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The State of Texas: January 29, 2015

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Viral Thursday

The Internet will never tire of viral group videos. If you haven’t seen it yet, the latest comes from A. Maceo Smith New Tech High School, in Dallas, which apparently has the coolest principal ever. It’s one of those rare times when a video is rather heartwarming (see the YouTube comments) and danceable:

Daily Roundup

Can’t Stop, Won’t Stop – Rick Perry is the ultimate running back as he continues pushing forward despite whatever obstacles are in his way. After being told by a judge earlier this week that the two abuse of power charges against him won’t be dropped, Perry’s All-Star Legal team is hoping that the third time’s a charm and will again file to have the charges dismissed. The attempt isn’t due to sheer stubbornness. The judge, Bert Richardson, “ruled that Perry’s legal team had prematurely raised constitutional objections to the charges” but “hinted to the Perry legal team that if they have raised different issues, chiefly that the abuse of power count was vague, that he would have looked at that argument more closely,” reports the Texas Tribune. “Perry’s lead defense lawyer Tony Buzbee said he would follow up on the judge’s suggestion and file another request to quash the indictment for that very reason. The defense team will ask for an expedited appeal of Richardson’s entire ruling …” Despite this whole felony-charge thing, it’s still full-steam ahead for Perry’s presidential plans. In fact, the only thing slowing Perry down is that he hasn’t officially announced his intentions despite very publicly doing everything that indicates a run. “‘We’re moving right along as we have intended,’ [said Perry], mentioning his recent visits to the early primary states of Iowa and South Carolina,” according to the Associated Press. ”‘We’ll make a decision, or actually make an announcement is a better descriptive term, in the May-June timetable, just like we had intended to before this.’”

Recoil and Recover – Who knew guns could give you whiplash? Earlier this week, Dan Patrick, our new lieutenant governor who is vocally proud of his record on guns—and who also promised a new, more conservative day in Texassaid the hotly debated open carry bill doesn’t have enough votes to pass. This view was perhaps buttressed yesterday when Democratic representative Poncho Nevarez was given a security detail after the confrontation with supporters earlier this month. It didn’t help that those open carry groups (well, just Tarrant County Open Carry), once again used some tone-deaf language, saying in a Wednesday Facebook post that it was “time to hunt down the Republicans who don’t support the Constitution and the Republican Platform.” The conflict with TCOC has created some odd alliances in the Capitol. In what might be the most crass appropriation of the “I Am Charlie” declaration, lawmakers have begun wearing “I’m Poncho” stickers, an idea that came from Drew Springer, a Republican: “I might disagree with him on a bill, but we need to have debates and not threaten people for their views,” Springer told the Dallas Morning News. “Ours was a show of solidarity that we’re not going to let outside sources threaten us with violence.” The perpetually cool-headed Nevarez joked that “other members should wear ‘I’m not Poncho’ signs for their own safety.” So it’s all over for the open carry bill, right? Not so fast, says the Texas Tribune. “In a statement issued late Wednesday, Patrick, a Republican, walked back comments he made Tuesday at a Texas Tribune event saying open carry didn’t reach the ‘level of prioritizing’ or have the votes to pass,” according to the story. “Announcing he had referred to committee another firearms bill … Patrick said he was now free to ‘focus on other Second Amendment issues, including open carry, which I have consistently supported.’” The Tribune’s headline says it best: “Open Carry Survives Despite Its Supporters.”

Crappy School Day – Something is rotten in the city of Gustine. Apparently, the elementary school was victim of serial pooping in the gym, prompting school officials “to get to the bottom of the matter” with a “method of investigation [that] has parents and students raising a stink,” cheekily writes the Huffington Post. “On Monday, officials at Gustine Elementary rounded up 24 students, and divided them up by gender. Then the kids were ordered to pull down their pants far enough so educators could see if there were any tell-tale fecal stains.” The story is attracting a little national attention for all the obvious reason, but also because publications and parents are describing the inspection as a “strip search,” with one eleven-year-old being quoted with saying quite the sound bite: “I felt uncomfortable, and I didn’t want to do it. I felt like they violated my privacy.” Or, as the Washington Times puts it, “Texas elementary students forced to expose underwear.” The school’s response? “Gustine Independent School District Superintendent Ken Baugh acknowledged that making kids drop their drawers goes too far. …’That’s not appropriate, and we do not condone that. So you would take disciplinary action,’” reports WFAA. And “Some angry parents are already planning to show up at the school board meeting [Thursday] to demand that someone be held accountable.”

Clickity Bits

Twenty-Six Percent of Nation’s Exonerated Last Year Were Texas Drug Cases

Bigger in Texas Department: 790-Pound Wild Hog Caught in De Leon

Texas Responsible For Nearly All Net Job Growth in Past Eight Years

Alegría: There Will Be An Entire Festival Dedicated to Selena

Austin Loses To Houston As Fastest-Growing City After Four-Year Run

Bernie Attorney Says Marjorie Family Stole Money From Estate

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