The State of Texas: Clinton and Kaine Set Sights On Texas
Plus: Zika claims its first Texas life, Art Briles thinks he’ll be back to coaching soon, and there is now a way to get around the line at Franklin Barbecue.
QUOTE OF THE DAY
“There are some people, frankly, over the years and the many years I’ve been doing this, that enjoy floods. They like to see a flood about every seven years because they want new cars. They want their homes redone.”
—Harris County Precinct 3 Commissioner Steve Radack at a community meeting in Cypress, according to KPRC. Needless to say, people affected by flooding were pretty upset about this. In later interviews, though, Radack didn’t back down.
Hillary Clinton’s running mate, Tim Kaine, is in the middle of a two-day swing through Texas, and he made some comments at a fundraiser Tuesday that make it pretty clear that their campaign thinks Texas is up for grabs. “This team, we’re serious about Texas, because we know the kind of work you can do. We’re going to go after Texas,” Kaine said in Austin, while “standing alongside a big blue map of Texas with Hillary Clinton’s logo at its heart,” according to the Austin American-Statesman. That’s a tall task, of course, and not everyone shares Kaine’s sunny outlook. “This is just silly,” Matthew Dowd, who served as a chief strategist during George W. Bush’s 2004 presidential campaign, responded via Twitter. “Only way Hillary carries Texas is if she is winning more than 15 points nationally.” The potential blueness of Texas has been a particularly buzzworthy topic in light of Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump’s recent polling numbers, which show he has slipped to ten points behind Clinton, according to CNN. That certainly places the fifteen-point mark in striking distance. But there’s still a long way to go until November, and if this election season has taught us anything, it’s that literally anything can happen. Kaine will be at fundraisers in Fort Worth and Dallas later today, trying to make Texas happen.
MEANWHILE, IN TEXAS
Zika Turns Fatal
Zika has claimed its first infant life in the U.S., and it was unfortunately right here in Texas. On Tuesday, officials in Harris County said a baby girl who passed away shortly after being born had birth defects related to the virus, according to the Houston Chronicle. The baby suffered from microcephaly, a neurological condition that makes a baby’s head smaller than average and not fully developed. This is just the second death nationally that’s been attributed to Zika. Officials think the child’s mother contracted Zika on a trip to El Salvador while she was pregnant, according to KHOU. There have been 97 reported cases of Zika in Texas, but so far none of them have been transmitted locally, meaning the mosquito-borne and potentially sexually transmitted virus was caught somewhere else. The Zika situation here has yet to reach full-on outbreak status, but state officials say they’re prepared if that happens.
Return of the Briles?
In his longest interview since he was booted from Baylor amid a sexual assault scandal, disgraced ex-Bears football coach Art Briles said he’d be back on the sidelines, somewhere, in no time, according to the Associated Press. Briles noted that the “things… that happened” were “unfortunate” for the victims “first and foremost.” He said he’d learned from what went down at Baylor, and that if he gets another coaching gig, he’ll make sure “policies are in place that are going to protect everybody.” Briles was fired after an independent report revealed in May that the school failed to properly handle allegations of sexual assault, particularly allegations made against members of the football team. The report also showed football coaches and staff improperly intervened, even getting in the way of potential criminal investigations. Briles made the comments while visiting the Dallas Cowboys training camp, and he didn’t rule out joining an NFL team’s staff. Cowboys owner Jerry Jones said he doesn’t think the way Briles left Baylor is an issue, and said he’d be a “great asset” to the Cowboys, according to the Dallas Morning News.
The long lines at Austin’s Franklin Barbecue are almost mythical, but now you have the option to pretty much skip the line entirely and go straight for that delicious smoked meat. According to Austin Eater, Franklin will debut a new pick-up trailer along with a revamped ordering process starting in September. You just click a time to pick up your meat using an online ordering form, head to the trailer, and it’ll be ready when you are, expertly preserved in a food warmer. Pick-up is available in 30-minute slots, and the slots are going fast—every Saturday in September is already booked solid, according to Franklin’s website. It’s almost like buying a new car: you’ll need to put down a deposit, but, hey, barbecue is serious business. It’s unclear what this will mean for the length of Franklin’s famous line, but if we see it shrink, then we should probably expect the New York Times to run a trend piece about Franklin’s new system about ten years too late.
WHAT WE’RE READING
This is an excellent interactive examination of tensions between police and the community on one of the poorest streets in Dallas Dallas Morning News
The Texas Capitol’s main entrance is open to the public again Texas Tribune
The iconic Tex Randall statue on Highway 60 has been successfully renovated Amarillo Globe-News
Downtown Midland is looking for a new name Midland Reporter-Telegram
A Fort Worth man carved the tree in his front yard into a cross WFAA