Corps Values

In February, Texas A&M University announced that Alyssa Michalke, a twenty-year-old junior from Schulenburg, would become the first female commander of the corps of cadets in the school’s 139-year history. The significance of her appointment can’t be overstated. After the corps first accepted female members, in 1974, the women were often insulted, even physically abused. Recently, the corps has drawn more women to leadership positions, and Michalke’s appointment turns a page in the corps’ history book.

The Checklist


Jordan Spieth Returns to Dallas (May 21–31)
Fresh off his triumph at the Masters, the world’s hottest golfer returns to his native Metroplex for Fort Worth’s Crowne Plaza Invitational at Colonial and the AT&T Byron Nelson Championship, in Irving. Spieth has performed well in Texas, recently taking second in Houston and San Antonio tournaments; fans who want to watch him chase another PGA win should practice yelling “Get in the hole!” now.

Let’s Go to the Videotape

Earyl this year, The Daily Show posted a rapid-fire video montage titled “50 Fox News Lies in 6 Seconds.” Such montages, usually riffing on the day’s news, are a staple of The Daily Show and its offshoots, Last Week Tonight With John Oliver and the late, lamented Colbert Report. Mitt Romney, Barack Obama, and Dr. Oz are just a few of the famous figures who have been savaged by these shows’ full-frontal video-clip assaults.

Fighting for Her Life

In the way to meet Iliza Shlesinger at a cafe in Los Angeles’s Hancock Park neighborhood, I pass a fourteen-foot-tall version of the comedian. Freezing Hot, the billboard announces to everyone driving down South La Brea Avenue. That oxymoron, the title of Shlesinger’s recent Netflix special, is also a neat description of her comic style, which mates icy reserve with feverish belligerence. 

The Race Is On!

Texas politicians have never been strangers to presidential ambition. Sam Houston ran for the White House twice, and in the decades that followed he was joined in the losers’ circle by such figures as Governor Edmund Davis and U.S. Speaker of the House John Nance Garner. The first Texan to make it to the White House, of course, was Lyndon Johnson. (Ike doesn’t count.) Perhaps inspired by his example, such figures as Lloyd Bentsen, John Connally, and two different George Bushes have thrown their hats in the ring.

A Mighty Wind

For the past 25 years, Benny Taylor, a rail-thin 55-year-old West Texas cotton farmer, has documented the natural world’s patterns and omens. He can tell you that the area’s rattlesnakes usually slither out into the sunlight at the beginning of spring and that he saw his first rattlesnake of 2015 on March 10, twelve days earlier than he had ever before.

Meanwhile, in Texas

  • A rented Lamborghini, worth about $200,000, was found wrecked and abandoned on a Dallas highway.
  • The University of Texas at Austin raised the price of football tickets, citing, among other things, the increased cost of feeding athletes.
  • Lucy Coffey, the oldest living female veteran in the United States, died in San Antonio at the age of 108.

Attica Locke’s Empire

Attica Locke’s critically acclaimed 2009 debut novel, Black Water Rising, was set in her hometown of Houston and featured a down-on-his-luck lawyer protagonist named Jay Porter, who in many ways was inspired by her father, Gene Locke, the former city attorney of Houston. The sequel, Pleasantville, has just come out, though the final book in what she expects will be a trilogy will likely have to wait a while.


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