The State of Texas: April 24, 2015
Throwback of the Day
The General Land Office went through its archive yesterday and found this little gem from the seventies informing women that it is totally okay for them to make a crazy, gender-bender fashion statement:
— Save Texas History (@SaveTxHistory) April 23, 2015
Watching the Watchmen – It’s almost unbelievable: a bill, written by a Democrat and opposed by police groups, might actually have a chance at becoming law. Yesterday, the state Senate passed SB 158, which would put body cameras on police officers across Texas. As the Houston Chronicle details, the $10 million plan would have “local agencies . . . establish their own policies for when and how the cameras would be used, but the state would attempt to standardize those policies to balance privacy and public access concerns.” Perhaps just as surprising is that police groups from urban areas supported the bill. It was, instead, those from the rural areas that “questioned why a state law was necessary – and suggested it could be cumbersome to comply with complicated state rules.” The bill passed, 22–8, and now “goes to the House where it faces much the same opposition as in the Senate. Supporters say they expect it eventually will be approved and go to the governor to be signed into law.”
Talk the Talk – Yesterday, the U.S. Senate confirmed Loretta Lynch (not to be confused with Loretta Lynn) to replace Eric Holder as the next U.S. attorney general. Apart from Lynch’s being the first black female to hold the position, there was one other detail that caught many observers’ attention: While Republican stalwart Senate majority leader Mitch McConnell quietly whipped votes for Lynch’s confirmation, it was Senator Ted Cruz, the rabble-rousing presidential candidate from Texas, who adamantly and very publicly opposed the confirmation, giving “an impassioned speech on the Senate floor against” Lynch. Cruz is no stranger to giving impassioned speeches, and, coincidentally, giving impassioned speeches that are pretty meaningless—as the Associated Press (and pretty much everyone else) noted, Cruz was the lone senator to skip out on the confirmation vote. Cruz “concluded his remarks at 11:23 a.m. EDT and cast a procedural vote against moving ahead on her nomination. When the roll was called at 1:37 p.m. for the final vote, Cruz was absent.” And where was he? Heading off to Dallas to give an impassioned talk or two at a campaign fundraiser.
Green Mesquite – If you thought that waiting hours for Franklin Barbecue was crazy, numerous outlets are reporting that people in San Francisco are paying a mind-blowing $130 to attend “his hotly anticipated . . . pop-up” next month. Pitmaster Aaron Franklin will be in town doing yet another round of promotions, this time aimed at his new cookbook. “Included in the price of admission: Two beers, a plate of barbecue, dessert and a copy of Franklin’s new cookbook, plus the potential chance to schmooze with Franklin,” notes the Houston Chronicle.
We All Scream for Ice Cream – If you can’t afford a trip to San Francisco to schmooze with Franklin, there’s another foodie adventure to attempt. A League City man is apparently selling “pre-recall” Blue Bell ice cream on eBay. For just $50—or more, if the bids go up—the man will “send you the ice cream straight from his freezer to your home surrounded by dry ice to keep it intact,” writes the Dallas Morning News. “The listing, posted this week after Blue Bell recalled all products due to a Listeria outbreak, ends Friday night and claims the shipment will arrive some time next week.” UPDATE: Well, it looks like eBay is not the place where you can bid on just about anything. The website removed the listing. “eBay is dedicated to providing a safe and secure marketplace for our customers,” the company told the Morning News. “We have removed this listing as it is in violation of our recalled items policy.”