The State of Texas: September 9, 2014
Poor Tony Romo. It’s fitting that a guy who can’t throw a ball can’t catch a break. And the Internet just makes the pile-on worse, this time with a stack of wonderfully snarky Instagram memes, recently collected for your snide enjoyment by the Dallas Morning News.
Texas State University’s paper, the University Star, ran an editorial suggesting bars stay open after 2 a.m.’s last call and have a “sober hour” for patrons. This would “save taxpayer dollars by eliminating booking, jail and court costs’ associated with” public drinking, reports the San Antonio Express-News. Noting the shakiness of its own argument, however, “the board writes, the hour would be undermined if bar-goers opt to drink heavily without planning for their safety.”
Reading Between the Lines — The good will from Wendy Davis’s opponents after her new book’s revelations lasted a solid 24 hours. Now, the gubernatorial candidate’s opponent are questioning the legality of the timing of the memoir’s release. “Greg Abbott’s campaign manager is requesting a ruling from the Texas Ethics Commission on whether Democratic gubernatorial candidate Wendy Davis’ book deal and tour are illegal corporate campaign contributions,” according to the Texas Tribune. Abbott’s campaign manager “argues the book is tied to her campaign [and] corporate campaign contributions are illegal in Texas elections.” The claim is a bit of a stretch since nearly every politician publishes a memoir-ish book that just happens to coincide with their latest run for office. It’s a tacitly understood fact, like voting for candidate knowing (s)he will never keep those campaign promises. To be fair, the chatter from the Davis camp was just as political. At a stop during her book tour/campaign, Davis told the Associated Press that the memoir “was not meant to boost her campaign in its final stretch, but rather to help families facing a similar choice.”
Borders, Budgets, Bogeymen — The Obama administration would still like to send a cool $1 billion to the border in aiding the recent migrant influx. It made yet another plea Monday as Congress returns for a three-week session. Unfortunately, the border’s 1,000 National Guards have a better chance of securing a migrant than a cent of that money being approved. “The request seemed likely to fall on deaf ears as neither party showed an appetite to revive an issue that’s faded from the spotlight as arrivals at the border have dropped dramatically,” according to the AP. “[Homeland Security Secretary Jeh Johnson] said in a statement that without the $1.2 billion in additional funding for 2015, he will be forced to take money from other accounts, such as $405 million moved earlier this summer from the disaster relief fund.” Johnson admitted that in terms of the influx “the worst is over for now” (3,141 unaccompanied kids in August, compared to 10,622 in June) but that “there are still bills to be paid and our border security efforts must be sustained to prevent another spike like we saw this year.” In the meantime, border areas must press on, headstrong into possible danger. Midland County Sheriff Gary Painter is getting a little national press after he told CNN that “his office is prepared for terrorist cells attempting to cross the border into Texas,” according to the Midland Reporter-Telegram. “When CNN anchor Don Lemon asked what message Painter wants conveyed to the terrorist group, he firmly stated, ‘If they rear their ugly head, we’ll send them to hell.'”
Mexican-American (Water) War — The drought already had friends and neighbors within Texas on edge. Throw in a whole other country and you’ve got the makings of an International conflict. Okay, it’s not that bad, but the reneging of a long-ago agreement between the U.S. and Mexico “has intensified a diplomatic dispute here along the Texas border,” reports the Washington Post in a story that, for such dry subject matter, is surprisingly interesting. “Under the terms of the  treaty, the United States is obliged to give Mexico water from the Colorado River, while Mexico must transfer water from the Rio Grande and its tributaries.” That, however, has not been the case. “In recent years, Mexico has fallen behind on its obligation. … Mexico currently owes the United States 380,000 acre-feet of water, more than all the water consumed in a year by the 1.5 million Texas residents living in the Lower Rio Grande Valley.” Mexico doesn’t really dispute the fact that it’s backed out of its water-oath, but claims there’s not much that can be done. Said one Mexican engineer: “The U.S. gets angry: Why aren’t you giving us water? Well, how can we when there is no water? … I can’t do anything. It’s not raining.'” Good point, even if Mexico now has a water debt to pay, which, apparently, is a real thing.
June Bugged — Based on how poorly Texas teams have started, maybe this year will be the killing season for coaches. It’s certainly started off as such. “Two days after an embarrassing 43-6 loss to the University of North Texas, Southern Methodist University’s head football coach June Jones has unexpectedly resigned, citing personal issues,” reports the Dallas Business Journal. “After playing and coaching for 50 years, Jones said he’s resigning effective immediately to make time to address his life outside of football. He didn’t go into further detail about his surprising decision, which comes just two weeks into the 2014 season and nine months after signing a three-year contract extension through 2017.” Jones apparently “need a break,” according to SB Nation, from the “2014 season in which his team was outscored by a combined score of 88-6.”