Columns/Opinions

Tue
27
Dec
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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
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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
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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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Tue
13
Dec
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Abbott nominates racing chair as secretary of state

By Ed Sterling

AUSTIN — Gov. Greg Abbott has appointed Rolando Pablos of El Paso to succeed Secretary of State Carlos Cascos, effective Jan. 5. Pablos has served as chair of the Texas Racing Commission, the state agency that regulates pari-mutuel racing, since December 2015.

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Tue
06
Dec
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Board sets state funding limit for next budget

By Ed Sterling

AUSTIN — Texas lawmakers will have just under $100 billion to use for the non-constitutional spending portion of state budget for fiscal years 2018-2019.

The 10-member Legislative Budget Board, which is charged with adopting a spending limit, met on Dec. 1 and accepted the figure of $99.897 billion recommended by Ursula Parks, director of the LBB. The amount is based on a projected growth rate of 8 percent in the state’s economy. The current 2016-2017 state budget for “non-dedicated” appropriations — funding that’s not mandated by the state constitution — is $92.5 billion.

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Tue
06
Dec
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Thanksgiving in Texas: America’s first feast

By John Cornyn

During Thanksgiving, the story of buckle-hatted pilgrims breaking bread with Native Americans in Plymouth, Mass. was being told all across America.

That is, except for here in the Lone Star State, where some Texans swear we did it first.

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Tue
29
Nov
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Capitol unveils African American History Memorial

By Ed Sterling

AUSTIN — A crowd of citizens and dignitaries gathered on the south lawn of the state Capitol on Nov. 19 to witness the unveiling of the Texas African American History Memorial. The 32-foot-wide, 27-foot-tall bronze monument by sculptor Ed Dwight features images of African-Americans in Texas from modern times going back nearly 500 years. Houston Mayor Sylvester Turner, a former long-time member of the Texas House of Representatives, spoke at the event.

 

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Tue
29
Nov
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Claims to first Thanksgiving

By Mike Cox

On April 30, 1598, members of Juan de Onate’s expedition had every right to be thankful. For 50 days, Onate’s 500-person entrada had endured the Chihuahuan Desert. It rained almost constantly during the first seven days of their trek north from Mexico. Then the desert returned to normal and the expedition soon began suffering from lack of water. Forty-five days into the trip, the Spaniards ran out of both water and food.

 

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Wed
23
Nov
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Texan’s Nazi warning fell on deaf ears

By Bartee Haile

Globe-trotting newspaper reporter Hubert Renfro Knickerbocker spoke at Southern Methodist University in Dallas on Nov. 20, 1941, but as usual his prowar message fell on deaf and hostile ears.

For years the award-winning journalist had implored the public to take a hard second look at Adolph Hitler and the threat fascism posed to democracy around the world. But he was drowned out by the greatest American hero of the century, who emphatically insisted that events in Europe did not concern this country.

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Wed
23
Nov
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Bill filers jump to early start as legislative session nears

By Ed Sterling

AUSTIN — Just a few of Texas’ 31 Senate members and 150 House members filed a total of 523 pieces of legislation on Nov. 14, the first day lawmakers could submit legislation for the coming session.

The 85th regular session of the Texas Legislature is scheduled to convene on the second Tuesday in January, that is, Jan. 10, at noon. Final adjournment — 140 days later — is set for the last Monday in May, that is, May 29.

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