The State of Texas: A Service To Remember In Dallas
Plus: Greg Abbott undergoes surgery, Texas again fares well on CNBC’s annual state business scorecard, and a pageant crown controversy grips Corpus Christi.
QUOTE OF THE DAY
“I do welcome tourists—I do welcome their monies—but I do not welcome their ways.”
—Presidio County Sheriff Danny Dominguez to county commissioners, according to Marfa’s NPR affiliate. Dominguez clearly didn’t support communal yurt campground El Cosmico’s request to extend Presidio County’s drinking hours from midnight to two in the morning. The proposal was rejected.
Five Dallas officers killed during last week’s sniper attack were remembered on Tuesday in an emotional ceremony that brought together national and local leaders, according to the Dallas Morning News. President Barack Obama, former President George W. Bush, Dallas Police Chief David Brown, and Dallas Mayor Mike Rawlings all gave stirring speeches. Although the service was first and foremost about the fallen officers, the overall message was a call for unity. Brown spoke of love for his officers and their families, and recited lyrics from the Stevie Wonder song “As.“ Bush lauded the bravery of those who serve in law enforcement and called for empathy: “Too often we judge other groups by their worst examples, while judging ourselves by our best intentions,” he said to heavy applause. He later added that “it is not merely a matter of tolerance, but of learning from the struggles and stories of our fellow citizens, and finding our better selves in the process.” Obama spoke for about 40 minutes, sharing moving anecdotes about each of the five officers before delving into issues at the heart of our nation’s rawest wounds: race, policing, and gun violence. The Morning News identified the two main themes of Obama’s speech as “hope and doubt.” His words were partly a reminder that we can come together and create positive change, and partly a plea to bridge the gaps between us and to end the senseless violence that plagues our nation. “With an open heart, we can worry less about which side has been wronged, and worry more about joining sides to do right,” Obama said. “[…] I believe our sorrow can make us a better country. I believe our righteous anger can be transformed into more justice and more peace. Weeping may endure for a night, but I’m convinced joy comes in the morning.”
MEANWHILE, IN TEXAS
Under the Knife
Governor Greg Abbott will definitely not be traveling to Cleveland for next week’s Republican National Convention; instead, he is recovering from second- and third-degree burns sustained while on vacation in Wyoming last week, according to the Associated Press. Abbott checked into the Brooke Army Medical Center in San Antonio on Monday, and on Tuesday he underwent a successful skin graft procedure to treat his burns. Abbott already had to miss the memorial service for the Dallas officers killed in last week’s shooting, and it appears as though he’ll be out of action for a little while longer. San Antonian Sichan Siv will replace Abbott at the convention. Siv, a former United Nations ambassador who served under George W. Bush, is a GOP star with a fascinating background. According to the San Antonio Express-News, Siv, a native of Cambodia, escaped a Khmer Rouge labor camp “on a lumber truck and ran through the jungles for three days to make it across the border to Thailand,” before arriving in America a few months later with just $2 in his pocket. Siv’s background certainly puts what some are calling a dreary trip to Cleveland into perspective.
Texas prides itself on its pro-business climate, so much so that our state leadership brazenly tries to poach businesses from places as far away as New York and Great Britain. It’s no surprise, then, that the Lone Star State had a strong showing in CNBC’s annual state economy scorecard, with Texas weighing in as the second-best overall state for business. We were beat out only by Utah (lame), and we took home high marks in subcategories measuring economy (we’re number one!) and infrastructure (second place). CNBC offered high praise, claiming Texas is “without peer when it comes to consistent competitiveness.” Areas in which we’re not so hot include education (fortieth overall), and our quality of life ranking is curiously low, at thirty-seventh. Texas stayed steady in the number two slot since last year’s list was released. In fact, we’ve been second-best every year since 2012, when we had a brief moment at the top of the list. Not a bad track record.
What’s a beauty pageant without drama? Caitlin Cifuentes won the Miss Corpus Christi Latina contest in June, but now she’s being forced to give up her crown, according to the Corpus Christi Caller-Times. The controversy stems from Cifuentes’s criminal background, which competition officials and Cifuentes’s competitors say should have disqualified her from the very beginning. Not long after the contest, six of Cifuentes’s competitors filed a lawsuit over the alleged injustice. Apparently, you can’t ever have been convicted of a crime and wear the Miss Corpus Christi Latina crown. Per the Caller-Times, “Cifuentes is on deferred adjudicated probation for aggravated assault with a deadly weapon and probation for a misdemeanor driving while intoxicated case.” That isn’t quite a conviction, which allowed Cifuentes to argue that she was truly eligible all along. However, the winner has to compete in contests at the state level, and Cifuentes can’t leave the county without permission, per the terms of her probation, which would make things kind of difficult. The first runner up, Valeria Barrera, will now wear the crown instead.
WHAT WE’RE READING
Here’s how people all over Dallas responded to the remarks made during the memorial Dallas Morning News
Is Dallas really a model for policing? Maybe, maybe not New York Times
A look at Elizabeth Warren’s formative years in Texas Texas Tribune
A San Antonio couple married for 58 years passed away together while holding hands FOX29
A man wore a boonie hat and a shirt with his name on it while robbing a Fort Worth bank Fort Worth Star-Telegram