Video of the Day

Yes, it’s pretty exciting when the Longhorns come onto the field of Darrell K. Royal Stadium. But you know what would be cooler? If they parachuted in. The latter, by the way, is totally possible. For anyone who missed Saturday’s game, that’s exactly what one of the U.S. Army’s Golden Knights did:

Texas By The Numbers

Death Leaders — Total number of executions in the U.S. since 1977: 1,408. Total since 1977 in Texas, the nation’s leader in executions: 512. Percentage of total executions: 36.29 percent.

Carland — Cost of Toyota’s planned headquarters in Plano: $350 million. Acreage: 100 acres. Size: 1.78 million square feet. Expected number of employees: 4,000. Total number of parking spaces: 7,713.

Unstoppable Miracle — Texas’s annualized pace of employment in September: 3.2 percent. Nation: 2.2 percent. State’s unemployment rate: 5.2 percent. Nation: 5.9 percent. Current Texas employment: 11.6 million.

Daily Roundup

House of Whispers — Say this for Julian Castro, the country’s newest Secretary for Housing and Urban Development; he sure made being mayor cool again. Since Castro left for D.C., it seems running for a mayoral position is a state politician’s preferred go-to. First there was the announcement that Representative Mike Villarreal was stepping down to run for Castro’s old job, not to mention Leticia Van De Putte, who is seriously considering doing the same. Now comes word that outgoing lieutenant governor, David Dewhurst “may consider a run” for Houston mayor, reports the Houston Chronicle. Mind you, this is not yet a definite. “The comments came in an hour-long interview with the Houston Chronicle that seemed aimed at establishing the 69-year-old’s legacy as lieutenant governor and providing a soft launch for an ambitious future.” The Texas Whisper Campaign seems to have gotten a hold of bigger names as well, although it is more akin to shouting. After beating around the (brother) Bush somewhat, “Former President George W. Bush said he and his father believe Jeb Bush should run for president,” reports the Associated Press. “‘I can tell you I can speak for 41,’ Bush said … ‘He ought to run for president. He would make a great president.'” As the AP notes, “The comments were his most detailed to date about the possibility of continuing the Bush political dynasty.” Jeb has yet to provide a clear answer.

Place Your Bets — Bookies should be offering odds on how long Texas will have to skip around the issue of betting. Earlier this week, a district judge ruled that the “Texas Racing Commission does not have the authority to allow slots-like betting terminals at the state’s tracks.” This whole dance around betting is rather odd and not your standard five-card draw. For one, the ruling was against “historic betting,” in which one bets in races that have already happened (you just aren’t able to identify which digital horse was Sea Biscuit when you drop your money in). Secondly, opponents and critics of such gambling include those opposed to casino-style betting and, umm, “groups running charitable bingo games.” Proponents of historic racing say the betting is necessary to compete with neighboring operations that suck money from the in-state economy. So it’s not a clear case of anti-gambling moralists versus heathen gamblers. More likely than not, both sides are getting some nice backers. As such, “The battle over historical racing in Texas is far from over,” reports the Fort Worth Star-Telegram. “Sources close to the issue say the odds are high that advocates will soon appeal this week’s ruling.” As the story notes, the Racing Commission, “received more than 13,000 responses on the [historic racing] issue. A handful came from conservative Texas lawmakers; the majority came from horsemen and women who want to see Texas allow the machines at racetracks.”
Stadium, Tex. We’ve once again grabbed national attention for our lovely and monied dedication to, er, high school football. This time, it’s the new stadium being built in Katy. “Part of a massive $748 million bond, the new stadium in Katy, Texas, is actually a scaled-down version of a previous stadium plan,” writes The Atlantic. “Last year, the same voters rejected a proposal in which a new stadium comprised the lion’s share ($69.5 million) of a $99 million bond. You’re not reading that wrong. A $70 million high-school football stadium. The approved, slightly more modest stadium will seat 12,000 people instead of 14,000 for about $12 million less.” Despite the gosh-ain’t-Texas-strange tone of the author (who says he is a Texan), it is what it is, and we’d rather move the conversation, like the ball, forward. No one better expresses this desire than Allen’s football coach, Tom Westerberg. As far as high school football stadiums go, Allen’s Eagle Stadium is the most famous (and infamous). As Texas Monthly‘s own Dan Solomon wrote in the September issue, “The people of Allen have heard it all at this point, and one thing they’re tired of hearing about is their misplaced priorities.” The piece, which takes a good look at what locals actual think, is important to note that “Allen … may have built the first $60 million high school stadium in the country, but it may not be the last Texas town to do so.” So get over it, America. This is football country.

Tex-Man A long time ago, we rustled bulls, now it’s clear that we’re rustling bits. “The computer and video game industry in Texas grew by nearly 16 percent since 2009 and added $764 million to the state’s economy,” reports the San Antonio Business journal. The stats come from a new study by the Entertainment Software Association (ESA), which found that “Texas employs the second highest number of people in the industry, or approximately 12 percent, and average compensation in 2012 was $101,349.” As Texas Monthly‘s own Joseph Misulonas noted in a story early this year, our ground-up, “if-you-build-it-they-will-come (-and-then-pay) plan appears to be working.” Since the computer and video game industry is now so massive, Texas-based companies have done rather well by going after target markets within the geek world. Also helping the Texas digital miracle? The very celebration of excess that’s all but forgotten about its roots. “SXSW is integral to the growth of the industry. The annual event brings attention, and more importantly investors, to these local companies’ backyard.”

Clickity Bits

Mexican Police Shoot Pregnant Fourteen-Year-Old U.S. Citizen in Reynosa

Teacher With a Potty Mouth Is Most Likely Getting Sent Home For Good

State Puts No Limits On Sale Of Powerful Explosive

Moving to Texas Saved Glenn Beck’s Life, Says Glenn Beck

RadioShack’s Plan to Open First Thing Thanksgiving Morning Likely Still Won’t Save Them

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