Columns/Opinions

Wed
08
Jan

Abbott signs letter criticizing Sebelius, Obamacare

By Ed Sterling.
 
AUSTIN — U.S. Health & Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius received a letter dated Jan. 2 from 10 state attorneys general, expressing concern over recent action related to the enforcement of the federal Affordable Care Act. Texas Attorney General Greg Abbott signed the letter along with 10 other state attorneys general who united in claiming the federal Health & Human Services agency has proposed changes “that both compound illegal executive action and fail to protect the privacy of consumers using the health insurance exchanges.”
 

 

Wed
01
Jan

Obama wraps up 2013 with bipartisan statement

By Brett Voss.

For President Barack Obama, the political events of 2014 will go a long way toward determining his legacy for his two terms in office. And if the last move he made in a mostly disastrous 2013 proves to set the tone, Obama may still salvage his seriously damaged image and approval ratings before leaving the White House. Last Thursday, Obama signed into law a bipartisan budget deal softening the blow from scheduled spending cuts and a military bill cracking down on sexual assault. The two bills, passed by Congress with broad bipartisan support, constituted a modest step away from gridlock.
 
Wed
25
Dec

Ghost of cookies and cakes past

By Mike Cox.

With apologies to Charles Dickens, what haunts me as Christmas approaches each year is the Ghost of Cookies Past and its fellow chain-rattler, the Ghost of Cakes Past. In addition to enjoying pleasant childhood memories of 1950s and early ‘60s-vintage Christmases, back before tree lights twinkled and Santa had a smart phone, I can still smell my grandmother’s fresh-from-the-oven sugar cookies.
 
Wed
25
Dec

Pervasive malaise

By Dr. Genie Ellis.
 
My first degree was in sociology. When I see a trend, my ears perk up and my interest is piqued. At least four people have voiced the exact same concern to me lately, three of them in the last two days. Well, Zack’s sentiment is long-standing and well known. So he didn’t surprise me. He’s turning into a big curmudgeon.
 

 

Wed
18
Dec

Consider a different kind of giving this holiday season

By Roger Williams.

How will you celebrate the holiday season this year? Will you pack up the car and travel to spend time with loved ones? Will you wait in mile-long lines to get the perfect gift? Will you watch football and pray for a bowl game victory? The wonderful traditions of the Christmas season mean many different things to many different people. It is a season of joy, but also of excess – too much eating, too much shopping, too many to-dos. It seems each year our “busyness” gets in the way of celebrating the true reason for the season.
 
Wed
18
Dec

Comptroller reports estimate for state revenue amount

By Ed Sterling.

AUSTIN — Texas will have some $98.9 billion in general revenue for state budget makers to work with in the 2014-2015 biennium, according to Texas Comptroller Susan Combs’ revenue estimate. Combs delivered the estimate to Gov. Rick Perry, Lt. Gov. David Dewhurst, House Speaker Joe Straus and every member of the state House and Senate on Dec. 12. “This available revenue,” Combs said, “supports general revenue spending of $96.31 billion for the 2014-2015 biennium … producing an expected revenue balance of $2.58 billion.”
 
Wed
11
Dec

Govenor, Texas lawmakers honor Nelson Mandela

By Ed Sterling.

Following the death of Nelson Mandela on Dec. 5, Gov. Rick Perry and other elected officials released statements in honor of the former president of South Africa whose message of racial reconciliation and leading role in breaking down apartheid in that country are acknowledged globally. Perry said: “Through his valiant struggle against the injustices of apartheid, Nelson Mandela became a symbol of what one person can do to change the world. His life and legacy will remain an inspiration to people everywhere who believe in the power of freedom to create stronger nations and forge a better world for future generations.
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Wed
11
Dec

Why can’t Congress aim for higher ground?

By Lee Hamilton.

The country needs gradual deficit reduction that avoids disrupting the economy or harming the vulnerable. Congress should craft a long-term solution to problems that have held economic growth far below its potential. Congressional budget negotiators are moving to meet a December 13 deadline to produce, well, something. Commentators say even the narrowest will be a signal achievement. Doesn’t that seem like an awfully low bar to you? Yes, I know. The atmosphere on Capitol Hill is poisonous. Yet there are consequences to not producing an agreement that brings clarity to fiscal affairs.
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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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