The State of Texas: June 20, 2014
Photo of the Day
Well, it’s a photoshop of the day. But in honor of Hillary Clinton arriving in Texas today to promote her pre-presential-run memoir, here’s the get-up that would surely win her the Lone Star State on election night:
Hold the Borderline — Top officials have given the signal and now a new border security “surge” has begun. The latest effort comes with a $1.3 million-a-week price tag approved by Governor Rick Perry and state offials. Details of the directive are vague, though the Texas Department of Public Safety “discussed its new mission, saying it would not include enforcing immigration laws, as it lacks that authority,” according to the Texas Tribune. Instead, “the DPS will … partner with local and federal authorities on a round-the-clock basis to ‘deter and disrupt drug and human trafficking, and other border-related crimes.'” The DPS also said “the agency would not establish roadside checkpoints, which were a controversial component of a law enforcement surge in the Rio Grande Valley last year.” This latest effort, according to the Fort Worth Star-Telegram, is expected to continue “through at least the end of the calendar year, using any money allocated for the agency.”
Engineering Failure — Looks like the town of Allen has a scapegoat for its colossal headache. A report conducted found by an outside firm found that the huge cracks breaking through the two-year-old, $60 million stadium “are primarily engineering failures” and “While the concourse is the largest and most serious area, we did find failures in the structural design throughout the stadium,” reports the Dallas Morning News. “The investigation found design flaws in seven major areas: concourse framing, retaining walls, press box support columns, the press box structure, single-story structures, the main scoreboard and the durability of the stadium.” Which kinda sounds like design flaws in, er, just about every thing. The company responsible for all the cracks will be the same one fixing all the cracks. But thankfully, the citizens of Allen are off the financial hook for the do-over.
Rooster Booster — Houston and federal officials were not joking when they announced earlier this month they were cracking down on the sex trade. “The alleged leader of an international sex-trafficking ring that used beatings, threats and rape to force women from Mexico into prostitution at Houston bars was handed over by Mexico Thursday,” according to the Associated Press. “Gerardo ‘El Gallo’ Salazar, 47, was considered by authorities here to have been the region’s most wanted human trafficker.” It’s not often a bad guy is so clearly drawn. El Gallo (The Rooster), has been wanted by the U.S. for more than ten years and “is said to have tattooed his victims with images of the fowl to show they were his property.” Apart from clipping the wings of this rooster, the hand-off to the U.S. is important because it marks the first time Mexico “has extradited one of its citizens to Texas to face such charges.”
Attack of the ‘Super Weed’ — No, not some alien marijuana from outerspace, but rather, a pesky plant is wreaking havoc on Texas cotton crops. Now, in an emergency request, the state’s Department of Agriculture is petitioning the EPA to allow farmers to use a controversial pesticide, propazine, on about three million acres. The emergency request marks “a new front in the war on ‘super weeds’ that has divided agricultural groups and environmentalists,” according to the Wall Street Journal. And by “super weeds,” they’re not kidding. The evasive plant, known as pigweed, can grow an astonding three inches a day. The farmers would use another pesticide, but it looks like the plant has become resistent to it. So what’s the controvesy with propazine? “The Center for Food Safety, a nonprofit advocacy group, and other environmental watchdogs oppose the proposal on the grounds that propazine poses potential risks to human health. Propazine has been identified by the EPA as a possible human carcinogen.” And it’s closely related to a “herbicide used by many corn growers that is banned in the European Union” because studies indicate “it can interrupt sexual reproduction in frogs, and result in potential human reproductive problems.” So, it’s your choice: kids or clothes! The EPA began seeking public comment on Wednesday and “typically rules on emergency exemptions within 50 days.”