On one issue, at least, George W. Bush—the former president of the United States, and the former governor of Texas—is badly out of step with the country. He is a man who describes certainty, decisiveness, and conviction, as key to understanding who he is as a human and who he was as president. Most Americans, however, don't know what to think about either at this point.
Since leaving office four years ago, George W. Bush only seems to make headlines because of the fact that he's not doing anything worthy of headlines. Aside from a few blurbs here and there about his hobbies, the ex-president has largely avoided the scalding gaze of the public eye. This week he will briefly step back into the spotlight when he dedicates the new George W. Bush Presidential Center in Dallas.
If you’re a longtime reader of Texas Monthly, you’ve probably come across a fair number of pieces by Stephen Harrigan. The Austin writer has been a fixture at the magazine since 1973, “right around the fourth or fifth issue,” he says. His latest book, The Eye of the Mammoth: Selected Essays, just published by UT Press, brings together 32 of his pieces, some from two earlier collections, some uncollected, and many from Texas Monthly.
After a spirited debate and a flurry of amendments, the version of Sen. John Carona’s payday lending bill that passed out of the Senate Monday night was so altered that he referred to the final product as an “ugly baby.” Senators stuck on eight amendments to SB 1247—in addition to the six originally agreed upon by Carona, a Republican from Dallas—to toughen the legislation, ultimately voting 24-6 to pass the measure.
Before the beards, cars and fuzzy guitars, Billy Gibbons led the Moving Sidewalks, a loud, bluesy Houston-based quartet that helped draft the blueprint for ZZ Top while building on the late-sixties psychedelic rock movement that was blooming simultaneously in Texas and San Francisco.
On the first Friday of every month, economics journalists around the country get up early in anticipation of the Labor Department’s monthly jobs report. It’s probably the best single snapshot of how the workforce is faring, and in the post-recession United States, there’s often an element of suspense, as Americans want to see whether things are getting better.
This afternoon, Michael Morton received a long-awaited measure of justice when the inquiry into alleged misconduct in the 1987 trial that resulted in his wrongful conviction ended with a stinging rebuke to the man who prosecuted him. State district Judge Louis Sturns, who presided over the court of inquiry, ruled that Ken Anderson—the former D.A. of Williamson County who prosecuted Michael—should face criminal charges for his conduct.
There was gavel-banging. There were senators talking over each other. There was, repeatedly, use of a telling phrase: "I'm not trying to get personal." On Thursday afternoon there was, in other words, a good ol' fashioned parliamentary fight on the Senate floor.