Archive | KERA News


The Politics Of The White Working Class

Dec 9, 2016

Priority one for state lawmakers meeting in Austin next week is to plug a $25 billion budget shortfall. Just how big is that? Well, if you shut down all the prisons, laid off every state trooper, eliminated every service except public education, higher education and health care, you still wouldn't cut $25 billion.

Governor Rick Perry and others have suggested Texas drop out of Medicaid, the federal-state health program for low income children, elderly and the disabled. It's Texas's fastest growing expense.

BJ Austin reports that even without future cuts, disabled Texans who qualify for Medicaid services can't get them.

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Letters from Sendai has moved. Visit the new page at

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If you lose a job with health insurance, the government requires employers to offer you the chance to keep those benefits for 18 months. It's called COBRA. But COBRA premiums can be expensive so the Obama Economic Recovery Plan created a more affordable COBRA benefit for laid off employees. In our Monday KERA economy segment, Alexis Yancey reports on how it may help struggling families.

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A half-million people have benefited from the Obama Administration's program to help struggling homeowners since it began last march. But to qualify you have to have income. So what do you do if you're unemployed? In KERA's Monday economy segment, Alexis Yancey reports on an option for those with little or no income. It's called forbearance.

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A U.S. Bureau of Land Management lab in Denver will test water samples collected Tuesday at Lake Lavon about 15 miles east of McKinney. Biologists want to know if invasive zebra mussels have spread to the lake and beyond. KERA's Shelley Kofler says the economic consequences could be devastating for the entire Trinity basin.

On the northeastern side of Lake Lavon biologists from Texas Parks and Wildlife and the U.S. Army Corp of Engineers launched their boats.

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Family pocketbooks may seem a little emptier today as North Texas parents send their children back to school. Many have had to scramble for classroom supplies, clothes, school shots and more. But in today's economy segment, Bill Zeeble says nutritious school meals still offer a big bang for the buck. Bill explains why they're something every family can afford.

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Financial assistance may still be available this fall for cash-strapped college students. In today's Monday segment on the economy, KERA's Shelley Kofler visits the financial aid office at the University of Texas at Arlington. She found encouraging news for families hit hard by the economy.

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Dallas, TX – A Preston Hollow neighborhood in Dallas is expected to become a "gated" community today. KERA's BJ Austin says it's preparation for the arrival of the Bush's - the President and First Lady Laura Bush.

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Dallas, TX – It was a very important field trip for 45 seniors at Lake Highlands High School in Dallas yesterday. They skipped English class, with permission, to go vote for the very first time. KERA's BJ Austin tagged along.

Dallas, TX – Early voters have been setting turnout records across the state and here in Dallas and Fort Worth. On Friday, the last day to vote early before Election Day, KERA's Bill Zeeble caught up with some Dallas county voters at Fretz Park.

On a beautiful day to be outside, with waits lasting 15 to 20 minutes, voters of all stripes, including Republican Darby Anderson, were happy to be at Fretz Park.

Dallas, TX – Early voting is setting statewide turnout records, and the same is holding true in Dallas. KERA's Bill Zeeble reports voters should expect long lines at some early-polling places, especially Friday.

Dallas County is already 100,000 votes ahead of the last presidential election's early turnout, which set the record. And Elections Administrator Bruce Sherbet expects early turnout will stay high through Friday at 7 p.m., when early voting ends.

Dallas, TX – U.S. Senate candidates John Cornyn and Rick Noriega traded barbs on the economy and health care as they took part in a live televised debate at KERA studios last night. KERA's Bill Zeeble reports that sparks flew over the economic bailout Congress recently approved.

SMU Political Science Professor Cal Jillson

Dallas, TX – Tonight at 8 p.m. , live from KERA studios, U.S. Senate candidates John Cornyn and Rick Noriega will go toe to toe in an hour- long, televised debate moderated by KERA News Director Shelley Kofler. KERA's Bill Zeeble talked to Southern Methodist University political science professor Cal Jillson about issues dividing the candidates.


Dallas, TX – Hours before former President Clinton holds tonight's rally with Senate candidate Rick Noriega in Dallas, Republican Incumbent John Cornyn took aim. Cornyn blamed the Clinton administration for much of our current financial crisis as KERA's Shelley Kofler reports.

Dallas, TX – Across the country voters will be glued to their TV sets tonight as Vice Presidential Candidates Sarah Palin and Joe Biden square off in their only debate.
We asked North Texans what they hope to hear.



Dallas, TX – Most of Texas' congressional delegation, including Republican Michael Burgess of Lewisville, voted against the $700 billion bailout. He talked to KERA's Shelley Kofler about why he said no, and the alternative legislation he'd support.


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Forney delegate Ken Leonard hasn't had much sleep. He spent the weekend getting a Red Cross Shelter available for hurricane evacuees.

Leonard: "On Saturday night, Sunday morning putting the shelter, then went to bed at 3 o'clock in the morning, got up at 5, got on an airplane and came here."

Dallas, TX – The political profile of Texas Congressman Chet Edwards seems to be soaring since he made Barack Obama's shortlist for Vice President. Over the weekend the Obama campaign asked him to make a prime-time speech tonight at the Democratic convention. Edwards talked to KERA's Shelley Kofler about his new-found visibility.

Like most Congressional representatives, Chet Edwards of Waco wasn't widely known outside his district and the halls of Congress. But he admits things have changed.

Dallas – Many Texans, like other Americans, have signed up for the Obama text message that will announce the Democrat's choice of a running mate. North Texas delegates heading for the national convention in Denver have some favorite contenders. KERA's Shelley Kofler talked with several who will be checking in with KERA from the convention next week.


Dallas, TX – Many Hillary Clinton supporters in Austin for the Democratic state primary say they're resigned to their candidate suspending her campaign tomorrow, but they're not happy about a Texas primary process that gave her the popular vote, but not the caucus vote. KERA's Shelley Kofler reports from the convention.

Dallas, TX – This page will no longer be updated. You can now see the latest CEO episodes on
KERA's new video page.

Dallas, TX – This page will no longer be updated. You can now see the latest Think episodes on
KERA's new video page.

Dallas, TX – A global real estate developer behind some of the building cranes towering over Uptown, Harwood International begins construction on a new 27-story office tower on the site of the former St. Ann Catholic school. This month, founder and CEO Gabriel Barbier-Mueller takes host Lee Cullum for a tour of the newly opened Azure residential high-rise, discusses his plans for future development in the Design District and talks about whether or not we'll encounter another overbuilding crisis in Dallas like the 1980s.

Dallas, TX – Topic
Are Competitive Elections Bad for America?

Thomas L. Brunell & William Keyse Rudolph

Should elections be less competitive? We'll talk this evening with UTD Associate Professor of Political Science, Thomas L. Brunell, Ph. D.. His new book is "Redistricting and Representation: Why Competitive Elections are Bad for America" (Routledge, 2008).

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I'm feeling old. Old because I listen to radio and read newspapers. Old because when I pick up my cell phone, it's because I'm going to call someone. Don't look now, but the world has changed and our political world has changed ever faster. It doesn't matter where you are on the political spectrum, Senator Obama is this season's master of the YouTube culture - and all of us better seek to understand it. The YouTube generation thinks and communicates very differently.

Dallas, TX – Topic: Fort Worth's Place in the World of Art

Guests: Dave Hickey & Alex Gibney

Description: What made Fort Worth great? Before you argue that cattle put Cowtown on the map, consider the importance of Art in the city's 20th Century rise to prominence. We'll do just that this evening with Dave Hickey, Fort Worth native, art critic, and Schaeffer Professor of Modern Letters at The University of Nevada, Las Vegas.