Horns Up, Horns Down for Nov. 6

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Horns Down: Texans clinging tightly to the right

Newsweek recently reported that the Republican U.S. state senator from Texas, John Cornyn, has been losing popularity in his home state since his decision to remove his name from a letter threatening to shut down the government this past summer. Grassroots activists are trying to recruit David Barton instead, a radio host who argues that the U.S. should be a Christian nation with no separation between church and state, putting him even further right than tea party senator Ted Cruz. While many Democrats point out that this growing wedge between tea party and moderate Republicans will help the Democratic Party, which may be a good thing, it’s disappointing to know that fellow Texans are leaning so far to the right at a time when the Republican Party’s overall ranking is down due to the aftermath of the government shutdown.

Horns Up: Austin makes another top 10 list

Austin ranks as the fifth-best place in the nation for veterans to find work, according to a study commissioned by USAA and Hiring Our Heroes, making this the second year Austin placed in the top 10. This report comes soon after Austin’s economy was ranked No. 1 in the country thanks to its job growth record, as reported in the Austin Business Journal based on The Bizjournals’ On Numbers report. We have long known that Austin is one of the best places to live in the nation, let alone the world, but it’s encouraging to see others catching on as well.

Horns Down: Texas needs more early childhood ed

Texas ranks in the bottom third of states for the percentage of low-income children in preschool, according to a report the Annie E. Casey Foundation released Monday. The ranking is one of many areas in which our state falls behind the national average. We agree with Frances Deviney from the Center for Public Policy Priorities, who highlighted this education gap in a statement he made to the Dallas Morning News in which he said “it is imperative that our kids get a strong early start that helps counteract the effects of poverty and our failure to sufficiently invest in our kids.” This is especially important in Texas, where a third of children live in poverty, according to the 2012 U.S. Census. While we often focus on the challenges state universities face with regards to budget and funding, we must remember that education starts in early childhood. The first few critical years of schooling should not be ignored.