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The State of Texas: Women March In Huge Numbers All Throughout Texas

Plus: The Department of Justice asks for a delay in Texas’s voter ID case, Rex Tillerson likely passes his toughest confirmation test, and the Bushes remain hospitalized but are doing better.

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QUOTE OF THE DAY


“You really can’t believe anything that comes out of his mouth. You really can’t.”

—San Antonio Spurs coach Gregg Popovich to reporters before Saturday night’s game against the Cleveland Cavaliers, according to the San Antonio Express-News. Popovich took a break from game prep to weigh in on our forty-fifth president.Popovich has been one of the sports world’s—and one of Texas’s—most vocal critics of President Donald Trump. 


BIG NEWS


WASHINGTON, DC - JANUARY 21: Protesters walk during the Women's March on Washington, with the U.S. Capitol in the background, on January 21, 2017 in Washington, DC. Large crowds are attending the anti-Trump rally a day after U.S. President Donald Trump was sworn in as the 45th U.S. president.

Girl Power
Over one million women showed up at various women’s marches throughout the country on Saturday, rallying for women’s rights on President Donald Trump’s first full day in office. And Texas women were a big part of the movement. Some of them gathered in Washington, D.C., for the main event, according to the Houston Chronicle, but plenty showed out at sister marches right here in the Lone Star State. The numbers are impressive: 50,000 marchers packed the streets in Austin; 22,000 gathered in Houston; as many as 9,000 in Fort Worth and 8,000 in Dallas; more than a thousand in San Antonio; 2,500 in Denton; at least 1,000 in El Paso; 500 in Amarillo; 350 in Lubbock; more than 300 in Brownsville; hundreds in Beaumont and Nacogdoches; 200 in Abilene; more than 150 in Wichita Falls; about 100 in Corpus Christi; about fifty people marched in Midland, and another fifty in College Station; and even in cold, rainy Alpine, nearly 100 marchers trekked about 1.5 miles up a hill.  The aerial view pictures from the Austin march, courtesy of the Austin American-Statesman, are particularly stunning—marchers swarmed the Capitol grounds, taking up almost every patch of grass and pavement. According to the Texas Tribune, the marchers spanned generations. One marcher’s 85-year-old mother knitted pink “pussy” hats—a response to Trump’s Access Hollywood comments—for her family members, and a seventh-grade girl in Austin told the Tribune, “we still have a lot of hope.”


MEANWHILE, IN TEXAS


New Management
Hours after his inauguration, the Department of Justice moved to delay a hearing in its court battle challenging Texas’s voter identification law, according to ProPublica. The request was granted. The DOJ’s sudden case of cold feet doesn’t appear to bode well for the lawsuit’s plaintiffs, who say the ID law discriminates against minorities. Previously, the DOJ argued that the law violated the Voting Rights Act. Chad Dunn, attorney for the plaintiffs, told ProPublica that he thinks Trump’s Department of Justice will “spend the next 30 days figuring out how to change its mind.” And Steve Vladeck, a professor of law at the University of Texas School of Law, told CNN that “there’s nothing unorthodox about the Justice Department buying itself a little bit of time to figure out whether it wants to stake out a new position. But the fear for the groups is what that position might be.” The new hearing has been rescheduled for February 28.

You’ve Got A Friend In Me
After a rocky confirmation hearing two weeks ago, it looks pretty likely Texan and former ExxonMobil CEO Rex Tillerson will be confirmed as Donald Trump’s pick for Secretary of State, according to Politico, Tillerson has won the support of Arizona Senator John McCain and South Carolina Senator Lindsey Graham, who were both among Tillerson’s toughest critics. McCain—who, earlier this month, said he’d only support Tillerson’s confirmation when “pigs fly”—told ABC News on Sunday that he will, in fact, be voting for Tillerson (just to be safe, we checked the weather reports and didn’t find any evidence of airborne pigs). In a joint statement, McCain and Graham said that they “still have concerns about [Tillerson’s] past dealings with the Russian government and President Vladimir Putin,” but they “believe that Mr. Tillerson can be an effective advocate for U.S. interests.” Florida Senator Marco Rubio, who grilled Tillerson at the confirmation hearing, still seems to be an anti-Rex holdout, as he hasn’t made public whether or not he’ll go for Tillerson in Monday’s confirmation vote by the Senate Foreign Relations Committee.

Bush Update
Former president George H.W. Bush has been in a Houston hospital for more than a week now while receiving treatment for pneumonia, and, as of Sunday, he’s still in the intensive care unit but is doing much better, according to the Dallas Morning News. A statement released by the family on Sunday said Bush’s condition continues to improve, his vital signs are normal, and he could be out of the ICU sometime today or Tuesday. He had a breathing tube removed on Friday and has been able to breathe well on his own since then, a family spokesman said. Bush’s wife, Barbara, who was also hospitalized with bronchitis, reportedly could have been released on Sunday but opted instead to stay another night to be with her husband of 72 years. “Finally for today, the Bushes are concerned about making sure they thank their well-wishers for their kindness, and especially their prayers,” the statement also said.


WHAT WE’RE READING


Some links are paywalled or subscription-only.

There has been a troubling string of non-combat deaths at Fort Hood recently Killeen Daily Herald

Tattoos are finally cool in Midland, apparently Midland Reporter-Telegram

The Ector County Sheriff wants to bring back K-9 units Odessa American

The question everyone is too afraid to ask: what if Houston floods during the Super Bowl? Houston Press

One bystander was killed and three more wounded during an attempted jewelry store robbery in a San Antonio mall San Antonio Express-News

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  • José

    It’s a bit surprising that the march in Dallas wasn’t larger. I reckon that a lot of folks from San Antonio headed up to the big event in Austin, hence reduced numbers there. The truly impressive news was the breadth of participation, including small towns not mentioned in this piece and many sites around the world. Our amigas in Mexico showed their support for their hermanas norteamericanas.

    • Karen

      Exactly. Having 50K march in liberal Austin is a yawn, but having marches like this at all in Alpine and Midland is what’s really impressive.

      • Jed

        50K is a lot, even in Austin. remember the initial projection for the national event in DC was “only” 200K.

        the saturday march in austin is said to have been the largest protest ever in austin.

  • Charlie Primero

    Has anyone figured out what these women were marching for ?

  • Renee McCrady

    I was there with my daughters in Austin. We traveled from Comal County. Republicans continue to go after… what is the best word here… RIDICULOUS legislation at the state and national level. We’re tired of it. The tried and true yearly checklist of pursuing a ridiculous law all the way to the Supreme Court is getting old. These candidates who think that going after Texas Women is their ticket to getting reelected might want to consider getting out of the office and talking to one that isn’t afraid to reply back an honest answer. You’ve really done it this time, with DJT. You don’t have to take my word for it, just watch.