The Big Conversation:
Three weeks after the election, secession fever hasn't been quieted in Texas.
Sparked two weeks ago by an online petition, talk of Texas leaving the Union got another round of national media attention last week when U.S. Rep. Ron Paul called secession a "deeply American principle."
Now, as The New York Times reports, the issue has already penetrated the 2014 governor's race. Perennial GOP candidate Larry Scott Kilgore of Arlington has announced that he'll run for the office, but not before changing his legal name to "Larry SECEDE Kilgore" — capital letters and all.
"Secession!" Kilgore's website reads. "All other issues can be dealt with later."
"Our economy is about 30 percent larger than that of Australia," Kilgore told the Times. "Australia can survive on their own, and I don’t think we’ll have any problem at all surviving on our own in Texas."
In conjunction with secession talk, gun sales in Texas have also spiked since the election. The Fort Worth Star-Telegram reports that sales of firearms and ammunition have doubled locally since the election, likely due to fears surrounding President Barack Obama's second-term agenda.
"I have purchased more since the election," one gun stockpiler told the Star-Telegram, adding, "There's a lot of paranoia out there. But [Obama] has nothing to lose now because he won't be re-elected again."
Worried gun owners won't have to fret about any state regulations, though. In fact, as The Dallas Morning News reports, one GOP state House member, Texarkana Republican George Lavender, plans to push a bill to allow Texans to carry their firearms openly.
"This is Texas, and we should be the leader" on gun rights, Lavender said.
- U.S. Sen. Kay Bailey Hutchison on Sunday predicted that President Barack Obama and Congress would reach an agreement over the impending fiscal cliff, but not before the end of the year. "Do I think we're going to do everything by the end of this year? Probably not, but I think we will not have a fiscal cliff," she said on CNN. "We will have a plan, hopefully, to go forward. We will have a blueprint, and we will set the stage for long term."
- A teenager possibly working with the international hacking group Anonymous crashed Northside Independent School District's website on Saturday, the San Antonio Express-News reports. The hacker, who claimed to be 16 years old, said he hacked the site to protest the San Antonio-area district's use of electronic ID name tags, which have drawn complaints from privacy groups.
- In one of his last acts as the president of Mexico, Felipe Calderón has offered what The New York Times calls "perhaps the boldest proposal of his six-year tenure": changing the country's name. Calderón, whose term ends Dec. 1, wants Mexico's official name, Estados Unidos Mexicanos (or United States of Mexico), changed due its resemblance to that of its neighbor to the north. "Mexico does not need a name that emulates another country and that none of us Mexicans use every day," Calderón said Thursday. Such a change would require a constitutional amendment.
"What he doesn’t want to do is divide the party and create a bunch of infighting with a primary battle." — Trey Newton, a political strategist for George P. Bush, to Politico on Bush's 2014 plans
- Senate bids adieu to Kay Bailey Hutchison's 'purse boys', The Washington Examiner
Simpson takes on most-conservative title in Texas Legislature, Houston Chronicle
- Despite shifting demographics, Democrats still struggling in Williamson County, Austin American-Statesman
- Girding for Anniversary of Tragedy in Dallas, Texas Monthly/The New York Times
- For South Texas, No Easy Road to Medical School, The Texas Tribune
- With "Puzzle" Complete, UT-Austin Med School Plans Move Forward, The Texas Tribune
- Murky Rules for Lawmaker-Lobbyist Ties, The Texas Tribune