The State of Texas: Texans Take Rio
Plus: More Texas leaders fall in line for Trump, the Green Party gathers in Houston, and troubles continue to slow the Twin Peaks shootout cases.
QUOTE OF THE DAY
“He’s one of the top quarterbacks in the NFL, if not the top [QB]. I wouldn’t trade him for anybody.”
—Dallas Cowboys Executive Vice President Stephen Jones gushing about Tony Romo to the Dallas Morning News. It’s nice that the Cowboys are showing Romo so much love, but as the saying goes, love is blind.
Representing in Rio
The 2016 Olympics are officially underway in Rio, and—as usual—there are a ton of Texans to root for throughout the games. The Dallas Morning News is tracking every athlete with literally any ties to Texas, whether they are native Lone Star staters, went to a Texas college, currently live here, or graduated from a Texas high school. There are about 120 total to watch for. Gymnast Simone Biles, from Spring, who we wrote about at length in July, might be the most talented of the bunch. New York Times columnist Juliet Macur called Biles “the best gymnast in the world and the best in history,” an accolade Biles defended by dominating the preliminary round on Sunday, taking first place in three out of the four events. She’s expected to win five gold medals. Texans have already represented well in the water: San Antonio native and University of Texas grad Jimmy Feigen won gold with the men’s 4×100 freestyle relay; and Dana Vollmer, who grew up in Granbury, took silver as part of the 4×100 freestyle relay team and won bronze in the 100-meter butterfly. Not bad at all for Vollmer, who also gave birth to her first child 17 months ago. There are plenty of other talented Texans to keep an eye on. Mackenzie Brown, from the East Texas town of Flint, is the only woman to represent the U.S. in archery in Rio. Texas-ex Kevin Durant led the U.S. men’s basketball team to victory in his first game on Saturday, scoring a team-high 25 points. And the grass on the Olympic golf course? That’s from Texas too. According to KBMT, it was made just east of Beaumont in the tiny town of China.
MEANWHILE, IN TEXAS
Texans for Trump
Texas Land Commissioner and Texas GOP victory chairman George P. Bush has apparently come around to support Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump, telling GOP activists at a meeting on Saturday that they should vote for the Republican nominee. “From Team Bush, it’s a bitter pill to swallow, but you know what? You get back up and you help the man that won, and you make sure that we stop Hillary Clinton,” Bush said, according to the Texas Tribune. His comments are a bit surprising, considering the Bush family’s general #NeverTrump stance, not to mention how brutal the fight between George P’s dad, Jeb, and Donald Trump got. Meanwhile, Agriculture Commissioner Sid “Jesus Shot” Miller is apparently leading the Trump campaign’s agricultural team, focusing on Texas. It’s unclear if Miller is angling for a job in the Trump administration should the candidate win in November. “I’d have to pray about it and think about it and certainly consider it,” Miller told KFYO radio. “But right now I’ve got the best job in the state of Texas.”
Houston Goes Green
The Green Party National Convention came to Houston over the weekend, and it was pretty obvious that party leaders were trying to pluck Bernie Sanders supporters from the Democrats to keep their own party relevant. According to the Texas Tribune, the convention started with a reception that included a “special welcome for Sanders supporters,” and WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange was one of the featured speakers, beaming in via video chat (WikiLeaks dumped a bunch of emails last month revealing that Democratic National Committee officials criticized and poked fun at Sanders). Green Party presidential nominee Jill Stein jumped on the post-Sanders bandwagon, thanking his supporters “who helped launch a revolutionary political movement and refused to let that movement die in the Democratic Party.” As the Tribune notes, Texas’s Green Party needs all the help it can get. In order to retain ballot access, it will need to take 5 percent of the vote in at least one statewide race, which looks pretty unlikely this year considering there’s a Democrat running in every judicial race for the first time since 2010.
It’s been over a year since the deadly shootout between rival biker gangs at a Waco Twin Peaks restaurant, and the massive logjam of criminal cases associated with the incident has yet to budge. Now, a federal judge has suggested that the criminal proceedings can’t go forward at all until McLennan County District Attorney Abel Reyna is replaced as prosecutor, citing a possible conflict of interest, the Waco Tribune-Herald reported on Saturday. In a June hearing related to civil rights lawsuits filed by bikers who say they were unlawfully arrested and thrown in jail, U.S. District Judge Sam Sparks said Reyna, a defendant in the civil cases, may have a financial interest in the outcome of the cases he is prosecuting. More than 150 bikers have been indicted on engaging in organized criminal activity charges. It was already looking like it would be a long, long time until those cases are resolved, and this development certainly won’t speed things up.
WHAT WE’RE READING
Texas doesn’t seem to be ready for Zika Reveal
Here are all the things state Representative Dawnna Dukes did when she probably should’ve been working instead Austin American-Statesman
One house, 70 snakes Fort Worth Star-Telegram
An animal rights group is trying to outlaw bestiality in Amarillo Amarillo Globe-News
Surveys say Lubbock is one of the best cities to start a small business Lubbock Avalanche-Journal