Quote of the Day
“This is like my dream. You’re called, and you hear the fans… Warms up my heart,”
– seven-foot-three, 300-pound Boban Marjanovic to the San Antonio Express-News. The apparently gentle giant has been earning more minutes for the San Antonio Spurs lately—resulting in ferocious plays—and the sensitive Serbian center has endeared himself to fans, coaches, and teammates over the course of his rookie season.
Power Couple — The Austin American-Statesman has uncovered a major coziness between the Texas Railroad Commission and the oil and gas industry it is tasked with regulating. The Statesman shows that the agency has a clear trend of hiring ex-oil bigwigs, while former commission employees often end up “advocating for companies they once regulated.” As a result—surprise!—it looks like this best-friends-forever relationship has directly affected policy decisions. Writes the Statesman: “The agency has sought to shield the industry from further federal regulation and has beaten back criticism from environmentalists on everything from seismic activity to fracking.” But, man, are these guys cashing in, or what? According to the Statesman, one former high-ranking staffer for the agency’s commissioner left the Railroad Commission in 2010, and was representing energy companies by the end of that year—in 2015, he made $750,000 for his lobbying duties. Nice work if you can get it. Meanwhile, according to the Statesman, “the door also swings the other way,” as the agency routinely plucks from the oil and gas industry to fill its openings.
Guess Who’s Back?—Extremely corrupt small-town politicians have dreams, too. That’s why Crystal City’s allegedly crooked former mayor is running for re-election. “I don’t want to run because I want a higher position,” Ricardo Lopez told the Texas Tribune on Saturday, a month after he was indicted for his role in an alleged kickback ring. “I want to run because I can help. There’s corruption all over. There’s thousands of towns like this in America.” Lopez told the Tribune that after returning to Crystal City’s top office, he hopes to run for Texas lieutenant governor, and then “maybe focus on something more grandiose,” which is pretty confident talk for a guy who may very well end up behind bars. Meanwhile, residents have essentially been left with a ghost government since Lopez and most of the city’s other top officials were arrested. Writes the Tribune: “Meetings have been canceled and major decisions put off. Contracts sit unsigned, and bills are past due. Few officials — if any — are quite sure how much money Crystal City has in the bank.“ Crystal City may have only 7,500 residents, but surely it can scrape together at least a few mayoral candidates who are less (allegedly) Boss Tweed-ish than Lopez.
Rotten Eggs— Ten thousand people. A whole bunch of eggs. One helicopter. What could go wrong? Everything, obviously. Plano’s LifePoint church planned to drop eggs from a helicopter for a good ol’ fashioned Easter egg hunt on Saturday (just like how grandma used to do it), but after the event went viral and 10,000 wicker-basket-toting, egg-thirsty scavengers showed up, the atmosphere abruptly turned from family friendly to a pastel-accented hellscape. After the first wave of plastic ovoid projectiles was released upon the masses, the rowdy crowd forced the helicopter pilot to abort his mission, and the event was quickly canceled. “The helicopter would not drop eggs because people were on the egg drop field, and getting people off the egg drop field proved to be a near impossible task given the amount of people that ignored communication and rushed the field,” the church said in an online statement. One survivor wrote in the statement’s comment section that the crowd “took on a mob mentality. We saw people knocked to the ground, get back up with their small children and continue to run toward the field. I shielded [my daughter] with quite literally my life and ducked and dived to get out. There were adults with no children hoarding dozens of eggs.” Wrote another witness: “I saw way too many children leaving the field and crying.” Happy Easter!