March-April 2017

A roundup of notable quotables

“There are only two reasons why the FDA would take 17 months to make a final decision on Texas’ importation of thiopental sodium: gross incompetence or willful obstruction.”

—Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton in a press release. In January, Paxton filed a lawsuit against the Food and Drug Administration claiming it has delayed a shipment of the drug thiopental sodium, which is used in death penalty lethal injections.

“On a scale of 1 to 10? Eleven.”

Cowboy Sherrod Greeson of the Texas Tech Ranch Horse team, to a reporter who asked him how exciting his day had been. That morning, Greeson and other members of the team were called out of class to round up a pair of cows that had gotten loose in downtown Lubbock. The TV clip might be the most Texas interview ever.

“Every girl I know who’s left the system either already had a kid or immediately got pregnant. You have to understand—we’re children. We’ll do anything to give or get love. And that’s what a baby is for us.”

—Jessica Urias, an adult who spent much of her childhood in Texas’ foster care system. She, like many teenagers in foster care, became pregnant at 16, and shortly after giving birth, the state put her daughter up for adoption. (

“I think a lot of officers, especially in our department, do things for people all the time, and it goes unrecognized.”

—Zionsville (Indiana) Police Department Officer Nick Smiley, who bought groceries for a woman and her children after the kids’ stepfather was arrested and charged with child neglect. (

“I did save somebody’s life that morning, but I had to take somebody else’s life in the process, and that’s difficult to reconcile.”

—Thomas Yoxall, the Phoenix man who drove up on Leonard Penuelas-Escobar attacking State Trooper Ed Andersson on the side of Interstate 10. Yoxall, who was armed, got out of his car and demanded that Penuelas-Escobar stop. When he didn’t, Yoxall shot and killed the assailant. (

“I think it will be less ‘Law and Order’ and more DMV.”

—a friend of the editor via text, on being summoned for jury duty.

“I’m blessed. I couldn’t live through another one—I’d have a heart attack.”

—Charlesetta Williams, a 75-year-old Texas woman who took shelter in her bathtub during a tornado. The twister was so strong it ripped her and the bathtub out of the home; she ended up in the yard, still in the tub, with only scratches and bruises. (