QUOTE OF THE DAY
“Each one of them has got a story.”
—Barney Smith, a former plumber in San Antonio who has been making art out of toilet seat lids and hanging it in his Toilet Seat Art Museum for fifty years. According to KSAT, Smith is about ready to retire, but he wants to make sure his museum—which has 1,321 toilet seats on display—falls into the right hands first.
Not A Fan
Senator Ted Cruz said on Sunday that he doesn’t support the U.S. Senate’s latest attempt to repeal Obamacare. The legislation from Republican Senators Lindsey Graham of South Carolina and Bill Cassidy of Louisiana would block-grant federal health care funding to the states, and since it was introduced it’s gotten a pretty cold reception from Democrats and Republicans alike. Prominent conservative Senators John McCain and Rand Paul have already said they won’t vote in favor of the bill, and Cruz joined the opposition to the Graham-Cassidy legislation during a panel discussion at the Texas Tribune festival in Austin on Sunday. “Right now, they don’t have my vote,” Cruz said, according to Politico. “And I don’t think they have [Utah Senator] Mike Lee’s vote, either.” Cruz added that he and Lee proposed adding amendments to the Graham-Cassidy bill last week, which would have brought larger decreases to Obamacare premiums. But Cruz said the amendments didn’t make it into the most recent draft of the bill. However, Senator John Cornyn, who was also speaking at the panel discussion, seemed to offer his support for the bill, arguing that Texans would benefit from the block grants the Graham-Cassidy bill would provide, according to the Dallas Morning News.
MEANWHILE, IN TEXAS
Arm in Arm
As NFL players around the league knelt during the national anthem on Sunday, the Houston Texans decided to stand and lock their arms during the pre-game national anthem at their road matchup against the New England Patriots, according to the Houston Chronicle. None of the Texans players took a knee, but the show of solidarity followed divisive comments from President Donald Trump late last week. At a speech in Alabama on Friday, Trump referred to any player who protests by kneeling for the anthem as a “son of a bitch,” and encouraged people to walk out of games if they see a player kneeling during the anthem. Before Sunday’s game, Texans owner Bob McNair released a statement criticizing the president for his comments. “The NFL specifically, and football in general, has always unified our communities and families,” McNair said in the statement, per the Chronicle. “The comments made by the President were divisive and counterproductive to what our country needs right now. I hope the reaction from our players results in positive action for our league, our communities and our country as a whole to make a positive difference in our society.” McNair is a Republican and had previously donated $1 million to Trump’s inaugural committee. The Dallas Cowboys play Monday night, though it seems unlikely they’ll kneel, given the franchise’s general opposition to such protests.
Fighting broke out and arrests were made at the Capitol after a rally against Confederate monuments turned a little rowdy on Saturday. Protesters initially planned to counter the Dixie Freedom rally, which was called to celebrate Confederate heritage. That event was canceled, so the counter-protest evolved into a cry against white supremacy, with protestors also demanding the removal of Confederate monuments at the Capitol, according to the San Antonio Express-News. The protest was peaceful until the end, when a bystander grabbed a bullhorn from one of the protesters and used it to thank the police, who had made a barrier with their bicycles to keep protestors out of the street. Protesters tried to take back the bullhorn and a scuffle broke out, resulting in two arrests. One of the arrests left a protester bloodied and in handcuffs, which prompted some more altercations between protesters and police. One officer discharged his stun gun, though no one was hit. After everything calmed down, protesters told the Express-News that they felt police escalated the situation, while police maintained that their presence at the protest was to protect the protesters’ First Amendment rights.
Cowboy Tuff Chex was sold at an auction Friday night at the Fort Worth Stockyards, netting his previous owners $165,000, according to the Fort Worth Star-Telegram. Tuff Chex is a longhorn bull, but not just any bull. He boasts the world’s longest horns for a bull, measuring about 101 inches from tip to tip. “We’re going to bubble-wrap him when we get to the ranch,” Jeanne Filip—who purchased Tuff Chex along with her husband, Richard—told the Telegram. “Our guys will know: You do not make Tuff do anything he doesn’t want to do. He’s the VIP of the ranch.” Heading into the auction, the longhorn’s previous owner, Bob Loomis, estimated that the six-year-old longhorn from Oklahoma could have been sold for as much as $500,000, so apparently $165,000 is a steal. The Filips, who have over 100 longhorns on their ranch in Fayetteville, told the Telegram they were prepared to drop $1 million on Tuff Chex.
WHAT WE’RE READING
Some links are paywalled or subscription-only.
Global warming is making San Antonio so hot that it could eventually see sixty days in one year over 100 degrees San Antonio Express-News
Is the Texas Miracle over? New York Times
The University of Texas at Austin’s women’s soccer is the last undefeated Division I team in the country Austin American-Statesman
McLennan County is running out of flags Waco Tribune-Herald
The town of La Feria thought someone might have stolen $3 million, but an audit showed they’re apparently just bad at managing a budget McAllen Monitor