The Year of Our Lord 2018 has come to an end, thank the Lord. It was a year that gave the nation a monstrous hurricane, mass shootings, turmoil in the White House and an election that handed the U.S. House over to the Democrats to clean up the mess, which is like being made commander of Pearl Harbor on December 8th. So let’s try to clean up the mess around the state before Texas Monthly beats us to it with their Bum Steer Awards.
Topic of Cancer: The Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine was shared by Dr. James P. Allison of The University of Texas M.D. Anderson Cancer Center, which made a huge deal out of the honor. He did the work recognized by the Nobel committee while working the University of California at Berkeley and Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center in New York, not at M.D. Anderson, but we’ll take the credit anyway.
For the third straight year, the Dallas Cowboys are ranked Number 1 in the value of sports franchises worldwide at $4.8 billion, according to Forbes. That’s a 14 percent increase from 2017. The Texans are ranked 19th at $2.8 billion, the Rockets are 40th at $2.2 billion. The Astros didn’t make the cut among the top 50 franchises, but they still did well.
Check, please: Some idiots made such a commotion that Sen. Ted Cruz and his wife had to leave a Washington, D.C. restaurant. The demonstrators were upset over Cruz’s stance on U.S. Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh. Cruz later returned.
A sign on the wall of a Houston ISD middle school was removed after it landed the state’s largest school district in the middle of controversy a week before the new school year even began. The sign, which read, “The more you act like a lady, the more he’ll act like a gentleman,” previously was displayed above a bank of lockers inside a girls’ locker room at Gregory Lincoln, a K-8 school. Some thought it was sexist.
Quoth the McRaven: “Suck rocks, you draft dodger:” Bill McRaven, the former UT Systems chancellor who grew up in San Antonio and engineered the raid on Osama bin Laden, told President Trump via the Washington Post this about his decision to strip the security clearance of former CIA Director John Brennan: “I would consider it an honor if you would revoke my security clearance as well, so I can add my name to the list of men and women who have spoken up against your presidency.”
Nacho Average Customer: El Tiempo Mexican restaurant endured protests and calls for a boycott after owner Roland Laurenzo posted a photo on social media with him and then-Atty. Gen. Jeff Sessions, with a caption saying it was an “honor” to serve him.
No Sweat: Honeywell Fans released its annual list of America’s Sweatiest Cities. Austin is No. 8 and Dallas is No. 4. Orlando was No. 1. Houston didn’t even make the list.
Democratic gubernatorial candidate Lupe Valdez’s Beretta 9mm was reported missing. The pistol was issued to her back when she was Dallas County sheriff. It was later found in the sheriff’s department property room, and the interim sheriff apologized.
An Enron Around the Sentence: Jeff Skilling was given a 24-year prison term and fined $45 million, but he should be released in February from a halfway house.
Lynn Redden, the superintendent of the Onalaska ISD, about 100 miles north of Houston, said he wished he never posted a comment on the Facebook page, saying “you can’t count on a black quarterback.” Redden later resigned.
In his obituary, Troy Caldwell will be identified as “the Astros’ fan who may have cost the team the 2018 World Series championship.” In the fourth game of the American League Championship Series at Minute Maid Park, Jose Altuve hit a ball that appeared to be a two-run homer, but Mookie Betts and Caldwell, sitting in the first row of right field, both went for the ball, or so the umpires ruled. Fan interference. Altuve was out, and the Astros lost 8-6.
SNL’s Pete Davidson said then-Houston Congressional candidate (and later winner) Dan Crenshaw “looked like a hit man in a porno movie” because Crenshaw wore a black patch over one eye. Davidson didn’t know the patch was the result of a roadside explosion Crenshaw, a Navy SEAL, suffered in Afghanistan. The next week SNL had Crenshaw on the program so that Davidson could personally apologize.
Blessed are the peacemakers: “It’s no longer a party. It’s some kind of religion that is basically godless.” – A view of the Democratic Party by Dr. Ed Young, senior pastor of Houston’s Second Baptist Church.
Cross Coburn, who served as an openly gay councilman in Groves, was ousted in a recall election nine months after he was told that City Hall had received an anonymous package of nude photos that Coburn had sent in private messages on a dating app. Those photos were later sent to the local news media, after which supporters of a petition to remove him questioned whether he fit the “moral standards” of the city.
Wish You Were Still Here: Texan owner Bob McNair and George H. W. Bush.
Curb Your Enthusiasm (Party Pooper Dept.) – The underdog Texas A&M football team defeated the LSU Tigers 74-72 at College Station after seven overtimes. Thinking they had won, LSU players dumped Gatorade on their coach. When the game was finally over, joyous Aggies swarmed the field, so the SEC fined the Aggies $50,000, or about the price of a good linebacker.
We’re Number One! Texas led the nation in children without health insurance as the number of its youngest uninsured jumped last year. An estimated 835,000 Texas children went without health insurance in 2017, an increase of about 80,000, or more than 10 percent, from 2016.
At least we didn’t get another Harvey, but FEMA assures us help is on the way.
Ashby is odd news at firstname.lastname@example.org