U.S. Rep. Marc Veasey, D-Fort Worth, was part of a congressional delegation that traveled to Israel last week to learn more about issues critical to the U.S.-Israel relationship and international security.Veasey and 36 other congressional members met with Israeli and Palestinian opposition members, peace negotiators, defense and economic experts and government officials including Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas.“American national security interests are tied to developments in the Middle East and specifically to Israel’s own security,” said Veasey, a member of the House Armed Services Committee. “This trip to Israel, our strongest ally in the region, is a chance to gain firsthand insight on core issues of security, defense cooperation and foreign policy.”The trip was organized and paid for by the American Israel Education Foundation, a well-known nonprofit Israeli lobbying organization.Texas Gov. Rick Perry told The Washington Times last month that he will visit Israel in October to “bring together Arabs, Christian and Jews in an educational forum.”Bush presidential libraryTurns out the George W. Bush Presidential Library and Museum is a pretty popular place.In the first three months since the presidential center opened May 1, more than 170,000 people have visited the presidential center on the edge of the Southern Methodist University campus.Officials have said the strong early turnout means they may reach their goal of 500,000 visitors in the first year, especially since they may soon get busloads of visitors as students go back to school. The center at 2943 SMU Blvd. in University Park is a 226,560-square-foot, $250 million three-story red-brick-and-limestone building featuring signature architecture including Freedom Hall, which has a 360-degree high-definition video wall and a 67-foot tower with a lantern that glows at night.NicknamesState Sen. Wendy Davis continues to be a lightning rod for attention.The same week that the Fort Worth Democrat drew national attention for speaking at the National Press Club in Washington, D.C., she earned a new nickname from RedState.com editor Erick Erickson — “Abortion Barbie.”“It sums her up perfectly,” Erickson posted on RedState.com. “All the nation knows about Wendy Davis is that she is ignorant of the horrors of Kermit Gosnell, wears pink shoes, and filibustered legislation to save the innocent in Texas. She joined the long line of Democrats before her to oppose legislation to protect other people while using property rights arguments to do so.Gosnell was the Philadelphia abortion doctor who was convicted of murdering babies born alive in his clinic.“The media would prefer to focus on her blonde hair, her great outfits, and her pink shoes than on the procedure she wants to protect. That procedure, late term abortion, is opposed by a majority of women and men.” Matt Angle, founder of the Democratic Lone Star Project, was among those to defend Davis.“Wendy has very quickly demonstrated broad support from mainstream Texans,” he said. “She scares the daylights out of partisan Republicans, so they get consultants like Erickson to launch personal attacks. The attack is their expression of fear.”Several Texans were in the audience when Davis spoke at the National Press Club, including former U.S. Rep. Martin Frost, D-Dallas, Tarrant County Commissioner Roy Brooks, Tarrant County Justice of the Peace Sergio De Leon, Fort Worth City Councilman Joel Burns, Texas Sens. Rodney Ellis, D-Houston, and Leticia Van de Putte, D-San Antonio, and Fort Worth businessman Bobby Patton.It’s not too lateIf you possibly forgot that this weekend is the once-a-year annual sales tax holiday weekend in Texas, you still have a few hours to shop for most clothing, shoes and school supplies that are under $100 per item.The sales tax holiday has been in place in Texas since 1999, but this year it was moved up early.Texas Comptroller Susan Combs has estimated that shoppers will save about $78.9 million in state and local sales taxes this weekend.