Quote of the Day
— HUD Secretary and former San Antonio Mayor Julián Castro on another run for elected office
Countdown Bell — It’s now official: people in fifteen states will only have to wait thirteen more days for the rapturous joy (or overly sweet nostalgia) of Blue Bell ice cream. Blue Bell began producing ice cream at its Alabama plant in July, and last week the company got everyone excited with a video of its trucks leaving the plant. In a video posted Monday, Ricky Dickson, the company’s VP of sales and marketing, said they were “humbled by the incredible support y’all have shown to the Blue Bell family” and ensured the fresh Blue Bell is “safe, wholesome and of the highest quality” (listeria free, in other words). Dickson went on to discuss the “five phases” of Blue Bell’s return — incremental increases in store and area coverage. The company said in a statement that plants in Brenham and Oklahoma “are still undergoing facility and production process upgrades.” As Texans await Blue Bell’s return, it might be worth asking (again) if it’s not time to find a less neglectful company to love.
Nuclear Option — When you make a joke about the mass killing of hundreds of thousands of people, not to mention the complete destruction of an area, future generations of inhabitants, and the environment, the only option is to own it. And that’s exactly what Texas Agriculture Commissioner Sid Miller has done. Sorta. On Sunday night, someone associated with the big-smilin’, deep-fryer lovin’ commish posted a meme on his Facebook page evoking the atomic bombs dropped on Japan and suggested the U.S. do the same to the “Muslim world”(not even a country per se, and actually, about fifty countries if you count majority populations). Miller’s team removed the photo early Monday, but no one associated with the office has any plans of apologizing. “Miller, who is currently on a trade mission to China, did not personally share a controversial photo that appeared on his campaign Facebook account and has since been removed, Todd Smith, the Republican’s campaign spokesman, said Monday,” according to the Texas Tribune. “The commissioner has no plans to figure out which of his staffers shared the posting, or to apologize, Smith said.” There are apparently about eighteen people with access to Miller’s Facebook and Smith said “We’re not going to apologize for the posts that show up on our Facebook page,” which is probably the best and wisest choose. Democrats called it “hateful,” but “really dumb” is more fitting.
The City of Great — There are two interesting reports from the Dallas’ auditor announcing that “the city cut $60 million worth of paychecks that weren’t properly approved by supervisors,” and another that “Dallas’ process of collecting and approving business proposals is slow and broken to the point of embarrassing,” according to the Dallas Morning News. The city has other problems, too, specifically with rats invading the criminal courthouse like it was fourteenth-century Europe. At least there’s no plague this time. Sarah Mervosh had a rather amusing look at the issue, describing the “Lore of the Rats” at the courthouse. In one incident, “several rats got caught in ceiling traps above [a judge’s courtroom]” and “we were going day to day, for probably three days, smelling death.” If death and taxpayer money isn’t your cup of tea, there’s always good-time religion. The city’s famous pastor, Bishop T.D. Jakes, is about to launch a television talk show. “The goal is to have content and a tone reminiscent of the Oprah and Dr. Phil shows,” according to Guide Live.
The Cost of Anti-Gay Marriage — Although being “socially liberal and fiscally conservative” is a common refrain, being socially conservative and fiscally wasteful is less popular. Tell that to the clerks in Hood County. “Attorneys for a gay couple who sued a Texas county clerk who denied them a marriage license on religious grounds have announced they’ve reached a settlement of the lawsuit,” according to the Associated Press. The two men, who filed the suit July 6 after they were repeatedly refused a marriage license, “settled their federal lawsuit against Hood County Clerk Katie Lang for what they’ve spent in attorneys’ fees — almost $44,000.” The hitch is that Hood County has to pony up the money.