Quote of the Day
“There is no alliance.”
—Ted Cruz to reporters on Thursday regarding his apparently short-lived alliance with John Kasich, according to CNN. The plan to cede certain states to each other in an attempt to cut off Donald Trump’s delegate domination seems to still be in place, but Cruz just doesn’t want to use the word “alliance,” instead calling the special relationship “a determination where to focus our energies, where to focus our assets, where to focus our resources.” Sounds a lot like an alliance, but OK.
RIP—Legendary Dallas Morning News sportswriter Blackie Sherrod passed away on Thursday at 96. Writes the Morning News: Sherrod is “the greatest Texas sportswriter of his generation or any other, now and forevermore.” Sure, the Morning News may be a bit biased here, but it’s certainly not overstating Sherrod’s status. In a lengthy 1975 profile, Texas Monthly dubbed Sherrod the best sportswriter in the state. During his six decades as a sportswriter, Sherrod was voted Texas Sportswriter of the Year a record sixteen times. He was beloved by his colleagues and idolized by a generation of sportswriters. Known for his weekly Sunday column, “Scattershooting,” Sherrod’s “trademark was the use of a country-fied Texas vernacular—sort of Damon Runyon or Ring Lardner by way of Jett Rink,” according to the Associated Press. The native Texan started his career before World War II as an unpaid local correspondent for the Temple Daily Telegram, and went on to work at now-defunct papers in Fort Worth and Dallas until the Morning News hired him in 1985. He retired in 2003. Sherrod has no children, but, writes the Morning News: “His legacy was what he created on a blank page or screen.”
Fetal Position—The House State Affairs Committee in the Texas legislature held a hearing on Thursday to discuss the possibility of tightening regulations on donating fetal tissue for research. How much research in Texas is being done using fetal tissue? Not much, according to the Texas Tribune. So, uh, why were they even having this conversation? Oh, right. Because of the now-infamous Planned Parenthood video “sting,” in which two anti-abortion activists claimed to have caught the non-profit peddling aborted baby parts. Of course, the video makers are facing criminal fraud charges, and Planned Parenthood probably didn’t do anything worth videotaping in the first place. As the Dallas Morning News notes, despite investigations by multiple state agencies, including two in Texas, Planned Parenthood has not been tagged with any wrongdoing. Still, the state legislature seems to have its sights set on making something out of nothing. Here’s an actual sentence from the Associated Press‘s account of the meeting: “During the hearing of the House State Affairs Committee, Texas health officials denied claims that fetal tissue remains were being stored in clinic refrigerators next to Chinese take-out leftovers.” Because when fetal tissue is a non-issue, what else is there to talk about other than where the leftovers are in the fridge?
Zika Concerns—The stateside impact of the Zika virus is worse than we thought, and pregnant women and their doctors are reacting accordingly. People are especially nervous in Houston, according to NPR. With its large oil and gas workforce, many Houstonians travel to offshore drilling sites in South America, where the Zika outbreak is fierce. One doctor told NPR that some families are delaying the start of fertility treatment because they fear they may have already been exposed to Zika. Doctors are giving patients questionnaires to see if they’ve traveled to Zika-affected nations, recommending women wear mosquito repellant, and saying men should wear condoms to prevent spreading the virus to their partner. While mosquitos carrying Zika haven’t spread to the states yet (to our knowledge), “doctors in Houston have already opened a special clinic where women who have traveled to countries where the Zika virus is actively spreading can get blood tests and counseling,” writes NPR, and “a second clinic will open this summer.”