The State of Texas: November 7, 2014
Win Of the Day
Arian Foster. Running back. Texan. One of the best Twitter-pals you’ll ever have. We all knew it, sure, but Sports Illustrated finally made it official with its list of Top 100 Twitter accounts. If you’re a fantasy football nut (and even if you’re not), Foster is The Twitter Commissioner. There’s also the fact that his Twitter profile is appropriately hip and there are plenty of non-football-related gems. Exhibit Q:
People say I can’t be a vegan. But all Mario ate was flowers and mushrooms and look how big & strong he was. Plus he could spit fireballs.
— Feeno (@ArianFoster) August 28, 2012
Our ladies really know how to rock the heels. As a reminder, below is a graph that’s been making the Internet rounds. Now, we could never compete with Puerto Rico on this catwalk, but Texas does come in at a respectable third:
Here Comes Da Guv — When you have an all-star legal team, you kind of expect them to take slugger-sized swings. And Rick Perry’s legal team did plenty of that. At Tuesday’s pretrial hearing, Perry’s lawyers “argued strenuously that the felony charges against him should be thrown out,” reports the Associated Press. And keep in mind, all that strenuous effort for getting the charges dropped is based “on technicalities.” But what technicalities. “Attorneys for the Republican governor and possible 2016 presidential hopeful sniped so frequently with the special prosecutor leading the case, Michael McCrum, that the proceedings often felt like a television drama — complete with a courtroom packed with reporters and carried live on the Internet.” One of Rick Perry’s lawyers, Tony “Buzzin’ Mad” Buzzbee, “sometimes glared at McCrum as he paced the room.” For his part, McCrum made a point of not referring to the governor as “Mr. Perry,” who happened to be missing his thirty-second wedding anniversary (Mrs. Perry was not present for the courtroom celebrations). Mr. Perry was also rather subdued, or rather, less cheerful than his previous smiles-and-ice-cream appearance. The judge is expected to make his pretrial decision next week.
What Fracking Ban? — Congrats on that fracking ban, Denton. No one cares. Not 48 hours after the ban passed, both the Texas Oil and Gas Association and the Texas General Land Office sued the city. Now Railroad Commission Chairwoman Christi Craddick said the commission will definitely be railroading citizens’s hopes by continuing to hand out drilling permits for Denton, according to the Dallas Morning News. Craddick made the rather unsurprising news during a conversation with the Texas Tribune. “It’s my job to give permits, not Denton’s…We’re going to continue permitting up there because that’s my job,” she said, coming out, as the DMN puts it “strongly against a fracking ban.” Kudos to the DMN for one particularly important note. “Traditionally, local control is a priority for the GOP—to that extent advocating for a restriction on what local authorities can and cannot do presents an irony for Republicans. When questioned on the issue, Craddick, the daughter of longtime state representative and former House speaker Tom Craddick, said she supported the rights of cities to set drilling setback ordinances.” Except, of course, anything that might be a setback for energy companies.
Ebola Free! — Good Job, Texas. We did it. Despite the fear-mongering, crass Halloween efforts and five-too-many stories about dogs, we’re finally Ebola-free.”The last person being monitored in Dallas is expected to be cleared Friday — 15 were released Thursday from twice-daily temperature checks,” reports the Fort Worth Star-Telegram. “The last person monitored for symptoms is a healthcare worker who handled medical waste Oct. 17, according to a statement from the Texas Department of State Health Services.” Dallas County Judge Clay Jenkins pretty much spoke for everyone when he expressed utter relief and, also, “we all have learned a great deal.” One thing the area still needs to learn: loving it’s ethnic community. “‘People are still blaming Liberians for the virus,’ said Stanley Gaye, president of the Liberian Community Association of Dallas-Fort Worth.'” The fiance, Louise Troh, of patient zero,”and three of her relatives have still have not found a permanent place to live.” The implication being is that they can’t for reasons beyond their control. So once they’re back to trying to live a normal life, we can all go back to licking random things in public and making blood-brother pacts with complete strangers.
Tone Death —The murderabilia business is rather macabre to begin with, and now it’s legally questionable. “In what could be a precedent-setting case, the Texas Department of Criminal Justice has ended prison visiting privileges for an online dealer who sells items tied to infamous killers,” reports the Houston Chronicle. “G. William Harder, who has been visiting Texas from his home in California, was removed early this week from “several” inmates’ visitation lists, prison system spokesman Jason Clark said. He did not specify how many inmates were in question.” Harder promises to appeal the decision and it really could get pretty dicey. Harder “maintains that he has never paid inmates for personal items” and it certainly seems he’s being singled out thanks to the recent news reports of his repugnant (but legal) business. What makes Harder’s recent case so particularly ugly is that the murderabilia isn’t from some years-ago case with national significance, a la JFK. Rather, it concerns James Byrd Jr., whose killers in his brutal, racially-motivated slaying in 1998 are on death row. Byrd’s family is still living with that loss. One thing’s for sure, “Harder’s status as a spiritual advisor,” has been suspended and should probably stay suspended.