The State of Texas: September 2, 2014
Photos of the Day
After suffering the indignity of living in a less-than-stellar house (one, also, that was not up to fire code), SMU’s Chi Omega sorority threw down a cool $6.5 million to remodel SMU’s former Faculty Club. The result is a “three-story, 25,000-square-foot house [that] can fit 160 sorority members and features an art room and secure safe space, for when other sororities stage a coup, and, like, real emergencies,” as so described by Cosmopolitan. It’s basically the sorority house of every TV show and movie.
Twittergate — All that media talk of how “silly” the charges against Governor Rick Perry are have clearly gone to Team Perry’s collective head. A tweet on Sunday from Perry’s official Twitter account mocked Travis County District Attorney Rosemary Lehmberg with a play on Dos Equis’s “Most Interesting man” ad campaign (complete with a bad Photoshop job). The tweet was quickly deleted, but the Internet being the Internet meant it never really disappeared. In response to the whole mess, Perry issued another tweet, this one with a decidedly more serious tone: “A tweet just went out from my account that was unauthorized. I do not condone the tweet and I have taken it down.” The only problem, as Texan Scott Braddock pointed out (on Twitter), is that Perry’s staff has previously insisted the governor does all his own tweeting. So … oops? The lesson in all this is obvious. Perry should stick to Facebook and Instagram.
Sue the Vote — In case you were missing it, the state’s voter ID controversy is back. The controversial law, which went into effect last June, is facing another challenge, this time in a Corpus Christi federal court. As promised, the Justice Department is involved, and its lawyers “will try to persuade a judge to strike down the voter ID law, the latest skirmish in a three-year legal battle over whether the law passed by the Republican-led Legislature in 2011 discriminates against blacks and Hispanics,” reports the New York Times. “If Texas loses the trial — which opens Tuesday and will last about two weeks — it could again be required to seek federal approval before making changes to its voting procedures, a level of oversight it was freed from by the United States Supreme Court.” Texas is claiming that the DOJ is targeting Republican states, but perhaps that’s what happens when a state enacts the strictest of such laws for the sake of protecting against supposed voter fraud that really doesn’t exist. Regardless of how things play out, be sure to have all a form of self-identification on hand at the polls. As the Amarillo Globe-News notes, “Even if the state loses, Abbott’s office is expected to request that the ID requirement stay in place for the Nov. 4 general election and for all other elections scheduled before a higher court settles the issue.”
Shots Fired — “A Border Patrol agent pursuing a group of immigrants in a wooded area near the Texas-Mexico border on Friday fired several shots at an armed man,” reports The Monitor. The only problem? The armed man was a militia member, attempting to secure the border and, ironically, offer support to authorities. “The man, whose name has not been released, was wearing camouflage and carrying a long arm that was either a rifle or shotgun, [Cameron County sheriff Omar] Lucio said. The agent had lost the group of immigrants when he turned around and saw the man holding the weapon.” It’s worth noting that despite being shot at (four times), the militia member didn’t fire back, which is good news for everyone. Rather, the “man then dropped his gun and identified himself.” Since the militia man was on private property for which he had permission to secure, there’s no much else to report.
Jesus Is My Cellmate — From the backers of Lubbock’s (in)famous Tattoo Jesus, comes the next in their series of semi-controversial, semi-viral ad campaigns. And rather than preaching to the Texas choir, this four-minute long gossip truth is going national, according to the Houston Chronicle. “The new commercial shows a shackled Jesus clad in an orange prison jumpsuit being led by guards through a prison block filled with all manner of sinners, including rapists, murderers, prostitutes, corporate sharks, even someone who could be a Westboro Baptist Church member (complete with a picket sign) sitting in cells wallowing in their actions. He is later beaten by guards and shown dying on a cross in atmospheric footage.” Some other, more curious, sinners seen during Dead Savior Walking: a dumpy looking man, the cliche of a computer geek, sitting by a computer with a box of tissues and a woman whose only apparent sin is that she smokes cigarettes and looks grumpy. But Jesus isn’t just in commericials; he’s all around us. A Georgetown woman reported that a moth arrived at her house with the face of Jesus on its back. The woman “has been praying for signs of hope that she would find a way to help her daughter continue pursuing her degree,” according to KXAN. “‘I believe this was a sign,’ she said. ‘God is letting me know Good News is Coming and to keep the Hope.'” As far as depictions of Jesus go, it’s no Shroud of Turin but it’s more convincing than these people who found Jesus in their food.