Politics


Poll: 49% of Texans disapprove of Trump, but GOP support strong

Nearly half of Texans disapprove of Donald Trump’s performance as president, but Republicans overwhelmingly support him, according to a University of Texas/Texas Tribune poll released Thursday. Among Republicans, 79 percent said they approved of Trump’s performance, while 15 percent disapprove. The rest of the GOP respondents said they don’t know. Meanwhile, 92 percent of Democrats...
Viewpoints: Push pause button on CodeNext until concerns are addressed

Viewpoints: Push pause button on CodeNext until concerns are addressed

With their recent actions to spend millions of dollars above the project’s original cost and plow on with a third draft of CodeNext in the face of mounting public skepticism, Austin City Council members are signaling that it’s more important to meet a self-imposed deadline than do due diligence and build public confidence. However well-intentioned, that is no way to tackle or complete...
Commentary: ‘Be prepared’ for bringing girls into Boys, Cub Scouts

Commentary: ‘Be prepared’ for bringing girls into Boys, Cub Scouts

This past week, the Boy Scouts of America announced that soon young girls would be allowed to join the Cub Scouts and, eventually, the Boy Scouts thereafter. Overall, the news has been received openly by some while resisted by others. More simply, the left has congratulated the BSA for joining the 21st century, while the right has scorned it for an overextension of political correctness. As a past...
PolitiFact: Is the Alamo a ‘disappointing landmark’

PolitiFact: Is the Alamo a ‘disappointing landmark’

A website intended to defend the master plan for spiffing up the Alamo says tourists remain far from wowed by the historically revered site. We were intrigued by this claim on the Alamo Truth site, which is funded by Texas Land Commissioner George P. Bush’s political campaign: “The Alamo has been consistently listed as one of the most disappointing landmarks in our nation. … It...
Commentary: Why America will never see Trump’s border wall

Commentary: Why America will never see Trump’s border wall

The border wall remains the focus of the border security debate in Washington. Prototypes are reportedly under construction in San Diego, with the president recently going so far as to declare that he will pick out a wall design himself. Not to be left behind, Republicans in Congress recently proposed a new bill to begin funding a border wall. And this after the House included $1.6 billion for the...
Attorney General Sessions hails anti-sanctuary cities law in Texas

Attorney General Sessions hails anti-sanctuary cities law in Texas

2:25 p.m. update: Travis County Sheriff Sally Hernandez said she disagrees with Attorney General Jeff Sessions, who praised Texas’ anti-sanctuary city law in a speech in Austin Friday. “I could not disagree more strongly. [Senate Bill 4] does not make our communities safer and Attorney General Sessions does not know our community,” Hernandez said in a statement. “However, at...
Kelly, whose son died in combat, defends president’s call to Gold Star widow

Kelly, whose son died in combat, defends president’s call to Gold Star widow

White House Chief of Staff John Kelly unequivocally defended President Donald Trump's calls to the families of four fallen soldiers, on Thursday using his credibility as a retired general who lost a son on the battlefield to try to help his boss contain a public relations crisis.  In an extraordinary, emotional appearance in the White House briefing room, Kelly described in painful detail the...
Senate approves budget in crucial step forward for Republican tax cuts

Senate approves budget in crucial step forward for Republican tax cuts

The Senate approved the Republican-backed budget Thursday night, a major step forward for the GOP effort to enact tax cuts.  The budget's passage will allow the GOP to use a procedural maneuver to pass tax legislation through the Senate with 50 or more votes, removing the need for support from Democratic senators.  "Tonight, we completed the first step toward replacing our broken tax...
Federal judge refuses to erase Joe Arpaio’s conviction despite Trump pardon

Federal judge refuses to erase Joe Arpaio’s conviction despite Trump pardon

A federal judge on Thursday shot down former Sheriff Joe Arpaio's bid to sweep his criminal record clean.  Arpaio, the controversial former lawman in Arizona's Maricopa County, was granted a pardon by President Donald Trump on Aug. 25. He had been found in criminal contempt after a five-day bench trial earlier this year and faced the possibility of up to six months in jail. After the pardon,...
Senate votes to raise revenue by drilling in the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge

Senate votes to raise revenue by drilling in the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge

The Senate rejected an amendment Thursday that sought to block a key panel from raising revenue through drilling in Alaska's Arctic National Wildlife Refuge, a move that could make it easier for future oil and gas drilling to take place there.  Sen. Maria Cantwell, Wash., the top Democrat on the Energy and Natural Resources Committee, offered an budget amendment that would have removed instructions...
The Fed claims to be independent. That’s mostly a myth.

The Fed claims to be independent. That’s mostly a myth.

The Federal Reserve’s inner workings are a mystery to most Americans. Presidents can’t order it around, nor can Congress — that much is generally believed. Along with its reputation for independence, the Fed can seem economically omnipotent.  But in truth, our research shows, Fed independence is largely a myth.  With President Donald Trump having met with the Fed Chairwoman...
Senators demand online ad disclosures as tech lobby mobilizes

Senators demand online ad disclosures as tech lobby mobilizes

Sen. John McCain and two Democratic senators moved on Thursday to force Facebook, Google and other internet companies to disclose who is purchasing online political advertising, after revelations that Russian-linked operatives bought deceptive ads in the runup to the 2016 election with no disclosure required.  But the tech industry, which has worked to thwart previous efforts to mandate such...
Paul Ryan’s zingers at Trump spice up fundraiser

Paul Ryan’s zingers at Trump spice up fundraiser

When Paul Ryan, the House speaker, rose to deliver the keynote address at the Al Smith charity dinner Thursday night, he immediately let it be known that he wouldn’t shy away from jokes about a president who doesn’t react well to jokes.  “Enough with the applause,” he told the annual white-tie gathering of New York’s political and Catholic elite, which raises money...
Appeals court halts, for now, abortion for teen immigrant in Texas

Appeals court halts, for now, abortion for teen immigrant in Texas

One day after a federal judge ordered the Trump administration to allow a teenage immigrant in the country without authorization to have an abortion in Texas, an appeals court temporarily blocked the order and set oral arguments for Friday morning on whether to allow the procedure to occur. The order by the U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia still allowed the 17-year-old to...
Early voting starts on 7 changes to Texas Constitution

Early voting starts on 7 changes to Texas Constitution

Early voting begins Monday for the chance to tack seven new amendments onto the Texas Constitution, which has already been amended 491 times since its birth in 1876, making it one of the longest such documents in the nation. The proposed amendment that has gained the most notice is Proposition 6, which would allow tax breaks for the spouses of police, firefighters and emergency workers killed in the...
Herman: Caution, free speech might offend you

Herman: Caution, free speech might offend you

It seems that some of our elected officials du jour (see Trump, Donald J., and Abbott, Gregory W.) sometimes have a problem with the whole free speech thing. So it’s comforting that one of our local appointed officials doesn’t. U.S. District Judge Sam Sparks, himself sometimes accused of courtroom free speechifying in ways that challenge some people’s sensibilities, did himself proud...
Commentary: Why I changed my mind on bringing guns to Texas colleges

Commentary: Why I changed my mind on bringing guns to Texas colleges

The recent implementation of Texas’ campus carry law allows people with a concealed handgun license to carry their handguns on college campuses. I once supported this law, but now that I am spending every day on a college campus in Texas, I can no longer say the same thing. My change of heart regarding campus carry was accelerated by the gruesome mass shooting in Las Vegas, which made me question...
UPDATED: Has Ted Cruz called Social Security a Ponzi scheme?

UPDATED: Has Ted Cruz called Social Security a Ponzi scheme?

U.S. Sen. Ted Cruz, R-Texas, insisted in a nationally cablecast debate this week that he’s not called Social Security a Ponzi scheme. If not, the fact-checking PolitiFact Texas project confirms, Cruz tiptoed darned close to saying so about six years past. A Ponzi scheme refers to an enterprise that generates returns for older investors by acquiring new investors. Eventually there isn’t...
Commentary: Why Trump’s pick for refugee office deserves more scrutiny

Commentary: Why Trump’s pick for refugee office deserves more scrutiny

The federal government’s relentless effort to prevent an unaccompanied minor from getting an abortion, even after a Texas state district judge has waived her need for a guardian’s consent, is shameful. Thankfully, on Wednesday, a federal district judge in Washington, D.C., ruled that federal agencies detaining the 17-year-old unauthorized immigrant cannot prevent her from having the abortion...
Is Trump violating the Constitution? In absentia, he defends himself in court

Is Trump violating the Constitution? In absentia, he defends himself in court

The defendant was elsewhere, stirring and twittering in his new city, his name rarely spoken — just the title sufficed — but always top of mind inside an overstuffed Manhattan courtroom.  “The president” is a businessman, the plaintiffs’ lawyer reminded the judge. “The president” refuses to leave the marketplace. This is hardly a fair fight, the logic...
Russian socialite enters race to challenge Putin

Russian socialite enters race to challenge Putin

A young socialite and television journalist whose father was a close ally of Russia’s president, Vladimir Putin, declared her intention Wednesday to challenge him in the presidential election scheduled for next March, a move liable to split the already feeble liberal opposition.  The journalist, Ksenia A. Sobchak, 35, announced her presidential run in a video online on YouTube and also...
5 takeaways from Xi Jinping’s marathon speech

5 takeaways from Xi Jinping’s marathon speech

As Xi Jinping’s first five-year term as China’s leader ends, he gave himself a shining report card on Wednesday — and a big to-do list for his next five years.  Speaking at the start of a Communist Party congress in Beijing, Xi gave a work report that summed up his achievements so far, while also laying out where he wants to take China in his second term, which starts after...
The Child Tax Credit is key to tax reform for many families

The Child Tax Credit is key to tax reform for many families

The tax reform framework released three weeks ago by the White House and Republican congressional leadership has lofty goals: Simplify the tax code; provide relief for middle-class families; cut taxes for businesses; end many narrowly focused special tax benefits; and keep the reformed tax code “at least as progressive” as the existing one.  Many of the policies proposed in the framework...
Senate candidate Roy Moore says kneeling during the anthem is against the law

Senate candidate Roy Moore says kneeling during the anthem is against the law

Roy Moore, the Republican nominee for the Senate in Alabama, said that NFL players who kneel during the national anthem are breaking the law.  "It's against the law, you know that?" Moore said in an interview with Time magazine. "It was an act of Congress that every man stand and put their hand over their heart. That's the law."  Moore, a former chief justice of Alabama...
Protesters rally against travel ban

Protesters rally against travel ban

Muslim Americans had planned to gather in the nation's capital to protest President Donald Trump's latest travel ban on Wednesday, the day it was scheduled to go into effect.  But late Tuesday, a federal judge in Hawaii blocked its implementation, saying that it "plainly discriminates based on nationality." A federal judge in Maryland early Wednesday issued a second halt to portions...
Trump cools on Senate plan for health care fix

Trump cools on Senate plan for health care fix

President Donald Trump on Wednesday backed away from his endorsement of a bipartisan Senate proposal to stabilize health insurance markets, throwing the legislative effort into doubt even as the chief architect of the deal predicted that it would become law before the end of the year.  The latest actions by the White House confused Republicans on Capitol Hill and irked Democrats — but in...
Judge: Stop blocking abortion for teen immigrant in Texas

Judge: Stop blocking abortion for teen immigrant in Texas

A federal judge on Wednesday ordered Trump administration officials to stop blocking a pregnant 17-year-old immigrant from having an abortion while she’s being detained in Texas after crossing the Mexican border without authorization. U.S. District Judge Tanya Chutkan of Washington, D.C., ordered administration officials to allow the teenager, identified only as Jane Doe, to be taken to an abortion...
Commentary: Helping immigrants should not mean denying them care

Commentary: Helping immigrants should not mean denying them care

The immigrant community is deeply committed to the values that this country works to uphold — values that brought many of us to this nation. The idea of the United States as a beacon for those fleeing persecution is deeply held by many communities, including many of those who come to the United States seeking a better life for themselves and their families. The Catholic community is also called...
Second judge rules against latest travel ban, saying Trump’s own words show it was aimed at Muslims

Second judge rules against latest travel ban, saying Trump’s own words show it was aimed at Muslims

A federal judge in Maryland early Wednesday issued a second halt on the latest version of President Donald Trump's travel ban, asserting that the president's own comments on the campaign trail and on Twitter convinced him that the directive was akin to an unconstitutional Muslim ban.  U.S. District Judge Theodore D. Chuang issued a somewhat less complete halt on the ban than his counterpart in...
‘Totally fabricated’: Trump disputes congresswoman’s depiction of his exchange with soldier’s widow

‘Totally fabricated’: Trump disputes congresswoman’s depiction of his exchange with soldier’s widow

President Donald Trump in a tweet Wednesday denied that he had told the widow of a soldier killed in an ambush in African this month that her husband "must have known what he signed up for."  The president was reacting to a Florida congresswoman saying the family of Sgt. La David T. Johnson was "astonished" by that remark during a phone call from Trump on Tuesday.  Rep...
Trump asks whether James Comey was truthful about Clinton probe

Trump asks whether James Comey was truthful about Clinton probe

President Donald Trump suggested Wednesday that former FBI director James Comey had intended to spare Democrat Hillary Clinton from prosecution "long before investigation was complete" into her government email practices.  In a pair of early-morning Twitter messages, Trump referred to a recently released Justice Department document that indicates a draft of a Comey statement about the...
Trump blasts NFL for not adopting a requirement that players stand during anthem

Trump blasts NFL for not adopting a requirement that players stand during anthem

President Donald Trump on Wednesday blasted the NFL, accusing the league of "total disrespect for our great country" following a meeting of team owners that did not adopt a requirement for players to stand during the national anthem.  Trump sparked a national controversy over the issue last month when he called on NFL owners to fire players who take a knee during the anthem, and teams...
Commentary: Let’s build global consensus for reconnecting with nature

Commentary: Let’s build global consensus for reconnecting with nature

During the past few weeks, millions of people around the Gulf of Mexico have experienced the fury of Mother Nature. Four massive hurricanes and two earthquakes have devastated numerous communities. It is humbling to realize that despite enormous technical advancements, we are still as much at the mercy of nature’s wrath as the Teotihuacanos in southern Mexico were 2,000 years ago. When violent...
Commentary: Why Hartnett White is dangerous for environmental council

Commentary: Why Hartnett White is dangerous for environmental council

With each new appointee to the Trump administration, it’s like the president is trolling us. Put someone who sued the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency 14 times in charge of the agency? Check. Appoint a man who wanted to eliminate the Department of Energy as its head? Check. But you ain’t seen nothing yet. Trump’s newest choice for the U.S. Council on Environmental Quality &ndash...
Deal to shore up Obamacare faces big hurdles, including Trump

Deal to shore up Obamacare faces big hurdles, including Trump

Senators may have struck a bipartisan deal to prop up Obamacare's insurance exchanges, but it faces a tortuous path to becoming law.  As soon as the deal was announced Tuesday, the Trump administration was sending conflicting signals about the pact reached by Republican Sens. Lamar Alexander of Tennessee and Democrat Patty Murray of Washington, which also faces ambivalence from some Republican...
How the felony corruption case against Rep. Dawnna Dukes unraveled

How the felony corruption case against Rep. Dawnna Dukes unraveled

On Sept. 6, as they were preparing for their corruption trial against state Rep. Dawnna Dukes, a group of Travis County prosecutors went to the Capitol to meet with witnesses they believed were on their side, an official with knowledge of the case recounted. The first meeting was with Steve Adrian, the director of the House Business Office who previously had told a state investigator and a prosecutor...
Commentary: How social media posts can hurt criminal investigations

Commentary: How social media posts can hurt criminal investigations

Law enforcement officials are facing a new set of challenges in the age of social media. One such challenge is becoming more common — and I feel compelled to call attention to it. The act of capturing video or photographs of crime scenes and posting those images to social media is harmful to law enforcement investigative efforts. This year, we’ve experienced two high-profile incidents...
Commentary: What the U.S. will lose after its withdrawal from UNESCO

Commentary: What the U.S. will lose after its withdrawal from UNESCO

“Since wars begin in the minds of men, it is in the minds of men that the defenses of peace must be constructed.” So begins the preamble to the Constitution of the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization. They were words written in 1945 by the American poet and playwright Archibald MacLeish, who served on the organization’s governing board at its founding...
Judge: Gov. Abbott wrong to remove atheist display from Capitol

Judge: Gov. Abbott wrong to remove atheist display from Capitol

Gov. Greg Abbott engaged in improper censorship when he ordered the removal of an atheist group’s mock Nativity display from the Capitol in 2015, a federal judge has ruled. At the time, Abbott described the display — which depicted Benjamin Franklin, Thomas Jefferson, George Washington and the Statue of Liberty gazing upon the Bill of Rights as it lay in a manger — as a spiteful...
Trump tweets approval after health care stocks ‘plunged’

Trump tweets approval after health care stocks ‘plunged’

It is unlike President Donald Trump to cheer when stocks fall, but early on Saturday he did just that.  “Health insurance stocks, which have gone through the roof during the ObamaCare years, plunged yesterday after I ended their Dems windfall!” he tweeted.  On Thursday, the administration announced it would stop paying subsidies to health insurance companies that help cover costs...
Trump to meet Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte during Asian visit

Trump to meet Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte during Asian visit

President Donald Trump will meet with Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte during a marathon trip to Asia next month, the White House announced Monday.  "The President's travel will underscore his commitment to long-standing United States alliances and partnerships, and reaffirm United States leadership in promoting a free and open Indo-Pacific region," White House press secretary Sarah...
Bannon’s war on GOP could push tax overhaul over finish line

Bannon’s war on GOP could push tax overhaul over finish line

Here's a snapshot of the Republican Party's crisis of leadership: On Saturday, former White House adviser Stephen Bannon took the stage at the Values Voter Summit in Washington and exhorted conservative activists to join him in a war against Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., in order to unlock President Donald Trump's agenda. Also on Saturday, Trump reportedly called McConnell to coordinate...
Trump’s re-election campaign paid his son’s Russia-probe law firm $238,000

Trump’s re-election campaign paid his son’s Russia-probe law firm $238,000

President Donald Trump's re-election committee paid almost $238,000 in the third quarter to the law firm representing Donald Trump Jr. in connection with ongoing investigations of Russian interference in the 2016 election, according campaign finance disclosures.  Trump's campaign made two payments — one in mid July, the other in early August -- to the law firm of Alan S. Futerfas, a lawyer...
Trump campaign legal bills topped $1 million last quarter

Trump campaign legal bills topped $1 million last quarter

President Donald Trump's reelection committee spent more than $1 million on legal bills last quarter as investigations into Russian meddling in the 2016 election pressed on through the summer, according to a disclosure filed Sunday with the Federal Election Commission.  The filing shows the committee's "legal consulting" expenditures came to $1.1 million between July and September,...
Trump may have bolstered kneelers’ legal position

Trump may have bolstered kneelers’ legal position

The controversy over football players kneeling in protest during the national anthem could have simply remained a labor dispute within the NFL. But then President Donald Trump tweeted that tax breaks should be revoked for a league that disrespects "our Anthem, Flag and Country."  Those words threatening government action to financially penalize the league injected a new dimension into...
Inside the ‘adult day-care center’: How aides try to control and coerce Trump

Inside the ‘adult day-care center’: How aides try to control and coerce Trump

During the campaign, when President Donald Trump's team wanted him to stop talking about a certain issue — such as when he attacked a Gold Star military family — they sometimes presented him with polls demonstrating how the controversy was harming his candidacy.  During the transition, when aides needed Trump to decide on a looming issue or appointment, they often limited him to a...
Commentary: Stop development deals. Get Amazon with the ‘Texas Model’

Commentary: Stop development deals. Get Amazon with the ‘Texas Model’

Austin is vying for Amazon’s impressive new “HQ2” — a second company headquarters that could supercharge the local economy with $5 billion in capital investment and 50,000 new, good-paying jobs. Landing the state-of-the-art campus would be nothing short of blockbuster. While Austin has much to offer and much to gain, it shouldn’t fall into the trap of proposing a mammoth...
Commentary: Amazon wants its HQ2 in utopia — and tax breaks, too

Commentary: Amazon wants its HQ2 in utopia — and tax breaks, too

Forget El Dorado, Brigadoon, the Emerald City, Seven Cities of Gold or Shangri-La. The city of Amazon, USA, is a shimmering on your horizon like a barely visible holograph from the future. Above it is a sign in otherworldly neon: All This Could Be Yours. Amazon is looking to locate a spanking new 50,000-employee headquarters somewhere in North America. To put the promise in perspective, it’d...
CodeNext: Is Austin doing enough to reach out to non-English speakers?

CodeNext: Is Austin doing enough to reach out to non-English speakers?

Inside the auditorium of Hart Elementary School in Northeast Austin on Wednesday, Abbas Arkawazi was diligently interpreting a city of Austin Planning and Zoning staffer’s presentation in real time into Arabic. As CodeNext project manager Jorge Rousselin went through how the proposed codes have changed in CodeNext’s most recent draft — the transition to a more unified code name scheme...
PolitiFact: Taxes, but not tax rate, expected to rise with school bond

PolitiFact: Taxes, but not tax rate, expected to rise with school bond

A handout urging voter support for a proposed $1.05 billion Austin school district bond issue on the November ballot singles out the need to repair and renovate schools averaging 40 years of age and a desire to modernize or build 16 schools. Moreover, the handout from the Committee of Austin’s Children PAC says: “Did you know? AISD Prop. 1 bonds will require no tax rate increase,&rdquo...
Nate Boyer, ex-Green Beret and NFL player, pens letter to Trump, Kaepernick

Nate Boyer, ex-Green Beret and NFL player, pens letter to Trump, Kaepernick

Ex-Green Beret and former Seattle Seahawks long-snapper took a central role when Colin Kaepernick began his protest during the national anthem and with that issue now dividing the country, he’s doing so again. Boyer penned an open letter published by ESPN on Friday that to President Donald Trump, Kaepernick, the NFL and every other American laying out a plan for action...
Trump cuts to Obamacare enrollment groups deeper than expected

Trump cuts to Obamacare enrollment groups deeper than expected

The Trump administration is cutting tens of millions of dollars from organizations that help Americans enroll in Obamacare health plans, leaving some of the groups scrambling to shrink their operations weeks before enrollment for 2018 coverage opens on Nov. 1.  The organizations, called navigators, say the funding cuts have been arbitrary, opaque and don't follow the Trump administration's stated...
European leaders warn that Trump is wrong on the Iran nuclear deal

European leaders warn that Trump is wrong on the Iran nuclear deal

In a decision that could deepen the transatlantic rift, President Donald Trump may "decertify" the Iran nuclear deal on Friday, or later this week ahead of a Sunday deadline. Trump previously called the 2015 agreement disastrous and has argued that it isn't in the United States' best interests, though he did reluctantly certify Iran's compliance in the past.  The deal's decertification...
Trump rips the NFL for disrespecting flag. Then jokes about a military flag ceremony.

Trump rips the NFL for disrespecting flag. Then jokes about a military flag ceremony.

After he had repeatedly railed against professional athletes over perceived slights to the American flag and military, President Donald Trump joked on Wednesday about a bugle call that is part of the armed forces' time-honored tradition of showing respect for the Stars and Stripes.  The bugle call occurred during Trump's interview with Fox News host Sean Hannity, conducted in an airplane hangar...
Kelly seeks to tamp down rumors he’s unhappy working for Trump and on his way out

Kelly seeks to tamp down rumors he’s unhappy working for Trump and on his way out

On more than one occasion, White House Chief of Staff John Kelly has been spotted with his head down, arms crossed and his face locked in a steely expression that many an observer has interpreted as physical evidence of his exasperation at serving under President Donald Trump.  Rumors that the former Marine general is not long for a job he took only a few short months ago persist.  But on...
Pro sports teams were once reliable patrons of Trump’s hotels. Not anymore.

Pro sports teams were once reliable patrons of Trump’s hotels. Not anymore.

Until recently, the Trump SoHo hotel served as a kind of luxe clubhouse for NBA teams visiting New York.  At least 12 teams — more than a third of the league — had stayed there since it opened in 2010. The players loved it so much they became walking ads for the Trump brand: Superstar Russell Westbrook of the Oklahoma City Thunder praised the hotel in the press. Toronto Raptors all-star...
Trump to end ACA subsidies

Trump to end ACA subsidies

President Donald Trump is throwing a bomb into the insurance marketplaces created under the Affordable Care Act, choosing to end critical payments to health insurers that help millions of lower-income Americans afford coverage. The decision follows an executive order on Thursday to allow alternative health plans that skirt the law's requirements.  The White House confirmed late Thursday that...
Analysis: 5 reasons that Trump hates the Iran deal

Analysis: 5 reasons that Trump hates the Iran deal

In this occasional series, we will bring you up to speed on the biggest national security stories of the week.  President Donald Trump hasn't been shy expressing his distaste for the Iran nuclear deal negotiated under his predecessor. He has called the 2015 agreement disastrous, horrible, and one-sided, and he has vowed to get rid of it or renegotiate the terms. Trump has already given his approval...
Rep. Al Green files impeachment articles against Trump

Rep. Al Green files impeachment articles against Trump

Houston Democrat Al Green filed an impeachment resolution on the House floor Wednesday, making official his recent calls that Congress take action against President Donald Trump.  However he was not present to vote on the impeachment articles.  Among the grounds for Green's impeachment bid was Trump's response to the violence at a white supremacist rally in Charlottesville, Va. as well as...
The president has long talked about scrapping NAFTA. Even skeptics are starting to believe him.

The president has long talked about scrapping NAFTA. Even skeptics are starting to believe him.

The North American Free Trade Agreement, long disparaged by President Donald Trump as bad for the United States, was edging closer toward collapse as negotiators gathered for a fourth round of contentious talks here this week.  In recent weeks, the Trump administration has sparred with American businesses that support NAFTA and has pushed for significant changes that negotiators from Mexico and...
Kelly aide picked to lead Homeland Security Dept.

Kelly aide picked to lead Homeland Security Dept.

President Donald Trump said Wednesday that he intended to name Kirstjen Nielsen, a top White House aide, to lead the Department of Homeland Security, elevating a former homeland security official in the George W. Bush administration who has lately worked to impose order in Trump’s chaotic West Wing.  Trump announced his choice in a statement that noted Nielsen’s “extensive professional...
Trump says Kaepernick’s protests would have ended if NFL had ‘suspended’ the QB

Trump says Kaepernick’s protests would have ended if NFL had ‘suspended’ the QB

President Donald Trump offered his latest critique Wednesday evening of the protests NFL players have been staging, saying that Colin Kaepernick, the ex-49ers quarterback who was the first to kneel during the national anthem last year, would never have continued to do so if he had been "suspended" by the league.  "I watched Colin Kaepernick, and I thought it was terrible, and then...
Trump says minorities ‘want’ and ‘need’ more police protection than other Americans

Trump says minorities ‘want’ and ‘need’ more police protection than other Americans

President Donald Trump said Wednesday that minorities "want" and "need" more police protection than other Americans, and blamed Democrats for a "crazy" number of murders in Chicago and other large cities.  In an interview with Sean Hannity, the Fox News Channel anchor who also is a friend and informal adviser to the president, Trump said police in big cities are...
Conservatives want to make Mitch McConnell the symbol of a toxic Washington

Conservatives want to make Mitch McConnell the symbol of a toxic Washington

For Republicans trying to rally their base, no political villain has been more effective than Rep. Nancy Pelosi, the longtime Democratic leader. In campaign after campaign, they made her the symbol of the Washington they claimed to be running against.  Now a renegade group of anti-establishment Republicans is adapting that model and turning it against their own party. They are replacing Pelosi...
NBC nuclear arsenal story leads to threat by Trump

NBC nuclear arsenal story leads to threat by Trump

President Donald Trump threatened on Wednesday to use the federal government’s power to license television airwaves to target NBC in response to a report by the network’s news division that he contemplated a dramatic increase in the nation’s nuclear arsenal.  In a story aired and posted online Wednesday morning, reported that Trump said during a meeting in July that he wanted...
In Pennsylvania, Trump hunts for Democratic support for tax plan

In Pennsylvania, Trump hunts for Democratic support for tax plan

President Donald Trump took his campaign for tax cuts to another key battleground state on Wednesday in search of elusive Democratic votes as he argued that his plan would benefit middle-class Americans, like truck drivers, more than it would help his fellow business tycoons.  At a rally in an airport hangar reminiscent of his fiery events during last year’s presidential campaign, Trump...
On the eve of Trump delivering decision on Iran deal, Congress plans strategy

On the eve of Trump delivering decision on Iran deal, Congress plans strategy

Members of Congress who have squared off on the Iran nuclear deal since its inception strategized Wednesday in preparation for President Donald Trump's highly anticipated announcement on its fate.  Leading House Republicans huddled with national security adviser H.R. McMaster Wednesday evening for a classified briefing on the administration's plan for the 2015 agreement. Emerging from the meeting...
Austin begins final round of annexations before state law changes

Austin begins final round of annexations before state law changes

The Austin City Council on Thursday will begin the city’s final round of annexations before a state law takes effect that will require elections or petitions before the city can add more landowners to its tax base. The city has set three public hearings for Thursday to gather input on three tracts it is set to annex in November. They are the last parcels of land the city will add before ...
Trump scores a win in the culture war as NFL asks players to stand for national anthem

Trump scores a win in the culture war as NFL asks players to stand for national anthem

Three weeks ago, President Donald Trump was widely criticized for fanning racial divisions and inflaming the culture wars after he denounced a black NFL player for kneeling during the national anthem, casting the move as unpatriotic and an affront to the country.  The player had intended the demonstration to call attention to police brutality against African-Americans.  What began as an...
Trump hires Hogan Gidley as a White House spokesman

Trump hires Hogan Gidley as a White House spokesman

President Donald Trump has hired Hogan Gidley, a longtime Republican campaign operative with deep roots in the conservative movement, to serve as a deputy White House press secretary, officials said Tuesday.  Gidley, whose first day on the job will be Wednesday, will serve under White House press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders and alongside principal deputy press secretary Raj Shah and deputy...
North Korean hackers stole U.S. and South Korean wartime plans, Seoul lawmaker says

North Korean hackers stole U.S. and South Korean wartime plans, Seoul lawmaker says

North Korean hackers stole a huge trove of classified U.S. and South Korean military documents last year, including a plan to "decapitate" the leadership in Pyongyang in the event of war, a lawmaker in Seoul said Tuesday.  The purported revelations come at a time of heightened tensions over North Korea. President Donald Trump recently said that "only one thing will work" when...
Trump’s bogus claim that the New York Times ‘set Liddle Bob Corker up by recording his conversation’

Trump’s bogus claim that the New York Times ‘set Liddle Bob Corker up by recording his conversation’

President Donald Trump on Tuesday leveled a charge against the New York Times that was puzzling, on a number of levels.  The conversation to which Trump referred took place on Sunday, when Bob Corker, a Republican senator from Tennessee, told the Times that the president could be setting the United States "on the path to World War III" with reckless threats toward other countries. (Naturally...
Chinese president presses military overhaul as two top generals disappear

Chinese president presses military overhaul as two top generals disappear

He was one of China’s most prominent commanders, with hopes of rising higher. So when Gen. Fang Fenghui disappeared from public view, it sent a clear warning to the top leaders of the People’s Liberation Army: President Xi Jinping was not done shaking up their once-unassailable ranks.  Fang, the chief of the army’s Joint Staff Department, was not the only military leader to...
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