The State of Texas: June 6, 2014
Tired of the hustle and bustle of life in the Big Apple? Then San Marcos is the place for you! At least, that seems to be the message the Greater San Marcos Partnership is going with in a fifteen-second advertisement which will run eighteen times a day on the CBS jumbotron in NYC, about a block from Times Square:
Spurred — In the end, nothing’s better than the final score. But having a little fun on the way to the top doesn’t hurt. As most everyone in Texas knows, the Spurs won the first game of the NBA Finals against the Heat, 110-95. The drama of the night revolved around LeBron James, who had to be assisted off the court in the final minutes thanks to leg cramps attributed to the arena’s heat (the dern A/C went out). Of course, fans immediately began the kind of mocking that’s not going away any time soon. The obvious, ironic takeaway: the Heat can’t take the heat. Also, “Lebroning” is now a word and the Spurs arena’s A/C unit started its own Twitter account. All this bodes well for San Antonio mayor Julian Castro, who has a friendly wager with Miami-Dade County Mayor Carlos A. Gimenez. “f the Spurs win the championship, Gimenez will have to send some of the region’s famous stone crabs to Castro,” reports the Express-News, “but if the Heat ends on top, Castro will send Gimenez a batch of food prepared by San Antonio Chef Johnny Hernandez.
Back In The Saddle Again? — Governor Rick Perry opened up the GOP state convention in Fort Worth yesterday with a invocation that was hardly subtle as a preliminary presidential campaign speech. And just about every news organization took the bait. “Perry’s speech, which clocked in a little over 30 minutes, was flawlessly delivered before an audience of delegates … But Perry is now very much considering a second run, and everything about his speech Thursday — touting Texas as a model for America — offered a blueprint for a second run,” according to the Austin American-Statesman. Perry’s speech, riveting as it was, also had some nice conservative boilerplate. “[Perry] won his most sustained applause when he launched into a litany of ways the federal government intrudes on state sovereignty and prerogatives — from education to environmental protection. He portrayed Texas as a powerhouse of both economic and educational opportunity.”
Cashed Out Crops — As if we needed anymore confirmation that the drought has been a terrible, horrible, no-good, very bad thing, a new five-year study has come out confirming just that. The U.S. Department of Agriculture’s “Census of Agriculture showed that the market value of agricultural products sold in Texas jumped from $21 billion in 2007 to more than $25 billion in 2012,” reports the Texas Tribune. But production numbers are significantly lower for many crops and livestock, and overall production expenses for farmers are also higher—$25.4 billion in 2012, compared with $19.2 billion in 2007. The increase in expenses appears to be driven by higher feed prices and rising utility expenses, along with higher chemical, seed and labor costs.” Lest anyone get all excited about that higher market value, it’s due to some basic economic principles, namely supply and demand. Perhaps the only silver lining is that Texas may soon be a beautiful landscape of sunflowers, as farmers turn to cultivating the more drought resistent crop.
Borderline Enraging — Stories of the terrible conditions endured by detained illegal immigrants have made the media rounds, and now pictures have surfaced, telling a whole ‘nother 1,000-word tale. Breitbart Texas obtained unbelievably stark government-issued photos showing the immigrants—at a U.S. Border Patrol facility in the Rio Grande Valley—packed into warehouse-sized holding cells. The most upsetting images are undoubtedly those of the children, held in a seperate area, where they sat, slept and passed the time on bare concrete floors. Officials have been all but mum on the shocking images. According to the San Antonio Express-News, “A spokesperson for U.S. Customs and Border Protection said the agency has not ‘officially released any photos at this time in order to protect the rights and privacy of unaccompanied minors in our care.'” How thoughtful of them.