MEANWHILE, IN TEXAS…

MEANWHILE, IN TEXAS…

Cruzin’ On Up

Ted Cruz spent his Fourth of July week at the center of the debate over the GOP’s controversial health care bill that’s currently languishing in the U.S. Senate. According to the Washington Post, Cruz is “suddenly in the hot seat” to get the Republican health care bill passed through the Senate, after touring Texas while most of his congressional colleagues were on vacation. Cruz faced tough crowds in town halls in McKinney and Austin, and encountered protesters at a speech in McAllen. He also did interviews with two Sunday news shows to push his Consumer Freedom Amendment, which calls for an even deeper rollback of the Affordable Care Act. As the Post notes, Cruz’s amendment might appeal to conservative Republicans, but it probably won’t fly with moderates.

Tragedy in Europe

Twenty-two-year-old Baraki Henderson of Austin died on Friday after he was beaten by about eight men during a bar fight in Greece, according to the Austin American-Statesman. Henderson was a recent grad of the University of Arizona and had previously interned in Texas House Speaker Joe Straus’s office. He was visiting the Greek island of Zakynthos while working on a photo shoot to launch his new fashion line. Six Serbian men, a Greek man and a British man have been arrested and charged in connection with Henderson’s death. Police are still investigating the incident. “Bakari loved spending time with family and friends, traveling and meeting new people,” Henderson’s family said in a statement on Friday, according to the Statesman. “He was a big thinker and enjoyed coming up with new business ventures.”

Fixer Bummer

On Saturday morning, a suspected drunk driver smashed through a home in Waco that was featured on season twelve of the popular HGTV show Fixer Upper, according to the Waco Tribune-Herald. The owners, Ken and Kelly Downs, weren’t hurt, but the house, nicknamed “Three Little Pigs” on Fixer Upper, took a hit. The car destroyed an exterior wall and an interior wall of a front room. This is just the latest problem for the house and its owners. Apparently ever since the couple bought the place and had it renovated by show hosts Chip and Joanna Gaines, things haven’t exactly gone smoothly. The Downses seem happy with the renovations, but they say their new neighborhood is plagued by late-night noise from nearby bars and “suspicious activity.” They say they’ve also received pushback from neighbors. “We have been intimidated and harassed,” Kelly Downs told the Tribune. “People have complained about their taxes going up because we moved here. Store owners have complained about taxes. … It’s not safe. This is Fixer Upper gone bad.”