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Meet the Antigay Bully Arrested at DFW Airport in Last Week’s Viral Video

The man pictured above is identified on a police report as 27-year-old McCleish Christmas Benham. He is the man who was arrested for the assault depicted in the video that went viral on Friday, and who was not taken down by actor Paul Rudd.

Are you most surprised to learn that:

A) He was apparently drunk at the time of the incident.


B) His middle name is Christmas

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There Was No Debate About the Trinity Toll Road at the Stemmons Corridor Business Association Luncheon

The stage was set: the Three Generals of the Trinity Toll Road — former City Manager Mary Suhm, former city council member Craig Holcomb, and North Central Texas Council of Governments transportation director Michael Morris — in the same room as a council member who rides bikes with Better Block’s Jason Roberts and the guy who launched the campaign to tear down I-345. And all five were going to have a moment on the mic — all in front of the rapt, gracious attention of an old-school Dallas business association. It sure felt like a potential moment.

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Poll: When Will Texas Have a Blue Governor?

Wendy Davis very likely will not be elected governor of Texas on November 4. Greg Abbott, the Republican candidate, leads significantly in most the polls. For all the hopes of Democrats of eventually turning our state blue, it’s not going to happen in 2014. So will the GOP ever lose its residency in the governor’s mansion?

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Could Dallas Put Bike Lanes on Sidewalks?

[Editor's note: Having been honored with a Marshall Memorial Fellowship, our Brad Pearson is off wandering around Europe, ostensibly to develop his leadership skills. Periodically he will check in, as he is doing today with the following post.]

The one thing I can’t get over is the sheer number of bicycles in Brussels. Adults on bikes, kids on bikes, kids and adults on the same bike. Anytime I see a bicyclist in Dallas, I expect to recognize who the person is; here, that would be an impossible dream.

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The Daily Show Bashes Dallas to Play to Austin Audience

The Daily Show is taping a week of programs down in Austin, and on their first night Monday, they went out of their way to play to the audience there by bashing Dallas. Firstly they appropriated the classic Dallas TV show intro and made it about Austin instead. Here are a couple of their other insults:

“Dallas is still a steaming concrete wasteland of traffic jams, big hair, and stupid belt buckles.”

And when Jon Stewart asked correspondent Jessica Williams whether the people of Austin were concerned about catching Ebola from nearby Dallas, she responded sarcastically:

“Oh, yeah, Jon, Austin is going to pick up something after Dallas.” (Pauses for laughter and cheers.) “No, Jon, Austin sets the trends, and Dallas finds out about them five years later.”

Also Democratic gubernatorial candidate, and Fort Worth State Senator, Wendy Davis was the guest on the show. She was full of all the sort of banal statements you expect to hear from a politician a week before the election. You can watch an extended version of the interview here.

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Leading Off (10/28/14)

Cowboys Lose. Listen, people. Just settle down. What if I’d told you at the start of the season that at this point the team could be 6-2? Would you have sacrificed your firstborn to ensure that record? Punched your grandmother in the face? Okay then. So the loss to the team from Washington hurt. No big deal, really. The only hurt you should worry about is the one to Romo’s back. (But, having said that, seeing Jerry Jones come down to the sideline late in the game was deeply, deeply disturbing.) For better analysis of the game, turn to Bob Sturm.

‘Record Number of DISD Administrators Make More Than $100k.’ When your newspaper covers your school district by listening to nutty, leaky board members and by doing not much more than filing open-records requests and playing gotcha, this is the sort of story you get. This is the sort of story, though, that you should pay attention to.

Dallas Cops To Detail Their Shootings. DPD officials said yesterday that they will start a website next month detailing information on 12 years of shootings by police officers.

Starke Taylor, R.I.P. The former mayor died yesterday of congestive heart failure.

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City Lab on Texas High Speed Rail: Connect It To Downtown Dallas

City Lab rounds up progress that is being made around the country with regards to realizing high-speed rail. California’s plans have leaped some (but not all) of its legal challenges, and it could face a difficult obstacle if the gubernatorial candidate who refers to the plans as the “crazy train” wins in next month’s election. In the Northeast, a private company has entered the conversation about adding high speed rail, but the Japanese-backed project will have to figure out how to compete with Amtrak’s own efforts to upgrade to high-speed transit.

That leaves Texas which, by comparison, looks like it is coasting towards a high-speed future. The private effort, which also has Japanese backers, kick-started public meetings this month as it prepares its environmental impact statement for federal review. It The Federal Railroad Authority, the Texas Department of Transportation and a third party entity (URS) has also launched a website that offers renderings of proposed routes. With regards to alignments, City Lab says the lines should probably terminate downtown:

It’s far too early to say for sure where the lines will end up, but running the train from one city center to another would reduce overall travel times, facilitate connections to local transit, and generally boost downtown areas. That should be the idea to beat.

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Whoa, Paul Rudd Was (UPDATE: Not) One of the Airport Heroes Who Took Down the Homophobe

You remember the video we posted about late Friday? When I put that item up, the video had a little more than 10,000 views. Now it’s got more than 1.7 million.

Well, turns out that one of the onlookers who rushed to the defense of the man attacked by an antigay bigot at Dallas-Fort Worth International Airport was Paul Rudd. The actor. You know, this guy. He was probably on a connecting flight from Kansas City.

UPDATE, 3:05 p.m.: The Internet appears to have let us all down, folks. Jezebel reports that Rudd’s publicist says it’s not him.

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Things To Do In Dallas Tonight: Oct. 27

As you are probably aware, the Dallas Cowboys have an improbable 6-and-1 record at the moment and so every game is watched with greater and greater concern, anticipation, and excitement. That’s especially true for people who didn’t imagine themselves as hardcore Cowboys fans.

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Who Is the ‘Cologned Gallerist’ From Dallas in The New Yorker?

An alert FrontBurnervian points us to a recent New Yorker Talk of the Town story about, indirectly, how horrible people can be at art fairs (looking at their phones, taking selfies, etc.). The story follows a chap named Eric Fischl, who paints people looking at art. Fischl and the writer go to Art Southampton, which is held in a tent behind an Elks Lodge. That’s where this scene unfolds:

A cologned gallerist strode over, business card extended. He drawled, “We’re in Dallas, and let me tell you something — Dallas is the absolute hottest market going right now. It’s on fire!”

“See what I have to live with?” Fischl mumbled.

So then. Who is the gallerist who wears so much cologne that a writer would take note during such a brief exchange? It is a totally inconsequential matter that deserves immediate attention.

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Leading Off (10/27/2014)

Two x Two Fundraiser Smashes Records. The annual black-tie fundraiser, Two by Two for AIDs and Art, broke its record this year when an anonymous collector bid $2.6 million for a Wade Guyton painting, bringing the total take to $7 million. Half the money goes to the Dallas Museum of Art, and the other half to the American Foundation for AIDS Research. CeeLo Greene performed.

After Hugging President Obama, Nurse Nina Pham Back in North Texas. But she can’t have Bentley, her dog, back just yet. The dog will be released from quarantine on Nov. 1.

Former Penneys CEO Raises $30 Million For New Start Up. Ron Johnson is back, with a secretive e-venture called “Enjoy.” It’s meant to humanize the online shopping experience when it comes to buying “things that matter.”

Standardized Test Scores Are Out. The Morning News put together this interactive, where you can see how schools’ STAAR results improved, stayed the same, or declined between 2012 and 2014.

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