Columns/Opinions

Tue
03
Dec

Fancy names

I’m laughing about this topic. It’s gotten way out of hand. Zack and the kids provided a few examples from their own experience. Internet research yielded additions. I present for your entertainment the following:
• Housekeeper (Maid or possibly wife).
• Domestic Engineer (Housewife. I personally prefer the more exotic “Domestic Goddess.” See more about the adjective “exotic” later).
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Tue
03
Dec

Candidates line up for party primaries

By Ed Sterling.

Texas’ primary election is set for March 4, 2014, and the list of candidates for statewide office is largely settled, with Dec. 9 as the filing deadline. Most recently gaining notice was state Sen. Leticia Van de Putte, D-San Antonio, who announced her candidacy for lieutenant governor on Nov. 23. Van de Putte has 22 years of experience as a state lawmaker — eight years as a state representative and 14 years as a senator. She serves as chair of the Senate Committee on Veteran Affairs and Military Installations.
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Tue
26
Nov

Dogged Journalism: A blessing, not a curse

By Lee Hamilton, Former Congressman.

There is a limit to how much secrecy a democracy can stand. Let’s start with the obvious: A democracy needs intelligence agencies. It needs to know what’s happening in the world — and understand the plans of allies and enemies — to keep the nation prepared and secure. If intelligence work is going to be effective, much of it has to be done in secret. “National security” is not merely an excuse for keeping intelligence activity under wraps: often, the only way to protect our collective well-being is to pursue many national security activities, including intelligence-gathering, in the dark.
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Tue
26
Nov

Marking 50th year since JFK assassination

By Ed Sterling.

Texans, Americans and citizens of the world in the past week remembered the shock and aftermath of the assassination of President John F. Kennedy 50 years ago in Dallas, on Nov. 22, 1963. Many newspapers and other media reflected on coverage of those days, some expanding on how the assassination changed views on public safety and kindled the public’s desire for a faster-moving stream of news.
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Tue
19
Nov

Time to fish or cut bait on tax reform

By Lee Hamilton, Former Congressman.

For talk of tax reform to be meaningful, members of Congress must have the courage to specify publicly which cuts to eliminate, or at least trim. As Congress moves forward on budget negotiations, the word out of Washington is to expect nothing major: no grand bargain, just more stopgap, short-term fixes. Yet there’s one ray of hope. The House and Senate chairs of the tax-writing committees, one a Republican, the other a Democrat, are preparing a comprehensive tax reform plan. They see the budget negotiations as an opportunity to enact much-needed changes to our bloated, off-kilter tax laws.
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Tue
19
Nov

Governor reacts to Obama’s health care proposal

By Ed Sterling.

President Obama’s announcement last week proposing an alternative to insurers canceling health insurance plans that no longer meet the federal “Affordable Care” law’s requirement to cover basic benefits like prescription drugs or doctors’ visits drew fire from Gov. Rick Perry. Insurers could offer customers the option to renew their 2013 health plans in 2014, without change, allowing them to keep their plans, the president said.
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Wed
13
Nov

Insignificant

By Genie Ellis Zacharias.

A man who reads lives a thousand lives. A man who doesn’t read lives but one. I read a lot. Some goes in and out of this head, but occasionally things stick. Two thoughts that always stuck with me have to do with conversation and advice. A social gathering over the weekend reminded me with a gentle nudge.
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Wed
13
Nov

Washington’s addiction

Washington spending – it’s not a bad habit, it’s an addiction In the last five years, Washington has governed from fiscal crisis to fiscal crisis. Terms like “debt ceiling,” “continuing resolution,” “fiscal cliff,” “sequester,” have become commonplace in our vocabulary. U.S. revenues under the Obama Administration gross a record $3 trillion annually, yet our national debt recently topped $17 trillion.
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Tue
05
Nov

Belle, Tuffy settling in

By Genie Ellis Zacharias.

Gentle readers who follow my column and view our Ranch Tails cartoon strips in The Clifton Record and Meridian Tribune are aware we adopted two dogs a couple of months ago. Time has passed. This reminds me how anything new can be uncertain – even scary – then becomes routine. With occasional surprises of course. Change shakes folks up. There we were, all comfortably mired in our previous configuration, down to one canine and one feline. Then dear old Stinky the Dog had to up and die on us. Boy we miss him. We credit or blame him with sending us these new furry friends. Depends on the day.
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Tue
05
Nov

Appeals court grants stay in abortion law case

By Ed Sterling.

A three-judge panel of the Fifth U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals on Oct. 31 granted the state an emergency stay, allowing a certain contested portion of the Texas abortion law to remain in effect for the time being. The action stems from a case brought by Planned Parenthood Greater Texas Surgical Health Services and more than a dozen other plaintiff entities and individuals who filed suit to stop the state from enforcing two new portions in the abortion law, Chapter 171 of the state Health and Safety Code.
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