The State of Texas: Texans Turn on Ted Cruz
Plus: A troubling arrest in Austin, Texas state leaders wade into Big 12 politics, and Buc-ee’s sues to save its beaver.
QUOTE OF THE DAY
“Elene Meyer Davis was born in Yoakum, Texas on the 7th of October 1924, and died on the 7th of June 2016, of complications due to congestive heart failure and the 2016 Presidential campaign.”
—An obituary published in the Houston Chronicle. Davis is the first reported casualty of the 2016 election. If there’s a democratic process in the afterlife, let’s hope, for Davis’s sake, that it’s far less divisive than the one here on earth.
Ted Cruz must be feeling pretty lonely right about now. After refusing to endorse Donald Trump, urging Republicans to “vote with your conscience,” and being booed off the stage at the Republican National Convention on Wednesday, Cruz turned to his home-state supporters to explain his decision. Perhaps he was hoping to find comfort in the familiar embrace of the Texas delegation. There was no embrace. According to the Dallas Morning News, the Q&A session with the delegation over breakfast on Thursday morning was “often tense,” with some delegates literally turning their backs on Cruz. One had a sign that said “Clinton/Cruz 2020.” Even Cruz’s supporters were reportedly disappointed in him. Former ally Rick Perry said he thought Cruz made a “bad call,” and should have “kept his word” to endorse Trump, according to CNN. Cruz said he wouldn’t be voting for Hillary Clinton in November, and he said he was still “watching and listening” before making his choice for president. But it sure sounds like he won’t be voting for Trump, either. “I am not in the habit of supporting people who attack my wife and attack my father,” Cruz said, according to the Morning News. “That pledge was not a blanket commitment that if you go and slander my wife that I am going to come like a servile puppy dog for maligning my wife and maligning my father.” It’s unclear how things will play out come November, but one thing is certain: Ted Cruz is definitely not a puppy.
MEANWHILE, IN TEXAS
Recently released videos shows Austin police officers arresting a black elementary school teacher and throwing her to the ground twice, before telling her that white people are afraid of black people because they have “violent tendencies.” The teacher was arrested in 2015 during a traffic stop for allegedly speeding. According to the Austin American-Statesman, police are investigating the officer’s conduct, and Police Chief Art Acevedo said he was “highly disturbed and disappointed” after watching the dashboard camera video, which you can view here (warning, it’s disturbing). The video shows the traffic stop quickly escalated after the white police officer, Bryan Richter, asked the teacher to close her car door. Richter then reached into the car and grabbed the woman, ripped her out of her seat, whipped her against a pickup truck parked nearby and threw her to the ground, while she repeatedly screamed “oh, my God” and “why are you doing this to me?” Another video, which you can watch here, shows officer Patrick Spradlin telling the woman that black people have “violent tendencies,” and that “ninety-nine percent of the time, when you hear about stuff like that, it is the black community that is being violent.”
The Big 12 conference is interested in possibly expanding by as many as four schools, and Texas’s political leaders are making it known that they want at least one of those new members to be from the Lone Star State. As the University of Houston emerged as a top candidate for expansion, Governor Greg Abbott threw his support behind the school, tweeting on Thursday that “Big 12 expansion is a non-starter unless it includes University of Houston.” Lieutenant Governor Dan Patrick followed suit, tweeting that “any BIG 12 expansion must include @UHouston or NO DEAL!” Even top brass at the University of Texas want to bring Houston into the fold. UT-Austin President Greg Fenves said in a tweet that he supports Houston as a candidate for expansion, adding that “UH is a huge asset for Texas.” University of Texas System Chancellor Bill McRaven concurred, tweeting that Houston “would be a welcome addition” to the Big 12.
Beaver Goes To Court
Iconic Texas rest-stop chain Buc-ee’s is best known for its logo: a beaver in a red trucker’s hat, with its unflinching gaze trailing off toward some enchanting place that only rest-stop beavers can see. But there’s trouble lurking somewhere in the distance, a ruthless predator that seeks to destroy Buc-ee’s beloved intellectual property. At least, that’s what Buc-ee’s is claiming in a federal lawsuit. According to the Houston Chronicle, Buc-ee’s is suing competing chain Choke Canyon for allegedly stealing its sign. Choke Canyon’s logo shows a kind of creepy alligator in a cowboy hat, giving a thumbs-up gesture (do alligators even have thumbs?) and licking its chops. According to the Chronicle, Buc-ee’s is also accusing the gator company of copying a few other Buc-ee’s trademarks, like “oversized bathrooms, numerous fuel pumps, ample parking and a similar looking soda station,” because apparently nothing screams “that’s the Buc-ee’s I know and love” like big bathrooms and many parking spaces.
WHAT WE’RE READING
An investigation into the extremely complex manslaughter case of a Dallas high school basketball star ESPN’s Outside the Lines
…which police investigators have now reopened Dallas Morning News
It won’t be easy to fix Texas’s voter ID law New York Times
El Paso Police Department won’t explain why it’s blocking certain people on social media El Paso Times
Drake took a tour of the University of Texas’s basketball facility while wearing a University of Kentucky shirt San Antonio Express-News