Politics

Immigration
2:26 pm
Fri October 18, 2013

Obama's Immigration Pivot Hits A Bruised GOP's Weak Spot

Demonstrators supporting an immigration overhaul stage a sit-down protest at the offices of Rep. Mario Diaz-Balart, R-Fla., on Oct. 11.
Lynne Sladky AP

Originally published on Fri October 18, 2013 6:58 pm

After successfully staring down congressional Republicans in the shutdown-debt ceiling fight, President Obama pivoted to immigration in a move with almost no downside.

That makes it perfect as the next vehicle for him to use to cause the GOP major indigestion.

Before being re-elected last year, President Obama said he hoped the Republican "fever" of opposition to him would break during his second term. But if the just-completed standoff is any indication, that temperature is still spiking.

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Government Shutdown
4:45 am
Thu October 17, 2013

Congress Approves Bill To End Government Shutdown, Avert Default

Speaker of the House John Boehner pumps his fist after leaving a meeting of House Republicans at the U.S. Capitol on Wednesday.
Win McNamee Getty Images

Originally published on Wed October 16, 2013 11:32 pm

Bringing to an end an episode that once again exposed Washington gridlock at its worst, the House approved a Senate deal that will end a 16-day federal government shutdown and avert the first government default in U.S. history.

The 285-144 vote came at the eleventh hour, after weeks of partisan bickering and a very public airing of deep divisions within the Republican party. President Obama signed the bill into law after midnight Thursday.

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Politics
3:06 pm
Wed October 9, 2013

Columnist Eugene Robinson Talks Texas, Obamacare, and the Era of Gridlock

Pulitzer Prize-winning columnist Eugene Robinson.

In the mid-1970’s, Eugene Robinson began his career in journalism. He joined The Washington Post in the '80's, covering domestic and foreign affairs before moving on to a managing editor post.

More recently, Robinson's become known nationally as a Pulitzer prize-winning columnist and contributor to MSNBC. Prior to his appearance at the University of Texas to deliver this year's Mary Alice Davis Distinguished Lecture in Journalism, Robinson stopped by the KUT studios to talk about the current political climate and how the politics of Texas – and healthcare – factor into it. 

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Texas-OU Game
1:29 pm
Wed October 9, 2013

Red River Rivalry Fundraising a Growing Trend

Texas lawmakers from both parties look to the annual Texas-OU game as a fundraising opportunity.
Todd Wiseman / Randall Chancellor / Jason Petersen / Stephen Payne

More than 30 Texas legislators are hoping to cash in on the big Longhorn-Sooner rivalry game this weekend in Dallas, but they're not relying on bookies or their betting prowess.

The annual SBC Red River Rivalry football game between the University of Texas and Oklahoma University is increasingly becoming a fundraising hotspot for lawmakers in both parties, who can rely on plenty of deep-pocketed donors to be in Dallas for the game-day festivities. While most of the legislators holding fundraisers represent districts in the Dallas area, recently more lawmakers from across the state, like state Reps. Ken King, R-Canadian, andTodd Hunter, R-Corpus Christi, are going to Dallas hoping to score big financially at the Cotton Bowl.

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Government Shutdown
3:17 pm
Tue October 8, 2013

House GOP's Latest Idea: A Fiscal Supercommittee, Sort Of

Rep. Pete Sessions (R-Texas) at the hearing where he discussed his bill to create a bipartisan committee to tackle fiscal issues.
C-SPAN screen shot

Originally published on Tue October 8, 2013 3:56 pm

The latest House GOP gambit in the fiscal fight is ... wait for it ... a supercommittee.

But Republicans aren't calling it a supercommittee since that's the term for the failed panel that brought us the the sequester.

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Government Shutdown
8:23 am
Mon October 7, 2013

No End In Sight: Shutdown Showdown Enters Week 2

Texas Republican Sen. John Cornyn speaks on CBS's Face the Nation on Sunday. Cornyn said the partial federal government shutdown cannot end unless President Obama sits down with congressional Republicans.
Chris Usher AP

Originally published on Mon October 7, 2013 11:26 am

The second week of the shutdown is, so far, looking a lot like Week 1. Even so, here are a few data points that might be worth your attention:

U.S. civilian defense workers heading back to work on Monday

As The Two-Way's Bill Chappell reported earlier, the Department of Defense is ordering most of its furloughed civilian employees — amounting to about 400,000 workers — back to work.

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Economy
12:32 pm
Thu October 3, 2013

Treasury: New Debt Ceiling Fight Could Derail Economy

Treasury Secretary Jacob Lew leaves the Capitol after a visit on Thursday.
Alex Wong Getty Images

Originally published on Thu October 3, 2013 2:30 pm

The Treasury Department is issuing a warning of dire economic consequences that could rival the Great Recession if Congress is unable to agree on raising the debt ceiling and the nation defaults on its obligations.

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Politics
3:00 pm
Fri September 27, 2013

President To GOP: Don't 'Burn Down The House' Over Obamacare

House Republicans have insisted that a spending bill contain language defunding Obamacare.
Win McNamee Getty Images

Originally published on Fri September 27, 2013 5:32 pm

Update At 3:50 p.m. EDT.

President Obama on Friday praised the Senate for passing a spending bill to keep the federal government operating and called House GOP efforts to tie approving the measure to defunding the Affordable Care Act "political grandstanding."

He said that despite Republican hopes that Obamacare will be repealed, "That's not going to happen," accusing Republicans of threatening to "blow up the entire economy."

No one has the right to precipitate such a crisis, he said, "just because there are a couple of laws you don't like."

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Politics
1:33 pm
Thu September 26, 2013

'Green Eggs And Ham': A Quick Political History

President Obama, accompanied by first lady Michelle Obama, reads Green Eggs and Ham at the annual White House Easter Egg Roll in April 2010.
Charles Dharapak AP

Originally published on Thu September 26, 2013 12:26 pm

During the fifth hour of his televised marathon speech protesting Obamacare, Texas Sen. Ted Cruz caught the attention of Dr. Seuss fans everywhere by pulling out a copy of Green Eggs and Ham on the Senate floor to read as a bedtime story to his children.

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Politics
9:02 am
Fri September 20, 2013

Sen. Ted Cruz Has House Republicans Seeing Red

Sen. Ted Cruz, R-Texas, speaks during the Family Leadership Summit in Ames, Iowa, in August.
Justin Hayworth AP

Originally published on Thu September 19, 2013 4:40 pm

House Republicans, meet Sen. Ted Cruz. Ted Cruz, House Republicans.

Given the surprise expressed by some House members at the Texas senator's approach to the defunding of Obamacare, perhaps an introduction was in order.

A few dozen House members Wednesday morning successfully coerced a reluctant Speaker John Boehner into tying the Obamacare language to a must-pass government funding bill. This came after weeks of television ads featuring Cruz and fellow Senate Republican Mike Lee advocating exactly that plan, regardless of the consequences.

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Crime & Justice
5:45 pm
Wed September 18, 2013

Report: Texas Executions Conducted Under Broken System

Anthony Graves was exonerated from death row in 2010. He and the American Bar Association are calling for changes to Texas's death penalty practices.
Erika Aguilar for KUT News

The Texas criminal justice system is not doing everything it can to ensure the death penalty is applied fairly.

That's according to a report released today by the American Bar Association’s Texas Capital Punishment Assessment Team, which claims Texas fails to meet national standards in all phases of implementing capital punishment.

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Politics
5:44 am
Wed September 18, 2013

An Announcement From Wendy Davis, Sort Of

Davis says she'll announce her decision on running for Texas governor on Oct. 3
davis.senate.state.tx.us

Let the countdown begin: Sen. Wendy Davis has announced her announcement date.

The Fort Worth Democrat, eyeing a run for governor, said in an email release that she would break some news about her political future on Thursday, Oct. 3.

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Islam
5:01 pm
Thu September 12, 2013

Interview: Texas Should Teach Terrorism Lurks in All Radical Faiths – Not Just Islam

Professor Deepa Kumar says people of all faiths could gain something for her lecture on the construction of the "Muslim enemy."
flickr.com/glenscott

Wednesday marked 12 years since the September 11 terrorist attacks. The attacks thrust radical Islam into the spotlight and arguably ushered in an era of Islamophobia. But do stereotypes about Muslims actually go back much further?

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Syria
12:41 pm
Wed September 11, 2013

Should the U.S. Intervene in Syria?

A protest in New York City opposing a U.S. attack on Syria.
flickr.com/worldcantwait

In the wake of a chemical weapons attack that reportedly left more than 1,400 Syrians dead , the debate has begun on whether the U.S. should intervene. The American people now wait for what steps, if any, the United States will take in the coming weeks.

The Takeaway has responded to this call for a national conversation with special programming.

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Wendy Davis
9:02 am
Thu September 5, 2013

Wendy Davis' Father Dies; Speculation Builds Over Run for Governor

Sen. Wendy Davis, D- Fort Worth, during her famous 13-hour filibuster in June. Davis said she would announce a decision on her political future this month, but her father’s death may complicate matters.
Filipa Rodrigues for KUT News

Jerry Russell, the father of State Sen. Wendy Davis, died Thursday at 77. The news sparks more anticipation for those waiting to hear whether Davis will announce a run for governor in 2014.

Russell has been in critical condition at a Fort Worth hospital since August after complications developed from abdominal surgery. Davis was expected to make an announcement about whether she would run for governor in early September, but postponed the news to take care of her father.

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Voter ID
2:51 pm
Wed September 4, 2013

Maps: Austin, Now You Can See If Your Neighbors Are Registered to Vote

Volunteers looking to register eligible voters can now search individual voting precincts by map.
KUT News

September is Travis County’s Voter Registration Awareness Month – and the county Tax Assessor and Voter Registrar are kicking things off with a new online tool to help volunteers find new voters.

Citizen registrars can now use the county’s website to view lists and maps of addresses with unregistered and suspended voters, broken down by Travis County precincts. While the maps do not verify that eligible, but unregistered, voters reside at those locations, the new resource still helps deputy registrars and other organizations identify areas that may be neglected by the voting process.

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Politics
9:06 am
Tue September 3, 2013

'The Worm' Returns To North Korea; Rodman Visits Again

Former basketball star Dennis Rodman at Beijing Capital International Airport on Tuesday, before his flight to Pyongyang, North Korea.
Petar Kujundzic Reuters /Landov

Originally published on Tue September 3, 2013 7:48 am

Former NBA star Dennis Rodman is visiting North Korea again, six months after spending time there with dictator Kim Jong Un — an "awesome" man, in Rodman's opinion.

NPR's Anthony Kuhn reports from Beijing that:

"Rodman was spotted transiting the Beijing airport en route to Pyongyang, sporting his characteristic lip and nose rings, plus green hair.

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Politics
8:37 am
Tue August 20, 2013

U.S. Sen. Ted Cruz To Renounce Canadian Citizenship

Republican Sen. Ted Cruz of Texas speaks about immigration during a march near Capitol Hill in July.
Drew Angerer Getty Images

Originally published on Tue August 20, 2013 7:41 am

Republican Sen. Ted Cruz of Texas has been mentioned as a possible presidential candidate in the 2016 election. But to run for president, the U.S. Constitution says a candidate must be a "natural born" U.S. citizen; it doesn't mention dual citizenship.

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Politics
1:19 pm
Mon August 19, 2013

For Tweeting Candidates Like Abbott, a Campaign Risk

Greg Abbott announces his candidacy for Texas governor at LaVillita in San Antonio on July 14, 2013.
Bob Daemmrich, Texas Tribune

As his followers know, Attorney General Greg Abbott, widely considered the frontrunner to be Texas' next governor, manages his own Twitter feed. It's not uncommon for him to use it to thank his supporters. 

But his appreciation for a supporter's tweet on Sunday night — one that called state Sen. Wendy Davis, D-Fort Worth, an "idiot" and a "Retard Barbie" — has fast become the most controversial moment of Abbott's young gubernatorial bid. And it has highlighted the high-risk, high-reward proposition of letting a candidate handle his or her own social media.     

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Politics
3:09 pm
Fri August 16, 2013

Special Prosecutor To Investigate Perry Veto

Shelley Kofler KERA News

Originally published on Fri August 16, 2013 12:16 pm

A Texas judge says he plans to have a special prosecutor review allegations that Gov. Rick Perry abused his office when he vetoed state funding for the Travis County District Attorney’s Public Integrity Unit.

The complaint stems from an allegation that Perry said he would veto millions in funding for the office if Democratic D.A. Rosemary Lehmberg did not step down.  Lehmberg was arrested for drunken-driving in April but did not quit her job.

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