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Politics


Austin-born movement touts tea party tactics to trip up Trump

When the history of grass-roots resistance to President Donald Trump is written, it might be recorded that the movement was born in Austin – prefigured at the Randalls supermarket on Brodie Lane in the summer of 2009, conceived at a North Loop neighborhood bar over Thanksgiving weekend 2016, and crafted in great part by battle-tested veterans of the office of U.S. Rep. Lloyd Doggett. It was...
Commentary: Which wolf will you choose, Mr. Trump?

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

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

Texas official: Video justified Planned Parenthood ouster

Two state health officials, both involved in the decision to remove Planned Parenthood from Texas Medicaid, took the stand Wednesday, focusing attention on a central point of this week’s federal court hearing — whether the organization’s ouster was justified. Stuart Bowen Jr., inspector general for the Texas Health and Human Services Commission, testified that he sent the Dec. 20...
Michael A. Lindenberger: Boycotting inauguration is disrespectful

Michael A. Lindenberger: Boycotting inauguration is disrespectful

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

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

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

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

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

Timeless ritual to meet partisan rancor at Trump's inauguration

A few days from now, Donald Trump and his wife, Melania, will arrive at the White House for morning tea with President Barack Obama and his wife, Michelle. Upstairs, in the residence, movers will rush around, simultaneously packing up the outgoing family's last belongings as they unload those of the Trumps. By lunchtime, Obama will have handed over the reins of the world's most powerful nation to...
Poll: Young Americans fear they will be worse off post-Trump

Poll: Young Americans fear they will be worse off post-Trump

As Donald Trump approaches his inauguration, young Americans have a deeply pessimistic view about his incoming administration, with young blacks, Latinos and Asian Americans particularly concerned about what's to come in the next four years. That's according to a new GenForward poll of Americans aged 18 to 30, which found that the country's young adults are more likely to expect they'll be worse off...
For Trump, three decades of chasing deals in Russia

For Trump, three decades of chasing deals in Russia

It was 2005, and Felix Sater, a Russian immigrant, was back in Moscow pursuing an ambitious plan to build a Trump tower on the site of an old pencil factory along the Moscow River that would offer hotel rooms, condominiums and commercial office space. Letters of intent had been signed and square footage was being analyzed. “There was an opportunity to explore building Trump towers internationally...
Obama's bipartisan vision vanished into a deepening divide

Obama's bipartisan vision vanished into a deepening divide

He first achieved national renown with a speech hailing bipartisanship, and spent much of his presidency singing the praises of cooperation across party lines. But nearly all of his major accomplishments resulted from party-line votes or executive actions. And if Republicans accused him of paying too much attention to Democratic interests, allies blamed him for neglecting his party. Democrats lost...
Trump's revealing answer to a simple question about heroes

Trump's revealing answer to a simple question about heroes

For some, the most alarming comments by Donald Trump in an interview with reporters from Times of London and Germany's Bild newspaper may have been the ones he made about NATO and German Chancellor Angela Merkel. The president-elect called NATO "obsolete," reiterating his critique that many members "aren't paying what they're supposed to pay," and said Merkel's refugee policy was...
Donald Trump waits in his tower — accessible yet isolated

Donald Trump waits in his tower — accessible yet isolated

NEW YORK — Exactly one week after becoming president-elect, Donald Trump stepped outside his namesake fortress here for the first time. He ventured just five blocks, to dinner at the 21 Club — a dark-mahogany-and-red-leather-banquette throwback, where model airplanes and sports memorabilia hang from the ceiling and jackets are de rigueur for men. The vintage haunt, where Trump dined with...
Texas Senate, House budget proposals $5.3 billion apart

Texas Senate, House budget proposals $5.3 billion apart

Republican leaders of the Texas House and Senate Tuesday unveiled competing budget proposals for the 2018-2019 biennium, setting the stage for coming legislative battles over how much the state should spend on public education, border security and other priorities while managing a tight budget. Senate Bill 1, filed by Senate Finance Committee Chairwoman Jane Nelson, R-Flower Mound, spends $213.4 billion...
Judge: Video not crux of Texas Planned Parenthood case

Judge: Video not crux of Texas Planned Parenthood case

Although an undercover video is the centerpiece of the state’s case, a federal judge who will determine whether Planned Parenthood can be kicked out of Medicaid in Texas told lawyers Tuesday that he wants them to focus on more basic information if he is to make a ruling before Saturday’s planned ouster. U.S. District Judge Sam Sparks gave the direction at the start of Tuesday’s hearing...

Federal judge extends oversight of Pasadena’s election system

The election system for a Houston suburb that implemented a voting plan meant to dilute Latino power at the polls will be under federal oversight for the next six years. U.S. District Judge Lee Rosenthal issued an order Monday saying that Pasadena must receive approval from the U.S. attorney general or the court before altering its election system until June 30, 2023, to ensure “the city cannot...
200 rally at Capitol to stop efforts to loosen gun restrictions

200 rally at Capitol to stop efforts to loosen gun restrictions

More than 200 gun safety advocates rallied at the Capitol on Tuesday to call on lawmakers to beat down any legislation aimed at loosening gun laws they say are already too lax. As they gathered on the south steps of the Capitol around 9:30 a.m., heavy rain forced the members of Everytown for Gun Safety and Moms Demand Action for Gun Sense in America to go inside until the storm passed. They entered...

West Texas sheriff criticizes Sid Miller’s account of border ‘attack’

A claim by state Agriculture Commissioner Sid Miller that “illegal aliens” attacked a hunting party in remote West Texas is being discounted by the local sheriff who says the hunters fired on one another. Miller said in a recent Facebook post that the attack is another reason why a wall must be built to secure the Texas border. “Anyone who says that the people illegally crossing...
There goes the neighborhood: Obamas, Ivanka Trump, Jeff Bezos are moving in

There goes the neighborhood: Obamas, Ivanka Trump, Jeff Bezos are moving in

In the coming days, Sally Berk will be able to say that she lives in the same Northwest Washington neighborhood as Barack and Michelle, Jared and Ivanka, and a billionaire named Jeff. Ho-hum.  What's another president in the 'hood when five others have already resided in Kalorama, Washington's very own version of Beverly Hills?  Can you blame the soon-to-be first daughter for wanting to...
Corporations open spigot to bankroll inauguration

Corporations open spigot to bankroll inauguration

When Donald Trump strides onto the inaugural ballroom floor this week amid the sprawling celebration of his swearing-in, he will have corporate America and many of its titans to thank for the rapturous greeting. Chevron, the oil giant, has given $500,000 for the dayslong festivities. Boeing, which has been a target of Trump, pledged $1 million. And Sheldon and Miriam Adelson, giants of the gambling...
Bill Maher isn't high on Trump

Bill Maher isn't high on Trump

It was Nov. 12, and Bill Maher was about to begin his comedy act at the City National Civic in San Jose when he did something he hadn’t done in many years. He brought a drink with him to the stage; a standup roadie (tequila). “And boy did I miss it,” he joked with me last week. “What an idiot all those years — drinking’s fun. You hear that, kids? Drinking&rsquo...
Where Trump is right about China

Where Trump is right about China

Donald Trump is not all wrong about China. That gives his administration an opportunity to reshape what, if not handled carefully, could become the world's most dangerous bilateral relationship.  During the presidential campaign, Trump was mostly off-base in his assessment of the world. NATO is not obsolete. Japan and South Korea are not freeloaders. Trade among Mexico, Canada and the United...
Women's March on Washington isn't just about Trump

Women's March on Washington isn't just about Trump

The day after Donald Trump is inaugurated as president, an estimated 200,000 people from across the country will flood Washington for a demonstration billed as the Women's March on Washington. Some will stand up for what are traditionally labeled women's issues, such as equal pay and paid family leave. Many say they will be marching just to feel heard, and to express their fear that a range of liberal...
Republican states still face big health care costs as Obamacare is unwound

Republican states still face big health care costs as Obamacare is unwound

States that fought and shunned the Affordable Care Act's Medicaid expansion, hoping to avoid the cost of covering millions of working-poor families, will be left with substantial growth in the program even after the Republican-led Congress unwinds the law. From Florida and Texas to Georgia and North Carolina, enrollment in Medicaid and the Children's Health Insurance Program has soared since the passage...
Republican states face big health care costs as Obamacare is unwound

Republican states face big health care costs as Obamacare is unwound

States that fought and shunned the Affordable Care Act's Medicaid expansion, hoping to avoid the cost of covering millions of working-poor families, will be left with substantial growth in the program even after the Republican-led Congress unwinds the law. From Florida and Texas to Georgia and North Carolina, enrollment in Medicaid and the Children's Health Insurance Program has soared since the passage...
Before the swearing-in, a lengthy dress rehearsal

Before the swearing-in, a lengthy dress rehearsal

For a brief moment on Sunday morning, a 53-year-old man named Greg stood on the balcony of the U.S. Capitol, being sworn in as president of the United States of America. Greg's only qualification? He's the same height as Donald Trump (aka the real president-elect). Greg — Sgt. Major Greg Lowery, that is, a performer in the U.S. Army Band — joined a cast of dozens who recreated the presidential...
One hand on light switch, Obama isn’t flipping to ‘off’ just yet

One hand on light switch, Obama isn’t flipping to ‘off’ just yet

Just days before Donald Trump raises his hand to take the oath of office, police departments in Chicago and Baltimore have agreed to federal overhauls, Cubans no longer have an easy route to residency in the United States, and new civil rights monuments in Alabama and South Carolina are on the books. Still in the works as the seconds tick by for President Barack Obama: a negotiated release of U.S...
Trump revives Clinton's idea about kicking media out of White House

Trump revives Clinton's idea about kicking media out of White House

Twenty-four years ago, newly minted first lady Hillary Clinton wanted to boot journalists out of the White House. Reporters threw a fit, and the Bill Clinton administration abandoned the idea. It even gave up on a less-extreme plan of walling off a door connecting the media workroom to the rest of the West Wing. Now, President-elect Donald Trump's transition team is talking about doing what the woman...
A Camden address with a link to Martin Luther King Jr.

A Camden address with a link to Martin Luther King Jr.

Jeanette Lilly Hunt was 18 when her father-in-law rented a room in his Camden, New Jersey, home to two students who were studying across the Delaware River at the Crozer Theological Seminary. Hunt, who is now 85, said she did not pay much attention to either student until her father-in-law, Benjamin Hunt, and Ulysses Wiggins, president of the Camden County branch of the NAACP, helped the students...
Commentary: Texas should not push narratives that put lives at risk

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

Sylvester is an author in Austin. As Texas legislators prepare for the 85th session, state Rep. Jason Villalba is planning a celebration of Texas authors. I am honored to be part of our state’s literary community and appreciate the invitation to be recognized. However, I won’t be going. My novel, “Chasing the Sun,” was published in 2014 and “Everyone Knows You Go Home&rdquo...
Trump still says he'll make Mexico pay for his border wall, but can he?

Trump still says he'll make Mexico pay for his border wall, but can he?

It's by now a predictable pattern. Every few days, President-elect Donald Trump repeats his threat to build a massive border wall — and force Mexico to pay for it. And each time, Mexican leaders respond the same way. "Neither today, nor tomorrow nor never Mexico will pay for that stupid wall. If Trump wants a monument to his ego, let him pay for it!!" former Mexican President Vicente...
PolitiFact: Viral post inaccurately mocks embassy proposal

PolitiFact: Viral post inaccurately mocks embassy proposal

Are three Republican senators who once blasted lax diplomatic security in Benghazi, Libya, now playing Russian roulette with other embassies around the world? A meme making the social media rounds says so, and readers asked us to check it out. The image, created by a group called the Other 98, includes pictures of three Republican senators — Ted Cruz of Texas, Dean Heller of Nevada and Marco...
In Iowa, Trump voters are unfazed by controversies

In Iowa, Trump voters are unfazed by controversies

The Table of Knowledge was delving into President-elect Donald Trump’s plans to upend government, and marveling at how he had forced his fellow Republicans in the House to reverse themselves on gutting the Office of Congressional Ethics. “He’s getting responses; things are happening,” Jerry Retzlaff, a retiree, said. “He got Congress to turn themselves around with one...
Statesman analysis: Texas A-F school grades give boost to charters

Statesman analysis: Texas A-F school grades give boost to charters

Statesman data reporter Dan Hill contributed to this story. Critics of the new A-F grading system for Texas schools have long warned that the state’s letter grades would give an undeserved boost to charter schools. An American-Statesman analysis of the advisory A-F grades issued this month shows that charter schools did fare better compared with their traditional public school peers under the...

Commentary: Another chance for Congress to get something done

A lone traveler said to have mental issues pulls out a gun in a busy South Florida airport terminal and proceeds to shoot anyone in his path — killing five and injuring another six — before he runs out of bullets. This is all so familiar, in a bad way. Not only because on Friday we suffered yet another inexplicable mass shooting on U.S. soil. But we can already see that most lawmakers...
PolitiFact: With flip-flop, Dukes hangs onto House seat

PolitiFact: With flip-flop, Dukes hangs onto House seat

Months ago, Dawnna Dukes declared that she’d resign her Texas House seat, effective Jan. 10. Yet on that date, the 11-term Austin Democrat, who’s been under investigation for possibly using taxpayer resources for nongovernmental purposes, joined House colleagues in getting sworn in to serve a fresh two-year term. Dukes’ actions prompted us to roll out the PolitiFact Texas Flip-O-Meter...
Legislature should address state’s biggest crisis: Texas children

Legislature should address state’s biggest crisis: Texas children

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

Commentary: The Texas death penalty is dying

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