Wiretap: As Texans battle Harvey, many have had to be their own first responders

They’re calling Harvey a 500-year event, the worst storm ever to hit Texas, a storm that has left many roads impassable and 911 calls unanswered. It’s a storm during which many Texans have had to be their own first responders. Even as the government deployed thousands of guardsmen, 20 helicopters, 60 boats and high-water vehicles, it still hasn’t been enough. And so people came out in private boats, in kayaks, in anything that floated to help rescue thousands. And now, in Houston and environs, they dread the rain yet to fall. Via The Washington Post.

“This is the dumbest thing I’ve ever done,” says the man who rode out the storm in his truck alongside his wife and four dogs, reports J. David McSwane (former editor of Colorado State University’s Rocky Mountain Collegian) for the Dallas Morning News.

The thousand-year-old oak tree in Goose Island State Park in Rockport, Texas, made it safely through the 500-year storm. Via The Houston Chronicle.

The latest Washington Post blockbuster on Donald Trump and the Russia connection: Trump’s business sought deal on a Trump Tower in Moscow even as he was running for president.

Secretary of State Rex Tillerson very publicly steps away from Trump on Charlottesville. Asked by Chris Wallace on Fox News Sunday if Trump’s response to the violence represented American values, Tillerson said, “The president speaks for himself.” When Wallace pressed whether this represented a separation, Tillerson said, “I have spoken. I have made my own comments as to our values as well in a speech I gave to the State Department this past week.” Via The New York Times.

Joe Biden on Trump, Charlottesville and Sheriff Joe: We are living through a battle for the soul of this nation. Via The Atlantic.

Jane Chong writes in The New Yorker that Trump’s stunning — but hardly surprising — pardon of Joe Arpaio is the latest, and most serious, of the president’s assaults on the American system and the rule of law.

Doyle McManus: No president has lost as many supporters so early in his tenure as Trump. And now even Trump’s own pollster has revealed that his loyal base is beginning to show cracks. Via The Los Angeles Times.

Hezbollah is no longer just Iran’s weapon against Israel. As the fighting in the Middle East has changed, so has Hezbollah’s mission. It is now involved in nearly every fight that matters to Iran. Via The New York Times.

From The National Review, it’s time to end the Trump-Obama fantasy of winning over, or defeating, the Taliban, who, no matter how long we stay in Afghanistan, will still outlast us.


Photo of the Big Tree via Texas Department of Parks and Wildlife