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Latest from Ken Herman

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Herman: Sights and lessons in the Holy Land
 The wonderful thing about world travel is how it can open your eyes to how, despite the differences that make this world so troubled, there are some things that unite much of personkind. I recently enjoyed one of those wonderful moments during my first day in Jerusalem on my first trip to Israel. It came in the back seat of a cab as we headed...

Posted: 4 days ago

The wonderful thing about world travel is how it can open your eyes to how, despite the differences that make this world so troubled, there are some things that unite much of personkind. I recently enjoyed one of those wonderful moments during my first day in Jerusalem on my first trip to Israel. It came in the back seat of a cab as we headed...
Herman: Rural? You only thought you know what that means
 As you perchance have noticed, the Texas Legislature did not legislate this year. This is good because it saved us from who knows what. This is bad because we’ll never now what kind of entertainment we missed. By way of reminder, the Texas Legislature meets in regular session only in odd years. Long ago, odd years were deemed the appropriate...

Posted: 8 days ago

As you perchance have noticed, the Texas Legislature did not legislate this year. This is good because it saved us from who knows what. This is bad because we’ll never now what kind of entertainment we missed. By way of reminder, the Texas Legislature meets in regular session only in odd years. Long ago, odd years were deemed the appropriate...
Herman: How often do you go to San Antonio?
 Today, with summer travel season upon us, let’s deal with something from a file we’ll call “Is it just me, or … ?” Is it just me or does it seem like Austinites, in general, oddly find little reason to go to San Antonio, a unique and larger city that’s only about 80 miles southwest of here? This notion...

Posted: 11 days ago

Today, with summer travel season upon us, let’s deal with something from a file we’ll call “Is it just me, or … ?” Is it just me or does it seem like Austinites, in general, oddly find little reason to go to San Antonio, a unique and larger city that’s only about 80 miles southwest of here? This notion...
Herman: Gov. Abbott says Houston has more brothels than Starbucks
 It’s a subject area that was something of a political issue, and later something of a bigger thing on Broadway back in the 1970s, when some Texans were shocked to learn there was a brothel in La Grange. The topic is back, sort of, in the current gubernatorial campaign, thanks to Gov. Greg Abbott. Prior to diving into this, let&rsquo...

Posted: 13 days ago

It’s a subject area that was something of a political issue, and later something of a bigger thing on Broadway back in the 1970s, when some Texans were shocked to learn there was a brothel in La Grange. The topic is back, sort of, in the current gubernatorial campaign, thanks to Gov. Greg Abbott. Prior to diving into this, let&rsquo...
Herman: Doggett unmoved by Supreme Court decision to move into his district
 Thanks to a recent ruling by the federal court that reigns supreme, it’s time once again to check in with longtime U.S. Rep. Lloyd Doggett, D-Austin, to see if he plans on voting for himself this year, something he hasn’t done in many years. This has to do with the fact that Doggett, an East Austin resident, doesn&rsquo...

Posted: 15 days ago

Thanks to a recent ruling by the federal court that reigns supreme, it’s time once again to check in with longtime U.S. Rep. Lloyd Doggett, D-Austin, to see if he plans on voting for himself this year, something he hasn’t done in many years. This has to do with the fact that Doggett, an East Austin resident, doesn&rsquo...
Herman: The never-ending immigration debate needs to come to an end
 Not that it really matters, I guess, but lost, I fear, in this latest toxic outbreak of the long-running domestic debate over immigration law and its enforcement is the frustrating cause of it all: Horrible neighbors. And, stick with me here, we are not without blame. The United States again is twisted into political knots and inertia because...

Posted: 18 days ago

Not that it really matters, I guess, but lost, I fear, in this latest toxic outbreak of the long-running domestic debate over immigration law and its enforcement is the frustrating cause of it all: Horrible neighbors. And, stick with me here, we are not without blame. The United States again is twisted into political knots and inertia because...
Herman: American journalism in 2018
 We had a staff meeting Thursday afternoon here at your local newspaper. Nothing earth-shaking. American-Statesman Editor Debbie Hiott welcomed some great new hires and bright young interns. There was talk about recent journalism prizes won by staffers. And we heard about progress toward upcoming changes, resulting from the new ownership,...

Posted: 19 days ago

We had a staff meeting Thursday afternoon here at your local newspaper. Nothing earth-shaking. American-Statesman Editor Debbie Hiott welcomed some great new hires and bright young interns. There was talk about recent journalism prizes won by staffers. And we heard about progress toward upcoming changes, resulting from the new ownership,...
Herman: Can viral video spur Central Texas congressional race upset?
 The early reviews are in, and they’re pretty darned good. I haven’t seen anybody hail it as the feel-good hit of the summer, but it is getting noticed as something of an instant classic in its genre. “A war hero is running for Congress, and she just dropped one of 2018’s best political ads,” said the USA Today...

Posted: 20 days ago

The early reviews are in, and they’re pretty darned good. I haven’t seen anybody hail it as the feel-good hit of the summer, but it is getting noticed as something of an instant classic in its genre. “A war hero is running for Congress, and she just dropped one of 2018’s best political ads,” said the USA Today...
Herman: A voiceless radio reporter is back on the air
 It’s summer. School’s out. The pools are open. And ice cream eaten when the temperature’s above 95 has no calories. So raise your hand if you’re ready for even more happy news. (Hey, Mr. Grumpy in Cedar Park, I saw you. Get that hand in the air.) Sometimes happy news is magnified when it evolves from sad news. Let&rsquo...

Posted: 22 days ago

It’s summer. School’s out. The pools are open. And ice cream eaten when the temperature’s above 95 has no calories. So raise your hand if you’re ready for even more happy news. (Hey, Mr. Grumpy in Cedar Park, I saw you. Get that hand in the air.) Sometimes happy news is magnified when it evolves from sad news. Let&rsquo...
Herman: Beto O’Rourke flashes star power at Texas Democratic Convention
 Some takeaways taken away from three days with 7,500 or so delegates at the Texas Democratic Convention: In general, the Dems didn’t approve a platform with nearly the volume of nutty stuff the Repubs did at their convention. Oh, there’s plenty in the Dem platform that some folks won’t like, but there’s nothing approaching...

Posted: 25 days ago

Some takeaways taken away from three days with 7,500 or so delegates at the Texas Democratic Convention: In general, the Dems didn’t approve a platform with nearly the volume of nutty stuff the Repubs did at their convention. Oh, there’s plenty in the Dem platform that some folks won’t like, but there’s nothing approaching...
Herman: In search of peace, quiet at the Texas Democratic Convention
Former Sen. Wendy Davis, D-Fort Worth, is greeted by Sen. Jose Rodriguez, D-El Paso, at Thursday night event in Fort Worth celebrating fifth anniversary of Davis' filibuster against a GOP abortion regulation bill. KEN HERMAN/American-Statesman

Posted: 26 days ago

Former Sen. Wendy Davis, D-Fort Worth, is greeted by Sen. Jose Rodriguez, D-El Paso, at Thursday night event in Fort Worth celebrating fifth anniversary of Davis' filibuster against a GOP abortion regulation bill. KEN HERMAN/American-Statesman
Herman: In search of peace, quiet at the Texas Democratic Convention
 Hype, hope and hoopla prevailed Friday at the Texas Democratic Convention, an event that exists for the purpose of hype, hope and hoopla. The energy was palpable, even in the morning caucus sessions of the various interest and demographic groups that make up the party. So where could one go for a brief respite from the masses for a few minutes...

Posted: 26 days ago

Hype, hope and hoopla prevailed Friday at the Texas Democratic Convention, an event that exists for the purpose of hype, hope and hoopla. The energy was palpable, even in the morning caucus sessions of the various interest and demographic groups that make up the party. So where could one go for a brief respite from the masses for a few minutes...
Herman: For some reason, Texas Democrats go to work on a platform
 Texas Democrats are drawing up a legislative wish list. And Rice University football players are planning about playing in the national title game. Faith, hope and optimism — even in the stark face of reality — are to be encouraged. Texas Democrats are convening in convention in The Town of Cows on Friday and Saturday...

Posted: 27 days ago

Texas Democrats are drawing up a legislative wish list. And Rice University football players are planning about playing in the national title game. Faith, hope and optimism — even in the stark face of reality — are to be encouraged. Texas Democrats are convening in convention in The Town of Cows on Friday and Saturday...
Herman: Mission accomplished for Austinite’s plans for Iceland monument
 For several years, dating back to 2012, this newspaper has offered periodic updates on Austinite Jim Lux’s tireless effort to get a monument built in Iceland. It’s an effort that has made him, best as I can tell, the only local resident involved in trying to get a monument built in Iceland. I’m happy to now report that Lux...

Posted: 27 days ago

For several years, dating back to 2012, this newspaper has offered periodic updates on Austinite Jim Lux’s tireless effort to get a monument built in Iceland. It’s an effort that has made him, best as I can tell, the only local resident involved in trying to get a monument built in Iceland. I’m happy to now report that Lux...
Herman: The Texas GOP’s platform, by God
 Due to a family commitment (and no, wise guy, my family was not trying to have me committed), I skipped last week’s GOP state convention in San Antonio. But thanks to the glorious gift that is the written word, we can peruse and behold in wonderment the document that is the official, by-God platform of the Republican Party of Texas...

Posted: 29 days ago

Due to a family commitment (and no, wise guy, my family was not trying to have me committed), I skipped last week’s GOP state convention in San Antonio. But thanks to the glorious gift that is the written word, we can peruse and behold in wonderment the document that is the official, by-God platform of the Republican Party of Texas...
Herman: Schumer, leave the Texanisms to Texans
 I’m always happy when Sen. Charles Schumer, D-New York, is held up to public ridicule. My animus toward Schumer is apolitical. It’s based on something more tribal than that — high school. Schumer’s a graduate of James Madison High School in Brooklyn. I attended, until I moved to South Florida, Midwood High School in...

10:36 PM Monday, Jun. 18, 2018

I’m always happy when Sen. Charles Schumer, D-New York, is held up to public ridicule. My animus toward Schumer is apolitical. It’s based on something more tribal than that — high school. Schumer’s a graduate of James Madison High School in Brooklyn. I attended, until I moved to South Florida, Midwood High School in...
Herman: Gov. Greg Abbott really, really needs your money
 Gov. Greg Abbott’s back in our mailboxes with another attempt to get into our wallets. There’s no such thing as enough or too much when it comes to political money, even for an overwhelming, overfunded overdog who has lots more money than the underwhelming, underfunded underdog. The most fascinating part of Abbott’s latest...

5:00 AM Saturday, Jun. 16, 2018

Gov. Greg Abbott’s back in our mailboxes with another attempt to get into our wallets. There’s no such thing as enough or too much when it comes to political money, even for an overwhelming, overfunded overdog who has lots more money than the underwhelming, underfunded underdog. The most fascinating part of Abbott’s latest...
Herman: The rest of the story of Walter Seaholm’s political demise
 As regular readers of my typing are aware, I take requests. Today, I’ll tackle one from Austinite Buddy Garcia, who wants to know more about Walter E. Seaholm, the former longtime city official for whom the Seaholm Power Plant was named. I told you last Sunday that the plant was named in Seaholm’s honor in 1960, five years after...

3:28 PM Thursday, Jun. 14, 2018

As regular readers of my typing are aware, I take requests. Today, I’ll tackle one from Austinite Buddy Garcia, who wants to know more about Walter E. Seaholm, the former longtime city official for whom the Seaholm Power Plant was named. I told you last Sunday that the plant was named in Seaholm’s honor in 1960, five years after...
Herman: Austin Council Member Leslie Pool to colleagues, ‘I am a zero’
 To make some Austin City Council sessions an even odder experience, Mayor Steve Adler has adopted a digital system to measure council members’ intensity of support for an item or idea. This is not newfangled digital as in computers. This is oldfangled digital as in fingers, as in hold up none to five to indicate intensity of support...

9:55 PM Tuesday, Jun. 12, 2018

To make some Austin City Council sessions an even odder experience, Mayor Steve Adler has adopted a digital system to measure council members’ intensity of support for an item or idea. This is not newfangled digital as in computers. This is oldfangled digital as in fingers, as in hold up none to five to indicate intensity of support...
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