Politics

Politics
1:39 pm
Mon February 25, 2013

For Cornyn, Right Turn Could Be Defensive Play

SInce the arrival of Sen. Ted Cruz, Sen. John Cornyn seems to be shifting discernibly right.
Gage Skidmore, Texas Tribune

After more than a decade representing blood-red Texas in the U.S. Senate, John Cornyn finds himself in an unusual spot: burnishing his conservative credentials.

One would think the senior Texas senator’s reputation would be secure: Cornyn, who has ascended to minority whip, spent two election cycles as chairman of the Senate’s Republican campaign fundraising arm, and National Journal last week ranked him second in its 2012 list of the most conservative senators.

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Politics
5:00 am
Mon February 25, 2013

Former Atlanta Mayor Franklin Brings Stories from Trailblazing Career to LBJ School

Former Atlanta Mayor Shirley Franklin was the first African-American woman elected mayor of a major Southern city.
Photo courtesy of the LBJ School of Public Affairs at the University of Texas at Austin.

"The Sewer Mayor." It's a label Shirley Franklin wears with pride. She served as Mayor of Atlanta from 2002-2010 and says she worked hard to forge consensus on critical issues such as the city's water supply.

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National Security
1:10 pm
Wed February 20, 2013

How Could The U.S. Respond To Chinese Hacking?

A Chinese soldier stands guard Tuesday in front of the Shanghai building that houses military Unit 61398. A U.S. cybersecurity company says the unit is behind nearly 150 computer attacks on U.S. and other Western companies and organizations in recent years. China denies the allegation.
Carlos Barria Reuters/Landov

Originally published on Wed March 20, 2013 11:07 am

If the Chinese military is regularly hacking into the computers of U.S. organizations, as an American security firm says, it raises all sorts of questions about how the U.S. should respond.

Is this a job for the military or the intelligence agencies? What role should diplomats and trade officials be playing?

The report issued this week by the IT security consultancy Mandiant says it has traced the hacking activity to the People's Liberation Army's Unit 61398, which has "systematically stolen hundreds of terabytes of data from at least 141 organizations."

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Politics
4:48 pm
Tue February 19, 2013

Supreme Court Takes Case That Could Puncture A Key Campaign Cash Limit

The U.S. Supreme Court agreed to hear a challenge to campaign-finance laws that could open the door to further money in politics beyond what Citizens United achieved.
Chip Somodevilla Getty Images

Originally published on Tue February 19, 2013 5:48 pm

Barely three years after the Supreme Court's landmark Citizens United ruling, which liberated corporations to spend freely in elections, the justices say they'll take up another campaign finance case — this time aiming at one of the limits on the "hard money" that goes directly to candidates and party committees.

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Politics
2:49 pm
Tue February 19, 2013

Obama Pushes Congress to Avoid Automatic Cuts; GOP Says It's Not the Problem

As he pressed Congress for action Tuesday, President Obama stood before a group of first responders. He made the case that their departments will be hurt if automatic budget cuts go into effect March 1.
Win McNamee Getty Images

Originally published on Tue February 19, 2013 10:54 am

Standing in front of first responders who he says could lose their jobs, President Obama pushed Tuesday for Congress to act now to avoid $85 billion in "automatic, severe budget cuts" set to kick in starting on March 1.

The cuts due because of the so-called sequestration "are not smart, they are not fair [and] they will hurt our economy," the president said.

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Education
12:53 pm
Mon February 18, 2013

Texas Education Could Get Hit Hard by Federal Sequestration

Texas public education could lose $517 million in automatic cuts.
flickr.com/emagic

Texas classrooms could be hit hard by federal sequestration cuts – automatic, across-the-board cuts to federal programs that will go into effect on March 1 if Congress doesn’t pass a deficit reduction bill.

In Texas, the largest cuts would happen to public education, with $517 million dollars automatically cut according to the Texas Education Agency.

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Politics
12:59 pm
Thu February 14, 2013

Obama to Hold Virtual 'Fireside Hangout' at White House

President Obama video chats with a questioner in 2012.
The White House

Originally published on Thu February 14, 2013 10:03 am

The White House has set up its latest online Fireside Hangout to focus on issues President Obama raised in his State of the Union Address this week. The live event is hosted by Google. The White House says he'll focus on jobs and other topics, such as early childhood education.

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Immigration
12:15 pm
Wed February 13, 2013

Listen: A Conservative, Business-Minded Approach to Immigration

Bailey with two long-term employees at one of his family's restaurants. The man on Bailey's left inspired him to co-found Texas Immigration Solution.
facebook.com/TexasImmigrationSolution

Click on the player to hear the full interview.

An event in Austin today aims to bring together Texas leaders in business, law enforcement and faith to talk about immigration.

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Politics
7:03 pm
Tue February 12, 2013

Live Blog: President Obama's State Of The Union Address

President Obama delivers his State of the Union address Tuesday night to a joint session of Congress.
Getty Images

Originally published on Tue February 12, 2013 11:43 pm

In his State of Union address on Tuesday, President Obama set forth a sweeping vision for his second term, tackling not only monumental issues such as entitlement and tax reform but also everyday ones like raising the minimum wage and providing universal preschool.

Coming off an inaugural address that many saw as a powerful embrace of a liberal agenda, President Obama opened the speech with a nod to bipartisanship.

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Politics
6:42 am
Tue February 12, 2013

North Korean Nuke Test Seems Timed To Upstage Obama's State Of The Union

North Korean leader Kim Jong Un.
Kyodo /Landov

Originally published on Tue February 12, 2013 9:06 am

Not only might North Korea's third underground explosion of an atomic device be a sign that it is closer to having a weapon that's light enough to be put on a missile, it seems to be a not-so-subtle message aimed at the U.S.

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Politics
9:59 am
Fri February 8, 2013

Bush Family's Emails Hacked; Probe Under Way

Former presidents George H.W. Bush (left) and George W. Bush at a 2010 World Series game in Arlington, Texas.
Matt Slocum/Pool Getty Images

Originally published on Fri February 8, 2013 8:35 am

A Smoking Gun report about the hacking of several email accounts belonging to members of presidents George W. and George H.W. Bush's family and some family friends has prompted a criminal investigation.

The Houston Chronicle says that Bush family spokesman Jim McGrath confirmed an investigation is under way, but declined further comment.

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Economy
9:56 am
Fri February 1, 2013

Losses Are Actually Gains, And Other Weird Facts From The Jobs Report

bgottsab Flickr

Originally published on Fri February 1, 2013 12:25 pm

What's today's big jobs report say?

The U.S. economy lost 2.8 million jobs jobs in January.

What?!

Don't panic. The U.S. economy loses millions of jobs every January, in good times and bad, largely because tons of seasonal holiday jobs always wind down after Christmas.

So if you set aside the normal, seasonal stuff, how is the job market doing?

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Politics
1:38 pm
Thu January 31, 2013

Hagel: 'No One Individual Vote, Quote Or Statement Defines Me'

Former Sen. Chuck Hagel, R-Neb., during his Senate nomination hearing earlier today.
Saul Loeb AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Sun February 3, 2013 11:53 am

(Scroll down for updates.)

Responding to those who have questioned his views on Israel, Iran and defense spending, former Sen. Chuck Hagel said Thursday at the opening of a Senate hearing on his nomination to be secretary of defense that:

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Gun Violence
10:02 am
Wed January 30, 2013

Giffords: 'We Must Do Something!' About Gun Violence

Former Rep. Gabby Giffords, D-Ariz., and her husband Mark Kelly at Wednesday's Senate hearing about gun violence.
Chip Somodevilla Getty Images

Originally published on Wed January 30, 2013 12:57 pm

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Politics
6:31 am
Wed January 30, 2013

PolitiFact: Perry Kept Half of His Campaign Promises

Presidential hopeful and Texas Governor Rick Perry during campaign stop in Waterloo, Iowa on August 14th, 2011.
Ben Philpott, KUT News

Governor Perry delivered his seventh State of the State speech to the Texas Legislature Tuesday. In it, he laid out his priorities for the session – from water to taxes transportation.  

KUT’s Emily Donahue checked in with PolitiFact Texas' Gardner Selby, whose team reckons Perry kept a little over half of his campaign promises. 

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Politics
1:12 pm
Tue January 29, 2013

Keeping a Long-Distance Eye on the Legislature

Lege watchers outside of Austin rely on technology to keep in the Capitol loop.
KUT News

Story as heard on KUT 90.5

With the Texas Legislature in session, thousands of people will visit the capitol to talk with lawmakers and their staffs about bills being debated. But Texas is a giant state, and many Texans can’t make the trip to Austin.

Francis Curry is a member of the United Methodist Women. It’s a group that advocates for several legislative topics, including issues of faith and caring for low-income Texans.

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Politics
6:20 am
Mon January 28, 2013

Hemp Gets The Green Light In New Colorado Pot Measure

Hemp products for sale in Washington, D.C., in 2010. The U.S. is the world's largest consumer of hemp products, although growing hemp is illegal under federal law. Colorado recently passed a measure that legalizes growing hemp.
Tim Sloan AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Mon January 28, 2013 9:13 am

With recreational marijuana now legal in Colorado, small-scale pot shops will open up soon in places like Denver and Boulder. But that's not the only business that could get a boost: Large-scale commercial farmers may also be in line to benefit.

Why? When Colorado voters legalized marijuana last November, they also legalized hemp.

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Politics
2:35 pm
Fri January 25, 2013

Will Texas Reverse Decision, Provide Medicaid To 1.5 Million?

Shelley Kofler KERA News

Originally published on Fri January 25, 2013 7:45 pm

Governor Rick Perry is adamant, Texas will not make Medicaid available to more Texans by taking part in a federal program. But recently other Republican governors in Nevada and Arizona have changed their minds, saying they can’t ignore the billions of federal dollars they’d lose by opting out.

Lawmakers in Austin are now debating what Texas should do, including a senator from  Greenville who also wears a stethoscope.  

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Guns
6:37 am
Fri January 25, 2013

Sponsors Of Assault Weapons Ban Hope Newtown Shooting Changes Minds

Sen. Dianne Feinstein, D-Calif., speaks at a news conference Thursday announcing her plan to introduce a bill to ban assault weapons and high-capacity magazines.
Alex Wong Getty Images

Originally published on Fri January 25, 2013 8:14 am

Congressional Democrats appeared on Capitol Hill Thursday to push for a new ban on assault weapons and high-capacity magazines.

The bill's author, Sen. Dianne Feinstein of California, started her remarks with a roster of tragedy: "Columbine. Virginia Tech. Aurora. Tucson. Oak Creek. The common thread in these shootings is each gunman used a semiautomatic assault weapon or large-capacity ammunition magazine."

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Politics
5:00 am
Fri January 25, 2013

Group Says It Can Turn Texas Blue

A Democratic group says it can make Texas more blue than red.
Flickr user Fifi LePew, bit.ly/YqObEH

Texas Democrats have been fighting an uphill battle against Republicans for years. The state has been firmly red since 2002. But a new Washington-based group, Battleground Texas, wants to invest tens of millions of dollars to turn Texas blue.

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