Columns/Opinions

Wed
26
Feb

Law clarifies where electioneering may occur

By Ed Sterling.
 
AUSTIN — Questions over where you may stand, what you can say and when you can say it arise here and there around Texas at election time. A new law to solve such issues is on the books. House Bill 259, which took effect when Gov. Rick Perry signed it into law on June 14, 2013, allows political speech outside of the 100-foot zone at public buildings where election polls are located.
 
Wed
19
Feb

Obama’s call for year of action requires more than words

By Roger Williams.

A recent U.S. Department of Labor report revealed that almost 11.3 million adults have dropped out of the labor force under the Obama administration, while total employment has grown by just 2.4 million. That means there are almost five new workforce dropouts for every new employee. When you take into consideration that less than 68 percent of the entire adult population is participating in the labor market, these numbers just don’t support President Obama’s claim in his State of the Union address that we have “the lowest unemployment rate in over five years.”
 
Wed
19
Feb

Candidates show differences as primaries approach

By Ed Sterling.
 
AUSTIN — Counting down to Primary Election Day on March 4, Republican Greg Abbott and Democrat Wendy Davis remain the presumptive frontrunners for governor in their respective party races. For lieutenant governor, state Sen. Leticia Van de Putte of San Antonio stands alone as the Democrat vying for that powerful office, while Republican primary voters will have a field of four candidates to choose from in that race: incumbent Lt. Gov. David Dewhurst; Jerry Patterson, land commissioner; Todd Staples, agriculture commissioner; or Dan Patrick, chair of the state Senate Committee on Education.
 
Wed
12
Feb

Permanent school fund reaches new record value

By Ed Sterling

AUSTIN — Texas’ 160-year-old Permanent School Fund had grown to $29 billion, a record high value, in December 2013, the Texas Education Agency reported Feb. 6. The fund was created by the state in 1854 with a $2 million investment. Last year was a good one. In fiscal year 2013, which ended Aug. 31, the fund earned a return of 10.16 percent — the highest return earned by any major state of Texas investment fund. Recent strong returns also made the Permanent School Fund the best performing major state fund over a three-year period ending on Aug. 31, 2013, with a return of 11.07 percent.
 
Wed
12
Feb

Balancing liberty & security: A never-ending challenge

The challenge for Congress and the courts is to put in place a rigorous and sustained oversight system to prevent abuse of the capabilities the NSA has been given. Every few days, we learn yet one more way in which government’s expanded surveillance powers intrude upon our privacy and civil liberties. Last week, it was the revelation that spy agencies in the U.S. and Britain have been snagging personal data from the users of mobile phone apps. Before that came news that the NSA was tracking our social connections; that it was delving into our contact lists; that it was logging our telephone calls; and that it had figured out how to conduct surveillance on some 100,000 computers around the world. It appears the agency can do anything it wants when it comes to collecting information on pretty much anyone it wants.
 
Tue
04
Feb

Obama’s State of the Union: My way or the highway

By Brett Voss Publisher.

After watching the State of the Union address last week, it became painfully clear President Barack Obama thinks father knows best. Seeking to energize his sluggish second term, Obama vowed last Tuesday night to sidestep Congress “whenever and wherever” necessary to narrow economic disparities between rich and poor. In other words, he remains bent on putting the spoiled step kids in their place.
 
Tue
04
Feb

President’s annual address to the nation draws reactions

By Ed Sterling.
 
AUSTIN — Gov. Rick Perry and Lt. Gov. David Dewhurst posted similar takes on President Obama’s annual state of the union address, televised live on Jan. 28. Perry said, “… Texas has shown that the way to economic prosperity and significant job growth is through individual freedoms and the free market. Tonight, we saw a president with the same old agenda and no real idea on how to govern.”
 

 

Wed
29
Jan

Hold the congrats for Congress

By Lee Hamilton Former Congressman.
 
Continuing resolutions and omnibus bills lift responsibility from most members’ hands. They produce decisions, but not in an open, democratic process. Now that Congress has its immense, $1.1 trillion bipartisan funding bill in hand, Capitol Hill is breathing easier. They ended the specter of a government shutdown for the moment, and funded the federal budget for most of the year. The media has been commending Congress for finally doing its job. This praise works only in the context of recent history, however. The bill that congressional leaders produced is hardly a triumph. Instead, it’s another example of Congress’s stubborn determination to deal itself out of the budgeting process. Let me explain.
 
Wed
29
Jan

Perry touches on pot policy in international forum

By Ed Sterling.
 
AUSTIN — With the end of his longevity record of 14 years as governor less than a year away, Rick Perry took part in policy discussions at the 2014 World Economic Forum Jan. 21-25 in Davos-Klosters, Switzerland. Perry was the only U.S. state governor to attend the forum, the governor’s office said. Besides his headline-grabbing words suggesting a softer approach through drug courts on state marijuana laws, Perry said Texas is the place to be for companies seeking a business-friendly environment.
 

 

Wed
22
Jan

‘Ma’ Ferguson serves second term as governor

By Bartee Haile
 
On Jan. 17, 1933, eight years and two months after her election as the first female governor in American history, Miriam A. Ferguson returned for a second-term encore. Following the impeachment and permanent exile from public office of husband Jim in 1917, “Ma” Ferguson stepped forward to defend the family’s tarnished honor. She waged a successful campaign for the statehouse seven years later but lost a 1926 reelection bid to challenger Dan Moody.

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