Texas

News, policy discussions, and major events happening in or related to Texas, told from an Austin perspective

Image via Flickr/Texas.713 (CC BY-NC 2.0)

From Texas Standard: After the Sandy Hook shooting, President Obama and his colleagues in Congress pushed to close what they call a loophole in background checks. They were not successful. The word loophole, it should be noted, is a political term, primarily used by advocates of gun control who say there's a gap in the law when it comes to the sale or transfer of guns between private citizens.

Image via Pixabay (Public Domain)

From Texas Standard: It's something that we do regularly, or should, to help keep up our health. Most would never imagine it to be a matter of life and death, but then again a visit to the dentist almost never is. As unreal as it sounds, deadly dentistry is more common that one might think.

Image via Joy Diaz/Texas Standard

From Texas Standard:

Satsuki Ina is furious that the Texas Department of Family and Protective Services would even consider the possibility of licensing immigrant family detention facilities as childcare centers.

"It's like putting lipstick on a pig," she says.

 

    

Image via Flickr/David Boté Estrada (CC BY-SA 2.0)

From Texas Standard:

Anyone who eats barbecue in Texas has been there: stand in line, order your meat – meat that many have raised to an art if not a religion. When the meal is slapped on the counter, you get this question: bread or crackers? There's an option that rarely comes up in barbecue joints: tortillas.

Where there’s smoke, there’s Daniel Vaughn, Texas Monthly’s barbecue editor. He points out that there’ve been tortillas in Texas for centuries so why aren’t they on the 'cue menu?

 


A group asked to provide UT Austin President Greg Fenves with recommendations to implement the state's new campus carry law said UT Austin should not prohibit concealed handguns from classrooms, but should prohibit handguns from ticketed sporting events, laboratories and on-campus residence halls, with some exceptions. 


Jennifer Whitney via Texas Tribune

The UT Austin campus is not open to hold the planned make-believe mass shooting this weekend by campus carry activists, the University said in a statement released Wednesday afternoon. 

Updated: Come and Take It Texas posted on facebook Wednesday evening that, after getting UT Austin's message about not trespassing on its campus, would meet with "the Dean of UT" Thursday to do a walkthrough of the group's planned location. 


Image via Pexels (CC0)

From Texas Standard:

About one million Texans get health insurance through exchanges created by the Affordable Care Act, also known as Obamacare.

Texans account for one-tenth of all Americans insured through the exchanges, a total of 10 million new customers and $84 billion in additional revenue for insurers.

 


Image via YouTube/Sharon Garcia

From Texas Standard:

With the presidential election just over the horizon, many politicians are looking for ways to connect with their constituents.

For some it's talking about the economy or healthcare, for others it's the war on terrorism. But when interacting with a demographic that that may not resemble their base, some politicians turn toward pandering.

We've all seen it. You may recall President Obama adding a bit more twang in his speeches when he visits the South. But what about pandering to largest minority group in the U.S. – Spanish-speakers in America?

 


Image courtesy Roy's Boys, LLC

From Texas Standard: In West Texas, it’s not just the landscape that's long and lonely – the days and nights are too.

The late musician Roy Orbison once described his youth in Wink, Texas, as football, oil fields, grease and sand. At night, when the sky would light up like Christmas, Roy would grab his guitar, sit in in the family car, and sing. It was a way to fill all that empty space, he once said. The car wasn't big enough to contain the voice of a man who would one day become known the world over as the “Caruso of rock.”

 


A backlash against American Muslims is on the rise again after the Nov. 13 terrorist attacks in Paris and last week's attacks in San Bernardino, Calif. Advocates say the number of hate crimes and harassment incidents today is nearly as bad as it was in the weeks after Sept. 11.

An anti-Muslim climate seems especially potent in the Dallas area.

Miguel Gutierrez Jr./KUT

When Lammes Candies started operating in Austin 130 years ago, the Texas State Capitol wasn’t even built.

When the founder of the company, William Wirt Lamme was born, Stephen F. Austin – the so-called father of Texas – was still alive. Generations later, Lamme’s great-great-grandson Bryan Teich co-owns the candy company, along with his sisters.


Believe It or Not, Upgrade Planned for Alamo

Dec 4, 2015
gilgamesh/flickr

From the Texas Tribune: Consider the Alamo. Arguably the most notable historic site in the state, the modest Spanish mission's stone facade is nestled deep in the heart of San Antonio, beckoning history buffs and proud Texans alike.

And across the street tourists can see the world's largest Hawaiian shirt, or take photos next to a likeness of the man who holds the world record for balancing the most beer kegs on his head (11).

Photo via Office of the Texas Attorney General

From Texas Standard:

Gov. Greg Abbott used to joke when he was attorney general that he'd get up in the morning, go to work, sue the Obama Administration and then go home.  He’d wake up and do the same thing the next day.

The latest Texas suit by current attorney general Ken Paxton against the Obama Administration is not what you might describe as an everyday lawsuit. Indeed, newspapers across the country have taken note of Texas' decision to sue the Federal government over its plans to resettle Syrian refugees.

 


Image via Joy Diaz/Texas Standard

From Texas Standard:

Just a month ago, service providers in Texas were gearing up to receive some of the estimated 10,000 Syrian refugees scheduled to arrive in the United States in 2016. Last month's terrorist attacks in Paris raised caution flags for many state governors, including Gov. Greg Abbott.


Image via Flickr/Oliver Townend (CC BY-ND 2.0)

From Texas Standard:

Texas Gov. Greg Abbott has been in Cuba this week talking trade. He arrived in Havana on Monday with a delegation of 25 people to explore business opportunities between the formerly embargoed country and the Lone Star State.

Photo via Flickr/ydhsu (CC BY-NC 2.0)

From Texas Standard:

If you want to hold public office in Texas, you have to believe in God. You cannot serve even as dog catcher – if it’s an elected office, you must believe in God.

Given the long history we have had of con artists, and scofflaws, carpetbaggers, and white-collar criminals holding public office around the state, this may seem hard to believe.

But it is right there in the Texas constitution. Plain as day.

 


Image via Twitter/Padgett4Texas

From Texas Standard:

The Texas Constitution says there's no religious test for office holders – provided that "he acknowledge the existence of a Supreme being."

So much for prohibitions on religious tests – not to mention female candidates.

The "supreme being" clause went unchallenged for years, until three decades ago. It was then Texas' Attorney General agreed there's no way to enforce any real or imagined constitutional ban on atheist office-holders.

 


Image via Flickr/Gage Skidmore (CC BY-SA 2.0)

From Texas Standard:

Presidential candidate Sen. Ted Cruz spent the weekend in Iowa, where questions about his eligibility to hold the nation's highest office still linger.


UNHCR via Texas Tribune

Texas officials are warning refugee groups that they should not allow any Syrian refugees into Texas. Texas Health Commissioner Chris Traylor sent a letter the International Rescue Committee’s Dallas office saying the state could take legal action if Governor Greg Abbott's directive to keep out Syrian refugees is not followed.

Photo via Flickr/fabliaux (CC BY-ND 2.0)

From Texas Standard:

The nation is currently in a judicial crisis – and Texas is right in the middle of it.

For many years now, Carl Tobias has been sounding an alarm over unfilled seats on the federal bench, but the University of Richmond law professor now says the epicenter of the problem is the Lone Star State. Texas has far more vacancies than any other state in the country, he notes.

 


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