Tag Archives: Greg Abbott

Abbott wants to take over Austin PD?

Texas Gov. Greg Abbott seems to have been taken in by Donald Trump’s penchant for authoritarian rule.

Abbott is considering whether to send in the Department of Public Safety to take over police duties from the Austin Police Department. What prompted this bit of heavy-handedness? The Austin City Council has voted to take a good bit of money away from Austin PD, which has enraged Abbott to the point of seeking permission to send in the state cops to do the city cops’ work.

This would be a serious overreach from the governor’s office into city hall’s purview.

Abbott, of course, cannot do this all by himself. He needs the Legislature to step in. How does he do that? Does he call a special legislative session, which would cost the state even more money it doesn’t have in the wake of the COVID crisis?

According to the Texas Tribune: “This proposal for the state to takeover the Austin Police Department is one strategy I’m looking at,” Abbott tweeted. “We can’t let Austin’s defunding & disrespect for law enforcement to endanger the public & invite chaos like in Portland and Seattle.”

I want to be clear on this point: I disagree with the city’s decision to defund its police department. I think police “reform” can occur without taking money away from departments such as the one in Austin. Thus, I am dismayed at the entire “defund the police” movement that has taken root in many communities across the nation.

I believe some police departments need a serious retooling of their procedures and policies. I mean, shooting someone in the back seven times while he is fleeing an officer suggests to me a serious breakdown in effective law enforcement. And don’t get me started on the George Floyd murder in Minneapolis.

I also disagree, though, with the governor’s reaction to what is a local funding decision. It might be that since the governor resides in Austin, given that it’s the state capital city, that he is taking the defunding issue personally. If that is the case, then he needs to get over himself.

The Texas Legislature and the governor need to allow Austin to wrestle through this issue. If the city council has made the wrong decision to defund the police department, Austin voters can take matters into their own hands.

I believe that’s what they mean when they refer to “local control.”

Georgia governor: No. 1 knucklehead

I hereby nominate Georgia Gov. Brian Kemp as Knucklehead of the Month, maybe the year.

How did the Republican governor earn this dubious distinction? By issuing an executive order that overrides local officials in Georgia who have ordered residents to wear masks to help prevent the spread of COVID-19.

What in the name of public safety has gotten into Kemp?

Kemp issued the order because, by golly, he just doesn’t see the need to wear masks. He ignores the stern and serious advice from damn near every medical professional on Earth who tell us that masks — along with social distancing — are sure-fire preventatives against the disease that continues to sicken and kill Americans.

I am heartened that fellow Republican governors — such as Texas’ Greg Abbott — see the situation quite differently. Abbott has gone in the opposite direction, ordering masks when Texans venture into indoor settings.

Moreover, companies that are doing business in Georgia have ordered their employees and customers who enter their establishments to wear masks. That means that Gov. Kemp can issue executive orders until the cows come home, some folks in his state aren’t going to listen.

This is part and parcel of what has happened in this country. We have politicized a global pandemic that is taking no prisoners. The coronavirus has killed 138,000 Americans. It has sickened more than 3 million of us. Our nation’s rate of death and infection far exceed the percentage of the worldwide population that resides in the United States.

And yet we have Republican politicians — led by the Idiot in Chief, Donald Trump — flouting medical advice by refusing to wear masks. Their political followers walk in lockstep with them, refusing to maintain proper distance. What happens then? The rate of infection skyrockets, right along with the rate of hospitalization … and death!

Then we get my nominee for Knucklehead of the Month issuing an idiotic executive order that seeks to override local officials’ tough decisions on how to keep their constituents safe from a viral infection that could kill them.

Stupidity is alive inside the Georgia statehouse.

Abbott draws fire from his fellow Rs … amazing!

Pardon me for a moment while I, um, LOL.

Yes, the reason for my guffaw has been the response from Texas Gov. Greg Abbott’s fellow Republicans over the governor’s conversion to a get-tough politician waging war against the coronavirus pandemic.

Actually, Abbott is drawing heavy fire from both sides of the divide. Democrats are angry that Abbott acted too quickly to reopen the state. Now it’s Republicans who are spittin’ mad at Abbott because he realizes he erred the first time.

So, Abbott has dialed back the state’s reopening plans. He has mandated mask-wearing as a preventative measure against the virus; he also has mandated social distancing and told businesses they have to scale back their occupancy rates.

What is hilarious — in a sickening sort of way — has been the response from GOP-leaning businessmen and women. One of them is a friend of mine. He runs a small business in Amarillo. He displays a picture of President Reagan prominently where customers buy their products. My friend’s GOP credentials are real and I respect them.

But now that Abbott is acting to protect Texans’ lives and health against the killer virus, my friend has taken to calling the governor a dictator. I think he used the word “communist” in a social media post complaining about Abbott’s order to shut certain businesses down.

I happen to be upset that Abbott acted too quickly when he sought to reopen the state’s business infrastructure. We are paying the price at this moment.

However, I support the governor’s decision to dial it back and believe he is acting responsibly now. My family and I are wearing masks when we venture out. We are keeping our distance from others. We are wiping down surfaces with sanitary wipes and we keep alcohol-based sanitizer handy at all times.

Do I feel sorry for the governor? Not for a second. He gets the big bucks to make the correct decisions. He made the wrong one, then has tried to correct it. I hate to say that do-overs aren’t allowed.

When will GOP pols hit the wall as it regards POTUS?

Here is my latest Question of the Day: When in the name of sane government will Republican governors around the country decide they have heard enough from Donald J. Trump?

I’ll look specifically at Texas Gov. Greg Abbott, given that I am acquainted with him and he might actually see this blog post.

Abbott has slammed the brakes on the state’s reopening strategy in the wake of the COVID-19 crisis. He has ordered masks in public places, told us to maintain social distancing, and ordered businesses to limit capacity. Yes, he was slow to enact the measures and, yes again, he is scaling back his too-quick order to reopen the state’s business community.

Abbott, though, at least is giving lip service to the gravity of the coronavirus pandemic.

Meanwhile, we hear from Donald Trump that the killer virus is going to disappear. It’ll be like a miracle, he says, adding, “I hope.”

Then came this tidbit from one of his Fourth of July weekend speeches: He said that 99 percent of all COVID-19 infections don’t amount to anything of consequence. Virtually all infections, he implied, are nothing to worry about.

Really! He said it. Oh, I guess I should point out that 130,000 Americans have died, which is about 20 percent of the worldwide death count.

These Republican politicians need to speak out forcefully, telling Donald Trump to keep his trap shut. Every time he dismisses the death counts, makes light of the infection rates, calls for “less testing,” he makes state and local politicians’ duties that much more difficult.

He’s got that damn bully pulpit that he is misusing to the detriment of Americans’ health. GOP politicians need to start calling him out.

Gov. Abbott, I’m talking to you!

Censure the governor? Are you serious?

I have to ask: What in the name of public safety has happened to the Texas Republican Party?

The Ector County GOP hierarchy has voted to censure their fellow Republican, Gov. Greg Abbott over Abbott’s executive order requiring Texans to wear masks in public places.

Why did Abbott do such a dastardly thing? Oh, he wants to stop the spread of a virus that has killed 130,000 Americans. For taking that action, the Texas Republican Party is launching a campaign to conduct a statewide censure movement ahead of its political convention scheduled soon.

This is utterly ridiculous! It’s insane! It’s certifiable lunacy!

Don’t get me wrong on this point: Greg Abbott is not my favorite Texas pol. He dilly-dallied on taking measures to stop the virus in Texas. He plunged full speed into reopening the state. The infection rate spiked as a result, along with the death rate from COVID-19. Abbott has hit the “pause” button on the restart.

I wish he had done so earlier … but he did and I am glad about that.

However, there’s a lot of bitching going on throughout the state among Republicans who’ve swallowed the Donald Trump Kool-Aid about the coronavirus. They want the state to continue to press ahead with reopening. I have a couple of friends in the Texas Panhandle — business owners, in fact — who complain openly about what they believe is some sort of communist plot within the GOP.

I am not kidding! These are dedicated Republicans who have swilled the concoction that makes ’em believe the coronavirus ain’t that big of a deal.

There’s talk now about a special legislative session that would seek to reel in what GOP loons say is Abbott’s executive overreach. Good grief! The man is seeking to stop the spread of a disease that is killing us.

Another run on TP on tap

One of the real-time realities of today is that I don’t get out much, meaning that I go to the supermarket only when I really need to buy something.

So I am a bit slow on the uptake, I suppose, when I notice something that apparently has been trending over the course of some time.

Such as the supply of toilet paper on the shelves.

You’ll recall I am sure when the pandemic first erupted we were told to stock up on certain household necessities. TP was one of them.

We weren’t in danger of running out of it in our home, but we did stock up when they appeared at our Princeton, Texas, neighborhood supermarket.

Then the supplies held up. No one felt the need to, um, fill their closets with this essential commodity.

Until now. Texas Gov. Greg Abbott has pulled back on his reopening strategy. We’re now being ordered to wear masks in public. We are limiting gathering sizes. Abbott is imploring us to maintain “social distancing” measures. I get all that, man.

He didn’t say anything about stocking up on essential items. Not to worry about that, though. We found out during the first shutdown what we needed to do.

TP once again is in short supply.

Hey, you big drug firms … hurry up with that vaccine. Will ya?

Face mask order forces me to acquire new habits

It has taken an order from the Texas governor to get me to step it up with this “new normal” way of doing things.

I don’t begrudge Greg Abbott for issuing the order, even though I do endorse the notion that he was a bit late in declaring it. That said, I won’t dwell on its timeliness.

Abbott has told us to wear masks when we venture to public places if we live in counties with 20 or more coronavirus infections. Well, in Collin County we, um, are well past that “magic number.”

My wife has been much better about complying with voluntary new normal procedures than I have been. I guess it took the order from Gov. Abbott to get me to pay attention. He issued it and I am heeding it to the letter.

To be sure, I wish we didn’t have to wear these masks. It’s awfully hot out there and the masks make me sweat. However, the cost of not wearing one — in addition to maintaining that “social distance” thing — is too serious to ignore.

Even though I don’t like wearing the masks, I dislike getting sick even more. I seriously dislike the notion of possibly dying from the illness known as COVID-19. More to the point than even that, I shudder at the thought of my family members being sickened by the virus. They know who they are and I am imploring all of them to follow the rules … to the letter.

If it takes a government order to keep my loved ones and me healthy, then I’m all in. You will not hear me gripe about surrendering my “civil liberties” or being told how to behave.

The alternative to all of that could be pretty damn grim … and I am unwilling to pay that price.

Listen, the governor’s order is lawful and sensible

I had an up-close view of an exchange today between a woman who was shopping at our local supermarket in Princeton and a young man who was filling the shelves with goods to be sold.

The woman doesn’t like Texas Gov. Greg Abbott’s order for everyone to wear masks while out in public. She thinks it’s an overreach. She believes Abbott is a tyrant for ordering us to wear masks that, in his view, saves our lives and, more to the point, prevents exposure of others to the COVID-19 virus that’s been in all the papers of late.

She said something about putting a message on the outside of her mask that in effect tells the governor to go straight to hell. 

I stood by waiting for her to finish her rant, as she was standing in front of something I wanted to put in my shopping cart. She shot me a glance a time or two, as if looking for moral support to the argument she was trying to make to the supermarket vendor. I didn’t provide it. Maybe she looked in my eyes and noticed I wasn’t buying the bullsh** she was peddling.

I so wanted to tell her: Ma’am, if you’re going to resist wearing the mask, then you can just go ahead and drive your car without buckling your seat belt and tell me how it goes when the cop pulls you over to write a citation for breaking the law. 

I didn’t go there. I am not a confrontational sort of guy. So I let her vent and rant and carry on as if Gov. Abbott had just ordered her to sacrifice one of her children.

I realize there are others who share this idiot’s view. That’s their call. Just stay the hell away from me and my family if you’re going to defy a lawful executive order.

Abbott performs stunning reversal

“COVID-19 is not going away. In fact, it’s getting worse. Now, more than ever, action by everyone is needed until treatments are available for COVID-19.”

That comment comes from Texas Gov. Greg Abbott, who today performed an astonishing public policy about face with regard to the pandemic that is raging out of control once again in many areas across the land.

Abbott issued an executive order requiring residents who live in Texas counties with 20 or more COVID cases to wear face masks in public.

This is astonishing … but it is welcome in our household. Collin County, where my wife and I reside, has become a bit of a hot spot for new infections. Our masks are at the ready. We will wear them when we go outdoors.

Why the astonishment? Let me count the ways.

Abbott has resisted issuing such an order. He has prohibited counties from stepping beyond the state mandates. Now he’s sounding very much like the county judges with whom he had tussled.

Then we have the blathering of the bloward lieutenant governor, Dan Patrick, who this week said that Dr. Anthony Fauci — the nation’s leading infectious disease expert — “doesn’t know what he’s talking about.” Patrick, who obviously does not possess a medical degree, said “No thank you, Dr. Fauci” when making policy decisions on how to handle the pandemic.

Except that Abbott’s statements today sound pretty damn Faucian in discussing the seriousness of the problem facing Texans.

Look, I do not think Gov. Abbott has handled this crisis with the steady hand it requires. However, I am heartened to hear him turn up the volume on the danger that this pandemic is posing to Texans. It now is up to all of us to heed the warning he has delivered. We need to wear masks and to stay the heck away from everyone else.

We also need to ignore the ignorant happy talk coming from the White House as well as the mindless blathering from the lieutenant governor.

Masks do not hinder our rights! Got it? Good!

I am sick and tired of hearing the gripes of those who think mandates to wear surgical masks hinders their civil liberties.

We are in the midst of a global pandemic. It has killed 127,000 Americans. More of us are going to die. Medical experts say wearing masks — along with social distancing — helps alleviate the death and hospitalization tolls.

So what the hell is the problem here?

We keep seeing demonstrators griping about the masks. We see the occasional viral YouTube video of idiots raising hell with cops about whether they are observing proper distance or wearing masks as required by local government officials.

I am tired of repeating myself, but I feel the need to restate the obvious.

It is that mask wearing is no more a civil liberties violation than wearing seat belts while riding in a motor vehicle, or helmets while riding on a motorcycle, or behaving like a civilized human being when we are in public places.

If the city council in the community where I live requires mask wearing, we are going to adhere to the rules. If a ruling comes down from Collin County’s courthouse, fine … I’m all in. If Texas Gov. Greg Abbott issues a statewide requirement for masks, great.

We keep hearing that mantra that “We’re in this together.” That notion should apply to all of us obeying the rules that come forth from officials who are charged to “provide for the general welfare” of the public they serve.