Fightin’ Words

Austin gets a lot of attention from the national press because of it’s hip, young and the home of SXSW (among other things). But maybe all that adoration has caused the city to contract terminal hubris? That’s certainly a case being made by the citizens of San Antonio, who have begun a petition against an Austin Eater freelancer, who suggested the capital was the “home of the breakfast taco.” Both the Change.org petition to have the writer thrown “out of an unmarked van well outside the boundaries of the state” and the write-up by the San Antonio Express-News are wonderfully vicious (and hopefully tongue-in-cheek). Considering Austin’s largely white population, the angry taco lovers probably have a point. But it’s never easy to wade into the middle of a sibling fight, particular with such a dysfunctional family.

Daily Roundup

Political Fight — Up until now, Ted Cruz has been seemingly operating like a dark Machiavellian prince, but are cracks in the armor beginning to show? First there was his less-than-ideal finish in the South Carolina primary, in which he came in third to Marco Rubio. And while Rubio has garnered Republican endorsements in a collective “oh crap” realization among leaders to halt Donald Trump, Cruz has had “missteps.” In a campaign shakeup Monday, Cruz fired his spokesman Rick Tyler for what was basically a Twitter tiff with the Rubio campaign (welcome to modern politics). If that sounds petty, the conservative-tinged subject makes it sound even sillier. “The controversy stemmed from a video that surfaced over the weekend that portrayed Rubio making a dismissive remark about the Bible as he passed a Cruz staffer and Rafael Cruz, the candidate’s father, in a hotel lobby,” details the Texas Tribune. “In the subtitles of the initial version of the video, Rubio says there are ‘not many answers’ in the Bible.” The Rubio campaign insisted the video, and Tyler’s promoting of it on Twitter, were part of Trump’s mission to make Cruz look like a liar (remember that Ben Carson incident?). Regardless of what actually transpired, “the staff shakeup seems to be an acknowledgment that efforts by Rubio and Trump to brand Cruz a liar are making an impression on the Texas senator’s campaign.” What’s more, even Cruz’s home-court advantage is now being questioned. In a separate piece, the Tribune interviewed “more than a half dozen Texas-based GOP strategists, [and] a consensus emerged: Cruz is still favored to win Texas, but it may not be as easy or resounding a victory as he would like.” Regardless of the reasons, all discussed in the piece, the strategists “noted it was remarkable that Cruz facing serious competition in his home state has even become a topic of conversation.” If Trump makes just one visit to the Muslim-hating Irving area, maybe he could produce the ultimate Texas surprise.

Porn Problems — As predicted, someone has filed a lawsuit against the city of Dallas for banning the porn and sex expo at the Kay Bailey Hutchinson Convention Center. But the real money shot are the details of that lawsuit. The plaintiff is one Chino Salas, whose “Facebook bio introduces him as the owner of Gentlemen’s Texas Magazine, which can be found inside local strip clubs, and ToplessFinder.com, which speaks for itself,” writes Robert Wilonsky, in one of the most entertaining first sentences ever. Salas is “demanding a temporary and permanent injunction prohibiting the city from enacting the council’s ban” and insisting that “Exxxotica does not engage in obscenity or any other form of unconstitutional speech.” The headline of the Dallas Morning News story is pretty dern cheeky, partly because Salas said he “wants to attend Exxxotica as both a private citizen and a vendor.” Even better, Salas’s lawsuit is just the tip of it. “There’s a possibility — and I am not saying it’s gong to happen — but a possibility this might turn into a class-action suit where the city could be prosecuted by everybody who would like to attend Exxotica,” said Salas’s lawyer.

Float Fight — Just when you thought it was safe to enjoy the BorderFest, here comes another BorderFest fight. The previous squabble, somewhat resolved, was in regards to where the annual BorderFest would be held: longtime host Hidalgo, or the RGV’s power center McAllen (thanks to a sneaky, wheelin’-and-dealin’ effort by the latter’s city manager). “This time it’s over parade floats, and the bitter fight is getting personal,” writes The Monitor, which is clearly having fun with the issue. Attorneys for McAllen are kinda-sorta holding float materials hostage, asking a court to clarify the decision of a previous temporary injunction that demanded Hidalgo be given nearly any and all materials related to the BorderFest.  Both the BorderFest Association (an arm of McAllen) and Hidalgo claim to own said float “materials.” The day after the judge issued an order prohibiting “the association from using or possessing any floats or equipments ‘taken from the city of Hidalgo’ or ‘purchased by the city of Hidalgo,'” the city “sent a strongly worded letter to McAllen asking the city to return equipment that was previously removed from it premises by McAllen city employees.” McAllen is claiming this is all a misunderstanding, and that once Hidalgo provides “a detailed list of the property … along with reasonable proof of ownership,” McAllen will happy turn it over. At this point, the whole fight is beginning to resemble warring factions of a summer camp. BorderFest is scheduled for March 4-5, although it may now turn into a BorderFight.

Clickity Bits

Quitter Bush Takes All the Fun Out of a Texas Ad War

Well, If You Have to Ask: “Should Fans be Worried About This Year’s SXSW Gaming?”

The Grand Pronghorn Relocation Effort Continues

Woman Indicted in Husband’s Strangulation by ‘Hair Wad’ Death

What It’s Like to Live as a Muslims in Texas (Spoiler: Terrifying)

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