Quote of the Day
“Oh, I’m such a happy Chewbacca!”
—Candace Payne of Grand Prairie, to a representative from Kohl’s who showed up to the mother of two’s home on Friday with a bunch of free Star Wars paraphernalia, according to the San Antonio Express-News. Payne’s video showing her pure joy while wearing a Chewbacca mask she bought at Kohl’s went viral, so the company decided to pay her back for the joy she brought to others (and the free advertising).
Vice President Cuban?—Mark Cuban has tossed his name in the veep ring. The billionaire owner of the Dallas Mavericks told NBC’s “Meet the Press” that he’d be open to running alongside either Donald Trump or Hillary Clinton, should either candidate approach him with the offer. Of course, they’d have to negotiate a little for his supposed political wisdom. Cuban said Clinton would have to “go more to the center” before he would climb on board, while he and Trump would have to chat first “and really look and understand the issues so we can come up with solutions.” This isn’t Cuban’s first foray into the 2016 presidential race. A few weeks ago, the Washington Post reported that anti-Trump Republicans had tried to recruit Cuban as an alternative third-party candidate. Cuban says he declined the offer, but apparently he still has a taste for politics. For what it’s worth, Clinton didn’t dismiss the possibility of a Clinton-Cuban ticket, as weird as that sounds. “I think we should look widely and broadly,” Clinton told “Meet the Press.” “It’s not just people in elective office. It is successful business-people.” Also, Rick Perry Alert! The ex-governor is angling hard for Trump’s VP slot, according to CNN.
Say It Ain’t So, P.—On the same day the Associated Press ran a story plotting golden boy George P. Bush’s potentially big political future, the Houston Chronicle published the results of an investigation revealing the current Texas Land Commissioner spent almost $1 million in taxpayer bucks to convince fired agency employees not to turn around and sue him. Despite his genes, George P., son of Jeb, is still sort of new to the game (this is his first term as land commissioner and his first role in public office), but he apparently already plays it like a veteran. As the Chronicle has previously noted, quite a few Texas government agencies have a thing for paying former staffers well beyond their termination date, including Attorney General Ken Paxton, who’s currently in hot water over the practice. But few agencies have spent more than Bush’s Land Office, which has kept at least 40 people on the payroll for up to five months after they left the agency. “In return,” writes the Chronicle, “they agreed in writing not to sue the agency or discuss the deal.” Wait, is that legal? In the business world, it’s common practice, but according to the Chronicle it’s not allowed under Texas law. If Bush hopes to shake his association with Boring Jeb! in pursuit of higher political aspirations, he’ll have to make sure his house is in order first.
The Extra Pounds They Carried—A national defense-focused non-profit recently released a study on Texas kids, called “Too Fat, Frail, and Out-of-Breath to Fight” (yes, that’s the study’s actual title), finding youth in Texas are… well, too fat, frail, and out-of-breath to fight. According to the El Paso Times, the brutal study says a whopping 73 percent of young adults in Texas aren’t fit enough for military service, which is just a tad higher than the national average of combat unreadiness, which is 71 percent. “In the event of a national emergency, if we have to mobilize millions of young people today, we would have a crisis on our hands because a lot of those young people are not fit to join the military service,” one retired Army officer who works for the study’s author organization, Mission: Readiness, told the Times. This all sounds a little too Red Dawn fantasy-ish (realistically, the only “national emergency” that would result in the mobilization of millions of young Americans would be Justin Bieber’s funeral), but it does raise some concerns regarding the health of young Texans. For example, the study found that less than one-third of Texas teens get the recommended one hour of exercise each day. Hey kids, get out and run! Your country needs you.