Photo of the Day
The earth, as seen by Texas astronauts:
If only … pic.twitter.com/mTgCJuIjV9
— Justice Don Willett (@JusticeWillett) January 10, 2014
Preview of the Day
Mr. Primetime, Deion Sanders, has been downsized to the Oprah Winfrey channel. According to the Dallas Observer, the network will premiere the series Deion’s Family Playbook in March. In the first episode, Deion gets rehired to Prime Prep Academy. In the second episode, Deion gets re-fired. In the third episode . . .
Kiss In The Face — Once again, all is right in the kingdom of Burnt Orange. A couple days after Red McCombs called Charlie Strong’s hire, done without first seeking the approval of the program’s wealthy elders, a “kick in the face,” the new coach said he’s smoothed things over with the booster. And by knightly, public courting no less. “I told him ‘I want you around. I want you … I want you … We need you. … We need to band together … I want you a part of it,'” said Strong during a radio interview. Won over and apparently completely smitten by the advances, Red said he spoke with Strong, apologized publicly for his comments and is now giving his “total support.” Get a skybox, you two.
Legal Support — The family of a brain-dead woman being kept on life support because she is pregnant is “preparing legal action,” according to the Fort Worth Star-Telegram. Thanks to an “obscure Texas law,” the woman is being kept alive not only against the expressed wishes of the family, but the woman’s own previous foresight (she was a paramedic familiar with this kind of thing). There’s a serious legal question as to whether the law applies to a person who’s legally dead and since all of the family is in agreement, the case could set in motion a dilemma more divisive than anything like the Terri Schiavo case. Namely, exactly how much can the state interfere when it comes to a family’s and individual’s right to die?
Teacher’s Pet Political Issue — Students and teachers are in for a rough ride this election season. Gubernatorial hopeful Wendy Davis came out yesterday with her education “plan” that sounds about as thought-out as homework done on the way to class. Davis announced proposals “aimed at luring new public school teachers with guaranteed college admission, teaching jobs and loan forgiveness,” according to the Austin American-Statesman. But she “didn’t say how much her ideas would cost” or “take a position on the funding cuts.” She was sure to mention, however, that she’d do all this without raising taxes. So don’t worry! Not to be outdone during this public show-and-tell, Republican Lite Guv candidate David Dewhurst rolled out his own equally vague education plan, the main tenant of which is asking others to come up with a plan. It’s like when everyone agrees to not do an assigned project so that the teacher can’t flunk anybody. “A” for effort, politicians.
Low Bar State — Speaking of edumakashun, there is a legitimate reason it’s being used as a campaign issue: Texas is doing a pretty bad job at it in general. “Texas education authorities said the number of schools falling short of minimum standards … doubled from 2012,” according to the AP. The only consolation to this news seems to be that, hey, the newer standards aren’t as easy as the previous ones, except school don’t make the list unless their students have underperformed “two of the three previous years.” So that general response by officials to these shortcomings is what poorly performing students used to audaciously refer to as “a gentleman’s ‘C’.”
<Oops> — It would seem that Governor Perry’s Emerging Technology Fund is in need of some troubleshooting. “Fourteen startups that received a total of more than $17 million … have failed or gone bankrupt,” according to the Austin Business Journal. With 143 startups being given $203 million, that means about nine percent of the companies are wasting about 8.3 percent of the funding. The fund has previously “been dogged by allegations of impropriety and political influence in its application process.” For once, however, the legislature appears to have learned its slightly costly lesson, approving only $50 million for the fund, as opposed to Perry’s requested $139 million.