Texas Supreme Court justice Don Willett is known across the country for his impressive Twitter skills. But this might be his greatest creation yet. Bonus: it features his own progeny.
My 8YO is a smooth one. Play on, player. pic.twitter.com/0w2y8RS97O
— Justice Don Willett (@JusticeWillett) August 19, 2015
Fight of the Day
Well, there’s no doubt Dez Bryant definitely caught it this time. Unfortunately, this time, “it” is a fist in Bryant’s face. The Dallas Cowboys and St. Louis Rams got into an all-out brawl during a joint practice on Tuesday. But it’s probably for the best! After all, remember what Bryant said after a previous fight with his own teammate earlier this month: “It’s just two great competitors going at it. We were chirping a little bit back and forth, but at the end of the day, that’s what you want.” Fans at the Cowboys-Rams practice couldn’t agree more.
Wanna see Dez Bryant get punched square in the face? Of course you do pic.twitter.com/nlYHGadQbz
— jon johnson (@jonjohnsonwip) August 19, 2015
— Pat Doney (@PatDoneyNBC5) August 19, 2015
Texas By The Numbers
Uninsured — Percentage of uninsured Texans: over 20 percent. Number of other states in same range two years ago: 13. Number of states in same range this year: 0. Estimated number of Texans who could’ve been covered if state opted to expand Medicare under Obamacare: 1.5 to 2 million.
Pox Populi — Number of vaccine exemptions granted to North Texas children last year: over 40,000. Previous year: about 38,000. School district with highest number of exemptions: Austin ISD. Number: 1,478. Conroe ISD: 1,079. Leander ISD: 1,073. Total percentage of vaccination exemptions, statewide: about 2 percent.
Parched — Number of days Waco has been without rain: 48. Last time the city went that long without rain: never. Previous record: 47 days. Date of previous record: 1918.
Second Verse, Same as the First — Great news for embattled Attorney General Ken Paxton: two of his felony charges were dismissed! The bad news? Two felony charges have been added! “Special prosecutor Brian Wice said the new indictments came in response to Paxton’s complaints that the original indictments were ambiguous. The underlying fraud allegations remain unchanged,” reports the Austin American-Statesman. The new indictments “confirm ‘troubling issues’ with the case,” said Paxton’s lawyer, adding that “they had months to investigate and then rushed to indict. Now, the special prosecutors are back to clean up the botched indictments. It should make every fair-minded person question the process in this case.” An example of the “tweaks”: “In the charge naming [the victim, state Representative Byron Cook], for instance, prosecutors originally stated Paxton ‘had not, in fact, personally invested in Servergy,'” writes the Texas Tribune. “The new charge states Paxton ‘had not, and was not investing his own funds’ in the company.”
Suicide Watch — In the wake of Sandra Bland’s death in the Waller County jail, officials have now decided to do some investigating. No, it won’t be into the systemic discrimination at the heart of the entire incident, obviously. Instead, “lawmakers will study and investigate best safety practices in Texas jails,” according to the Dallas Morning News. Lieutenant Governor Dan Patrick announced the special interim committee Tuesday. “State lawmakers were noncommittal Tuesday about whether Bland’s family would be part of the process,” CBS News reported, and Patrick emphasized that the committee isn’t focused on any individual death. That broad focus is probably for the best, though. Jesse Jacobs, who became Texas’s most recent jail death when he was denied medication, wasn’t mentioned even in the related stories. Still, the main motivator is clear. “There’s no question that Ms. Bland’s tragedy has led us to this point,” said Senator John Whitmire, who will chair the special committee.
Keepin’ Busy — He might be near the bottom of list, but presidential candidate Rick Perry is keeping busy. In what seems like an attempt to up his rhetorical game (particularly in light of Donald Trump’s fiery language), he told Fox News: “You all ought to be talking about every day how are you going to secure the border. Not deflecting off on all these other issues [like the undocumented people already here].” He continued: “Because it’s like a disease. If you’ve got a disease you go to the absolute core of what it is. You stop the illegal immigration that’s coming into America and a lot of these other issues go away.” We have to highlight a truly egregious part of Perry’s diatribe—he said “you all” and not “y’all.” In other Perry news, his all-star legal team “appealed to the state’s highest criminal court Tuesday in an effort to dispose of the abuse-of-power charge that remains standing against him,” the Houston Chronicle writes. “Casting the argument in dramatic terms and saying the constitutional separation of powers is at stake, Perry’s legal team in its petition to the Texas Court of Criminal Appeals urged it to act ‘to prevent the judicial system from being complicit in undermining the very structure of Texas government.'” As of now, the appeals court hasn’t even decided whether to take up the case.