The State of Texas: November 20, 2014
Videos of the day
Despite their questionable acting chops, Foot Locker sure does love itself some Texas basketball players. Pushing it’s “Week of Greatness” holiday campaign, the shoe cobbler has ads featuring both the Rockets’ James Harden and the Spurs’ Tim Duncan. Like the bearded man himself, the Harden ad takes the hip and viral approach (also rips from the Thomas Crowne Affair):
A bit more in line with Foot Locker’s approach, Duncan’s ad is the real winner, as it joshes the NBA’s most socially stilted player:
Van de Ka-Putte — The rumors were true. Leticia Van de Putte is running for San Antonio mayor. The state senator and former candidate for lietuenant govenor announced her plan to resign from office yesterday during an interview with KSAT. Today, “she is expected to send a letter to Gov. Rick Perry declaring her intent to resign, giving Perry the ability to call a special election,” according to the Texas Tribune. However, to ensure she and her party come out on top for once, “Van de Putte intends to only vacate her seat once the special election’s winner is sworn in.” When Julián Castro left the position to run the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development, it must have been a sign that the S.A. mayoral seat was endowed with magical big gig powers. After all, state rep Mike Villarreal is giving up his seat to run as well. Van de Putte told KSAT that “she was not running against Villarreal, but ‘running to be mayor,'” which is probably code for I’m going to kick your butt. After all, the two have locked horns before. “The two Bexar County Democrats collided 15 years ago in a race that spawned headlines for its weirdness,” writes the San Antonio Express-News. “Their working relationship would never completely recover.” Let’s hope this race is just as entertaining.
Bordering On Revolt — President Barack Obama plans to announce an executive action on immigration today and just about every single Republican in the country is none-too-pleased. While national conservatives are going so far as to say they might seek impeachment, Governor Rick Perry is sticking to the tried-and-true method of a lawsuit. Perry said yesterday suing Obama over his action was “a very real possibility,” according to the Houston Chronicle. If it sounds a little late in the game for outgoing Perry to make such a claim, governor-elect Greg Abbott also said “he believes the state has standing in such a case.” In the meantime, the recently announced surge of National Guard troops won’t last as long as initially thought. “Lt. Gov. David Dewhurst said Wednesday that the National Guard presence along the Mexican border would be drawn down by March or April,” reports the Austin American-Statesman. “[B]ut that the increased presence of state Department of Public Safety officers would enable Texas to extend enhanced enforcement activities along the Texas-Mexico frontier.” Will that mean the state won’t spend the whole $86 million set aside for the effort? Of course not! But Dewhurst said we should plan for another invasion after Obama pushes his executive action. Oddly enough, it’s not Texas, nor a border state even, that’s seeing the biggest immigration influx right now. According to a new Pew Research study, “undocumented migrants make up more of the labor force in … Nevada.” While it might have more workers, Nevada “is among 14 states that experienced a drop in their undocumented immigration populations. … Texas was not among those 14 states.”
Fifth Draft — At this rate, history is going to repeat itself a thousand times over before Texas can approve any social studies books. “State Board of Education members postponed action Tuesday on new social studies textbooks and e-books after learning that several publishers were still making corrections and other changes to ensure final approval of their books,” according to the Dallas Morning News. “A motion to tentatively approve the list of books failed” although “most of the books are still expected to gain final approval on Friday.” As the Tribune notes, “After an afternoon spent wrangling over the proper definition of jihad and the influence of Moses on the Founding Fathers, it was Common Core that ultimately derailed” the initial vote. And why, exactly, did some people object to Common Core? Because it existed. “I’m not voting for anything that says Common Core, I can assure you of that,” said Dallas Republican board member Tincy Miller. Not even the Democrats are eager to get the books through. “A motion to tentatively approve the list of books failed as five board members voted yes, five voted no, and four abstained, ” with “The five no votes … were cast by Democrats.”
Game Of Chicken — Anyone excited about a possible rekindling of the A&M-UT rivalry might need to cool their boot heels. “Aggies – or perhaps the SEC on the Aggies’ behalf – making sure there will be no postseason matchup of two of college football’s most bitter divorcees,” reports Chip Brown of HornsDigest. “Two sources close to the situation told HornsDigest.com SEC officials have indicated to bowls with SEC and Big 12 tie-ins that the SEC won’t support a Texas vs Texas A&M postseason matchup. In short, A&M has too much to lose from a potential loss. … Right now, the Aggies and Kevin Sumlin are seen as the school to beat in the Lone Star State in recruiting. Why risk diminishing that status with just more than two months until National Signing Day?” Why? Because not only would it be cool to celebrate the 120th anniversary of their first battle, but we also miss this epic in-state rivalry.
End Of The Ride — The family of the women who fell to her death at Six Flags Over Texas has settled with the amusement park and creator of the Texas Giant rollcoaster,” according to the New York Daily News. As one might expected the settlement is “undisclosed,” although the family is apparently, “very pleased with the settlement and appreciates the condolences offered by Six Flags and Gerstlauer.” During the lawsuit, both Six Flags and the German manufacturer had pointed the finger at one another. The settlement puts an end to the tragedy that occurred in July 2013 after the women fell to her death. She had reportedly complained that her restraints didn’t seem secure.