Here is your Morning Brief for the morning of February 29th, 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.


1. Judge Releases Texas Redistricting Maps... Finally! (link)

Texas voters are no longer being held hostage by the courts. On Tuesday a three-judge panel released maps for Texas redistricting. All of the maps come close to mirroring those maps that were drawn up in last year's Legislative session. According to KFYO News:

The house maps are extremely similar, with Tarrant County being split into five parts with an extra representative district added in the southernmost area of the county. In West Texas, Representative of District 85 Jim Landtroop will now run in District 88. District 85 will move down to the Victoria area. If no appeals are filed, Representative of District 83 Charles Perry will remain as originally drawn last legislative session. Coalition districts in Bell and Fort Bend counties were denied.

Congressional Districts 35 and 25 were restored to the originally drawn maps from last year, and the CD23 as approved by the House and Senate Leadership. CD33, the new district in Tarrant and Dallas, will give more power to democratic voters. You can see those maps here.  Senate maps are essentially exactly as originally drawn in 2011.

On the new maps Texas Attorney General Greg Abbott said “The new interim maps issued late today are a substantial improvement from maps previously issued by the San Antonio court. As a result of the U.S. Supreme Court’s unanimous, clear direction to the district court, these new interim maps more accurately reflect the decisions of elected Texas legislators.” Abbott back in November filed an emergency stay on federally drawn maps that he said were “legally flawed.”

The controversy over maps arose last year as minority groups accused the Texas Legislature of drawing discriminating district maps. If the nine groups contesting Texas’s districts file appeals to the maps, it would open the door for primary elections on May 29th.

For more details and to see large copies of the maps, visit the Texas Tribune website.

So it appears as though Texans will have their say in the GOP primary on May 29th. At least it's not late June right? Will Texas have an impact on the GOP primary? It's possible in this odd primary season. I for one hope that Texas has a say. So does Rick Santorum and Newt Gingrich. IF there is a silver lining in this whole debacle it's the fact that a debate over the Voting Rights Act has begun. It's something we will discuss on the show today along with the maps and what they mean to the voters.

2. Romney Wins Arizona & Michigan (link)

When it came to Arizona, it was no contest. Michigan on the other hand? That's a different story. Romney edged out Rick Santorum in Michigan receiving 41% of the vote. Santorum received 38% of the vote in Michigan. While Romney avoided an embarrassing loss in his home state, Santorum can at least claim a moral victory and he was able to claim a split of the delegates that were up for grabs. While Arizona was a winner take all contest, Michigan was proportional.

The big loser last night was Newt Gingrich. Gringrich came in a distant third place in Arizona and last in Michigan. I would not be surprised if the Santorum camp started calling loudly for Newt to drop out of the race. I don't think he will though. At least, not until after Super Tuesday.

3. Ohio Shooter (link)

Was the shooting suspect who killed three classmates in school bullied? Or did he pick his victims at random? Does it matter? According to the USA Today:

...prosecutor David Joyce said at a juvenile court hearing. Joyce said Lane told police he didn't know his victims.

"He chose his victims at random," Joyce said. "This is not about bullying. This is not about drugs."

I hope this will end the hysteria of people claiming this murderer was bullied into taking other peoples lives. As I said on Tuesday's LFN, this shooting shouldn't lead to a wave of new zero-tolerance policies. We've seen how absurd those policies can be. Instead maybe we should have a discussion as to how this kid was able to get a gun on campus in the first place. I mean, didn't the school have signs posted outside about being a gun-free zone? I'm shocked that this scumbag didn't obey the laws. It's just another example that those who wish to do harm to innocent people will try no matter what.

It's also an argument to let teachers have the option to carry weapons. If a teacher had had a gun, it's possible that the murderer could have been taken down before he killed. Of course, the liberals will instead try new anti-bullying policies and zero tolerance rules that won't work.

4. Healthy Eating Campaign Targets the Military (link)

You have got to be kidding me!

During a panel discussion Thursday on how government can promote healthy eating habits, the U.S. Army touted its mess hall labeling system that places warning on desserts and fried foods.

The event, held at the Bipartisan Policy Center in Washington, saw Lt. Col. Sonya Cable highlight the “Go for Green” program, which labels healthy foods green, moderate foods amber, and high calorie foods red.

The nutrition education program alerts soldiers that “red” foods like bacon and apple pie should only be eaten rarely, with a warning: “limit intake.”  Foods labeled green, however, such as mustard greens, are deemed “premium fuel for the soldier athlete,” “fresh and flavorful” and “nutrient dense.” Soldiers are advised to eat these frequently.

Cable represents the U.S. Army Soldier Fueling Initiative, which is remaking dining facilities at Initial Military Training sites across the country. She currently serves as a dietitian and the Chief of the Human Dimensions Division within the Initial Military Training Center of Excellence.

During the panel discussion she advised using the “red, amber, green” system in public schools too.

“My eyes got opened very quickly that it really is a community,” she said, about her visit to Fort Jackson, S.C. seven years ago to observe its dining facilities.  “We talk about a village that raises a child.  Well a community develops a brand new soldier, too. And that’s what we found there.”

“When I got there our dining facilities were typical dining facility type styles, you know, the fried foods, salad bars existed,” Cable continued.

“We had soda machines and the pastries were, you know, typical cookies, cake, cakes, pies, all of those types of things.  Well, then we had the challenge of, okay, now we’re taking former civilians, now developing into soldiers and trying to develop them,” she said.  This was the beginning of the Soldier Fueling Initiative and Cable’s efforts to influence the behavior of new recruits.

If you walk into a basic training cafeteria today you will find far fewer fried foods and soda machines have been replaced with “hydration stations,” she explained.

“In the military we all kind of know red means, ‘uh oh, there’s problems,’” Cable said.  “Amber, middle of the road, we’re doing okay.  And green is good to go, all is right. We took that same concept and we applied it to our menus.”

I'm really not that worried about what our military eats. I bet they can handle themselves. Hydration Stations? Please.

5. Dumb story of the morning (link)

While the above story is dumb, this might be worse.

At a hearing of the House Democratic Steering and Policy Committee yesterday, a single witness — Georgetown law student and “reproductive rights activist” Sandra Fluke — told sympathetic policy-makers that the administration’s so-called contraception mandate should stand … because her peers are going broke buying birth control.

“Forty percent of the female students at Georgetown Law reported to us that they struggled financially as a result of this policy (Georgetown student insurance not covering contraception),” Fluke reported.

It costs a female student $3,000 to have protected sex over the course of her three-year stint in law school, according to her calculations.

“Without insurance coverage, contraception, as you know, can cost a woman over $3,000 during law school,” Fluke told the hearing.

Craig Bannister at did the math — and discovered that these co-eds, assuming they’re using the cheapest possible contraception, must be having unprotected sex about three times a day every day to incur that kind of expense. What Fluke is arguing, then, is that her fellow law students have a right to consequence-free sex whenever, wherever. Why, exactly, especially if it costs other people something? When I can’t pay for something, I do without it. Fortunately, in the case of contraception, women can make lifestyle choices that render it unnecessary.

See! I told you this was worse than the military story!

Other Top Stories:

Guests Appearing on LFN Today:

Larry Williams from Williams Brake, Tune, and Tire at 7:37am

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