The State of Texas: Get Out And Vote

Plus: An Amarillo priest brings a fetus to the altar, the father of a slain Dallas cop sues Black Lives Matter, and a name battle between two Texas law schools appears to be over.

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QUOTE OF THE DAY


“It’s the political season. Facts don’t matter, right? You just say what you want and life goes on. Nobody cares. It doesn’t have to be true. It doesn’t even have to be close. You just say whatever you want.”

—San Antonio Spurs head coach Gregg Popovich to reporters, according to the San Antonio Express-News. This bit of real talk was a bit tongue-in-cheek, considering this response basically came amid an exchange with a reporter about the team’s apparent difficulties defending the three-point line. When asked who he’d be voting for on Monday, he said he’d already cast his ballot for Don… Nelson, a former NBA coach who showed Pop the ropes way back when. The real question, however, is when will Pop run for president?


BIG NEWS


Voters line up to cast their ballots on Super Tuesday March 1, 2016 in Fort Worth, Texas.

GO VOTE
Today is the day! Cast your ballot. Punch your ticket. Fulfill your American civic duty. Happy Election Day! If you’ve made it this far, congratulations. You’ve certainly earned the right to decide. We’ll spare you a recap of the past year-plus in politics, because if you’ve been living anywhere except underneath a WiFi-less rock, then you probably already know how it’s been. But still, there are a few things you need to know before you head to the polls: first and foremost, like, where are the polls? Google is your best friend for that—simply type in the search engine “where to vote,” and you’ll see the first result will be a handy polling center locator designed by Google; all you have to do is fill in your address and it will tell you where the nearest polling centers are. For the rest of your Election Day needs, here is the voter’s guide from the Dallas Morning News, the Houston Chronicle‘s comprehensive election 2016 headquarters, some answers to your last-minute questions courtesy of the Austin American-Statesman, and the Texas Tribune‘s scoreboard. Here’s the Texas Secretary of State’s “Poll Watcher’s Guide,” the state’s official election night returns tracker, and a refresher of your rights. Here’s a video of a puppy falling asleep. Here’s how to follow along with the New York Times and the Washington Post, both of whom will be dropping their digital paywalls so you can consume their multi-faceted election content for free. For you people who like numbers, here’s the stats-driven FiveThirtyEight, which is good at numbers and stuff. And ProPublica’s Electionland feature is worth checking out too. So, Texans, arm yourselves with knowledge as you go forth today and vote, then sleep well tonight, knowing that when you wake up Wednesday morning, this long nightmare of an election cycle will finally be over.


MEANWHILE, IN TEXAS


Fetus And Brimstone
What, you thought that just because today is Election Day that things would quiet down and return to normal by, say, the evening before? Nope. The Dallas Morning News reported late on Monday night that a priest from Amarillo laid an actual aborted fetus on an altar, live-streamed his fetus-accompanied sermon on Facebook, and urged viewers to vote for Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump. According to the Morning News, the priest, Reverend Frank Pavone, a well-known anti-abortion activist, wrote on Facebook that “We have to decide if we will allow this child killing to continue in America or not. Hillary Clinton and the Democratic platform says yes, let the child-killing continue (and you pay for it); Donald Trump and the Republican platform says no, the child should be protected.” According to the Morning News, the sermon lasted an excruciatingly long 44 minutes. The video is firmly nestled in the deep, vast valley of low points so far this election cycle, and the footage is obviously extremely graphic and disturbing, so watch it at your own risk.

BLM Lawsuit
Enrique Zamarripa, the father of slain Dallas police officer Patrick Zamarripa, filed a lawsuit against Black Lives Matter on Monday, blaming the civil rights organization for his son’s murder during Dallas’ sniper attack in July. According to the Dallas Morning News, Zamarripa named the national Black Lives Matter group alongside thirteen other defendants—including the Nation of Islam, Reverend Al Sharpton, the New Black Panthers Party, and Black Lives Matter leader DeRay McKesson—and he is seeking damages of $550 million, alleging the Dallas shooter Micah Johnson was incited by “anti-police rhetoric.” The suit alleges that the defendants have started “a civil war between blacks and law enforcement, thereby calling for immediate violence and severe bodily injury or death.” As the Morning News notes, Zamarripa has fairly high-profile representation in Larry Klayman, an attorney who has sued Hillary Clinton and his own mother.

Name Game
Two Houston law schools have finally settled their beef over similar names. According to the Houston Chronicle, the Houston College of Law, formerly the South Texas College of Law, will now be named the South Texas College of Law Houston. Got it? Good. This name madness came after the South Texas College of Law changed its name after 93 years, prompting a federal lawsuit from nearby University of Houston’s “Houston College of Law.” In October, a federal judge filed an injunction preventing the newly-named school from using “Houston College of Law” while the suit was ongoing. It’s been a pricy ordeal for the South Texas College of Law, which dropped “tens of thousands of dollars” on rebranding ahead of the initial name change, then had to spend on legal fees, and now has to re-rebrand itself with it’s second name change this year. The lawsuit isn’t quite settled yet, though now that the name infringement is no longer an issue it seems the litigation should soon wrap itself up. Then the two schools can get back to teaching law rather than practicing it.


WHAT WE’RE READING


Only two voters will decide on $257 million in improvements for a new subdivision outside of Houston Houston Chronicle

The story of a Texas meteorite Phys.org

LaPorte’s mini-White House mansion will soon be up for sale online Mansion Global

Mark Cuban explains why he revoked Mavs media credentials for two ESPN reporters Dallas Morning News

A Longview church is holding a 24-hour election prayer service KYTX

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