Texas Standard for December 15, 2021

With the window now closed for names to go on the primary ballot for statewide races in 2022, what are we learning about the state of Texas politics? We’ll take a look. And: In a state with more military bases than any other except California, active duty service members face a big deadline for COVID vaccinations. Also: Some states call it junk science, but in Texas, courts say it can be called admissible evidence. We’ll have more on the history of what’s called forensic hypnosis. Plus: Many Texans in mourning this week over death of a man who was more than a soaring tenor, but a cultural icon as well. Remembering Vicente Fernández and more today on the Texas Standard:

By Texas StandardDecember 15, 2021 9:30 am,

Here are the stories on Texas Standard for Wednesday, December 15, 2021.

GOP Stacked Primary

The filing deadline for the March 2022 primaries came and went last week. And while Republican candidates have flocked the primary field, it’s been pretty quiet for Texas Democrats. That could signal less enthusiasm among Dems going into an election cycle with fewer battleground districts than in 2020 – due largely in part to Republican-led redistricting. Jasper Scherer is a political reporter for the Houston Chronicle. He joins us with his thoughts.

Military Vaccination Deadline

As many as 40,000 U.S. military members may be unvaccinated against COVID-19. And as of today, service members in any branch of the U.S. military who do not have their shots or a valid exemption risk being dismissed. Alex Horton is a national security reporter for The Washington Post who has been following this story, and he joins us today.

Invisible Wall, part 2

A recent study found that with every COVID-19 death in the U.S., nine people lost a grandparent, parent, sibling, spouse or child. So now, with 800,000 U.S. COVID deaths, millions of people are dealing with grief, and struggling with being alone. As part of KERA’s mental health series “The Invisible Wall,” contributor Sujata Dand looks at how doctors, loved ones and neighbors are helping people cope with the loneliness of loss.

W. F. Strong: Texas Ice Fishers

It’s unlikely Texas will see a major freeze this winter like we did last year; at least that’s what forecasters are saying right now. The extreme cold of last February reminded commentator W.F. Strong about a bit of folklore he once heard about a Texas winter.

Forensic Hypnosis in Texas, part 2

When you think of hypnosis, it’s probably unlikely you’d picture Texas law enforcement. However, the state has one of the most active forensic hypnosis training systems in the nation, despite the fact that nearly half the other states in the U.S. deem it junk science and have banned or restricted its use. In the second part of our series examining forensic hypnosis, Texas Public Radio’s David Martin Davies explains how the controversial practice came to Texas.

Vicente Fernández’ Impact on Texas

His iconic voice has filled stadiums across Latin America and the U.S. This week, millions mourn Vicente Fernandez, known also as “Chente,” who died Sunday at age 81 The Mexican ranchera singer known for his musical bravado and ballads is a staple in  households throughout the Americas – and especially here in Texas. For more on Fernandez’s life and influence, we’re talking with professor John A. Lopez, co-coordinator of Latin Music Studies at Texas State University.

Politifact: Biden Inflation Claim

President Joe Biden said the average American family has “more money in their pockets than they did last year.” Is that a fact? Here to separate fact and fiction is Nusaiba Mizan with Politifact Texas, based at the Austin American Statesman.

All this and Texas News Roundup, plus Social Media Editor Wells Dunbar with the talk of Texas.

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