The State of Texas: February 4, 2015
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Tweet of the day
A bomb scare in Dallas had some on edge:
It’s a full-on Hurt Locker in Deep Ellum right now pic.twitter.com/WUwahTY7XZ
— Robert Wilonsky (@RobertWilonsky) February 3, 2015
Texas By The Numbers
Big Rich Texas – Wealthiest Texas city by number of household with more than $1 million in investable assets: Freidricksburg. Rank nationally: 47th. Next-ranked Texas city: Kerryville. Rank: 75th. Rank of Houston-The Woodlands: 133rd. Midland: 142nd. Austin: 145th. DFW-A: 155th. San Antonio: 237th. Amarillo: 296th. Last ranked Texas city: Stephenville. Rank: 448th.
Muy Bueno – Number of Texas cities on Forbes top-nine list of best cities for Hispanics: Four. Highest ranked: Houston. Rank: 4th. Dallas: 7th. San Antonio: 8th. Austin: tied for 9th.
Vaccines, Y’all – Number of states that allow a religious exemptions for vaccines: 48. Does that include Texas?: Yes. Average number of Houston children not vaccinated: one percent. Austin: two percent. Denton County students: four percent.
What’s in a Name? – When you’ve been indicted for coercion, it sure sounds fishy when you request the names of those whose testimony led to your indictment. Still, Rick Perry’s lawyers probably have a legitimate reason for filing such a motion yesterday, requesting the identities of the forty-plus witnesses special prosecutor Michael McCrum called during the grand jury hearing. How this all fits into Perry’s timetable for his inevitable run is an interesting question since it certainly seems like it will mean a lot of time-consuming paperwork. “Besides asking for the names of grand-jury witnesses, Perry’s team also filed a motion asking that the prosecution provide a list of all witnesses expected to be called during the trial, their written and oral statements, all evidence that may be used and all ‘written and oral statements made by Governor Perry that are in the possession of the State,’” according to the San Antonio Express-News. “Perry’s team also asked for the prior criminal record of all witnesses that the prosecution may call at trial, and all items that are exculpatory, meaning they would tend to prove his innocence.”
Don’t Mess With Texas, Please – Perhaps Florida Representative Alcee L. Hastings had a legitimate point when he began fighting with Texas Representative Michael C. Burgess during a House Rules Committee fight on the Affordable Care Act on Monday, but then Hastings crossed a line. “I don’t know about in your state, which I think is a crazy state to begin with—and I mean that just as I said it,” he said during a heated argument with Burgess. First and foremost, it’s the most glaring pot-calling-the-kettle-black comment ever made. You’re from Florida, Hastings. Florida. The Internet has a meme based on your state’s craziness. Ridiculous as that statement is on its face, Burgess was not one to allow our state’s good name be besmirched and soiled by a Floridian. “The gentleman made a very defamatory statement about my state and I will not stand here and listen to it!” said Burgess, according to Roll Call. A bit stiff and a little weak, especially when Hastings shouted back, “I told you what I think about Texas—I wouldn’t live there for all the tea in China.” Representative Pete Session, the chair of that committee who was absent during the commotion later chimed in as well. “I stand in defense of Texas, although Texas—I don’t think—really needs much defense.”
World Wide Drug Webs – Texas has been busy this week when it comes to incredibly illicit Internet transactions. According to court testimony on Monday, “Ross Ulbricht, a former Austin resident accused of running the $1.2 billion online drug ring called Silk Road, allegedly ordered a hit on six people he believed threatened the site,” reports the San Antonio Express-News. The case against Ulbricht, who could spend life in prison, ended yesterday and the jury begins deliberating in the Manhattan trial. Closer to home, the operator of Trusted Anabolic Solutions, an online stereoroids shop “pleaded guilty in Dallas to conspiring to deal steroids through TAS and other websites,” according to the Dallas Observer. “The plea deal is light on details, saying only that Hallie Clayton would buy anabolic steroids in powder form from China and elsewhere and would use the laboratory he established to turn it into capsules or an injectable liquid. Which might give pause to anyone who read the assurances on the TAS website.” Unlike Ulbricht, Clayton “faces up to 10 years in prison and a $500,000 fine.”
Tastier In Texas – Some mouthwatering food news is has served up in the Lone Star State, lately. First is the annointment of Texas as the best state for fast food based on a five-part criteria by The Thrillist, which included the number and variety of national, regional, and local chains started in that state, the variety of choices and, of course, tastiness. The best part about the honor is, of course, the fact that Texas beat California. This doesn’t mean Texas still doesn’t have a ways to go when it comes to chain restaurant food. Apparently, the Baylor athletic department is using, as part of its recruiting effort, the future promise of every young man’s favorite fast foods. “A poster at a Baylor University recruiting event over the weekend listing new restaurants and stores as ‘coming to Waco soon’ caused some premature excitement on social media, as most of the named businesses haven’t announced plans to build in the area,” reports the Waco Tribune in a weirdly hilarious item that was picked up by Deadspin. “The poster used the trademarked logos of restaurants like Pappadeaux, Pappasito’s, In-N-Out Burger as well as companies like Whole Foods and Omni Hotel and advertised them as coming to Waco.” As Deadspin noted, “In Waco’s defense, it will be getting a Potbelly and an Uncle Mario’s later this year.” Perhaps a better way to recruit hungry boys to your school? Open up a Tex-Mex “breastaurant.” That, incidentally, is exactly what happened in San Antonio, where at one such place, “the all-female wait staff takes and serves orders wearing little more than lace lingerie, short shorts, mini-skirts and swimwear. … Wearing a mesh shirt to cover her lace bra and underwear, [the owner] promotes a friendly and fun atmosphere for customers and employees alike.” Breastaurants are kinda fun and at least this one, Milo’s Restaurant, doesn’t have a play-on name. But the restaurant’s real appeal has yet to be tested or reported. There’s nothing sexier than a perfectly made taco.
Fighting The Man – Nobody likes paying taxes. So sometimes it feels good to follow the letter of the law, if not the spirit. A January incident is just coming to light, thanks to an affidavidt, in which a Wichita Falls man was arrested after “attempting to pay $600-worth of property taxes with $1 bills,” reports the Times Record News. Oh, there’s more. “The bills were said to be folded so tightly it ‘required tax office personnel approximately six minutes to unfold each bill.’” It appears the man was arrested after the tax man told the our working-class hero to leaving, accusing him of “disrupting the operation and efficiency of the tax office.” The man ”was arrested and charged with criminal trespass” but because he didn’t like being manhandled, he was also charged with resisting arrest. The man’s bail “totaled $500 for both charges,” which we can only hope he paid with pennies.