Quote of the Day
“How about giving my midwife a ride on your swan to come deliver my baby?”
—Anonymous expectant mother, of Houston, said Monday, according to McClatchy. The mom was ready to give birth, but flooding kept her midwife, 63-year old Cathy Allen Rude, from meeting her at a birthing clinic. From McClatchy: “The expectant mom planned to have a friend kayak Rude to the clinic, but that fell through. After reaching the end of Rude’s street, the pregnant mom noticed a neighbor floating by on an inflatable swan. The neighbor pushed the float to Rude’s front door, and ‘we hauled all my stuff in and she walked me to the end of the street,’ Rude recalled. Her neighbor helped her load the equipment onto a waiting pickup truck to drive her to the clinic at last.” Only in Texas.
Next, Stop Texas–Texas is booming, but where are all these new folks coming from? Mostly from other U.S. states, according to recently released data from the Office of the State Demographer. Writes the Texas Tribune: “From 2005 to 2013, an estimated 5.9 million people moved to Texas, and 4.8 million of those came from one of the other 49 states. In that time period, Texas grew by an average of 345 people per day due to people moving here from other states. Though Texas is still seeing strong international migration, part of that flow has slowed as illegal immigration has dropped. Meanwhile, migration from other states has remained steady.” The state sending more people to Texas than any other state—much to the chagrin of native Texans, perhaps—is California. According to the Tribune, 62, 386 people moved here from the Golden State in 2013. Next up was Florida (33,321 migrants) and, somewhat curiously, Illinois (30,672). Where in Texas are these new neighbors landing? Houston, apparently. Harris County took in more than 74,000 first-time Texans between 2009 and 2013. The next-biggest gain during that time was in San Antonio’s Bexar County, which received 42,472, and then Austin’s Travis County, which saw 30,340 new faces from other U.S. places.
Cake Controversy—On Monday, an openly gay Austin pastor said he would sue Whole Foods after the flagship store allegedly scrawled a homophobic slur on his cake. Whole Foods immediately denied the accusation, and on Tuesday it filed a countersuit. According to the Austin American-Statesman, Whole Foods is seeking “at least $100,000 in damages” (that’s quite the mark-up on a cake). As our Dan Solomon noted on Tuesday, “This is the most complicated that thinking about cake has ever been.” Whole Foods also released security footage showing the pastor checking out, which the grocery store chain seemed to think was incontrovertible evidence that his accusations were fabricated and the blue-icing slur forged. Whole Foods says the video shows the cashier scanning the top of the box, while the pastor’s “evidence” video showed the label on the side. In reality, it’s pretty hard to tell for sure which part of the box is actually being scanned on the video. Meanwhile, because everyone on the internet is a dessert icing forensic expert, Cake Hoax Truthers are a thing now. We don’t know much for certain here, except that this weird story will probably get even weirder if either case goes to trial before a jury. #Cakegate is just getting started.
Cartel Court— Osiel Cardenas Guillen, the former boss of the brutal Gulf Cartel, could take the witness stand in Dallas next week during the trial of a man suspected of stalking Cardenas’s former attorney, Juan Jesus Guerrero Chapa, shortly before he was shot and killed in Southlake three years ago. According to the Dallas Morning News, the suspected stalker’s attorney included Cardenas in a witness list to testify about “cartel activities/relationships, activities and role of Chapa.” Although Cardenas was convicted of drug trafficking charges in 2010 and is currently serving a 25-year prison sentence, he has never really appeared before the public in court. In 2010, the New York Times wrote that Cardenas’s “sentencing and the two years of legal maneuvering before it were handled with the utmost secrecy,” and the “sentencing hearing took place in a federal courtroom in Houston behind locked doors and armed guards” in order to keep everyone involved safe. The whole story of Chapa’s murder is pretty interesting—not only was the former high-ranking cartel player hiding in plain sight in a Texas suburb, but according to the Morning News, Chapa had also provided the U.S. government “key information” about the Gulf Cartel and its main rivals, Los Zetas. You can (and should) read more about that in the Morning News’s investigation into Chapa, Cardenas, and U.S. law enforcement agencies from last week.