Here is your Morning Brief for the morning of September 20, 2012. Give us your feedback below and tune in to Lubbock’s First News with Chad Hasty for these and many more topics from 6-9 am.

CJStumpf, Flickr

1. Texas Maps (link)

On Wednesday the U.S. Supreme Court refused to postpone the congressional elections in Texas. A Hispanic civil rights group claimed that the court-drawn map discriminated against minorities.

The map is expected to remain in place as Texas tries to revive a different map that had been drawn up by its Republican-controlled legislature.

On August 28, a three-judge panel of the federal court in Washington said that map violated the U.S. Voting Rights Act by diluting the influence of black and Hispanic voters.

Texas has said it plans to appeal that decision to the U.S. Supreme Court. Another panel of the court in Washington last month struck down the state's requirement that voters show photo identification before casting ballots.

The Hispanic rights group, known as LULAC, said the court-drawn map had similar flaws to the legislature's map.

"We will fight it out with the legislature to make sure it complies with the D.C. court order," Luis Vera, LULAC's national general counsel, said in a phone interview. "In the meantime, it is the black community and the Latino community that suffer."

Whatever map is ultimately adopted is expected to remain in place through the 2020 elections, after which a new map will be drawn to take that year's U.S. Census data into account.

Let's see what the Supreme Court says about Voter ID next.

2. U.S. Slams French Cartoon (link)

Boo God? No problem! Make movies and art that mock and insult Jesus and Christians? Sure! Why not? Publish a short movie or cartoon mocking Muhammed? The U.S. government is ready to condemn.

White House Press Secretary Jay Carney on Wednesday criticized the “judgment” of a French satirical magazine for publishing cartoons that are critical of the Islamist political movement, amid the routine threat of attacks by Islamists during President Barack Obama’s re-election campaign.

“We are aware that a French magazine published cartoons featuring a figure resembling the prophet Muhammad, and obviously we have questions about the judgment of publishing something like this,” Carney told reporters during a midday press briefing at the White House.

“We know these images will be deeply offensive to many and have the potential be be inflammatory,” Carney said in a prepared statement.

The French government reacted to the expected threats by temporarily shutting down embassies and schools in 20 countries with significant Muslim populations.

The White House’s criticism of a French magazine’s editorial choices comes as a wave of Islamist attacks threatened to upset the president’s election campaign, during which has has claimed that his policies have reduced conflict with Islamic countries.

The administration’s new criticism of the famous French magazine Charlie Hebdo follows the administration’s Sept. 14 effort to persuade Google to take down a short and cheap satirical video on YouTube that also angered Islamists.

If our government really believes that condemning the mocking of Muhammed will make radical Muslims like us, we are in deep trouble.

3. Joel Osteen & Politics (link)

Should Pastors feel comfortable talking about both religion and politics? Joel Osteen says no to partisan politics.

Televangelist Joel Osteen, known for his positive messaging, isn’t one to endorse political candidates. In fact, in an exclusive interview with TheBlaze earlier this summer, he explained that doing so tends to be divisive — something he’s looking to avoid.

In an interview with “CBS This Morning” this week, Osteen delved deeper into his reasoning for avoiding politics from the pulpit. Feeling as though he’s called to reach the public at large — and considering the divisive nature of the current political environment – the faith leader isn’t looking to drive a wedge between Americans.

“You start dividing yourself saying, ‘I’m a Democrat,’ ‘Republican,’ whatever, 50 percent immediately don’t agree,” Osteen said in the CBS interview. “And I want to throw a broad message of hope to everyone, not somebody turn me off because of my political preference.”

But don‘t take his apathy to mean that he isn’t planning to cast a vote in November. Not only is Osteen heading to the polls, but he’s also encouraging others to do the same. Regardless of whom one supports, though, he encouraged Americans to support the man who ends up being victorious.

“Once we vote, let’s swallow the pride and support who is in office and pray for them and appreciate their service,” he continued.

These comments come after Osteen proclaimed back in April that he believes both Obama and Romney are Christians.


4. Air Pollution From Burgers? (link)

Burgers are now under attack from environmentalists who say that grilled burgers produce more air pollution than trucks.

A UC Riverside study found that commercially cooked hamburgers cause more air pollution than diesel trucks.

The study, which focused on commercial charbroilers found in burger restaurants, said the equipment generates grease, smoke, water vapors and combustion products, which emit a large amount of particulate matter into the air.

“For comparison, an 18-wheeler diesel engine truck would have to drive 143 miles on the freeway to put out the same mass of particulates as a single charbroiled hamburger patty,” said Bill Welch, the principle engineer.

Researchers also found few regulations for the restaurant emissions.

Customers at a Hesperia burger joint said you can’t compare diesel emissions with hamburger smoke.

“Either way, we’re living in a world (where) we’re still going through pollution. But the difference is we are getting some type of benefit from (the burger),” said Maria Segura.

Give me a break.

Other Top Stories:

Food Stamps and Sugary Drinks

Ex-Gitmo Detainee Involved in Embassy Attack

Latino Groups Try to Mobilize Voters

Estimate of Those Hit By ObamaCare

These and many more topics coming up on today’s edition of Lubbock’s First News with Chad Hasty. Tune in mornings 6-9am on News/Talk 790 KFYO, streaming online at, and now on your iPhone and Android device with the radioPup App. All guest interviews can be heard online in our podcast section after the show at