Columns/Opinions

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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Wed
22
Jan

Report proposes paths toward water security

By Ed Sterling
 
AUSTIN — State Comptroller Susan Combs on Jan. 14 released “Texas Water Report: Going Deeper For The Solution,” a study of water issues Texas faces, and a set of recommendations. “Texas has been prone to cycles of drought for centuries and there is no reason to expect that basic pattern to change,” Combs said in bringing attention to the report. “Yet our state has changed and its booming population and economy are creating an increasingly unquenchable demand for water,” she added.

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Wed
22
Jan

Race to the White House in 2016 already getting ugly

by Brett Voss

As 2014 rolls into its fourth week, it looks like 2016 presidential politics have already begun. But the biggest question in January 2014 has become who will self-destruct first in the hot seat as early front runners - Democratic hopeful Hillary Clinton or Republican Governor Chris Christie? What started as a mystery over a monster traffic jam has erupted into a multifaceted scandal for Gov. Christie of New Jersey, who was sworn in for a second term Tuesday just as he’s battling allegations of a pattern of political bullying.
 
Wed
15
Jan

It’s time to trust government again, but definitely verify

Lee Hamilton Former Congressman.

Wed
15
Jan

State railroad commission to hire seismologist

By Ed Sterling.
 
AUSTIN — After meeting with Azle residents in a town hall style meeting last week, Texas Railroad Commissioner David Porter called for his agency, which regulates the oil and gas industry, to hire a seismologist. Azle residents told Porter about the effects of earth tremors felt at their homes and businesses, and their ongoing safety concerns over seismic activity that has increased locally along with an increase in oil and gas industry activities over the last several years.
 

 

Wed
08
Jan

The big chill begins to heat up in nation’s capitol this week

By Brett Voss.

The big chill that swept the nation over the weekend slowed the government’s first day back at work when many elected officials struggled to return to Washington due to the weather. But once everyone makes their way to the nation’s capital this week, the climate with undoubtedly heat up. It will be back to business as usual as congressional Republicans and Democrats begin focusing on hot-button issues like Obamacare, unemployment and the minimum wage. And without a doubt, election-year politics will certainly shape an already limited agenda.
 
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.
 

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