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

Eric Hersman /Flickr (CC BY 2.0)

From Texas Standard : How are undecided Texans gearing up for their presidential pick? This is part three of a series following four voters through the last month before election day. Take a listen to parts one and two first. The idea of this project is to track how undecided voters make their decision in this presidential election. We started it despite the fact that from the outset, Texas seemed like a slam dunk for Donald Trump – a slam dunk for anyone with an ‘R’ next to their name, for...

klndonnelly/Flickr (CC BY 2.0)

From Texas Standard: A few weeks ago, the coordinator of Baylor University's Title IX resigned, alleging that the school had prevented her from adequately investigating cases . Baylor denied the charges. But after her resignation, she appeared in a TV interview saying that a group of Baylor administrators “made sure they were protecting the brand , instead of our students.”

Gage Skidmore/Flickr (CC BY-SA 2.0)

From Texas Standard: After last night's debate, dictionary maker Merriam-Webster reported that searches for "hombre" spiked 120,000 percent , as did look-ups for its homonyms ombre and ombré . Jennifer Mercieca , a professor at Texas A&M and rhetoric analyst, says Trump's use of hombre was a "cartoonish portrayal of immigrants."

jeepersmedia/Flickr (CC BY 2.0)

From Texas Standard: My favorite snack as a teenager was a Dr Pepper with salty peanuts. You remember: you pour the peanuts into the Dr Pepper and let them float around and season the drink. Didn’t get much better than that. Dr Pepper is the oldest soft drink in America. Older than Coca-Cola, in fact, by a full year. It was created in 1885 by a pharmacist, Charles Alderton, in Waco, Texas. And its original name was Waco – it was served there at the soda fountain in the drugstore. The drink was an instant hit; customers would sit down on one of those old spinning stools and say, “Shoot me a Waco.”

Gage Skidmore/Flickr (CC BY-SA 2.0)

From Texas Standard: So Texas – had enough yet? Landing blows, calling names, flinging zingers. If Frank Capra were to make a movie of this, he might call it “Jerry Springer goes to Washington.” Presidential debates are important to be sure, but when debates descend into parodies of debates, what are we getting? Is it a reasonable idea to just say no to a third debate? For a debate on whether a third debate is necessary, the Standard spoke to two professors of politics.

Adam Schultz/Flickr (CC BY-NC 2.0)

From Texas Standard : Since political ads are typically the single biggest expense of a presidential campaign's bottom line, you choose your battles – or battlegrounds – carefully. There's not much room for waste, which is why this got our attention: Hillary Clinton has purchased ad time in four of the five biggest cities in Texas. The last part of the ad reads in black and white: "For Texas and America, Hillary for President!" So does this mean the Clinton campaign sees Texas as a serious...

Courtesy Cinco Puntos Press

From Texas Standard : When a major publisher taps you on the shoulder, that's a big step for an author. When a school district adopts your books as recommended reading, that's big too. But when kids start asking for your books by name, you're onto something. Xavier Garza , a schoolteacher and artist, is the mind behind the popular Lucha Libre books , which capture the part-sport, part-art form that is Mexican wrestling. His latest in the series, " Maximilian and the Lucha Libre Club ," came...

Remy Steinegger/Wikimedia Commons (CC BY-SA 2.0)

From Texas Standard : Late last week, NBC News and others reported that the Obama Administration is preparing a cyber action against Russia to retaliate for spreading hacked confidential information to the American public. Intelligence officials have publicly accused the Russian government of directing hacker attacks against U.S. political organizations, with the intent of interfering in the U.S. election process. The FBI alerted election officials nationwide over suspected attempts to hack...

Rieseblogger/Pixabay (Public Domain)

From Texas Standard: President Obama has commuted the sentences of more federal inmates than the last ten presidents combined. Many of those who saw their sentence shortened are from Texas, mostly doing time on drug-related charges. They've all accepted the Obama administration's offer – until now. At at a low-security prison in Beaumont, one inmate said no.

Phil Gingrey/Wikimedia Commons (Public Domain)

From Texas Standard: With compounding reports of Donald Trump’s alleged sexual abuse of women, it’s easy to forget his earlier outrageous claims. Case in point – the border wall. The San Antonio Express-News spent the last month exploring just how real a border wall could be and reporter Jason Buch , who worked on the project, says wall rhetoric doesn’t often match reality.

Alexandra Hart/Texas Standard

From Texas Standard : Anna Gatti served in World War II. “Somebody said to me, ‘Why did you choose the navy and not the army,’” she says. “And the reason I did that, I was damned if I was gonna wear khaki underwear.” Gatti was in the Navy WAVES, or Women Accepted for Volunteer Emergency Service. She’s one of more than 40 female veterans who recently flew to Washington, D.C., for Texas’s first all-female Honor Flight. Honor Flight sponsors trips to the nation’s capitol so that World War II,...

Joy Diaz

From Texas Standard : The Texas Standard explores what it means to be American as part of the NPR series " A Nation Engaged ." I'm the first child of an American father and a Mexican mother. I was born an American – but in Mexico. Growing up, I rarely visited my American grandparents in New York City. So, culturally, every connection I had was to Mexico. When I moved to Texas as an adult I felt like an immigrant. America was new to me – even though I was already a citizen. My husband, Luis...

NIcholas Jon/Flickr (CC BY-NC 2.0)

From Texas Standard: Dark money. Sounds evil, doesn't it? For the past several years, the Texas Ethics Commission has been mired in an investigation of a group called Empower Texans , a right-leaning organization that pushes a limited government agenda and supports candidates who share its values but does not disclose its donors. As the clock has ticked on a high-profile complaint against the group, concerns have grown over whether the Ethics Commission has what it takes to do its job of policing campaign money.

John Harvey/Texas Tribune

From the Texas Tribune: Texas has a record-breaking 15 million people registered to vote ahead of the November election, the Secretary of State’s office announced Thursday. Texas has 15,015,700 voters registered according to a preliminary estimate — over 777,000 more than were registered in time for the March primaries. The deadline to register to vote was Tuesday. “If you want to vote you must be registered, so it’s good to see that so many Texans are preparing for this November’s election,”...

Andreas Praefcke/Wikimedia Commons (CC BY 3.0)

From Texas Standard: In Texas, tacos take priority. But what do you do when you can’t find a taco place? Here are a few taco joints to put in your taco emergency box. Mando Rayo and Jarod Neece are two taco journalists traveling across Texas tasting every taco in sight for their new book, " The Tacos of Texas ". They describe what is acceptable to do when you’re really desperate for a taco – turning to fast food tacos.

Erik Hersman/Flickr (CC BY 2.0)

Mallika Das, a U.S. citizen who was born in India, walked into a Williamson County polling place in 2014 eager to cast her ballot. Because she was not proficient in English and had found it difficult to vote in the past, Das brought her son, Saurabh, to help her. They both spoke Bengali, an Asian dialect. But when Saurabh told poll workers he was there to interpret the English ballot for his mother, the duo ran into an unexpected requirement. By law, a poll official determined, Saurabh could...

WOCinTech Chat/Flickr (CC BY 2.0)

From Texas Standard: There may be a civic virtue in trying to shame people for not voting – or, at least, shaming people online. According to a new study from the University of Texas at Austin, guilting your Facebook friends may actually have the effect of getting people to vote .

KUT Austin/Texas Standard

From Texas Standard: How are undecided Texans gearing up for their presidential pick? This is part two of a series following four voters through the last month before Election Day.

Erik Hersman/Flickr (CC BY 2.0)

From Texas Standard: Today's the last day to register to vote in Texas in time for the November election. Some county registrar offices are staying open until midnight to give people as long as possible to complete the process, but most will close at the end of the business day. In Texas you can check online to see if you're registered, but you can't actually register online and some 3 million Texans are eligible to vote but not registered. Complicating matters, according to a new report in the magazine " The Nation ," is a labyrinth of laws putting up barriers so difficult to surmount that nobody wants to invest in helping more voters register.

Kenneth C. Zirkel/Wikimedia Commons (CC BY-SA 3.0)

From Texas Standard: He was a businessman who liked to brag about his financial success, cracked rape jokes around reporters and kissed "just about every woman within arms' reach." She was a Democrat who shattered many ceilings, with real-world political experience and demanded that her opponent disclose his taxes. These two also wouldn't shake hands.