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April 29, 2014
CC by: Texas State Library

In lots of ways, Texas has been a huge success story under the watch of Gov. Rick Perry (R). Perry has gotten some sharp elbows for his job-poaching tours of other states, but on Monday Toyota announced it is moving its U.S. headquarters to Plano, outside Dallas, from the Los Angeles suburbs. It isn't the first company to leave California, or another state, for Texas. The Lone Star State added 1.3 million residents from 2010 to 2013, according to U.S. Census data. That's more than any other state.

Perry, the state's Republican-dominated legislature, and many analysts attribute this growth and low unemployment rate to the combination of low taxes, lax regulation, few public services, and tracking-related gas boom. What's indisputable is that most of the people are headed to Texas' already sizable cities: Houston (pop. 2.2 million) added 34,625 people from July 2011 to July 2012, while Austin (pop. 843,000) expanded by 25,395 residents. Austin, which still thinks of itself as a funky college town, is now the 11th largest city in the U.S., adding about 100 new people each day. Here's what Texas' growth looks like in graph form, via The Wall Street Journal:

But the Texas system, like every other governing philosophy in the world, has weak points, and the two big ones in the Lone Star State are water and transportation infrastructure. Texas is in a multi-year drought, and the population growth is putting a further strain on water resources. And then there's the aging and inadequate roads and public transportation: Texans, like many Americans, really like their cars and don't particularly like traffic. Austin has the fourth worst traffic in the U.S.

There are other growing pains, too. "We are already straining our systems for water, power, schools, and roads," Texas State Demographer Lloyd Potter, a Perry appointee, tells The Wall Street Journal. "And they'll continue to be stressed unless we invest more heavily."

Most of the problems are fixable with money, but Texans — most lawmakers and residents — don't want to raise the money to fix them. There's no state income tax in Texas, so all those poached jobs add money to the state coffers only indirectly, through things like sales and property taxes and service fees. Instead of raising taxes to build new roads, Texas lawmakers prefer to let private companies build an incompatible array of toll highways.

The problems aren't going away. By 2040, demographers predict that Texas will have 40 million residents, from more than 26 million today. If the water becomes scarce and roads semi-permanent parking lots, that prediction probably won't come to fruition. Peter Weber

9:58 a.m. ET
Saul Loeb/Getty Images

President Trump continues to have record-low approval ratings with the general public, but he is maintaining his core base of supporters, finds a Washington Post/ABC News poll released Sunday in advance of the 100-day mark of Trump's presidency on April 29. Just 42 percent of Americans approve of the job Trump is doing so far, compared to an average of 69 percent approval for past presidents around the same time in their administrations.

A majority of respondents said Trump does not understand their problems, is not trustworthy, has yet to score a major accomplishment as president, and is not guided by a clear set of principles. However, more Americans say Democrats are out of step with the public than feel the same about the GOP, and 96 percent of Trump voters said they would back him again today. Bonnie Kristian

8:34 a.m. ET
U.S. Navy/Getty Images

North Korea on Sunday said it is prepared to bomb the USS Carl Vinson, a U.S. aircraft carrier leading a Navy carrier strike group toward North Korea in a show of force.

"Our revolutionary forces are combat-ready to sink a U.S. nuclear powered aircraft carrier with a single strike," said an editorial in a newspaper run by the Kim Jong Un regime's Workers' Party. The article called the ship a "gross animal" and the potential strike "an actual example to show our military's force."

The carrier strike group was first said to be on its way toward North Korea in early April, only to be sighted thousands of miles away, near Singapore. The Trump administration blamed the confusion on miscommunication, and the Vinson is noq in transit to the Sea of Japan off the coast of North Korea. Bonnie Kristian

8:17 a.m. ET
Jeff J. Mitchell/Getty Images

French citizens head to the polls Sunday to vote in a runoff election that will pare down a field of 11 presidential candidates to the top two.

No one candidate is expected to take an outright majority; rather, four candidates are in contention to make it to the second round: far-right nationalist Marine Le Pen, center-right François Fillon, centrist Emmanuel Macron, and far-left populist Jean-Luc Mélenchon. Of these, Le Pen and Macron are generally considered the frontrunners in a close race, and Le Pen — an immigration and war on terror hardliner — is thought to benefit from the fear created by Thursday's terrorist attack in Paris.

France has a prime minister as well as a president; the current PM is a member of the Socialist Party. The prime minister is generally tasked with domestic policy while the president's focus is foreign affairs.

The vote between Sunday's winners will be cast May 7. In the meantime, read The Week's guide to France's populist uprising, including a description of the top four contenders. Bonnie Kristian

April 22, 2017

"Without scientifically literate citizens, the United States — any country, in fact — cannot compete on the world stage," Bill Nye the Science Guy told a cheering crowd at the March for Science in Washington, D.C., on Saturday. "Yet today we have a great many lawmakers — not just here, but around the world — deliberately ignoring and actively suppressing science. Their inclination is misguided, and in no one's best interest."

Nye touted the ways scientific discoveries have improved global quality of life, arguing that science is not merely "purview of a different, or special, type of citizen." "Our numbers here today show the world that science is for all," he said, and government must come to recognize that "science serves every one of us."

The Washington event where Nye spoke was one of more than 600 marches scheduled around the globe on Saturday. "I think the profession of science is under attack," said scientist Lucky Tran, who helped organize the rallies, in an interview with NPR. "We haven't engaged in politics, we've left that open for politicians to come in and really hijack and obfuscate science for their own selfish needs."

Crowd size estimates are still in the making, but you can see scenes from a few of the marches below. Bonnie Kristian

April 22, 2017

President Trump announced in February he would skip the White House Correspondents' Dinner, which is scheduled for April 29. On Saturday, Trump tweeted his alternative plans for that day:

The last president to miss the dinner was Ronald Reagan in 1981; he sent a phone message instead of appearing personally because he was recovering from an assassination attempt. Trump's decision to decline has been widely interpreted as retribution for press coverage he considers unfair. Bonnie Kristian

April 22, 2017
Brendon Thorne/Getty Images

The United States will proceed with an agreement with Australia to help resettle refugees, Vice President Mike Pence pledged Saturday at joint press conference with Australian Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull in Sydney. The arrangement requires the U.S. to accept up to 1,250 refugees, many from Iran and Syria, from their present location in offshore detention centers in Australia. In return, Australia will accept refugees from Guatemala, Honduras, and El Salvador.

"Let me make it clear that the United States intends to honor the agreement, subject to the result of the vetting process that has now applied to all refugees considered for admission to the United States of America," Pence said. "President Trump has made it clear that we'll honor the agreement, but it doesn't mean we admire the agreement."

Earlier this year, Trump suggested he might abandon the arrangement. "Do you believe it? The Obama Administration agreed to take thousands of illegal immigrants from Australia," he tweeted in February. "Why? I will study this dumb deal!" Turnbull said Trump's willingness to honor the deal anyway "speaks volumes for the commitment, the integrity of President Trump." Bonnie Kristian

April 22, 2017
CNN/Screenshot

Eyewitnesses of an altercation between an American Airlines employee and a passenger say the flight attendant "violently took a stroller from a lady with her baby" and was then observed "hitting her and just missing the baby." The attendant has been suspended as the airline investigates.

Video filmed in the aftermath of the initial dispute, which reportedly concerned whether the stroller could come on the flight, shows the mother in tears and a male passenger arguing with the employee. "Hey bud, hey bud, you do that to me and I’ll knock you flat!" the male passenger yells in one clip. "You stay out of this!" the attendant yells back, adding, "Hit me! Come on, hit me!"

"We are deeply sorry for the pain we have caused this passenger and her family and to any other customers affected by the incident," said an American Airlines statement. "The actions of our team member captured here do not appear to reflect patience or empathy, two values necessary for customer care."

This incident comes a little more than a week after United Airlines employees violently removed a passenger from a plane the company initially said was overbooked. United did not immediately apologize for its employees' behavior. Bonnie Kristian

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