Politics

Politics
8:05 am
Fri June 21, 2013

Hundreds Denied Chance to Speak at Texas Capitol Abortion Hearing

People for and against House Bills 16 and 60 filled the hearing room.
twitter.com/grrlforfashion

Hundreds of people who had signed up to testify at a Texas House Committee hearing on abortion restrictions yesterday didn’t get to speak. Committee Chairman Byron Cook closed testimony after 3 a.m. Friday.

The House Committee on State Affairs was considering legislation that would require abortion facilities to meet the same standards as ambulatory surgical centers and ban abortion after 20 weeks of pregnancy. The committee didn't vote on the bills.

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Texas
7:56 am
Wed June 19, 2013

Poll Shows Texans Unfamiliar with State's Prominent Politicians

According to the new poll, five percent of people said they had no idea who Rick Perry is.
Filipa Rodrigues, KUT News

A new poll by the University of Texas and the Texas Tribune shows that many Texans are not familiar with some of the highest profile politicians in the state, particularly the Democratic ones.

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Politics
10:03 am
Mon June 17, 2013

House Committee Preview: West, Redistricting, TWIA Finances

Veronica Zaragovia for KUT News

The Texas Legislature has just over a week left in its special session.

Today, House Committees will meet on a variety of topics including permanent election maps, oversight of the April 17 fertilizer plant explosion and the financial condition of the Texas Windstorm Insurance Association.

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Politics
6:57 am
Thu June 6, 2013

Holder On The Hot Seat Over Leak Investigations

Attorney General Eric Holder testifies on May 15 before the House Judiciary Committee.
Brendan Smialowski AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Thu June 6, 2013 4:52 am

Attorney General Eric Holder has been a lightning rod for the president's fiercest critics during his four years in office. Lately, he's been back on the hot seat with a crisis of his own making: the Justice Department's aggressive stance toward reporters in national security leak cases.

Holder heads to the Senate on Thursday, where lawmakers are sure to demand an explanation.

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Politics
5:00 am
Tue June 4, 2013

Report: Dead Last in Voter Turnout, Texas Civic Health is 'Anemic'

U. S. Census Bureau survey data for 2010 rank Texas last among the 50 states and the District of Columbia in the percentage of eligible voters who went to the polls.
flickr.com/dawilson
  • Listen: Study looks at state's 'civic health'

A doctor who wants to determine a patient's health will gather all kinds of data - temperature, blood pressure, pulse, weight, blood test results, and the like - to come up with an overall picture of how the patient is doing.

The Annette Strauss Institute for Civic Life at the University of Texas at Austin kind of did the same thing to determine the civic health of Texas. Bad news: this patient's not in good shape.

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FBI
10:12 am
Thu May 30, 2013

FBI Pick is a Republican With Deep Roots in Law Enforcement

President Obama is expected to nominate James Comey, seen in 2004, to be the next director of the FBI.
Mark Wilson Getty Images

Originally published on Thu May 30, 2013 12:13 pm

  • From 'Morning Edition': NPR's Carrie Johnson talks about James Comey

"Name any high office in federal law enforcement ... odds are Jim Comey's had it over the years."

That's some of what NPR's Carrie Johnson had to say early Thursday on Morning Edition about the man who she has been told, by two sources with knowledge of the decision, will be President Obama's choice to be the next director of the FBI.

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Politics
6:59 am
Wed May 29, 2013

Tea Party Favorite Rep. Michele Bachmann Leaving Congress

She's saying goodbye, for now at least: Rep. Michele Bachmann, R-Minn., has announced she won't seek re-election in 2014. (File photo from Jan. 4, 2012, when she left the Republican presidential race.)
Jim Young Reuters /Landov

Originally published on Wed May 29, 2013 9:53 am

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Politics
10:50 am
Sun May 19, 2013

Nonconservative Groups Say IRS Scrutinized Them, Too

Outgoing acting Internal Revenue Service Commissioner Steve Miller (right) and Treasury Inspector General for Tax Administration J. Russell George are sworn before a full House Ways and Means Committee hearing Friday.
Nicholas Kamm AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Sun May 19, 2013 5:46 pm

The IRS was in the hot seat Friday, with its outgoing acting commissioner testifying before a House committee. A Senate panel is scheduled for Tuesday. Congress is prodding to find out why the agency singled out conservative groups for special scrutiny.

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Politics
12:46 pm
Thu May 16, 2013

Obama Names New Acting IRS Commissioner

Rain fell Thursday during part of President Obama's joint news conference with Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan in the Rose Garden of the White House.
Saul Loeb AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Thu May 16, 2013 6:39 pm

Update at 5:38 p.m. ET. One More IRS Official To Leave

Another official is out at the embattled agency.

The Associated Press reports that Joseph Grant, commissioner of the IRS' tax exempt and government entities division, will retire June 3. The division scrutinized Tea Party groups when the applied for tax-exempt status.

Update at 4:45 p.m. ET. Obama Names New IRS Acting Chief

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Politics
4:35 pm
Wed May 15, 2013

Texas Democrats See Future in Mobilizing Latino Turnout

Latinos in Texas generally don't make their numbers felt at the polls.
flickr.com/buckygail

No one doubts the growth of the Latino electorate in Texas. But its turnout at the polls is lower than in the rest of the country, leading some to question how to change that. Especially Democrats who say this is how to turn Texas blue.

State Rep. Trey Martinez-Fischer, D-San Antonio, and State Sen. Wendy Davis, D-Fort Worth, joined Julie Martinez Ortega of PAC Plus to discuss the challenge at a news conference today.

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Politics
4:11 pm
Wed May 15, 2013

IRS Out of Control, Cornyn Says

Sen. John Cornyn says the IRS overstepped its bounds.
flickr.com/musicfirstcoalition

U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder says the FBI's criminal investigation of the Internal Revenue Service could include potential civil rights violations, false statements and potential violations of the Hatch Act, which prohibits federal employees from engaging in some partisan political activities.

President Obama is meeting with Treasury officials today to discuss the IRS targeting of conservative groups for special review.

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Politics
1:32 pm
Tue May 14, 2013

It's True: 'Mistakes Were Made' is the King of Non-Apologies

President Ulysses S. Grant gets the credit — or blame? — for helping make "mistakes were made" a phrase that politicians can't seem to avoid using.
Spencer Arnold Getty Images

Originally published on Tue May 14, 2013 2:01 pm

Make no mistake, the acting commissioner of the IRS put himself in historic company Tuesday by writing in USA Today that "mistakes were made" when his agency singled out for extra scrut

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Politics
9:37 am
Tue April 30, 2013

Obama: Rumors Of My Demise Are Exaggerated

President Obama during his news conference Tuesday at the White House.
Larry Downing Reuters /Landov

Originally published on Tue April 30, 2013 1:02 pm

  • President Obama's April 30, 2013, news conference

(We updated the top of this post with a recap at 11:45 a.m. ET.)

Joking that a reporter's question Tuesday about whether he has "any juice" left to get things done in Washington made it sound like "I should just pack up and go home," President Obama paraphrased Mark Twain:

"Rumors of my demise may be a little exaggerated," the president said, as he predicted that an overhaul of the nation's immigration laws will be among the things that get accomplished in his second term.

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Politics
4:50 pm
Fri April 26, 2013

Democrats Invoke Boston, West To Defend Government's Role

Last week, FBI investigators and a Watertown, Mass., police officer investigate the scene near the boat where bombing suspect Dzhokhar Tsarnaev was hiding. Democrats have argued that the way the government responded to the Boston attacks makes a case for not cutting too deeply.
Kevork Djansezian Getty Images

Originally published on Fri April 26, 2013 4:23 pm

President Obama has spoken at two memorial services in just over a week — one for victims of the Boston Marathon attack and one for those who died in the chemical plant explosions in West, Texas. In both speeches, he focused on victims and survivors.

But other Democrats are using these events to talk about another subject: the role of government.

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Politics
1:03 pm
Tue April 23, 2013

AP Twitter Account Hacked; Tweet About Obama Shakes Market

Originally published on Wed April 24, 2013 8:56 am

A Twitter account from The Associated Press was hacked Tuesday afternoon and the erroneous message — to be perfectly clear, it WAS NOT TRUE — sent stocks down sharply for a few moments.

The false message claimed there had been two explosions at the White House and that President Obama had been injured. Again, none of that happened.

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