Month: November 2013

A Tale of Two Elections

Two important elections happened on November 5, 2013, one in New Jersey and the other in Virginia. These elections could be indicators of what’s to come in politics and how to win or lose an election. The reelection of New Jersey Governor Chris Christie provides the first set of electoral lessons. According to the Associated Press, Gov. Christie won by a whopping 22 percentage points and drew a large number of women, minority, and democrat voters to his side in the election. Did I mention that Gov. Christie is a Republican? He was able to accomplish something that is...

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Climate Change: A non-partisan issue in Texas?

Some interesting recent polling, including work done by the Yale Project on Climate Change Communication, suggests a narrowing gap between California and Texas over climate change concerns. This may be surprising to many since Texas’s political leaders take a hard line on restricting greenhouse gas emissions compared to public leaders in the Golden State. Governor Perry’s attorney general, Greg Abbott, has sued the Environmental Protection Agency 17 times, while Commissioner Shaw of the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality (TCEQ) has been publicly skeptical of climate change. At Texas Tribune Fest Mr. Shaw suggested that carbon dioxide might not be...

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China Should End, Not Ease, the One-Child Policy

China’s announcement last week that it would “ease” its one-child policy received significant attention from the American media. The Chinese Communist Party (CCP) will now allow couples to have two children if either parent is an only child. Tweaking a policy that by definition violates human rights, however, deserves little praise. Amending the one-child policy is not enough. China must abolish it. The one-child policy is a clear violation of human rights norms. The 1968 proclamation of the International Conference on Human Rights explicitly states, “Parents have a basic human right to determine freely and responsibly the number and the spacing of their...

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Dr. Sheila Olmstead On Prop 6

In November 2013, voters from around Texas overwhelmingly approved a referendum that would allocate $2 billion from the state’s Economic Stabilization (Rainy Day) Fund to start water projects already included in the Texas Water Development Board’s State Water Plan. Many interested parties, including legislators and environmental groups, believe that the real work lies ahead. Where is this money going to go? And which projects are ultimately going to be funded? Andy Uhler spoke with the LBJ School’s own natural resource economist, Dr. Sheila Olmstead, to discuss the implications of this referendum, in a larger sense, for Texas public policy.  Andy Uhler: I think the...

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