Columns/Opinions

Wed
17
Dec

Americans, it’s not as bad as you think

by Lee Hamilton

When next you see a news story or commentary hyping a pessimistic view of America’s future, keep this in mind: Our people possess strengths in abundance. Our society has a resilience. Our government may act slowly, and often it’s well behind where we’d wish it to be, but it does act. We are one glum country. Trust in the federal government is at historic lows, according to Gallup. More than half of the respondents to an October Rasmussen poll think our best days are behind us. And just a few weeks ago, an NBC/Wall St. Journal poll found that the one thing Americans agree upon whatever their race or circumstances is that the system is stacked against people like them.

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Wed
17
Dec

Panel sets $7 billion minimum for Rainy Day Fund

By Ed Sterling

Wed
10
Dec

Continuing to build upon a record of success

by Greg Abbott

In 2002, I began my service as the attorney general of Texas honored and humbled by the opportunity to serve fellow Texans. Over the past 12 years – by fostering a strong network of law enforcement, crime victim advocates and communities, we have made Texas a better place to live, work, and raise our families. I’m proud of what we have accomplished together in service to the people of Texas.

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Wed
10
Dec

Gov. Perry directs state agencies to screen employees

By Ed Sterling

Gov. Rick Perry on Dec. 3 ordered state agencies to check the employment eligibility of current and prospective employees by using E-Verify, an Internet-based system that allows employers to determine the eligibility of their employees to work in the United States. Perry also urged Congress to pass legislation “to provide the resources necessary to secure our southern border.” Perry’s announcements come in the wake of President Obama’s executive action on immigration on Nov. 20. At the time, in a national broadcast, Obama said he would take various actions because of the protracted unwillingness of Congress to pass an immigration reform bill that addresses the legal status of millions of undocumented workers employed in Texas and other states by American business owners. A White House news release lists three elements of the president’s executive actions:

Wed
03
Dec

Divided government: What lies ahead

by Lee Hamilton

Divided government does not have to be dysfunctional. Given all the words and images devoted to the midterm elections over the past few weeks, you’d think the results had told us something vital about the future of the country. In reality, they were just a curtain- raiser. It’s the next few weeks and months that really matter. The big question, as the old Congress reconvenes and prepares to make way for next year’s version, is whether the two parties will work more closely together to move the country forward or instead lapse back into confrontation and deadlock.
 
Wed
03
Dec

Suspected shooter dies in confrontation with police

By Ed Sterling

AUSTIN — Police responded to reports of gunfire in the capital city’s downtown area around 2 a.m. on Nov. 28. An estimated 100 shots were fired in about 10 minutes, hitting buildings including the Mexican consulate, police headquarters and the federal court building. No pedestrians, motorists or building occupants were reported injured in the incident.

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Wed
26
Nov

A promising outlook on the next Congress

by Roger Williams

At a time when 76 percent of Americans are living paycheck to paycheck, 47 million people are on food stamps, and roughly half of all college graduates are unemployed or underemployed, Washington needs to be a part of the solution. Americans are fed up with Washington gridlock, and they made it clear on November 4 that they want to see action.

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Wed
26
Nov

Perry, Abbott react to Obama’s executive action on immigration

by By Ed Sterling

President Barack Obama on Nov. 20 announced his decision to take executive action on immigration because Congress has not acted on immigration reform to address the presence and inflow of undocumented residents. “In order to temporarily stay in the U.S. without fear of deportation, theseundocumented parents of U.S. citizens and unlawful permanent residents would have to: Have been here 5+ years, pass a background check, pay taxes,” according to information posted by the White House.

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Wed
19
Nov

What makes a strong, winning lobbyist

by Lee Hamilton

Lobbyists are not all-powerful. They don’t win every battle. But they do win most of them. Because of its power to influence public affairs, the press has long been known as “the Fourth Estate.” But I think the media may have been displaced. These days, it’s lobbyists who seem to carry the most clout in Washington.
 
Wed
19
Nov

Spigot’s open: Flow of legislative bills, resolutions begins

By Ed Sterling

On Nov. 10, dozens among Texas’ 31 state senators and 150 state representatives, including a few members-elect who won’t be sworn for nearly two months, jumped right in and filed legislative bills in advance of the 84th regular session of the Texas Legislature, which convenes on Tuesday, Jan. 13. In all last week, 316 House and 170 Senate bills, proposed constitutional amendments and commemorative resolutions were filed. These are samples of the subject matter in those early-filed bills: acceptable forms of voter identification, use of a portable wireless communication device while operating a motor vehicle, repeal of the franchise tax, property tax reform, minimum wage increase, changes regardingthe offense of student hazing, and free pre-kindergarten in public schools. The bill-filing deadline is the 60th day of the session, March 13. By then, lawmakers likely will have filed more than 10,000 bills and resolutions.

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