Barack Obama

Barack the Knife

What happens in Washington doesn't stay in Washington. Lawmakers, industry leaders and special interest groups are studying President Obama’s 2010 budget to figure out how spending cuts and other changes at the federal level could impact Texas. Ben Philpott, who's covering politics and public policy for KUT News and the Tribune, filed this report.

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Social Studies

Thanks to sites like Facebook and Twitter, we know the elected officials who represent us better than ever — sometimes in weirdly intimate ways. You can find out that Dan Patrick had to put his dog down, that Wayne Christian is a fan of real estate wunderkind and reality TV star Chad Rogers, and that Bill White just finished listening to a book on tape. But woe to the pol who hasn't updated her status in a year.

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 flickr: Steve Hopson

2010: About That Strama Rumor

If you've heard the rumor about state Rep. Mark Strama, D-Austin, getting a federal appointment and not seeking re-election to the Texas House seat he's held since 2005... it's not true.

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"East Texas is Really Not Obama Land."

Two weeks after switching parties, Rep. Chuck Hopson still thinks he did the right thing, given the politics of his district. "McCain, in my four counties here, got 72 to 74 percent," he says. "I think if the election were held today, that would be something like 80 percent."

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The Polling Center: Agreeing on Bad News

The polarization was striking: 80% of Texas Democrats were worried about staying too long in Afghanistan, while 76% of Texas Republicans were worried about leaving Afghanistan too soon. In the comparable national poll question, there was a notable but less striking split, with 61% of Democrats choosing a smaller increase, with 65% calling for a larger increase.

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