The Government Accountability Office just released a study looking at foster kids around the country, and how they are prescribed psychiatric medications. According to the study, about a third of all children in foster care have been prescribed at least one mind-altering drug, a rate at least five times higher than non-foster kids.
Of all the states examined in the study, foster children in Texas were the most likely to receive powerful psychiatric drugs. Even more startling is the number of children who were prescribed at least five different psychiatric drugs at the same time.Â Foster kids in Texas are 53 times more likely to be on five different drugs at the same time, compared with non-foster kids. That’s not a typo: 53 times more likely.
This will obviously raise all sorts of questions, about child welfare, about state economics (tax payers are buying those drugs), and about the relationship between the drug companies profiting from these prescriptions (hugely in the case of Texas) and the politicians putting forth these dangerous policies.
A new Rick Perry presidential campaign spot (see it below, via Politico) is making its way around the web today. It apparently is going to air in Iowa during The Tonight Show, on which the governor is going to appear tonight.
The ad is a real hoot.
“Part-time Congress,” ha! Hope the governor has saved some more one-liners like that for Leno.
Speaking of Southlake having more money than they really need, when I clicked on this CBS 11 video of how the White Chapel United Methodist Church has a 3D Christmas display that costs about $100,000 a week I was prepared to respond to it with full-on snark about the huge waste of resources that it is. Â But damned if that doesn’t look like a fun show:
I’ve been writing on deadline for the last few days, so I haven’t been on the blog much. Now that I’m out of that particular pain cave, I wanted to draw attention to the most recent Dallas Observer cover story, by my friend Brantley Hargrove, about the long drilling battle in Southlake. See, Southlake proved an interesting fracking litmus test in the on-going drilling discussion. The residents there, by and large, don’t need energy company money the way people in other places do. (Read Paul Kix’s D Magazine cover story from 2007.) Parents that have long been strong supporters of “pro-business” Republican politicians have been forced to question their own beliefs–and many have been called hypocrites. These are interesting times for Perfect City, U.S.A.
As mentioned earlier, last night’s episode of Top Chef: Texas was the first set in Dallas. A sampling of what outlets across the country learned about our city.
Esquire: Â Â “What we learned here is that rich people in Dallas are freaking weird. One couple revealed that they had 1,200 people at their wedding. Another proudly reminisced about their gummy-bear wedding cake – they were hosting dessert, and dessert-team member Ed Lee, he of the facial expressions, shot them a look that said, ‘You people are from another planet, but okay.’”
Baltimore Sun: Â “The couple that owns the first insane mansion is Kim and Justin Whitman. Kim is an entertaining expert and seems to be auditioning for Real Housewives of Dallas … Keep an eye out for her on Bravo in the future. Kim hates cilantro, bell peppers, grease and things she has never tried. Basically she is a chef’s dream.”
Spend a few minutes poking around on Texas Monthly‘s new TM Daily Post, which went live today. TexMo editor Jake Silverstein describes the effort as “an online destination devoted to organizing, prioritizing, and analyzing the news of Texas every day.” At first blush, here’s what I like: it goes beyond merely throwing up a link and saying, “Here’s something that’s interesting.” This post about the recent New York Times story on the fight in Gun Barrel City over late-night liquor sales is a good example. Dig the way Sonia Smith not only summarizes the story but lays out some of the reaction to it, from blogs around the state and from folks who live in Gun Barrel City. That sort of work can be exhausting. TM Daily Post, looks to me, is being populated by two people, Smith and Jason Cohen (though a third, Andrea Valdez, is also on the masthead). They all appear to have real jobs at the print product. I wish them luck in sustaining the grueling pace of a daily site that digests the entire state.
Goodbye, November. I’d say I’m sorry to see you go, but I’m ready to get down to the serious business of crafting my Christmas wish list.
Some people seem to think that their birthday entitles them to weeks of getting their way. My oldest friend, Meagan, is not like this. Today is her birthday, and she hasn’t even sent so much as a text message exclaiming “BIRTHDAY MONTH!!” Which is definitely not what I did. And speaking of birthdays, Rich Rogers over at Scardello is celebrating one today, too. Head to the Best of Big D cheese shop for Cheesemonger’s Birthday Surprise, an evening devoted to tasting his favorite cheeses paired with his favorite wines. It’s lucky that Rogers has good taste. There are only two spots left, so hurry.
If you feel like celebrating the start of the season by giving back, there are two opportunities to do that tonight. First, there’s the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation’s Toast and Taste Wine Opener in the Bank of America building. Half the ticket price is tax deductible, and all the proceeds fund research and awareness of the disease. Drink, admire the Dallas skyline, and partake of the dessert station (which, let’s be honest, excites me almost as much as the prospect of so many varieties of alcoholic grape juice).
A little bit further away, the Dallas chapter of Design Industries Foundation Fighting AIDS hosts a party so big, it requires three different locations. Hop from Nest to Mitchell Gold + Bob Williams to Design Within Reach (don’t worry, they’re all across the street from each other) for three themed parties where you’ll eat, drink, and bid on unique holiday wreaths created by local and national designers. Raya tells me that Whoopi Goldberg did one this year, so look for her name on the tag. Proceeds from the wreath auction go to North Texas AIDS service organizations.
SideDish has a full recap of last night’s Top Chef: Texas episode on the way (UPDATE: Here it is.), but I wanted to remark upon the season’s first episode to be set in Dallas. What was the first impression that producers gave viewers of our city? Â Why, Highland Park, of course.
Sisters Kim Schlegel Whitman and Kari Schlegel Kloewer hosted two-thirds of a “progressive dinner.” I’ll leave the food talk to SideDish, except to say that the “gummy bear” that Court and Kameron Westcott (They hosted the dessert portion of the dinner. Kameron was one of our 10 Most Beautiful Women in 2009) said they had at their wedding sounds truly disgusting. And theÂ Top Chef judges were taken aback when they heard that Kari’s wedding had 700 guests and Kim’s wedding had 1,200 guests. They thought the ladies were joking.
Never heard of the Schlegels? Umm, have you never visited this website before?
Wondering where they got all that money? Here’s how.
That Taiwanese animation company known for its absurd videos about current events takes on the American Airlines bankruptcy:
I love the moment when the panda takes out Uncle Sam.
Tyson Chandler Expects to Leave the Mavericks. “I really think I’m going to be on a new team come training camp,” he told ESPN.com. “I’m really taking a hard look at all of my options, trying to see what best suits me.” What best suits me is FORGETTING I EVER READ THAT STUPID QUOTE.
AA Pilots Picked a Bad Time to Halt Negotiations. Now that American Airlines in in bankruptcy, the pilots’ salaries figure to be going from business to coach. (Ohmygod, did you see what I just did?) “There’s no way to dress this thing up. It’s ugly,” said Tom Hoban of the pilots’ union. He then stated the flight time, cruising altitude, and pointed out a nice view of downtown Dallas out of the right side of the cabin.
Heritage Auctions Sells a Piece of Paper for $388,375. OK, it was a checklist that helped Apollo 13 commander Tom Hanks guide the damaged spacecraft back to Earth. What do you want me to end with: a “Houston, we have a problem” joke or an Apollo Creed reference? TOO SLOW. Here’s a scene from Space Jam instead.