The State of Texas: December 11, 2015
Panel forced to recommend campus guns, the costly T2 embarrassment, and an ultimate drinking warrior.
Have you seen this awesome, giant menorah made out of Legos yet? It’s kind of amazing.
Gunning for It — Could anyone have imagined what a mess the state’s soon-to-be enacted gun laws would create even before they went into effect? This week has been particularly nutsy, what with news of fake mass shooting and counter farting protests. Now comes the official recommendation from the University of Texas-Austin panel assigned to coming up with procedures on how to implement campus carry. The group essentially recommend allowing guns, because, well, it’ll be the law. Put another way, they “made that recommendation reluctantly,”and every member (comprised of students, staff, and faculty) thought guns in the classroom a terrible idea, as the Austin American-Statesman writes. The panel did try to put things into perspective, estimating that “less than 1 percent of UT students will have a license to carry a concealed weapon, in part because the state requires a license holder to be 21 years or older.” Needless to say, the gun fight ain’t over. Apart from the planned activities this weekend, and the expected #CocksNotGlocks in the fall, the “organization Gun Free UT i[is] threatening to file a lawsuit.”
Technical Difficulties — Handing out state contracts out like they were SXSW swag sure seems like it was a bad idea in retrospect. The House Appropriations Committee spent four hours examining the absolute disaster involving T2, a $300 million, eight-year effort to create a “better data system to process child support payments and investigations [which] wound up $100 million over budget and years behind schedule,” according to the Statesman. “The project is in such disarray that the federal Office of Child Support Enforcement, which is footing two-thirds of the bill, recently froze its payments.” The number of problems officials detailed at the meeting was longer than any naughty list Santa might come up with. The situation’s so bad, no one’s sure where to start assigning blame, or when, for how long, and to what extent the state’s top leaders like the governor and attorney general were aware of the problem. “I’m not going to call this a challenge,”said Representative Borris Miles at one point. “There are some other words I’d like to call it, but we’re being videotaped.” The project’s still going to happened, with the help of another $20 million.
Chariots of Fire Water — Making New Year’s resolutions about getting fit is nothing new. But you really have no excuse, particularly when you consider El Paso’s iron-lady Elvira “Vera” Montes. “Last week in Austin, the 81-year-old grandmother of three laced up her running shoes and put on her best bitter beer face and competed in the 2015 FloTrack Beer Mile World Championships,” according to the El Paso Times. In the annual contest, racers must chug a beer before the race starts, then down own more at ever quarter-mile mark, all without puking. As the San Antonio Express-News remarked, “Montes finished at 20 minutes and 24.62 seconds, the newspaper reported. Reynolds came in just behind at 21 minutes and 15.67 seconds. Montes’ son-in-law didn’t finish.” Montes had an explanation for why she could’ve done better, though. “I’m not a big beer drinker. I like beer when the weather is real hot and there’s nothing else to drink. I’m really a scotch drinker, Chivas if it’s available. If it was scotch we were drinking instead of beer, I would have run a lot faster.” As the El Paso Times noted, “Montes was the oldest finisher at the second annual run, coming in at 20 minutes and 24.62 seconds, ahead of her daughter, who finished in 21:15.67.