The State of Texas: Nov. 1, 2013
Tweet of the Day
There’s a reason people don’t like them Hollywood liberals comin’ down here with their politics. They get it wrong. Brat Pack alum Molly Ringwald sent out the following tweet, surprising many that Houston is constitutionally obligated to have its own special governor. Ringwald later deleted the Tweet and sent a corrected one, citing jet lag for her civics mistake.
Major Whiplash — Yesterday, a federal appeals court reversed the reversal of the newly enacted abortion law, which means the status of statewide Planned Parenthood facilities have changed more times than Lady Gaga changes costumes during an awards show. The Attorney General’s office had filed the appeal earlier in the week, asking for an emergency stay of the decision by District Judge Lee Yeakel’s ruling that declared the required admitting privileges for doctors was a potential health risk for woman and likely unconstitutional. In its reversal, the three-judge Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals, in New Orleans, “cited a Supreme Court statement in an earlier abortion case that if a regulation serves a valid purpose, the fact that it has ‘the incidental effect of making it more difficult or more expensive to procure an abortion cannot be enough to invalidate it.'” The judges seemed to argue that, hey, since the state’s probably gonna win the inevitable legal war anyway, might as well give’m this battle, too. Unsurprisingly, an appeal to reverse the reversal of the reversal is expected be filed in very near future. The state of Texas now has a, er, choice. It can enact the law or not … at least until the near future—probably January—when a complete hearing on the law will be held.
What Drought? — In Texas, when it rains, it pours … to the point of flooding, apparently. More than a foot of rain fell on the state’s “midsection,” as the AP called Central Texas. The deluge has reportedly killed two and left dozens in need of rescue, of which the AP article notes several heroic efforts by our firefighters. Just how bad was it? If you’ve seen that photo of the Steve Ray Vaughan statue beside Lady Bird Lake in Austin, then you know. Ol’ SRV was up to his waist in water, adding a whole new level of literalness to his classic song and album Texas Flood. The photo really is amazing. Thankfully, the Austin American-Statesman has a story about the photographer who took it, who isn’t just some foolish teen with a Instagram account who got very lucky, but a professional photographer named Reagan Hackleman. The real danger for Hackleman wasn’t the flooding, but rather, the social networks that ended up sharing his work without much or any credit. So here’s to you Hackleman! Heckuva job.
Texas Horror Story — Jeepers creepers. Authorities in Hidalgo County have arrested a woman for allegedly performing cosmetic routines without a license, reportedly posing as a doctor and injecting people with silicone instead of botox. The results weren’t some hilarious reversal of boobs and lips, but rather serious injury and a possible death. The woman offered services for $250, a remarkable discount from the legal going rate of about $4,600. She solicited “as many as 30 men and women,” and, according to the sheriff, most of the the victims “are immigrants in the country illegally, including strippers. Because of that, deputies have had trouble identifying all victims who received the injections.” According to the extensive report from The Monitor, authorities are also looking at “possible conspiracy charges at the various spas that allowed Gonzalez to practice without a license.”
Aftermath — Authorities are still unraveling all the details that lead to a killing spree in Terrell. On Monday, Charles Everett Brownlow Jr. shot and killed four members of his family along with another unrelated person. Authorities now say that Brownlow had made a “hit list” and was just two more deaths away from completing it when it was apprehended after an hours-long manhunt.
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