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The State of Texas: October 12, 2015

Another police incident in Prairie View garners national attention, and Abbott might have jinxed the Astros with a tweet.

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Mistake of the Day

Governor Greg Abbott tweeted a preemptive congratulations to the Houston Astros on Monday, and then quickly deleted it even before the team tanked. Unfortunately for Abbott, it wasn’t before everyone began to wonder if the Gov had jinxed things for the Astros in their game against the Kansas City Royals. The lesson? Make no sudden movements if and when the team seems to be doing well. Or maybe get a new crystal ball.

Daily Roundup

Yet Again — Police in Prairie View*, where the Sandra Bland was arrested, are defending the use of a Taser on a black city council member. As the Associated Press details, “Police say they were questioning four men outside Prairie View City Council Member Jonathan Miller’s apartment about suspicious activity in the neighborhood when Miller interfered on Thursday night.” Miller says he was just defending his friends. “Video from police and from one of Miller’s friends shows officers using a Taser on Miller when he was slow in following police commands.” As the story notes, a black officer ordered the use of a Taser on the city council member. Miller said over the weekend that he was “curious to have a conversation with those officers” who arrested him. The investigation has since been turned over to the district attorney, according to NBC News. “The district attorney’s investigation and an internal Prairie View Police Department review will be conducted in part to determine ‘if there’s any training that our officers can benefit from,’ Prairie View Chief of Police Larry Johnson said.”

In Abbott We Trust — Our Governor has waded into the kind of God-fearing controversy Texans love. “In a letter to Attorney General Ken Paxton on Monday, Texas Gov. Greg Abbott lent his full support to the Childress Police Department, which recently came under fire for displaying the motto ‘In God We Trust’ on its patrol vehicles,” the Texas Tribune writes. “Abbott, the state’s former attorney general, cited case law in his letter, saying the motto has survived previous legal challenges for more than 40 years.” Abbott wrote in the letter, “There can be no doubt that courts in Texas would uphold the constitutionality of the Childress Police Department’s decision to place ‘In God We Trust’ on the department’s patrol vehicles. If the Childress Police Department chooses to continue this patriotic display, it will have my full support.” This should make for some great rhetorical fireworks. As the Dallas Morning News writes, following the original complaint from the Freedom From Religion Foundation, the Childress police department issued this very official response: “Go fly a kite.” 

Not Over —  It was a rough day for Astros fans, and that’s even taking into consideration Governor Abbott’s unfortunate tweet. Victory was so close! Or, as Fox Sports put it, “Someplace in the bowels of Minute Maid Park there is a clubhouse attendant who knows whether or not the carts full of champagne and beer were already wheeled into the Astros’ clubhouse.” Alas, that momentum faltered near the finish line, giving the Royals a 9-6 win over the Astros. “The Astros were up by four runs and were only six outs away from advancing to the ALCS. …It wasn’t a Chernobyl-level thing and maybe not even Three-Mile Island. But what happened to the Astros in the eighth inning this afternoon may rank somewhere near the Saint-Laurent disaster in the meltdown pantheon.” Fans are still coming to terms with the eighth inning disaster, still trying to locate the exact moment things fell apart. Although less dramatic, Monday wasn’t much better for the Texas Rangers, who lost 8-4 to the Blue Jays. The good news is that this fight ain’t over for either team. With both teams’ series tied 2-2, there’s still a chance that the Astros and Rangers will come out on top. Just tell politicians to keep out of it.

Clickity Bits

More Details on Shia LaBeouf’s Texas Arrest

First West Explosion Trial Gets Settled

State Senator Kel Seliger’s Unfortunate (and Short) Plane Ride

A Texan is Running for U.S. Speaker of the House

On The Road With Rick Perry

The Terrible KHOU Blackout is Finally Over

Did we miss something? Got a hot tip? Email us at [email protected]. Or tweet @TexasMonthly and @ThatWinkler.

*A previous version incorrectly said the town was Grand Prairie, not Prairie View. We regret the error

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  • lonelyhipster

    Um… you know that Prairie View and Grand Prairie are two different places, right?

  • enp1955

    I’m not at all sure that saying, “in God we Trust” is in any way patriotic. To me, it sounds more religious. If you said, “in America we Trust”, that would be patriotic. Funny how people twist words and meanings.