James Shannon's archive

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There is a pitched battle still being waged in Austin over the future of Texas education, but it is not a partisan fight per se. It is among competing factions of Republicans in the Legislature, with Democrats relegated largely to the sidelines by GOP majorities in both houses. This is especially true in the Senate where many committee and floor votes are strictly party-line affairs. 

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Things got interesting last week at the State Capitol. Some Republican lawmakers seek to deliver on the anti-immigration fervor they believe motivates the Tea Party elements in their base.

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Ted Cruz

The announcement that freshman Sen. Ted Cruz of Texas was seeking the GOP presidential nomination was notable for a number of reasons beyond the fact he was the first declared candidate. With several candidates with Texas ties expected to enter the race, the drama will only heighten between now and the Texas primary to be held 11 months from now on March 1, 2016.

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The conventional wisdom used to be that cultural trends in the United States emerged on the west or east coasts and spread across the country. In the digital age, social media has consigned that notion to the dustbin of history, with full immersion now taking days or even hours, not weeks or months. 

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The South by Southwest Festival (SXSW) is underway in Austin through March 22.

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