The State of Texas: Donald Trump Returns To Texas
Plus: A Texas federal judge blocks Obama’s transgender bathroom guidelines, the EPA links oil drilling to Texas earthquakes, and Texas law enforcement agencies rank in the top ten during a nationwide sex-solicitation crackdown.
QUOTE OF THE DAY
“There will be no formally assigned homework this year.”
—Brandy Young, a second-grade teacher at Godley Elementary School outside of Fort Worth, in a letter to parents, according to CBS News. Instead of spending time on homework, Young suggested families do fun stuff. It’s every kid’s dream.
Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump is in Texas today, holding a private fundraising event in Fort Worth before heading to Austin for another private fundraiser and a public rally later tonight. It’s kind of weird for Trump to be in Texas at this point in the election—especially considering he was just here in June for a few days holding rallies and fundraisers across the state—and it’s maybe even weirder for Trump to be in Austin, of all places, Texas’s most liberal city. According to the Dallas Morning News, this is the latest election-cycle visit to Texas by a presidential candidate in twenty years. But then again, Trump’s not exactly a normal candidate, either. And though he’s been slipping in the polls here as of late, Texas has apparently been pretty good to him. According to the Austin American-Statesman, the Trump campaign has raised more than $5 million in Texas through the end of July, making the Lone Star State the nation’s biggest Trump donor. That still pales in comparison to how much Texans forked over for Ted Cruz ($19.8 million) and Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton ($13.3 million), but as the Statesman notes, Trump took a little while to get his fundraising act together. According to the Texas Tribune, Lieutenant Governor Dan Patrick and ex-governor Rick Perry will be on board as Trump mills about Texas, but Governor Greg Abbott won’t be around (he’ll be in the hospital receiving treatment for burns he suffered a while ago), and recent Trump convert George P. Bush also won’t participate. Cruz, obviously, won’t be seen with Trump during his visit, either. Oh, and Robert Morrow, the eccentric Travis County GOP chairman, will be standing outside Trump’s rally in Austin, wearing a jester’s hat and holding a big sign that accuses Trump of raping a child. So, there’s that.
MEANWHILE, IN TEXAS
A Fort Worth-based federal judge issued a nationwide injunction that temporarily blocks the Obama administration’s order that public schools have to offer transgender students the freedom to use whichever gender restroom they identify with. The judge’s decision was made after hearing legal arguments a few weeks ago in a lawsuit filed against the feds by a number of states, led by Texas and Attorney General Ken Paxton, who are arguing that the feds are overstepping their authority by enacting such guidelines. “This case presents the difficult issue of balancing the protection of students’ rights and that of personal privacy when using school bathrooms, locker rooms, showers, and other intimate facilities, while ensuring that no student is unnecessarily marginalized while attending school,” U.S. District Judge Reed O’Connor wrote in the order. According to the Fort Worth Star-Telegram, Paxton was pretty happy with the court’s decision, which comes just in time for the new school year. It’s unclear what comes next.
The Environmental Protection Agency says there is a “significant possibility” that North Texas’s string of earthquakes are the result of oil and gas drilling, according to the the agency’s annual evaluation of how the Texas Railroad Commission regulates underground injection and disposal wells that hold fracking waste. The EPA found that “earthquakes diminished in some areas following shut-in or reduced injection volume of targeted wells.” This likely isn’t news to most Texans. Earthquakes here and in other locations near frequent fracking sites, have long been linked to the drilling practice. But according to the Texas Tribune, this is the first time the EPA has publicly and clearly said that Texas’s earthquakes are caused by fracking. Meanwhile, the Railroad Commission has pretty much consistently denied that fracking causes earthquakes, despite a bunch of studies showing a direct link between human drilling activity and quakes.
McLennan County sheriff’s deputies pulled in a pretty high number of arrests during a nationwide initiative to catch people who pay for sex. According to the Waco Tribune-Herald, the McLennan County Sheriff’s Office beat out big city big-shots in New York City, Las Vegas, Denver, Oakland, and other larger metro areas during the month-long National Johns Suppression Initiative, which ran from July to August 7. McLennan officials made 55 arrests during that span, good for ninth-most in the country. In all, 38 law enforcement agencies participated in the initiative, and McLennan County was by far the smallest agency to make the top ten. Chicago’s Cook County Sheriff’s Office took the top spot, with 230 arrests, while Seattle police came in second, recording 204 arrests. The only other Texas law enforcement agencies to crack the top ten were the Harris County Sheriff’s Office (fourth place, 143 arrests) and the Houston Police Department (fifth place, 82 arrests).
WHAT WE’RE READING
Dallas City Council vs. feral hogs Dallas Morning News
UIW’s president says he won’t sue the school’s board chairman for implying that he lost his marbles San Antonio Express-News
There’s some discord between Houston’s NAACP chapter and the city’s Black Lives Matter activists Houston Press
This will be Texas’s longest dove hunting season in 80 years Mount Pleasant Daily Tribune
Paul Wall wants to give Olympic gold medal winners gold grillz for free KTRK