Texas

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

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From Texas Standard

Something strange happened behind the curtain when Randall County resident Lisa Houlette was casting her ballot in Amarillo. As she described it on Facebook, she voted a straight Republican ticket. But as she scrolled to submit her ballot, she noticed that even though the Republican straight ticket box was highlighted, so was the box for the Hillary Clinton/Tim Kaine ticket.

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From Texas Standard:

In the hours since Texas-based AT&T announced plans to buy Time Warner, everyone's been focused on the consumer implications: could this hurt consumer choice and raise prices?

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From Texas StandardWhen Justice Louis Brandeis described the states as laboratories of democracy, he couldn't have foreseen election day 2016. As the New York Times noted Monday, the most popular illicit drug in the nation – marijuana – could be legalized for recreational use in five more states this November. That would bring the total number to 10, including Washington, D.C.

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From Texas Standard:

Texas has the second-largest Latino population of any state, after California – 40 percent. The state also has more Latino elected officials than any other states.

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From Texas StandardThe national average of kids enrolled in special education services in public schools is 13 percent, but the Texas average is well below that marker at 8.5 percent. An investigative report by the Houston Chronicle detailed why: the Texas Education Agency set a benchmark in 2004 that only 8.5 percent of a school’s students should receive such services.

Courtesy Kino Lorber

From Texas Standard:

For more than 50 years, journalists, authors and everyday people have been struggling with how to tell the story of the 1966 University of Texas at Austin tower shooting. It was the first public mass shooting on a college campus, resulting in the deaths of 16 people.

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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.”

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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."

 


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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.”

 


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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.

 


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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.

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.

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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.

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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.

 


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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.”

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.

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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.

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