The State of Texas: Nov. 25, 2013
Photos of the Day
It’s never comforting when you’re forced to get an official inspection from a place that looks so unofficial. But it can be a little bit funny! At least, Dallas Morning News photographer Guy Reynold thought so. He has a collection of homemade vehicle inspection signs, which garages craft when they don’t want to pay the fee for the official design. As Reynold says, “Some of the efforts aren’t bad; in fact, they’re almost Texas.”
Van de Runnin’ — After what the Austin American-Statesman called, “perhaps the worst-kept secret at the state Capitol in recent weeks,” it’s finally official: State Senator Leticia Van de Putte is running for lite guv. The veteran lawmaker made the announcement on Saturday after lots of public hemming and hawing. Now, with running mate Wendy Davis, Democrats appear to be “pinning their strategy, in part, on women, particularly those in the suburbs, who early polling numbers suggest might not have their minds made up, and could be persuaded by the summer’s divisive debate over abortion legislation,” as the Texas Tribune put it. Lest you don’t believe this, Davis hammered this particular message during a Saturday campaign stop, saying, “Women make excellent candidates. They make excellent leaders.” Dubious identity politics aside (politicians don’t usually make for “excellent” anything), the announcement is historically awesome. It’s the first time two women lead a major party ticket in Texas.
Bling City, Tex. — It was only last month that Brownsville was named the poorest city in the entire country. As if to somehow balance that out—or to highlight how extreme we truly are—Midland was just declared the country’s richest metropolitan area. “The two counties that make up the Midland metro area had a per capita income of $83,049 compared to the second-place $81,068 for the Bridgeport [Connecticut] metro area,” the former number-one, according to the Longview News-Journal. The reason for this new ranking should come as absolutely no surprise: oil and gas. And for a deeply drilled look at the current boom, be sure to read Texas Monthly‘s November cover story.
Goodbye, Championship Road — It was an ugly weekend for Texas football. There’s not much you can say about Baylor’s epic loss to OSU without it sounding downright rude. After the game, Baylor’s once-proud QB Bryce Petty said, “A loss [49-17!!!] does not define this team.” Except, yes, in this case, it actually does, since Baylor now has to say goodbye to any BCS title hopes. And Johnny Manziel, who led A&M to a loss on Saturday, also received a blow to his chances for a big trophy, in this case a Heisman repeat. Less than two weeks ago, you could read headlines like “Manziel is the no-doubt Heisman pick.” Now the consensus is that Manziel is out, though some people are loving it a bit too much—the first sentence of this CBS Sports piece is so mean. Who’s ready for some basketball?
Ice Storm Arriveth — To be fair, it is the end of November. But what the northern part of the state is experiencing is less a Winter Wonderland and more of a Winter Hellscape. Nothing but cold, hard rain. The fatal storm rolled in from the west and hit Texas over the weekend, causing about 180 flight cancellations in Dallas. TxDOT even advised people throughout the state to transport themselves to the nearest couch and stay there. The storm’s been downgraded to a “winter weather advisory,” which means it’ll be slightly less freezing than experts thought. Still, keep warm this week and be on the lookout for those who may need some defenses against the cold.