"They're some of my best friends. I'm not bigoted at all; I'm not racist." —Texas State Republican Executive Committee member John Cook explains that his desire to oust Republican House Speaker Joe Straus, who is Jewish, is not a matter of prejudice. "I got into politics to put Christian conservatives into office. They’re the people that do the best jobs over all," says Cook, who wants to oust the Republican House Speaker because he is Jewish. "My favorite person that's ever been on this earth is a Jew," added Cook, presumably referring to Woody Allen. On a related note, I have always thought that I could have [...]
You will either consider this a compelling study in regional culinary folkways or the most disgusting thing you've ever seen. Actually, you can make a case for both. Either way, my arteries hardened just watching it.
This article by Dahlia Lithwick on Charles Dean Hood-the Texas death row inmate whose trial judge and prosecutor were having a secret affair-is as good as anything she's ever written, which is saying a lot.
"Coker acknowledged that he thought Shaver became 'a little annoyed' with him after he took out his pocketknife and stirred his whiskey and water because the bar had no swizzle sticks. But other than that, Coker said, he has no idea why Shaver got angry enough to shoot him." -Legendary musician Billy Joe Shaver is currently for aggravated assault with a deadly weapon. The 70-year-old Shaver, who claims self-defense, shot Billy Coker in the face outside Papa Joe's Texas Saloon in Lorena.
A "mad emu" was on the loose in El Paso yesterday, "snarling rush-hour traffic near Interstate 10 and attacking deputies trying to restrain it." The emu was eventually restrained, but died en route to an animal shelter. Authorities say that the bird's cause of death is unknown, but I think we all pretty much understand what happens when you're taken in custody after you've assaulted a cop. I'm sure the bird just "tripped" or something.
• "El Paso City Council did the right thing Tuesday when it approved spending $773,000 in federal stimulus money to buy 1,145 M-4 rifles," opined the El Paso Times editorial board this week. "Police have to be ready for anything these days, from a Columbine-like school shooting to a terrorist attack."
• "Texas won't compete for up to $700 million in federal stimulus money for education because the program 'smacks of a federal takeover of our public schools,' Republican Gov. Rick Perry said Wednesday."
"Mexico's state electricity company on Wednesday started supplying electricity to Texas, where cold weather and power shortages forced rolling blackouts across the state. Mexico's Federal Electricity Commission issued a statement saying it 'was determined to support Texas with electrical energy' as its neighbor to the north scrambled to deal with its power woes."
Has the dreaded chupacabra-the mysterious goat-sucker of legend-finally been found in Hood County? Yeah, sure, why not. COWER IN FEAR OF THE CHUPACABRA, people!
"Standing inside a warehouse that makes fluid sealing products for the petrochemical industry, Perry said the Texas program for permitting pollutants from petrochemical plants has helped improve air quality." -Texas governor Rick Perry, objecting to a threat by the Environmental Protection Agency to remove the state's regulatory authority over air quality due to the state's continuing noncompliance with the Clean Air Act, is defiant in his-wait a second, does that really say, "Standing inside a warehouse that makes fluid sealing products for the petrochemical industry"? Yes, yes it does. Sigh. Texas. It's like a whole other country.
"Texas Attorney General Greg Abbott is appealing [a decision allowing a lesbian couple who were married in Massachusetts to get a divorce in Texas.] He also is appealing a divorce granted to a gay couple in Dallas, saying protecting the 'traditional definition of marriage' means doing the same for divorce."
Our nation's employees are already starting to feel the effects of Obamacare-right in the paycheck! Or so says a supposed dermatologist who claims to have fired an employee who voted for the President. Posting to the TexAgs.com message board-apparently a forum for a group of people who weren't smart enough to get into UT-someone calling himself "dermdoc" bragged about relieving an employee of his or her livelihood because of the choice they made in the 2008 presidential election. "Laid off my first Obama voting employee today," boasted the poster.
A stunning new survey reveals that more than 40% of Texans do not believe humans and dinosaurs existed at the same time.
Things they don't teach you in journalism school: Reporters in Austin are taking concealed handgun classes so they can use the express lane when they need to enter the Texas Capitol. "The theory, apparently, is that people licensed to pack heat have undergone a thorough background check and can be waved right through." (You will also learn why some Texans carry more than one gun at a time.)
He'd butchered hogs on his family's farm as a kid, so after becoming a country music star, he knew how to set himself up for life after showbiz: a sausage company, established in 1969 right in his hometown of Plainview, Texas. It was a hugely successful venture, growing to be valued at $75 million, and inspiring a passionate devotion among fans who sometimes, very famously, could literally not get enough of the delicious spiced meat. Jimmy Dean died Sunday at the age of 81.
How corrupt, cartelized, and conflict-ridden are industry oversight and enforcement practices in the financial sector? You could set about answering that question by poking through the lurid headlines surrounding Goldman Sachs-the latest being the release of Goldman emails openly contradicting the firm's alibi of first resort, that it lost money on the collapse of the housing market and therefore couldn't have been defrauding investors in its short-shelling Abacus fund, as the Securities and Exchange Commission alleges. Or you could look at the ridiculously conflicted status of credit-rating agencies-which collect their fees from the very investment concerns they're supposed to be clinically and impartially sizing up, and which, [...]
Because who doesn't like seeing things blow up, here is how the demolition of Texas Stadium played out yesterday. "In the end, just three pillars stood leaning, leading Herbert Gears, mayor of the Dallas suburb of Irving where the stadium was located, to joke to AFP: 'Now we've got Stonehenge.'"
"Some people outside of Texas may have this view that we're a gun-toting society; we're not." -State Senator Dan Patrick (R-Houston), on the current debate over whether visitors to the state Capitol should be forced to go through metal detectors when they enter the building. "The discussion comes after a man last month fired several shots on the steps of the towering Capitol in Austin. State troopers tackled him and no one was wounded, but the incident spotlighted a predicament for lawmakers in a state where carrying handguns is not only legal but largely cherished." The man had been turned away from Patrick's office after requesting a private meeting [...]