Columns/Opinions

Thu
25
Apr
Edgar's picture

Texas Press Association Capital Highlights

Conference committee to work out differences in state budget

AUSTIN — After Easter weekend, conferees for the Texas House and Senate must work out differences in the two chambers’ versions of a fiscal 2020-2021 state budget to send to Gov. Greg Abbott.

Concurrence is required on how to spend an estimated $250 billion in revenue available to fund the state’s fiscal years 2020-2021. Once an agreement has been reached, the budget bill will be subject to an up or down vote in each chamber before it is forwarded to the governor’s office for final approval.

Speaker Dennis Bonnen on April 15 named five House members to a conference committee tasked with negotiating an agreement. He chose House Appropriations Committee Chair John Zerwas, R-Richmond; and Reps. Greg Bonnen, RFriendswood; Sarah Davis, R-West University Place; Oscar Longoria, D-Mission; and Armando Walle, DHouston.

 

 

Thu
18
Apr
Edgar's picture

Say What? Cursive Back?...

The Idle American

The news that cursive handwriting is returning to elementary school curricula is being roundly applauded, perhaps equal to ovations that welcomed Dolly back to Broadway.

Some of us thought cursive instruction had been “written off” in recent years, replaced by fingers fleeting across tiny keyboards on iPhones, iPads and such.

No one is more exuberant than my 106-year-old Uncle Mort. “It ranks right up there with the Flintstones’ discovery that round wheels roll better. After all, not all kids want to be doctors.”…

 

 

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Thu
18
Apr
Edgar's picture

Right to Print Arms

Are you very afraid? 3D-printed guns are coming.

"Virtually undetectable!" shrieked CNN.

"This changes the safety of Americans forever!" shrieked MSNBC.

Does it?

Six years ago, a company called Defense Distributed posted blueprints for 3D-printed guns on the web. The Obama State Department said that violated the Arms Control Act because allowing foreigners to see them is equivalent to exporting a missile launcher, and that's illegal. 

 

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Sun
14
Apr
Edgar's picture

Telling Headlines…

The Idle American

It was bound to happen, and finally, it did. I overheard the words “artificial intelligence” and “fake news” mentioned in the same sentence.

Maybe we need more “real thing” topics. Coca-Cola sold gazillions of its products with its “real thing” claim years ago.

During our youth, we placed great trust in mass media news, and were wary of products deemed to be “artificial,” far removed from the “real thing.”…

 

 

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Thu
11
Apr
Edgar's picture

Texas Press Association

Capital Highlights House passes legislation to reform school finance, property taxes

AUSTIN — The Texas House of Representatives on April 3 approved much-anticipated legislation written to revise the state’s public school finance system. The vote was 148-1, and the bill now moves to the Senate for consideration.

House Bill 3 would increase pay for public school classroom teachers, librarians and other full-time personnel and also would enable property tax relief. Primarily authored by House Education Committee Chair Dan Huberty, R-Houston, joint authors include Reps. Diego Bernal, D-San Antonio; John Zerwas, R-Richmond; Ken King, R-Canadian; and Alma Allen, DHouston.

Sun
07
Apr
Edgar's picture

Now Isn’t That Special?...

By Dr. Don Newbury

The Idle American

A common practice when decision-makers arrive in Washington, D. C. is to check common sense at the door. There’s daily evidence of “bonehead” decisions that make us wonder about competencies.

The other day, President Trump hit replay when citizens came unstuck with Education Secretary Betsy DeVos’ announcement that the federal government would no longer fund Special Olympics.

She, too, quickly “pedaled backwards,” finding out how special the Special Olympics are. Folks looking for trouble might have better chances taking on God, motherhood, apple pie and Chevrolet….

 

 

 

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Sun
07
Apr
Edgar's picture

Building a Healthy Political System

By Scott Rasmussen

It's no secret that America's political system is badly broken, so ScottRasmussen.com decided to find out what voters think is wrong.

We began by exploring what voters think is needed to create and maintain a healthy political system. Four items were deemed "Very Important" by at least 7 out of every 10 voters: freedom of speech (77%), having political leaders who respect voters (76%), checks and balances between branches of government (73%) and freedom of religion (71%).

Five other items were considered Very Important by a majority of voters: freedom of the press (63%), clear limits on what the government can do (62%), political leaders who are willing to compromise (61%), respect for people with fundamentally different views (61%) and limits on taxation (54%).

 

 

Thu
04
Apr
Edgar's picture

Capital Highlights

Texas Press Association

House, Senate move closer to passing budget

AUSTIN — Last week, with 60 days remaining until the end of the 140-day regular session of the 86th Texas Legislature, the House and Senate vaulted closer toward finalizing a state budget.

On March 27, the House voted 149-0 in favor of HB 1, its version of the state budget for fiscal years 2020 and 2021. The lower chamber’s bill allocates some $251 billion to cover the two years and puts $9 billion more than the current budget into education reform, including a teacher pay increase and pension funding, and property tax reform.

Sun
31
Mar
Edgar's picture

He’ll Do to Ride the River With…

The Idle American

Many Texans—and no doubt some abiding outside our borders—have used the expression for years: “He’ll do to ride the river with.”

We give little thought to its origin, but typically it is used to convey highest praise for others in whom we have confidencewhether we’re fording a river, or even if we don’t have a horse underneath us.

They say it originated a century and a half ago, when cowboys herded cattle to northern railheads. Obstacles included crossing rivers known for their rages, so cowboys counted on each other to get the cattle, their horses and themselves safely to the other side….

 

 

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Sun
31
Mar
Edgar's picture

Green New Deal is Bad for Texans

by U.S. Senator John Cornyn, R-TX

This week, the U.S. Senate took a consequential vote for Texas, and the Houston region in particular — a vote on a resolution calling for America to adopt a “Green New Deal.” Not a single Senator voted in favor of it.

Framed as a way to fight climate change and invigorate the already thriving economy, the Green New Deal mentions things like creating high-wage jobs, investing in infrastructure and industry and promoting justice and equality. But if you are looking for a roadmap for how to reach these laudable goals, you are likely to be disappointed. Though supporters of the Green New Deal are long on utopian buzzwords, they’re short on details of how to actually achieve these goals. Even more concerning is a lack of ways to pay for them.

 

 

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