Photo of the Day

It’s nice to know that we all go through awkward phases, even our rustically handsome governor. Over at his Tumblr dedicated to the Lone Star image, Texas Monthly‘s own John Spong has photographic evidence of a brace-faced Rick Perry as a dorky younger man.

Adventure Friday

Ever wanted to go to Mars and never come back? An Austin woman is in the running to do just that. KXAN has the story, including the original video submission that Sonia Van Meter sent in for the competition. Despite being an avid Trekkie, Van Meter’s video is actually filled with the kind of rhetoricals once uttered by Sex in the City‘s Carrie Bradshaw.

Daily Roundup

Misfire? — It would appear that standing with Wendy requires some awkward posturing. Yesterday, the gubernatorial candidate “faced blowback from liberals and fellow Democrats,” over her support of one of conservative gun-lovers’s most cherished crusades: open-carry gun laws. Not only have state gun-control advocates spoken out against Davis’s position, but, according to the Texas Tribune, members of her own party may be wondering if Davis is missing the target. The position “puts at her odds with statements from her own Texas Democratic Party and her fellow senator, Leticia Van De Putte of San Antonio, the Democratic candidate for lieutenant governor,” said the Tribune, which also reported that Van De Putte looked “flummoxed” when asked about the topic yesterday. Even some of Davis’s top supporters were reportedly “caught off-guard.” Critics aren’t gun-shy about calling the statements a bald-face attempt to garner votes. She’s previously pushed gun-control legislation and received an “F” rating by the NRA. Even the Abbott campaign has some pun-ish fun, saying the new rhetorical ammo won’t help her be a “straight shooter” with regards to her anti-gun record.

Polygamist Build, Texas Owned — It would appear that the YFZ ranch in Eldorado once controlled by FLDS sect leader Warren Jeffs now officially belongs to Texas. “Minutes before the courthouse in Eldorado, Texas, was to close for the day, a clerk there [said] no one had filed an appeal challenging the state’s seizure,” reports the Salt Lake City Tribune. “Thursday was the deadline for an appeal.” As the Tribune notes, some things are still unclear. Namely, how to go about selling off the property and who would actually want to buy the $19.96 million spread. As Texas Monthly senior editor Katy Vine reports in her story about the seizure, all previous evidence indicated that, despite “hundreds of the compound’s residents [having] packed their things and left,” part of the sect, which paid nearly half a million dollars in taxes last month, seemed to want to stay. Now, the biggest question is what in the Joseph Smith will happen to the property. Ironically, the most obvious ideas—having some non-profit take control of the sprawling complex—are “situations that would prove problematic for the local school district, which has grown to depend on the ranch’s taxes for 5 to 10 percent of its budget.” Maybe the Unification Church’s messiah, Sun Myung Moon, is interested?

Auspicious Signs — The good Samaritan who aggravated the Frisco Police Department last month has been allowed to go about his merry way. Back in October, Ron Martin was arrested for holding up a sign warning motorists of an impending speed trap. Cheeky guy that he is, Martin said he was simply advising folks to drive slower (for safety!). Since he wasn’t actually committing a crime, the equally-cheeky Frisco PD arrested him on charges of violating the city’s sign ordinance. On Wednesday, however, the “the judge … threw out the misdemeanor charge of violating Frisco’s sign ordinance … because the complaint didn’t specify how he violated the lengthy ordinance,” according to the Associated Press. The city may refile the charges, but there’s no clear sign that will happen. As for Martin, he’d be wise to take an extended detour around any local law enforcement for the foreseeable future.

Inhospitable Texas — It would appear that New Jersey Governor Chris Christie’s troubles have followed him all the way to Texas. Amidst the continuing Bridgegate scandal, Christie—the high-profile head of the Republican Governors Association and (once) potential 2016 presidential candidate—swung through the state to raise money. Except no one was that eager to ride in Christie’s carpool. “Christie didn’t meet with Gov. Rick Perry and Abbott, the perceived Republican front-runner in this year’s gubernatorial race during his visit,” reports the Fort Worth Star-Telegram. Even the Los Angeles Times commented on the inclimate conditions, noting that “the nature of his visit demonstrated everything that need be said about the current state of his political disunion.” Thanks to the recent chilly weather, journalists had some fun. “Chris Christie gets chilly reception on his visit to North Texas” reads the Star-Telegram‘s headline, the article of which later states, Christie “didn’t receive a warm welcome.” Oddly, only the national outlets find a way to insert “cold shoulder.”

Clickity Bits

Texas May Actually Get a Seismologistic Detective After All

Literacy of Most Lone Star Cities Getting Slightly Gooder

Fewer Texas Schools Left Behind

Texas Unions A Bit Dis-Organized

Eric Brauss Conspiracy Is Finally Put to Rest

Duck Dynasty Is Taking Over Texas NASCAR

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