Our Blogs

Inside Intelligence: The Insiders Poll for Feb. 7

For the latest installment of our nonscientific survey of political and policy insiders on issues of the moment, we asked whether a Republican who supports abortion rights can survive a statewide primary, whether the sonogram bill on the governor's list of emergency items addresses a real or a political problem, whether it will pass and what other issues of interest to social conservatives might win approval from this Legislature this year.

Texplainer: Could Texas Fire Up Old Sparky?

Old Sparky, the electric chair Texas used to executive inmates from 1924 to 1964.
Old Sparky, the electric chair Texas used to executive inmates from 1924 to 1964.

The short answer is yes — and no. It's still around, and would work if it was plugged in. But it can't be used for executions in Texas anymore. 

Texplainer: What's a Tier-One University?

There’s no universal definition but essentially, the term refers to the country’s top research-focused universities. While there are specific benchmarks to be considered part of that group, some aren't clear or rely purely on perception. 

Texplainer: What is Chubbing?

If there's one thing that politicians are good at, it's talking. And chubbing is a kind of talking that's used to stall legislation in the Texas House. While state representatives do have the power to talk something to death, this session it will be harder to do than in the past.

The Midday Brief: Top Texas Headlines for Feb. 1, 2011

Senators Juan Hinojosa _(D-Mission), Chairman Steve Ogden (R-Bryan) and John Whitmire (D-Houston) listen to testimony in the Senate Finance Committee hearing on January 31, 2011.
Senators Juan Hinojosa _(D-Mission), Chairman Steve Ogden (R-Bryan) and John Whitmire (D-Houston) listen to testimony in the Senate Finance Committee hearing on January 31, 2011.

Your afternoon reading: Senate hears testimony on foster kids, Howard-Neil fight under way, and Shapiro files school-mandate bill