The State of Texas: Rick Perry Cha Chas To Last Place In Dancing Debut
Plus: Ted Cruz speaks out against protesting football players, Texas’s private schools soar and public schools drop in the latest college rankings, and a member of H-E-B royalty passes away.
QUOTE OF THE DAY
“I wish the NCAA was this concerned about the women who were raped at Baylor.”
—North Carolina Republican Party spokesperson Kami Mueller in a statement on Monday, according to the Washington Post. Mueller’s strongly-worded attack on the NCAA and blindside-punch at Baylor came in response to the college sports organization’s decision to pull several championship events scheduled for 2016 and 2017 out of North Carolina due to the state’s anti-LGBT “bathroom bill.”
Please Stop The Music
Rick Perry’s Dancing With the Stars debut was horrible and great and Texas as hell. His first-ever dance was to “God Blessed Texas,” and he wore a black cowboy-embroidered suit and bolo tie. Strangely, the set design was heavy on State Fair symbolism, with a giant ferris wheel and a, uh, fully functional corn dog cart. Perry was paired with pro dancer Emma Slater, and though she looked pretty cool spinning around and stuff, Perry looked stiff, awkward, and he did that mouth-constantly-agape face that people make when they don’t know what they’re doing but they’re having way too much fun to notice. His daughter, meanwhile, looked on in what can only be described as pure horror. Here’s a link to the full video—viewer discretion is advised. The judge’s weren’t impressed, and Perry and Slater finished last among the field of competitors with a score of 20, earning fives across the board. According to the San Antonio Express-News, Judge Bruno Tolioli told Perry his routine was “bold, brash, not exactly subtle” and said he needed to work on his timing, which is probably the most poignant and concise description of Perry’s political career we’ve ever heard. He’s a long-shot to win—Vegas odds had him at 33-1 entering the competition—and it appears as though Perry’s performance has made him a prime candidate for elimination in next week’s show. It certainly wouldn’t be the first early exit for Perry on a national stage.
MEANWHILE, IN TEXAS
Senator Ted Cruz took to Twitter to speak out against football players protesting police brutality. Cruz called for a boycott, suggesting people refrain from buying jerseys of athletes who exercise their First Amendment right to protest. “To all the athletes who have made millions in America’s freedom: stop insulting our flag, our nation, our heroes,” Cruz wrote on Twitter on Monday, according to the Washington Post. “Here’s a peaceful protest: never buy another shoe, shirt, or jersey of rich spoiled athletes who dishonor our flag.” Cruz seems to be pretty upset at the NFL players who are protesting, at least according to his Twitter timeline. On Sunday, Cruz retweeted supermodel Kate Upton, who shared similar outrage over the sideline protests during the national anthem started by San Francisco quarterback Colin Kaepernick, tweeting: “This is unacceptable. You should be proud to be an American. Especially on 9/11 when we should support each other.” Cruz/Upton 2020?
The 2017 U.S. News and World Report college rankings were released on Monday, and Texas schools had mixed results. According to the Texas Tribune, every private college in Texas that made the list improved on last year’s ranking, while every Lone Star public university that cracked the rankings last year dropped at least four spots since 2016. The top Texas school was Rice University, which tied with Cornell at number fifteen on the list, jumping up three spots since last year. Rice was the only Texas college to crack the top 50. Southern Methodist University was the next Lone Star school on the list, coming in at number 56 (five spots higher than last year), tied with University of Texas at Austin, which dropped four spots since 2016. Baylor, Texas A&M, and Texas Christian University helped Texas land six total schools in the top 100. UT-Dallas ranked number 146, Texas Tech fell eight spots to 168, and the University of Houston came in at 194. Dallas Baptist University made it onto the list at number 214, after not being ranked at all last year.
Howard E. Butt Jr., the brother H-E-B Grocery Stores CEO Charles Butt, died Sunday at his home in San Antonio from complications from Parkinson’s disease, the San Antonio Express-News reported on Monday. H-E-B Jr. was one of the more interesting members of the shopping center magnate clan. He was a devout evangelist, breaking slightly from the family business to preach at revivals and national speaking events, a career path that put him at odds with his parents, who hoped he would eventually run the grocery store chain. According to the Express-News, Butt said the ordeal led to a bout of depression, which he eventually sought help for, something he said “was very suspect in the whole Texas culture and even more so in the Baptist culture. There were family members that didn’t even know.” He also managed the H.E. Butt Foundation, which is one of Texas’s oldest and biggest charitable organizations. He was 89 years old.
WHAT WE’RE READING
The war between Houston’s cyclists and drivers might be coming to an end Houston Press
A post-mortem on Donald Trump’s Hispanic advisory committee BuzzFeed News
The prognosis for Texas’s coal plants is not great Texas Observer
Crickets are invading Waco KCEN
A Texarkana family keeps the world’s largest rodent, a capybara, as a pet Houston Chronicle