The State of Texas: Nov. 13, 2013
Video of the Day
An unexpected day off for Aggie players puts them in a wild state of esctasy. We’ve all experienced such a moment, haven’t we?:
Texas By The Numbers
Taxes? We Don’t Need No Stinkin’ Taxes — Percentage of new sales tax for Mexico’s border states: 16 percent. Old sales tax: 11 percent. Texas sales tax: 8.25 percent. Difference: 7.75 percent. Medium cost of Mexican-made flatscreen TV: $200. Amount saved by Mexican residents who cross the border: $15.50.
Rigged Game — Number of oil and gas rigs in the U.S.: 1,754. Last year: 1,806. A decade ago: 1, 111. Number in Texas: 828. Last year: 850. A decade ago: 473.
Extra! Extra! We Did It First! — Newspaper wars used to be momentous. Like when Hearst or Pulitzer fueled an actual war while trying to out-do each other. Now, it’s been reduced to breaking stories concerning personal wells. After the Texas Tribune wrote about Greg Abbott building a well on his property to get around drought codes, the Austin American-Statesman penned a response more passive-aggressive than your annoyingly self-righteous, Post-It-happy roommate. The Statesman‘s piece starts with, “We thought it was such a good story, in fact, that we broke it nearly a year and a half ago,” and pretty much continues on that snarky path to the end. Then, the Austin Chronicle chimed in with “Cue the sound of Texas journos ripping open microwave popcorn and waiting for two news institutions to throw down.” (Guilty!) Except the Chron then explained how it began doing those rich-people-water-their-gardens-differently stories back in 2011, before it was cool. While it’s great that the subject is getting attention in some form or fashion, it’s difficult to imagine a more dorkified squabble.
Voulez-vous Battre Avec Moi, Ce Soir? — Patti LaBelle’s body guard has been found not guilty of assault in the 2011 altercation at Bush Intercontinental Airport. As some may recall, LaBelle’s staff claimed a drunk West Point cadet (the Houston Chronicle amusingly writes that he’d “been drinking before, during, and after his flight”) began harassing them by their limo, resulting in some fisticuffs. The cadet was charged before video surveillance shows that LaBelle’s man started it. Now, the cadet “has sued LaBelle and Holmes for more than $1 million in a civil court for assault,” while LaBelle has counter-sued. Everyone should chill out, maybe drink some magnolia wine.
@DrugLords — There are a few articles on the topic, but Kotaku’s headline is the best: Mexican Drug Cartel Selfies Show the Pouty Side of Crime. Apparently, drug lords love their social media. And it’s mutual. “The [Knights Templar] used to run a Facebook page under the immediately transparent pretense of being a ‘small business,’ which gathered over 10,000 Likes and regular messages of support until it was shut down earlier this year,” according to Vice. The most “surreal and disturbing” part of the whole story is Broly, an alleged cartel member, who has snapped numerous selfies, most of which show him pouting sexy-like with his exposed chest and big guns…real ones, not the ones from the post-workout gun show.
Routine Execution — Yesterday evening, Jamie McCoskey became the fifteenth Texan to be executed this year. The AP’s account of both the murder and execution, is more than unsettling. And unsurprising. As Texas Monthly‘s Maurice Chammah illustrates in his detailed piece, “Executions Are So Common, Even Protesting Has Become Routine.” Chammah was there as Huntsville regulars protested the fourteenth execution of the year. His dispatch is both colorful and reflective to the deeply complicated issue, even among anti-death penalty advocates.