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April 1, 2016
President Obama's Criminal Justice Reform

President Obama commuted sentences for 61 nonviolent offenders this week, proving yet again his serious commitment to criminal justice reform.

Since President Obama took office, he has issued more commutations - cutting short a person's time in prison - than the past six previous presidents combined.

March 31, 2016
Ted-Enders

Back in 2003 then-Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld coined a famous name for Iraqis who didn’t know they’d been beaten: “dead-enders.” A similar phenomenon seems to be going on right here at home among Republican elites who are holding their noses and endorsing Sen. Ted Cruz in hopes of derailing Donald Trump.

Call them “Ted-Enders.”

March 31, 2016
Twenty Years of Empty Seats in Texas' Federal Courts

Ed. note: the following is cross-posted from the Texas Research Institute.

Today marks an important milestone in the fight against judicial obstruction in Texas.

Texas has eleven empty seats in its federal courts. That’s more vacancies than any other state in the country, and a new court vacancy will come up on May 1.

March 30, 2016
Abortion Pill Texas

The Food and Drug Administration announced its approval of an updated label for the abortion pill mifepristone today. This change is huge news for restoring access to abortion care in Texas.

March 30, 2016
Medicaid Expansion Would Increase Mental Health Coverage

Texas Republicans often talk about how important improving mental health care is in our state. If they really want to help, maybe they should reconsider expanding Medicaid.

Recently, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services released a report showing how expanding Medicaid under the Affordable Care Act would improve the lives of people with mental illness in states that have not yet opted for the expansion.

Some key numbers from the report include:

March 29, 2016
SCOTUS ruling preserves unions

Huge news out of the Supreme Court today, as a 4-4 ruling has ended the greatest threat to unions in over 40 years.

The case in question involved whether non-union employees still have to pay limited fees for working at a unionized office or business. The reason those fees are required is to counter-act the free-rider problem, where someone who is not part of the union still enjoys the benefits of the union.

March 25, 2016

As the Republican presidential primary field gets smaller, more and more Republicans are rallying behind Ted Cruz in an attempt to stop Donald Trump from securing the nomination.

But far from being some reasonable alternative, Cruz really isn’t so different from Trump.

In fact, in some cases, he may be even worse.

March 24, 2016
Abortion Video HB2 Harms Texas Women

Ed Note: This article was originally published on the Texas Research Institute blog.

In 2013, Texas lawmakers passed a law that has since closed more than half of the state’s abortion clincs. The U.S. Supreme Court is considering that law right now.

Check out this one-minute video on a new study conducted by the Texas Policy Evaluation Project that proves just how harmful this law really is, and then read more about the study below:

March 24, 2016
Wile-e Coyote

Ed. Note: This article was orginally published on the Quorum Report and is posted here with permission.

The Republican establishment is simultaneously trying to steal the presidential nomination from Donald Trump while it attempts to deny a president’s constitutional authority to appoint U.S. Supreme Court judges – the kind of anti-social action that helped create Trump in the first place.

Apparently, self-awareness is not a contemporary conservative value.

March 23, 2016
Sid Miller

On Monday, Progress Texas filed an abuse of office complaint against Texas Agriculture Commissioner Sid Miller, asking that the Texas Rangers investigate whether he violated the Texas Penal Code by using Texas taxpayers’ coffers as his personal piggy bank.

March 23, 2016

Ed. note: The following guest post is from Stacey Pogue of the Center for Public Policy Priorities, and was originally posted on their site.

March 22, 2016
Ted Cruz and Donald Trump

Ted Cruz channeled his inner Donald Drumpf today by calling for law enforcement to establish domestic surveillance of U.S. citizens, in wake of recent terrorist attacks in Brussels.

UPDATE - Donald Trump has expressed 100% support for Cruz's plan.

From CNN: "Ted Cruz: Police need to 'patrol and secure' Muslim neighborhoods" -

March 11, 2016
Barack Obama

President Obama is in Austin, Texas this week to open up SXSW.

March 10, 2016
Texas GOP Uses “Religious Freedom” to Discriminate Against LGBT Texans

In a clear signal of what lies ahead for the fight for LGBTQ equality in Texas, last month a state Senate committee held an interim hearing on so-called “religious freedom.” And more specifically, on Texas Republican plans to legislate discrimination under the false banner of religion.

March 7, 2016

Ed. Note: This article was orginally published in the Austin American-Statesman and is reposted here with permission.

To begin a look at the Super Tuesday primaries, we should send our sympathies to television’s political pundits who analyzed the results. The poor things were like elite film reviewers forced to find something dignified to say about the 1974 satirical comedy “Blazing Saddles.”

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