The Daily Post

The State of Texas: June 3, 2016

Flooding claims the lives of at least five soldiers following a tragic accident at Fort Hood, Greg Abbott has a Trump University scandal on his hands, and National Gun Violence Awareness Day sparks a familiar debate.

Texas investigated Trump University, but then-Attorney General Greg Abbott appears to have pulled punches. Andrew Harnik/AP

Quote of the Day

“If you can’t trust your significant other to hide a body with you, then you probably shouldn’t get married.”

 —Austin’s Shi Jaramillo to the Houston Chronicle. Jaramillo and her soon-to-be spouse took murder-themed engagement photos at Zilker Park, complete with fake blood, an axe, and a (presumably) fake body wrapped in a black garbage bag. ‘Til death do them part. 

Daily Roundup

Fort Flood—Deadly flooding continues throughout the state, with the latest tragedy unexpectedly hitting Fort Hood, where five soldiers were found dead after a truck attempted to cross a swollen creek during a training mission on Thursday. While details about the incident are very thin at the moment, as of Friday morning three soldiers that were on the truck had been found alive, but four more remained missing. According to the San Antonio Express-News, Fort Hood issued a statement saying that soldiers from the 1st Cavalry Division were conducting routine training maneuvers when their Light-Medium Tactical Vehicle got stuck “in an area near Cold Springs and Owl Creek,” prompting a call for a swift-water rescue at 11:20 Thursday morning. A Fort Hood spokesman said that nothing like this has ever happened at Fort Hood before. But as the Express-News notes, this isn’t the first training mission at Fort Hood to end in a deadly accident—just before Thanksgiving last year, a helicopter crash claimed four lives.

Trump U Very Much—Turns out Texas state investigators took a crack at “Trump University” nearly six years ago. Did the Lone Star State’s long arm of the law come crashing down on the shady seminar business led by Donald Trump? Well, not exactly. “It was swept under the rug, and the consumers were left with no one to go to bat for them,” John Owens, a former deputy chief of then-Attorney General Greg Abbott’s consumer protection division, told the Texas Tribune. According to the Houston Chronicle, investigators went “undercover” at the business’s seminars, interviewed students and pulled records, eventually determining in May 2010 that Trump University was engaging in illegal false advertising. In one letter to Trump’s attorneys, the Attorney General’s office said it found the school was making promises to its students that were “virtually impossible to achieve,” according to the Tribune, and investigators requested the office file a lawsuit seeking a $5.4 million settlement. But that never came to fruition. Trump U bolted, ceasing operations in Texas, and Abbott made the decision not to go forward with the lawsuit. And, well, wouldn’t you know it, three years later Trump funneled $35,000 toward Abbott’s campaign. Wonder if there was anything about that in the syllabus?

Gun Talk—Thursday was National Gun Violence Awareness Day, and gun-control and gun-safety advocates across the state and the country rallied and showed support for preventing gun deaths. The somber day reignited a familiar debate in Texas, but it seemed less venomous than usual. According to the Dallas Morning News, gun control advocates at a rally in Austin focused on finding the policy issues that could “bridge the gun debate”—like suicide prevention—and on finding ways to “engage rather than inflame.” An outright gun ban in Texas is pie-in-the-sky talk for gun control advocates at this point, but the summit in Austin brought a few interesting suggestions. For example, a representative from the Texas Municipal Police Association said that law enforcement officials could get behind ways to decrease gun violence like better training or stronger punishment for gun crimes. At the same time, the recent apparent murder-suicide on UCLA’s campus kind of shows just how big the gap is between those who favor gun control and those who do not. According to the Texas Tribune, state gun control advocates point to the incident as an example of why Texas’s campus carry law is dangerous, while gun rights groups shift the blame to UCLA’s supposedly ineffective gun ban.

Clickety Bits

Two Houston-area high school students were arrested after allegedly beheading a llama. (KTRK)

The weird story of anti-transgender/anti-federal government advocate David Thweatt and the tiny town of Harrold. (Dallas Morning News)

Miss Texas celebrated her pageant win with a Whataburger feast. (San Antonio Express-News)

Art Briles speaks. (ESPN)

Two South Texas police academies have been shut down amid investigations into allegations of brutality. (McAllen Monitor)


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