QUOTE OF THE DAY
“If you can’t survive this shit the front door is right there, right there, right there!”
-Houston rapper Travis Scott, to the crowd at his concert in Arkansas on Saturday night, according to the Houston Chronicle. Scott issued his advisory after inviting the crowd to rush the stage. Folks might’ve been better off heeding Scott’s warning and heading for the exit, because several people, including a security employee and a police officer, were injured in the ensuing melee, leading police to arrest Scott after the concert on charges of inciting a riot.
U.S. Senator John Cornyn is among the potential candidates to serve as FBI Director, a post that was vacated last week following President Donald Trump’s firing of former director James Comey. The Washington Post reported on Friday that Cornyn was interviewed by Attorney General Jeff Sessions and Deputy Attorney General Rod J. Rosenstein for the job opening on Saturday, and according to Fox News he’s on a short list with about a dozen other names. It’s unclear where he stands on that list or if he’d even take the job if offered. On one hand, the 65-year-old Cornyn has a background in criminal justice as a former Texas attorney general and a state Supreme Court justice, and his term as the Senate majority whip expires in 2019—he probably won’t pose a serious challenge to Senator Mitch McConnell for the role of majority leader, so, as the Post notes, Cornyn could be “on the verge of hitting a professional ceiling” and looking for a new gig. But on the other hand, Cornyn hasn’t publicly expressed any interest in jumping into the FBI fray, telling reporters on Wednesday that he’s “happy serving my state and my country,” and echoing those sentiments in a statement Friday night: “I have the distinct privilege of serving 28 million Texans in the United States Senate, and that is where my focus remains.” A lot of other names are being floated as possible replacements right now, but there’s definitely a lot of buzz around Cornyn. So, should Cornyn bolt and leave Texas short a senator, what would happen next? A lot, actually. First, Governor Greg Abbott would appoint a temporary fill-in before a special election that would be held within a few months. According to the Texas Tribune‘s sources, the usual suspects would likely be gunning for the vacancy: U.S. Representative Michael McCaul, a Republican from Austin; Democratic U.S. Representative Joaquin Castro of San Antonio; and U.S. Representative Beto O’Rourke, a Democrat from El Paso who already announced his campaign to challenge Ted Cruz in 2018.
MEANWHILE, IN TEXAS
Not Good Enough
The Texas Senate passed a bill last week named after Sandra Bland, whose July 2015 suicide in the Waller County Jail sparked intense protests and calls for criminal justice reform. But over the weekend, Bland’s family said the honorary legislation simply doesn’t cut it. The original bill proposed implementing changes to police procedures aimed at curbing racial profiling and holding law enforcement more accountable for in-custody deaths, but it drew fierce opposition from conservative lawmakers, who pretty much took the teeth out of the bill. Now, the legislation focuses mostly on better training for jailers and improved access to mental health care for inmates. “What the bill does in its current state renders Sandy invisible,” Bland’s sister, Sharon Cooper, told the New York Times on Friday night. “It’s frustrating and gut-wrenching.” Cooper didn’t say that the family wants Bland’s name removed from the bill, but clearly Bland’s loved ones are clearly unhappy with how her legacy was upheld. Cooper told the Times that as the bill stands, it “isolates the very person it seeks to honor,” and she criticized lawmakers for making compromises at the expense of the family. “It painfully misses the mark for us,” she added.
After emerging victorious from an all-Texas battle against the Houston Rockets with a convincing 39-point win last week, the San Antonio Spurs had a much more difficult time in their first game against the top-seeded Golden State Warriors in the Western Conference Finals on Sunday, losing 113-111. The Spurs pretty much picked up right where they left off in Houston, running out to a 25-point lead in the second quarter and carrying a 20-point advantage into the half. But the Warriors did what Warriors do and roared back with an incredible 18-0 run in the third quarter to win, completing the largest comeback in a conference finals game since 2002, according to ESPN. Adding injury to insult, Spurs star Kawhi Leonard headed to the locker room in the third quarter after rolling his ankle—unsurprisingly, the Warriors’s big run coincided with Leonard’s absence. Leonard had previously injured the same ankle, missing the final game of the series against the Rockets, so his status for game two is in serious doubt. When asked about whether he will play, Leonard told reporters that he’s “Not sure,” according to the San Antonio Express-News, adding that “(It’s) just very painful.”
Austinites watched another piece of the city’s cultural identity literally disappear overnight, as work crews painted over a graffiti mural in East Austin on Friday, according to the Austin American-Statesman. The mural at Twelfth and Chicon depicted African-American musicians including James Brown, Michael Jackson, Tupac, and Prince. Now it is literally just a wall of white, save for a few angry scrawls that have since popped up, reflecting the community’s outrage at losing the mural: “(Expletive) gentrification” and “Black Culture Matters.” According to the Statesman, Veronica Ortuño, the owner of Las Cruxes, a clothing store and art gallery set to open in the building, thought the mural was old and falling apart. But she seems interested in making amends. “We are taking into consideration and listening to all concerned parties,” Ortuño told the Statesman. “As persons of color ourselves, we do not take this issue lightly.” Ortuño also said they’d work on replacing the mural as soon as possible, and the local merchants association will soon hold an event for the community to pick a design, which will then be painted by an Austin artist.
WHAT WE’RE READING
Some links are paywalled or subscription-only.
The mother of Jordan Edwards talks about losing her fifteen-year-old son in a police shooting Dallas Morning News
Legendary high school football coach Gary Gaines was recently diagnosed with early onset Alzheimer’s Odessa American
Houston has more money for affordable housing than it thought, thanks to the reporting of the Houston Chronicle
A team of Texas A&M University at Galveston researchers discovered a new species of crustacean Galveston Daily News
Is there anything more Texas than cowboys riding their horses up to ATMs? KVUE