Politics


Supreme Court rejects Texas Democrats’ redistricting appeal

The U.S. Supreme Court Tuesday dismissed an appeal from the Texas Democratic Party arguing that the state’s political maps were improperly gerrymandered along partisan lines. The court did not comment on its decision to dismiss the appeal beyond noting that it lacked jurisdiction on the claim. On Friday, the court announced that it will review maps the Legislature drew for the Texas House and...
Trump’s embrace of earmarks spurs push for congressional revival

Trump’s embrace of earmarks spurs push for congressional revival

There is a 14-mile gap in Interstate 49 outside Fort Smith, Arkansas, and local Republican congressman Steve Womack would very much like to secure the estimated $300 million in federal taxpayer dollars needed to fill it.  A decade ago, it would have been fairly easy: Womack sits on the House Appropriations Committee, where he could have tucked a provision into a massive spending bill locking...
Herman: Your governor needs even more money

Herman: Your governor needs even more money

Today, it is my sad duty to come to you with a tale of greed, avarice and Possibly Everything That’s Wrong With America. It comes in the form of two emails that hit my inbox within hours of each other. One came from our governor and the other came on behalf of our governor, a man with an insatiable desire to get some money out of your pocket and into his already-stuffed political kitty. It&rsquo...
Andrew White outpaces Lupe Valdez in Democrats’ money race for governor

Andrew White outpaces Lupe Valdez in Democrats’ money race for governor

Houston businessman Andrew White, making his first run for elective office, far outpaced former Dallas County Sheriff Lupe Valdez in the first few weeks of fundraising in their late-starting campaigns to become the Democratic nominee to challenge Gov. Greg Abbott, who has set a Texas fundraising record in his bid for a second term. White reported raising $219,000 in three weeks of campaigning, including...
Sarah Huckabee Sanders, Beto O’Rourke fence about El Paso’s safety

Sarah Huckabee Sanders, Beto O’Rourke fence about El Paso’s safety

The fact-checking PolitiFact Texas project has previously spotted flaws in claims about El Paso’s relative safety. This week, still, a Texas Democrat hoping to fill the Senate seat held by Republican Ted Cruz brought up such rankings in rebuffing a pro-border-wall claim by President Donald Trump’s spokeswoman. As recapped by Jasper Scherer of the San Antonio Express-News, Democratic U...
ANALYSIS: Trump doesn’t understand Haiti, immigration nor U.S. history

ANALYSIS: Trump doesn’t understand Haiti, immigration nor U.S. history

Donald Trump’s denigrating comments about Haiti during a recent congressional meeting shocked people around the globe, but given his track record of disrespecting immigrants, they were not actually that surprising. Despite campaign promises that Trump would be Haiti’s “biggest champion,” his administration had already demonstrated its disregard for people from...
Commentary: Are you a broke millennial? Consider a manufacturing job

Commentary: Are you a broke millennial? Consider a manufacturing job

Earn a college degree, move to a major city, and land a white-collar job in the knowledge economy – that’s the path many millennials have been taught to follow. But that route isn’t always viable. Five- and six-figure student loan debt, skyrocketing housing costs and wage stagnation for all but the top earners are making postgrad life unaffordable for many young people. It&rsquo...
Gov. Abbott unveils property tax plan with a 2.5 percent revenue cap

Gov. Abbott unveils property tax plan with a 2.5 percent revenue cap

Gov. Greg Abbott unveiled a property tax reform plan Tuesday that would cap revenue increases for local taxing entities at 2.5 percent a year. It promises to be the centerpiece of his re-election campaign and, if he wins a second term, his top priority in the next session of the Legislature. The plan also would prohibit the Legislature from imposing unfunded mandates on the local jurisdictions that...
Greg Abbott has a thousand times more campaign cash than Lupe Valdez

Greg Abbott has a thousand times more campaign cash than Lupe Valdez

UPDATED AT 12:25: Gov. Greg Abbott heads into his 2018 re-election campaign with more than 1,000 times as much money in the bank as Lupe Valdez, who stepped down as Dallas County sheriff in December to seek the Democratic nomination and oppose the governor’s bid for a second term. Valdez raised $46,498 in the waning days of 2017 for her late-starting gubernatorial campaign, and had $40,346 in...
Lewandowski says he will testify this week in House Russia probe

Lewandowski says he will testify this week in House Russia probe

Corey Lewandowski, President Trump's former campaign manager, said in an interview broadcast Sunday that he will give testimony this week to a House committee probing Russian interference in the 2016 presidential election.  Lewandowski said on WABC-AM radio in New York that he expects to appear before the House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence on Wednesday or Thursday to discuss the...
A look inside the tense, vulgar meeting on immigration

A look inside the tense, vulgar meeting on immigration

When President Donald Trump spoke by phone with Sen. Richard Durbin around 10:15 a.m. last Thursday, he expressed pleasure with Durbin's outline of a bipartisan immigration pact and praised the high-ranking Illinois Democrat's efforts, according to White House officials and congressional aides.  The president then asked if Sen. Lindsey Graham, R-S.C., his onetime foe turned ally, was on board...
House Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy relishes role as Trump’s fixer, friend and candy man

House Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy relishes role as Trump’s fixer, friend and candy man

President Donald Trump and House Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy, R-Calif., were alone in the presidential suite on Air Force One, flying east toward Washington in early October, when the president reached for a handful of Starbursts, the fruit-flavored, box-shaped chewy candies.  But instead of unwrapping all of the treats, the president was careful to pluck out and eat two particular flavors...
‘What do we want? Apology!’ Hundreds of Haiti supporters protest near Mar-a-Lago

‘What do we want? Apology!’ Hundreds of Haiti supporters protest near Mar-a-Lago

  About 500 Haitian-Americans and their supporters used the Martin Luther King Jr. holiday to protest derogatory comments President Donald Trump reportedly made about immigrants from majority-black countries.  "What do we want? Apology!" the protesters chanted.  Many wore shirts proclaiming "I love Haiti," while they carried Haitian flags, sang hymns and shouted...
Herman: Sen. John Cornyn continues to tolerate President Trump

Herman: Sen. John Cornyn continues to tolerate President Trump

These should be good times for John Cornyn. He’s the senior U.S. senator from the greatest state ever created. He’s the GOP’s No. 2 man in that chamber. And after eight years toiling under the yoke of a Democratic president, Cornyn is one year into total D.C. domination by his party. And though there’s not unanimity on this, there are accomplishments to tout after the first...
24-year-old helps lead Trump drug policy office

24-year-old helps lead Trump drug policy office

In May 2016, Taylor Weyeneth was an undergraduate at St. John's University in New York, a legal studies student and fraternity member who organized a golf tournament and other events to raise money for veterans and their families.  Less than a year later, at 23, Weyeneth, was a political appointee and rising star at the Office of National Drug Control Policy, the White House office responsible...
Romney’s role: Ally to Trump, or adversary?

Romney’s role: Ally to Trump, or adversary?

A few days after Sen. Orrin G. Hatch of Utah announced that he would conclude his tenure after serving 42 years in office, the state’s governor, Gary Herbert, was growing anxious about whether Mitt Romney would run for the seat.  “Let’s not be coy about this,” Herbert said he told a close Romney friend and prominent business leader, Kem Gardner. “If he’s going...
In planned speech, Sen. Jeff Flake compares Trump’s media attacks to comments by Stalin

In planned speech, Sen. Jeff Flake compares Trump’s media attacks to comments by Stalin

Sen. Jeff Flake, R-Ariz., plans to give a speech in the coming days that compares President Donald Trump's public criticism of the news media to similar comments once made by Soviet dictator Joseph Stalin.  A spokesman said that Flake, who will retire after this year amid intense political pressure sparked by his criticism of the president, plans to deliver the speech Wednesday before Trump announces...
Haley for president? UN diplomats bet Trump envoy has ambitions

Haley for president? UN diplomats bet Trump envoy has ambitions

Nikki Haley keeps delivering for Donald Trump.  Whether leading efforts to isolate North Korea or hailing cuts to the United Nations budget, Haley's ability to channel Trump's blunt style is prompting fellow U.N. envoys and foreign policy specialists to wonder whether the 45-year-old former South Carolina governor is laying the groundwork to succeed her boss in the Oval Office.  U.N. ambassadors...
How a congressional harassment claim led to a secret $220,000 payment

How a congressional harassment claim led to a secret $220,000 payment

Winsome Packer had a plum overseas assignment, an apartment in Vienna and a six-figure salary as an adviser to a Washington congressman when it all came crashing down.  Her boss, Rep. Alcee Hastings, D-Fla., suggested that he should stay with her when he was visiting Austria, she claimed. He made comments she considered sexually suggestive and hugged her in a way she felt inappropriate. ...
Hopes for immigration deal fade as lawmakers trade barbs and Trump declares dreamer program ‘probably dead’

Hopes for immigration deal fade as lawmakers trade barbs and Trump declares dreamer program ‘probably dead’

President Donald Trump said Sunday that he is "not a racist" and denied that he had spoiled chances for an immigration overhaul in Congress by using a vulgarity to describe poor countries as relations between key Republican and Democratic lawmakers turned poisonous.  With the fate of hundreds of thousands of young immigrants in the balance, Trump blamed Democrats for fouling chances...
PolitiFact: Most DACA recipients are employed or in school

PolitiFact: Most DACA recipients are employed or in school

Calling out Republicans, Julián Castro of Texas said research shows that nearly every young immigrant at risk of losing federal protection from deportation is employed, in school or serving in the military. The former Housing and Urban Development secretary was generally urging the Republican-led Congress to change federal law by offering a pathway to citizenship for undocumented immigrants...
Austin women’s march against Trump will mark a year of resistance

Austin women’s march against Trump will mark a year of resistance

The one-year anniversary of Donald Trump’s inauguration as president will see women’s protest marches and rallies in Austin and 10 other Texas cities on Jan 20. Activists, including Texas Handmaids and the Resistance Choir of South Central Texas, have planned a rally at City Hall in Austin to call for Trump’s impeachment followed by a march to the Capitol for a rally defending abortion...
PolitiFact: TEA-backed training fulfills Abbott’s principal promise

PolitiFact: TEA-backed training fulfills Abbott’s principal promise

Back when he was campaigning to be governor of Texas, Greg Abbott called for training school principals to be better leaders. Legislative proposals to get such training off the ground floundered, however, leading us to previously rate this Abbott vow a Promise Broken. But the Texas Education Agency has since alerted us to other efforts focused on bolstering school leaders, and we decided to look afresh...
VIEWPOINTS: Ruling in Kleinert case weakens police accountability

VIEWPOINTS: Ruling in Kleinert case weakens police accountability

Last week’s decision by the U.S. Supreme Court to not take up a case involving a former Austin police officer who fatally shot an African-American man was a huge victory for the officer, ending a saga that began in 2013. For Travis County prosecutors who took the case to the high court in hope of holding Charles Kleinert criminally responsible in the death of Larry Jackson Jr., the ruling was...
Austin synagogue answers anti-immigrant hype with Welcome the Stranger

Austin synagogue answers anti-immigrant hype with Welcome the Stranger

More than 200 people shared their immigration stories, and the stories of their families, at the Welcoming the Stranger symposium at Congregation Beth Israel on Friday and Saturday — a response to the anti-immigrant political climate since the 2016 elections. “It’s important work of sitting together, connecting, talking, breaking down barriers and building relationships that are...
Texas teacher groups forging into politics, but are efforts legal?

Texas teacher groups forging into politics, but are efforts legal?

Incensed by lawmakers’ recent attempts to divert state money from public education and curtail the power of employee unions, public school teachers could prove to be a formidable force in upcoming Texas elections. “It’s just the hostility shown by a large number of elected officials toward public education,” said Troy Reynolds, a Splendora school administrator and the founder...
PolitiFact: O’Rourke backs off call for ‘mandatory’ national service

PolitiFact: O’Rourke backs off call for ‘mandatory’ national service

Beto O’Rourke, the Democratic congressman seeking the U.S. Senate seat held by Republican Ted Cruz, said recently that he wants every young American to work a year for the government. And then he said something different. That prompted us to roll out the PolitiFact Texas Flip-O-Meter, which gauges shifts in position. O’Rourke, who’s been making webcasted campaign stops around Texas...
U.S. Supreme Court will examine Texas redistricting

U.S. Supreme Court will examine Texas redistricting

With elections looming, the U.S. Supreme Court announced Friday that it will review two lower-court rulings that ordered Texas to redraw 11 political districts found to be discriminatory. Texas officials appealed the August rulings, which invalidated two congressional districts and nine Texas House districts, saying they were intentionally formed by Republicans in the Legislature to discriminate against...
Marry a laptop? Polygamy? Gay marriage sees a new wave of attacks

Marry a laptop? Polygamy? Gay marriage sees a new wave of attacks

Vocal opponents of gay rights are pressing a Dallas federal judge to end same-sex marriage, arguing that to do otherwise would open the door to allowing Texans to marry multiple partners and inanimate objects. The lawsuit, rejected as frivolous by gay-marriage advocates and Texas officials, is among at least 15 similar petitions filed nationwide by the activists, including Chris Sevier, a former Austin...
His son tried to kill him; now father tries to halt his execution

His son tried to kill him; now father tries to halt his execution

Thomas Whitaker is on Texas death row because he lured his family out to dinner so a friend could slip into their Sugar Land home to gun down his mother, father and brother when they returned. Shot in the upper chest in the 2003 attack, Kent Whitaker barely survived the ambush, but only after hearing the first two bullets that killed his youngest, Kevin, a college sophomore, and wife Tricia, whose...
Commentary: Trump’s comments on countries make MLK Day purely symbolic

Commentary: Trump’s comments on countries make MLK Day purely symbolic

One of my favorite Martin Luther King Jr. quotes is “There comes a time when one must take a position that is neither safe nor political nor popular, but he must take it because his conscience tells him it is right.” These words ring truer now more than ever in light of President Donald Trump’s recent comments questioning why we are letting people from “s—-hole countries&rdquo...
First Lady Melania Trump hires aides amid scrutiny from book

First Lady Melania Trump hires aides amid scrutiny from book

  NYT      WASHINGTON — Nearly a year into her tenure as first lady — and after a week of intense scrutiny prompted by a new book that claims she had dreaded life in the White House — Melania Trump has hired a director of policy to advance her nascent platform.    For months, Melania Trump’s East Wing had searched for a policy director who could...
Sessions tries to impress Trump with moves at Justice. It hasn’t worked.

Sessions tries to impress Trump with moves at Justice. It hasn’t worked.

Attorney General Jeff Sessions is trying to find his way back into President Donald Trump's good graces.  For months, Sessions has asked senior White House aides to make sure the president knows what he is doing at the Justice Department, two White House advisers said, and has told allies he hopes policy decisions that garner news coverage will please Trump. Sessions' team at Justice has crafted...
Prosecutor launches probe of Missouri Gov. Eric Greitens following extramarital affair revelation

Prosecutor launches probe of Missouri Gov. Eric Greitens following extramarital affair revelation

A St. Louis prosecutor on Thursday said she would investigate published allegations that Missouri Gov. Eric Greitens threatened to blackmail a woman with whom he was having an extramarital affair by saying he would distribute a nude photo of her if she revealed the relationship.  "The serious allegations against" Greitens "are very troubling," said St. Louis Circuit Attorney...
Trump’s new ambassador ignored questions from Dutch reporters. Now, US reporters want answers.

Trump’s new ambassador ignored questions from Dutch reporters. Now, US reporters want answers.

The State Department distanced itself on Wednesday from the baseless anti-Muslim theory spread by its ambassador to the Netherlands a few years ago, but declined to call the remarks inaccurate.  During a news conference at the State Department's headquarters in Washington, Undersecretary Steve Goldstein told reporters that Pete Hoekstra, the new U.S. ambassador in the Netherlands, had "made...
Rep. Adam Schiff outlines Republican efforts to block access to witnesses, documents in Russia probe

Rep. Adam Schiff outlines Republican efforts to block access to witnesses, documents in Russia probe

The top Democrat on the House Intelligence Committee on Thursday detailed a list of witnesses and documents Democrats say Republicans have kept them from accessing during the panel's Russia investigation, and blamed the committee's chairman and House Speaker Paul Ryan, R-Wis., for attempting to end the probe before it is complete.  Rep. Adam Schiff, D-Calif., said that committee Republicans had...
When the president says it, does that mean it’s not unprintable?

When the president says it, does that mean it’s not unprintable?

Lester Holt opened the “NBC Nightly News” on Thursday with a parental warning: “This may not be appropriate for some of our younger viewers.”  His counterpart at “ABC World News Tonight,” David Muir, described President Donald Trump “using a profanity we won’t repeat.”  And Jim Acosta, CNN’s chief White House correspondent, stammered...
In blow to Trump, GOP Rep. Kevin Cramer passes on North Dakota Senate race

In blow to Trump, GOP Rep. Kevin Cramer passes on North Dakota Senate race

The Republican effort to enlist formidable candidates for the Senate suffered another setback Thursday, when Rep. Kevin Cramer, R-N.D., announced that he will not run despite President Donald Trump's personal appeals for him to challenge Democratic Sen. Heidi Heitkamp in one of the year's top battlegrounds.  Cramer's decision to instead seek reelection in the House, which he announced in a radio...
Trump’s candidacy and presidency have been laced with racist rhetoric

Trump’s candidacy and presidency have been laced with racist rhetoric

Donald Trump's presidential campaign began - within the first five minutes — with his accusing immigrants from Mexico of being criminals. Not all of them, mind you; some of them, he assumed, were good people. Some. A few. This ended up being a prominent theme in his presidency, painting immigrants as criminals with a broad brush, such as when he traveled to Long Island to position the violence...
Flame torches, water balloons among items banned from Capitol grounds

Flame torches, water balloons among items banned from Capitol grounds

The Texas Department of Public Safety announced Thursday it was banning the public from bringing at least 20 items – including crowbars and liquid-filled balloons – onto the state Capitol grounds to bolster safety during protests. The ban, which takes effect immediately, prohibits any item that appears “manifestly designed, made, or adapted for the purpose of preparing a person to...
Herman: Dem gov candidate Andrew White wants end to death penalty

Herman: Dem gov candidate Andrew White wants end to death penalty

The anti-capital-punishment plank long has been boilerplate language in the Texas Democratic Party platform. Nevertheless, Wendy Davis, the party’s 2014 gubernatorial nominee, came out in favor of the death penalty. That didn’t work out so well for her. In fact, nothing did, and she got routed by Republican Greg Abbott. On Thursday, Andrew White, now seeking the 2018 Democratic nomination...

Key Texas lawmaker supports Medicaid policy change

An influential Texas lawmaker says he supports a new federal policy that allows states to impose work requirements for Medicaid recipients. State Sen. Charles Schwertner, R-Georgetown, who chairs the Texas Senate’s Health and Human Services Committee, said the policy change will allow states more flexibility with their health care systems. The new policy,however, would have less impact in Texas...
Report: Texas schools illegally denied special education to students

Report: Texas schools illegally denied special education to students

The Texas Education Agency led schools to illegally delay or deny special education services to students statewide, according to a report released Thursday by the U.S. Education Department. In a 14-page letter, regulators concluded that the agency’s 2004 decision to effectively cap the number of students that could be enrolled in special education at 8.5 percent violated federal laws that require...
Are bag bans legal? Texas Supreme Court will decide

Are bag bans legal? Texas Supreme Court will decide

In a case that will determine whether Austin and other cities can continue to prohibit stores from handing out disposable bags, the city of Laredo asked the Texas Supreme Court on Thursday to reinstate a bag ordinance that had been struck down by a lower court. On one side are environmentalists, wildlife advocates and city officials who say bag bans are essential to managing litter, protecting animals...
Democrat raises more than $900,000 in bid for Texas attorney general

Democrat raises more than $900,000 in bid for Texas attorney general

Austin attorney Justin Nelson, the Democratic candidate for Texas attorney general, announced Thursday that he had received more than $900,000 in contributions and pledges, including $500,000 of his own money, in the weeks following his announcement that was seeking to unseat incumbent Republican Ken Paxton. The $911,778 total will be reported in Nelson’s fundraising report for the second half...
Gov. Abbott sets record for cash on hand going into re-election bid

Gov. Abbott sets record for cash on hand going into re-election bid

Gov. Greg Abbott’s gubernatorial campaign raised $9 million the last half of 2017, providing his re-election effort with $43.3 million in cash on hand going into his bid for a second term this year. “I am honored and grateful for the continued support of so many throughout this great state,”Abbott said in a statement issued by his campaign, which said the sum set a record for the...
Counselor to the president Kellyanne Conway: ‘Nobody here talks about Hillary Clinton’

Counselor to the president Kellyanne Conway: ‘Nobody here talks about Hillary Clinton’

President Donald Trump has made it abundantly clear that he is not done talking about his former opponent, Hillary Clinton. Since the day he became president, Trump has tweeted about Clinton - or "Crooked Hillary" — about 70 times.  But according to Kellyanne Conway, counselor to the president, the White House does not talk about Clinton.  "We don't care about her. Nobody...
Democrats go solo on Russia probe

Democrats go solo on Russia probe

Democrats are striking out on their own this week over all but one of the congressional investigations into Russian meddling, independently releasing reports and transcripts, and attacking Republicans they accuse of intentionally undermining active probes in deference to President Donald Trump.  Senior Democratic officials in the Senate, frustrated by what they consider a Republican campaign...
Sheryl Cole raises $232,000, emerges as top threat to Rep. Dukes

Sheryl Cole raises $232,000, emerges as top threat to Rep. Dukes

Former Austin City Council member Sheryl Cole has emerged as the biggest Democratic primary threat to beleaguered state Rep. Dawnna Dukes’ 12-term tenure representing House District 46. An ethics commission report filed before Tuesday’s deadline shows Cole had raised $91,483 since mid-August, according to her campaign manager, André Treiber, who said another $23,831 was unofficial...
Trump physical results: 6 things to know

Trump physical results: 6 things to know

President Donald Trump is in excellent health and likely to finish his term in office without any medical issues, a presidential doctor said Tuesday at a news conference, four days after the president underwent a physical exam. “The president's overall health is excellent," White House physician Dr. Ronny Jackson said Tuesday. Here are six things to know about the results of the president&rsquo...
Robert Mueller subpoenas Steve Bannon in Russia probe

Robert Mueller subpoenas Steve Bannon in Russia probe

Special counsel Robert Mueller has subpoenaed President Donald Trump’s former chief strategist, Steve Bannon, to testify before a grand jury as part of the ongoing investigation into Russian meddling in the 2016 presidential election and its possible ties to the Trump campaign, The New York Times reported Tuesday.
Deadline delayed a year for crowdsourced fund for music venues

Deadline delayed a year for crowdsourced fund for music venues

Almost a year and a half ago, Austin Mayor Steve Adler announced plans for a crowdsourced investment fund to save live music venues. Locals, he said, could buy into and preserve favorite venues that might be knocked down as development and rental rates increase. But progress on the idea has been slow, as the city struggles with exactly how that might work. “Conversations are getting more and...
Wish lists getting whittled as Austin task force sketches bond plan

Wish lists getting whittled as Austin task force sketches bond plan

In a small room at Little Walnut Creek Branch Library in North Austin, about a dozen community members sat face-to-face with the group of Austin residents tasked with an influential role in how hundreds of millions of tax dollars might be spent. With no tax rate increase, the 2018 bond task force members explained, the city could finance $325 million in new projects. While that would be enough money...
Rainbow scarf in hand, Roem sworn in

Rainbow scarf in hand, Roem sworn in

The bill she was filing was due at 10 a.m., two hours before Danica Roem would be sworn in Wednesday as Virginia's first openly transgender state lawmaker.  The newcomer from Prince William County had made a procedural error earlier in the week, when she tried to assign a commuter-rail study to the wrong agency. She did not want her first official day to begin with another error.  But as...
Trump administration opens door to let states impose Medicaid work requirements

Trump administration opens door to let states impose Medicaid work requirements

The Trump administration issued guidance to states early Thursday that will allow them to compel people to work or prepare for jobs in order to receive Medicaid for the first time in the half-century history of this pillar of the nation's social safety net.  The letter to state Medicaid directors opens the door for states to cut off Medicaid benefits to Americans unless they have a job, are in...
Trump and the 25th Amendment: Why it was written and what it can’t do

Trump and the 25th Amendment: Why it was written and what it can’t do

The 25th Amendment is having its moment.  Added to the U.S. Constitution a half-century ago to address the line of succession when a president is unable to fulfill his duties, it is generating buzz because some see it as the crowbar to pry President Donald Trump out of office by finding him unfit.  In fact, it is allegedly being invoked inside 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue, at least according...
Missouri Gov. Eric Greitens admits extramarital affair but denies he blackmailed woman

Missouri Gov. Eric Greitens admits extramarital affair but denies he blackmailed woman

Missouri Republican Gov. Eric Greitens, responding to media reports, acknowledged Wednesday night that he was unfaithful to his wife "a few years ago" before being elected. But his lawyer denied sensational allegations aired by a local TV station that Greitens threatened to distribute naked photos of the woman with whom he was having a relationship if she ever said anything about it. ...
How old is too old to be a world leader?

How old is too old to be a world leader?

When it comes to being a world leader, how old is too old? Voters in Malaysia will soon have to ponder that question, after the country's opposition alliance selected former prime minister Mahathir Mohamad to lead its challenge against Najib Razak, the scandal-ridden current prime minister.  At 92, Mahathir is almost three decades older than Najib. He was Malaysia's longest-serving prime minister...
Incoming city manager aims to take reins of City Hall in February

Incoming city manager aims to take reins of City Hall in February

Spencer Cronk, the man the City Council has picked to be Austin’s next city manager, is hoping to take the reins at City Hall on Feb. 12. Though that is a month away, Cronk said he was urged by many in Minnesota to take his time getting here. After all, he only has to prepare Minneapolis for the nation’s grandest annual sports spectacle in the following weeks. Cronk’s final date...
Immigration agents descend on dozens of 7-Eleven stores

Immigration agents descend on dozens of 7-Eleven stores

Immigration agents descended on dozens of 7-Eleven convenience stores before dawn Wednesday to begin checking on employees’ immigration status in what officials described as the largest operation against an employer under Donald Trump’s presidency. Agents targeted about 100 stores nationwide, broadening an investigation that began four years ago with a case against a franchisee on New...
How a coal baron’s wish list became President Trump’s to-do list

How a coal baron’s wish list became President Trump’s to-do list

President Donald Trump’s first year in office has been a boon for the coal industry, with the Trump administration rolling back regulations on coal-fired power plants and withdrawing the United States from the Paris climate change agreement.  Environmentalists have expressed alarm at the new direction, and have complained that Trump was following a blueprint from the coal industry. A confidential...
Republican retirements raise talk of Democratic wave in November

Republican retirements raise talk of Democratic wave in November

Republicans in Congress, including several powerful committee chairmen, are rushing to retire rather than face re-election in the fall, a clear recognition that President Donald Trump’s low approval rating will be a heavy weight on the party even with an improving economy.  Monday’s retirement announcement by Rep. Ed Royce of California, chairman of the House Committee on Foreign...
Trump praises spending earmarks, and Capitol Hill again erupts in debate

Trump praises spending earmarks, and Capitol Hill again erupts in debate

President Donald Trump delivered an unexpected and passionate case for congressional earmarks Tuesday, injecting new momentum into a quiet effort to restore that legislative practice after seven years of dormancy.  Speaking before television cameras during a White House meeting with more than a dozen lawmakers, Trump diverged from the stated topic of immigration to air a lament all too frequently...
Trump’s first full physical is approaching. What he discloses is up to him.

Trump’s first full physical is approaching. What he discloses is up to him.

President Donald Trump is a commander in chief who fuels himself with a steady stream of Diet Cokes, scoops of vanilla ice cream and slabs of red meat. He gets as little as five hours of sleep a night. He is not known to exercise more than the brief strolls beyond his cart on the golf course.  This, he and his aides have maintained, is the very picture of presidential stamina.  On Friday...
A former Idaho lawmaker shot and killed himself amid a sexual abuse investigation

A former Idaho lawmaker shot and killed himself amid a sexual abuse investigation

A former Idaho lawmaker shot and killed himself Tuesday morning, three months after he abruptly resigned from the State House after a criminal investigation into alleged sexual abuse emerged.  A relative found Brandon Hixon, the 36-year-old former Republican state representative and a well-known local figure, dead of a self-inflicted gunshot wound to the head in his Caldwell home, said Canyon...
Joe Arpaio, the fiery former sheriff from Arizona, will run for Senate

Joe Arpaio, the fiery former sheriff from Arizona, will run for Senate

Joe Arpaio, the longtime Phoenix-area sheriff whose headline-grabbing approach to immigration made him an ally of President Donald Trump, will run in the 2018 Republican primary to replace Sen. Jeff Flake, R-Ariz.  Arpaio, 85, made the bid official in an interview with the Washington Examiner.  "I'm not here to get my name in the paper," he said. "I get that everyday, anyway...
Bannon’s fast rise, faster fall and uncertain future

Bannon’s fast rise, faster fall and uncertain future

This is the progression of Stephen K. Bannon's job titles over the past 18 months:    Breitbart News chairman    Donald Trump campaign chief executive    White House chief strategist    Breitbart News chairman    Bannon stepped down from Breitbart on Tuesday, capping a stunning rise and fall from the political fringe to the West Wing to whatever is...
Trump’s longtime lawyer sues Buzzfeed and firm behind Russia dossier

Trump’s longtime lawyer sues Buzzfeed and firm behind Russia dossier

President Donald Trump’s longtime lawyer, Michael D. Cohen, filed a defamation lawsuit Tuesday in federal court against Fusion GPS, the firm behind a salacious and largely unsubstantiated dossier that purported to lay out how Russia had aided the Trump campaign. The dossier portrayed Cohen as a central figure in what it described as a conspiracy.  The dossier was first published by BuzzFeed...
Security for thousands of Austin buildings compromised, city memo says

Security for thousands of Austin buildings compromised, city memo says

The security systems at thousands of high-occupancy apartment and commercial buildings in Austin are being replaced after a burglary suspect was found to be in possession of a master key to lockboxes that first responders use, city officials said Tuesday. A few weeks ago, police arrested a man on the suspicion that he had burglarized two non-residential properties using keys that were obtained from...
Austin police seek input to improve body-worn camera policy

Austin police seek input to improve body-worn camera policy

The Austin Police Department is looking to fine-tune its body-worn camera policy to address issues that have come up since it equipped officers in most of Austin with the devices last year. Assistant Chief Ely Reyes discussed the policy with members of Austin’s Public Safety Commission during their first meeting of the year on Monday, and said the department has received about a dozen recommendations...
Oprah 'intrigued' by idea of running for president, friend Gayle King says

Oprah 'intrigued' by idea of running for president, friend Gayle King says

Longtime pal Gayle King said Tuesday that Oprah Winfrey is “intrigued” by the idea of running for president, although she said it’s still unclear whether the media mogul is seriously considering a run. “I don’t think at this point she is actually considering it,” King said on “CBS This Morning.” “She loves this country and would like to be of service...
Some conservatives who backed Trump claim Oprah’s lack of experience disqualifies her from office

Some conservatives who backed Trump claim Oprah’s lack of experience disqualifies her from office

Following a speech condemning one of the most-discussed social ills in our time — sexual assaults on women — conversations about media mogul Oprah Winfrey launching a presidential run against President Donald Trump dominated social media Monday.  These discussions seemed to gain traction when two anonymous sources told CNN that Winfrey's confidants have been encouraging her to run...
Talk of Oprah running for president captivates Democrats

Talk of Oprah running for president captivates Democrats

From Hollywood to Iowa, a sudden wave of enthusiasm for Oprah Winfrey as a potential presidential candidate swept through the Democratic Party Monday, beginning as a social-media sensation after her rousing remarks at Sunday night's Golden Globes ceremony and escalating nationally as party officials and activists earnestly considered the possibility.  The calls for Winfrey, a cultural icon and...
A brief and inexhaustive guide to Trump’s political frenemies

A brief and inexhaustive guide to Trump’s political frenemies

Steve Bannon, whose feud with President Donald Trump spilled into open view last week, may find some solace in the tale of Sen. Bob Corker, R-Tenn., if he hopes to find himself back in the president's fold. (Though it doesn't look hopeful.)  Corker had one of the most vicious spats with Trump just a few months ago, with both repeatedly trading barbs. But Monday, the two traveled together to a...
The White House struggles to silence talk of Trump’s mental fitness

The White House struggles to silence talk of Trump’s mental fitness

The White House is struggling to contain the national discussion about President Donald Trump's mental acuity and fitness for the job, which has overshadowed the administration's agenda for the past week.  Trump publicly waded into the debate spawned by a new book, "Fire and Fury" - Michael Wolff's inside account of the presidency - over the weekend by claiming on Twitter that he is...
Trump the target of protests at college football championship game

Trump the target of protests at college football championship game

      The Washington Post · · NATIONAL, SPORTS, POLITICS, FOOTBALL · Jan 08, 2018 - 10:31 PM  ATLANTA - President Donald Trump was greeted by a roar of cheers and a smattering of boos as he stepped onto the field Monday night for the biggest game in college football, while activist groups demonstrated a president who has used sports to incite political battles...
The year of protectionism? Trump alone will decide

The year of protectionism? Trump alone will decide

The Trump administration will soon face several major trade decisions that will determine whether the White House adopts the type of protectionist barriers that President Donald Trump campaigned on but that were largely absent during his first year in office.  So far, the president’s actions on trade have been more moderate than his campaign speeches suggested. Trump withdrew the United...
Russia and Venezuela’s plan to sidestep sanctions: virtual currencies

Russia and Venezuela’s plan to sidestep sanctions: virtual currencies

Russian and Venezuelan officials are hoping virtual currencies can help their countries make an end run around American sanctions.  Both governments, with ambitions to create state-sponsored cryptocurrencies, are looking to take advantage of the promise that bitcoin introduced to the world financial system: a new kind of money and financial infrastructure, outside the control of any central authority...
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