The State of Texas: Oct. 29, 2013
Skit of the Day
As previews for his latest soiree began making the rounds, Texas’s quirkiest son, Wes Anderson, is once again the focus of both adulation and gentle ribbing. In the latter category, Saturday Night Live‘s recent skit imagines just how Wes Anderson-y a Wes Anderson-directed horror film would look like. The joke is getting lots of internet shares, though it’s also a gag Conan O’Brien did a year ago. So which is your favorite: Han Solo as a put-upon freelancer or Owen Wilson “in a tale of handmade horror”?
Battle in the Belly — And round two goes to pro-choice advocates. Yesterday, a district judge blocked parts of the new abortion law requiring doctors to have admitting privileges at local hospitals. That decision was a significant body blow to the law as the provision would’ve been a TKO for about a third of the state’s abortion clinics. Planned Parenthood, one of the lawsuit’s plaintiffs, was saved by the bell, as the new law was less than 24 hours away from being implemented. The ruling on another provision resulted in more of a tie. Judge Lee Yeakel said providers need to follow cumbersome FDA guidelines regarding abortion drugs, although exceptions can be made. None of the parties is celebrating or mourning yet, as there’s more to come. The state immediately appealed the decision, “meaning the case heads to the 5th Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals, which has recently upheld numerous laws that restrict abortion.” Then there’s the ultimate prize-fight at the Supreme Court. The out-of-towners over at Slate have one of the best and clearest explanations of Monday’s decision, which, in short, “settles nothing.” And the Lubbock Avalanche-Journal has a nice, to-the-point roundup of statements made by all the usual political suspects. The law’s one provision that a majority of Texans agree on—the ban on late-term abortions after twenty weeks—has gone into effect.
No Problem ID’ed — Nevermind the uproar a female judge made last week. All is apparently fine and dandy with the newly implemented voter ID law that requires loads of married woman to sign affidavits declaring themselves to indeed be themselves. At least, that’s the case in Central Texas. “Election officials in Travis, Williamson and Hays counties have not reported any major problems with women being unable to vote under the law,” reports the Austin American-Statesman. The affidavits, it should be noted, aren’t lengthy depositions or an intimate quiz to prove the person’s legal and existential status, but rather, a simple “box on a form at poll workers’ tables.” Even Wendy Davis, who has slightly different names on her various IDs, was cool with the tiny extra step. “It was a simple procedure … I signed the affidavit and was able to vote with no problem,” said Davis, according to the Fort Worth Star-Telegram.
LatiNO for Texans — For many, the descriptors “Hispanic” and “Latino” are as interchangeable as toe-may-toe/toe-mah-toe. However, in Texas, the preferred term is Hispanics, or at least that’s according to a new survey from the Pew Research Center. “Among Hispanic Texans 46 percent prefer the term Hispanic, while just 8 percent say they prefer the term ‘Latino’ — roughly a 6-to-1 ratio.” It’s a vast difference from the rest of the country’s Hispanic/Latino population, of which ” many are ambivalent about the two terms” with “half [saying] they have no preference for either term” and a 2-1 ratio for “Hispanic” for those that do have a preference. Either way, Texas Hispanics/Latinos are much more American than the rest of the country—thirty percent describe themselves as “Americans”, compared to twenty percent nationally. Dios les bendiga a todos los Tejanos.
Fool For a Client — Breaking Bad‘s conniving lawyer, Saul, is real! And in Texas. And a convict. Marco Antonio Delgado, a west Texas lawyer, was found guilty Monday of laundering drug money for a Mexican cartel, according to The Facts. The barrister faces twenty years for the sole count, though the count of the laundered cash was much more: about $600 million. “Delgado testified he didn’t know that any of the money was connected to drug trafficking and didn’t learn about its true origin until he was re-arrested in 2012,” according to The Facts, which noted that the first arrest came after Delgado was found with $1 million. Delgado’s defense was even more stunning the the laundered sum. “Delgado’s defense team has claimed that associates of … the ex-wife of Mexico’s former president Vicente Fox Quesada, had asked him to help move the funds associated with an inheritance and the construction companies.”