The State of Texas: October 14, 2014
Video Of the Day
With the state’s college teams doing so-so this year (lookin’ at you, Longhorns), it’s a particular pleasure to watch the high school kids really kick some gridiron butt. This is doubly so when they do trick plays. Enter the Hebron Hawks from Lewisville, whose onside kick during a game against Allen is pure genius, due in part to the fact that the great kick somehow turns into a great pass:
Junk Food Tuesday
The Texas State Fair is a giant fryer of deliciously creative fried foods, but perhaps none of the offerings can match the ultimate Texas snack of fried tequila shots. The San Antonio Express-News has the skinny of this super fatty item that’s understandably become a social media hit, particularly since the “recipe consists of soaking cubes of angel food cake in tequila, or any kind of liquor, and frying it in oil.”
Ebola Watch: Day 13 — The media has descended on the Ebola patient in Dallas and now we know a bit more about Nina Pham, a Texas Health Presbyterian Hospital nurse who helped attend to Patient Zero Thomas Duncan and became the first person infected with Ebola inside the U.S. She’s a TCU graduate with “deep roots in Fort Worth,” according to the Star-Telegram. She has a dog (who won’t be euthanized), and she goes to church. What’s not known yet is how, exactly, Pham contracted Ebola since she was supposedly wearing all the right protective gear. The director of the Centers for Disease Control told reporters Monday that somewhere along the way there was a “breach in protocol,” and that is when the virus was contracted. Officials are now investigating just what that breach was. In the meantime, Pham has received a blood transfusion from Ebola survivor Dr. Kent Brantly. “This is the third time Brantly has done so since recovering from Ebola. He also donated to NBC News freelance cameraman Ashoka Mukpo and aid worker Dr. Rick Sacra, who left the Nebraska Medical Center virus-free in September,” according to the Dallas Morning News. In the commotion over Pham it’s also been reported that about seventy staff members at the hospital were in contact with Duncan. It’s an obvious area of concern, since, as the Express-News notes, it “suggests that many other people could have been exposed to the virus during Duncan’s time in an isolation unit.” Suffice it to say, officials are taking no chances. On anything. A Louisiana judge just signed an order “temporarily blocking ash from the incineration of [Duncan’s] belongings to be disposed of at a southwest Louisiana site,” according to the Associated Press. The Lake Charles chemical waste company “said Monday that it would not accept the ash until state officials agree that doing so would pose no public health threat. But the state’s attorney general’s office went ahead with the restraining order request “‘out of an abundance of caution.'” Expect that to be the phrase/excuse of the year: out of an abundance of caution.
Feeling Gassy — Looks like part of the Texas Miracle is also part of the “Texas Curse.” The state has been doing gangbusters thanks to the oil and gas boom. Unfortunately, the state is also a slave to the system. As Corpus Christi A&M professor Jim Lee explains in an item from KRISTV, “A drop in oil prices will help the rest of the country, but not Texas. …Texas is an oil producing state.” As the story notes, “Today’s AAA national average price of $3.20 a gallon might be cause for celebration for consumers, but for those who produce and sell oil and gas–it really hurts.” The state’s prices dropped by almost a dime last week and it may be a sign of our gas & oil production being too successs. “AAA says global oil prices have continued to slide as supplies have outpaced demandgas prices texas,” according to CBS’s DFW affliate. “‘We are seeing benefits of over production and less usage,'” said John Graham, an oil and gas producer quoted by KETK. “He said these lower prices could be a bad sign for our state. ‘Oil is being priced now at a position that is being taken advantage of in various fields that normally wouldn’t be take advantage of.'” So take your pick, Texas: cheap gas or a state whose infrustructue could barely be salvaged with a booming economy.
Crippled — The Wendy Davis show is not going well. After the campaign released its weekend TV ad attacking Greg Abbott, almost everyone in the media and beyond cried “foul.” Abbott had possibly the most wiley and succincent response when he said, “If she wants to attack a guy in a wheelchair, that’s her perogative.” Davis, however, defended the ad Monday during a press conference, repeatedly calling Abbott a “hypocrite” suing the homeowners whose tree left him disabled but denying the same justice to Texans once he was in office. “Greg Abbott got his justice. Why doesn’t he believe that a rape survivor or a person with a disability or a victim paralyzed forever … should get justice too? What makes Greg Abbott think it’s okay to deny them, his fellow Texans, the justice that he rightly went to court to receive?,” according to the Politico story. If Abott’s a hypocrite, it’s hard not to see Davis and this last ditch effort—including the event in which “Davis was introduced during her speech by disability rights activists and a survivor of sexual assault. A couple of supporters were using wheelchairs.”—as a craven cynic. Or not! Texas Monthly‘s own Dan Solomon offers what is perhaps the most unique perspective on the ad controversy, thanks particularly to the unfortnuate circumstances surrounding his wife’s medical issue. For anyone making arguments that the ad was absolutely the worst and with no redeeming value, Solomon’s piece is definitely worth a read.
Trick Or Treat — Rick Perry is finally going to court. On October 31! This is not a trick, and certainly no treat for the governor. “During the upcoming court appearance, Perry’s attorneys will argue that [Special Prosecutor Michael] McCrum was never properly sworn in, and also that he should produce transcripts of secret grand jury testimony for the judge to review,” reports KHOU. “McCrum joked with reporters that the governor’s legal team is throwing the kitchen sink at him.” By that, he means the Perry team is cover all its bases by trying to get the case nixed with two completely seperate motions, just in case. “[One motion argues] that the case is unconstitutional because Perry was within his rights to issue the veto, and the other seeking to throw it out on technicalities, including whether McCrum was properly sworn in and if [Rosemary] Lehmberg filed appropriate paperwork to recuse herself from the case.” Since there won’t be any awesome mugshots this time, maybe Perry shows up to court dressed as either a United States President or late-night Lehmberg.