The State of Texas: October 20, 2014
GIF of the Day
World-famous pro baseball players — they’re just like us! Alex Rodriquez, now a citizen, got to see what it was like to be a mere spectator when Tony Romo almost ran him over en route to his workday. Based on Rodriquez’s facial express, he is clearly not used to being anything other than the center of attention:
Video of the Day
No good ever came from driving a motorcycle on sleek, smooth hardwood floor. This is especially true of respected NCAA basketball coaches, like Texas Tech’s Tubby Smith, with a fairly new gig for which they’d prefer some incident not turn into a possible metaphor for their season/career:
Answer ID’d — A fortnight away from the elections and two days from early voting, Texans now have an answer for what they need to bring to the polls for identification. After an emergency appeal was filed, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled Saturday that the state’s Voter ID law can be enforced, according to numerous reports. The court’s three liberal powerhouses dissented, with Ruth Bader Ginsburg issuing a “scathing” opinion, according to the Huffington Post. Along the lines of the Corpus Christi district court judge’s ruling earlier this month, Ginsburg wrote that “The greatest threat to public confidence in elections in this case is the prospect of enforcing a purposefully discriminatory law, one that likely imposes an unconstitutional poll tax and risks denying the right to vote to hundreds of thousands of eligible voters.” As Ginsburg noted, “608,470 registered voters in Texas, representing approximately 4.5% of all registered voters,” will essentially be disenfranchised. Because you’re poor (see: black and Hispanic, in particular), it’s hard to just mosey on over to the DMV for “proper” ID. Say nothing of the fact that voter fraud, which the law is meant to stop, is all but non-existent. For those looking to jump through the hoops to vote for liars, hypocrites, and thieves, Slate reminds folks that handgun permits, but not college IDs, will be accepted at the polls. Other acceptable forms of ID: drivers license, test results from the free health clinic, that personalized autograph from Robert Rodriquez, and the sacrifice of a first-born son.
Ebola Watch: Day 19 — Being safe is one thing, but it seems we might be taking Ebola concerns a bit too far. Take, for instance, the Ohio bridal shop that temporarily closed up shop after Dallas nurse Amber Joy Vinson spent “several hours” trying on dresses. Or the “elementary school teacher in Maine [who] has been placed on leave for 21 days,” after merely visiting Dallas, according to the Portland Press Herald. Or the Dallas-based male strippers who “voluntarily [quarantined] themselves … after the pair sat near an infected nurse on a Cleveland-to-Dallas flight,” according to the New York Daily Mail. “They vowed to stay in their homes for 21 days, a move suggested — but not required — by the CDC.” In all fairness to these regular folks, officials have not exactly inspired confidence. The CEO of Texas Health Presbyterian Hospital, “apologized again for making ‘mistakes’ — this time in a letter published via full-page ad” in both the Dallas Morning News and the Fort Worth Star-Telegram, reports NBC News. And President Obama’s newly appointed “Ebola Czar” is a former chief of staff for Geronimo Joe Biden who “does not have a medical or a health care background.” Even the CDC, when dealing with the Ohio wedding shop, asked the owner and a co-worker “to quarantine themselves and stay home, but it was okay to come in this day to see a few customers and let in two Health Department workers.” Because two instructions with opposite means is in no way confusing.
Texas Tough — When it comes to the border crisis, we don’t mess around. “An immigration advocacy group says more than 250 law enforcement agencies across the U.S. are pulling back from a screening program for immigrants amid criticism that it may be unconstitutional, but the program is still being used in all Texas counties,” reports the Associated Press. The ICE program uses a database to essentially flag illegal migrants, followed by a “detainer request” to keep that person in custody for 48-hours while federal officials round them up. Critics have said that “it unfairly targets Latinos and deports immigrants in the country illegally caught for minor crimes rather than focusing ICE’s limited resources on violent offenders.” As for local control of law enforcement, “agency after agency across the U.S. began either ignoring detainer requests for immigrants or restricting the cases they would continue to hold suspects for transfer to federal authorities.” Somehow, for all the talk of Texans being independent, it’s not been so in this particular case. “Bucking the nationwide trend is Texas, in which every county jail continues to comply with ICE detainer requests by holding suspects whose fingerprints match the immigration database.”
Pee-Wee Pro — “Get’em young.” That’s the motto of cigarette companies and, apparently college sports teams. “[Deja] Kelly, a seventh-grader at Luna Middle School in the Northside ISD, verbally committed to play for the Texas Longhorns on Saturday — the same school her father played for,” according to the San Antonio Express-News. “She is 13.” As the story notes, “Kelly is the second area middle school student in eight months to commit to play at a D-I school. Somerset quarterback Zadock Dinkelmann pledged to play football for LSU as an eighth-grader in February.” Perhaps it’s time the CDC and EPA inspect what San Antonio is putting in its water supply (and then sell it). Luckily, because thirteen-year-olds don’t have a single thought or commitment that lasts longer than two seconds, Kelly’s verbal commitment is non-binding. “The earliest Kelly would be able to sign a national letter of intent is November 2019,” when she’s at the ripe old age of eighteen.