Texas Congressman Apologizes For Tweet That Compares Obama To Hitler
Five stories that have North Texas talking: the 84th Texas Legislature is now in session; a Texas Congressman apologizes for a controversial tweet; Uber offered helicopter rides in North Texas Monday night; and more.
A Texas Congressman has apologized for a controversial tweet. The Texas Tribune reports that U.S. Rep. Randy Weber, R-Friendswood, apologized after his tweet that compared President Obama to Adolf Hitler. The Tribune reports: “‘I need to first apologize to all those offended by my tweet,’ the sophomore congressman said in a statement. ‘It was not my intention to trivialize the Holocaust nor to compare the President to Adolf Hitler,’ he added. ‘The mention of Hitler was meant to represent the face of evil that still exists in the world today.’ At issue was harsh criticism against Obama because no senior American official attended a rally in Paris in response to the recent ‘Charlie Hebdo’ terrorist attacks. Weber piled onto the criticism Monday night when he tweeted: ‘Even Adolph Hitler thought it more important than Obama to get to Paris. (For all the wrong reasons.) Obama couldn't do it for right reasons.’ [Texas Tribune]
- The 84th Texas Legislature opened for business yesterday -- for the House, the first order of business was electing a speaker. Once again, the House chose Joe Straus. KERA’s BJ Austin reports: It will be his fourth term as speaker. The incumbent, a Republican from San Antonio, beat back a challenge from Scott Turner of Frisco. Turner is backed by the Tea Party -- his supporters wanted more conservative leadership. The vote was not even close: 127 for Straus; just 19 for Turner. Straus told the House Chamber he wants debate to include every viewpoint. Lieutenant Governor-elect Dan Patrick and Governor-elect Greg Abbott will be sworn in next Tuesday.
- Gun rights attracted a lot of attention at the Texas Capitol Tuesday. The Texas Tribune reports: “An armed rally to protest gun laws saw about a dozen Second Amendment supporters toting rifles and antique revolvers in front of the Capitol gates throughout most of the 2015 legislative session's opening day. But gun-rights activists who chose not to openly carry firearms so they could enter the Capitol building may have caused the greatest stir. The behavior of open-carry advocates attempting to drum up votes for a measure by Rep. Jonathan Stickland, R-Bedford, repealing handgun licensing requirements prompted one lawmaker to escort them from his office. State Rep. Poncho Nevarez, D-Eagle Pass, told the Texas Tribune he had to ask a group of open-carry advocates to leave his office after they grew increasingly confrontational when he said he was not supporting the bill.” [Texas Tribune]
- Some people rode in a helicopter Monday to get to the College Football National Playoff Championship at AT&T Stadium in Arlington. Uber was offering helicopter rides for $350. The Dallas Morning News reports: “Twenty people took Uber up on the rides, which went on sale hours before the game. The seats sold out in minutes.”
- Small words matter. KUT, the public radio station in Austin, reports: “Small words like ‘the’ and ‘a’ may say more than you think.New research from UT Austin finds they can tell us a lot – even predicting a student’s grades in college. Researchers analyzed more than 50,000 college admissions essays, and they found that students who used words such as 'the’ and ‘a’ in their essays tended to have higher grade point averages. Students who used more personal pronouns, such as ‘I’ and ‘they,’ tended to have lower GPAs. Researchers say these smaller words can show what people are thinking about and how they frame that thinking.”