Quote of the Day
“That’s a redneck rescue I do believe.”
—Dina Young Gray, of Millsap, to WFAA. Gray bore witness to a Texas-style water rescue in Parker County on Monday. Good samaritan Cole Geeo revved up a monster truck and drove around town, saving residents trapped by a rising Brazos River, including one woman who was stranded on her second-floor balcony.
— Jenny Doren (@JennyDoren) April 18, 2016
Flood Crisis—Texas was pelted with heavy rain on Monday, causing flooding and prompting Gov. Greg Abbott to declare disaster areas in nine Texas counties, according to the Austin American-Statesman. The stormy weather was unusually widespread—Central Texas, North Texas, San Antonio and even Lubbock were affected by the bad weather. But Southeast Texas felt the brunt of the storm’s impact, and Houston was hit particularly hard. Up to twenty inches of rain fell in parts of H-town, quickly overflowing the city’s bayous. High water threatened motorists and forced families from their homes, trapped horses, and even resulted in the rescue of at least one armadillo. According to the Houston Chronicle, at least five people drowned as a result of the region’s flooding. The disaster is eerily similar to the devastating Memorial Day flood almost exactly a year earlier, which was also dubbed a “100-year flood.” It’s unclear whether conditions will improve tomorrow—according to the Weather Channel, Southeast Texas is expected to get more rain through Wednesday.
Escape From New York—Ted Cruz will not win New York’s primary today. Statistics gurus at FiveThiryEight say Donald Trump has a “99 percent chance” of winning, and according to the Texas Tribune, Cruz has already moved on to campaigning in Maryland. But if Cruz can win a few smaller delegate battles within New York, it could greatly help his overall cause. Writes the Tribune: “The Empire State has been a particularly brutal state for Cruz. Both Trump and the notoriously rough New York City tabloid press ripped Cruz over the course of the state campaign for disparaging ‘New York values’ at a debate in January. The state lacks a strong evangelical population, a voting bloc that has turned out for him elsewhere. As such, recent polling showed the Texas senator in a distant third place there behind Trump and Ohio Gov. John Kasich. But his campaign strategy is not based on statewide wins. The aim there and [in] Maryland is to pick off delegates wherever possible.” Likewise, FiveThiryEight says Cruz could get a boost from New York’s sizable conservative Jewish voting population. Bonus: Cruz enjoys New York-style pizza, and, perhaps more importantly, he actually knows how to eat it. “There’s only one way to eat it,” Cruz told Good Morning America, “and that is in your hand.” That alone should earn him a few more votes.
DAPA Deadlock—The U.S. Supreme Court heard arguments in a Texas-centered case on Monday that could decide whether millions of undocumented immigrants get to stay on this side of the border. According to the New York Times, the justices appear to be split down the middle on whether President Barack Obama overstepped his authority when he issued executive orders aimed at protecting immigrants from deportation. Writes the Texas Tribune: “Texas has accused the president of circumventing Congress by acting unilaterally on immigration. The Obama administration has countered, saying Texas does not have standing to sue the government and that the president isn’t granting people in the country illegally a free pass. Instead, he’s telling immigration agents to use their limited resources to deport criminals and felons, while simultaneously allowing immigrants deemed low-priority to work and stay with their families.” Should the court vote 4-4, writes the Times, it “would leave in place an appeals court ruling that blocks the plan and deny Mr. Obama the chance to revive it while he remains in office. A tie vote would set no Supreme Court precedent and therefore would allow a renewed challenge to the plan once the court is back at full strength.”