Texas Standard For September 6, 2021

Texas’ second special session of the year is over. And a new opinion poll suggests the result is not necessarily a good look for Gov. Greg Abbott. If critics were correct that the governor’s legislative agenda was an effort to win over Texans prior to his reelection campaign, it hasn’t quite worked out as a net positive for him, if a new opinion poll is correct. What’s behind  Abbott’s highest ever disapproval numbers? And: The Pentagon says a Texan was among the last U.S. service members to die in Afghanistan  We’ll hear from the widow of another soldier killed in the attack on Kabul airport. Also: A call for a rethink of the American military. And more, today on the Texas Standard:

By Texas StandardSeptember 6, 2021 9:30 am

Here are the stories on Texas Standard for Monday, September 6, 2021.

UT-Texas Tribune Poll, Abbott Approval Rating

New polling from the Texas Politics Project shows the lowest approval rating for Gov. Greg Abbott since early 2016 – and his highest disapproval numbers ever. Has his run to the right ahead of the Republican primary begun to alienate voters? We’re talking to the Texas Politics Project’s Jim Henson today.

One of the Last Troops to Die in The Afghanistan War

More than 2,400 U.S. service members were killed in the Afghanistan war. Pentagon officials say Army Staff Sergeant Ryan Knauss, who died from injuries suffered in the Kabul Airport bombing, was likely the final one. His widow Alena talked with Jay Price of the American Homefront Project.

Statewide Summer Roundup

This summer the West Coast burned, the Midwest baked and states from Louisiana to New York flooded. But the weather in Texas was… pretty okay, actually. KUT Austin’s Mose Buchele reports on the state’s mellow summer.

School Lunch During COVID

In Texas, the state’s largest school districts are the ones requiring students wear masks. For many of those schools, the only exception to the mask mandate is lunchtime, when students are allowed to remove them. In Austin, KUT’s Claire McInerny visited three elementary schools where they are trying different tactics to keep students safe from COVID-19 during lunch.

Leaving Teaching Due to Lack of COVID Protocols

After 11 years as a teacher in the Dallas area, Ari Christine said enough – and left. What made her leave a career she deeply loved and the high school kids who filled her life with joy? The answers can be found on her blog: “It wasn’t until the pandemic that I realized the true toxicity that envelopes education. Teaching is a woman. And who are women expected to be in our society?” We’re talking to Ari Christine today.

Worker Heat Death Series Preview

Beginning tomorrow and continuing into next week, we’ll be looking more closely at the issue of Texas workers dying from heat exposure. It’s an investigation conducted in partnership between Columbia Journalism Investigations, NPR and the Texas Newsroom. In anticipation of the stories we’ll hear in the coming days, we’re hearing from Cheryl W. Thompson, investigative correspondent for NPR; and Fernanda Camarena, senior editor with The Texas Newsroom, a collaboration with NPR and Texas member stations. They led the teams that investigated this topic.

America’s Army, Op-Ed

Speak softly and carry a big stick: that was the style of foreign policy attributed to Theodore Roosevelt as the United States emerged as an important world power. Yet for most of its history, the United States was a big country with a small peacetime military – until all that changed after World War Two. In an op-ed in The New York Times, University of Texas professor Jeremy Suri suggests history – plus our experience in Afghanistan – have conspired to send us a message: we’d be better off with a smaller military. We’ll hear from him today,

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

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