QUOTE OF THE DAY
“That was some weird shit.”
—George W. Bush, immediately following the inauguration ceremony of President Donald Trump, according to New York Magazine. New York reported on Tuesday that three anonymous sources all said they heard W say it. A Bush spokesperson declined to comment.
Off And Running
U.S. Representative Beto O’Rourke’s campaign revealed on Wednesday that the Democrat will make “a big announcement” on Friday, in his hometown of El Paso. “Together, we can do something really big, and really powerful for the state of Texas—and for this country,” the campaign said in its announcement of the announcement. What might this major Beto news be? Well, we pretty much know already. O’Rourke has been hinting that he wants to run for Ted Cruz’s Senate seat for a while now, and he’s spent the last few weeks circulating the state, a surefire sign of an ambitious man. The Chronicle and Texas Tribune both cited anonymous sources that confirmed O’Rourke’s Friday announcement will, in fact, mark his first official day as Cruz’s opponent in the 2018 Senate race. So, should Cruz be worried? Maybe. The Republican is fresh off a failed presidential campaign, though he appears to be stabilizing. O’Rourke, meanwhile, is so hot right now, after he received widespread national praise for his cross-country “bipartisan road-trip” with fellow Texan Will Hurd, a Republican congressman. But he may not be the only serious threat gunning for Cruz’s number-one spot. San Antonio U.S. Representative Joaquin Castro has also been mulling a Senate run, and he should be making a decision sometime soon. “It’s no secret that Joaquin is heavily weighing a Senate run, and he will continue to have those discussions with his family, friends and supporters across Texas,” Matthew Jones, Castro’s political director, told the Tribune. “He plans to make his decision in the coming weeks.” Texas ain’t big enough for the three of them to be Senator, of course, and Cruz’s team is already digging in its heels. According to the Chronicle, Cruz’s campaign officially declined to comment, but his campaign manager went off on Twitter in response to O’Rourke’s announcement, taking a shot at both of Cruz’s potential Democratic challengers. “Someone please tell @JoaquinCastrotx that he’s no longer a rising star so stop acting like one,” Roe wrote on Twitter. “Muscled out by Beto? Pathetic display.” Them’s fightin’ words!
MEANWHILE, IN TEXAS
A devastating bus crash in Uvalde County on Wednesday afternoon has claimed the lives of at least thirteen people, according to the San Antonio Express-News. The bus was carrying senior members of a New Braunfels church on the way back from a choir retreat when it collided head-on with a Dodge pickup truck. The identities of those who died have not yet been released, but the bus driver and eleven of the fourteen passengers were killed at the scene, while the remaining two passengers were airlifted to hospitals in San Antonio, where one of them later died. Investigators are still trying to figure out what caused the crash, which has totally shaken the First Baptist Church community in New Braunfels. “We’re devastated as a church family,” senior pastor Brad McLean said, according to the Austin American-Statesman. He said members of the church planned on gathering in the parking lot Wednesday night “to pray with each other and to cry with each other.”
Sid’s Gonna Sid
Ag Commissioner Sid Miller took his cowboy hat to Israel last week, where he met with representatives of Israeli settlements in the West Bank, eventually inking a new trade deal between the Lone Star State and a group of settlements, even though the settlements aren’t officially recognized by either the United States or the United Nations. But Miller, who wrapped up his ten-day trip on Wednesday, doesn’t seem particularly concerned that he single-handedly pitted Texas against long-held U.S. diplomatic protocol. He told the Texas Tribune that his visit to the settlements was “specifically targeted to send a political message,” adding that “it’s just time the world recognizes that Judea and Samaria are legitimate.” According to the Jerusalem Post, Miller pretty much went full-cowboy over there, riding a horse around one of the settlements with an Israeli pro-settlement grassroots leader, and even showing his new buddy how to throw a lasso. As the Tribune notes, it doesn’t seem like any other states have ever made such a big statement to legitimize the unrecognized settlements. But Sid don’t care. Did he ask anyone if this thing was a good idea? “If I was supposed to, I didn’t,” he told the Tribune.
The Birds And The Bees
Pigeons on the Texas Tech campus are getting free birth control. Apparently Tech’s campus in Lubbock is being wrecked by pigeon poop, and the university is racking up huge bills to clean up after the birds. “The university is spending, I’ve heard estimates, between $200,000 and half-a-million dollars to manage the pigeon mess,” a Tech biology professor told KCBD. So the plan is to give the pigeons Ovo, edible birth control that will then be crushed up, mixed in with cracked corn and put in feeders. It’s really a win-win for everyone involved. The long-term result of the plan is expected to humanely reduce the pigeon population by 95 percent, according to KLBK. The pigeons, meanwhile, can have as much risk-free sex as they want.
WHAT WE’RE READING
Some links are paywalled or subscription-only.
The storied history of women’s basketball in West Texas Fort Worth Star-Telegram
A fugitive Mexican state mayor on the run from the law may be hiding in El Paso KTSM
Here’s how much internet service providers paid your congressmen for your browser history Houston Chronicle
A Dallas woman was sentenced to 60 years for giving deadly butt injections Dallas Morning News
The Bexar County DA blamed San Antonio’s rise in violent crime on a “jungle mentality” San Antonio Current