QUOTE OF THE DAY
“All of us were egging her on and she was excited to try it. She’s 79-years-old, so we were super careful when we were holding her up and she went for a few seconds and took it like a champ.”
—Madison Munoz, of Arlington, to the Dallas Morning News. Munoz, a twenty-year-old student at Texas A&M, was talking about keg stands when her grandmother overhead and expressed interest in giving it a try. So they made it happen at a graduation party for Munoz’s brother the next day, hoisting the old lady up for a vertical drink. The video of “keg stand granny” quickly went viral, because, well, of course it did.
Governor Greg Abbott announced on Tuesday that there will be a special session of the Texas legislature—and oh, what a special session it shall be. The slate for the upcoming overtime period is packed with twenty items Abbott wants lawmakers to pass. We’ve got some biggies on the list like school finance reform, sunset legislation to keep important state agencies up-and-running, rollback elections for property tax hikes, a few anti-choice abortion bills, extending the maternal mortality task force, and, of course, a bathroom bill. Abbott wasn’t shy about why he felt a special session was necessary, calling out lawmakers in the Lege for failing to get this stuff done in the regular session, with a focus on the sunset legislation in particular. “Because of their inability or refusal to pass a simple law that would prevent the medical profession from shutting down, I’m announcing a special session to complete that unfinished business,” Abbott said at the announcement. “But if I’m going to ask taxpayers to foot the bill for a special session, I intend to make it count.” The special session starts July 18, and will last for thirty days. Sorry about your vacations, y’all.
MEANWHILE, IN TEXAS
It’s no longer legal to text and drive in Texas, so put the phone down, please. Governor Greg Abbott signed into law a bill that creates a statewide ban on texting and driving, which Representative Tom Craddick, a Republican from Midland, had tried, and failed, to pass three times before. But the fourth time, apparently, is the charm. “By enacting this public safety legislation, the governor is saving lives by deterring this dangerous and deadly behavior,” Craddick said in a statement, according to the Texas Tribune. “For a long time, Texas has needed this law to prevent the loss of life in unnecessary and preventable crashes and we finally have it.” Starting September 1, drivers in Texas won’t be able to “read, write, or send an electronic message while operating a motor vehicle unless the vehicle is stopped,” according to the law, which adds a fine of $25 to $99 for a first offense. But Abbott also made an item in the upcoming special session of the Lege for lawmakers to discuss preventing local governments from passing their own texting bans, so he’s clearly got some ideas about this moving forward. “I was not satisfied with the law as it was written,” Abbott said, according to the Tribune. “We don’t need a patchwork quilt of regulations that dictate driving practices in Texas.”
The NSA contractor who was arrested earlier this week for allegedly leaking sensitive documents to the Intercept has South Texas roots. Reality Leigh Winner was born and raised in Kingsville, outside of Corpus Christi, and graduated from H.M. King High School in 2010, according to the Kingsville Record. After high school, she attended U.S. Air Force basic training at Lackland Air Force Base in San Antonio, according to the Dallas Morning News, and continued in the military as a linguist who spoke Farsi, Dari, and Pashto, gaining top secret clearance in 2013. She began working for Pluribus International Corporation in February, and was assigned to a U.S. government agency facility in Georgia as a contractor for the NSA. The Justice Department said Winner confessed to an agent that she had printed out an intelligence document detailing Russian election hacking efforts and sent it to the Intercept. Winner’s mother, Billie Winner-Davis, is still living in Texas, and she told the Guardian she was “still in shock” about her daughter’s arrest. “I never thought this would be something she would do,” Winner-Davis told the Guardian. “I mean, she has expressed to me that she is not a fan of Trump—but she’s not someone who would go and riot or picket.” Winner was charged under the Espionage Act and could face ten years in prison.
One thing Texans love to be mad about is the perception that Californians (or, worse yet, New Yorkers) are invading Texas, bringing their West Coast liberalism with them. But one man wants to even things out a little bit by encouraging conservative Californians to escape their sunny liberal oppressor and come here, where things are nice and conservative. Paul Chabot, a recent California expat living in McKinney, launched his company, Conservative Move, last week, aimed at pitching real estate opportunities to right-leaning California families who have been living on the left coast. “Leaving California and moving to Texas is like getting out of a bad relationship,” Chabot told the Dallas Morning News. “You never realize how bad it was until you’re out of it—we don’t miss California at all.” He claims about 500 Californians have already reached out to him. Chabot pitches a life in Texas that more closely aligns with what he described to the Morning News as family values conservatism, before referring his clients to real estate agents. Chabot then gets a commission on any sales.
WHAT WE’RE READING
Some links are paywalled or subscription-only.
Inside the wild world of lucha libre, the brutal but beautiful extreme sport that has taken hold in Texas Houston Press
The police have identified a person of interest in the River Walk killing of a transgender woman San Antonio Express-News
The chairman of the Victoria County Young Republicans was arrested during a narcotics search on Tuesday Victoria Advocate
There’s a dog that likes to chill in a storm drain in a Grand Prairie neighborhood WFAA
Several cities in the Rio Grande Valley broke hot temperature records on Tuesday McAllen Monitor