The State of Texas: June 22, 2015
Meme of the Day
As far as memes go, the latest one involving zoo employees recreating the now-popular velociraptor training session in Jurassic World is pretty darn cute. And as the Austin American-Statesman shows, zookeepers all over Texas have been doing their adorable part.
— Houston Zoo (@houstonzoo) June 18, 2015
Sensitivity Training – Texans have not represented the state very well since the Wednesday massacre at a historic black church in South Carolina. Presidential candidate Rick Perry, reacting to President Barack Obama’s comments about the need for better gun laws, said the call-to-less-arms was a “knee-jerk” reaction to such an “accident.” His campaign quickly clarified the former governor’s comments, saying “he meant ‘incident,’ but not before the apparent slip of the tongue sparked a social media backlash, inviting inevitable comparisons to the so-called ‘oops’ moment.” It’s clear that Perry’s public presidential campaign problems from 2012 still haunt him, and, as the Washington Post notes, he is “the one … candidate who cannot make a mistake.” Ted Cruz also found himself under the spotlight after he announced that his campaign was “returning about $8,500 in donations that he had received from the Texas donor, Earl Holt III, who lists himself as president of the Council of Conservative Citizens,” writes the New York Times. The problem with Holt? Well, it turns out he’s part of a group cited by the Charleston killer in his online manifesto. In Cruz’s defense, Holt has donated more than “tens of thousands of dollars” to numerous GOP candidates over the years, including two other 2016 presidential contenders. And on the hyper-local front, WFAA reports that a volunteer firefighter in Mabank was fired after posting some really inexcusable Facebook comments, specifically that the Charleston shooter “needs to be praised for the good deed he has done.” Oof.
Spin Peaks – Why, exactly, does the public not have a complete picture of what happened during the Waco shootout? The short answer is that officials “say disclosure of certain evidence, including videos of the incident, would compromise their investigation,” writes the Waco Tribune, in its continued (and heroic) effort to shed light on what happened four weeks ago. As the story notes, there’s apparently no civilian footage of the incident, meaning all the evidence is coming through investigation. Although “the media, bikers and their relatives push for answers,” officials are keeping it very close to the chest, saying they “will not release any evidence they feel could taint a potential jury pool or otherwise hinder the investigation and that investigators feel the need to be absolutely certain of each new finding before releasing more information.” In all fairness, the shootout is fairly unprecedented and even “the final written autopsy reports are still pending.” Even as all the details slowly come to light, the Tribune doesn’t seem to have much hope of officials either voluntarily giving up the information or being made to release it due to Freedom of Information requests. Basically, this is going to be one of those bad cliffhanger-soap-opera shows, like, yes, Sons of Anarchy.
Little Birdie – Perhaps we’ve all been paying attention to the wrong twentysomething athlete. Johnny Manziel had his chance (and now he’s going straight-edge), but the young Texan who can actually produce did so yesterday at the U.S. Open. Yes, it’s golf, but 21-year-old Dallas native Jordan Spieth put on a heckuva show, winning after a real “heart-stopper” and “theater at its finest,” as the Associated Press so adorably put it. Spieth’s victory makes him “only the sixth player to win the Masters and U.S. Open in the same year, and he joined Arnold Palmer, Jack Nicklaus and Tiger Woods in getting the first two legs of the modern slam that Palmer created on his way to St. Andrews in 1960.” Spieth is the youngest U.S. Open champion in 92 years and “the first male player since Gene Sarazen in 1922 to win multiple majors before his 22nd birthday.” Next month he’ll not only celebrate his twenty-second birthday but also shoot to win the British Open, the third of the four tournaments of golf’s grand slam. What were you doing the second year you could legally drink?