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The State of Texas: Nov. 7, 2013

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Video of the Day

A lil’ calf with no rear hooves is recovering from a trans-state ordeal. His name is “Hero.” Expect the Disney film in the very near future.

Daily Roundup

Let Me Be Clear, Y’all — President Obama swung through the state yesterday to fundraise as well as to attempt a little triage on the disaster that’s been the Affordable Care Act. In Dallas, the President called on Governor Rick Perry and other politicians to get on the gurney, but, as one might expect, Obama’s arrival was met with all the joy and jubilation of an ER visit. Perry said Obama “deceived” Americans and Ted Cruz suggested the President “take his broken promises tour elsewhere.” And by elsewhere, perhaps Cruz means a state without the largest number of uninsured Americans, particularly among the poor.

Oil, Oil Everywhere — Our black gold is becoming a bit of a Midas problem. Firefighters in Greenville this week arrived at an above-ground oil station “to find a 40-foot fountain of crude oil rising from the pumping unit.” Grant it, the spill was relatively small—one family was evacuated and “the event did not affect daytime traffic.” Still, the spill comes in the oily wake of another “event” late last month when 400 barrels (about 17,000 gallons) leaked out of some pipes in Smithville. That spill, it’s been rabidly noted, came from pipelines owned by Koch Industries, which is owned by the brothers often accused of supposedly attempting world domination. Regardless, as the boom continues, the replaying of scenes from There Will Be Blood is quite likely.

Ammonium Nightmare — As a response to the West Fertilizer Company explosion that killed fifteen people, the Texas Fire Marshal’s Office has launched a website that allows Texans to “search for facilities near them that store large amounts of ammonium nitrate,” according to the AP. The only problem with this great new tool is that it doesn’t “offer details on each facility … nor does it let users see all of the facilities in a list or on a map.” So … thanks? We’re all now sufficiently frightened and ill-informed. Fire Marshal Chris Connealy said the tool is meant, in part, to “prevent another incident like West.” Though Googling “homes in Florida” might be just as effective.

Cornyn, Stalked — Poor U.S. Senator John Cornyn. During the shutdown, he donated his salary to charity. He blocks presidential nominees. He is the “second most conservative senator in America.” And yet … “According to a survey from Public Policy Polling, 49 percent of GOP primary voters want a more conservative Senate candidate than Cornyn,” reports Politico. So far, Cornyn’s avoided the problem, what with Glen Beck-approved challengers declining to fight and a hypothetical race against Julián Castro ending in a double-digit victory. But Cornyn ain’t taking chances. As the Washington Post noted after the release of a Cornyn campaign ad in the face of nary a challenger, “he is taking the potential threat of one very seriously. The fact that he is releasing a TV ad at this early stage of the election cycle reflects this.” Hang in there, Cornyn! You’ll be the single most conservative senator one of these days.

Wow! What A Disappointment! — A little bit of the Nineties youth died this week. Blockbuster Video announced that it is closing the last of its stores. All 300 of them. The once-reigning king of sleepovers and date nights began as a humble store in Dallas and became the largest video rental franchise in the country. Then the Internet happened. Nostalgia and “end of an era” (or not) plays a big part in explaining “Why I Mourn Blockbuster Video.” The selection was limited, occasionally wrong, the store was sometimes a little dirty, and the staff was always a little stoned. But it sure was a lot more fun than receiving random Netflix suggestions for movies related to the one you “accidentally” watched.

Clickity-Click These Extra Bits

A County Where Everybody Knows Your Name

Untangling The Hair Braiding License Controversy

Where The Water Will Flow

He Was WAY Off On That Prediction

Harris County Voters Approve of Jail Concrete Resting Centers

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