Columns/Opinions

Tue
16
May
Edgar's picture

LBJ faces mudslinger in 1946 campaign

By Bartee Haile

Hardy Hollers began his bid for Lyndon Johnson’s congressional seat on May 13, 1946 with these fighting words:

“He went on a few months’ sightseeing tour of the Pacific with a camera in one hand and leading his publicity agent by the other.”

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Wed
10
May
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CHOICE act will punish financial fraud, bad actors

by Roger Williams 

Economists at a prominent think tank based in Washington, D.C. last week reported that a full repeal of the Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act would boost the economy by one percent and generate $340 billion in federal revenue over a 10-year period.

Dodd-Frank, as it is called for short, was passed by the Democrat controlled Congress and signed into law by President Obama in 2010. At more than 2,000 pages, the law is the most sweeping financial regulation enacted since the Great Depression era.

It was sold to the American public as a Washington crackdown on greedy Wall Street banks that put the U.S. economy into a tailspin. Crafty messaging professionals created an advertising gimmick in the title of the law itself.

 

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Wed
10
May
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House joins Senate, passes convention bill

by Ed Sterling 

AUSTIN — The Texas House of Representatives on May 4 approved Senate Joint Resolution 2, a measure calling for a convention of the states, as contemplated and enabled by Article V of the U.S. Constitution.

The state Senate on Feb. 28 originally passed SJR 2, authored by Brian Birdwell, R-Granbury. Every member of the House and Senate who signed as a co-author or co-sponsor of SJR 2 is Republican, and no Democrat voted in favor of the resolution.

Last week, after the House approved an amended version of the joint resolution, Governor Greg Abbott said: “Today marks an important step toward restraining a runaway federal government and returning power back to the states and their respective citizens as our Founders intended.”

 

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Tue
02
May
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GOP majority pushes santuary city bill to pass

By Ed Sterling

AUSTIN — During his “State of the State” address on Jan. 31, Governor Greg Abbott declared legislation banning so-called “sanctuary cities” to be one of his top priorities and an emergency item, saying: “Elected officials don’t get to pick and choose which laws they obey.”

In 2011, when Rick Perry was governor, he made the original call for such a ban. Last week, after more than a dozen hours of spirited floor debate and parliamentary maneuvers, the Texas House approved legislation banning so-called sanctuary cities.

 

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Tue
02
May
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Rookie pitches perhaps most perfect game ever

By Bartee Haile

A rookie from the Lone Star State pitched his way into the major-league record book on Apr. 30, 1922 by retiring 27 batters in a row.

The rarest achievement in baseball is a perfect game. To accomplish this incredible feat, a pitcher cannot allow a single batter to reach first base. Only 21 have done it since 1900, and one of those was a nobody from North Texas.

Charles Culbertson Robertson was born in 1897 at Dexter in the northeastern tip of Cooke County four miles from the Red River. The gifted athlete attended Austin College, where he played baseball, basketball and football while studying for the ministry.

 

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Tue
25
Apr
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House passes legislation to reform school finance law

By Ed Sterling

AUSTIN — The Texas House of Representatives on April 19 approved school finance legislation that would reduce the amount of local tax dollars that property-rich school districts are required to share with other school districts under the so-called “Robin Hood” process.

House Bill 21 by House Public Education Committee Chair Dan Huberty, R-Houston, passed on a vote of 134-16. It would increase per-student state funding for most school districts and charter schools and would adjust formulas used to calculate how much funding the state sends to school districts.

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Tue
25
Apr
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The charmed life of a frontier lawman

By Bartee Haile

A Texan for three years and a Ranger for less than one, Jeff Milton survived his baptism of gunfire on Apr. 25, 1881 just as he would many other brushes with death in the years to come.

When the wife of Florida governor John Milton gave birth soon after secession, the pleased papa named the baby Jeff Davis in honor of the Confederate president. The elder Milton died in the closing days of the war, proud of the fact that his beloved Tallahassee along with Austin, Texas were the only southern capitals not to fall to the Yankees

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Tue
18
Apr
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Renowned ranger routs Rio Grande rustlers

By Bartee Haile

The sheriff of a South Texas county overrun by Mexican bandits sent the following telegram to Ranger headquarters in Austin on Apr. 18, 1875: “Is Capt. McNelly coming? We are in trouble. Five ranches burned by disguised men last week. Answer.”

Although the sprawling spreads south of San Antonio had been plagued for years by hit-and-run rustlers, previous losses paled in comparison to the current crime wave. Led by Juan Cortinas, part-time revolutionary and full-time thief, well-organized bands were driving hundreds of cattle every week across the Rio Grande for shipment to Cuba.

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Tue
18
Apr
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Federal judge says again, Texas voter ID discriminates

By Ed Sterling

AUSTIN — U.S. District Judge Nelva Gonzales Ramos of Corpus Christi on April 10 ruled the State of Texas has failed to prove that the voter identification law was not written with discriminatory intent and purpose.

The ruling came in response to a charge by the New Orleans- based U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit that Judge Ramos re-examine the evidence and her 2015 findings in Veasey et al., plaintiffs, v. Greg Abbott et al., defendants.

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Tue
11
Apr
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Texas lost battalion 75 years ago

By John Cornyn

But among all our servicemembers and veterans, Texas’ most decorated unit remains the group of 532 brave men we now call the “Texas Lost Battalion,” who were captured by the Japanese 75 years ago, in March 1942.

The story starts earlier, in the fall of 1940, when the 36th Division of the Texas National Guard arrived just outside of Brownswood at one of Texas’ largest training centers, Camp Bowie. World War II had engulfed both Europe and Asia, and President Franklin D. Roosevelt had issued orders in late August to mobilize the National Guard.

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