Headlines / Quote of the Week

Headlines / Quote of the Week
image via Getty Images

Go Dictator, Dictate: President Joe Biden can order the assassination of the six conservative members of the Supreme Court and face no legal repercussions. That is the logical conclusion of the dominant wing of the Supreme Court’s decision on Monday, granting Donald Trump immunity from criminal prosecution for his official acts while he was president. Justice Sonia Sotomayor wrote a blistering dissent from the 6-3 decision: “Orders the Navy’s Seal Team 6 to assassinate a political rival? Immune. Organizes a military coup to hold onto power? Immune. Takes a bribe in exchange for a pardon? Immune. Immune, immune, immune.”

The debate
The debate (screenshot via CNN)

Biden’s Bust: That is, if he’s even on the ballot for reelection in November. Following a disastrous debate performance June 27, calls to remove the incumbent president from the ballot – an unprecedented move in American history – are growing. As the Chronicle went to press July 2, U.S. Rep. Lloyd Doggett, D-Austin, became the first Democratic lawmaker to formally call on Biden to bow out of the race. “Too much is at stake to risk a Trump victory,” Doggett wrote in a statement, “too great a risk to assume that what could not be turned around in a year, what was not turned around in the debate, can be turned around now.” Referencing LBJ’s historic decision to withdraw from the 1968 presidential election amid cratering popularity, Doggett wrote: “Biden should do the same.”

Just In Time: One way city officials are helping to keep Austinites cool through the increasingly hot Texas summer: shade. The city has erected more than a dozen shade structures at public spaces throughout the city, KUT reports, thanks to a $2 million budget commitment authorized by City Council last year which was matched by the Austin Parks Foundation.

Headlines / Quote of the Week
image via Getty Images

Dusty Daze: Those lazy days of summer have arrived, when the billows of golden oak pollen are replaced by curtains of Saharan dust. According to weather forecasts, the desert dust will drift out of the area by Wednesday afternoon. But don’t worry; the plumes will likely return several times over the next two months, decreasing chances of rain but increasing chances that we will be unable to breathe, the Statesman reported.

Fault Found in Uvalde: A Uvalde grand jury has indicted Pete Arredondo and Adrian Gonzales, the former chief and a former officer in the Uvalde schools police force, who stood by as a gunman shot and killed 19 children and two teachers during the 2022 Robb Elementary school shooting, AP News reported. Arredondo was booked into the Uvalde County Jail last week on 10 felony counts of abandoning or endangering a child; Gonzales was booked on 29 counts of similar charges, AP reports. The indictments represent the first criminal charges brought against any officers involved in the botched law enforcement response to the shooting.

Wishbone bridge design
Wishbone bridge design (photo via City of Austin)

Hike, Bike, and Slither: KUT has published a helpful guide to train our attention on one of Texas’ starring attractions – snakes! The wet spring may have led to an increase in big, healthy families of snakes, so it’s quite possibly you’ll see one while hiking on the Barton Springs Greenbelt this summer. If you do, don’t worry – according to the Texas Department of State Health Services, only one out of 500 people bitten by venomous snakes die – of snakebite!

Compelling Paxton: The four former right-hand men of Attorney General Ken Paxton asked the Texas Supreme Court last week not settle their wrongful termination suit against the AG without forcing him to comply with a court order compelling Paxton to answer questions from the plaintiffs under oath. Paxton is attempting to avoid answering the questions by conceding the truth of the plaintiffs’ charges but also asking the court that he not be deposed. Such a deposition could lead to embarrassing admissions that he has lied about the whistleblowers or future perjury charges if he is judged to have lied about them under oath.

A tax increase could help pay for child care locally
A tax increase could help pay for child care locally (image via Getty Images / Maggie Q. Thompson)

Pedestrian Wishes Granted: Construction has begun on the “wishbone bridge,” a pedestrian bridge that will connect the last unfinished bit of the Lady Bird Lake hike-and-bike trail. The $25 million project will provide a path from Longhorn Shores to Canterbury Park, and an unnamed peninsula in the lake near Pleasant Valley Road and East Cesar Chavez. When finished, the center of the bridge will feature a plaza, KUT reported.

Perry Pardon Remains: The corruption of the Texas judicial system continues on full display. Last week, the Texas Court of Criminal Appeals sided with Greg Abbott, ruling that the governor’s pardon of convicted murderer Daniel Perry is legal. Travis County District Attorney José Garza had challenged the pardon. Perry, a former Army sergeant, was found guilty by a unanimous vote of 12 jurors in May of 2023 of murdering Black Lives Matter demonstrator Garrett Foster in a July 2020 protest in Downtown Austin. Perry wound up serving one year for the murder.

Lifesaving on the Line: Now it’s the U.S. Supreme Court trying to duck its position on abortion. Last week, the court threw out its own order from January which halted emergency abortions in Idaho, saying that it shouldn’t have taken the case. That means that mothers from Idaho whose lives are in danger may legally be provided care. But the court did not grant the same access to lifesaving care for mothers in Texas, leaving in place an order from the 5th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals that blocks a 2022 federal order requiring hospitals to perform lifesaving abortions.

Child Care Boost: At its June 25 meeting, the Travis County Commissioners Court moved toward expanding access to early childhood care and afterschool services for low-income residents. Funding the plan would require voters to approve a 2.5-cent property tax rate increase on the ballot in November, the Austin Monitor reported.

Headlines / Quote of the Week
screenshot via Youtube / CNN

Quote of the Week

“Joe Biden is going to be the Democratic nominee, period. End of story.”

– A Biden campaign email this weekend, following the debate that spotlighted our president’s cognitive decline

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