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We refuse to protect our Texas schoolchildren even while we fail to support their teachers.

The state went into this soon-to-close Legislative session with a record $32.7 billion surplus in the cookie jar. So, this was the perfect opportunity to raise Texas teachers’ embarrassingly paltry salaries, right?

Nope. Not a dime. But the Lege did manage to come up with $47 million to boost Texas House and Senate staffs and upgrade their furniture.

Shameful, a word that increasingly describes public policy in the Lone Star State.

But at least Abbott’s obscene school voucher jihad augured in.

Abbott is almost as good at damaging his own state with his grandstanding culture wars as Rhonda Santis is in Florida. Going forward, thanks to Senate Bill 17, all Texas public universities will be barred from having offices or employees for diversity, equity and inclusion programs. Because, you know, white folks are being picked on and everything.

So diversity, equity and inclusion are officially bad things. I guess attracting top students is a bad thing, too. And recruiting and retaining top professors and researchers is a bad thing. And bringing modern corporations to Texas is a bad thing. And providing a road-ready Texas workforce is a bad thing.

SMH. This reminds me of the scene in Blazing Saddles in which Sheriff Bart freaks out the goobers in Rock Ridge by raising his pistol to his own temple.

The State of Texas seems intent on blowing its own head off. But unlike Bart, Abbott really is “crazy enough to do it.”

And then there’s Paxton. OK, not now. I’m getting a migraine.

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Paul's Bio

I clearly have the attention span of your median fruit fly.Look! Airplane!

Sorry. I’m back.

It’s both a curse and a blessing. I’ve never bought this stuff about, “He who dies with the most toys wins.” But I do think that a wide range of life experiences helps us grow as people, and helps us better relate to other people. I’ve been fortunate. And I am beyond grateful.

I show up on time. I go like hell. I’m a good listener. I hold myself accountable. I own my mistakes. And I have a natural and an insatiable curiosity. I’m never afraid to say, “I don’t know,” when I don’t. But then I try to find out.

The flip side is I’m a lousy ballroom dancer and my clothes sometimes fit me funny.

Stuff matters to me. I care. But while I take that stuff seriously, I try hard to never take myself seriously. As a result, I have sometimes been told, “Paul, it’s hard to tell when you’re serious and when you’re just having some fun. Which is it? Serious or fun?”

My answer is “yes.” But I think that is a legitimate criticism. I promise I’m going to work on that.

This has been the quickest and strangest half-century I’ve ever experienced. During that period, I’ve been afforded amazing opportunities in news and sports journalism across all platforms. I have taught wonderful students at the high school and collegiate level. Always, I learned more from them than they did from me. I’ve been a high school administrator. I spent ten seasons as a high school varsity football coach. I’ve been an advertising executive. I’ve hosted nationally syndicated television entertainment shows. In maybe the biggest honor I ever received, I was selected by NASA to be “Chet The Astronaut” for the “Land The Shuttle” simulator at Space Center Houston. (All I can say there, is “Do as I say, not as I do.” I put that thing in the Everglades more often than not.) Most recently, I just wrapped up a decade as a television news director, during which time our teams distinguished themselves in holding the powerful accountable, achieving both critical and ratings success.

What does all that mean? It means I am profoundly grateful. It also means I’m ready for “next.” So here we are. Radically Rational. It’s an idea I woke up with in 2017. I scribbled “Radically Rational” on a piece of notebook paper and used a magnet to stick it on our refrigerator. I saw it every day, and it just would not leave me alone.

I am second in charge at Radically Rational, LLC. My wife, Jo (also known as BB), is the president. Clearly, I have failed in my attempt to sleep my way to the top of this organization.

I hope you will learn that I’m loyal as a Labrador. But I will admit that this doggie can bite every now and then. My promise to you? I will show up on time. I will go like hell. I will listen to you earnestly and attentively. I will hold myself accountable. I will never be the least bit hesitant to say, “I don’t know,” when I don’t.

But then I’ll try to find out. Let’s do it.