Track of the Day
Willie is back (he never really goes away, though) and this time it’s with an album of George Gershwin covers. NPR has a track from it, as well as a dense dithyramb to the Red Headed Stranger.
Crystal Crisis — At this point, the shenanigans in Crystal City are getting comically bad. Most of the city government was arrested by the feds last week, but that hasn’t stifled Mayor Ricardo Lopez’s chutzpah (read: general lack of self-awareness). Lopez was arrested after an argument at the city council related to the long-simmering recall effort of himself and others. “A dispute erupted when City Clerk Selina Ramons said the five-day period had ended for Lopez and the council members to decide whether to resign or face a recall,” according to the Associated Press. “Lopez insisted that he had more time and recessed the meeting to go collect documents from his house to support his position.” Lopez then, apparently, “bumped” into citizens in the audience, and was told to calm down by police. Clearly he didn’t, but it gets even better (or worse?). After posting bail, Lopez “said he will never attend a city council meeting again but made no mention about resigning from his position,” reports KENS5. Things were so bad that the city council didn’t have a quorum to vote on important issues (there was, er, one council member who showed up), including a vote on, yes, the recall election. “Since the council could not continue with its meeting, a district judge will decide when to have a recall election,” to replace the mayor, the mayor pro-tem and at least one city council member. Ain’t local politics grand?
Holy Border — After months of anticipation, Pope Francis finally made his Juarez debut, and people on both sides of the border were more than ready. About 200,000 crossed the border from El Paso to Juarez to watch the Pope’s Mass, while an estimated 30,000 watched from a simulcast beamed into Sun Stadium. The El Paso Times should win an award for its blanket coverage of the visit, though everyone and the Holy Ghost had stories as well. As the people’s pope, it should come as no surprise that Francis paid tribute to the suffering migrants, blessing some at the border and at the Juarez fairgrounds, where he “highlighted the plight of immigrants from Central America, Mexico and other places, who flee their homes because of violence.” As Time put it in its examination of Francis’ choice of Juarez over El Paso, the visit was a “reminder that he approaches political controversies from the underside of power.” The Juarez stop was the last for Pope Francis’ Mexico tour before heading back to the Vatican.
Campus Carried — The University of Texas finally determined how it would handle campus carry, not that it had much of a choice. In the release of the guidelines for this fall’s new law, UT President Gregory L. Fenves, said “Concealed handguns will be permitted in classrooms but for the most part banned in on-campus residence halls,” reports the Austin American-Statesman. “Fenves’ rules will ban guns in dorms except for three specific exceptions: Concealed handguns will be allowed in dorms’ common areas; people who work in the dorms will be able to carry; and family members visiting the dorms will also be allowed to carry,” writes the Texas Tribune, which details even more kinda complicated stipulations. The news shouldn’t be too much of a surprise, as Fenves “followed the recommendations of an advisory panel whose members included university faculty members, staffers, students and a former chief justice of the Texas Supreme Court.” As the Statesman story notes, however, the guidelines go against the expressed wishes of, like, a lot of people whose opinion should’ve mattered because, you know, they actually go to the university. Even Fenves was in a just-doing-my-job mode. “I do not believe handguns belong on a university campus, so this decision has been the greatest challenge of my presidency to date,” he said in a statement. And with that, the great gun controversy closes a chapter, until the student have their glorious, dildo-armed rebellion next semester.
Settled — So much for all that bickering (and lawsuits) over who owns the 12th Man. The university sued the Indianapolis Colts over their use of the slogan on merchandising, which has done with other sports franchises. “Texas A&M University says it has reached a settlement agreement with the Indianapolis Colts in the school’s federal lawsuit,” reports the AP. “In a statement issued Wednesday, A&M officials said the lawsuit ‘has been settled amicably and with good will.'” That’s probably code for “we got a lot of money,” but that’s just a guess since school officials kept their comments brief and offered “no details were available on the terms of the agreement.”