Columns/Opinions

Wed
23
Apr

Government as innovator? You bet!

By Lee Hamilton.

Both government and industry are needed to solve big problems. Collaboration puts us in a stronger competitive position than either sector acting alone. Five years ago, the federal government spent $169 billion to fund basic research and development. This fiscal year, it’s down to $134 billion. People who believe in public belt-tightening applaud drops like that. I understand why: there are many reasons to reduce government spending. But in this case they’re wrong. We need to boost the government’s investment in R&D, not slash it.
 
Wed
23
Apr

City of West receives additional disaster grant

By Ed Sterling.
 
AUSTIN — Gov. Rick Perry on April 16 granted a request by the city of West for an additional $4.8 million in disaster grant assistance for recovery efforts in the West fertilizer plant explosion that occurred April 17, 2013. Fifteen people were killed in the explosion, more than 160 were injured and more than 150 buildings were reported damaged or destroyed in the town of about 2,800 people, 20 miles north of Waco. Perry’s office said the grant is to help the city of West repair and rebuild infrastructure damaged or destroyed by the blast and assist with other important projects in the affected area.

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Wed
16
Apr

LBJ Presidential Library hosts civil rights summit

By Ed Sterling
 
AUSTIN — President Barack Obama and former Presidents Jimmy Carter, Bill Clinton and George W. Bush spoke at the Lyndon Baines Johnson Presidential Library’s Civil Rights Summit, held April 8-10 in Austin. The summit marked the 50th anniversary of President Johnson’s efforts culminating in Congress’ passage of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 and Johnson’s signing the bill into law on July 2, 1964.
 
Wed
16
Apr

American heroes deserve better

With more than 1,667,000 veterans, Texas is home to the second largest veteran population in the United States. I hear from North and Central Texas veterans almost daily. They tell me about the bureaucratic nightmares they have encountered when dealing with the Veterans Administration (VA) to get their disability claims processed or to appeal a VA decision.
 
Wed
16
Apr

LBJ Library hosts civil rights summit

AUSTIN — President Barack Obama and former Presidents Jimmy Carter, Bill Clinton and George W. Bush spoke at the Lyndon Baines Johnson Presidential Library’s Civil Rights Summit, held April 8-10 in Austin. The summit marked the 50th anniversary of President Johnson’s efforts culminating in Congress’ passage of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 and Johnson’s signing the bill into law on July 2, 1964.
 
Wed
16
Apr

Disability claims: Our heroes deserve better for price paid

With more than 1,667,000 veterans, Texas is home to the second largest veteran population in the United States. I hear from North and Central Texas veterans almost daily. They tell me about the bureaucratic nightmares they have encountered when dealing with the Veterans Administration (VA) to get their disability claims processed or to appeal a VA decision.
 
Wed
09
Apr

Americans deserve better performance from government

By Lee Hamilton.

Americans want to see better performance from their government. Where to start: cut the number of political appointees, reduce layers of management, reform the civil service, and rein in costly outsourcing.
In 1965, the chairman of the powerful Ways and Means Committee, Wilbur Mills, brought legislation establishing Medicare and Medicaid to the floor of the U.S. House. That was my first year in Congress, and I remember vividly the moment when Mills came to the Democratic caucus to explain his plans.
 
Wed
09
Apr

State officials respond to Fort Hood shooting

By Ed Sterling.
 
A Fort Hood soldier brought a civilian semiautomatic pistol to the sprawling military post 60 miles north of the Capitol city on April 2 and opened fire, killing three fellow service members and wounding 16 others before turning the .45-caliber weapon on himself. The suspect, Specialist Ivan Lopez, 34, died of an apparent self-inflicted gunshot wound reportedly after a female military police officer confronted him.

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Wed
02
Apr

Protecting Texas’ military bases for possible closings

By Greg Abbott.

Texas must be prepared to protect our military bases from closing. I have a plan to do that. Our state has a long and storied military history. For more than a century, Texans have had a prominent role in defending the nation, sending our sons and daughters to fight on foreign fields of battle in Europe, Asia, Africa and Central America. My brother, Gary, proudly served in the Navy for 20 years until retiring as a commander.
 
Wed
02
Apr

Vietnam veterans monument placed at state’s capitol

By Ed Sterling.
 
AUSTIN — Forty-one years after the last U.S. combat troops left Vietnam, the new Texas Capitol Vietnam Veterans Monument was dedicated in a March 29 ceremony attended by a crowd of thousands, including veterans, active duty military, families, friends and relatives. Some 3,417 Texans died or are unaccounted for in Vietnam, according to the State Capitol Preservation Board.

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