Quote of the Day
“We’re now looking at America being snuffed out from one missile, one weapon.”
—Texas State Senator Bob Hall to about 100 folks gathered in an “underground auditorium” during a two-day summit he called to discuss how to defend Texas from “electromagnetic pulse attacks,” according to the Texas Tribune. Better safe than sorry, right?
Hoosier Ted—With the Indiana primary just days away, Ted Cruz is painting the Hoosier state as our (i.e., his) last chance against Trump. According to the Texas Tribune, he has a whopping ten campaign events scheduled across the state on Monday, and Cruz himself is slated to attend five of them. “We are at the edge of a cliff,” Cruz told NBC’s Meet the Press on Sunday, “and I’ll tell you, the people of Indiana, they really are in a position, the country is depending on them to pull us back from this cliff.” Cruz has been clinging to the edge of said precipice for a while now, facing beatdown after beatdown at the tiny hands of Trump in primaries across the country, including a recent five-state sweep in the Northeast that drove Cruz to a delegate deficit of more than 400 votes. According to the Austin American-Statesman, pre-primary polls vary, with one showing Trump ahead in Indiana by fifteen points and another showing Cruz leading by about the same difference. Cruz doesn’t exactly have momentum. He barely survived a basketball-vocab gaffe last week, and a last-minute endorse(meh)nt from Governor Mike Pence was, as the Tribune noted, “less than full-throated.” Pence said he’d vote for Cruz, but kind of indicated Trump would be a good choice, too, and he never actually used the word “endorsement.” At this point, Cruz may need some Jimmy Chitwood-esque magic to win Indiana.
Bad Breakup—Just like that, the Halliburton and Baker Hughes marriage was over before it even started. The two Houston-headquartered giants announced on Sunday that their mega-merger deal, valued at $35 billion, was off. According to the Wall Street Journal, both energy companies found that resistance from regulatory agencies (the Justice Department filed an anti-trust lawsuit over the deal in early April) and the oil bust (crude oil was $75 per barrel when the agreement was inked in 2014) was ultimately too much to bear. Of course, the Justice Department was pretty thrilled after learning the deal had officially fallen apart. “The companies’ decision to abandon this transaction – which would have left many oilfield service markets in the hands of a duopoly – is a victory for the U.S. economy and for all Americans,” Attorney General Loretta Lynch said in a statement. Halliburton is reportedly paying Baker Hughes a tiny $3.5 billion breakup fee for their trouble. The Houston Chronicle says the deal’s disintegration is expected to result in thousands of layoffs.
Rough Waters—A rash of stormy weather again hit Texas late last week, bringing hail, tornadoes and even more flooding. The tiny East Texas town of Palestine was hit particularly hard. In a statement, the town’s mayor said Palestine experienced the worst flooding he has seen in his “59 years of living here.” According to the Dallas Morning News, officials there found six dead bodies after more than seven inches of rain fell on the area in less than an hour late Friday evening. Tragically, the flooding claimed the lives of four children—ages six, seven, eight and nine—and their 64-year-old great-grandmother. According to WFAA, several GoFundMe campaigns have been set up for the victims’ families. The Morning News reported that the state’s recent deluge of flooding could also have a bad environmental after-effect, sweeping “crude oil and toxic fracking chemicals” from flood-inundated oil wells into the state’s rivers. The Texas Railroad Commission says everything is under control, but some environmentalist groups aren’t so sure. One environmental expert said the situation is “a potential disaster.”