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The State of Texas: Oct. 14, 2013

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Photos of the Day

Looks like that lil art installation on Austin’s Lady Bird Lake meant to highlight the state’s drought was more of a sacrificial offering than anything else. As you may have noticed, Texas got a little wet this past weekend. The deluge was enough to cancel the last day of the Austin City Limits Music Festival, not because musicians these days can’t stand a little rain, but because sound doesn’t travel well when it’s completely underwater. The photos of a flooded Zilker Park are pretty cray-cray. Even schools, like Sealy’s middle school, became a swamp habitat.

Costume Corner

You’re not culturally relevant until someone turns your ideas into a Halloween costume. In that regard, Texas Monthly has made it! The Houston Press‘s slideshow of outfit ideas includes a Greg Abbott getup as inspired by The (Attorney) General’s recent Texas Monthly cover. Only a matter of time now before the “sexy Greg Abbott” costume begins making the rounds.

Daily Roundup

The Chosen One — Our own Ted Cruz has won the 2016 presidential election in a landslide. Well, a straw poll. At the Values Voter Summit. At the yearly meetup of religious conservatives, Cruz won by a righteous 42 percent, ascending high above former favorite Rick Santorum. Without getting into such Biblical passages like 1 Corinthians 3:12-15, the straw poll and summit are “considered an early indication of how conservative voters are leaning.” As CNN observed, “his first-place finish captured the highest percentage of votes since the straw poll began in 2007.” And if Cruz’s Passion Play against Obamacare wasn’t a clear enough indication that he’s become the hard right savior, over the weekend Teddy rubbed elbows with Old Testament hero, Sarah Palin, during a crusade at the World War II Memorial in D.C. In what the Dallas Morning News calls “shutdown theater,” Cruz and the former celebutician fanned conservative outrage over the shutdown by turning the memorial’s closuretech into an odd Berlin Wall-like demonstration. In front of a crowd of hundreds Cruz said, “Let me ask a simple … Why is the federal government spending money to erect barricades to keep veterans out of this memorial?” It’s a pretty legitimate question, although Cruz, Palin and a host of other decidedly non-veteran folks are now pontificating with all the sincerity of a pharoah’s promise. Thankfully, having headline names hitching their political wagons to the memorial mini-controversy means the debate can now be shifted from a boring discussion of health care to the sexier question of a Cruz/Palin ticket. Liberals may seen this as a sign of the apocalypse. But rejoice! That campaign would be more spectacular than Technicolored dreamcoat.

Couldn’t’ve Come Sooners Enough — Texas got rain and the Longhorns won a game. Sometimes, The Lord really does provide. As if they were saving all their great playing and hard work for a single game, Texas absolutely trounced the number-ten OU, proving that it’s the fourth time that’s a charm. You’ve never seen grown men so ecstatic over winning a hat. In all fairness, it was a spectacular beating and “arguably one of the greatest and most unexpected performances in [coach Mack] Brown’s career,” according to USAToday. It was just the prayer Brown needed answered, though it may be too little too late. Although UT is now undefeated in Big 12 play, bloodlust is like breaking through a defensive line—the momentum only really stops once somebody goes down. Few professional armchair quarterbacks think the win will be enough to keep Brown from getting benched. In fact, they’re saying Mack should use the win to quit with dignity. That’s more than can be said of the Houston Texans’ Matt Schaub, whom many would prefer quit with or without (mostly without) the dignity, especially after this weekend. Not that fans had much of it themselves. When the quarterback bowed out in the third quarter due to an ankle injury, “a smattering of fans cheered.”

Breaking Bad, Texas-Style — Well, this is sufficiently frightening: “Officials at a Texas middle school are trying to figure out how a group of young students obtained a liquid form of methamphetamine and are fearful that a strange, more potent form of the drug may have found its way into the community,” according to TIME magazine. As if making crystal meth by simply shaking plastic bottles wasn’t easy enough, now the stuff can be taken easier than Flintstone vitamins. The most surprisingly tidbit from this piece is that all the students appear to be eigth grade girls. As if being a step behind the younguns when it comes to technology isn’t bad enough, Texas City officials said they’d never even seen that kind of meth before. Officialls are still investigating the incident. According to one account, the bust happened after the girls were “acting kind of zombie-like and kind of delirious.” There must’ve been other clues, however, since that describes just about any eigth grader.

Let’s Get Kinky, Y’all! — Texas’ most famous Jewish Cowboy is at it again. Kinky Friendman announced his intention to run for Ag Commish on the Democratic ticket. According to one report, Kinky was gonna take another stab at governor, but decided against it after Wendy Davis made her bid. Already starting with the jokes, Kinky said he expects his candidacy to be “a boost for Democratic candidates up and down the ballot.” This’ll be the Texas legend’s second swipe at the Ag Commish job. The announcement tease over the weekend lacked the usual Kinky Friedman wit, but it was mercifully less climactic than Wendy Davis’ runup. A more formal announcement is expected later today. To bone up on Kinky’s platform positions, you can read his numerous columns in the Texas Monthly archives.

Calling All Nightmare — As mentioned last Friday, the Houston Press recently published a ghoulish story about nightmares that’ve happened in professsional kitchens. Since loads of Texans have been foodservice employees at least once, we’d love to hear more frightening tales from around the state. So if you’ve got a gruesome, macabre, or even campy horror story about kitchen work, we want it. Send your ghastly tales to the Daily Post‘s email: [email protected]. Closer to Halloween, we’ll feature the some of the best/worst/funniest ones.

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