Features

Buddy Smith had a pair of his favorite quail hunting dogs on the ground and Jimmie Buffett, his go-to pointer, was locked up on a covey in a brush pile next to a huge oak tree. Smith motioned for his yellow lab, Wes, to move in and flush the birds.

Mike Ramsey, his son Michael and I were on point when five bobwhite quail flushed. The birds were surprisingly fast, considering they were pen raised. But only two hit the ground.

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This week, the State Department denied TransCanada’s permit to develop a proposed 1,700-mile pipeline that crosses the American-Canadian border. This pipeline, know as Keystone XL, would transport crude oil and bitumen, a tarry pre-oil material mined in Canada’s tar sands, from Alberta, Canada, to the Texas Gulf Coast.

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The news media reported recently the federal government had passed out $30 million to various law enforcement agencies throughout Texas. U.S. Sen. Kay Bailey Hutchinson proudly announced she had seen to it the checks went out promptly and were distributed throughout Texas. This $30 million represents proceeds gleaned by seizing contraband while prosecuting the war on drugs. While I appreciate as a taxpaying citizen of Texas the fact that $30 million will be infused into Texas, I have serious misgivings about making our law enforcement personnel bounty hunters.

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Texas Attorney General Greg Abbott filed a lawsuit against the Department of Justice this week trying to force enforcement of the state’s new voter ID law requiring voters to show government-issued photo identification before voting. Although the Voter ID bill was declared an “emergency” by Gov. Rick Perry before the last legislative session, it cannot be enforced until it is “precleared” by the DOJ.

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It is that time of year again. We are in the process of receiving W-2 forms, 1099s of various types, and other documents that we will need in order to prepare our income taxes.

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