MEANWHILE, IN TEXAS…

MEANWHILE, IN TEXAS…

Lone Star

The sun will be blocked out by the moon at some point Monday during a total solar eclipse, and a good chunk of Texas will be treated to the rare astronomical sight. Texans won’t get to see the whole thing, but we will get a good viewing of a partial solar eclipse. Dallas, for example, should see about 75 percent of the sun blocked out. For many, this will be a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity. The last time that a total eclipse crossed the entire U.S. from coast-to-coast was in 1918, though some northwestern states got a look at one in 1979, and Hawaiians got to see another in 1991. The next one won’t come until 2024. To find out when, precisely, you should look up at the sky (with proper eye protection, please!) to see Monday’s eclipse, check out this cool feature by Vox, which lets you look up your local eclipse time by using your zip code.

Buffett Eaten

Warren Buffett’s bid to buy a Texas utility company was taken out from under him by a competing company, according to the Wall Street Journal. The billionaire’s company, Berkshire Hathaway, announced its bid to buy Oncor, the largest utility provider in the state, in July, putting in a $9 billion offer to take over Energy Future Holdings, its parent company. But the deal has been in trouble since day one. Buffett managed to smooth things over with Texas regulators, who had nixed the hopes of two previous potential buyers of Oncor, but his company had difficulty gaining the support of Elliott Management Corp., a major investor that was trying to block the deal. At the end of the day, though, it was all about money. Sempra Energy swooped in, seemingly out of nowhere, with a $9.45 billion offer, beating out Berkshire Hathaway. The deal was finalized on Sunday, though it remains to be seen if Texas regulators will sign off on the deal.

SCOTUS Bound?

After a federal appeals court ruled last week that Texas violated the Voting Rights Act by gerrymandering its congressional district maps with the intent to discriminate based on race, the state appealed the ruling to the U.S. Supreme Court.  “Judges should get out of the business of drawing maps,” Attorney General Ken Paxton said in a statement after filing the appeal on Friday, according to the Texas Tribune. “We firmly believe that the maps Texas used in the last three election cycles are lawful, and we will aggressively defend the maps on all fronts.” In a 107-page ruling on Wednesday, a three-judge panel in San Antonio ruled unanimously that Congressional Districts 27 and 35 are in violation of the U.S. Constitution and the federal Voting Rights Act because they were intentionally drawn to dilute minority voting power. Paxton’s appeal appears to be an attempt to dodge the court’s order to redraw the maps ahead of the 2018 election. He’s requested an injunction that would keep Texas from having to draw a new map.