Columns/Opinions

Tue
17
Jan

System offers no guarantees

By Lee Hamilton

There are a lot of dire predictions about our representative democracy out there. We’re just past a presidential election campaign in which candidates complained about a rigged political system.

Now, commentators worry about the imminent failure of the American experiment.

I don’t agree with these predictions of calamity. Our representative democracy is not on the verge of collapse. But I do see stresses and tensions that should concern anyone who cares about our system of self-government.

Our representative democracy has been remarkably stable and successful for over two hundred years, but that is no guarantee it will survive and prosper.

Tue
17
Jan

Texas legislature convenes in 85th regular session

By Ed Sterling

AUSTIN — Lawmakers gathered at the state Capitol in their respective houses on Jan. 10, opening day for the 85th regular session of the Texas Legislature. The 140-day session will conclude on May 29.

After taking the oath of office and being sworn in, the Texas House of Representatives, on a vote of 150-0, unanimously re-elected Rep. Joe Straus, R-San Antonio, to a fifth term as speaker of the House, tying a record for the most terms as speaker.

Meanwhile, after being sworn in, the Texas Senate voted unanimously in favor of Sen. Kel Seliger, R-Amarillo, as speaker pro tempore.

Seliger will wield the Senate gavel in the absence or temporary disability of Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick, who presides over the 31-member body. Should the governor and lieutenant governor be temporarily unavailable, he will serve as governor in their absence.

Tue
10
Jan

Legendary Doc Holiday’s first stop was Dallas

By Bartee Haile

Doc Holliday rang in the New Year in Dallas on Jan. 1, 1875 by shooting a fellow gambler.

With a powerful planter and war hero for a father, John Henry Holliday had a lot to live up to. Not only was Major Holliday top dog in the county, he had also commanded Fannin’s Avengers, a company of Georgia volunteers, in the Mexican War.

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Tue
10
Jan

Legislation aims to regulate access to bathrooms, lockers

By Ed Sterling

AUSTIN — Texas now has a “bathroom bill.”

The Lone Star State has joined Alabama, Kentucky, Minnesota, Missouri, South Carolina, Virginia and Washington as states where legislation has been filed in an effort to restrict access to restrooms, locker rooms and other sex-segregated facilities on the basis of sex or gender.

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Tue
03
Jan

Patrick applauds preserving N.C.’s ‘bathroom bill’

By Ed Sterling

AUSTIN — Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick has applauded the North Carolina legislature’s refusal to repeal a law banning individuals from using public bathrooms designated for the opposite sex. Patrick, who has made the passage of similar legislation in Texas one of his priorities, said in a Dec. 22 statement: “Legislation like this is essential to protect the safety and privacy of women and girls, and is simple common sense and common decency.

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Tue
03
Jan

Another new year

By Dr. Genie Ellis

New Year’s resolution - more exercise. Summer heat and insects interrupted my walking routine. Weather grew cooler, but I was busy. There’s nothing boring about retirement. Old houses and ranches mean endless work. With my son traveling, he isn’t here pestering me to clean out this and throw away that. The major upheaval that accompanied his arrival last June has taken a break during his absence. Instead I now clean up after his dog - whom I’ve nicknamed Velcro. A mutt resembling a mini wolfhound, his curly fur brings the outside in - and his whiskers drip water whenever he drinks. We love him, but he’s a mess.

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Tue
27
Dec

Confederate, cattle king came back from dead

By Bartee Haile

 

Tue
27
Dec

Paxton intervenes in ‘Charlie Brown Christmas’ lawsuit

By Ed Sterling

 

AUSTIN — Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton on Dec. 15 intervened in a lawsuit filed on behalf of nurse’s aide Dedra Shannon against the Killeen Independent School District over its decision to take down Shannon’s Christmas decoration. According to a news release by Paxton’s office, the principal of KISD’s Patterson Middle School ordered Shannon to take down a handmade decoration that depicted a scene from the 1965 animated feature, “A Charlie Brown Christmas.” In the scene, the character Linus is asked by Charlie Brown whether there is “anyone who knows what Christmas is all about.” Shannon’s decoration quoted part of Linus’s response: “For unto you is born this day in the city of David a Savior, which is Christ the Lord … That’s what Christmas is all about, Charlie Brown.

 

Wed
21
Dec

Trump: Ethical tar pit bound?

By Tom Fitton

We fought in court against President Bill Clinton’s taking money to pay his legal bills through a legal-defense fund.

During the George W. Bush administration, we questioned the propriety of his father, President George H.W. Bush, working for Carlyle Group, an investment company that was, in effect, a major defense contractor. We also investigated and sued over the connections between another defense contractor, Halliburton, and Vice President Dick Cheney, the company’s former C.E.O.

We highlighted in 2014 how Bill Clinton was getting unusually large six-figure speaking fees from foreign governments while Hillary Clinton was secretary of state.

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Tue
13
Dec

Former rebel general returns Grant’s favor

By Bartee Haile

Puzzled as he was by the odd request, President Jefferson Davis gladly gave a Texas general the toughest job in the Confederacy on Dec. 11, 1863. As a member of the West Point class of 1846, Samuel Bell Maxey roomed with Thomas Jonathan Jackson, who went on to become the legendary “Stonewall.” Another close friend at the academy was a hard-drinking cadet, who kept his nose buried in novels rather than textbooks, named Ulysses S. Grant.

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