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KUT News

From the Texas Tribune: After a news article noted that Ted Cruz did not report a loan from his wife’s employer during his 2012 bid for U.S. Senate, Cruz’s presidential campaign acknowledged Wednesday evening that the loan should have been disclosed in campaign finance reports.

Marjorie Kamys Cotera/Texas Tribune

From the Texas Tribune: A year out of office, former Gov. Rick Perry has a new job: chief strategy officer at MCNA Dental, the largest privately held dental insurance company in the country, according to a spokesman for Perry.

The Florida-based insurer does business in Texas, and was a major donor to Perry’s presidential campaign.

In his final State of the Union address, President Obama delivered an impassioned defense of his record by painting a portrait of a country very much in its prime.

MANDEL NGAN/POOL / GETTY IMAGES

Here are a few safe bets for Tuesday's State of the Union: There will be dozens of applause breaks, endless GIF-worthy moments and a laundry list of proposals (not to mention lots of reporters using the phrase "laundry list" for the first — and maybe only — time this year).

One more bet: Most of those proposals won't be successful.

Chris Maddaloni/ The Texas Tribune

In a fresh — but long shot — assertion of states’ rights, Gov. Greg Abbott on Friday called for a convention of U.S. states to pass nine new amendments to the U.S. Constitution, measures meant to limit the powers of the federal government.

Photo by Rebecca F. Miller/Texas Tribune

This week on The Ticket 2016: There's less than a month until the Iowa Caucuses…and we have a new frontrunner. Texas Senator Ted Cruz has taken the spotlight after recent polls has him jumping ahead of Donald Trump. KUT's Ben Philpott and the Tribune's Jay Root will talk with Tribune reporter Patrick Svitek, who's on the road with the Cruzin' to Caucus bus tour.

NBC News

Texas Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick said on Meet the Press that states where people carry guns have less crime. Was he right? KUT's Nathan Bernier asks Gardner Selby of PolitiFact Texas.

NPR's wide-ranging interview with President Obama covers his strategy fighting ISIS, the 2016 elections, his legacy and the Paris climate deal. More from the interview will post next week.

Todd Wiseman/Texas Tribune

Texas broke the seal on marijuana legalization this year when lawmakers voted to make available a non-intoxicating marijuana extract for patients with severe epilepsy in 2017. And, a national advocacy group for the legal marijuana industry is pledging to push even harder in Texas for a change in pot regulation.


Donald Trump entered the fifth Republican debate of this presidential contest on Tuesday night as the national front-runner by leaps and bounds. Other candidates have risen and fallen, but the legion of Trump's support has not wavered.

If anything, the billionaire's backing has swollen to even greater proportions since his call for a temporary ban on Muslims entering the U.S. That idea has taken a beating in the media and has been endorsed by exactly none of the other presidential hopefuls. Yet Trump's message continues to resonate with his legions of followers.

Filipa Rodrigues for KUT News

It's still just over two months until the Texas primary, but yesterday’s filing deadline cements who we’ll officially see on the ballot in March. The big race emerging over the last few days comes in the wake of the retirement of long-time State Rep. Elliot Naishtat.

That's led to 7 people filing to run for his seat in House District 49. All are Democrats and cover a wide range of experience – from former legislative staffers to advocates for housing and abortion rights to a current AISD School Board member. 


Marjorie Kamys Cotera/Texas Tribune

Longtime state Rep. Elliott Naishtat announced Thursday he will not seek re-election to the House seat he first won in 1990, despite saying earlier this week that he would.

Naishtat, 70, said Tuesday he had discovered a renewed desire to run for office. But since then, he has "been very anxious and stressed about the decision," he said Thursday.


Marjorie Kamys Cotera/Texas Tribune

From the Texas Tribune: Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton’s second attempt to immediately block the arrival of additional Syrian refugees was even shorter-lived than the first.

Dallas-based U.S. District Judge David C. Godbey on Wednesday rejected Paxton’s renewed request for a temporary restraining order barring nine Syrian refugees set to arrive in the stateon Thursday. Godbey’s ruling came just hours after Paxton asked for the order, citing security concerns raised by U.S. Rep. Michael McCaul, R-Austin, and Robert Bodisch, the deputy director of homeland security at the Texas Department of Public Safety.

Pu Ying Huang/KUT News

From the Texas Tribune: The state of Texas is renewing its effort to immediately block the arrival of additional Syrian refugees, asking a federal court for a temporary restraining order barring nine Syrian refugees set to arrive in the state on Thursday.

Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton on Wednesday asked Dallas-based U.S. District Judge David C. Godbey to temporarily bar the refugees, citing security concerns raised by U.S. Rep. Michael McCaul, R-Austin, and the state’s deputy director of homeland security.

The U.S. Supreme Court once again is weighing into a fraught elections case — a case with enormous potential political repercussions. At issue is the meaning of the "one person, one vote" principle.

The federal Constitution orders the Census Bureau to count every resident in the country so that they all can be represented in districts of equal population in the national House of Representatives. The status of state legislative districts, though, is less clear.

Chris Maddaloni/Texas Tribune

From the Texas Tribune: Gov. Greg Abbott and U.S. Sen. Ted Cruz of Texas teamed up Tuesday to push new curbs on Syrian refugees entering the United States, with Cruz unveiling a new bill that would let states "opt out" of accepting some refugees. 

"America is a charitable nation, but we cannot allow charity for some to compromise the safety for all," Abbott said during a news conference with Cruz in Washington, D.C. "That is what has happened by the way that the federal government has interpreted and applied the Refugee Act that already exists."

Image via Flickr/Lars Plougmann (CC BY-SA 2.0)

From Texas Standard: 

During President Obama's Oval Office speech on Sunday evening, he laid out two gun control measures he wanted Congress to act on, one of them dealt with the nation's no-fly list.

"To begin with, Congress would have to make sure no one who's on a no-fly list would be able to buy a gun," Obama said in his televised address. "What could possibly be the argument for allowing a terrorist suspect to buy a semi-automatic weapon? This is a matter of national security."

But many, including the ACLU, have concerns about tying the no-fly list to a database for firearm purchases.

 


Image via Flickr/Gage Skidmore (CC BY-SA 2.0)

From Texas Standard:

Sunday, December 6 – a day before the anniversary of the Pearl Harbor attack – is no date that will live in infamy. But it may be remembered by historians as the date the 44th U.S. President tried to allay the growing fears of a nation and talk tough against terror.


KUT News

From the Texas Tribune: Republican presidential candidate Ted Cruz has taken his first-ever lead in an early state poll, surging past billionaire Donald Trump to the no. 1 spot in Iowa. 

In a Monmouth University poll released Monday, the Texas senator leads Trump 24 percent to 19 percent among likely caucus-goers. His support in the survey has spiked 14 percentage points since October. 

Photo by flickr.com/photos/theeerin/

This week on the The Ticket 2016: It's the season of the brown envelope. What's in these anonymous packages dropped on a journalist's desk? Pictures, audio, documents…all aimed at discrediting a political candidate. The Texas Tribune's Jay Root and KUT's Ben Philpott dive into the world of opposition research to break down how these attacks are created and distributed. Plus, we'll have analysis on Chris Christie's recent resurgence in the 2016 race from New Jersey Public Radio's Matt Katz.

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