Well, not really “fighting,” just “cease and desist.” Joining the long and lovely tradition of musical artists versus politicians, Houston’s Geto Boys have come out publicly against Ted Cruz and his campaign’s spoof of the famous Office Space scene and their song “Damn it Feels Good to be a Gangster,” which the campaign replaced with anti-Clinton lyrics. Ironically, The Geto Boys response is far tamer than pretty much anything Cruz has said about his opponents since coming to office.
— Geto Boys (@TheGetoBoys) February 12, 2016
Mourning in Texas — The country is still reeling in the wake of the sudden death of Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia on Saturday. Of course there has been an outpouring of stories, and certainly no shortage of Texas-related items. One for the newspaper nerds is a surprisingly not-that-condescending look from Slate at how the San Antonio Express-News managed to scoop everyone else on the news of Scalia’s death at a West Texas ranch. Meanwhile, the Associated Press takes a brief look at the Cibolo Creek Ranch itself, which is something of a popular celebrity retreat at which “rooms start at $395 and range up to $800.” The AP also talks to the ranch owner himself, who described Scalia’s last night, including the fact that he was part of a 35-guest group and that “the justice seemed his usual self at dinner the night before he was found ‘in complete repose’ in his room.” The Texas Tribune takes the political angle, examining the staunchly conservative Scalia’s relationship with Texas laws and lawmakers who “counted on him over and over in winning and losing cases that involved redistricting, environmental regulation, same-sex marriage, college admissions — even the elevation of a Texas governor to the White House.” And what would the death of a national figure be without the conspiracy theories, which the Houston Chronicle, per its inclination, puts in slideshow form (spoiler: everyone from the Clintons, to the Bushes, to, um deceased Leonard Nimoy did it).
Containing Affluenza — While all the recent focus on privilege and legal loopholes has been on Ethan Couch and his affluenza case, teenagers don’t always get off basically scot free. The Associated Press pulls back on the Couch issue, with all its melodrama, and examines a similar scenario with Jaime Arellano, who went to prison after driving drunk and killing a pregnant woman and her unborn child. Spoiler (and spoiled) alert, “The stories of the two Texas teens illustrate how prosecutors’ decisions in similar cases can lead to wildly different outcomes. The poor immigrant from Mexico has been behind bars for almost a decade. The white kid with rich parents got 10 years’ probation.” As the story details, “Arellano was charged with intoxication manslaughter and intoxication assault, the same counts against Couch. But prosecutors in Arellano’s case moved quickly after his June 2007 crash to send him to adult court. Arellano took a plea deal and got 20 years in prison, where he remains today.” While the AP interviews Arellano from prison where he remains today, the story notes that “Since 2005, Texas has prosecuted 38 juveniles for intoxication manslaughter or intoxication assault. Only three were sent to the adult system, and half of all cases resulted in probation of some kind.” It’s a fine context story for the actually legal questions surrounding this ongoing soap opera.
ISIS Ain’t — The trial begins on Tuesday for the third man allegedly involved in the ISIS shooting of the draw Muhammad cartoon contest in Garland last year. Set in Phoenix where the three men lived, the proceedings are “believed to be the first time the U.S. government has put a person on trial on terror charges related to the militant group,” according to the AP. “Abdul Malik Abdul Kareem, a 44-year-old moving company owner, is accused of hosting the two gunmen at his home to discuss plans for the attack, going target shooting in the remote Arizona desert with the pair and providing the guns used at the contest. Prosecutors say Kareem also encouraged Elton Simpson and Nadir Soofi to carry out violence in the United States in support of the Islamic State group and inquired about explosives to blow up a stadium in metro Phoenix during the 2015 Super Bowl.” Investigators are still unsure whether this was an attack by a few nuts or whether is was planned by ISIS itself (redundant in the second case, anyway). “Two days after the Texas attack, Kareem went to the FBI’s office in Phoenix for an interview with investigators in which he denied any involvement. He was arrested five weeks later.”