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Latest from Ken Herman

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Herman: Let’s eavesdrop on two Texas Repubs going at it on Twitter
 Through the miracle (menace?) of Twitter, let’s eavesdrop on a conversation between two of our duly elected state officials. But first, let’s meet our players. State Rep. Jonathan Stickland (known to some as “Sticky”) is a Republican from the Dallas-Fort Worth suburb of Bedford. He’s a keep-government-out-of-our-lives...

Posted: a day ago

Through the miracle (menace?) of Twitter, let’s eavesdrop on a conversation between two of our duly elected state officials. But first, let’s meet our players. State Rep. Jonathan Stickland (known to some as “Sticky”) is a Republican from the Dallas-Fort Worth suburb of Bedford. He’s a keep-government-out-of-our-lives...
Herman: The Kiddie Acres carousel spins again
 Back in July I told you that after about four decades and countless birthday parties, Joe and Marina Herring were retiring and closing their Kiddie Acres, a small North Austin amusement park that has a special place in the our town’s collective memory bank. I told you the rides were being auctioned. And in September, I told you...

Posted: 2 days ago

Back in July I told you that after about four decades and countless birthday parties, Joe and Marina Herring were retiring and closing their Kiddie Acres, a small North Austin amusement park that has a special place in the our town’s collective memory bank. I told you the rides were being auctioned. And in September, I told you...
State Rep. Tony Dale: Bind up the nation’s wounds
A seal of the Confederate States of America, with George Washington on horseback, is seen over the entrance to the state Capitol. File photo, Ken Herman, American-Statesman staff

Posted: 4 days ago

A seal of the Confederate States of America, with George Washington on horseback, is seen over the entrance to the state Capitol. File photo, Ken Herman, American-Statesman staff
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...

Posted: 4 days ago

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...
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...

Posted: 5 days ago

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...
Herman: The What Is That?” team goes to Deep Eddy (but doesn’t swim)
 Welcome to the 2018 season of “What Is That?” Let’s kick it off by heading over to Eilers Park (where Deep Eddy pool is) with semi-retired lawyer Fred Helms. I’m not really sure what it means to be a semi-retired lawyer. Perhaps you only semi-sue people. But that’s not the mystery we’re meeting...

Posted: 8 days ago

Welcome to the 2018 season of “What Is That?” Let’s kick it off by heading over to Eilers Park (where Deep Eddy pool is) with semi-retired lawyer Fred Helms. I’m not really sure what it means to be a semi-retired lawyer. Perhaps you only semi-sue people. But that’s not the mystery we’re meeting...
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...

Posted: 9 days ago

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...
Herman: Lupe Valdez, Andrew White meet in Democratic candidate forum
 The truth was spoken in the pre-event mic check: “Hello everybody. Welcome to the first Democratic debate-ish.” Upstairs, the candidates mingled prior to the event that was the first face-to-face meeting between Andrew White, Houston businessman and son of late Gov. Mark White, and former Dallas County sheriff Lupe Valdez. They&rsquo...

Posted: 12 days ago

The truth was spoken in the pre-event mic check: “Hello everybody. Welcome to the first Democratic debate-ish.” Upstairs, the candidates mingled prior to the event that was the first face-to-face meeting between Andrew White, Houston businessman and son of late Gov. Mark White, and former Dallas County sheriff Lupe Valdez. They&rsquo...
Herman: Lupe Valdez, Andrew White meet in Democratic candidate forum
 The truth was spoken in the pre-event mic check: “Hello everybody. Welcome to the first Democratic debate-ish.” Upstairs, gubernatorial candidates mingled prior to the event that was the first face-to-face meeting between Andrew White, Houston businessman and son of late Gov. Mark White, and former Dallas County Sheriff Lupe Valdez...

Posted: 12 days ago

The truth was spoken in the pre-event mic check: “Hello everybody. Welcome to the first Democratic debate-ish.” Upstairs, gubernatorial candidates mingled prior to the event that was the first face-to-face meeting between Andrew White, Houston businessman and son of late Gov. Mark White, and former Dallas County Sheriff Lupe Valdez...
Herman: How come there’s a cross on your Austin city utility bills?
 American-Statesman reader James Jackson recently had a suggestion for me. Unlike some readers’ suggestions, this one is physically possible. His hit my inbox after my recent column complaining about the two crosses hanging in in the Caldwell County District Clerk’s Office in Lockhart. “I don’t understand why you had...

Posted: 15 days ago

American-Statesman reader James Jackson recently had a suggestion for me. Unlike some readers’ suggestions, this one is physically possible. His hit my inbox after my recent column complaining about the two crosses hanging in in the Caldwell County District Clerk’s Office in Lockhart. “I don’t understand why you had...
Herman: Democrats hope Texas voters choose politics over football game
 For much of Right-Thinking America (defined as those who accept college football as a deity), attention on Monday night starting at 7 p.m. Austin time will be firmly fixed on Atlanta’s Mercedes-Benz Stadium where the hated University of Alabama Crimson Tide, led by the hated Nick Saban, will take on the beloved University of Georgia...

Posted: 16 days ago

For much of Right-Thinking America (defined as those who accept college football as a deity), attention on Monday night starting at 7 p.m. Austin time will be firmly fixed on Atlanta’s Mercedes-Benz Stadium where the hated University of Alabama Crimson Tide, led by the hated Nick Saban, will take on the beloved University of Georgia...
Herman: 2018, odder than 2017?
 It’s time for my predictions for 2018, which, though technically even, could be odder than 2017, which was odd even for an odd year. Remember when some people said they were happy 2016 was gone? Remember when some people said they thought George W. Bush was the worst president ever? Funny how perceptions can change. Well, maybe funny&rsquo...

Posted: 22 days ago

It’s time for my predictions for 2018, which, though technically even, could be odder than 2017, which was odd even for an odd year. Remember when some people said they were happy 2016 was gone? Remember when some people said they thought George W. Bush was the worst president ever? Funny how perceptions can change. Well, maybe funny&rsquo...
Herman: Appeals Judge Willett to take colleagues’ ‘Twitter temperature’
 It was a clash of impressive forces. On one side, the powerful presidential and congressional complex and its code of expected conduct for judicial nominees. On the other side was a judicial nominee with a Twitter habit bordering on addiction. On Sept. 28, President Donald Trump (who, I’m told, also tweets) nominated Texas Supreme Court...

Posted: 22 days ago

It was a clash of impressive forces. On one side, the powerful presidential and congressional complex and its code of expected conduct for judicial nominees. On the other side was a judicial nominee with a Twitter habit bordering on addiction. On Sept. 28, President Donald Trump (who, I’m told, also tweets) nominated Texas Supreme Court...
Herman: It’s not just who’s on the ballot. It’s what.
 Now that we know who’s on the March primary ballots (and who isn’t), let’s talk about what’s on those ballots. Because it’s what they do, the Democrats and Republicans have loaded up (down?) those ballots with nonbinding propositions that are more boilerplate statements of party principles than questions on which...

Posted: 24 days ago

Now that we know who’s on the March primary ballots (and who isn’t), let’s talk about what’s on those ballots. Because it’s what they do, the Democrats and Republicans have loaded up (down?) those ballots with nonbinding propositions that are more boilerplate statements of party principles than questions on which...
Herman: I’m Blake Farenthold. Don’t vote for me.
 The political dust has settled and I’ll understand if you missed this because it went by in a blink or two. But last week, for just a few precious hours, both political parties made a federal case over whether U.S. Rep. Blake Farenthold’s name should remain on the March GOP primary ballot. Quick review: Farenthold, R-Corpus Christi...

Posted: 25 days ago

The political dust has settled and I’ll understand if you missed this because it went by in a blink or two. But last week, for just a few precious hours, both political parties made a federal case over whether U.S. Rep. Blake Farenthold’s name should remain on the March GOP primary ballot. Quick review: Farenthold, R-Corpus Christi...
Herman: State judge unimpressed by TABC effort against license renewal
 An older bike messenger with Tourette syndrome and autism walked into a bar. No joke. Really, no joke. The incident is included in a proposed decision issued this month by state Administrative Law Judge Rebecca S. Smith in a case involving officialdom’s challenge of the renewal of an alcoholic beverage license held by Bottom Bracket...

Posted: 29 days ago

An older bike messenger with Tourette syndrome and autism walked into a bar. No joke. Really, no joke. The incident is included in a proposed decision issued this month by state Administrative Law Judge Rebecca S. Smith in a case involving officialdom’s challenge of the renewal of an alcoholic beverage license held by Bottom Bracket...
Herman: A voiceless radio reporter gives us hope for the holidays
 Finding yourself in need of some hope for the holidays? Sometimes it’s found in unlikely places. I found some where hopeless cynicism often resides. It’s a little place near and dear to my heart. I call it journalism. Jamie Dupree is a Washington journalist. He’s 54, married and has kids ages 8, 11 and 13. He not only covers...

Posted: 30 days ago

Finding yourself in need of some hope for the holidays? Sometimes it’s found in unlikely places. I found some where hopeless cynicism often resides. It’s a little place near and dear to my heart. I call it journalism. Jamie Dupree is a Washington journalist. He’s 54, married and has kids ages 8, 11 and 13. He not only covers...
Herman: Are crosses in Caldwell County office crossways with the law?
 At the invitation of an Austinite who’s upset by something he saw in the Caldwell County district clerk’s office, I recently made the 30-mile drive south to Lockhart to take a look at that something. He’s right. It’s wrong. And we’re not the only two who think so. The outside door to the district clerk&rsquo...

6:08 PM Tuesday, Dec. 19, 2017

At the invitation of an Austinite who’s upset by something he saw in the Caldwell County district clerk’s office, I recently made the 30-mile drive south to Lockhart to take a look at that something. He’s right. It’s wrong. And we’re not the only two who think so. The outside door to the district clerk&rsquo...
Herman: A Texas town weirder than Austin?
 Yes, we all know that Austin is the righteous and rightful center of the universe and there’s not much reason to care about what goes on in the lesser world around us. But I think it’s healthy to periodically glance outward beyond the Superiorplex and see what’s going on elsewhere in Texas, especially when the goings-on...

6:00 AM Saturday, Dec. 16, 2017

Yes, we all know that Austin is the righteous and rightful center of the universe and there’s not much reason to care about what goes on in the lesser world around us. But I think it’s healthy to periodically glance outward beyond the Superiorplex and see what’s going on elsewhere in Texas, especially when the goings-on...
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