QUOTE OF THE DAY
“I spent five-and-a-half years as the solicitor general in Texas, I worked for the attorney general. The attorney general’s job is to defend the laws passed by the Texas legislature. One of those laws was a law restricting the sale of sex toys, which is a stupid law. Consenting adults should be able to do whatever they want in their bedrooms.”
—Senator Ted Cruz to CNN on Wednesday. Cruz was in hot water after his Twitter account was caught “liking” a porn video earlier this week. That spurred a rather interesting interview with CNN’s Dana Bash, which included Cruz’s take on sex toys.
Congressional Democratic leaders announced on Wednesday that they’d made a deal with President Donald Trump that would keep immigrants protected by the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program from being deported. According to the Washington Post, Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer and House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi sat down with Trump for dinner at the White House to talk about their options, and they came to an agreement that included the protection of the nearly 800,000 young undocumented immigrants who were granted work permits by the Obama-era DACA program. Additionally, according to the Washington Post, they also discussed how to “enact border security measures that don’t include building a physical wall.” Trump, however, walked away from the dinner with a very different take. “No deal was made last night on DACA. Massive border security would have to be agreed to in exchange for consent. Would be subject to vote,” Trump said in a tweetstorm early Thursday morning, adding, “The WALL, which is already under construction in the form of new renovation of old and existing fences and walls, will continue to be built.” In his next two tweets, he seemed to admit to supporting some level of amnesty toward undocumented immigrants. “Does anybody really want to throw out good, educated and accomplished young people who have jobs, some serving in the military? Really!” Trump tweeted. “They have been in our country for many years through no fault of their own – brought in by parents at young age. Plus BIG border security.” The White House said in an official statement that a deal is still in the works, and that the dinner conversation was “constructive.” Schumer and Pelosi released a statement saying the meeting was “very productive,” adding that “the discussion focused on DACA. We agreed to enshrine the protections of DACA into law quickly, and to work out a package of border security, excluding the wall, that’s acceptable to both sides.” The deal is expected to be finalized in a few weeks.
MEANWHILE, IN TEXAS
Shannon Miles, the man who killed Harris County Sheriff’s Deputy Darren Goforth in a gas station parking lot two years ago, pleaded guilty to capital murder on Wednesday and was sentenced to life without parole, according to the Houston Press. The sentencing seemingly puts a cap on the long legal saga that began when the 47-year-old Goforth was ambushed and shot to death while, in broad day light, he filled up his patrol car at a Chevron in November 2015. Miles suffers from schizophrenia, which played a large factor in his sentencing. According to the Press, Miles’s attorney said that Miles couldn’t remember the day he killed Goforth, but that he accepted responsibility for the shooting after looking at the evidence, which including video footage from the gas station. The special prosecutor in charge of the case, Brett Ligon, talked the deal over with Goforth’s family, who agreed life without parole was an adequate punishment. “When nobody gives a good goddamn about you and die in a pauper’s grave, that is the beat down that’s life without parole,” Ligon told the Press. “I’ve executed people, and I’ve put ’em on life without parole, and I will tell you, neither one of those are good options. Neither one of them. They both suck. And that’s what I want, is the ultimate suck—and he got the ultimate suck.”
The Houston Texans had a rough start to the 2017 NFL season when their home opener last week ended in a disappointing loss. Things got a little worse on Wednesday, when starting linebacker Brian Cushing was suspended for ten games for violating the NFL’s policy on performance enhancing drugs, according to ESPN. The suspension literally adds insult to injury—Cushing was already ruled out of this Sunday’s game after he was concussed last week. Cushing won’t appeal the suspension. “It is with the deepest remorse that he humbly apologizes to his fans, teammates, and coaches,” Cushing’s attorney said in a statement. He was suspended once before, losing four games in 2010 after testing positive for HCG, a fertility drug banned by the NFL. Cushing was a first-round draft pick by the Texans and made the Pro Bowl as a rookie in 2009, though his career has tapered off a bit since then. Still, according to the Houston Chronicle, Texans coach Bill O’Brien has often called the 30-year-old veteran the “heart and soul” of the Texans’s defense, so his suspension is a big blow for the team.
Port Arthur was one of the cities hit hardest by flooding from Harvey, with thousands of homes destroyed. Now the city plans to house hundreds of displaced residents on two large floating barges, according to the Beaumont Enterprise. About 200 people are still living in a shelter at a middle school, as others brave moldy homes due to a shortage of available hotel rooms and apartments. Mayor Derrick Freeman announced in a Facebook post that about 600 people will be housed on the barges, and that the city will provide them three meals per day and laundry services. “Port Arthur has never had the capacity to shelter thousands of people within our city limits,” Freeman told the Enterprise. “But I felt we needed to keep our folks close to their home and property.” It remains unclear who will be eligible to stay on the barges, and a city spokesperson told the Enterprise that they’re still waiting for more information and the official “thumbs-up” from FEMA, though the federal agency has apparently made a verbal commitment to provide the barges.
WHAT WE’RE READING
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Hundreds of dogs and cats displaced by Harvey are still waiting to be reunited with their owners at NRG Arena Houston Chronicle
The Aransas National Wildlife Refuge was badly damaged by Harvey Victoria Advocate
The 250-person Amarillo Fire Department has zero female firefighters Amarillo Globe-News
Texas Wesleyan University has a football team for the first time in 76 years WFAA
The NFL wants a judge to make a quick ruling on Ezekiel Elliott’s suspension Fort Worth Star-Telegram