Political news

The annual presidential turkey pardoning event at the White House, which took place again today, is a peculiar one. Presiding over his sixth one last year, even President Obama seemed confused by it all.

"It is a little puzzling that I do this every year," Obama said, "but I will say that I enjoy it, because with all the tough stuff that swirls around in this office, it's nice once in a while to just say, 'Happy Thanksgiving.' "

Planned Parenthood Sues Texas Over Medicaid Removal

Nov 23, 2015
Tamir Khalifa/Texas Tribune

From the Texas Tribune: Planned Parenthood’s Texas affiliates on Monday filed a federal lawsuit to keep state health officials from booting them from the state’s Medicaid program.

Following Texas’ announcement in October that it would stop funding any care for poor women at Planned Parenthood clinics — a response to what state officials called “acts of misconduct” revealed in undercover anti-abortion videos — the women’s health organization is asking the courts for a reprieve. 

Marjorie Kamys Cotera/Texas Tribune

From the Texas Tribune — A few hundred demonstrators, carrying placards and chanting slogans, rallied outside the Texas Governor’s Mansion Sunday to protest Gov. Greg Abbott’s attempts to block refugees fleeing civil war in Syria from settling in Texas. 

Under the watchful eye of dozens of police, the protesters gathered to criticize what they described as xenophobic and misinformed policies aimed at the war refugees.

Bob Daemmrich/Texas Tribune

The legal case against Rick Perry was back in court Wednesday. The hearing before the Texas Court of Criminal Appeals could decide what, if any, charges remain against the former Texas governor.

Gage Skidmore/Texas Tribune

State officials including Governor Greg Abbott continue to push the federal government to stop allowing Syrian refugees in to the country. Some are also trying to figure out how Texas can keep those refugees out of the state.

Image via Flickr/IHH Humanitarian Relief Foundation (CC BY-NC-ND 2.0)

Gov. Greg Abbott has directed the Texas Health & Human Services Commission's Refugee Resettlement Program to not help place Syrian refugees in the state. No one is questioning his ability to block that state program from working with Syrian refugees. But does his power extend to the non-profits that are using federal money to help resettle refugees in Texas?

Screenshot via Fox Business Network

Texas Senator Ted Cruz is promising to eliminate five federal agencies if elected President. That’s a pledge he made in Tuesday night's debate. Shrinking government by closing agencies has been a common refrain among Republican candidates, but in reality, it's really not that easy.

University of Texas/Texas Tribune Poll

From Texas Tribune: U.S. Sen. Ted Cruz and businessman Donald Trump are in a dead heat for the Republican presidential nomination in Texas, according to the latest University of Texas/Texas Tribune Poll.

With four months to go before the March 1 primary, each had the support of 27 percent of likely Republican voters. Surgeon Ben Carson and U.S. Sen. Marco Rubio of Florida were well back of the leaders at 13 percent and 9 percent, respectively.

(Updated at 11:32 a.m. ET.)

A federal appeals court in New Orleans dealt President Obama a big blow on Monday when it ruled that Obama had overstepped his legal authority in attempting to shield up to 5 million immigrants from deportation.

The Obama administration has vowed to appeal the decision to the Supreme Court.

Gage Skidmore/flickr

This week on the The Ticket 2016: Two of the big winners from last week's GOP debate were Ted Cruz and Chris Christie. Both made waves by attacking the media, and both drew rave reviews for talking tough and being forceful during the debate. What does that mean for the two campaigns? I'll join New Jersey Public Radio's Matt Katz and David Furst from WNYC to talk about Cruz and Christie.

Eric Kayne/Texas Tribune

From the Texas Tribune: Delivering a hit to the Texas gay rights movement, Houston voters on Tuesday resoundingly rejected an ordinance that would have established protections from discrimination for gay and transgender residents and several other classes.

With 95 percent of votes counted, 61 percent of voters opposed the measure. The embattled ordinance, better known as HERO, would have made it illegal to discriminate against someone based on 15 different “protected characteristics,” including sex, race, religion, sexual orientation and gender identity.

Jorge Sanhueza-Lyon/KUT News

From the Texas Tribune: With more than 90 percent of all precincts counted, statewide measures aimed at cutting property taxes, boosting funding for road projects and reiterating Texans' right to hunt and fish appeared headed toward easy passage Tuesday evening.

Travis County Commissioner's Court

In a very narrow race, unofficial results indicate Travis County voters came out against the proposed $287 million bond to fund a new civil and family courthouse in downtown Austin. The numbers were a hair's breadth apart: 50.73 percent against and 49.27 percent in favor. 

Filipa Rodrigues for KUT News

Today is Election Day. Let’s quickly run down the voter prep list. First: Figure out what’s on the ballot. Then: Find a place to vote. Remember you can vote at any polling place in Travis County on Election Day. Finally, remember to bring some sort of identification.

Early voting for the Nov. 3 statewide elections ends tomorrow.

Find your local polling places here.

The Republican presidential race entered a new phase Wednesday night as the outsider candidates, who dominated the first two debates, were upstaged by several of their office-holding rivals — and by a budding controversy over the conduct of the third debate itself.

Image via Wikimedia Commons (Public Domain)

From Texas Standard:

This summer, a 32-year-old San Francisco woman was shot and killed by an undocumented immigrant who had previous run-ins with law enforcement. The shooter had been released from a local jail, despite a detention request by immigration officials.

Texas Tribune

From the Texas Tribune: Seeking to show Texas Republicans are coalescing behind his presidential effort, Ted Cruz on Monday unveiled the endorsement of Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick, a onetime critic of sorts whose backing gives the U.S. senator his biggest boost yet back home.

Calling it "an important morning in the Republican presidential campaign," Cruz convened Patrick and two other statewide officials at his campaign headquarters here to announce their support as well as that of a half-dozen major donors to former Gov. Rick Perry.

Ilana Panich-Linsman/KUT

From Texas Standard:

Tomorrow is the deadline for the Obama administration to comply with a federal order to release undocumented immigrants — predominantly women and children — being held at two privately-run detention centers in south Texas.


Thursday was one of the most important days of Hillary Clinton's political career. The Democratic presidential candidate faced grilling for more than eight hours over the 2012 terror attack on the diplomatic outpost in Benghazi, Libya, that claimed the lives of four Americans, including U.S. Ambassador Chris Stevens.

The questions from the 12 House Select Committee members — seven Republicans and five Democrats — split mostly along partisan lines.