Keyarika Diggles was suspected of failing to finish paying off her traffic tickets. Diggles, a single mother of two, had been making payments, but she still owed more than $100. That led two Jasper police officers, Ricky Grissom and Ryan Cunningham, to her door in May, 2013, to serve a warrant. Diggles was arrested, and what happened in the jail made headlines in East Texas: In a videotaped encounter, Grissom and Cunningham grab Diggles by the hair, slam her head into a counter, pin her down just off-camera for about fifteen seconds, and then drag her around the room by the leg.
Politics can frequently devolve into absurdity, but the race for the Austin City Council seat in the newly-created District 4 has been remarkably absurd in ways, in fact, that highlight some of the weird things about the entire state of Texas. Or, at least, its constitution.
The race in question is a runoff election between two aspiring newcomers to Austin City Council: 51-year-old Laura Pressley and 25-year-old Gregorio Casar. Like many contentious campaigns, the candidates have taken to circulating mailers with information about themselves and their opponents. But a mailer from the Pressley campaign (seen above, photographed by a user on Austin’s Reddit page) highlighting the differences between the two candidates contains one very curious line-item.
(This post has been updated following the Austin Police Department’s press conference on McQuilliams.)
No one was hurt besides the shooter. That’s perhaps the most important thing to take away from what happened in downtown Austin late on Thursday night/early Friday morning, when 49-year Steve McQuilliams went on a shooting spree. It was after 2am, after the bars were closed, and it happened on Thanksgiving, which meant that the normally-robust Thursday night crowd in downtown Austin was limited. Instead, McQuilliams fired hundreds of bullets into the Austin Police Department headquarters, the Mexican Consulate, and the Federal Courthouse.
The shooting started shortly before 2:30 in the morning, according to reports. 11 minutes after the first shots were reported, McQuilliams was dead outside of APD headquarters.
Here’s what we do know right now:
Alex Jones is no stranger to conspiracy theories, obviously, but here’s a really good one that doesn’t come from him—rather, it’s about him: Have you perhaps heard that he is actually legendary Texas comedian Bill Hicks, who allegedly died in 1994, but who was actually “recruited by the CIA to become the controlled opposition by the mainstream media” who was “continuously fed approved intelligence by his CIA handlers”?
If you haven’t heard that, fret not. There is a 33-minute long video on Vimeo, created by a user who goes by the name “CastleJenniferBassett” with the catchy title of “IRREFUTABLE PROOF that Alex Jones IS Bill Hicks.”
Yesterday morning, President Obama made a call for Net Neutrality—something that many on the Internet have been lobbying the President to do for years. Shortly thereafter, Senator Ted Cruz weighed in with a tweet that quickly attracted a lot of attention.
There isn’t a bookie anywhere on the Internet who will give you odds on the Texas gubernatorial election. Maybe there’s a dank sportsbook somewhere in Vegas or Atlantic City, where you can place a bet on literally anything, where there’s someone who’s drawn up some crude metrics for laying odds on a race like this one. But the big books online—offshore sites like PaddyPower or Bovada or Sportsbook.com—aren’t going anywhere near Davis/Abbott.
Here is a horrible video of a violent homophobe getting into an altercation at DFW International Airport last Thursday. Apparently the man didn’t like the color of another man’s shirt, began yelling homophobic slurs at him, and then kicked him and attempted to punch him.
Kaci Hickox became news over the weekend when the UT-Arlington graduate wrote an op-ed for the Dallas Morning News with the help of Dr. Seema Yasmin, who writes for the paper and also worked with Hickox at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Hickox, a nurse who had worked with Doctors Without Borders in Sierra Leone to treat Ebola patients, found herself in a confusing situation at Newark Liberty International Airport after she returned to the U.S.
Before she was America’s sweetheart, Renee Zellweger was Texas’ sweetheart. The Katy native and UT grad started her career with a string of ever-growing roles in Texas-based movies: tiny parts in Dazed and Confused and Reality Bites, the rodeo drama 8 Seconds, the border crime flick Love And A .45, a co-starring role alongside Matthew McConaughey in The Texas Chainsaw Massacre: The Next Generation. Then, of course, her star-making turn in Jerry Maguire and the career that followed: Academy Award nominations Bridget Jones’ Diary, Chicago, her first win for the Civil War drama Cold Mountain.
But nobody’s talking about Renee Zellweger’s career this week. We’re just talking about her face.
Greg Abbott has made clear that he hopes to win the Rio Grande Valley in next month’s Gubernatorial election. While the current Attorney General is still leading at the polls statewide, his determination to take the Valley—the bluest region in Texas—is a tall task.
The Valley is a hot area right now. SpaceX is building in Brownsville, the new UT-RGV campus appears poised to be one of the prouder jewels in the UT system, and the first of the two debates between Abbott and Wendy Davis took place down there, instead of at a larger or more central city like Houston, San Antonio, or Austin. It makes sense that, when thinking about the future of Texas—as Gubernatorial hopefuls who’d like to enjoy eight years in the Mansion are wont to do—the Valley would be on anyone’s mind.