The State of Texas: Donald Trump Goes To Mexico
Plus: A new study says oil and gas drilling could cause big health problems for Texas, the University of Texas promises to crackdown on ”transients” and increase security, and the Affluenza Teen’s lawyers try to get him out of jail.
QUOTE OF THE DAY
“I didn’t know the difference between a cha-cha and a tango, man. I mean this is, I’ve danced four times in the public over the last 15 years and that was at each of the inaugurals, both George Bush’s in ’99 and mine in 2003 and 2007 and 2011—that’s it.”
—Ex-Governor Rick Perry to Fox News Radio’s Brian Kilmeade on Wednesday, according to a press release. Perry doesn’t sound too confident about his chances as a contestant on this upcoming season of Dancing With the Stars. According to the Houston Chronicle, an online sports betting website puts Perry’s odds of winning at 33-1. In other words, he’s most likely to finish last.
Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump paid a visit to our neighbors south of the border on Wednesday, where he met with Mexican President Enrique Peña Nieto, and then headed to Arizona to deliver a fiery and controversial speech about immigration. Both Trump’s relationship with Peña Nieto and his own immigration policies would have a massive impact on Texas should Trump be elected in November. Trump met privately with Peña Nieto, and when the pair emerged from their discussion, they each had different takes on what, exactly, was discussed. Trump said they didn’t talk about Trump’s assertions that Mexico would somehow be forced to pay for the wall he promises to build along the border. “We did discuss the wall,” Trump told reporters after the meeting, according to the Washington Post. “We didn’t discuss payment of the wall. That’ll be for a later date. This was a very preliminary meeting.” Peña Nieto, however, tweeted in Spanish that “At the beginning of the conversation with Donald Trump, I made clear that Mexico will not pay for the wall.” Who should we believe? Who knows. Both men have suspect track records when it comes to truth-telling (see Trump’s record here; Peña Nieto’s isn’t much better). Understandably, Mexicans were pretty upset at their nation’s president agreeing to meet with a man who called them rapists and criminals, according to the Associated Press. Immediately following his Mexico trip, Trump took the stage in Phoenix to talk immigration in what was widely reported to be a cornerstone policy speech. During the speech, Trump reestablished his hard-line approach to immigration, promising he would provide “no amnesty” for undocumented immigrants who have committed crimes, and he also refused to back down from his previous promises to deport the eleven million immigrants living in the country without documentation, according to the Post.
MEANWHILE, IN TEXAS
Drilling for Trouble
A new study projects that Texas will lead the country in asthma attacks by a large margin by 2025, thanks to harmful pollutants emitted from oil and gas drilling. According to a report titled “Gasping for Breath“—an analysis by the environmental group Clean Air Task Force that examines health effects from pollution caused by the oil and gas industry—during 2025’s “ozone season” from May 1 to September 30, Texas will have 144,496 asthma attacks among children (more than 100,000 ahead of second-place Oklahoma), 313 total asthma-related emergency room visits (more than 200 ahead of next-highest Pennsylvania), and 283,461 “acute respiratory symptoms” among adults (210,077 more than Oklahoma). The study attributes the projected future health problems to pollution from oil and gas drilling. It drew from data compiled by the Environmental Protection Agency. According to the Texas Tribune, oil and gas industry representatives (predictably) disputed the study, as did the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality, which has consistently fought against stricter regulations meant to protect the ozone.
A safety review recently completed by the Texas Department of Public Safety recommended that the University of Texas-Austin should add more security and crack down on the homeless population around campus, according to the Austin American-Statesman. University President Gregory Fenves requested the review after UT student Haruka Weiser was killed on campus in April, and a runaway homeless teen was charged with her murder. In a message to the UT community, Fenves said on Wednesday that he would implement the recommendations, which include adding more patrol officers to the campus police department and additional security guards, upgrading the campus’s “video surveillance systems,” improving lighting around campus, tightening security at night by limiting access to campus buildings, and reducing “the presence of transients on the campus.” Most of the recommendations seem pretty straight-forward, but it’s unclear how, exactly, UT will manage to decrease the homeless population while also maintain its status as an “open campus,” a status Fenves told the Statesman UT would continue to keep in place.
Affluenza Kid Wants Out
Lawyers for Ethan Couch, also known as the “Affluenza Teen,” recently filed a motion attempting to free Couch from jail, claiming the judge who sentenced him didn’t have jurisdiction in the case, according to CBS DFW. Couch’s lawyers say that state law says Couch’s case should’ve been handled by civil judge because he was a juvenile, but it was instead heard by a judge in Tarrant County’s criminal court. “All orders, judgments, conditions of probation and/or other decrees entered or imposed by this court are void and must be immediately rescinded,” Couch’s attorneys write in the motion, which was released on Wednesday, according to Reuters. During his first go-round in court, after he was arrested as a sixteen-year-old following a 2013 drunk driving incident which left four people dead, his attorneys argued he was too rich and spoiled to know the difference between right and wrong, hence the “affluenza” moniker. He was sentenced to ten years probation and no jail time, but later fled to Mexico after a video surfaced in which he appeared to violate the terms of his probation by attending a party where there was alcohol. He was again arrested, and, as an adult, ordered to serve 720 days in jail. That’s where he is now. One attorney not involved in the case told CBSDFW the new motion was nothing but a “hail Mary.”
WHAT WE’RE READING
Texas Tech’s football stadium is pretty much underwater Dallas Morning News
Also, Texas tied a 102-year-old record for rain in August Dallas Morning News
Dance star Rick Perry calls for the resignation of FBI Director James Comey The Hill
Mikey the tortoise is back safe and sound at Midland’s Petroleum Museum after someone stole him Midland Reporter-Telegram
A Selena wax statue is unveiled in Hollywood Corpus Christi Caller-Times