An unfamiliar place: Making sense of the current political landscape

Our political panel in Austin included Ted Jarrett, Josh Phoebus, and Major General Tom Carter.

Time and again the current presidential campaign has defied tradition, shedding any familiarity to previous election cycles. After a brutal primary season for candidates, the two presidential nominees and their running mates are ramping up the rhetoric.

The next 100 days are sure to mired in mudslinging, with more tweets, nicknames, and distractions from the real issues facing the nation.

Not all political discourse is petty. This weekend, I had the great opportunity to moderate a round table discussion in Austin, Texas. Three panelists with extensive backgrounds in politics and government provided a fascinating look at what is steering the national conversation into uncharted territory, including what one panelist called our “Kim Kardashian culture” that invents drama for entertainment.

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WATCH: Millions of bats take flight over downtown Austin

Crowds of people gather every Summer evening around dusk to watch as many as 1.5 million Mexican free-tailed bats emerge from the world’s largest urban bat colony, the Congress Street Bridge over Lady Bird Lake in downtown Austin, Texas. Click the video below to watch.

Jimmy Kimmel Live returns to Texas for South By Southwest

ABC’s Jimmy Kimmel Live returned to South By Southwest in Austin for a week of shows.

Austin’s iconic South by Southwest festival has gone from an eclectic festival featuring arts and entertainment to a showcase of innovation and ideas.

Techies, foodies, and celebrities have also found a home at SXSW, including late-night TV comedian Jimmy Kimmel. This year, the funnyman brought Jimmy Kimmel Live back to Austin for a week of shows, March 16-20, 2015.

Joining Jimmy for the 29th annual South By Southwest, an impressive list of A-list guests. Some of the standouts included Julia Louis-Dreyfus, Tony Romo, and Willie Nelson. Continue reading