<p>In the<a href="http://www.texasmonthly.com/burka-blog/end-game#" target="_blank"> cold war of tax negotiations</a>, the hostages are licensed open carry of handguns and border security—topics that are bound, gaged and held in committee. Is either chamber willing to shoot the hostages to get its way? Get your candles. We’re starting a vigil.</p> <p><strong>Open carry</strong></p> <p><a href="http://www.legis.state.tx.us/BillLookup/History.aspx?LegSess=84R&Bill=SB17" target="_blank">SB 17</a> – The House received the open carry bill from the Senate on March 18, and it was not referred to the committee on homeland security until May 5. </p> <p><a href="http://www.legis.state.tx.us/BillLookup/History.aspx?LegSess=84R&Bill=HB910" target="_blank">HB 910</a> – The Senate received the bill on April 21. It was referred to the Senate State Affairs security committee on May 6. </p> <p><strong>Border security</strong></p> <p><a href="http://www.legis.state.tx.us/BillLookup/History.aspx?LegSess=84R&Bill=HB11" target="_blank">HB 11</a> – Received by the Senate on March 23 and referred to the Senate border security committee on March 25. </p> <p><a href="http://www.legis.state.tx.us/BillLookup/History.aspx?LegSess=84R&Bill=SB3" target="_blank">SB 3</a> – The House received the bill on April 21 and referred it to the homeland security committee on May 5. </p> <p>Bring up the spooky music with a driving beat like an anxiously thumping heart.</p> <p>Please, feel free to add other hostages in the comment section.</p>

APRIL FOOLS! Breathe a sigh of relief, all you extremist carnivores. Aaron Franklin of Franklin Barbecue in Austin IS NOT – I repeat, IS NOT – going to host Meatless Monday Vegan Brisket dinners. The TM Daily Post story really sent some of you into dire meat sweats and brisket withdrawals. Who knew threats of veganism could be so potent? We have to admit, some of the responses from our readers, Facebook fans and tweeps were priceless. A few highlights:

“There’s a special place in hell for anyone who calls themselves a Texan who would ever consider serving or eating this abomination. Don’t let Texas turn into another San Francisco.” – Willis, in the story comments “Do NOT click on the picture, y’all. It just looks gross.” – Sheree, Facebook (note: picture was of a real Franklin BBQ beef brisket)

“That’s more disgusting than pink slime!” – Kathy, Facebook

“Get a rope!” – Rosemary, Facebook (always our favorite comment)

“Meatless brisket would be something akin to Godless Heaven.” – Jim, Facebook