Wednesday, September 23, 2009

The competent big state 

Is there any big state in the country with its act together? One.

It's like a whole other country.


By Blogger JPMcT, at Wed Sep 23, 04:25:00 PM:

Texas also has an astonishingly GOOD record in the management of health care. A remarkable achievement for a border state.

A big part of the success...effective TORT REFORM!!

Doctors are FLOCKING to Texas.

Looks like "liberal encephalitis" has not stuck the Texans yet.  

By Anonymous SouthernRoots, at Wed Sep 23, 05:00:00 PM:

My cousins were born in Washington, lived in Alaska, and grew up in Texas. Their reference to other states is always "down there", meaning that Texas is at the top of the world and everything else isn't.

In this case, they are right to brag.  

By Blogger Dawnfire82, at Wed Sep 23, 05:50:00 PM:

We also sometimes refer to people from other states who come to Texas as 'foreigners.' Only semi-seriously, of course.  

By Anonymous Nancy, at Wed Sep 23, 06:31:00 PM:

I'm heading to Austin for a long weekend at the end of October (one of those Lance Armstrong Foundation sports events) and plan to seriously check this city out. Texas is another country, and that sounds like a good thing to me!  

By Blogger Dawnfire82, at Wed Sep 23, 07:43:00 PM:

Austin is awesome. A liberal face on a conservative heart, so it has the appearance of a centralized, tax/fine heavy worker's paradise but really isn't.

Katz's is a 24 hour New York Jewish themed delicatessen located downtown which is good. Their fruit salad is amazing, considering it's just a fruit salad. Sprinkled with pecans and with a cream side... mmmm.

You've got to stop by Freebirds, though it's much less of an Austin phenomenon now. Since I first ate there in 2002, it's gone from 2 locations to like 15. If it ever goes public, buy their stock. It's like Subway, but with burritos, and it puts Chipotle to SHAME. And every location has a Statue of Liberty riding a Harley holding a foil-wrapped Monster burrito in her hand instead of a torch.

Let's see, what else.

The Draught House was my bar of choice. It is far from the meat markets downtown on 6th street (where you should absolutely go if you're looking for night life or a one night stand) and is styled like a British pub. Lots of good beers, and they brew some of their own. One particular favorite of mine is the House Vanilla Porter. So good. Don't drink the 'Ambrosia' though. It tastes like rubber.

If you have the time to see a movie, go to the Alamo Drafthouse. It's a movie theater/restaurant. You order a meal before the movie starts (get there early) and they deliver it to you at the long bar/table thing you sit at during the flick. And they serve booze. And Thursday nights they show crappy or cult movies for free, so people show up to get hammered and make fun of bad movies MST 3000 style.

I've got to get to a meeting, but I figured I'd share some of the local secrets of my favorite city in the world.  

By Anonymous Nancy, at Wed Sep 23, 08:58:00 PM:

Hey, thanks Dawnfire82! These are all great recommendations -- and it is a good thing that I'm planning to get a lot of exercise in Austin because I will need to do something to make up for all the good eats and drinks.  

By Blogger randian, at Thu Sep 24, 03:31:00 AM:

Looks like "liberal encephalitis" has not stuck the Texans yet

Not if too many more Californians and New Englanders show up. Any form of instant citizenship for illegals makes Texas an instant liberal state. A couple hundred thousand liberal voters from Lousiana didn't do Houston any favors.

As to the topic at hand, Texas still has a ways to go. Insurance plans are larded up with too many mandates, making Texas above average in insurance costs. The AMA is fighting ferociously to prevent Walmart clinics and similar inexpensive medical facilities from being made legal in Texas. Texas in general is too paternalistic and regulation-heavy, much more so than its business-friendly reputation would suggest, though obviously not to the extremes of New York or California.  

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