Get Smart

Get Smart
istockphoto.com/Joe Cicak

This month we’re pleased to bring you the Texas Monthly Brainstorm—a massive collection of ideas large and small, serious and quirky from a diverse group of big-thinking Texans on the topic of how we might improve our state. The notion to bring together all this brainpower came to us one afternoon as we were leafing through another day’s worth of wretched stories about the economy, gloomily pontificating that all the old ways of doing things were kaput.

Well,” someone said, “what are the new ways?”

And so was born this project. As the submissions began to trickle and then pour in, we found ourselves feeling better by the day. Our brainstormers ran the gamut, from Red McCombs to Chingo Bling, but they all shared so much enthusiasm, vision, ingenuity, and raw brainpower that, well, maybe everything would be all right after all.

Months-long undertakings like these often develop a life of their own; unquestionably, the spirit of this project turned out to be one of hope. Educate all children! Revamp the tax code! Travel in pneumatic tubes! Not one person proposed that we build a giant underground bunker stocked with Campbell’s soup and Louis L’Amour novels. Considering all of this, the brainstormer that struck us as the best subject for this month’s cover was Pastor Joel Osteen. The pastor is no policy wonk, but without the indomitable

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