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State of Texas: Sept. 23, 2013

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Clip of the Day

Maybe the Longhorns were a bit too excited about finally beating a team. Not only did they take out K-State, but they started attacking the help as well. UT may want to reconsider their new play, however. After beaning the Wildcat employee, QB David Ash was himself taken out of the game due to a head injury. Still, the clip (seen at SB Nation in handy animated GIF form) is great on constant replay.

Photos of the Day

There was a Flugtag competition in Dallas over the weekend. The event, featuring homemade flying machines careening into water, is like watching the Wright Brothers make a drunken first attempt. So basically, a whole lot of fun. Relive it now with the Dallas Observer‘s slideshow.

Tweet of the Day

Daily Roundup

The Mal-Tease Longhorn — This Nick Saban thing is getting completely out of hand. It started as a simple joke (which fooled Sports Illustrated) earlier this month and has now become a bit laughable in how much yardage it’s picked up. This past week, the rumor mill really kicked into high gear. Chatter over the wire began months ago by investigators with codenames like “Jesus Shuttlesworth” and “Big Cigar,” then recently an agent made not-so-secret contact with a regent (himself being investigated by a shadow committee of overlords). The whole thing reads like a bad le Carré novel, or a mediocre Ellory caper. Our Man in Austin, the Quiet Texan — Jason Cohen — has a great debrief document of the incidents thus far. Things only got worse over the weekend, when a guerrilla campaign began its rollout. According to more than one source, parties unknown began selling burnt-orange “Saban 2014” T-shirts at the game against K-State. For $15.00, you can purchase the shirts online, from a website featuring a picture of Saban in an orange tie and jacket. If it’s a photoshop job, it’s on par with the one the mob commissioned of Lee Harvey Oswald. The website, Saban2014.com, is “dedicated to the advancement of Longhorn football” and includes reasons why the Crimson Red general should defect, reasons like … the KKK and bad Mexican food? Should this turn out to be the work of a double-agent (maybe it’s Saban himself!), it would be a real plot twist, but completely on-par with the who-dunnit — and who’ll-do-it — nature of this mysterious affair.

All the Gossip Unfit to Print — Content battles between editors and publishers are as old as Time magazine. Rarely, however, do they get as personal as a Page 6 item. That’s the case of an escalating feud between the former editor of the LGBT publication, the Dallas Voice, and its current owners. Shortly after the Dallas Pride festival earlier this month, Editor John Wright was fired for a “combination of things,” according to publisher Leo Cusimano. The flashpoint seems to have been Wright’s coverage of the Pride Festival, sponsored by a consortium of gay business owners that also advertise heavily in the Voice. Apparently, the DPD warned revelers that even a hinting display of an erection could result in arrest. The pride organizers didn’t even attempt to stonewall the edict, even though it was one that could possibly be seen as an intimidation tactic. They instead encouraged participants to keep their objections in the closet. Wright reported just that story, essentially criticizing the people who pay his bills, and with that he reportedly was shown the door. “They want an editor who will write puff pieces about their advertisers instead of reporting the facts … and I refused to be that editor,” Wright posted on his Facebook wall after the summary termination. But on Friday, this story gained another layer, with Wright alleging in a Facebook post that the publisher had a habit of sending him photos of scantily clad young Thai boys, a move he said amounted to sexual harassment. This development means this story, which started as a simple item in the Dallas Observer, has now gone national with a lengthy piece in Buzzfeed running over the weekend (and, no, it’s not a listicle of “25 Most Awkward Moments in LGBT Fight that Flame Ugly Stereotypes”).Maybe If We Ignore It, It’ll Just Go Away — As if that wasn’t enough, here’s another reminder that nothing good comes from Facebook. The Beaumont-based assistant U.S. Attorney who reportedly wrote some pretty incredible (i.e. incredibly racist) things on Facebook still has a job, according to the Beaumont Enterprise. Federal Prosecutor John Craft’s comments, posted in the wake of George Zimmerman’s acquittal, allegedly stopped just short of mentioning “welfare” and the N-Word. Craft wrote that of course Trayvon Martin was suspicious for buying skittles and tea, and insinuated that the slain teen had a love of “purple drank.” After the statements went public, John Malcolm Bales, U.S. Attorney for the Eastern District of Texas, said they spoke “ill of our office” and promised an investigation in tandem with the Department of Justice. But the U.S. Attorney’s office has been mum on the results of that investigation. As the Enterprise — which tried in vain to get an update on Craft’s status — noted, “Neither Bales nor the Justice Department has made any statement since.”

Bordering on an Epidemic — The AP has a depressing look at the rising number of illegal immigrants dying in Texas, due to shifting migration routes from Arizona to our borders. Before 2012, Brooks County saw 50 to 60 immigrant deaths. Last year, that figure soared to 129. This is putting “an extra burden on local governments with limited experience in such matters and even fewer financial resources,” the AP reported. Not that Brooks isn’t trying. Whereas before the dead were buried in unmarked graves, now “all newly recovered bodies and skeletal remains of suspected immigrants will travel 90 miles to nearby Webb County for autopsies, DNA sampling and more intense efforts at identification.” The piece demonstrates that while politicians in Washington talk a big game about what to do about immigration and securing the border, in reality it’s a problem that local governments and communities are increasingly dealing with alone. Some small efforts include ranch manager Lavoyger Durham who’s posted watering stations for traversing immigrants. Durham’s stance is more complex than a talking head might make it out to be. “He would prefer for the government to erect a double-layer border fence,” notes the AP story. “But in the meantime, the 68-year-old doesn’t want to see people continue to die on the ranch.”

How About (Some) Good News? — Kind of a depressing roundup this morning. On the bright side, it’s been real rainy. Unfortunately, it wasn’t enough to end the drought. Then there’s the unemployment figures for Texas — they went down! Well, by .1 percent. And, OK, maybe people have simply stopped looking for a job altogether or maybe it decreased because local jobs have up and left. At least the Longhorns won.

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