Let's talk about Ted Cruz. The guy's a problem. And not just for Texas.

The senator's only been warming his chair for five years, but that hasn't stopped him in excelling at confusing, confounding, and outright outraging both his constituents and (this is pretty big, Ted!) the rest of America.

Here's just a brief rundown of some of the things Cruz has done since he was elected to office:


Cruz is currently fighting for his senate seat against democrat Beto O'Rourke and his latest move is pretty confusing. It appears that he's asking his constituents to vote for his opponent.

Of course, that doesn't seem like the wrong thing to do considering all the information up top, but when you're running a political campaign it feels like you should be making the strongest case for yourself. Especially when protestors have already rented billboard trucks to remind your constituents that the current president of the United States (who's quite unpopular himself) has renounced you several times in the past.

But after their first debate against each other — during which Cruz dodged questions about police violence — he posted a video of O'Rourke speaking to a packed audience about the very topic that he refused to discuss.

Captioned "In Beto O'Rourke's own words," the video shows the democratic hopeful denouncing the death of Botham Jean, a Dallas resident who was shot to death by an off-duty police officer who entered his apartment by mistake.

The video was supposed to be a takedown, but it's got voters galvanized.

"How can it be in this day and age in this very year in this community that a young man, African American, in his own apartment, is shot and killed by a police officer?" O'Rourke asks the audience.  

"And when we all want justice and the facts and the information to make an informed decision what is released to the public? That he had a small amount of marijuana in his kitchen? How can that be just in this country? How can we continue to lose the lives of unarmed black men in America at the hands of white police officers?"

"That is not justice. That is not us. That can and must change," O'Rourke cries as his listeners erupt in agreement. "Are you with me on this?"

The response to Cruz's tweet suggests that they are.

The reason that Cruz posted this video is likely much more sinister. But we have time to change where we're headed.

While it's fun to consider that Cruz may just be losing steam, the reality is much more stark. According to experts, including Daniel W. Drezner at The Washington Post, Cruz's choice to post this video is likely less about O'Rourke's message and more about proving that Cruz's opponent is anti-police, a dangerous sentiment in Texas.

"The only possible reason I can see for showing O’Rourke’s perfectly sane words without comment is because it has nothing to do with his words and everything to do with the visual," Drezner writes.

"O’Rourke delivers this speech at an African American church, and the churchgoers react in an extremely energetic manner. That is the image that Ted Cruz wants his supporters to see, because he thinks it is the image that will mobilize his supporters into disliking O’Rourke and voting against him."

Though no one can say exactly what's going on in Cruz's mind, one thing is clear: His rhetoric and views aren't just disagreeable, they're dangerous for a great number of people. And that's exactly why it's on all of us to make sure that we immerse ourselves in politics and vote in the upcoming elections. And hey, if Cruz has convinced you to vote for his opponent, this is one time I'll say more power to him.

Moricz was banned from speaking up about LGBTQ topics. He found a brilliant workaround.

Senior class president Zander Moricz was given a fair warning: If he used his graduation speech to criticize the “Don’t Say Gay” law, then his microphone would be shut off immediately.

Moricz had been receiving a lot of attention for his LGBTQ activism prior to the ceremony. Moricz, an openly gay student at Pine View School for the Gifted in Florida, also organized student walkouts in protest and is the youngest public plaintiff in the state suing over the law formally known as the Parental Rights in Education law, which prohibits the discussion of sexual orientation or gender identity in grades K-3.

Though well beyond third grade, Moricz nevertheless was also banned from speaking up about the law, gender or sexuality. The 18-year-old tweeted, “I am the first openly-gay Class President in my school’s history–this censorship seems to show that they want me to be the last.”

However, during his speech, Moricz still delivered a powerful message about identity. Even if he did have to use a clever metaphor to do it.

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Matthew McConaughey in 2019.

Oscar-winning actor Matthew McConaughey made a heartfelt plea for Americans to “do better” on Tuesday after a gunman murdered 19 children and 2 adults at Robb Elementary School in his hometown of Uvalde, Texas.

Uvalde is a small town of about 16,000 residents approximately 85 miles west of San Antonio. The actor grew up in Uvalde until he was 11 years old when his family moved to Longview, 430 miles away.

The suspected murderer, 18-year-old Salvador Ramos, was killed by law enforcement at the scene of the crime. Before the rampage, Ramos allegedly shot his grandmother after a disagreement.

“As you all are aware there was another mass shooting today, this time in my home town of Uvalde, Texas,” McConaughey wrote in a statement shared on Twitter. “Once again, we have tragically proven that we are failing to be responsible for the rights our freedoms grant us.”

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Joy

Meet Eva, the hero dog who risked her life saving her owner from a mountain lion

Wilson had been walking down a path with Eva when a mountain lion suddenly appeared.

Photo by Didssph on Unsplash

A sweet face and fierce loyalty: Belgian Malinois defends owner.

The Belgian Malinois is a special breed of dog. It's highly intelligent, extremely athletic and needs a ton of interaction. While these attributes make the Belgian Malinois the perfect dog for police and military work, they can be a bit of a handful as a typical pet.

As Belgian Malinois owner Erin Wilson jokingly told NPR, they’re basically "a German shepherd on steroids or crack or cocaine.”

It was her Malinois Eva’s natural drive, however, that ended up saving Wilson’s life.

According to a news release from the California Department of Fish and Wildlife, Wilson had been walking down a path with Eva slightly ahead of her when a mountain lion suddenly appeared and swiped Wilson across the left shoulder. She quickly yelled Eva’s name and the dog’s instincts kicked in immediately. Eva rushed in to defend her owner.

It wasn’t long, though, before the mountain lion won the upper hand, much to Wilson’s horror.

She told TODAY, “They fought for a couple seconds, and then I heard her start crying. That’s when the cat latched on to her skull.”

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