Politics


Trump wants former TCEQ head to lead his environmental advisory panel

President Donald Trump has announced plans to nominate Kathleen Hartnett White, a climate change skeptic and former chairwoman of the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality, to head the U.S. Council on Environmental Quality. White serves as a distinguished senior fellow-in-residence and director of the Armstrong Center for Energy and the Environment at the conservative Texas Public Policy Foundation...
Judge: Gov. Abbott wrong to remove atheist display from Capitol

Judge: Gov. Abbott wrong to remove atheist display from Capitol

Gov. Greg Abbott engaged in improper censorship when he ordered the removal of an atheist group’s mock Nativity display from the Capitol in 2015, a federal judge has ruled. At the time, Abbott described the display — which depicted Benjamin Franklin, Thomas Jefferson, George Washington and the Statue of Liberty gazing upon the Bill of Rights as it lay in a manger — as a spiteful...
Trump tweets approval after health care stocks ‘plunged’

Trump tweets approval after health care stocks ‘plunged’

It is unlike President Donald Trump to cheer when stocks fall, but early on Saturday he did just that.  “Health insurance stocks, which have gone through the roof during the ObamaCare years, plunged yesterday after I ended their Dems windfall!” he tweeted.  On Thursday, the administration announced it would stop paying subsidies to health insurance companies that help cover costs...
Trump to meet Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte during Asian visit

Trump to meet Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte during Asian visit

President Donald Trump will meet with Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte during a marathon trip to Asia next month, the White House announced Monday.  "The President's travel will underscore his commitment to long-standing United States alliances and partnerships, and reaffirm United States leadership in promoting a free and open Indo-Pacific region," White House press secretary Sarah...
Bannon’s war on GOP could push tax overhaul over finish line

Bannon’s war on GOP could push tax overhaul over finish line

Here's a snapshot of the Republican Party's crisis of leadership: On Saturday, former White House adviser Stephen Bannon took the stage at the Values Voter Summit in Washington and exhorted conservative activists to join him in a war against Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., in order to unlock President Donald Trump's agenda. Also on Saturday, Trump reportedly called McConnell to coordinate...
Trump’s re-election campaign paid his son’s Russia-probe law firm $238,000

Trump’s re-election campaign paid his son’s Russia-probe law firm $238,000

President Donald Trump's re-election committee paid almost $238,000 in the third quarter to the law firm representing Donald Trump Jr. in connection with ongoing investigations of Russian interference in the 2016 election, according campaign finance disclosures.  Trump's campaign made two payments — one in mid July, the other in early August -- to the law firm of Alan S. Futerfas, a lawyer...
Trump campaign legal bills topped $1 million last quarter

Trump campaign legal bills topped $1 million last quarter

President Donald Trump's reelection committee spent more than $1 million on legal bills last quarter as investigations into Russian meddling in the 2016 election pressed on through the summer, according to a disclosure filed Sunday with the Federal Election Commission.  The filing shows the committee's "legal consulting" expenditures came to $1.1 million between July and September,...
Trump may have bolstered kneelers’ legal position

Trump may have bolstered kneelers’ legal position

The controversy over football players kneeling in protest during the national anthem could have simply remained a labor dispute within the NFL. But then President Donald Trump tweeted that tax breaks should be revoked for a league that disrespects "our Anthem, Flag and Country."  Those words threatening government action to financially penalize the league injected a new dimension into...
Inside the ‘adult day-care center’: How aides try to control and coerce Trump

Inside the ‘adult day-care center’: How aides try to control and coerce Trump

During the campaign, when President Donald Trump's team wanted him to stop talking about a certain issue — such as when he attacked a Gold Star military family — they sometimes presented him with polls demonstrating how the controversy was harming his candidacy.  During the transition, when aides needed Trump to decide on a looming issue or appointment, they often limited him to a...
Commentary: Stop development deals. Get Amazon with the ‘Texas Model’

Commentary: Stop development deals. Get Amazon with the ‘Texas Model’

Austin is vying for Amazon’s impressive new “HQ2” — a second company headquarters that could supercharge the local economy with $5 billion in capital investment and 50,000 new, good-paying jobs. Landing the state-of-the-art campus would be nothing short of blockbuster. While Austin has much to offer and much to gain, it shouldn’t fall into the trap of proposing a mammoth...
Commentary: Amazon wants its HQ2 in utopia — and tax breaks, too

Commentary: Amazon wants its HQ2 in utopia — and tax breaks, too

Forget El Dorado, Brigadoon, the Emerald City, Seven Cities of Gold or Shangri-La. The city of Amazon, USA, is a shimmering on your horizon like a barely visible holograph from the future. Above it is a sign in otherworldly neon: All This Could Be Yours. Amazon is looking to locate a spanking new 50,000-employee headquarters somewhere in North America. To put the promise in perspective, it’d...
Alamo Cenotaph rally turns against George P. Bush’s re-election bid

Alamo Cenotaph rally turns against George P. Bush’s re-election bid

A demonstration Saturday to “Save the Alamo Cenotaph” morphed into a rally to defeat Land Commissioner George P. Bush for re-election in 2018. “They kind of go hand-in-hand,” said Lee Spencer White, founder of the Alamo Defenders Descendants Association. White called Saturday’s rally to challenge a master plan for redesigning the Alamo site, which includes restoring the...
PolitiFact: Taxes, but not tax rate, expected to rise with school bond

PolitiFact: Taxes, but not tax rate, expected to rise with school bond

A handout urging voter support for a proposed $1.05 billion Austin school district bond issue on the November ballot singles out the need to repair and renovate schools averaging 40 years of age and a desire to modernize or build 16 schools. Moreover, the handout from the Committee of Austin’s Children PAC says: “Did you know? AISD Prop. 1 bonds will require no tax rate increase,&rdquo...
ICE plans new 1,000-bed facility in South Texas ‘detention alley’

ICE plans new 1,000-bed facility in South Texas ‘detention alley’

As the Trump administration cracks down on illegal immigration, the federal government is making plans for a new privately run detention center along Interstate 35 in South Texas, adding 1,000 beds to what is already the world’s largest immigrant detention system. U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement this month asked private companies to submit preliminary proposals for a new facility housing...
After Hurricane Harvey, Port Aransas faces long road to recovery

After Hurricane Harvey, Port Aransas faces long road to recovery

When the din of power saws and hammering had stopped, quiet filled the streets of Port Aransas on a recent warm Friday afternoon. Just blocks from the wrecked shops, restaurants and vacation rentals, the beach, cleared of debris, was empty. Seven weeks after the eye of Hurricane Harvey passed just north of this idyllic beach town of 4,000 residents — whose eccentric and laid-back vibe has made...
Herman: Twitter silence from Texas’ Tweeter Laureate

Herman: Twitter silence from Texas’ Tweeter Laureate

The commander-in-tweet has shut down and shut up the official Tweeter Laureate of Texas. Sad. Thanks for nothing, Trump, you grump. After eight years and just under 26,000 of the more entertaining tweets on the planet, Texas Supreme Court Justice Don Willett’s Twitter feed ceased and desisted a couple of weeks ago. Specifically, the de facto restraining order was issued Sept. 28 in a White...
Why Texas leaders erected Confederate monuments at the Capitol

Why Texas leaders erected Confederate monuments at the Capitol

Texas lawmakers in 1895 approved a monument “to the Confederate dead” to be placed on the grounds of the Capitol. Eight years later, more than 5,000 people gathered to see the Confederate Soldiers Monument unveiled — a particularly large crowd considering Austin’s population at the turn of the last century was just 22,000. At the unveiling, John H. Reagan, the former Confederate...
Trump cuts to Obamacare enrollment groups deeper than expected

Trump cuts to Obamacare enrollment groups deeper than expected

The Trump administration is cutting tens of millions of dollars from organizations that help Americans enroll in Obamacare health plans, leaving some of the groups scrambling to shrink their operations weeks before enrollment for 2018 coverage opens on Nov. 1.  The organizations, called navigators, say the funding cuts have been arbitrary, opaque and don't follow the Trump administration's stated...
European leaders warn that Trump is wrong on the Iran nuclear deal

European leaders warn that Trump is wrong on the Iran nuclear deal

In a decision that could deepen the transatlantic rift, President Donald Trump may "decertify" the Iran nuclear deal on Friday, or later this week ahead of a Sunday deadline. Trump previously called the 2015 agreement disastrous and has argued that it isn't in the United States' best interests, though he did reluctantly certify Iran's compliance in the past.  The deal's decertification...
Trump rips the NFL for disrespecting flag. Then jokes about a military flag ceremony.

Trump rips the NFL for disrespecting flag. Then jokes about a military flag ceremony.

After he had repeatedly railed against professional athletes over perceived slights to the American flag and military, President Donald Trump joked on Wednesday about a bugle call that is part of the armed forces' time-honored tradition of showing respect for the Stars and Stripes.  The bugle call occurred during Trump's interview with Fox News host Sean Hannity, conducted in an airplane hangar...
Kelly seeks to tamp down rumors he’s unhappy working for Trump and on his way out

Kelly seeks to tamp down rumors he’s unhappy working for Trump and on his way out

On more than one occasion, White House Chief of Staff John Kelly has been spotted with his head down, arms crossed and his face locked in a steely expression that many an observer has interpreted as physical evidence of his exasperation at serving under President Donald Trump.  Rumors that the former Marine general is not long for a job he took only a few short months ago persist.  But on...
Pro sports teams were once reliable patrons of Trump’s hotels. Not anymore.

Pro sports teams were once reliable patrons of Trump’s hotels. Not anymore.

Until recently, the Trump SoHo hotel served as a kind of luxe clubhouse for NBA teams visiting New York.  At least 12 teams — more than a third of the league — had stayed there since it opened in 2010. The players loved it so much they became walking ads for the Trump brand: Superstar Russell Westbrook of the Oklahoma City Thunder praised the hotel in the press. Toronto Raptors all-star...
Trump to end ACA subsidies

Trump to end ACA subsidies

President Donald Trump is throwing a bomb into the insurance marketplaces created under the Affordable Care Act, choosing to end critical payments to health insurers that help millions of lower-income Americans afford coverage. The decision follows an executive order on Thursday to allow alternative health plans that skirt the law's requirements.  The White House confirmed late Thursday that...
Analysis: 5 reasons that Trump hates the Iran deal

Analysis: 5 reasons that Trump hates the Iran deal

In this occasional series, we will bring you up to speed on the biggest national security stories of the week.  President Donald Trump hasn't been shy expressing his distaste for the Iran nuclear deal negotiated under his predecessor. He has called the 2015 agreement disastrous, horrible, and one-sided, and he has vowed to get rid of it or renegotiate the terms. Trump has already given his approval...
House approves $36.5 billion in disaster relief after Abbott blowup

House approves $36.5 billion in disaster relief after Abbott blowup

The U.S. House passed a $36.5 billion emergency funding package Thursday to help victims of Hurricanes Harvey, Irma and Maria and California wildfires, a day after Gov. Greg Abbott urged the 36 House members from Texas to vote against it. Abbott’s harsh criticism of the bill in a Houston Chronicle story Wednesday — and of the Texas GOP members of Congress, in particular, as “spineless&rdquo...
Straus calls scuttling of bathroom bill a ‘turning point’ for Texas

Straus calls scuttling of bathroom bill a ‘turning point’ for Texas

Declaring that the scuttling of the bathroom bill this year “can be and needs to be a turning point” in how Texas presents itself to the world, House Speaker Joe Straus on Thursday named a special committee to study and highlight what the state should do to draw jobs, investment and workers. “We can continue to focus on issues like bathrooms that divide Texans and hurt the recruitment...
Commentary: How a 20-year visa backlog sent our daughter back to India

Commentary: How a 20-year visa backlog sent our daughter back to India

My wife and I came to the United States nearly 20 years ago from India with our daughter, Himani — legally — in hopes of a better life and an aspiration to succeed and contribute positively to American society. Unfortunately, due to immigration laws, she was unable to stay in the United States due to massive backlogs. This is a problem that affects thousands of immigrant children. CONTINUING...
Commentary: Let’s stop blaming mental illness for mass shootings

Commentary: Let’s stop blaming mental illness for mass shootings

In the aftermath of the largest mass shooting in modern U.S. history, words like “demented,” “insane,” “sick” and “madman” peppered official responses, media coverage and public speculation. How else could we explain the tragedy in Las Vegas? But such loaded language obscures a simple fact: The majority of mass shooters do not have a diagnosed mental...
Commentary: Why we should talk about toxic masculinity and mass murder

Commentary: Why we should talk about toxic masculinity and mass murder

Although it is rarely mentioned in debates and conversations that happen in the aftermath of a mass shooting, the gender of the shooter is almost always male. In fact, 98 percent of all mass murders are men. While conversations on how to best address the mass shooting epidemic in the U.S. tend to focus on gun control or mental illness, discussions rarely ever address the role that toxic masculinity...
Rep. Al Green files impeachment articles against Trump

Rep. Al Green files impeachment articles against Trump

Houston Democrat Al Green filed an impeachment resolution on the House floor Wednesday, making official his recent calls that Congress take action against President Donald Trump.  However he was not present to vote on the impeachment articles.  Among the grounds for Green's impeachment bid was Trump's response to the violence at a white supremacist rally in Charlottesville, Va. as well as...
The president has long talked about scrapping NAFTA. Even skeptics are starting to believe him.

The president has long talked about scrapping NAFTA. Even skeptics are starting to believe him.

The North American Free Trade Agreement, long disparaged by President Donald Trump as bad for the United States, was edging closer toward collapse as negotiators gathered for a fourth round of contentious talks here this week.  In recent weeks, the Trump administration has sparred with American businesses that support NAFTA and has pushed for significant changes that negotiators from Mexico and...
Kelly aide picked to lead Homeland Security Dept.

Kelly aide picked to lead Homeland Security Dept.

President Donald Trump said Wednesday that he intended to name Kirstjen Nielsen, a top White House aide, to lead the Department of Homeland Security, elevating a former homeland security official in the George W. Bush administration who has lately worked to impose order in Trump’s chaotic West Wing.  Trump announced his choice in a statement that noted Nielsen’s “extensive professional...
Trump says Kaepernick’s protests would have ended if NFL had ‘suspended’ the QB

Trump says Kaepernick’s protests would have ended if NFL had ‘suspended’ the QB

President Donald Trump offered his latest critique Wednesday evening of the protests NFL players have been staging, saying that Colin Kaepernick, the ex-49ers quarterback who was the first to kneel during the national anthem last year, would never have continued to do so if he had been "suspended" by the league.  "I watched Colin Kaepernick, and I thought it was terrible, and then...
Trump says minorities ‘want’ and ‘need’ more police protection than other Americans

Trump says minorities ‘want’ and ‘need’ more police protection than other Americans

President Donald Trump said Wednesday that minorities "want" and "need" more police protection than other Americans, and blamed Democrats for a "crazy" number of murders in Chicago and other large cities.  In an interview with Sean Hannity, the Fox News Channel anchor who also is a friend and informal adviser to the president, Trump said police in big cities are...
Conservatives want to make Mitch McConnell the symbol of a toxic Washington

Conservatives want to make Mitch McConnell the symbol of a toxic Washington

For Republicans trying to rally their base, no political villain has been more effective than Rep. Nancy Pelosi, the longtime Democratic leader. In campaign after campaign, they made her the symbol of the Washington they claimed to be running against.  Now a renegade group of anti-establishment Republicans is adapting that model and turning it against their own party. They are replacing Pelosi...
NBC nuclear arsenal story leads to threat by Trump

NBC nuclear arsenal story leads to threat by Trump

President Donald Trump threatened on Wednesday to use the federal government’s power to license television airwaves to target NBC in response to a report by the network’s news division that he contemplated a dramatic increase in the nation’s nuclear arsenal.  In a story aired and posted online Wednesday morning, reported that Trump said during a meeting in July that he wanted...
In Pennsylvania, Trump hunts for Democratic support for tax plan

In Pennsylvania, Trump hunts for Democratic support for tax plan

President Donald Trump took his campaign for tax cuts to another key battleground state on Wednesday in search of elusive Democratic votes as he argued that his plan would benefit middle-class Americans, like truck drivers, more than it would help his fellow business tycoons.  At a rally in an airport hangar reminiscent of his fiery events during last year’s presidential campaign, Trump...
On the eve of Trump delivering decision on Iran deal, Congress plans strategy

On the eve of Trump delivering decision on Iran deal, Congress plans strategy

Members of Congress who have squared off on the Iran nuclear deal since its inception strategized Wednesday in preparation for President Donald Trump's highly anticipated announcement on its fate.  Leading House Republicans huddled with national security adviser H.R. McMaster Wednesday evening for a classified briefing on the administration's plan for the 2015 agreement. Emerging from the meeting...
INSIGHT: Have big cities hijacked the gentrification debate?

INSIGHT: Have big cities hijacked the gentrification debate?

In July, a group of long-time, mostly Latino residents of Los Angeles’s Boyle Heights neighborhood staged protests outside a trendy new coffee shop called Weird Wave Coffee, holding signs that read “Amerikkkano” and “WHITE COFFEE.” Across the country in Brooklyn’s rapidly gentrifying Crown Heights neighborhood, locals lashed out over a new restaurant with decor...
One felony charge dropped in Dukes’ corruption case as deadline looms

One felony charge dropped in Dukes’ corruption case as deadline looms

The erosion of the criminal corruption case against state Rep. Dawnna Dukes is continuing ahead of an Oct. 30 deadline, as prosecutors acknowledge they will abandon one of the 13 felony counts against the Austin Democrat over an investigator’s error. Dukes was indicted in January on charges she falsified travel vouchers to collect a $61.50 per diem 13 different times on days when she did not...
Commentary: Universities, not FBI, should clean up college basketball

Commentary: Universities, not FBI, should clean up college basketball

The “dark underbelly of college basketball” has now been exposed. For years, the limelight of March Madness has thrilled millions of college basketball fans. Yet, a history of shady recruiting practices and the exploitation of young men who dream of playing in the NBA has remained in the shadows. Recently, the FBI and Joon Kim, the U.S. attorney for the Southern District of New York, dropped...
Commentary: Why scapegoating the Red Cross won’t lead to change

Commentary: Why scapegoating the Red Cross won’t lead to change

I believe good journalism can drive change, but the way some journalists cover disaster recovery — and particularly, the way they are scapegoating the American Red Cross — will negatively influence the way we respond to disasters and hinder improvements that could lead to more efficient rebuilding and more lives saved. Rather than dive deeper into an extremely complicated issue, these...
Cruz outraises O’Rourke in latest fundraising for 2018 Senate campaign

Cruz outraises O’Rourke in latest fundraising for 2018 Senate campaign

U.S. Sen. Ted Cruz, R-Texas, outraised U.S. Rep. Beto O’Rourke, D-El Paso, in the third quarter of the year, stretching his big cash advantage over his likely rival in the 2018 general election. The Cruz campaign announced that it had raised more than $2 million in July, August and September, and had nearly $6.4 million in cash on hand. The O’Rourke campaign reported raising $1.7 million...
Trump scores a win in the culture war as NFL asks players to stand for national anthem

Trump scores a win in the culture war as NFL asks players to stand for national anthem

Three weeks ago, President Donald Trump was widely criticized for fanning racial divisions and inflaming the culture wars after he denounced a black NFL player for kneeling during the national anthem, casting the move as unpatriotic and an affront to the country.  The player had intended the demonstration to call attention to police brutality against African-Americans.  What began as an...
Trump hires Hogan Gidley as a White House spokesman

Trump hires Hogan Gidley as a White House spokesman

President Donald Trump has hired Hogan Gidley, a longtime Republican campaign operative with deep roots in the conservative movement, to serve as a deputy White House press secretary, officials said Tuesday.  Gidley, whose first day on the job will be Wednesday, will serve under White House press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders and alongside principal deputy press secretary Raj Shah and deputy...
North Korean hackers stole U.S. and South Korean wartime plans, Seoul lawmaker says

North Korean hackers stole U.S. and South Korean wartime plans, Seoul lawmaker says

North Korean hackers stole a huge trove of classified U.S. and South Korean military documents last year, including a plan to "decapitate" the leadership in Pyongyang in the event of war, a lawmaker in Seoul said Tuesday.  The purported revelations come at a time of heightened tensions over North Korea. President Donald Trump recently said that "only one thing will work" when...
Trump’s bogus claim that the New York Times ‘set Liddle Bob Corker up by recording his conversation’

Trump’s bogus claim that the New York Times ‘set Liddle Bob Corker up by recording his conversation’

President Donald Trump on Tuesday leveled a charge against the New York Times that was puzzling, on a number of levels.  The conversation to which Trump referred took place on Sunday, when Bob Corker, a Republican senator from Tennessee, told the Times that the president could be setting the United States "on the path to World War III" with reckless threats toward other countries. (Naturally...
CodeNext: Is Austin doing enough to reach out to non-English speakers?

CodeNext: Is Austin doing enough to reach out to non-English speakers?

Inside the auditorium of Hart Elementary School in Northeast Austin on Wednesday, Abbas Arkawazi was diligently interpreting a city of Austin Planning and Zoning staffer’s presentation in real time into Arabic. As CodeNext project manager Jorge Rousselin went through how the proposed codes have changed in CodeNext’s most recent draft — the transition to a more unified code name scheme...
Nate Boyer, ex-Green Beret and NFL player, pens letter to Trump, Kaepernick

Nate Boyer, ex-Green Beret and NFL player, pens letter to Trump, Kaepernick

Ex-Green Beret and former Seattle Seahawks long-snapper took a central role when Colin Kaepernick began his protest during the national anthem and with that issue now dividing the country, he’s doing so again. Boyer penned an open letter published by ESPN on Friday that to President Donald Trump, Kaepernick, the NFL and every other American laying out a plan for action...
Austin begins final round of annexations before state law changes

Austin begins final round of annexations before state law changes

The Austin City Council on Thursday will begin the city’s final round of annexations before a state law takes effect that will require elections or petitions before the city can add more landowners to its tax base. The city has set three public hearings for Thursday to gather input on three tracts it is set to annex in November. They are the last parcels of land the city will add before ...
Chinese president presses military overhaul as two top generals disappear

Chinese president presses military overhaul as two top generals disappear

He was one of China’s most prominent commanders, with hopes of rising higher. So when Gen. Fang Fenghui disappeared from public view, it sent a clear warning to the top leaders of the People’s Liberation Army: President Xi Jinping was not done shaking up their once-unassailable ranks.  Fang, the chief of the army’s Joint Staff Department, was not the only military leader to...
Now House Democrats are under pressure to return Weinstein donations

Now House Democrats are under pressure to return Weinstein donations

The political ramifications of the Harvey Weinstein scandal expanded Tuesday as the National Republican Congressional Committee called on its Democratic counterpart to return money that the Hollywood superproducer donated to elect Democrats to the House.  Weinstein's donations to support House Democrats have been far outstripped by the sums he gave to elect Democratic Senate and presidential...
Trump’s bold declarations don’t always lead to the results he promises

Trump’s bold declarations don’t always lead to the results he promises

Should President Donald Trump announce later this week that he will "decertify" the Iran deal he has derided as a historic "embarrassment" to the United States, he in effect would be passing along to Congress responsibility for the fate of the international nuclear accord.  In so doing, Trump would be taking a page out of his own playbook: Make a showy declaration of transformational...
Hays County Commissioner Will Conley steps down to run for judge

Hays County Commissioner Will Conley steps down to run for judge

Hays County Commissioner Will Conley is stepping down from his post to seek the Republican nomination for county judge, he announced Tuesday night at a press conference. County Judge Bert Cobb has been on leave since August as he battles cancer. Cobb is not seeking re-election when his term expires in 2018, Conley said. “These are critical times and I’m running for county judge to keep...
Trump’s relationship with Latino voters keeps fraying

Trump’s relationship with Latino voters keeps fraying

When President Donald Trump said a few weeks ago that he wanted to find a way to continue protecting young "dreamers" from deportation, some Republicans touted the possibility of a "Nixon-goes-to-China" moment that could reset the president's deeply frayed relationship with Latino voters.  But ever since, Trump has returned to antagonizing this growing segment of the electorate...
If President Trump doesn’t deal on DACA, some Democrats threaten a government shutdown

If President Trump doesn’t deal on DACA, some Democrats threaten a government shutdown

Some House Democrats are raising the specter of withholding support for must-pass spending legislation later this year in response to President Donald Trump's hard line immigration proposals — meaning the fate of roughly 690,000 younger undocumented immigrants could become a major factor in negotiations to keep the government open after December.  Democrats on Monday dismissed Trump's calls...
“I have the energy”: Dianne Feinstein makes case for a 6th term

“I have the energy”: Dianne Feinstein makes case for a 6th term

She is the oldest member of the U.S. Senate. She has lasted through four presidents, at least two wars, one impeachment and the election of Donald Trump.  And now, eight months short of her 85th birthday, Sen. Dianne Feinstein of California wants to do it again.  Yet Feinstein’s decision to seek her sixth term, which she disclosed on Twitter on Monday, comes as Democrats are being...
Trump’s frustration and fury rupture alliances, threaten agenda

Trump’s frustration and fury rupture alliances, threaten agenda

Frustrated by his Cabinet and angry that he has not received enough credit for his handling of three successive hurricanes, President Donald Trump is now lashing out, rupturing alliances and imperiling his legislative agenda, numerous White House officials and outside advisers said Monday.  In a matter of days, Trump has torched bridges all around him; nearly imploded an informal deal with Democrats...
Analysis: Pence once called a protest the sound of freedom, but he labeled the NFL’s disrespectful

Analysis: Pence once called a protest the sound of freedom, but he labeled the NFL’s disrespectful

With his decision to leave Sunday's Indianapolis Colts game after players knelt during the national anthem, it appears that Vice President Mike Pence is becoming well-versed in the art of walking out.  Just less than a year ago, in November, he arrived for a performance of the Broadway hit "Hamilton" at the Richard Rodgers Theatre in New York, greeted by a mix of boos and cheers. After...
How Russia harvested American rage to reshape U.S. politics

How Russia harvested American rage to reshape U.S. politics

YouTube videos of police beatings on American streets. A widely circulated internet hoax about Muslim men in Michigan collecting welfare for multiple wives. A local news story about two veterans brutally mugged on a freezing winter night.  All of these were recorded, posted or written by Americans. Yet all ended up becoming grist for a network of Facebook pages linked to a shadowy Russian company...
Ivana Trump says she’s the ‘first lady.’ Melania Trump’s office responds.

Ivana Trump says she’s the ‘first lady.’ Melania Trump’s office responds.

Things are getting a little "Real Housewives" around the White House.  In one of the stranger sideshows to his presidency, President Donald Trump's first and third wives, Ivana and Melania, respectively, on Monday had a very public war of words — and his second wife, Marla Maples, is getting some shade out of the spat, to boot.  Here's a breakdown: To promote her new book...
Following Trump-Corker flap, Hill Republicans choose a simple strategy: avoidance

Following Trump-Corker flap, Hill Republicans choose a simple strategy: avoidance

Senate Republicans avoided weighing in on Monday on the fiery fracas between President Donald Trump and Sen. Bob Corker, and aides and allies to those lawmakers privately worried that a prolonged fight would hurt the GOP's already threatened legislative priorities.  A day after Corker and Trump traded some of the sharpest intraparty blows of the year, Republican senators were mostly quiet. Those...
Trump administration releases hard-line immigration principles, threatening deal on ‘dreamers’

Trump administration releases hard-line immigration principles, threatening deal on ‘dreamers’

The Trump administration released a list of hard-line immigration principles late Sunday that could threaten to derail a deal in Congress to allow of hundreds of thousands of younger undocumented immigrants to remain legally in the country.  The administration's wish-list includes the funding of a wall along the U.S.-Mexico border, a crackdown on the influx of Central American minors and curbs...
Trump to ease health insurance rules

Trump to ease health insurance rules

Stymied in his efforts to repeal the Affordable Care Act, President Donald Trump is poised to issue an order that could ease some federal rules governing health insurance and make it easier for people to band together and buy coverage on their own, administration officials said Saturday.  One official said the directive could move the president a step closer to one of his goals: allowing consumers...
Trump campaign’s embrace of Facebook shows company’s growing reach in elections

Trump campaign’s embrace of Facebook shows company’s growing reach in elections

At the final debate of last year's presidential campaign, Hillary Clinton ridiculed Donald Trump as a "puppet" of the Russians and denounced his treatment of women. She was widely seen as the winner that night in Las Vegas and the favorite to win the presidency weeks later.  On Facebook, however, a different story was unfolding for millions of Americans, whose feeds were being saturated...
Hoping to have Trump cleared, legal team eases resistance to inquiry

Hoping to have Trump cleared, legal team eases resistance to inquiry

White House officials once debated a scorched-earth strategy of publicly criticizing and undercutting Robert S. Mueller III, the special counsel investigating Russian efforts to disrupt last year’s election. Now, President Donald Trump’s lawyers are pursuing a different course: cooperating with the special counsel in the hope that Mueller will declare in the coming months that Trump is...
What you need to know about Trump’s expected decision to ‘decertify’ the Iran deal

What you need to know about Trump’s expected decision to ‘decertify’ the Iran deal

Later this week, President Donald Trump is expected to announce his decision to "decertify" the Iran nuclear deal, arguing that the arrangement isn't in the best interests of the United States. The world has been bracing for this decision since Trump won the election in November. He has repeatedly derided the Iran accord as a stupid, loser deal, one of the worst he has ever seen.  But...
Trump attacks Corker, who responds by calling the White House ‘adult day care’

Trump attacks Corker, who responds by calling the White House ‘adult day care’

President Donald Trump instigated an extraordinary feud Sunday with Sen. Bob Corker, a senior Republican who holds sway over the administration's foreign and domestic policy agenda, prompting the Tennessean to charge that the White House had devolved into "an adult day care center."  The trash talk not only breaches what had been one of Trump's few personal relationships on Capitol...
Trump on North Korea: ‘Sorry, but only one thing will work!’

Trump on North Korea: ‘Sorry, but only one thing will work!’

President Donald Trump continued to make vague threats toward North Korea on Saturday, saying that diplomatic negotiations and agreements over the years have not worked and that "only one thing will work," without elaborating on what that one thing would be.  "Presidents and their administrations have been talking to North Korea for 25 years, agreements made and massive amounts...
Trump says he directed Pence to walk out of game if 49ers protested during national anthem

Trump says he directed Pence to walk out of game if 49ers protested during national anthem

The plan had been for Vice President Mike Pence to attend the Indianapolis Colts game at which Peyton Manning's number is to be retired, a gala celebration of the former Colts quarterback's contributions to Pence's home state.  The former governor of Indiana and his wife, wearing a Manning No. 18 jersey, left Lucas Oil Stadium after the national anthem, following instructions from President Donald...
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