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Politics


Texas Republican holdouts imperil GOP health care bill

Heading into what could be the most critical vote of the Trump presidency, about 10 of the 25 Republican members of Congress from Texas have yet to declare their support for the GOP plan to replace Obamacare with the American Health Care Act. Three of the seven Republicans representing parts of Travis County have yet to give a firm “yes,” though U.S. Reps. Roger Williams, R-Austin, and...

Should country singers speak up about politics? We asked them

Country singers are faced with a conundrum when it comes to President Donald Trump: As part of the most conservative-leaning musical genre, shouldn't they have something to say about the most polarizing Republican administration in history? As multiple publications recently pointed out, the answer has been a resounding "no." Nashville stars remain unusually silent about their political thoughts...
This is California in the era of Trump

This is California in the era of Trump

Californians wake up every day delighted to be in California, and then they remember that they are also in the United States. The bougainvillea catches the rising sun in San Clemente, the sapphire tide heaves into Big Sur — and three time zones to the East, President Donald Trump has been up and tweeting for hours. "I don't want to look at my phone in the morning," said Cynthia Blatt...
AP fact check: Trump and his unachieved achievements

AP fact check: Trump and his unachieved achievements

President Donald Trump is taking credit for persuading TransCanada Corp. to withdraw a hefty lawsuit against the U.S. government over the previous administration's rejection of the Keystone XL pipeline. But the Canadian company says its bid for compensation for the stalled project is merely suspended, as it has been for weeks.  Trump's account, to Republican donors Tuesday night, was one of several...
Push to undo national monument designations hits obstacle: the law

Push to undo national monument designations hits obstacle: the law

Powerful Republican congressmen and governors are pressing President Donald Trump to take an unprecedented step: Reverse his predecessor's creation of several national monuments under a law that dates back to Theodore Roosevelt. No president has ever attempted such a reversal, and legal experts doubt it could succeed. "If they go down that road, it is a very, very difficult path," said John...
Fact check: Democrats’ critiques of the Republican health bill

Fact check: Democrats’ critiques of the Republican health bill

With the House vote on the Republican health care bill looming Thursday, Democrats are unified in their opposition. Lawmakers have echoed the same talking points, exaggerating the bill’s effect on insurance pools, employment and income inequality. Here is an assessment of their claims. This is misleading. Pelosi, the minority leader, may have used the report from the Congressional Budget Office...
Is the United States' military big enough?

Is the United States' military big enough?

President Donald Trump has proposed a $54 billion increase in military spending, which he said would be “one of the largest increases in national defense spending in American history.” Past administrations have increased military spending, but typically to fulfill a specific mission. Jimmy Carter expanded operations in the Persian Gulf. Ronald Reagan pursued an arms race with the Soviet...
Still no Espanol on WhiteHouse.gov

Still no Espanol on WhiteHouse.gov

The day Donald Trump became president, the Spanish-language translation of the White House's website went down. An aide quickly said the Spanish version would return once the site was fully updated. Nearly two months later, there is still no Spanish version of WhiteHouse.gov, and Rep. Lou Correa, D-Calif., is turning to his colleagues in Congress for a fix. Correa has filed legislation to require...
Why letting go, for Trump, is no small or simple task

Why letting go, for Trump, is no small or simple task

President Donald Trump is a man seriously susceptible to snagging himself in the nettles of obsession. In the last three weeks, no compulsion has so consumed his psyche, and his Twitter account, as the deeply held and shallowly sourced rejected belief that President Barack Obama tapped his phones. So why can’t he just let go? First, aides say that Trump, who often says, “I’m, like...
State freezes bid to privatize foster care in northwestern Texas

State freezes bid to privatize foster care in northwestern Texas

A much-heralded effort to privatize foster care in 30 northwestern Texas counties is on hold while the state investigates whether the bidding process was compromised by a purchasing director who is the wife of a high-ranking state official forced to resign in 2014. The Health and Human Services Commission has put its request for proposals for “foster care redesign” on pause, saying in...
Senate budget plan amounts to ‘cooking the books,’ Straus says

Senate budget plan amounts to ‘cooking the books,’ Straus says

The Texas Senate Finance Committee on Wednesday unanimously approved a $106.3 billion two-year budget using an accounting trick that delays a $2.5 billion payment for transportation funding to the following budget cycle. The maneuver prompted harsh criticism from House Speaker Joe Straus and further distanced the two chambers as they struggle to find common ground in a tight budget year. Finance Committee...
Experts find what may be earliest color film of White House grounds

Experts find what may be earliest color film of White House grounds

Researchers have discovered what are believed to be the earliest color films of the White House grounds, and of President Herbert Hoover, the Herbert Hoover Presidential Library-Museum said Tuesday. The footage was discovered by experts at the library and museum in West Branch, Iowa, where Hoover was born. The films, which for years were thought to be in black and white, are home movies shot for the...
Senate GOP holdouts split into rival camps on Obamacare overhaul

Senate GOP holdouts split into rival camps on Obamacare overhaul

The House is racing to find enough votes for its health-care bill this week, but even if it passes, prospects in the Senate have only darkened. More than enough Senate Republicans oppose the House bill to kill it — with rival camps insisting on pulling the bill in opposite directions to meet their demands. With just a 52-48 majority, the bill would fail if three or more Republicans vote against...
Stone, the ‘trickster’ on Trump’s side, is under FBI scrutiny

Stone, the ‘trickster’ on Trump’s side, is under FBI scrutiny

In President Donald Trump’s oft-changing world order, Roger J. Stone Jr., the onetime political consultant and full-time provocateur, has been one of the few constants — a loyalist and self-proclaimed “dirty trickster” who nurtured the dream of a presidential run by the developer-turned-television-star for 30 years. But two months into the Trump presidency, Stone, known for...
Who'll control the House after 2018? A few clues

Who'll control the House after 2018? A few clues

Looking at the numbers, Democrats seem to have a better chance seizing control of the Senate in 2018 than winning a majority and clawing their way back to power in the House. Republicans hold a mere 52-48 Senate majority while outnumbering Democrats in the House by 44 seats, with five vacancies. But elections are not about mathematics or determined by probability. Though Democrats need to win just...
GOP bill's changes in rules could undermine health of neediest

GOP bill's changes in rules could undermine health of neediest

An under-the-radar provision in the Republican proposal to replace the Affordable Care Act would require the millions of Medicaid enrollees who signed up under the Obamacare expansion to renew their coverage every six months — twice as often as under current law. That change would inevitably push many people out of coverage, at least temporarily, experts say, and help GOP leaders phase out Medicaid...
Despite trust, Ivanka Trump still wields power over her brand

Despite trust, Ivanka Trump still wields power over her brand

What role Ivanka Trump plays in her father’s White House is among the pressing questions at the intersection of politics and business under the Trump administration. Since Donald Trump became president, Ivanka Trump has sat in meetings with political and business leaders at the White House, drawing criticism that she could use her informal adviser role to promote her brand. Now, she also works...
Trump lays plans to reverse Obama’s climate change legacy

Trump lays plans to reverse Obama’s climate change legacy

President Donald Trump is poised in the coming days to announce his plans to dismantle the centerpiece of President Barack Obama’s climate change legacy, while also gutting several smaller but significant policies aimed at curbing global warming. The moves are intended to send an unmistakable signal to the nation and the world that Trump intends to follow through on his campaign vows to rip...
Trump's visits stretching Palm Beach's budget and locals' patience

Trump's visits stretching Palm Beach's budget and locals' patience

It is high season in South Florida: blue skies, low humidity, warm temperatures and increasingly regular visits from the president of the United States. With those visits, the busiest time of year for longtime residents of Palm Beach has taken on a new unpleasantness. Airplane noise, traffic and a rash of angry confrontations between pro and anti-Trump demonstrators are beginning to seem like the...
Crowd turns out for hearing on ‘private school voucher’ bill

Crowd turns out for hearing on ‘private school voucher’ bill

Public school officials and their advocates told Texas lawmakers Tuesday that an effort to redirect state money to private schools is unconstitutional and unlikely to improve academic performance, particularly for low-income minority students. “There has been a lack of any real evidence to show that this works,” said Yannis Banks with the Texas NAACP. “I’ve heard people mention...
Texas educators weigh in on proposed changes to school grades

Texas educators weigh in on proposed changes to school grades

About two dozen education advocates, many of them school district superintendents, weighed in during a public hearing Tuesday afternoon on proposed changes to a new state grading system for schools and districts. House Bill 22, filed by state Rep. Dan Huberty, R-Houston, who is also the House Public Education Committee chairman, would scale back the new A-F accountability system, which is set...
Ben Crenshaw backing bill to transfer Muny from UT to state parks unit

Ben Crenshaw backing bill to transfer Muny from UT to state parks unit

Pro golfer Ben Crenshaw testified Tuesday in support of proposed state legislation that would remove Lions Municipal Golf Course from University of Texas ownership to prevent potential development of the historic West Austin site. The two-time Masters winner and three-time NCAA champion at UT, who grew up playing at the course, said its value as a civil rights landmark and as green space in a rapidly...
Bill requiring classroom instruction on police interaction advances

Bill requiring classroom instruction on police interaction advances

Responding to a rash of violent encounters between police and the public, a Texas Senate committee approved a bill Tuesday that would require high school instruction on how best to interact with officers during traffic stops and other situations. The goal is to avoid or defuse confrontations by teaching students what is expected of them during encounters with police — including instruction on...
Texas Senate votes to limit city and county property tax increases

Texas Senate votes to limit city and county property tax increases

The Texas Senate on Tuesday voted 18-12 to approve a bill that would trigger an automatic referendum if a city or county raises property taxes by 5 percent or more. Currently, a tax ratification election only takes place if local governments raise taxes 8 percent or more and if taxpayers petition to force the referendum. State Sen. Paul Bettencourt, R-Houston, who authored Senate Bill 2, drummed up...
John Young: Blind fury: F-rating for wreckage from Trumpcare

John Young: Blind fury: F-rating for wreckage from Trumpcare

The Fujita scale is the “F” by which weather people rate tornadoes. F-1: A carport down. F-5: Whole city blocks reduced to grout. We now lean on such comparisons in assessing the shades of disaster that would emanate from Trumpcare, especially compared with what Donald Trump claimed would happen. Trump the campaigner said his plan would provide “insurance for everyone.” The...
David Brooks: The unifying American story

David Brooks: The unifying American story

One of the things we’ve lost in this country is our story. It is the narrative that unites us around a common multigenerational project, that gives an overarching sense of meaning and purpose to our history. For most of the past 400 years, Americans did have an overarching story. It was the Exodus story. The Puritans came to this continent and felt they were escaping the bondage of their Egypt...
Will Gorsuch join justices in time to matter this term?

Will Gorsuch join justices in time to matter this term?

Senate Republicans are in a race against the clock. They want to put Judge Neil M. Gorsuch on the Supreme Court in time to participate in at least some of this term’s cases, notably one on the separation of church and state. If they are to succeed, they will have to move with exceptional speed. The calendar is an obstacle course. The confirmation hearings started on Monday and will last several...
Where did all the Sacagawea dollar coins go? In Ecuador, they're everywhere

Where did all the Sacagawea dollar coins go? In Ecuador, they're everywhere

Busy selling fruits and vegetables on a recent weekday, Luzmila Mita dug into her apron and pulled out a fistful of coins embossed with the image of a Native American woman with a baby strapped to her back. "I always thought she was one of us," said Mita, as she looked at the image of Sacagawea, the 18th-century Shoshone woman who was part of the Lewis and Clark expedition. "It took...
What happened to Ivanka? Liberal hope of Trump administration silent

What happened to Ivanka? Liberal hope of Trump administration silent

Soon after the presidential election, a group of New York artists started a social media campaign dubbed #dearivanka. They were sure that Ivanka Trump, a 35-year-old self-professed feminist, patron of the arts and Democratic fundraiser, would play a moderating role in her father’s White House and were appealing to her to intercede on abortion rights, climate change and other issues. The artists...
Trump adopting hands-off style toward military

Trump adopting hands-off style toward military

President Donald Trump is shifting more authority over military operations to the Pentagon, according to White House officials, reversing what his aides and some generals say was a tendency by the Obama White House to micromanage issues better left to military commanders. The change is at the heart of a re-engineering of the National Security Council’s role under its new leader, Lt. Gen. H.R...
Spying claims ignite debate about privacy

Spying claims ignite debate about privacy

Standing beside Chancellor Angela Merkel of Germany on Friday at the White House, President Donald Trump told her, “at least we have something in common.” Trump was comparing himself to a foreign leader whose cellphone calls had been intercepted by the National Security Agency. He was doubling down, once again, on his much-disputed claim that his calls, too, had been wiretapped on orders...
Analysis: Would it really 'never hurt' for Trump to apologize?

Analysis: Would it really 'never hurt' for Trump to apologize?

At least two members of President Donald Trump's own party have now suggested the president has some apologizing to do. Speaking with reporters on Friday, Rep. Tom Cole, R-Okla., speaking of Trump's claim that former president Obama tapped his phone during the election, said "frankly, unless you can produce some pretty compelling proof, then I think that President Obama is owed an apology."...
Yesterday's US attorneys may be tomorrow's congressional candidates

Yesterday's US attorneys may be tomorrow's congressional candidates

President Donald Trump's abrupt ouster of almost half the country's U.S. attorneys has done more than create yet another tempest for his nascent administration. It's also created a new and potentially potent Democratic political class. Campaign consultants in both parties have long identified prosecutors — especially those confirmed by the Senate to act as the chief federal law enforcement officers...
President's words threaten to trip up his policies

President's words threaten to trip up his policies

In blocking the administration's second attempt at a travel ban from terror-prone countries, a federal judge in Hawaii laid the blame squarely on President Donald Trump and his advisers, who had suggested the policy was aimed at barring Muslims. A different politician might have expressed disappointment and moved on. But Trump, taking the stage barely an hour later at a rally Wednesday night in Nashville...
The Fed acts. Workers in Mexico and merchants in Malaysia suffer

The Fed acts. Workers in Mexico and merchants in Malaysia suffer

Francisca Hervis Reyes and her family have persevered on the border, working in factories more than 1,300 miles from their hometown. They remained even as deadly warfare between drug cartels turned this city into one of the most dangerous on the planet. But they may not endure the changing predilections of the Federal Reserve. Reyes is paid in Mexican pesos, a currency that has been losing value as...
The troubled, covert agency responsible for moving the nation's most lethal cargo

The troubled, covert agency responsible for moving the nation's most lethal cargo

The unmarked 18-wheelers ply the nation's interstates and two-lane highways, logging 3 million miles a year hauling the most lethal cargo there is: nuclear bombs. The covert fleet, which shuttles warheads from missile silos, bomber bases and submarine docks to nuclear weapons labs across the country, is operated by the Office of Secure Transportation, a troubled agency within the U.S. Department of...
GOP’s health care tightrope crosses the blue-collar Midwest

GOP’s health care tightrope crosses the blue-collar Midwest

James Waltimire, a police officer on unpaid medical leave, has been going to the hospital in this small city twice a week for physical therapy after leg surgery, all of it paid for by Medicaid. Waltimire, 54, was able to sign up for the government health insurance program last year because Ohio expanded it to cover more than 700,000 low-income adults under the Affordable Care Act. He voted for President...

Rural areas brace for shortage of doctors after changes in visa policy

In Coudersport, Pa., a town in a mountainous region an hour’s drive from the nearest Wal-Mart, Cole Memorial Hospital counts on two Jordanian physicians to keep its obstetrics unit open and is actively recruiting foreign specialists. In Fargo, N.D., a, a gastroenterologist from Lebanon — who is among thousands of foreign physicians in the state — has risen to become vice president...
How much is President Trump's travel and protection costing?

How much is President Trump's travel and protection costing?

President Donald Trump's 2018 budget proposal is unabashed in its goal: slashing or eradicating a number of social and research programs to offset new spending on defense and homeland security. That emphasis quickly met with broad criticism, including from some who pointed out an apparent contradiction.  Trump places a heavy emphasis on cutting waste and targets for elimination programs that...
Two Views: Which bills will survive distance between Senate, House?

Two Views: Which bills will survive distance between Senate, House?

In 1990, a Democratic member of the U.S. House named Al Swift was quoted in D.C.-area media reports as saying “Republicans are the opposition, but the Senate is the enemy.” That line remains a shrewd observation today. Though partisanship is a considerable factor in any legislative body, nothing unites a legislative body like the disdain it has for its counterpart. There are about 70 days...
Two Views: Distance between House, Senate leaves key bills in doubt

Two Views: Distance between House, Senate leaves key bills in doubt

It was an old ritual of the high school rebels: light up our cigarettes in the bathroom. That’ll show the teachers and the principals who’s really in charge! In our ritual conformity, we rebels were a rather sad spectacle, but we can put the behavior off to adolescent confusions. The same excuse can’t be made for Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick, who has turned the 2017 Legislature into an extended...
Cruz: Trump’s wiretap charge unproved but ‘not necessarily outlandish’

Cruz: Trump’s wiretap charge unproved but ‘not necessarily outlandish’

Speaking Sunday on CBS’ “Face the Nation,” U.S. Sen. Ted Cruz said President Donald Trump should produce evidence that then-President Barack Obama wiretapped or otherwise surveilled Trump Tower toward the end of the 2016 presidential campaign, but Cruz argued that the charge is “not necessarily outlandish.” “We do know that the Obama administration targeted its...
Cruz: Trump’s wiretap charge unproved but not `necessarily outlandish’

Cruz: Trump’s wiretap charge unproved but not `necessarily outlandish’

U.S. Sen. Ted Cruz, R-Texas, said Sunday on CBS’ “Face the Nation,” that President Donald Trump should produce evidence that President Barack Obama wiretapped or otherwise surveilled Trump Tower toward the end of the 2016 presidential campaign, but that the charge is “not necessarily as outlandish,” as depicted in the media. In the interview with “Face the Nation&rdquo...
Sleeping giants of Obamacare debate: Republican moderates in the House

Sleeping giants of Obamacare debate: Republican moderates in the House

Arch conservatives have come to define the House Republican brand this decade, pushing the Treasury to the edge of default in 2011, shutting down the government in 2013 and supporting the most right-wing contenders in last year's presidential primary. Now, however, Speaker Paul D. Ryan, R-Wis., is dealing with a different rebellious flank within the House Republican Conference as he pushes a massive...
Wear: Uber and Lyft ride hail into the Legislature — again

Wear: Uber and Lyft ride hail into the Legislature — again

Sitting there in a cramped Capitol hearing room last week, I experienced a feeling of deja phooey. As I listened (twice!) to debate over a proposed ride-hailing law — and fingerprints, drunken driving, sexual assault, apps, innovation, local control, Uber and Lyft — the whole thing had a dispiriting familiarity. The cast of characters was recognizable too. There were Austin City Council...
PolitiFact: School voucher bills are nothing new for Texas Legislature

PolitiFact: School voucher bills are nothing new for Texas Legislature

Near the start of this year’s legislative session, Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick stood on the Capitol’s steps and exhorted lawmakers in the House and Senate to vote on “school choice” legislation, saying it’s “easy to kill a bill when no one gets to vote on it.” An advocacy group opposed to using public money to support students going to private and religious schools...
No matter what they’re called, vouchers won’t improve public schools

No matter what they’re called, vouchers won’t improve public schools

As the saying goes, a rose by any other name still smells as sweet. Similarly, vouchers by any other name still stink. You would think that Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick and other lawmakers in love with vouchers would know as much by now, after more than a decade of pushing to get them passed into law. Instead, they continue romanticizing them as the answer for improving public schools, especially low-performing...
Trump seeks bids for construction of border wall

Trump seeks bids for construction of border wall

Wanted: Border walls. Prototype: 30 feet tall preferred. Will consider 18 feet minimum. Concrete or “other” material. Should prevent climbing and tunneling. Must have see-through component. Aesthetically pleasing — at least on the U.S. side. The Department of Homeland Security issued two requests for proposals Friday night seeking concept papers for a wall on the U.S.-Mexico border...
Could old medical building become new affordable housing complex?

Could old medical building become new affordable housing complex?

On the northeastern edge of downtown sits an empty four-story building that could help meet Austin’s growing demand for affordable housing. The city recently bought the HealthSouth building at Red River and 12th streets, a facility that previously housed a physical rehabilitation center. Now some City Council members want to investigate the possibility of converting the nearly 88,000-square-foot...
Travis County considering $30,000 contract with ‘go away’ benefit

Travis County considering $30,000 contract with ‘go away’ benefit

As an appointed official, Cyd Grimes didn’t accrue paid leave like the typical Travis County employee. But after 24 years of service during which she estimates she saved taxpayers millions of dollars, the recently retired purchasing agent feels the county owes her a payout for the vacation time and sick leave she never took. Nearly $30,000 of it, to be exact. The county attorney’s office...
Travis County-Austin agreement to review DNA lab fallout moves forward

Travis County-Austin agreement to review DNA lab fallout moves forward

The Travis County Commissioners Court on Tuesday approved its part of an agreement with Austin that will pave the way for a review of the fallout from the shuttering of Austin police’s DNA lab. The Austin City Council will vote Thursday on the agreement and on a plan to turn over the operations of a new DNA lab to the Texas Department of Public Safety. “I have been disappointed at the...
Coal has a pulse, but prospects for jobs are weak

Coal has a pulse, but prospects for jobs are weak

The battered U.S. coal industry is showing flickering signs of life. Yet the prognosis for Big Coal remains dim.  Coal prices are about double what they were a year ago. Rail car deliveries of coal are up 16 percent this year. The more than 50 coal mining firms that went bankrupt over the past couple of years have unloaded billions of dollars of debt. And President Trump has vowed to roll back...
Trump takes a gamble in cutting programs his base relies on

Trump takes a gamble in cutting programs his base relies on

President Donald Trump’s proposal for deep cuts to the budgets of a broad part of the federal bureaucracy was billed as a tough-minded and necessary corrective to the growth of the government’s power. But even members of his own party questioned some of the cuts — and what was not being cut. The harshest criticism of Trump’s budget came from Democrats and liberal organizations...

Immigrants fearful of deportation are going hungry

Luisa Fortin sometimes sits up at night, wondering what her clients are eating. She is the SNAP Outreach Coordinator for the Chattanooga Food Bank — but lately she has done less outreaching. Her families, working immigrants in northwest Georgia, are spooked by the political climate, Fortin said. Increasingly, she's being asked to explain how food stamps may impact immigration status, if not...
Who undercut President Trump’s travel ban? Candidate Trump

Who undercut President Trump’s travel ban? Candidate Trump

Rarely do a presidential candidate’s own words so definitively haunt his presidency. For the second time in two months, two federal judges on Wednesday refused to allow President Donald Trump to impose a travel ban, citing his campaign rhetoric as evidence of an improper desire to prevent Muslims from entering the United States. The judges’ stunning rebukes were a vivid example of how...
Obama-era law could help Democrats block Trump's budget

Obama-era law could help Democrats block Trump's budget

President Donald Trump proposed an ambitious budget Thursday morning, calling for severe cuts across most of the federal government and a major increase in military spending. It would be hard to design a plan Democrats are more primed to hate, but — though the last election left them nearly powerless in Congress — budget experts say they can probably stop Trump from making the budget blueprint...
Winners and losers in Trump's first budget plan 

Winners and losers in Trump's first budget plan 

Military spending would get the biggest boost in President Donald Trump's proposed budget. Environmental programs, medical research, Amtrak and an array of international and cultural programs — from Appalachia to the arts — would take big hits, among the many parts of the government he'd put on a crash diet.  The budget proposal out Thursday is a White House wish list; it'll be up...
Trump cites Andrew Jackson as his hero — and a reflection of himself

Trump cites Andrew Jackson as his hero — and a reflection of himself

Others may think of history as a lens. Donald Trump regards it as a mirror. On Wednesday, he traveled to Tennessee to commemorate the 250th birthday of the seventh president, Andrew Jackson, and toured Jackson's plantation, which is known as the Hermitage. "Inspirational visit, I have to tell you. I'm a fan," Trump said outside Old Hickory's Greek Revival-style mansion. What apparently has...
The NFL owes Congress and the public some answers

The NFL owes Congress and the public some answers

Members of Congress have some questions for the NFL about its drug practices. The first one asked of Commissioner Roger Goodell should be, "Explain to us, please, how your league is different from an illegal enterprise?" It turns out that the NFL has been keeping drug logs. Every year, all of its teams send itemized lists of drugs and dosages to a medical adviser in the league office in...
There are museums for spies and Bigfoot. Now there will be one for women, too

There are museums for spies and Bigfoot. Now there will be one for women, too

The New-York Historical Society’s Center for Women’s History will open its doors this spring, a season many expected to spend settling into life with the United States’ first female president. Instead, the country finds itself in a different moment, one that brought millions of people to women’s marches in Washington and around the world in January. But the need for a permanent...
The 'very strange' item on Trump's 1040: alternative minimum tax

The 'very strange' item on Trump's 1040: alternative minimum tax

Leaked pages of President Donald Trump's 2005 tax return offer no new details about his foreign income and business dealings but highlight a tax he's vowed to abolish. The alternative minimum tax, or AMT, was responsible for 80 percent of Trump's 2005 federal income tax bill of $38.4 million, on income of $152.7 million. That's a "startlingly" large proportion, said Alexander Popovich, a...
Poll: Americans skeptical about plan to replace Obamacare

Poll: Americans skeptical about plan to replace Obamacare

Americans are deeply skeptical about the current House Republican plan to replace the Affordable Care Act, and few think it will bring down costs or expand coverage, a new nationwide survey finds. In fact, nearly half the country thinks the GOP plan will increase the number of uninsured and raise prices for consumers who have to buy coverage on their own, according to the poll from the nonprofit Kaiser...
A familiar name: Kennedy fights GOP on health care

A familiar name: Kennedy fights GOP on health care

A familiar name from Massachusetts, Rep. Joe Kennedy III, is carrying his family legacy into a new era, battling Republicans who want to undo Barack Obama's health care law.  Kennedy, the 36-year-old grandson of the late Sen. Robert F. Kennedy and great-nephew of the late Sen. Ted Kennedy and President John F. Kennedy, has been a low-key presence in the House since he was first elected in his...
Dean, who experienced Watergate from inside, is watching Trump closely

Dean, who experienced Watergate from inside, is watching Trump closely

Early one morning, Richard Nixon's White House counsel woke from a dream about Donald Trump and nuclear war. This is somewhat typical. John W. Dean III starts most days wondering how the current president will exceed the narcissism and paranoia of his old boss. Then Dean moves on to Twitter, where he routinely filets the Trump administration with a knife that was sharpened in the tribal warfare of...
Supreme Court pick has web of ties to secretive billionaire

Supreme Court pick has web of ties to secretive billionaire

The publicity-shy billionaire Philip F. Anschutz inherited an oil and gas firm and built it into an empire that has sprawled into telecommunications, railroads, real estate, resorts, sports teams, stadiums, movies and conservative publications like The Weekly Standard and The Washington Examiner. Anschutz’s influence is especially felt in his home state of Colorado, where years ago Judge Neil...
Trump will need Democratic cooperation to replace US attorneys

Trump will need Democratic cooperation to replace US attorneys

Under normal circumstances, senators might act quickly to advance and confirm a president's nominees to be U.S. attorneys across the country. But with President Donald Trump in office, nothing is proving to be ordinary. The abrupt dismissal of 46 holdover U.S. attorneys from the Obama administration, and confusion over the way it was done, could set the stage for a protracted political struggle. Senate...