult. Though a controversial voter ID law here has grabbed national headlines, fewer Texans know about the state’s more obscure voting rights battle that’s threatening the right...
Viewpoints: Legislature should end illusion and provide real tax cuts

Viewpoints: Legislature should end illusion and provide real tax cuts

To successfully pull off their stunts and tricks before audiences, great magicians employ the art of misdirection. The same is true for some politicians, such as Texas Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick, who has crafted a clever misdirection in the form of Senate Bill 2. Patrick, a Houston Republican, claims the measure “would bring about the largest property tax reform in history,” and in so doing...
Phillips: Plans for Brackenridge building should look beyond profit

Phillips: Plans for Brackenridge building should look beyond profit

By now, many are aware of the growing research regarding the links between housing security — meaning a dependable, structurally sound and unpolluted roof over one’s head — and good health. The Princeton, N.J.-based Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, one of the nation’s largest philanthropies focused solely on health, has provided policy briefs on the topic since 2008. One of...
Commentary: How Senate health bill raises health costs for everyone

Commentary: How Senate health bill raises health costs for everyone

As Congress wrestles with replacing the Affordable Care Act, a big question is where they will finally land with Medicaid. Rolling back Medicaid hurts our country’s safety net by taking coverage away from millions of Americans — many of whom are low-income, working adults who aren’t offered health insurance through their employers or who work intermittent, contract jobs — and...
Commentary: Why Dawnna Dukes’ incumbency is misguiding Democrats

Commentary: Why Dawnna Dukes’ incumbency is misguiding Democrats

I was dismayed to read a broadside from Vincent Harding, chairman of the Travis County Democratic Party, purporting to explain his heavy-handed refusal to allow a vote on a resolution calling for the resignation of state Rep. Dawnna Dukes. That resolution might or might not have passed. That’s why votes are held. I’ve served five terms as a Democratic Party precinct chair: three in Travis...
Herman: Daughters of Republic of Texas bow out at French Legation

Herman: Daughters of Republic of Texas bow out at French Legation

After six decades of managing a significant piece of Austin and Texas history, the Daughters of the Republic of Texas are bowing out of hands-on involvement at the French Legation. The DRT pretty much had no choice in the matter. You’ll recall I recently told you about House Bill 3810, approved this year by your Legislature and signed into law by your governor. It’s an historic measure...
Navarrette: An assignment for the Class of 2017: Stomp out elitism

Navarrette: An assignment for the Class of 2017: Stomp out elitism

SAN DIEGO — It’s time for my annual commencement speech where I offer nuggets of advice mined through a half-century of failures and foul-ups. I’ve recently asked friends, relatives and acquaintances what guidance they would offer younger versions of themselves. They gave me this: “Look up from your screens, remove the earbuds and engage those around you.” And this: &ldquo...
Commentary: Texas has 455 reasons not to handle a phone while driving

Commentary: Texas has 455 reasons not to handle a phone while driving

A year has passed since our family changed forever. My daughters, 19-year-old Brianna and 17-year-old Jade, were so full of life, enthusiasm and love for the world around them. They were my babies and my only two children. I say “were” because last year, on Sunday, March 20, my daughters were killed in a terrible crash that was the result of distracted driving. Brianna and Jade were on...
E.J. Dionne Jr.: A victory for party, not Trump

E.J. Dionne Jr.: A victory for party, not Trump

WASHINGTON — What we learned from Tuesday’s special congressional election in Georgia is that there is no magical solution to the country’s Trump problem. This will be a long fight. Karen Handel’s victory over Democrat Jon Ossoff was not an endorsement of the president. It was a personal and party success achieved despite him. Democrats are, well, blue because a loss is a loss...
Commentary: Why Texas should eye gerrymandering cases at Supreme Court

Commentary: Why Texas should eye gerrymandering cases at Supreme Court

On Monday, the Supreme Court agreed to hear Gill v. Whitford, a case involving a challenge to Wisconsin’s Republican-drawn legislative maps. The challengers claim that these maps put Democratic legislators at an unfair disadvantage by preventing them from gaining seats in the legislature despite their popularity among voters. At the heart of the case is a constitutional challenge to partisan...
Commentary: How Texas stands to lose millions with revised health bill

Commentary: How Texas stands to lose millions with revised health bill

The American Health Care Act now being considered by a Senate committee would result in many disturbing consequences, including an estimated 23 million people losing their health insurance coverage by 2026 and increased premiums and other out-of-pocket costs. An estimated more than 2.5 million Texas would lose insurance coverage, adding to our already high rates of those uninsured. The AHCA would...
Commentary: Why Cuban Miami could influence Trump’s public policies

Commentary: Why Cuban Miami could influence Trump’s public policies

“Cultural politics” is how I describe President Trump’s announcement in Miami last week of the United States’ plan to roll back some measures initiated by the Obama administration in 2015 toward a historic opening of Cuba. Cultural politics takes place when political leaders engage broad ideas to live by — the public philosophy of a community — as a way of gaining...
George F. Will: Let us plunge toward our fast-unfolding future

George F. Will: Let us plunge toward our fast-unfolding future

WASHINGTON — In 1859, when Manhattan still had many farms, near the Battery on the island’s southern tip The Great American Tea Company was launched. It grew, and outgrew its name, becoming in 1870 The Great Atlantic & Pacific Tea Company, which in 1912 begat the first A&P Economy Store, a semi-modern grocery store. By 1920, there were 4,500 such stores; by 1930, 15,000. In 1936, in Braddock...
Thomas L. Friedman: Where did ‘We the People’ go?

Thomas L. Friedman: Where did ‘We the People’ go?

A few days ago I was at a conference in Montreal, and a Canadian gentleman, trying to grasp what’s happening to America, asked me a simple question: “What do you fear most these days?” I paused for a second, like a spectator waiting to see what would come out of my own mouth. Two things came out: “I fear we’re seeing the end of ‘truth’ — that we simply...
Kathleen Parker: Can words be lethal?

Kathleen Parker: Can words be lethal?

This comes lately in the context of presidential tweets that conceivably could have serious repercussions. Otherwise, we seem conflicted about how much words should matter when used in a potentially consequential way among everyday people. Political correctness, or ignorance, has caused us to discard words and expressions that some find offensive, despite the U.S. Constitution’s protections...
Herman: What’s that airport thing? Art? Construction? Construction art?

Herman: What’s that airport thing? Art? Construction? Construction art?

Today we’ll deal with a “What Is That?” submission by a “What Is That?” submitter who didn’t even know he was submitting. As you’ll recall “What Is That?” is the periodic feature in which I respond to folks mystified by something they see. It could be animal. It could be mineral. Often it’s art or construction. We’re blessed with lots...
How we can start taking back our country

How we can start taking back our country

Americans are justifiably frustrated regarding what is going on in Washington. But let’s not forget that we elect these folks. We may have a mess, but we can at least be proud that it’s our mess. There is one unique problem. Unlike business, where change can be made quickly, government programs are so hard to change that it is almost a one-way street. It’s not so easy to pass new...
Commentary: Why healthy children’s meals should be a national priority

Commentary: Why healthy children’s meals should be a national priority

Providing healthy meals to children is a critical issue — one that should be nonpartisan. But during the past several years, political controversy has made its way onto the lunch tray, focused particularly on the nutritional content of meals served in schools. The federal government recently stepped back some Obama-era rules and decided to allow school meals with low-fat flavored milks and fewer...
Commentary: Why the Paris climate accord will never work

Commentary: Why the Paris climate accord will never work

The Paris climate accord attempts the Herculean task of bringing the 3Es — environmental policy, energy policy and economic policy — together. Make no mistake: There are complex and nuanced scientific and political issues surrounding the 3Es. The accord, unfortunately, overreaches politically. Rather than staying focused on legitimate ways to quickly reduce large volumes of CO2, the accord...
Hunter: Comey hearing reminder powerful people get away with mistakes

Hunter: Comey hearing reminder powerful people get away with mistakes

At his hearing Thursday, Former FBI Director James Comey said that former Attorney General Loretta Lynch asked him to downplay the Hillary Clinton email investigation. Part of the reason Comey was being questioned was to determine whether President Donald Trump had obstructed the FBI’s ongoing investigation into whether his presidential campaign colluded with Russia during the election. Comey...
Young: In replacing ACA, Team ‘Mean’ hands off duty to ‘Coward Caucus’

Young: In replacing ACA, Team ‘Mean’ hands off duty to ‘Coward Caucus’

Donald Trump didn’t just say the House-passed bill to replace the Affordable Care Act was mean. He called it “mean, mean, mean.” That’s “mean” times three. Interesting. When he invited the House White Caucus, er, Republican Caucus, over for a celebratory photo op after its passage, he said the bill was “incredibly well-crafted.” But let’s give...
David Leonhardt: If liberals voted …

David Leonhardt: If liberals voted …

If liberals voted at the same rate as conservatives, Hillary Clinton would be president. Even with Donald Trump’s working-class appeal, Clinton could have swept Michigan, Wisconsin and Pennsylvania. If liberals voted at the same rate as conservatives, Democrats would control the Senate. Clinton or Barack Obama could then have filled the recent Supreme Court vacancy, and that justice would hold...
David Brooks: Let’s not get carried away

David Brooks: Let’s not get carried away

I was the op-ed editor at The Wall Street Journal at the peak of the Whitewater scandal. We ran a series of investigative pieces “raising serious questions” (as we say in the scandal business) about the nefarious things the Clintons were thought to have done back in Arkansas. Now I confess I couldn’t follow all the actual allegations made in those essays. They were six jungles deep...
Commentary: Why Austin needs pro sports — or a venue for smaller clubs

Commentary: Why Austin needs pro sports — or a venue for smaller clubs

As you have likely heard, Austin is now the largest city in the United States without a major professional sports team. This is something of deceptive statement given the expansive boundaries of Texas cities; the city of Boston encompasses roughly 90 square miles, while Houston by contrast is a whopping 627. That said, Austin has experienced explosive growth, pushing the population of Travis County...
Commentary: How Qatar has made me a citizen of the world

Commentary: How Qatar has made me a citizen of the world

As an Egyptian national who was raised in Qatar, the current regional crisis is hugely concerning. I am just one of the hundreds of thousands of people who find their native and adopted countries on opposite sides of an escalating dispute — and on the wrong end of a hastily imposed, illegal blockade. It is a situation that is completely at odds with the life experience I gained growing up in...
Commentary: Why time is right for candid discussions with U.S., Mexico

Commentary: Why time is right for candid discussions with U.S., Mexico

For many years, I have had the privilege of chairing the United States-Mexico Interparliamentary Group, a bilateral working group established in 1960 to allow members of Congress from both countries to convene regularly and discuss ways in which our nations can enhance our partnership. On June 4, the IPG held its 53rd meeting. As the chairman, I led a bipartisan delegation from Washington, D.C., to...
Commentary: Why on Father’s Day I hope that heaven has blissful bowling

Commentary: Why on Father’s Day I hope that heaven has blissful bowling

Dear Dad: The skies have finally opened up and a mighty thunderstorm is rolling through Austin. All the shaking, rattling and noise brings to mind something I’ve been regretting these past few years. I forgot to say “bowling.” I know, I know. How could no one say “bowling?” If it was Thursday, you were bowling, right? Dart Bowl, that bastion of polished wood, 10 pins...
The trouble with Trump’s bragging

The trouble with Trump’s bragging

President Donald Trump attends a meeting in the Cabinet Room of the White House June 12. (Photo by Olivier Douliery-Pool/Getty Images) Some of the worst advice I ever got came from my father.
Castillo: Why Trump’s preening creates trouble

Castillo: Why Trump’s preening creates trouble

Some of the worst advice I ever got came from my father. Sure, he meant well when he told me not to brag; that my deeds and accomplishments would speak for me. But then I got older and I realized much to my surprise and dismay that my peers were strutting around like roosters on steroids. In classrooms, on job applications and resumes, networking — you name it. And this was before Facebook,...
Viewpoints: Another attack in divided America. We are better than this

Viewpoints: Another attack in divided America. We are better than this

Another act of despicable and senseless violence sends the nation reeling. Once more, we examine our very soul. Our thoughts are with the victims of Wednesday’s shooting at a ballfield in suburban Washington, D.C., where Republican lawmakers and their aides were practicing for a bipartisan charity ballgame. The wounded included House Majority Whip Steve Scalise of Louisiana, who was critically...
Commentary: Local government is good foil for state’s GOP leadership

Commentary: Local government is good foil for state’s GOP leadership

Austin seems to have a time-honored role as a target for the ire of state legislators, but the capital city was hardly alone in a legislative session that saw the clearest and most persistent articulation yet of a sustained attack on the autonomy of local governments. Austin has been involved in a large number of these skirmishes: sanctuary cities, plastic bag bans, transgender bathroom policies and...
Viewpoints: CPS leaders should focus on stability to build on progress

Viewpoints: CPS leaders should focus on stability to build on progress

Some of the long-sought changes necessary to overhaul the state’s embattled child protection agency — such as more staff and better pay — are steadily but slowly taking shape. But agency leaders must not lose sight of those who stand to have the greatest impact on improving care for some of the state’s most troubled children: its staff members. The latest sign of overhaul at...
David Brooks: Why fathers leave their children

David Brooks: Why fathers leave their children

Millions of poor children and teenagers grow up without their biological father, and often when you ask them about it, you hear a litany of male barbarism. You hear teens describe how their dad used to beat up their mom, how an absent father had five kids with different women and abandoned them all. The children’s tales often reinforce the standard image we have of the deadbeat dad — the...
Gail Collins: Play ball, and then gunfire

Gail Collins: Play ball, and then gunfire

When a gunman opened fire on a congressional baseball practice Wednesday, everyone in Washington looked for a positive message. There had to be a point to something so awful. The consensus was for Coming Together. “For all the noise and all the fury, we are one family,” Speaker Paul Ryan told the House. “You’re going to hear me say something you never heard me say before,&rdquo...
Ruben Navarrette Jr.: Our society is splitting apart at the seams

Ruben Navarrette Jr.: Our society is splitting apart at the seams

SAN DIEGO — Here are some “offenses” that can get you killed by a hate crime these days in America the Broken: — Driving while black. — Clubbing while LBGTQ. — Working while immigrant. — Protecting and serving while cop. — Playing baseball while Republican. And you know the national mood has taken a turn toward the surreal when MSNBC’s “Morning...
John Young: One Trump shrug said more than all his lies

John Young: One Trump shrug said more than all his lies

Sen. Richard Burr: “Do you have any doubt that Russia attempted to interfere in the 2016 elections?” Former FBI director James Comey: “None.” It was the kind of question you’d expect someone concerned about national security and the state of our elections to ask the man who ran the FBI until recently. It was the kind of question you’d expect most Americans to ask...
Commentary: Why SB 1119 could bring stability to college millennials

Commentary: Why SB 1119 could bring stability to college millennials

Students across Texas are struggling to complete their degrees while building their resumes. Increasingly, unpaid internships and prestigious volunteer activities have become the norm during a young adults’ college years — at least for those students who can afford to work for free. However, recent graduates who had to work through school often face an uphill battle when trying to compete...
Commentary: Cities can work on climate change — with the right policies

Commentary: Cities can work on climate change — with the right policies

From New York to Houston to Anchorage, hundreds of mayors reacted to President Donald Trump’s announcement to withdraw the U.S. from the Paris climate agreement by reasserting or even intensifying their commitment to fighting climate change. They represent a diverse group that is potentially large enough to contribute to reducing global greenhouse gas emissions. This is encouraging, but we must...
Letters to the editor: June 26, 2017

Letters to the editor: June 26, 2017

Re: June 20 article, “Already pinched, Texas parks not getting promised state money.” Why am I not surprised! Texas lawmakers have once again siphoned off these state park funds for other purposes, including balancing the state budget. Enough already! The state parks have millions of dollars of backlogged maintenance of parks, facilities and equipment, while at the same time visitor attendance...

Opinion: Can we see past our own cultural blind spots?

Michigan is set to become the 26th state to join the federal government in criminalizing female genital mutilation, even as two Detroit area doctors and one of their wives await trial for inflicting the procedure on a number of young girls. FGM, which is common in some parts of Africa and the Middle East, involves using a razor to remove all or part of a girl’s clitoris and parts of the vulva...
Best-sellers, 6/25/17

Best-sellers, 6/25/17

NEW YORK TIMES BEST-SELLERS FICTION 1. ‘Camino Island,’ John Grisham 2. ‘The Identicals,’ Elin Hilderbrand 3. ‘Tom Clancy: Point of Contact,’ Mike Maden 4. ‘Into the Water,’ Paula Hawkins 5. ‘Dragon Teeth,’ Michael Crichton 6. ‘Come Sundown,’ Nora Roberts 7. ‘No Middle Name,’ Lee Child 8. ‘Nighthawk,’ Clive...
Facebook comments: June 25, 2017

Facebook comments: June 25, 2017

As reported by the American-Statesman’s Gary Dinges, German grocery store chains Aldi and Lidl are planning to open several stores in Central Texas as part of their plan to expand across the United States. The retailers cut costs by having smaller stores, stocking few name-brand products, charging for bags and having customers bag their own groceries. Site work is already underway for an Aldi...
Austin writer’s 13th book inspired by the Zodiac Killer

Austin writer’s 13th book inspired by the Zodiac Killer

Recommended reading “Unsub” by Meg Gardiner (Dutton). The Austin writer and California native’s 13th book was inspired by the Zodiac Killer, whose as-yet unsolved (and unlikely to be solved) reign of terror became the stuff of legend, inspiring films from the first Dirty Harry movie to David Fincher’s still-amazing “Zodiac,” not to mention a host of...
Letters to the editor: June 25, 2017

Letters to the editor: June 25, 2017

As the trial attorney for Fran Keller, I was overwhelmed with thankfulness by the actions of Margaret Moore and Keith Hampton. While the dismissal of charges is a remedy, the recompense that the state of Texas is offering does not begin to compensate for the years of abuse suffered during their incarceration. Consideration should be given to the severity of what the Kellers endured, as well as the...
Erin Pringle explores grief in wrenching new collection

Erin Pringle explores grief in wrenching new collection

Erin Pringle (“The Floating Order,” 2009) works nine variations on the theme of grief in the wrenching stories of her second collection, “The Whole World at Once.” Her protagonists, often children and often unnamed, live lonely days in the small towns or isolated farmhouses of the upper Midwest, flattened by heat in the summer and risking death from exposure in the winter....

Opinion: Let us plunge toward our fast-unfolding future

WASHINGTON — In 1859, when Manhattan still had many farms, near the Battery on the island’s southern tip The Great American Tea Company was launched. It grew, and outgrew its name, becoming in 1870 The Great Atlantic & Pacific Tea Company, which in 1912 begat the first A&P Economy Store, a semi-modern grocery store. By 1920, there were 4,500 such stores; by 1930, 15,000. In 1936, in Braddock...

Opinion: You can’t take the low road to the high place

The other day, a Muslim saved a terrorist. It happened just after midnight Monday in London. The terrorist, according to authorities, was Darren Osborne, 47, from Cardiff, Wales, who drove a rented van 150 miles to the British capital, where he jumped a sidewalk and plowed into a crowd of worshipers outside a mosque as people were attending to a man who had collapsed. Osborne is reported to have screamed...
Obama's secret struggle to punish Russia for Putin's election assault

Obama's secret struggle to punish Russia for Putin's election assault

WASHINGTON — Early last August, an envelope with extraordinary handling restrictions arrived at the White House. Sent by courier from the CIA, it carried "eyes only" instructions that its contents be shown to just four people: President Barack Obama and three senior aides. Inside was an intelligence bombshell, a report drawn from sourcing deep inside the Russian government that...
Viewpoints: AISD Trustees should take more time to call bond election

Viewpoints: AISD Trustees should take more time to call bond election

The Austin school board on Monday is expected to call for a November election on a bond package that at least for now totals nearly $1.1 billion and is clouded by uncertainty. Trustees should delay the vote. A number of factors warrant slowing the process. Some projects the board is weighing, such as relocating Eastside Memorial High School to the Old Anderson campus and creating a new medical magnet...
Letters to the editor: June 24, 2017

Letters to the editor: June 24, 2017

Re: June 16 photo, “1,100 boys try their hand at governing Texas.” I was dismayed on so many levels that the boys at Boys State, an event sponsored by the American Legion no less, voted for Texas to secede from the United States! Where are the idealistic thoughts of making this country a better nation? It speaks volumes about the environment in which these boys were raised. Next time,...
Letters to the editor: June 23, 2017

Letters to the editor: June 23, 2017

Re: June 15 article, “Austin requires a permit for kids’ lemonade stands. Troxclair wants to change that.” So, this is why there is a lag at City Hall. How much time and rhetoric energy have gone on about removal of this code? How much time was spent to make this a city code anyway? Now, the “department is in the process of creating a formal policy to not require any permits...

Opinion: After the ISIS war, a U.S.-Russia collision?

On Sunday, a Navy F-18 Hornet shot down a Syrian air force jet, an act of war against a nation with which Congress has never declared or authorized a war. Washington says the Syrian plane was bombing U.S.-backed rebels. Damascus says its plane was attacking ISIS. Vladimir Putin’s defense ministry was direct and blunt: “Repeated combat actions by U.S. aviation under the cover of counterterrorism...

COMMENTARY: Off into the jungle of political suspicion

Let it be said that for one lovely moment, House Speaker Paul Ryan and House Democratic leader Nancy Pelosi responded exactly as those in authority should to a shocking assault on human lives and our political system. After last week’s shooting on a baseball field, both spoke in a spirit of thoughtful solidarity and genuinely mutual concern. Kudos to them. Unfortunately, so much else that has...

Opinion: On death row, but is he innocent?

One June day in 1983, a California professor drove over to a neighbor’s house to pick up his 11-year-old son from a sleepover. Nobody answered the door, so the professor peered through a window — and saw a ghastly panorama of blood. The professor found his son stabbed to death, along with the bodies of Peggy and Doug Ryen, the homeowners. The Ryens’ 10-year-old daughter was also...
Letters to the editor: June 22, 2017

Letters to the editor: June 22, 2017

Re: June 15 article, “Bike bridges open, linking South Austin to Zilker Park.” Alaska’s “Bridge to Nowhere” is not much worse than the ours. The bike-and-pedestrian bridge across the Barton Creek Greenbelt is a waste of money. First, it started out years ago as a $4 million project. Then it jumped to $8 million. Now nearing completion, it has cost $14.5 million. It&rsquo...
Herman: Gov. Greg Abbott neither vetoes nor signs hundreds of bills

Herman: Gov. Greg Abbott neither vetoes nor signs hundreds of bills

Statistics don’t lie, but sometimes we don’t know what they’re trying to say. With that in mind, this: Gov. Greg Abbott has let hundreds of bills become law without signing them. This year he did so on bills on a variety of topics, including guns, beer and NASCAR. Civics 101: The gubernatorial power to sign or veto a bill is among the most important powers a Texas governor has. Most...
Do Democrats have a playbook for winning back seats?

Do Democrats have a playbook for winning back seats?

The women darting through the statehouse here alongside mentoring lawmakers have what Democrats need: sterling resumes, grit and anger at President Donald Trump so deep that they are overlooking misgivings about establishment politics to run under the party banner. “I woke up the day after the election and said, ‘I have got to do something to try to fix things,’” said Jessica...
Texas’ abstinence-only programs may contribute to teen pregnancies

Texas’ abstinence-only programs may contribute to teen pregnancies

To understand why teen pregnancy rates are so high in Texas, meet Jessica Chester. When Chester was in high school in Garland, she decided to attend the University of Texas-Dallas. She wanted to become a doctor. “I was top of the class,” she said. “I had a GPA of 4.5, a full-tuition scholarship to UTD. I was not the stereotypical girl someone would look at and say, ‘Oh she&rsquo...
Letters to the editor: June 21, 2017

Letters to the editor: June 21, 2017

Re: June 15 article, “Foreshadowing fight, Straus rejects bathroom bill, school choice.” Kudos to Speaker of the House Joe Straus for showing that it is possible to be a conservative with a conscience and a brain — and not be automatically a doctrinaire conservative. Here’s what Straus reminded all of us about: • Property tax is not the primary issue; school financing...
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