10 Reasons the Texans Should Be on Hard Knocks

Categories: Game Time, Sports

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Photo by Eric Sauseda
So the rumor mill was spitting out information last week that the decision makers behind Hard Knocks, HBO's voyeuristic peephole into training camp life in the NFL, had the Cleveland Browns in their sights as the subject for this summer's edition.

I'm guessing there were some pretty formulaic reasons behind that, 98 percent of them centered around one Johnny Football. He's getting out of rehab! He's battling for his football life! All his celebrity friends have ditched him! Hey, I get it. Nobody likes a good train wreck more than I do (one of the many reasons I love myself so much!).

But honestly, does the Johnny Football story really have five weeks' worth of content? Does it really have any legs aside from the two that will take Johnny to and from the building every day? What if he truly is rehabilitated from his alcohol addiction and is snuggling with his playbook every night?

Worst season of Hard Knocks ever, right? So I ask you this...why NOT the Texans?

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Booking Agent Files Amazingly Insipid Letter About Matthew McConaughey's UH Speech

Categories: Texas

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Is there a Dallas Buyers' Club discount for McConaughey speeches? We may never know...
A talent booker for Matthew McConaughey doesn't want anyone knowing how much the University of Houston is paying his client to deliver UH's commencement speech in May, and has outlined his arguments in one of the most idiotic letters to the Texas Attorney General we've ever seen. It's awesome.

Instead of doing something silly like having an actual attorney file an objection with the AG's Office, Celebrity Talent International President Glenn Richardson apparently hammered out the letter himself -- misspelling McConaughey's last name -- suggesting that disclosing the actor's fee might somehow put him in danger.

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March Madness 2015: Thursday's Sweet Sixteen Best Bets

Categories: Game Time, Sports

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Monica Fuentes
I admire confidence. I despise stupidity. And I have no idea what category West Virginia freshman Daxter Miles' "guarantee" of a Mountaineer win over Kentucky falls under. I do know that I'm glad it happened, as it added some juice to an otherwise potentially juice-less game.

In case you missed it, Miles was asked a question about his team's upcoming opponent in the Sweet Sixteen Midwest Regional, and here's what he had to say:

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Judge Alicia Franklin's and Attorney Doug York's Tone-Deaf Honeymoon Registry

Categories: Texas

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Screenshot, honeymoonpixie.com.
You can help a judge's dream honeymoon come true.
Lawyers in Houston are scratching their heads over a lavish honeymoon gift registry posted online by Harris County Family Court Judge Alicia Franklin and her fiancé, attorney Doug York.

We're joining in on the head-scratching, especially since the exposure of the site -- which describes the couple's plans to stay in Paris and the Maldives ("for a little r&r") -- comes on the heels of a report finding that Franklin collected $806,005 from the county for her work as a judge-appointed attorney between 2010 and 2014.

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Thousands of Low-Income Women Aren't Getting Cancer Screenings or Birth Control Because Texas Banned Planned Parenthood

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Francisco Montes
A new state report confirms what basically everyone who wasn't a die-hard anti-abortion activist or politician predicted a couple of years ago when Texas lawmakers kicked Planned Parenthood out of its widely successful program for giving uninsured, low-income women cancer screenings and birth control.

According to new numbers out of the state Health and Human Services Commission, critics that said the program would serve a lot less women if it shunned Planned Parenthood's family planning clinics (meaning even more women across the state won't get life-saving breast and cervical cancer screenings or birth control) were dead-on right.

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Texas Finds a New Drug Dealer

Categories: Courts, Crime

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TDCJ
Texas prison officials said Wednesday they've acquired a new "small supply" of pentobarbital, the barbiturate Texas uses to execute prisoners by lethal injection, according to the AP. That means Texas has at least enough lethal-injection drugs on hand to kill all four prisoners slated for execution in April.

And, as is becoming standard practice in death penalty states across the country, Texas won't disclose the supplier of its new batch of death drugs.

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Will a Bill to Regulate Texas Payday Lenders Finally Pass?

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Such a noble enterprise.
There are few legal enterprises in this country as despicable as the payday-loan and rent-to-own businesses. They share the same parasitic business model -- one that achieves maximum profit potential the more desperate and/or unsophisticated a consumer is.

That's partly why Houston and other cities throughout Texas have regulated these businesses, and why Woodville Republican state Rep. James White has introduced a bill to implement some of those regulations statewide. Thing is, this would affect the bottom-line of his fellow lawmaker, Rep. Gary Elkins of Houston, whose bottom-feeding Power Finance Texas chain somehow manages to skirt usury laws while charging APR rates between 739-792 percent.

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Islamic Advocacy Group Asks Ted Cruz to Skip Conference Featuring an Anti-Muslim Leader

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It's only been a few days since Sen. Ted Cruz formally admitted he's running for the GOP nomination for president for 2016, but an Islamic advocacy group is already weighing in and urging Cruz to skip a conference they claim has ties to white supremacists and anti-Muslims.


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GOP Lawmakers Want to Make it Harder for Minors to Get an Abortion Without a Parent's Consent

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thinkstock.com
Six years after the U.S. Supreme Court ruled in Roe v. Wade, legalizing abortion across the country and protecting it as a woman's constitutional right, the high court took up another thorny issue: are pregnant minors afforded that same right?

The 1979 case Bellotti v. Baird challenged a Massachusetts law requiring pregnant minors to get parental consent before obtaining an abortion. In writing the plurality opinion, Justice Lewis Powell explained that the court had to balance two competing interests. Noting the "peculiar vulnerability of children," Powell wrote that the "rights of children cannot be equated with those of adults." However, Powell also said the decision of whether or not to end a pregnancy "differs in important ways from other decisions facing minors." While states may reasonably want to ensure that parents are in on the decision, Powell wrote that parents should not be allowed to exercise an "absolute, and possibly arbitrary, veto" over a girl's choice to have an abortion.

The ruling meant a couple of things. First, states could still have parental consent laws on the books if they wanted to (the court refused to extend full abortion rights given to adult women under Roe to minors). But states also had to provide an escape hatch: girls could petition a judge for approval if their parents wouldn't consent or if girls were too afraid to ask them.

Ever since, anti-abortion activists have been trying to restrict that process, known as judicial bypass, and this session there are a slate of bills filed by Republican lawmakers in the Texas Legislature that would make it increasingly difficult, if not impossible, for many teenage girls to get an abortion without the approval of a parent.

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Brock Lesnar Announces He's Staying With WWE

Categories: Game Time, Sports

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YouTube
Even though it's flagship show is the most watched show on cable television, WWE has always had to work to get coverage in the mainstream. Oftentimes, when it does happen, it's because WWE will inject some mainstream star into their universe, the perfect excuse for high brow cable like ESPN and CNN to "cross over" and acknowledge "sports entertainment."

Back in the day, Hulk Hogan was once on the cover of Sports Illustrated, but that was because he was partnered with Mr.T and Cyndi Lauper as the key players at the first Wrestlemania. "Stone Cold" Steve Austin wound up on Sportscenter one night back in 1998, but that was because he was tussling with Mike Tyson.

Donald Trump, Pete Rose, Floyd Mayweather, Snooki. All of them athletes or celebs whose magnetic attraction pulled the mainstream spotlight to WWE for a minute or two.

That's what makes Brock Lesnar's appearance on Sportscenter Tuesday night so significant. There was no garden variety celeb taking Lesnar along for the ride. Brock Lesnar was the star.

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