Off the Kuff Rotating Header Image

Posts Tagged ‘Barack Obama’

I’ll see you in C-U-B-A

Among the many likely winners of the new US policy towards Cuba will be the city of Houston. As an established travel gateway to Latin America and the Caribbean, Houston is positioned to benefit from any potential easing of tourism restrictions in Cuba. “There’s a lot of fascination with Cuba,” said Michelle Weller, a travel […]

Revamping Secure Communities

Long overdue. A federal jail screening program known as Secure Communities epitomized for critics the worst failings of the nation’s immigration system, causing the deportations of tens of thousands of immigrants who had committed no crimes or only minor infractions. The program matches fingerprints of any jail inmate charged with a crime against a federal […]

Once again with Anglo Dems and Anglo voters

Time once again for the biennial eulogy for Anglo Democrats in the Texas Legislature. When Donna Howard of Austin won a seat in the Texas House in 2006, she was the only white woman among Democrats in the state Legislature. Over time, several others joined her briefly. But four elections later, Howard will once again […]

Abbott files his suit

As expected. Leading a 17-state charge up a steep legal hill, Attorney General and soon-to-be-Gov. Greg Abbott Wednesday filed a federal lawsuit challenging the Obama administration’s moves to expand legal protections for undocumented immigrants. The lawsuit, the 31st Abbott has filed against the Obama administration during his 12-year tenure, fulfills his gubernatorial campaign pledge to […]

Abbott can’t stop talking about suing Obama

It’s what he does. A state lawsuit challenging President Obama’s executive order shielding as many as 5 million undocumented immigrants from deportation could come from Texas in the next two weeks, Gov.-elect Greg Abbott said during a Monday press conference. “Most everyone agrees that the immigration system in America is broken,” Abbott said. “Similarly, most […]

Of course Greg Abbott wants to sue

It’s what he does. What else is there to him? Minutes after President Obama doubled down on his promise to change the country’s immigration system through executive action, Texas Attorney General Greg Abbott made a vow of his own: Expect a lawsuit from Texas. But some legal experts doubt that Abbott, the governor-elect, could successfully […]

What to expect from the DACA announcement

So today is the long-awaited, should-have-happened-months-ago announcement of executive action by President Obama on immigration enforcement and deportation. Stace, the Observer, and Politico have good overviews of what to expect. I personally hope Obama goes big, but whatever he does do the one other thing you can expect is a lawsuit. Rick Perry said Wednesday […]

KHOU: Abbott 47, Davis 32

A new poll to open Early Voting. As early voters head to the polls for a landmark election in Texas, a new survey conducted for KHOU-TV and Houston Public Media shows Republican Greg Abbott with a commanding lead over Democrat Wendy Davis in the race for governor. Abbott’s supported by 47 percent of likely voters […]

A thought about the stealth campaign

Forrest Wilder writes about the un-campaigns being run by most statewide Republicans. But now comes a new twist: the art of the non-campaign. The candidate who doesn’t even bother to put on a show, doesn’t even pretend to reach the broad middle of the citizenry and instead appears behind closed doors to small groups of […]

Davis at TribFest

Wendy Davis expands on some debate topics and other campaign issues at the Texas Tribune’s TribFest. If elected governor, state Sen. Wendy Davis would consider using “executive action” to expand the state’s Medicaid program under the Affordable Care Act in the face of likely opposition from a Republican-dominated state Legislature, she said Saturday in a […]

Castro confirmed for HUD

Congratulations, Secretary Castro! The U.S. Senate on Wednesday overwhelmingly approved the nomination of San Antonio Mayor Julián Castro as secretary of the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development. The nomination was approved 71-26 on a roll call vote. Sen. John Cornyn, R-Texas, voted for the nomination; Sen. Ted Cruz, R-Texas, voted against it. Republicans […]

The real reason we need border security

To protect us from these guys. Several anti-government groups – many of which participated in the standoff at Cliven Bundy’s Nevada ranch – are recruiting armed volunteers to travel to the Texas-Mexico border as a citizen militia to participate in “Operation Secure Our Border,” which aims to stop the surge of immigrants into the country. […]

In defense of Ivy Taylor

Ivy Taylor is a San Antonio City Council member. She’s currently considered a frontrunner to succeed outgoing Mayor Julian Castro once he leaves to become Housing Secretary. Her elevation to Mayor would be historic, as she would be the first African-American Mayor of San Antonio, but it has also generated some controversy because in 2013 […]

Three new judges coming

Nice. Breaking a longstanding logjam, President Obama announced nominees for three vacant Texas federal court benches late Thursday. If confirmed, U.S. Attorney Robert Pitman of San Antonio, Texarkana lawyer Robert Schroeder III, and Sherman Magistrate Judge Amos Mazzant III will all get lifetime jobs as U.S. district court judges. “Any nominations are critically important, as […]

Texas will do just fine under the new EPA clean air regulations

Unless it wants to fail, of course, which is always an option under the likes of Rick Perry and Greg Abbott. Texas could lead the way into a less carbon-intensive future under the Obama administration’s plans to sharply reduce greenhouse gas emissions from coal-fired power plants. Or the state could have trouble keeping the lights […]

Castro gets the nod

As anticipated. Before a packed crowd in the White House’s state dining room, President Obama on Friday nominated San Antonio Mayor Julián Castro to become the newest — and youngest — member of his cabinet, as the secretary of Housing and Urban Development. “I am nominating another all-star who’s done a fantastic job in San […]

The case against Castro for HUD

While we wait for further word on San Antonio Mayor Julian Castro’s reported appointment to be Secretary of HUD – he is keeping quiet about it for now – it’s worth considering some of the political implications behind it. Brian Beutler does the honors. Castro is currently the Mayor of San Antonio, an office with […]

We could have better transportation infrastructure if we wanted it

House Speaker Joe Straus embraces the end-the-diversions approach to transportation funding. Texas’ booming economy and massive transportation needs are inching the state toward simplifying highway spending, officials say. The latest move to end so-called diversions from the State Highway Fund came Wednesday, when Speaker Joe Straus said the next Texas budget proposed by the House […]

Castro to DC?

The hot rumor going around is that San Antonio Mayor Julian Castro is being vetted for a Cabinet position in the Obama administration. For the second time in two years, President Barack Obama has offered Julián Castro a chance to serve in his Cabinet, and the mayor has signaled his willingness to begin a swift […]

Would pot be a cash crop?

The Trib takes a serious look at Kinky Friedman’s campaign platform. Currently, it is illegal to grow and possess marijuana in Texas and most other states, and while hemp is legal for consumption, Texas and most other states do not allow farmers to grow it. Experts with experience in the legal pot industry in other […]

Perry says Texas will not comply with the federal Prison Rape Elimination Act

Amazing the number of laws Rick Perry refuses to obey, isn’t it? More than a decade after the Prison Rape Elimination Act unanimously passed Congress, federal standards for implementation of the law have been finalized. Now, Gov. Rick Perry and some prison reform advocates are at odds over what those standards mean for Texas lockups […]

Oh, Buc-ee’s

Ugh. Convenience-store chain Buc-ee’s Ltd. has garnered lots of attention for its clean restrooms. But this week, it’s the owners’ endorsement of tea party favorite Dan Patrick, who faces incumbent David Dewhurst in the Republican runoff for lieutenant governor, that’s drawn the spotlight. Congressman Joaquin Castro has bashed Buc-ee’s owners over the endorsement and Monday […]

What the Trib’s pollsters miss about their own polls

Having published their poll results, Jim Henson goes back and analyzes their gubernatorial poll, pronouncing it all a big success. The partisan responses to the poll results have been similarly predictable. The Republican chorus is singing I-told-you-so, chalking up Davis’ position to the impact of the media pack reporting of her biographical fudges. The Democratic […]

Perry schools Abbott

This is how it’s done, son. Texas Gov. Rick Perry on Thursday condemned inflammatory remarks by Ted Nugent that resurfaced when the outspoken rocker this week joined Republican Greg Abbott’s gubernatorial campaign. Nugent was quoted in an interview with Guns.com last month as calling President Barack Obama a “subhuman mongrel.” He appeared with Abbott during […]

What the ACA does, Texas has long done

By now you’ve surely heard about the CBO report on the Affordable Care Act and the workforce, which despite some terribly botched reporting does have a lot of political considerations. There’s something I’d like to point out about this before we get too bogged down in attack ads. Let’s start with Kevin Drum putting a […]

Perry and pot

Haul out your blind squirrels and acorns cliches. Texas Gov. Rick Perry said Thursday that he favors decriminalizing marijuana use and lessening punishment for minor offenders as the nation moves toward a more moderate approach to pot use and two states have legalized the drug. Perry’s comments surprised some, since the governor has repeatedly criticized […]

On pot and prosecutions

I’m sure you’ve heard about President Obama’s remarks that marijuana isn’t really more harmful than alcohol. There’s plenty of evidence to back that assertion, but Harris County DA Devon Anderson strongly disagreed with him anyway. President Barack Obama’s recently published remarks calling marijuana less dangerous than alcohol has prompted Harris County’s District Attorney to release […]

VRA 2.0

Texas Redistricting: [Thursday] morning, Congressman Jim Sensenbrenner (R-WI), Senator Patrick Leahy (D-VT), and Congressman John Conyers (D-MI) introduced proposed amendments to the Voting Rights Act that would rework the section 5 coverage formula invalidated by the Supreme Court in Shelby Co. v. Holder. The text of the bill – styled the Voting Rights Amendment Act […]

Empty benches

It would be nice to have some more federal judges here in Texas. Saying that Texas has more vacant federal judgeships than any other state, leaders from state and national liberal advocacy organizations on Monday called on U.S. Sens. Ted Cruz and John Cornyn to do more to fill the openings. “The Republican senators go […]

Election Day today

For the however many of you that haven’t voted yet, here’s a message from County Clerk Stan Stanart: 4,500 Election Judges and Clerks are prepared to receive voters on Election Day, Tuesday, November 5, at the 775 locations throughout Harris County. This Election will be the first Election in which Photo ID will be implemented […]

Have you gotten your text from the Ben Hall campaign?

The Ben Hall campaign sent out this press release on Tuesday: The Ben Hall for Mayor campaign has launched a new initiative to reach Houston voters and communicate with them on a platform where they already spend a lot of their time – their cell phones. The Hall campaign has partnered with Politikast, a mobile […]

Why the Affordable Care Act will make a real difference to many people

This is what it’s all about. The following was written by a good friend of mine, who has been eagerly awaiting October 1 and the opening of the insurance exchanges. I asked him to write about his experience with getting insurance via the exchange. This is his first installment: I am in my late 40’s, […]

Lyceum poll: Abbott over Davis, 29-21

Make of this what you will. Republican Greg Abbott is leading Democrat Wendy Davis by 8 points in a hypothetical matchup for Texas governor, but it’s a statistical dead heat among women, according to a Texas Lyceum Poll of registered voters released Wednesday. Abbott, the attorney general, leads Davis, a state senator from Fort Worth, […]

Yet another wacky poll about Latino voting in Texas

Just when I thought I was out…they pull me back in. Sen. Ted Cruz lost the Hispanic vote in Texas by about 20 percentage points, but out-performed GOP presidential nominee Mitt Romney, according to post-2012 election polling shared with the Washington Examiner. Cruz defeated Democrat Paul Sadler last November by nearly 16 percentage points on […]