It’s the awkward road rage fight that’s swept the nation. Two guys in Austin went at it with sticks and bats. Silly as it looks, it could’ve been worse. Make love, not war, y’all.
— ABC7 News (@abc7newsBayArea) January 27, 2016
Texas By the Numbers
Latino Hip — Number of Texas cities ranked among top fifteen places for Latino millennials: five. Top ranked Texas city: Austin. Rank: Fifth. Dallas: Seventh. Houston: Eleventh. San Antonio: Thirteenth. El Paso: Fourteenth. Number one city: Boston(?!)
Chartered — Number of students enrolled last year in Dallas ISD: 160,148. Additional number enrolled in charter schools: 27,000. Increase over past four years of charter school enrollment: 15 percent. Increase in Houston: 24 percent. Austin: 69 percent. San Antonio: 19 percent. Number of kids statewide in public schools: 5 million. Charter schools: 228,000.
Pecked — Number of live roosters rounded up in recent cockfighting raid near Midland: 30. Number of ounces of cocaine confiscated: 46. Number of people arrested: 40. Money confiscated: $32,000. Percentage of fun now being had in Midland: 0.
Plan for Trouble — It may have been the two videographers who were indicted for their involvement in the Planned Parenthood “sting,” but that doesn’t mean the organization is in the clear. “Officials and experts on both sides acknowledged Tuesday the surprise indictments probably will not weaken – and may even strengthen – a nationwide wave of momentum against Planned Parenthood and fetal organ donation that has swelled in the months since California anti-abortion activists used heavily edited undercover videos filmed at a dozen clinics to accuse the organization of selling body parts of aborted fetuses,” writes the Houston Chronicle in its assessment of the issue. As the story notes, officials are doubling down on their efforts to boot the organization from Texas, and the “investigations ordered by the state’s top three elected officials are moving forward.” Meanwhile, the New York Times looks at the careful line being walked by Harris County District attorney Devon Anderson in regards to the issue. “Ms. Anderson, the top prosecutor in the third most-populous county in America, has tried to walk a fine line as a no-nonsense, by-the-book lawyer and someone with a clear conservative political profile who has been an outspoken Republican in a city that has been run by Democrats for decades.” That balancing act “won her praise from Houston lawyers and elected officials on both sides of the aisle.”
Rebel Yelling — That tone-deaf Southern ball in Georgetown has risen again. At a city council meeting, things got a bit heated after one member proposed pulling the $1,500 the city had planned to give to the organization to help it pull off the, er, historical affair, as the Austin American-Statesman details. And per small town politics, everyone seems to have a lot of conflicts of interest. The mayor, who was not too keen on people doubting the purity of the ball, is married to the director of the museum hosting the whole shebang. “About 200 people have signed a petition against the Old South Ball saying it is racist. The petition compares the dance to a ‘slavers plantation ball.’ A protest is planned outside the dance. The ball will be in the county commissioners courtroom at the Williamson County courthouse. The event was limited to 100 tickets and sold out several weeks ago.”
Unwelcome Mat — “Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton told a U.S. district judge that the federal government should be temporarily barred from placing Syrian refugees in Texas after federal officials admitted they failed to provide the state with advance notice of a refugee family resettled in the state last week,” according to the Texas Tribune. “In a filing to Dallas-based U.S. District Judge David C. Godbey, Paxton said the Obama administration failed to notify Texas leaders about the resettlement of a seven-person family at least seven days in advance of their arrival — contrary to a federal court’s order, according to the attorney general’s office. The government instead informed the judge about the resettlement the day the family arrived in Houston on Jan. 22.” It seems Paxton’s favorite strategy, whether in his personal troubles or on the job, is to go after technicalities. The results have been, uh, mixed? Although only ten Syrians appear to have been resettled here in Texas so far this year (and a little more than 200 last year), Paxton has not really been successful in his fight against the federal government on the issue. “It is unclear how many of those refugees would have ended up in Texas, but in recent years, the Lone Star State has accepted about 10 percent of the 70,000 refugees admitted into the country annually.”