Opinion


Wanted: Sheriff who keeps Austin out of Legislature crosshairs

At a time when the Travis County sheriff’s office should be focused on criminal justice reforms, the conversation has been hijacked by a singular issue — sanctuary cities.

Herman: Cruz and Trump, together again

So, Sen. Ted Cruz has seen fit to endorse a guy he once told us is a “pathological liar” and “serial philanderer.
Craymer: Cutting taxes by raising taxes?

Craymer: Cutting taxes by raising taxes?

Austin’s City Council has created a new homestead exemption for homeowners – 6 percent last year and 8 percent for 2016.
Paul Krugman: Vote as if it matters

Paul Krugman: Vote as if it matters

Does it make sense to vote for Gary Johnson, the Libertarian candidate for president? Sure, as long as you believe two things.
Stevenson: The politics of lying

Stevenson: The politics of lying

Here’s part of the official Trump campaign statement dated Sept. 15, 2016:“Hillary Clinton’s campaign first raised this issue to smear then-candidate Barack Obama in her very nasty, failed 2008 campaign for President.

Kirkpatrick: After HB2, a huge abortion access barrier remains

In late June 2016, Texas abortion access advocates cheered. After three years of fighting, we received a ruling from the United States Supreme Court striking down provisions from a law known as HB2, which had closed many of our abortion clinics and put insurmountable barriers into place for low-income and rural people seeking access to care.
Commentary: Time to take private profit out of Texas prisons

Commentary: Time to take private profit out of Texas prisons

The decision by the U.S. Department of Justice to phase out the use of private prisons at the federal level is a signal for Texas corrections officials and policymakers to take a closer look at the state’s reliance upon privately operated incarceration facilities.

Kirkpatrick: After HB2, a huge abortion access barrier remains

In late June 2016, Texas abortion access advocates cheered. After three years of fighting, we received a ruling from the United States Supreme Court striking down provisions from a law known as HB2, which had closed many of our abortion clinics and put insurmountable barriers into place for low-income and rural people seeking access to care.
Commentary: Time to take private profit out of Texas prisons

Commentary: Time to take private profit out of Texas prisons

The decision by the U.S. Department of Justice to phase out the use of private prisons at the federal level is a signal for Texas corrections officials and policymakers to take a closer look at the state’s reliance upon privately operated incarceration facilities.
Adler: Affordability in Austin is about more than just the tax rate

Adler: Affordability in Austin is about more than just the tax rate

Your City Council just passed a budget that balances our critical needs with affordability. We cut your electric bills and your property tax rate, and next year we will have the lowest rate of increase in combined taxes and fees in many years.
Commentary: Wells Fargo goes far to cheat customers

Commentary: Wells Fargo goes far to cheat customers

I teach an MBA course titled The Legal and Ethical Environment of Finance. I fear that I may have to retitle it The Illegal and Unethical Environment of Finance.
Matt Mackowiak: Seizing the school choice moment

Matt Mackowiak: Seizing the school choice moment

On Sept. 9, my wife and I had the privilege of attending a special event at IDEA Rundberg, the second Austin campus of a vibrant and thriving charter school system in Texas, the fastest-growing network of tuition-free, pre-K-12 public charter schools in the U.
From 280 tribes, a protest on the plains

From 280 tribes, a protest on the plains

When visitors turn off a narrow North Dakota highway and drive into the Sacred Stone Camp, where thousands have come to protest an oil pipeline, they thread through an arcade of flags whipping in the wind.
Commentary: Charlie Strong’s hard-line on guns is a winning combination

Commentary: Charlie Strong’s hard-line on guns is a winning combination

Maybe Charlie Strong really is that good.That’s what the football pundits are saying after a season opener overtime victory by the unranked Texas Longhorns over number 10 Notre Dame, followed by a blowout victory over UTEP last weekend.
Gail Collins: Trump talks, but can he tango?

Gail Collins: Trump talks, but can he tango?

Thoughts while watching Rick Perry do the cha-cha on “Dancing With the Stars”:“My name is Rick Perry and I’m the governor of the great state of Texas.
Spillane: Courts as a safe haven: a positive ‘Ferguson Effect’

Spillane: Courts as a safe haven: a positive ‘Ferguson Effect’

Almost everyone I see in jail tells me that they are in the jail due to fear of coming to court. They fear an approaching police officer at the door ready to arrest them because they either do not have the money to pay a fine or they failed to appear on a charge.
Doolittle: The problem with Texas special education

Doolittle: The problem with Texas special education

A massive Houston Chronicle investigation published last weekend nailed down the forces behind a public education phenomenon that’s been talked about for years, answering the question: Why are Texas’ special education numbers so low?
Commentary: The distracted campaign

Commentary: The distracted campaign

Back in February, a Gallup poll found American voters from across the political spectrum agreeing on four key issues facing the nation as it headed into the heart of the 2016 presidential election.
Richards: Congress can save kids with cancer by acting now

Richards: Congress can save kids with cancer by acting now

Caroline was a bright, vivacious girl. She loved all holidays, but had a special affinity for Easter and Christmas, when she spent hours picking out the perfect gifts for friends and family.
Herman: From drive-thru to God’s ears

Herman: From drive-thru to God’s ears

Here’s everything I know about business: You can’t go wrong opening a tattoo removal shop. And to succeed in the 21st century a business — all businesses — must have a drive-thru.
Herman: Rick Perry, dancer?

Herman: Rick Perry, dancer?

Here’s something you need to understand about how this whole journalism thing works. Many journalists spend many years covering politicians, sometimes the same politicians.
Rocap: Texas must fund qualified doctors, not anti-abortion groups

Rocap: Texas must fund qualified doctors, not anti-abortion groups

Is the third time the charm for fixing Texas’ broken reproductive health safety net?Not even close.The Healthy Texas Women program, officially launched on July 1, is the Legislature’s third attempt to fix the mess it created in 2011, when lawmakers dismantled the Medicaid Women’s Health Program, dramatically cut the family planning budget by $73 million, and blocked Planned Parenthood — the largest reproductive health provider in the state — from participating in any state reproductive health program.
Henson: Ann Richards caught history coming and going

Henson: Ann Richards caught history coming and going

This week marks a decade since former Texas Gov. Ann Richards’ death, and it’s become apparent that the politics surrounding both her election in 1990 and her re-election defeat to George W.
Facebook comments: MoPac tollway

Facebook comments: MoPac tollway

As reported by the American-Statesman’s Ben Wear, Jeff Dailey, deputy executive director of the Central Texas Regional Mobility Authority, said “We’re weeks away” from opening an interim, northbound piece of the MoPac tollway north of RM 2222.
Vladeck: 15 years on, there’s still no closure for 9/11 victims

Vladeck: 15 years on, there’s still no closure for 9/11 victims

In the 15 years since 9/11, everything has changed and we’ve lost far too much. And yet, we seem psychologically — if not literally — as vulnerable to terrorist attacks today as we felt we were in the days and weeks after 9/11.
Tech voice needed in Austin politics, but watch the volume

Tech voice needed in Austin politics, but watch the volume

Austin’s tech leaders are planning to flex their political muscle. In some ways, it’s about time.The city’s tech sector has matured far beyond the days of Michael Dell’s startup and the 1970s research project that begat National Instruments.
Cook: The lure and challenge of the Texas Hill Country

Cook: The lure and challenge of the Texas Hill Country

Our Texas Hill Country lifestyle: dark quiet night skies filled with stars, the privacy afforded by having some space between you and your neighbors, less worry about crime and air pollution, and just a slower pace all the way around.
Keown: Violent gun rights video should not stop fight for better laws

Keown: Violent gun rights video should not stop fight for better laws

My family hadn’t even finished breakfast last Thursday when my phone began buzzing. A threatening video had popped online that namechecked volunteers with the Texas chapter of Moms Demand Action for Gun Sense in America — of which I am a volunteer leader — and friends wanted to make sure I knew.
Whitfield: We are slaves to our shiny screens

Whitfield: We are slaves to our shiny screens

That thing in your hand, that glittering screen. It’s dangerous, and you know it. You feel what it has done to you and what it will; you feel bound, less human.
Krugman: Clinton gets gored

Krugman: Clinton gets gored

Americans of a certain age who follow politics and policy closely still have vivid memories of the 2000 election — bad memories, and not just because the man who lost the popular vote somehow ended up in office.
Young: Tell us about that immigrant scourge, Mr. Builder

Young: Tell us about that immigrant scourge, Mr. Builder

He was in a pinch, on a deadline and short on cash. So the employer hired undocumented workers.Working day and night, they demolished a building that the employer ultimately would replace with a structure that would make him a lot of money.

Commentary: The shame of Texas

A shortage of available beds in the state’s system of psychiatric hospitals has left nearly 400 Texans languishing for months, sometimes years, on a waiting list.
Harrington: A different Labor Day for Texas

Harrington: A different Labor Day for Texas

Labor Day this year is different from those of years past. This Labor Day year marks the 50th anniversary of the historic 490-mile march by South Texas by farm workers from Rio Grande City to the Capitol in Austin.
Harrington: A different Labor Day for Texas

Harrington: A different Labor Day for Texas

Labor Day this year is different from those of years past. This Labor Day year marks the 50th anniversary of the historic 490-mile march by South Texas by farm workers from Rio Grande City to the Capitol in Austin.
Rev. John I. Jenkins: Mexico is indispensable

Rev. John I. Jenkins: Mexico is indispensable

The University of Notre Dame’s ties to Mexico reach back for more than a century. In the early 1880s, it arranged for special train cars, departing from Chihuahua, to transport Mexican students bound for Notre Dame on the five-day journey to South Bend, Ind.
Central Health should make greater effort to clarify its finances

Central Health should make greater effort to clarify its finances

In the three years since Central Health has been collecting tens of millions of dollars in additional property tax revenue, Travis County taxpayers have not had a break — even though they voted to raise their annual property tax rate by 63 percent in 2012.
Garrison Keillor: When this is over, you will have nothing you want

Garrison Keillor: When this is over, you will have nothing you want

The cap does not look good on you, it’s a duffer’s cap, and when you come to the microphone, you look like the warm-up guy, the guy who announces the license number of the car left in the parking lot, doors locked, lights on, motor running.
Krauthammer: The only immigration solution

Krauthammer: The only immigration solution

The one great service of Donald Trump’s extended peregrinations on immigration policy is to have demonstrated how, in the end, there’s only one place to go.
Herman: Young do-gooders doing good

Herman: Young do-gooders doing good

These young folks today. With their tattoos. And their music. And their selfies.And their selfless contributions from which we’ll all benefit for a long time.
Krugman: States of cruelty

Krugman: States of cruelty

Something terrible has happened to pregnant women in Texas: their mortality rate has doubled in recent years and is now comparable to rates in places like Russia or Ukraine.
David Brooks: Making modern toughness

David Brooks: Making modern toughness

When I ask veteran college teachers and administrators to describe how college students have changed over the years, I often get an answer like this: “Today’s students are more accomplished than past generations, but they are also more emotionally fragile.
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