Columns/Opinions

Thu
02
Jun

The common good, a divided nation we face in election

A New York Times/CBS News Poll conducted May 13- 17 found that Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump, the presumptive Democratic and Republican nominees, have seriously negative ratings on favorability and credibility. For example: --Trump was viewed unfavorably by 55 percent of the 1,300 adults (1,109 of them registered voters) polled nationwide; he was seen as favorable by 26 percent. (These numbers don't add up to 100 percent because of “don’t know” and “no answer” responses.) 

 

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Thu
02
Jun

10 states join Texas AG in lawsuit over school bathrooms

By Ed Sterling

AUSTIN — Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton on May 25 filed a lawsuit against the heads of the federal Department of Education, Department of Justice, Department of Labor, Equal Opportunity Commission and other entities for issuing directives that would require public schools to open up restrooms and locker rooms to both sexes. Joining Texas in the lawsuit are the states of Alabama, Arizona, Georgia, Louisiana, Maine, Oklahoma, Tennessee, Utah, West Virginia and Wisconsin. Plaintiffs also include a diverse coalition of top state officials and local school districts, including the Harrold (Texas) Independent School District. 

 

Thu
26
May

World famous naturalist visits Texas Republic

By Bartee Haile

 

A resolution was introduced in the senate of the Lone Star Republic on May 25, 1837 to make a world famous naturalist and wildlife painter an “honorary Texan.” John James Audubon was born Jean Rabin on a Caribbean island in 1785 to parents from two very different worlds. His father was a rich French seafarer, merchant, planter and slave trader, while his mother was a Creole servant who died less than a year after giving birth.

 

Thu
26
May

3 states seek clarity on federal transgender guidelines

By Ed Sterling

 

AUSTIN — Attorneys General Ken Paxton of Texas, Patrick Morrissey of West Virginia and Scott Pruitt of Oklahoma are seeking clarification of the federal government’s guidelines regarding bathroom access and other issues involving transgender students. On May 13, the Civil Rights Division of the U.S. Department of Justice and the Office for Civil Rights of the U.S.

 

Thu
19
May

High court rules school finance method is constitutional

By Ed Sterling
 
AUSTIN — The current method devised by the Texas Legislature in 2011 to fund public education does not violate the state constitution, the Texas Supreme Court unanimously ruled May 13. The lawsuit challenging the state’s education-funding method originally was brought in 2011 by more than 600 school districts identifying themselves collectively as the Texas Taxpayer and Student Fairness Coalition.
 
Thu
19
May

Life of pioneer family on West Texas frontier

By Bartee Haile
 
Richard Franklin Tankersley enlisted in an all-volunteer company of “minutemen” on May 24, 1858 and spent the next 60 days combing the West Texas countryside for hostiles. While he was making the frontier safe for neighbors and perfect strangers, his wife and six children -- alone and unprotected -- faced the constant threat of attack from the same Indians. Either the head of the household minimized the danger or never gave his loved ones’ predicament a second thought.
 
Thu
12
May

Cruz ends campaign, Perry endorses Trump for president

By Ed Sterling
 
AUSTIN — U.S. Sen. Ted Cruz, R-Texas, suspended his presidential campaign May 3 after losing Indiana’s GOP presidential primary to front-runner Donald Trump of New York. The Indiana loss mathematically eliminated Cruz from achieving the necessary delegate count to gain the nomination at the Republican Party National Convention in Cleveland, Ohio, July 18-21.
 
Thu
12
May

Flour salesman rises to pinnacle of Texas politics

By Bartee Haile
 
An entertaining and unquestionably eccentric era in Texas politics came to an end on May 11, 1969 with the death of former governor and U.S. Senator “Pappy” O’Daniel. A job offer from a Fort Worth milling company brought the 35 year old salesman to Texas in 1925. Three years later, a deal with a group of unemployed musicians put Wilbert Lee O’Daniel on the road to fame and fortune.
 
Thu
05
May

Supreme Court sends Voter ID case back to Fifth Circuit

By Ed Sterling

AUSTIN — Texas’ voter identification law will remain in effect for now, but the U.S. Supreme Court has instructed a lower court to rule on its constitutionality before November’s election. On April 29 the Supreme Court temporarily upheld a stay granted by the 5th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals on Oct. 14. The stay has allowed the Texas law to remain in effect.

 

Thu
05
May

FISA Court’s rubber stamp of approval for government spying requests

The Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court was established in 1978 to provide a measure of oversight and due process for secret law enforcement agency requests for surveillance warrants against foreign spies and other suspects in the U.S. But information on the requests contained in a recent Justice Department memo suggests that the court is serving as little more than a rubber stamp for federal agencies. Of the nearly 3,000 requests made by the National Security Agency and the Federal Bureau of Investigation to intercept communications, such as emails and phone calls, over the past two years — 1,379 in 2014 and 1,457 in 2015 — not a single one has been rejected by the FISA court.

 

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