The size and seriousness of a natural disaster can change the trajectory of political debate. But what's happening in flood-ravaged Texas is extraordinary and would test even the most even-keeled presidential administration.
That's not what most have seen in the first seven months from
Good morning from the state capital. I'm Sacramento Bureau Chief John Myers, and as California rescue officials head to the Lone Star state lend a hand, it's far from clear just how much worse things will get there before they get better.
And into the region on Tuesday flew the president.
TRUMP'S LOOK AT TEXAS
Our colleague Hailey Branson-Potts had a great line in her coverage of Trump's trip to Corpus Christi — that he was greeted by "a mix of well-wishers and protesters, both thrilled and furious he was here."
For a president who's rarely skipped an opportunity to take a victory lap, his tone in speaking with Texas elected officials on Tuesday was more subdued.
"We'll congratulate each other when it's all finished," Trump said.
Meanwhile, the Pentagon is promising up to 30,000 troops are prepared to assist in response to Harvey's aftermath.
As always, we'll keep track of the latest political implications of the storm's aftermath on our Essential Washington news feed.
And of course, helping those in need tops everything else. Here's how you can chip in.
WEDNESDAY'S POLITICAL ROUNDUP
-- "All options are on the table," said the president, after North Korea launched a missile that flew over the northernmost region of Japan.
-- Texas Sen. Ted Cruz is taking some heat for a vote he took four years ago against helping victims of a different storm.
-- Trump offered an emphatic defense on Monday of his pardon for former Arizona Sheriff
-- Sen. Dianne Feinstein on Tuesday said President Trump should work to unite and heal the country.
-- The man now embroiled in the Trump-Russia investigation was once an FBI informant.
-- Hillary Clinton's book tour will bring her to the campus of UC Davis in October. Oh, and this time she's also going to Wisconsin.
2018 BALLOT: ALL EGGS CAGE-FREE?
While it's been awfully quiet for most of the summer when it comes to groups eyeing a California ballot measure next fall, a high-profile effort was introduced on Tuesday.
And this one is all about your grocery store shelves: a measure to require, among other things, all eggs sold in the state be "cage free."
The initiative's language, drafted by the Humane Society of the United States, addresses the group's concerns that 2008's Proposition 2 — which required hens to have more room in their habitats -- did not achieve the right conditions for farm animals, including pigs and calves.
LEGISLATURE INCHES TOWARD A HOUSING DEAL
As the clock ticks toward the final day of this year's legislative session in Sacramento, no issue is bigger or more closely watched than the handful of bills designed to take a first stab at California's housing crisis.
On Monday, Gov. Jerry Brown and legislative leaders agreed to support a $4-billion housing bond for the 2018 ballot.
On Tuesday morning, key legislation was amended to give cities and counties more control over housing dollars. But some
Meanwhile, Los Angeles Mayor
FROM THE COURT FILES
There have been two notable court rulings this week that could have major impact on local politics across the Golden State.
In Sacramento, a judge nixed a law that would have allowed public, taxpayer financing of some local political campaigns in California.
Elsewhere, the California Supreme Court appears to have dealt a setback to those who believe tax increases to finance school, transit, road and other specific improvements must be approved on local ballots by a supermajority of voters. Though the effect of the ruling is unclear, legislative Republicans are expected later today to roll out a plan to revamp the law.
-- A survey commissioned by a UC Davis research institute said 61% of voters don't like the new state law that would allow counties to switch almost all of their voting to absentee ballots.
-- The University of California is under pressure to cancel an event next month headlined by conservative activist Milo Yiannopoulos after recent violence on and around the Berkeley campus.
-- Former Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger lauded fellow Republican Chad Mayes on Monday, after Mayes lost his state Assembly leadership post for backing cap-and-trade legislation championed by Democrats.
-- A state Senate committee called on police on Tuesday to treat violent acts by white supremacist groups as terror attacks.
-- The violent approach of "antifa" groups sparks some soul-searching within the anti-Trump community.
-- With roughly $1.4 billion in cap-and-trade funding up for grabs this year, a group of state senators said Tuesday much of the money should be used for incentives to phase out diesel trucks, buses and other vehicles. "It's time to ditch diesel," said Berkeley state Sen.
-- In what they called a civil act of disobedience, immigrant advocates on Tuesday held a prayer service in the governor's office to support "sanctuary state" legislation.
-- A new endorsement in the race for governor, as Rep. Karen Bass threw her support behind former L.A. Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa in next year's contest.
Essential Politics is published Monday, Wednesday and Friday.
Miss Monday's newsletter? Here you go.
Please send thoughts, concerns and news tips to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Did someone forward you this? Sign up here to get Essential Politics in your inbox.