QUOTE OF THE DAY
“I’m never washing my hand again. I might sanitize it, but I’m not gonna wash it.”
—An unnamed woman to the Dallas Morning News after shaking the hand of former Texas A&M quarterback Johnny Manziel as he left a Dallas County court. Manziel was in court on Tuesday discussing a conditional agreement to dismiss the misdemeanor assault charge filed against him by his former girlfriend, who alleges that Manziel threatened to kill her and hit her so hard that she ruptured an ear drum.
President Donald Trump made his first address to a joint session of Congress on Tuesday night, during which he touched on his plans for immigration. Earlier in the day, Trump appeared ready to slightly soften his stance, telling reporters during a private White House luncheon that “the time is right for an immigration bill as long as there is compromise on both sides,” even going so far as to float the possibility that he may be open to giving legal status to millions of immigrants should his opponents come to the middle on immigration issues, according to the New York Times. But Trump made no mention of amnesty for immigrants in his speech, and instead continued to frame immigration as a national security issue. He highlighted several attendees in the crowd who were family members of people harmed by serious crimes committed by undocumented immigrants, lending anecdotal support for his claim that many undocumented immigrants commit major crimes, despite studies consistently showing that immigrants are less likely to commit major crimes than the native population. He also spoke of the recently announced creation of a new office to aid victims of such crimes—Victims Of Immigration Crime Engagement (VOICE)—which he said would give “a voice to those who have been ignored by our media, and silenced by special interests.” (The crimes Trump highlighted during his speech have, in fact, received a ton of media coverage.) And he once again pledged to build a wall on the border with Mexico, though he offered no specifics of a plan to fund the project.
MEANWHILE, IN TEXAS
Introducing The Champ
High school wrestler Mack Beggs kept quiet during his state title run, even as he fell under the national media spotlight because of the controversy surrounding his season. Beggs is transgender boy, but state rules required him to compete against girls, and his testosterone treatments spurred a parent to file a lawsuit arguing Beggs’s opponents were at risk. But despite all that, Beggs kept winning. He gave his first exclusive interview since claiming the state title last weekend, sharing his story with the Dallas Morning News. He talked about how hard it was for him before his transition and about his struggles with depression. “It was terrible,” Beggs said. “I felt so unhappy.” He reiterated that he wants to compete against boys, and said he went undefeated this season because of his rigorous training, and not because of his testosterone treatments. The 17-year-old seemed shocked that he was the center of a media frenzy. “This is nuts,” Beggs said at one point during the interview. But Beggs also recognized the importance of his story to others in the LGBT community, telling the Morning News he wants to help them find their own peace. “My masculinity doesn’t define who I am,” Beggs said. “I define who I am.”
Two police officers were shot in Houston on Tuesday morning, prompting a tense day that sent three schools into lockdown and forced residents in the surrounding area to take shelter in their homes while police searched for the suspected shooters, according to the Houston Chronicle. The officers—identified as Ronny Cortez and Jose Muñoz—were wounded, but both were awake and talking as of late Tuesday night. Muñoz was shot in the foot and sustained non-life-threatening injuries, while Cortez was shot three times—including a bullet that struck him in the back, near his spine—and is listed in critical condition. The officers were responding to a suspected burglary when a man stepped out from behind a shed and opened fire. The suspected shooter was shot dead after a quick shootout, but a second suspect remains at large. Police have issued a $20,000 reward for information leading to the second suspect’s arrest. “We could have had two dead officers today,” Houston Police Chief Art Acevedo said, according to the Chronicle. “What we’ve seen today is the courage of the American police officer… They’re brave. They run toward danger.”
Bad News Bears
On Tuesday, KWTX reported that Travon Blanchard, a defensive back on the Baylor football team, was suspended in February after a judge signed a protective order against him on behalf of a woman who said Blanchard assaulted her. According to court documents, the woman said Blanchard became jealous after a waiter approached the woman at a restaurant. Blanchard allegedly verbally abused her, followed her as she attempted to leave, and tried to take her car keys, breaking her finger in the process and injuring her digit “to the point where she was unable to have it stitched.” The woman alleged several other incidents in which Blanchard physically assaulted her. According to the affidavit, Blanchard was easily angered by things like the woman having fun with other friends or receiving Snapchat messages from other men. The woman said that when she would try to break up with Blanchard, he’d allegedly damage her property and would “place a joker card, otherwise known as the killer card, on her car.” This latest accusation against an athlete comes at a particularly bad time for Baylor. Federal Title IX investigators will be visiting campus next week as part of a continuing investigation into the school’s sexual assault scandal by the U.S. Department of Education’s Office for Civil Rights, according to the Waco Tribune-Herald.
WHAT WE’RE READING
Some links are paywalled or subscription-only.
A must-see profile of Austin’s Alex Jones, the conspiracy-peddling, shirtless-barbecue-eating host of Infowars Der Spiegel
Here’s a true crime story worth your time Dallas Morning News
Members of a Tibetan women’s soccer team were denied visas to compete in a Dallas tournament The Guardian
Sanctuary cities on the other side: Juárez, Mexico, has become a haven for deported migrants El Paso Times
Well, looks like Corpus Christi’s mayoral situation is again embroiled in controversy Corpus Christi Caller-Times