The State of Texas: June 13, 2014
Video of the Day
George H.W. Bush turned ninety yesterday, and as per his yearly tradition, he went skydiving, paying no mind to the wheelchair that waited for him on the ground. Below is 41 coming in for the landing, taken by his granddaughter Jenna Bush Hager:
Texas has an appearance in the long-dreaded Dumber & Dumber sequel. Sorta. One half-second shot in the recently released trailer has Jim Carrey standing next to a sign that reads “Historic El Paso.” The only minor glitch, as the El Paso Times notes, is that the “scene with the actors was filmed at Marietta Square in Georgia.” Apparently, though, the movie is partially set in actual El Paso. So … yay?
Return of the Gaffe — Governor Rick Perry was in San Francisco to tout Texas’s amazing business acumen when he was asked if homosexuality is a disorder. While the Governor has usually stayed away from such social matters, this time he felt inclined to say “Whether or not you feel compelled to follow a particular lifestyle or not, you have the ability to decide not to do that,” at which point he offered up the example of alcoholism. “I may have the genetic coding that I’m inclined to be an alcoholic, but I have the desire not to do that, and I look at the homosexual issue the same way.”
Welcome Back(?) — Texas has a new guest that some around the country have mixed feelings about. Sergeant Bowe Bergdahl, the former Taliban hostage who was returned to the United States in exchange for a few Taliban soldiers has arrived in San Antonio. “He was taken to Brooke Army Medical Center, where he will continue treatment initiated at a U.S. military hospital in Germany,” according to NBC News. As CNN notes, “Bergdahl’s full physical recovery may take months; his public rehabilitation will likely take longer.” While this may mean hordes of press parachuting in for a piece of the Bergdahl story, the military is mercifully keeping the solider as well guarded as Area 51. “Bergdahl will not make any public appearances during this phase of his reintegration, and the Pentagon said there would be no media access to his stay.”
Border Emergency — The situation with undocumented immigrants crossing the border has prompted Attorney General Greg Abbott to ask President Obama for money. (Let’s hope the commander-in-chief hasn’t heard Abbott’s favorite “I go into the office, I sue the federal government and I go home” line.) “Abbott, the Republican nominee for governor, said the Texas Department of Public Safety is ready to ‘swiftly launch’ a border-security operation that would cost about $1.3 million per week,” according to the Texas Tribune. “The funds would pay for overtime for troopers who work 12-hour shifts, as well as fuel and lodging.” As the Tribune notes, the emergency request “comes after a U.S. Senate committee on Tuesday approved an additional $2 billion to help deal with the influx.” In his letter, Abbott wrote, “Securing the U.S.-Mexico border is the federal government’s responsibility. Because that simply is not happening, the State of Texas is seeking emergency funding to help support state-based border security initiatives.”
Hospital Hell — What would Friday the thirteenth be without a horror story? Unfortunately, this one is very real. “A missing Texas woman was found in a Houston hospital stairwell three days after the staff discharged her,” according to the New York Daily News. “Mary Reyna’s daughter is furious with St. Joseph Medical Center [in Houston]. She claimed the hospital released her 69-year-old diabetic mom without telling anyone, and then found her abandoned, lying in her own waste days later.” The poor woman is back in the hospital and the family is understandably upset, particularly since the woman says a “hospital worker locked her inside a different room for three days until she managed to escape and then climbed into a stairwell.” For its part, the hospital’s initial story is that the hospital was given bad information by the patient, who walked out on her own while the staff attempted to contact the family. The hospital is now conducting an internal investigation.