Here is your Morning Brief for the morning of March 18, 2013. Give Chad your feedback below and tune in to The Chad Hasty Show for these and many more topics from 8:30 to 11am.

William Thomas Cain, Getty Images
William Thomas Cain, Getty Images


1. No Casinos (link)

Well it appears as though the casino lobby in Texas has seen the writing on the wall. Expanded gambling isn't going to happen in this session.

A group promoting legislation to legalize casino gambling as dialing down its ambitions for this session of the Texas Legislature.

The Austin American-Statesman ( reports Let Texans Decide had cast its lot with efforts for full-blown legalization of casino gambling of Texas.

Now, the group led by former state Sen. John Montford is pressing only for allow slot machines at horse and dog tracks, an objective the group promoted in the 2011 Legislature.

Any expansion of gambling in Texas would require approval by two-thirds of the Texas House and Senate, as well as a majority of the state's voters.

A brightening budgetary picture for the state has sapped the incentive for expanding gambling in Texas as a means of increasing state revenue.

I wouldn't necessarily mind casino gambling in Texas, but it has to be done right. What Montford and Let Texans Decide was throwing out to be debated wouldn't have been good in my opinion though. They only wanted certain area's of Texas to be allowed to have casinos. That's picking winners and losers and I wouldn't have agreed with it.

2. Cruz a Hit at CPAC (link)

Senator Ted Cruz spoke on Saturday at CPAC. His speech was full of red meat that the audience loved. The Dallas Morning News said it sounded like an audition for 2016, but to me it just sounded like Ted Cruz.

In a hard-edged speech Saturday that sounded much like an audition for a 2016 White House bid, Texas Sen. Ted Cruz blasted the president for holding back the economy but urged fellow conservatives to take heart.

“We are in the midst of what I call the ‘great stagnation,’” Cruz told thousands of activists at a premier gathering of conservatives. “Liberty is under assault from every direction.”

Cruz has acquired an unusually high profile for a senator who took office just 10 weeks ago, picking fights over Cabinet nominees, drones and gun control, and commanding a spotlight rarely sought by or afforded to Senate newcomers.

This was his third appearance at the Conservative Political Action Conference, a huge gathering of activists that has long served as a proving ground for national GOP leaders and presidential contenders.

In the closing keynote, the Texas senator spoke, as usual, without notes, pacing the stage for 35 minutes. With a refrain at the end intended to get the crowd on its feet, the speech felt much more like a stump speech than the usual fare from Cruz since his election last fall.

“It’s a choice between surrendering and standing up now to defend our liberty,” he declared. “On guns, do we surrender, or do we stand up now?”

He offered the same choice on drones, spending, debt and the Constitution, and by the end of the riff, the crowd was indeed standing and cheering.

“He rocked the house,” said John Colaw, 56, a computer programmer from Kansas City, Mo. “He’s got a conservative message, and it sells.”

Nancy Almasi, a venture capitalist in nearby Alexandria, Va., called any thoughts of him running for the White House premature.

“He’s off to a good start,” she said, but “he just got elected to the Senate.”

Al Cardenas, head of the American Conservative Union, careful not to praise Cruz more than other CPAC headliners, said that “he’s a refreshing new star.”

Kentucky Sen. Rand Paul won a straw poll of CPAC attendees with 25 percent, just ahead of Florida Sen. Marco Rubio.

Cruz ranked seventh, with 4 percent support, though his keynote came after balloting ended. He shook hands afterward for nearly as long as he spoke.

He urged conservatives to take heart, because “for the last three weeks, conservatives have been winning.”

Cruz delivered a great speech, but I'm not ready to say that he is ready for the White House. Give him a few years, then we will talk. Cruz is doing a great job at getting the conservative message out there to the masses.

3. Is 26 the new 18? (link)

Do you still pay or have your kid on your cell phone plan? If so, you aren't the only one. Over the weekend the Wall Street Journal took a look at families that kept their adults kids on the cell phone and other service plans.

Getting grown kids out of the house these days is hard enough. Nudging them off the family cellphone plan—or out of an iTunes or Netflix account—can be even harder.

For increasing numbers of parents, the question of how much support to provide an adult child is no longer just about rent subsidies or car payments. The calculation is now complicated by the new maze of subscriptions that allow even far-flung family members (with the right password) to piggyback on a parental account well into their working lives.

When it comes to the digital apron strings, awkward relationship moments can ensue as parents, say, find themselves chasing down grown children about data limits. Now that federal health-care legislation lets adult kids stay on their parents' insurance plans longer, it seems 26 is the new 18.

More than 2 in 5 parents of 18- to 35-year-old children still pay for their kids' cellphone service, and 29% continue to do so even after their kids have moved out and stopped relying on them to pay rent, according to a recent Harris Interactive survey of 620 parents with adult children conducted for The Wall Street Journal.

You can view the entire article by clicking on the link above. What I found really interesting in this article was that these aren't kids just living off their parents or begging their parents to pay for their phone bill. The WSJ used examples of grown children who were completely on their own, but it was the parents who wanted to keep providing services to their kids.

The cell phone family plans don't surprise me. Often it's cheaper for everyone to be on a family plan.

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