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State of Texas: Oct. 7, 2013

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Photos of the Day

Couldn’t attend the regional millenial convention? Don’t worry! There’re plenty of filtered pictures from Austin City Limits Music Festival should you wish to peruse some hipster porn.

Texas by the Numbers

Expensive Justice: The cost of putting the Fort Hood mass-murder on trial was $5 million. Biggest expenditure: $1 mllion for transportation of jury, attorneys and witnesses.
Number one with a bang: Texas filed more gun applications than any other state: 1.2 million people, so far this year. Last year’s total figure: 1.4 million.
High on the hog: Bounties for feral hogs: $5. Last year: $2. Number of hogs: 1.2 million. Estimated cost of hog-caused damage: $500 million.

Tweet of the Day

It was not a pretty weekend for Texas’ professional quarterbacks. Check back with the Daily Post later today for Dan Solomon’s review of the rabid reactions to Tony Romo and Matt Schaub’s respective performances. Below is a representative feeling of most Texas fans.

Daily Roundup

Fire in the Hole — The shutdown battle has spilled over into another week. As neither side appears to be budging, it’s turned into trench warfare with both forces blasting salvos. Over the weekend, Texas’s own Davy Crockett, Ted Cruz, took plenty of shots at President Obama and the Democrats. In fact, Cruz pulled out some fresh artillery, which had nothing to do with the health care war, during a conservative fundraiser, saying “this administration is the most hostile to religious liberties that this country has ever seen.” Rallying the base and their dollars is a nice strategy, since Cruz’s last stand over Obamacare appears to be a bit unpopular with the majority of Americans. Cruz is, however, going out with guns blazin’, as the Senator also had time over the weekend for an extensive Sunday interview on the CNN’s State of the Union, which is definitely worth watching. Cruz begins with “let me commend Secretary Lew  … for not being a demagogue on the debt ceiling the way, sadly, his boss, President Obama has,” and it goes from there. Though it might have more to do with the media needing a narrative, Cruz’s own forces are apparently beginning to mutiny, with Politico citing its usual silent assassins. Not one to just sit and take such a shelling, Obama sat down with the AP and blasted rebels like Cruz as having a bloodlust mostly for the spotlight. “I recognize that in today’s media age, being controversial, taking controversial positions, rallying the most extreme parts of your base … is a lot of times the fastest way to get attention and raise money,” said Obama. “But it’s not good for government.” While the two sides spar, civilian casualties of the shutdown continue to mount.

Romo is Burning — It’d be nice if we could have some life-affirming distractions while the federal gummit does nothing in an official capacity. Unfortunately, even our favorite pastime continues to get pummeled. The losses resemble the growing whooping cough epidemic, starting first with the young before spreading to the adults. Fans have all but burned effigies and started tire fires after Tony Romo suffered a near-shutdown before a spirit-crushing defeat that ended with a late-game interception. As if it were any consolation, Romo broke all kinds of records, nevermind the battle-royale against Peyton Manning. But it’s not how you play the game, it’s whether you win or lose. Unless you really lose, like Matt Schaub and the rest of the Houston Texans. Three interceptions during a 34-3 smack. Yuck. Like Romo, Schaub also set an NFL record, though for all the wrong reasons. His performance was so bad, the best Coach Kubiak could say is, “This has to be rock bottom.” Which is another way of saying, “please let this be as bad as it’s gonna get.” On a good note, Baylor seems to be the only Texas team that received a pre-season flu shot. The team came away this weekend with its own set of (postive) stats and a record that is the picture of perfect health.

Just a Roadside Distraction — A month after the Department of Public Safety announced it would set up “random” roadside checkpoints through the RGV, someone in charge of the operation decided to slam on the brakes. The San-Antonio Express-News was the first to report on the program’s crash-n-burn, with the Austin American-Statesman towing away the ugly wreckage. “DPS officials said the unusual measure was necessary in the Rio Grande Valley, in particular, because of ‘unsafe driving behaviors’ and the ‘number of vehicle crashes’ in the region,” according to the Statesman‘s sharp piece. “The agency set up numerous roadblocks in late September and early October as part of a wider law enforcement surge in the Rio Grande Valley.” Unfortunately, it appears that the Statesman began running the numbers and found that nearly all the data and justifications for the controversal “surge” were about as prevalent as contemporary Burma-Shave ads. For those who enjoy rubbernecking at disasters, the popular law blog, Grits for Breakfast, has a juicy takedown of the DPS’ demolition derby with the Fourth Amendment.

Six-Year Reunion — Since you can’t take out-of-town guests to a Dallas football game, it’s a good thing the Reunion Tower’s GeO-Deck reopened, after a six-year hiatus. For a slightly higher admission price, you can get a breathtaking 360-degree view of the country’s biggest parking lot, in hi-def. “A system called HALO offers incomparable city views in every direction via interactive high definition zooming cameras and digital touchscreen displays,” reports WFAA. “Reunion Tower’s observation deck was supposed to reopen sooner, but like every place else, the worldwide recession in 2008 delayed the project.” With the new improvements and enthusiastic reopening celebrations, perhaps this time the deck will be, unlike the gummit, shutdown-proof.

Things We Missed — The Thursday story of a “creative” punishment for bullying made the Internet rounds this weekend. A Killeen father made his spawn hold up a sign that read, “I am a bully. Honk if you hate bullies.” Since privately teaching his son a lesson on the Golden Rule clearly failed, the father figured the Hammurabi’s barbaric code was the best route. “Maybe he understands that when he humiliates someone publicly that doesn’t feel good. Hopefully he’ll take that with him so the next time he tries to bully someone he’ll think about it twice.” Maybe. Though the same can’t be said for “anti-bullying” adults, advocates, and publications salivating over the shaming of a nine-year-old.

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