Politics


McRaven tells Trump: Revoke my security clearance as well

When President Donald Trump called the news media “the enemy of the American people” last year, the then-chancellor of the University of Texas System, retired Adm. Bill McRaven, who majored in journalism at UT, took umbrage. “This sentiment,” McRaven declared, “may be the greatest threat to democracy in my lifetime.” Now, in an open letter to Trump, McRaven, the...
Trump speechwriter fired amid scrutiny of appearance with white nationalists

Trump speechwriter fired amid scrutiny of appearance with white nationalists

A White House speechwriter for President Donald Trump was terminated last week after revelations that he had spoken at a conference attended by well-known white nationalists, according to three people familiar with the decision who were not authorized to speak publicly.  Darren Beattie, who was a visiting instructor at Duke University before he joined the White House speechwriting team, was fired...
McCarthy quietly wages the other midterm campaign - for House speaker

McCarthy quietly wages the other midterm campaign - for House speaker

House Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy is hardly the first politician with national aspirations to find himself flipping pork chops here at the Iowa State Fair. But it's the speaker's gavel, not the presidency, that has brought the California Republican to the Pork Tent.  Donning a red monogrammed apron and standing alongside Rep. David Young - a two-term GOP incumbent in a toss-up Iowa district...
Montana Gov. Steve Bullock, considering 2020 White House bid, now says he supports assault weapons ban

Montana Gov. Steve Bullock, considering 2020 White House bid, now says he supports assault weapons ban

Montana Gov. Steve Bullock said Sunday that he supports an assault weapons ban, in a signal that the moderate Democrat is seeking to appeal to progressives as he tests the waters of a potential 2020 White House bid.  "You know, I would, Jake," Bullock said when asked by CNN's Jake Tapper during an appearance on "State of the Union" on Sunday whether he would now embrace calls...
Trump lashes out at Russia probe, compares it to McCarthyism

Trump lashes out at Russia probe, compares it to McCarthyism

President Donald Trump reacted angrily Sunday to a new report that the White House counsel has cooperated extensively in the Russia investigation without Trump's full knowledge, calling it a "Fake Story" and comparing the probe to McCarthyism.  In tweets, the president lashed out at a New York Times report that White House lawyer Donald McGahn had participated in at least three interviews...
Brennan says he’s willing to take Trump to court over security clearances

Brennan says he’s willing to take Trump to court over security clearances

Former CIA director John Brennan said Sunday that he is willing to take President Donald Trump to court to prevent other current and former officials from having their security clearances revoked, escalating a battle over whether the president is misusing the power of his office to retaliate against opponents.  "I am going to do whatever I can personally to try to prevent these abuses in...
Staffing shake-up at Texas Veterans Land Board

Staffing shake-up at Texas Veterans Land Board

Two top officials at the state agency charged with administering benefits for veterans are out, and a host of their colleagues have been laid off — and state officials are mum about the reason for the departures. The Veterans Land Board, overseen by Land Commissioner George P. Bush, offers low-interest loans to veterans to buy property or improve homes, operates nursing homes for veterans and...
How did low-income Texas schools fare under state’s A-F rating system?

How did low-income Texas schools fare under state’s A-F rating system?

Although they tended to perform better under the state’s new school rating system than under the previous one, Texas schools with the highest rates of low-income children still performed worse than schools with wealthier student bodies. Among Texas schools with the highest percentages of low-income students, 6 percent of them failed to meet state standards, compared with 12 percent that failed...
Lawsuit demands Georgetown provide information on solar panel cost

Lawsuit demands Georgetown provide information on solar panel cost

The Texas Public Policy Foundation, which has challenged Georgetown’s 100 percent renewable energy policy, has filed a lawsuit on behalf of a man seeking information about how much energy is produced by solar panels on a city building. The city has refused to provide information despite two open record requests by resident Terrill Putnam about how much time it will take for hundreds of solar...
PolitiFact: Increasing share of state money goes to charter schools

PolitiFact: Increasing share of state money goes to charter schools

A Democratic legislator declared that state aid fully fuels Texas charter schools while schools serving the vast bulk of students field less money. State Rep. Donna Howard of Austin said in a tweet: “Here’s the thing. In Tx, charters get 100% state $/pupil funding while district schools (95% students) get about 1/3 funding from state w/ rest coming from local prop taxes (which is why those...
Protesters from right, left converge at Capitol

Protesters from right, left converge at Capitol

A steady loop of bells and sirens sounded in front of the Texas Capitol on Saturday afternoon as leftist groups tried to drown out the speeches of their conservative counterparts, who came to protest political violence and defend their First Amendment right to free speech. During the 3½-hour rally, the opposing groups hurled insults and threats at each other, and at times became confrontational...
Check your phone. Beto O’Rourke’s Senate campaign might have texted you.

Check your phone. Beto O’Rourke’s Senate campaign might have texted you.

U.S. Rep. Beto O’Rourke’s Senate campaign is leaving no stone unturned looking for votes this November, even if that means sending the occasional — or frequent, depending on your inbox or political affiliation — text messages gauging interest in his candidacy. But many are wondering how he got their cellphone numbers. The campaign uses the Texas Democratic Party’s online...
PolitiFact: Mass of campaign cash isn’t really from Massachusetts

PolitiFact: Mass of campaign cash isn’t really from Massachusetts

A Republican Texas congressman says his Democratic challenger gathered a disturbing share of her campaign contributions from Massachusetts. Rep. Will Hurd, R-Helotes, was quoted in the San Antonio Express-News as saying about Democratic nominee Gina Ortiz Jones of San Antonio: “When you raise more money from Massachusetts than you do from Texas, that is not a good indication of your broad-based...

PolitiFact: Texas’ political lines rank among nation’s most egregious

On HBO’s “Real Time with Bill Maher,” Texas Democratic U.S. Rep. Beto O’Rourke brought up the issue of gerrymandering — the drawing of district lines to benefit a particular party or group. “Texas is one of the most gerrymandered states in the union,” O’Rourke said. Is that correct? We found that this is more of a fuzzy issue than a precise one, but...
PolitiFact: Why Rafael Cruz goes by Ted and Robert O’Rourke by Beto

PolitiFact: Why Rafael Cruz goes by Ted and Robert O’Rourke by Beto

Reader tweets reminded the fact-checking PolitiFact Texas project that Texas voters choose in November between U.S. Senate nominees who don’t go by their given first names. Republican Sen. Ted Cruz seeks a second term against Democrat Beto O’Rourke, who represents El Paso in the U.S. House. That is, Rafael Edward Cruz faces Robert Francis O’Rourke. One reader asked on Twitter after...
Editorial: Austin’s break with hiking taxes to the max is welcome

Editorial: Austin’s break with hiking taxes to the max is welcome

Perhaps the Austin City Council is getting the message: Affordability is a two-way street, impacting those who need city services and those who pay the bills. Perhaps they are following the lead of new City Manager Spencer Cronk, who offered a budget this year with one of the lowest tax revenue increases in a decade. Maybe they drank the Kool-Aid Council Members Ellen Troxclair and Ora Houston have...
Travis County state judges recommend renewing Southwest Key contracts

Travis County state judges recommend renewing Southwest Key contracts

As political activists push Travis County to end its relationship with Southwest Key, the federal contractor operating detention centers across the U.S. for immigrant children, the county’s juvenile probation board on Thursday recommended renewing county contracts with the Austin nonprofit. The board — made up of state District Court judges, judges of all juvenile courts and County Judge...
Austin candidate Lewis Conway’s run asks when a criminal sentence ends

Austin candidate Lewis Conway’s run asks when a criminal sentence ends

In mid-2017, Lewis Conway Jr. had some political questions. He wanted to understand, really understand, the forces behind people of color slipping away from East Austin neighborhoods. So the black Muslim socialist called the only person he could think of: a white nationalist libertarian tax consultant he had once served time with in prison. “I was like, ‘Dude, tell me about gentrification...
Phillips: Last hurrah for Confederate groups in Veterans Day parade

Phillips: Last hurrah for Confederate groups in Veterans Day parade

During his 22 years in the Air Force, Lt. Col. Daarel Burnette observed Veterans Day events around the world, from Izmir, Turkey, to Colorado Springs, from military bases to the Pentagon. In all those places, during all those years, the emphasis was on sacrifice of U.S. veterans, said Burnette, who retired in 2001. It was about honoring soldiers who gave or risked their lives defending the U.S. Constitution...
Democratic House candidate airs TV ad saying she won’t back Pelosi for speaker

Democratic House candidate airs TV ad saying she won’t back Pelosi for speaker

Kathy Manning, the Democratic nominee in North Carolina's 13th Congressional District, is airing a new TV ad in which she declares that she will not back Rep. Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., for speaker, becoming the latest candidate to buck her party's House leader.  Manning, who is running against Rep. Ted Budd, R, in the Republican-leaning district, had previously announced that she would not support...
The New York Times joins effort to combat Trump’s anti-press rhetoric

The New York Times joins effort to combat Trump’s anti-press rhetoric

 The call to arms came in the form of a memo.  Marjorie Pritchard, the deputy managing editor of The Boston Globe, reached out to editorial boards at other newspapers last week.  “We propose to publish an editorial on August 16 on the dangers of the administration’s assault on the press and ask others to commit to publishing their own editorials on the same date,”...
Twitter suspends Infowars founder’s account over a Tweet

Twitter suspends Infowars founder’s account over a Tweet

Twitter on Tuesday suspended the account of far-right conspiracy theorist Alex Jones for a week after he tweeted a link to a video calling for supporters to get their “battle rifles” ready against media and others, in a violation of the company’s rules against inciting violence.  The action effectively prevents Jones from tweeting or retweeting from his personal account for...
‘He created Omarosa’: How Trump’s protegee turned his tactics against him

‘He created Omarosa’: How Trump’s protegee turned his tactics against him

Omarosa Manigault Newman's new book comes with an explosive title. ("Unhinged.") It has a healthy frisson of tension followed by a climactic reveal. (She taped her colleagues! In the White House Situation Room!) And it has just enough cliffhangers to keep viewers coming back for more. (She may or may not have heard a recording of President Donald Trump using the n-word.)  To Trump,...
White House press secretary can’t guarantee public won’t hear Trump use N-word on audio recording

White House press secretary can’t guarantee public won’t hear Trump use N-word on audio recording

White House press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders said Tuesday that she couldn't guarantee that the American people will never hear President Donald Trump uttering the n-word on an audio recording, as a former senior White House adviser continued a publicity tour to promote her new book depicting the president as a racist.  The briefing by Sanders came after Trump referred to the former adviser...
Omarosa claims DeVos wants to ‘replace public education with for-profit schools’ — and that Trump calls her ‘Ditzy DeVos’

Omarosa claims DeVos wants to ‘replace public education with for-profit schools’ — and that Trump calls her ‘Ditzy DeVos’

A controversial new book about President Donald Trump by one of his former senior advisers, Omarosa Manigault Newman, claims that Education Secretary Betsy DeVos wants "to replace public education with for-profit schools" and that President Trump has called her by the nickname "Ditzy DeVos."  The book, "Unhinged," describes Trump during the years that Manigault Newman...
Trailblazing victories for Democrats on a big primary night for women

Trailblazing victories for Democrats on a big primary night for women

Democrats delivered groundbreaking victories in Tuesday’s primaries for a transgender female candidate in Vermont, a Muslim woman in Minnesota and an African-American woman in Connecticut, while party members in Wisconsin nominated a top state education official to challenge Gov. Scott Walker, one of the most vulnerable high-profile Republicans of the midterms cycle.  Tony Evers, the Wisconsin...
GOP lawmaker questions Abbott’s bid to review new state regulations

GOP lawmaker questions Abbott’s bid to review new state regulations

A Republican leader in the Texas House is questioning the wisdom of a new policy, revealed in late June, that requires two dozen state regulatory agencies to send all proposed rules and regulations to Gov. Greg Abbott’s office to be reviewed before they’re disclosed to the public. In a letter sent Monday to Abbott, state Rep. Byron Cook — chairman of the House committee that oversees...
From JFK to Omarosa: The White House Situation Room’s history-making moments

From JFK to Omarosa: The White House Situation Room’s history-making moments

In the spring of 1961, John Kennedy's White House had a situation, but no Situation Room. Kennedy had just endured the attempted Bay of Pigs invasion in Cuba, a fast-moving fiasco that left the president frustrated at the confused flow of intelligence into the Oval Office.  And so, putting his own Naval aide in charge of construction, a group of contractors and some Seabees worked at night to...
‘Don’t run this year’: The perils for Republican women facing a flood of resistance

‘Don’t run this year’: The perils for Republican women facing a flood of resistance

Diane Harkey, the Republican candidate for California’s 49th Congressional District, recognizes that President Donald Trump “doesn’t make women real comfortable.”  Men just have a different style, she said: “They’re more warrior-oriented. We are a little more consensus-builders.”  But she laughs off the idea of campaigning as a woman. “I want...
Tired of money in politics, some Democrats think small

Tired of money in politics, some Democrats think small

Like many political candidates, Dean Phillips spends hours each day fundraising and thanking his donors. But because he refuses to accept PAC money from corporations, unions or other politicians, he has adopted a unique approach.  “Norbert?” he asked on the doorstep of a man who’d donated $25 to his campaign. “I’m here with goodies!”  Phillips, who is...
Trump attacks Kasich over Ohio race — and Kasich welcomes the attention

Trump attacks Kasich over Ohio race — and Kasich welcomes the attention

President Donald Trump taunted Ohio Gov. John Kasich on Monday, asserting that his increasingly vocal Republican rival is "very unpopular" and a "failed presidential candidate," and to blame for the narrow margin in last week's special congressional election in the state.  Kasich responded with an impish tweet: an image of Russian President Vladimir Putin breaking into a grin...
‘Immigration hypocrite’: Stephen Miller’s uncle lambastes him in scathing op-ed

‘Immigration hypocrite’: Stephen Miller’s uncle lambastes him in scathing op-ed

Wolf-Leib Glosser fled violence from his small Eastern European village and, with $8 to his name, came to Ellis Island. His children soon followed, and his children's children were born in the American city of Johnstown, Pennsylvania, where the family grew and prospered.  Such is what "chain migration" was like at the turn of the 20th century, and such is the "classically American...
Trump appears to admit White House aides signed nondisclosure agreements

Trump appears to admit White House aides signed nondisclosure agreements

President Donald Trump appeared to acknowledge on Monday something his aides have declined to confirm for months: his White House had aides sign nondisclosure agreements. The president made the statement in a Twitter post about Omarosa Manigault Newman, a former contestant on “The Apprentice” who became an assistant to the president, and whose new book makes unflattering claims about Trump...
‘Everyone signed one’: Trump aggressive in use of nondisclosure agreements, even in government

‘Everyone signed one’: Trump aggressive in use of nondisclosure agreements, even in government

President Donald Trump's bitter fight with a former top White House aide has highlighted his aggressive and unconventional use of nondisclosure agreements to prevent current and former government employees from revealing secrets or disparaging him or his family.  The latest uproar centers on claims in a book by former senior adviser Omarosa Manigault Newman that the Trump campaign offered her...
Trump-appointed judge upholds constitutionality of Mueller appointment

Trump-appointed judge upholds constitutionality of Mueller appointment

A federal judge upheld the constitutionality of special counsel Robert Mueller's appointment on Monday, finding Acting Attorney General Rod Rosenstein lawfully named Mueller in May 2017 in a challenge to an indictment brought by a Russian firm accused of funding an Internet trolling operation targeting U.S. voters.  U.S. District Judge Dabney Friedrich, a 2017 appointee of President Donald Trump...
Hoping to stave off federal action, Texas rewrites lizard plan

Hoping to stave off federal action, Texas rewrites lizard plan

Aiming to reform a troubled state program designed to stave off federal habitat protections for a rare lizard species in the petroleum-rich Permian Basin, Texas Comptroller Glenn Hegar is asking the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service to approve a new version, meant to address what Hegar’s office called the plan’s “systemic problems.” The proposal, the latest turn over how...
In Texas’ U.S. Senate race, both candidates battle to define O’Rourke

In Texas’ U.S. Senate race, both candidates battle to define O’Rourke

The race is on to define Beto O’Rourke. The Democratic Senate candidate’s campaign announced Monday that it had raised $1.27 million in a single weekend in response to attack ads by U.S. Sen. Ted Cruz, R-Texas, and would spend that money to air positive ads this week about O’Rourke in all 20 media markets that reach Texans, from Texarkana to O’Rourke’s hometown of El...
Border wall showdown looming as Trump sharpens his shutdown threat

Border wall showdown looming as Trump sharpens his shutdown threat

When U.S. senators return to Washington this week after a short break, the thorny issue of border security will once again be on the agenda. But this time, with a potential government shutdown looming, an impasse might not be an option. President Donald Trump, whose signature campaign issue has eluded him so far, has ramped up his call — in tweets, rallies and fundraisers — to shut down...
O’Rourke stays positive in first ad buy of his campaign to unseat Cruz

O’Rourke stays positive in first ad buy of his campaign to unseat Cruz

The race is on to define Beto O’Rourke. The Democratic Senate candidate’s campaign announced Monday that it had raised $1.27 million in a single weekend in response to attack ads by U.S. Sen. Ted Cruz, R-Texas, and would spend that money to air positive ads this week about O’Rourke in all 20 media markets that reach Texans, from Texarkana to O’Rourke’s hometown of El...
The Manafort scramble: Raising millions for himself even as he ran Trump’s campaign

The Manafort scramble: Raising millions for himself even as he ran Trump’s campaign

Paul Manafort, a valued customer of the Trump Organization who had spent $3.7 million to buy Apartment 43G in Trump Tower, appeared to be just what Donald Trump wanted in March 2016: A consummate Washington insider, deeply experienced in the byzantine art of wrangling convention delegates, yet also someone who could claim to be an outsider, a successful entrepreneur with overseas clients.  Manafort's...
Omarosa Manigault Newman claims ‘false imprisonment’ during her firing, accuses Trump of lying

Omarosa Manigault Newman claims ‘false imprisonment’ during her firing, accuses Trump of lying

Omarosa Manigault Newman, the once-loyal aide to President Donald Trump who has written a new tell-all book containing explosive allegations about her former boss, said Monday that she believes Trump was lying when he claimed in a phone call last December that he knew nothing about her dismissal by White House Chief of Staff John F. Kelly.  In a combative appearance on NBC's "Today"...
Wisconsin governor seeks to find his place in Trump’s Republican party

Wisconsin governor seeks to find his place in Trump’s Republican party

Gov. Scott Walker became one of the country's biggest Republican stars by battling labor unions and fending off a recall campaign amid mass protests at the state Capitol.  But as a crowded field of Democrats competes in Tuesday's primary to challenge Walker again in November, the governor has struggled to find his path in a fast-changing GOP.  Walker, 50, like many Republicans whose national...
Trump Jr. emerges as campaign ‘natural’

Trump Jr. emerges as campaign ‘natural’

President Donald Trump was watching Fox News Channel with aides in his private dining room off the Oval Office recently when Donald Trump Jr. flashed across the giant flat screen.  "Don's gotten really good," Trump said, according to someone who was present. "My people love him."  The remark suggested a swell of unexpected pride from Trump about his namesake son, whose...
Bill Shine’s journey from Ailes enforcer to Trump producer

Bill Shine’s journey from Ailes enforcer to Trump producer

The revolving door between Fox News and Republican political figures has turned steadily for years, with failed GOP candidates finding a home at the network.  But since Donald Trump was elected president, the door has provided a number of former Fox personnel with entree into a government now infused with the cable channel's fiery sensibility. And with Bill Shine's appointment this summer to...
Omarosa and the Trump White House’s new hush-money problem

Omarosa and the Trump White House’s new hush-money problem

Skepticism abounds, for good reason, about Omarosa Manigault Newman's White House tell-all. Like Michael Wolff, Manigault Newman has a long, demonstrated history of suspicious claims, and just because the things she writes confirm what lots of people on the left badly want to believe doesn't mean they should be swallowed whole. Some of what she's written has already been directly disputed, including...
How to understand Trump’s condemnation of ‘all types of racism’

How to understand Trump’s condemnation of ‘all types of racism’

Sharply criticized for his failure to immediately condemn racist protesters after last year's unrest in Charlottesville, Virginia, President Donald Trump this year tried to get out ahead of the issue before a planned march in Washington on Sunday.  "The riots in Charlottesville a year ago resulted in senseless death and division," Trump tweeted Saturday afternoon. "We must come...
Omarosa Manigault Newman releases purported recording of her White House firing

Omarosa Manigault Newman releases purported recording of her White House firing

Omarosa Manigault Newman, the fired White House aide seeking publicity for her new memoir about her time in the Trump administration, said in an interview Sunday that the way Chief of Staff John Kelly dismissed her involved a "threat" and played an audio recording of Kelly that she said she made in the Situation Room.  The recording was played on NBC News' "Meet the Press,"...
School ratings under new Texas system to be released Wednesday

School ratings under new Texas system to be released Wednesday

Texas school districts will receive letter grades this week under a new statewide rating system unpopular among public school officials. On Wednesday, the Texas Education Agency will label school districts with an A, B, C, D or F and campuses with a rating of “met requirement” or “improvement required,” based on performance in the 2017-18 school year. Campuses will not be graded...
Lawyers accuse Alex Jones of deleting evidence in Sandy Hook case

Lawyers accuse Alex Jones of deleting evidence in Sandy Hook case

Lawyers for the families of two Sandy Hook shooting victims are accusing conspiracy theorist Alex Jones and his Infowars media business of intentionally destroying evidence relevant to defamation cases against him, according to a motion filed on Friday in an Austin court. Jones is being sued in Travis County by the families of nine Sandy Hook victims for spreading false claims that the 2012 shooting...
U.S. productivity grew at strong 2.9% rate in Q2

U.S. productivity grew at strong 2.9% rate in Q2

U.S. productivity grew at an annual rate of 2.9 percent in the second quarter, the fastest pace in more than three years, while labor costs actually fell. The April-June increase in productivity followed a much weaker 0.3 percent rate of gain in the first quarter, the Labor Department reported. It was the strongest advance since a 3.1 percent gain in the first quarter of 2015. Labor costs actually...
McRaven to Trump: Revoke my security clearance as well

McRaven to Trump: Revoke my security clearance as well

Bill McRaven, former chancellor of the University of Texas System and a retired four-star admiral and Navy SEAL, is asking President Donald Trump to revoke his security clearance. In an open letter to Trump published online Thursday in the Washington Post, McRaven said former CIA Director John Brennan, whose security clearance the president revoked on Wednesday, “is one of the finest public...
Austin City Council votes ‘yes’ to MLS at McKalla Place

Austin City Council votes ‘yes’ to MLS at McKalla Place

Major League Soccer in Austin is closer than ever to becoming a reality after the City Council voted Wednesday to strike a deal with an ownership group that will build a stadium near the Domain. Ten months after Anthony Precourt announced his intent to move to Austin, the council voted 7-4 to allow the investor/operator of Columbus Crew SC to privately finance a $200 million stadium at McKalla...
MLS at McKalla: Deal or no deal?

MLS at McKalla: Deal or no deal?

Less than 24 hours before the Austin City Council contemplated a vote that could decide the future of Major League Soccer here, one council member was returning from a trip to Ohio where she met with fans trying to stop Columbus Crew SC from moving to Austin. The runup to Wednesday’s special meeting, in which Mayor Steve Adler expects an up-or-down vote on Precourt Sports Venture&rsquo...
Group asks county to end Taylor detention center contract early

Group asks county to end Taylor detention center contract early

Members of an advocacy group asked Williamson County commissioners on Tuesday to end a contract with an immigrant detention center for women in Taylor several months before they had planned. Mark Brooks, a member of the rights group Grassroots Leadership, asked commissioners during their regular meeting to give the T. Don Hutto Residential Center a 90-day notice that the county was withdrawing from...
After reconsidering, Travis County decides women’s jail still necessary

After reconsidering, Travis County decides women’s jail still necessary

Five months after activists held up a Travis County Commissioners Court vote on initial funding of a new women’s jail facility as they pushed instead for more diversion programs, identical funding reappeared in a preliminary budget that staffers presented at a budget hearing Thursday. Travis County Sheriff Sally Hernandez has said the facility within the Del Valle jail is needed because the...
Austin could be headed to court over ballot language

Austin could be headed to court over ballot language

The city of Austin likely will be sued in the Texas Supreme Court over ballot language adopted early Friday related to a petition ordinance calling for an outside efficiency audit of City Hall. The proposition will appear on November’s general election ballot. However, organizers behind the petition are crying foul over language they believe will bias voters against approving an audit. &ldquo...
Council members set maximum city tax increase at 6 percent

Council members set maximum city tax increase at 6 percent

During their regular meeting Thursday, Austin City Council members set the maximum tax rate at 44.2 cents per $100 of property value, a rate that will increase exisiting tax revenue 6 percent in 2019. The move doesn’t mean that will be the adopted tax rate, but the rate cannot exceed that figure. A draft budget proposed by staff members would raise taxes 4.9 percent, but expenditures typically...
North and South Korea to Discuss Plans for a 3rd Summit

North and South Korea to Discuss Plans for a 3rd Summit

Senior officials from North and South Korea will meet next week to discuss the possibility of a third summit between their countries’ leaders, the South said Thursday.  The North Korean leader, Kim Jong Un, and President Moon Jae-in of the South have already met twice this year, in April and in May. South Korean officials have recently expressed interest in holding a third meeting soon...
Inside Brett Kavanaugh’s personal finances: credit card debts, $92,000 country-club fee

Inside Brett Kavanaugh’s personal finances: credit card debts, $92,000 country-club fee

In front of a law-school crowd in 2015, Brett Kavanaugh mentioned the success of a younger attorney who worked as his deputy in the White House and became the general counsel of Facebook in 2008. Kavanaugh, who was a federal appeals judge at the time, had never heard of the company.  "That turned out to be a really good move," Kavanaugh said, chuckling. "And I am committed to public...
Melania Trump’s parents become U.S. citizens despite president’s hostility toward ‘chain migration’

Melania Trump’s parents become U.S. citizens despite president’s hostility toward ‘chain migration’

First lady Melania Trump's parents became U.S. citizens in a naturalization ceremony in New York on Thursday, completing a years-long immigration process even as President Trump has called for new laws to bar Americans from sponsoring parents and other relatives.  Michael Wildes, an attorney for Viktor and Amalija Knavs, who had been living in the country as legal permanent residents after leaving...
Pelosi is the star of GOP attack ads, worrying Democrats upbeat about midterms

Pelosi is the star of GOP attack ads, worrying Democrats upbeat about midterms

While Democrats grow optimistic about their chances of taking control of the House in November, they are increasingly anxious that the presence of their longtime and polarizing leader, Nancy Pelosi, is making it harder for many of their candidates to compete in crucial swing districts.  Republicans, clinging to a 23-seat majority in the House, have made the House minority leader a central element...
Judge halts mother-daughter deportation, threatens to hold Sessions in contempt

Judge halts mother-daughter deportation, threatens to hold Sessions in contempt

A federal judge in Washington halted a deportation in progress Thursday and threatened to hold Attorney General Jeff Sessions in contempt after learning that the Trump administration started to remove a woman and her daughter while a court hearing appealing their deportations was underway.  "This is pretty outrageous," U.S. District Judge Emmet Sullivan said after being told about the...
Ruble tumbles as U.S. sets out new sanctions on Russia

Ruble tumbles as U.S. sets out new sanctions on Russia

Russia’s currency fell on Thursday to its lowest dollar value in nearly two years, jarred by new U.S. sanctions imposed in response to a nerve-agent attack on a former Russian spy in Britain.  For several years, the Russian economy has appeared able mostly to shrug off the effects of a series of Western sanctions tied to its incursions into Ukraine and its election meddling. Buoyed by rising...
Trump administration proposes further dismantling of Affordable Care Act through Medicare

Trump administration proposes further dismantling of Affordable Care Act through Medicare

The Trump administration is proposing to restrict an innovation in the Affordable Care Act that was intended to improve Medicare and slow spending in the vast federal insurance system for older Americans. Health-care researchers hail the model's promise to improve quality and efficiency, but administration data suggest it is not saving enough money.  The changes, announced Thursday by the administrator...
Kobach recuses himself from vote counting in his own primary vs. Colyer

Kobach recuses himself from vote counting in his own primary vs. Colyer

Newly discovered vote-tallying discrepancies have whittled down the lead Kris Kobach held over incumbent Gov. Jeff Colyer in the Republican primary for Kansas governor.  Kobach, a hard-line opponent of illegal immigration who campaigned as a staunch ally of President Donald Trump, originally had a 191-vote advantage over Colyer as of Wednesday.  On Thursday, the state elections office said...
City Council vote makes it official: CodeNext is dead

City Council vote makes it official: CodeNext is dead

With a unanimous vote Thursday, the Austin City Council killed off the ambitious rewrite of Austin’s land development code known as CodeNext. The controversial project’s demise came with minimal debate as several of council members laid the blame for its failure on a convoluted process that generated widespread skepticism and criticism that ultimately doomed the yearslong project. The...
Report: Mayor’s aide received cut of nonprofit’s contracts with city

Report: Mayor’s aide received cut of nonprofit’s contracts with city

When the nonprofit founded by a former staffer for Austin Mayor Steve Adler won a contract with the city, the aide received a cut, according to an independent investigation. Documents show the aide was paid $37,110 by the nonprofit over the first two years he worked for Adler. Frank Rodriguez served as executive director of the nonprofit Latino HealthCare Forum from 2011 until 2015, when he went to...
Clarity in the fog of elections: GOP faces fall peril

Clarity in the fog of elections: GOP faces fall peril

Alarmed by the tight race for a congressional seat in Ohio, Republicans are steeling for a 90-day campaign of trench warfare as they fight to keep control of the House, pinning their hopes on well-funded outside groups and a slashing negative message about Democrats.  Voting across the Midwest and West laid bare the party’s precarious situation Wednesday: Ohio’s special election exposed...
Ahead of midterms, Trump hits a wall in efforts to curb illegal immigration

Ahead of midterms, Trump hits a wall in efforts to curb illegal immigration

President Donald Trump, who for three years has vowed to build a massive security wall on the U.S.-Mexico border, is running into his own wall on illegal immigration, which has continued to surge in recent months despite family separations and other hard-edge policies aimed at curbing the flow.  Nearly 19 months into his presidency - and three months ahead of pivotal midterm elections &mdash...
Trump defies Republican antipathy to Russia with Rand Paul as an ally

Trump defies Republican antipathy to Russia with Rand Paul as an ally

A secretive summit, an open invitation to visit the United States and now a letter hand-delivered by a sympathetic senator — as President Donald Trump makes increasingly unorthodox overtures to Russian President Vladimir Putin, the GOP is facing a politically existential choice: cross the president and his allies, or accept that the party is warming to the Kremlin.  Trump has challenged...
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