QUOTE OF THE DAY
“You could take ‘Britain’ out and replace it with ‘Texas’. You could take ‘EU’ out and replace it with ‘U.S’. You could take ‘Brussels’ out and replace it with ‘Washington D.C’. You could give you guys a nice Texas drawl and no one would know any different. So much of it is exactly the same.”
—Daniel Miller, of Longview, to The Guardian. Miller wants Texas to emancipate from the rest of the U.S., and he apparently sees a ray of hope beaming across the Atlantic from Britain’s upcoming “Brexit” referendum to decide whether it will separate from the European Union. Is it really “exactly the same”? Nope, not even a little. But is it still fun to pretend? Of course it is.
He came, he saw, he campaigned. Presumptive Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump rolled through three Texas cities in two days, bringing out mobs of supporters and protesters alike for his rallies and fundraising events in Dallas, San Antonio, and Houston. His rallies were fairly boilerplate, featuring classic Trump stump speeches. His rally outside Houston in The Woodlands, however, did make national headlines after Trump called the shooter who killed 49 people in an Orlando nightclub last weekend a “son of a bitch,” and claimed that if the club-goers had been armed, the tragedy could have been prevented. “If we had people, where the bullets were going in the opposite direction, right smack between the eyes of this maniac,” Trump said, according to CNN. “And this son of a bitch comes out and starts shooting and one of the people in that room happened to have (a gun) and goes boom. You know what, that would have been a beautiful, beautiful sight, folks.” Even the National Rifle Association said that Trump’s dream to arm people in nightclubs probably wouldn’t be a very good idea. “No one thinks that people should go into a nightclub drinking and carrying firearms. That defies common sense. It also defies the law,” Chris Cox, executive director of the NRA’s Institute for Legislative Action, told ABC, according to the New York Post. The Trump’s speech concluded with an “epic rant” about “winning,” according to CBS, indicating that, as President, he will “win” so much that his Texan supporters may actually find it disturbing.
MEANWHILE, IN TEXAS
Dems Get Rowdy
While protesters across Texas took to the streets to express displeasure with The Donald, the state’s Democratic opposition had an eventful summit in San Antonio. Things were tranquil until the very end, when Bernie Sanders supporters quarreled with Hillary Clinton devotees in a debate over a resolution regarding super-delegates. Even though Clinton has all but wrapped up the Democratic nomination, the gap between followers of Clinton and Sanders remains pretty big in Texas (much like the rest of the country), and that was clear in San Antonio. But according to the Houston Chronicle, convention-goers, delegates, and speakers were able to get behind one thing: trashing Trump. “Donald Trump has done one thing for us,” state representative Senfronia Thompson, of Houston, told the Chronicle. “He’s united us.” Embattled Attorney General Ken Paxton was also a popular target for the Democrats, in the form of a cardboard cutout of him wearing handcuffs, which, according to the San Antonio Express-News, became one of the event’s most popular selfie spots.
Texas is well into the worst oil bust in decades, and the impact so far has primarily been viewed through an economic lens. But according to the Associated Press, there’s an impending environmental crisis we have to worry about now too. As oil producers abandon their wells, the state is having trouble sealing them, making them a major contamination threat groundwater if left unattended. It’s an expensive undertaking in a time when money is short. “In Texas alone, the roughly $165 million price tag of plugging nearly 10,000 abandoned wells is double the entire budget of the agency that regulates the industry,” writes the Associated Press. That’s not good, especially considering the number of abandoned oil wells is expected to rise by thousands. The financial burden of plugging such wells typically falls on the oil producers, but that’s out of the question these days as energy companies continue to go belly-up. Now, the Associated Press says Texas is looking to taxpayers to help fill the funding gap to plug the oil wells.
End of an Era
Not long after Baylor’s head football coach Art Briles filed a legal motion alleging the university wrongfully terminated him, Baylor and Briles have reportedly reached an agreement to officially part ways. “The Briles era is over,” one longtime Baylor regent told the Waco Tribune-Herald. The terms of the settlement are unclear, but Briles’s attorneys have withdrawn the motion they submitted within a civil lawsuit filed against Baylor by a survivor of sexual assault. In the motion, Briles’s attorneys argued that he was scapegoated by Baylor to cover up the university’s failures to properly handle sexual assault allegations. Briles was dismissed last month after a law firm finished its independent investigation into the university’s sexual assault scandal. According to a summary of the report released by Baylor, investigators found that the school, athletic department, and football program, including members of the coaching staff, failed to properly review and respond to allegations of sexual assault, particularly allegations made against football players. According to the Tribune, at least one other Baylor official who was let go as a result of the report claims he was wrongfully terminated. Tom Hill, a former associate athletics director, wrote on Facebook that “Baylor has wrongfully thrown the innocent out in my situation.”
WHAT WE’RE READING
A rare catfish that has zero eyes was just discovered in Texas. Austin American-Statesman
A North Texas journalist was working on investigative assignments at the time of his murder. Daily Beast
Two goats were mysteriously shot to death on a Waco property featured on HGTV’s Fixer Upper. Associated Press
Barbara Bush and Planned Parenthood president Cecile Richards are best buds. New York Times
Literally no one in Texas is adequately keeping track of oil spills during floods. El Paso Times