QUOTE OF THE DAY
“Luckily, I’m 24 and I’m still on my parents’s healthcare.”
—Tomi Lahren at Politicon on Saturday, according to the Dallas Morning News. The conservative media personality, who lives in Dallas, frequently bashes Obamacare—which is apparently what allows her to have health coverage.
Legends of the Summer
Two Texas baseball legends were inducted into the MLB Hall of Fame during a ceremony on Sunday. Longtime Texas Rangers catcher Ivan “Pudge” Rodriguez and Houston Astros first baseman Jeff Bagwell gave induction speeches at the ceremony in Cooperstown, New York, and saw their faces immortalized in the bronze plaques that went up in the vaunted Hall of Fame. Rodriguez “stole the show,” according to the Dallas Morning News, with his trademark “electric smile,” playful ribbing of fellow Hall members, and a touching tribute to his home, Puerto Rico. “I saw flags [Saturday] during the parade, and I saw them again today,” Rodriguez said in is speech. “To be the fourth Hall of Famer from Puerto Rico means so much. We are a small island with only three million people. It tells you how good and how respected we are in baseball. Seeing the support in Cooperstown makes me continue to want to do everything I can to be the best for Puerto Rico.” Rodriguez, who placed twelve of his twenty-one seasons with the Rangers, was one of the best catchers of all time, with a career .296 average, thirteen Gold Glove awards (the most ever for a backstop), fourteen All-Star nominations, and an MVP award. Bagwell, meanwhile, thanked his Astro teammates, including “Killer B” Craig Biggio and Moises Alou, and also honored Ken Caminiti and Darryl Kile, who both tragically died young. In a classy move, Bagwell thanked, by name, the people behind the baseball scenes, the trainers, secretaries, and clubhouse managers he’d crossed paths with throughout his fifteen-year career. And he thanked his father, Robert. “There’s something about a dad for a son that plays baseball,” Bagwell said, according to the Houston Chronicle. “You brought me to love this game of baseball. You used to say that you’d give me your right arm throwing me batting practice all the time—and you did. More importantly, you taught me how to be a man.” Bagwell was one of the best offensive first baseman of his generation, winning the 1994 MVP award and playing in four All-Star games while batting .297 for his career with 449 home runs. He spent his entire career with the Astros. A future Texas Hall of Famer also made news Sunday: Rangers third baseman Adrian Beltre reached the 3,000-hit milestone, becoming just the thirty-first player in MLB history to do so.
MEANWHILE, IN TEXAS
Rick Perry offered his two cents on President Donald Trump’s ban on transgender troops in the military on Friday. “I totally support the president in his decision,” Energy Secretary Perry told reporters after speaking to workers at an air conditioning manufacturer in Waller, Texas. “The idea that the American people need to be paying for these types of operations to change your sex is not very wise from a standpoint of economics.” Perry was an Air Force cargo pilot for five years. “I think the president makes some good decisions about making sure that we have a force that is capable,” Perry said, pointing out the potential medical costs of sex reassignment surgeries as reason for the ban. As the Washington Post notes, that cost is actually minuscule: between $2.4 and $8.4 million a year, according to a study commissioned by the Department of Defense last year, representing a tiny “0.04 to 0.13-percent increase” in military healthcare expenditures. For comparison, the military has spent more than $294 million on Viagra or similar medication since 2011, according to the Military Times. When asked Friday what he thought about the high cost of those pills, Perry said, “You know what, I don’t check on the price of Viagra.”
President Donald Trump’s border wall may be coming sooner than expected in Texas. Well, at least a three-mile section of it. According to the Texas Tribune and ProPublica, U.S. Customs and Border Protection will get started on the construction of the first segment of Trump’s wall in November, building it through the Santa Ana National Wildlife Refuge near McAllen, using newly available money that was shifted around in the agency’s budget. Although border wall preparations have been ongoing in Santa Ana for months, it was thought the construction wouldn’t start until wall funding was approved by Congress (the House recently sent a spending bill to the Senate). But last week, Border Protection officials passed word along to refuge workers that they had enough money to get started sooner. “I was alarmed,” Jim Chapman of Friends of the Wildlife Corridor told the Tribune and ProPublica. “It was not good news.” A wall through Santa Ana could cause serious environmental damage. The 2,088-acre refuge is home to more than 400 species of birds, endangered ocelots and jaguarundi, and some of the last surviving stands of sabal palm trees in South Texas.
Hot, Hot, Hot
It’s really hot, y’all, which, as you well know, is nothing new for summer in the Lone Star State. But this time, instead of simply complaining about the heat, you can now complain about the record-breaking heat. Austin hit 105 on Sunday, breaking the previous record of 104, which had stood for 60 years, according to the Austin American-Statesman. Heat indices across Central Texas were between 103 and 109, and the sweltering Sunday marked the thirteenth straight day of triple-digit temps in Austin. San Antonians, meanwhile, were just as sweaty as their neighbors in Austin over the weekend. The Alamo City broke heat records on Saturday and Sunday, according to the San Antonio Express-News, recording temperatures of 105 and 104, respectively. Saturday’s hot day broke a 67-year record, while Sunday scorched a record set in 1946.
WHAT WE’RE READING
Some links are paywalled or subscription-only.
Migrants share horror stories of traveling in the back of tractor trailers Univision
More on the dangers of the journey across the border for immigrants in trucks New York Times
Richard Linklater is working on a script for a Texas-based TV show Indiewire
A man pulled his three-year-old grandson out of a well in Van KETK
The latest Texas cattle, goat, and sheep inventory is in Abilene Reporter-News