Tag Archives: John Cornyn

Mary Lou Robinson Courthouse? Yes!

My hunch is that you can take this to the bank: Congress is going to attach a revered federal judge’s name on a courthouse in Amarillo, Texas.

I want to offer my heartiest applause from afar.

U.S. Sen. John Cornyn and U.S. Rep. Mac Thornberry, both Republicans, have introduced legislation to rename the federal courthouse building in downtown Amarillo, the Marvin Jones Federal Building and Mary Lou Robinson United States Courthouse.

Yes, it’s a mouthful. However, Judge Robinson long ago deserved this honor.

The House of Representatives passed House Resolution 5772 by a voice vote this week. It’s headed to the Senate, where Sen. Cornyn is carrying this legislation.

I am honored to have made Judge Robinson’s acquaintance. She and I served in the Rotary Club of Amarillo together, which is where I got to know her.

She remains the gold standard for judicial candidates who seek elected office in the Texas Panhandle. I know that from my job as editorial page editor of the Amarillo Globe-News, a job I held for nearly 18 years. Almost to a person, whenever I would ask a candidate after whom they might model their judicial performance, they would mention Mary Lou Robinson. She set the bar high and judicial candidates for county or state district benches would declare their intention to emulate her.

As the Globe-News reported: “Judge Robinson is a legal pioneer who is universally respected and admired,” Thornberry said in an email. “She has always set high standards for herself and others, and our system of justice has benefited. Having the name of these two outstanding public servants on our federal building and courthouse will be a perpetual reminder of their high standards and outstanding contributions to our nation.”

If enacted, this would be the first federal courthouse named after a woman within a five-state area.

She served Potter County’s judicial system, as a court at law judge and as a state district judge; she gravitated to the 7th Court of Appeals. Then in 1977, she received a federal judicial appointment from President Carter.

The building that eventually will carry her name is now known as the Marvin Jones Federal Building and Courthouse.

With all due respect to the great Marvin Jones, he will have to move over to make room for a true judicial giant.

I am delighted to hear about this pending name change.

GOP drumbeat is getting louder

Well, shut my mouth and call me speechless.

U.S. Rep. Mac Thornberry, the Clarendon (Texas) Republican, has weighed in with a stout statement of criticism of Donald J. Trump’s “zero tolerance” policy on illegal immigration.

Here is what Thornberry said today in a statement released by his office:

“Our immigration system is in need of a major overhaul, but there is no excuse for separating children from their parents. We should begin with heightened border security and interior enforcement, not the division of families. The House is currently considering legislation to secure our borders in the most humane way possible and to address the status of DACA recipients currently in our country. We also need to reform our legal immigration system so that decisions are timely, contributing to the health and well-being of country.”

Can you believe it? Neither can I. But he said it. Welcome aboard the indignation band wagon, Rep. Thornberry.

“There is no excuse for separating children from their parents,” Thornberry said.

He is right. No excuse. None. Zero.

Yet the president of the United States keeps doubling and tripling down on this hideous policy, all the while blaming congressional Democrats for enacting a bill that they never enacted.

U.S. Sen. Ted Cruz, the Texas Republican, has promised to introduce legislation that keeps families united. He has been joined by the state’s senior U.S. senator, John Cornyn, another Republican lawmaker. U.S. House Speaker Paul Ryan has declared his intention to work toward ending this policy.

Will the president listen to these individuals? Will he do what he needs to do and stop this hideous treatment of children who have been caught up in the immigration sausage grinder?

He will if he has a speck of decency in his soul. Many of us, though, wonder if he does.

Dear Mr. POTUS: Let Mueller do his job

Dear Mr. President:

I won’t take long to make this point, sir.

You are getting a snootful from your fellow Republicans, the real Republicans who serve in Congress. They’re giving you some advice you need to heed and follow.

Do not do anything to force the ouster of special counsel Robert Mueller.

I say this hoping that you have a half a brain under that hideous comb-over on top of that noggin of yours. If you do you’ll understand that the crisis any such effort would launch. And from where I sit, it likely would not end well for you.

I am presuming you’ve heard from one of the leading Senate Republicans, John Cornyn of Texas, who told Politico that “the consequences would be so overwhelming” if you force Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein to kick Mueller to the curb.

Hey, I’m not so sure Rosenstein would obey the order. He’s said already — and you’ve heard that, too — that he doesn’t anticipate firing Mueller unless there’s “cause.” Mueller, Rosenstein, said, is doing a fine job as special counsel.

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell also has said Mueller needs to finish the job. Same with many other leading Republicans.

Furthermore, if I were you, Mr. President, I wouldn’t take Sen. Ted Cruz’s silence on this matter as an endorsement of you or your conduct. Cruz says he doesn’t comment on tweets, which is likely a reasonable position to take. He said he won’t “focus on the political circus” that is unfolding in Washington.

Whatever. Others are willing to speak out. You ought to heed them.

I don’t expect you to act on what I have to say, or what other critics of you have to say. Democrats are p***ing into the wind.

You preach fealty to Republicans, Mr. President. Now is the time to heed your own advice.

OK, Sen. Cornyn, let’s start by talking about guns

U.S. Sen. John Cornyn wants to “talk about gun policy.”

The Texas Republican has accepted a challenge by a California Democrat with whom he serves in the Senate, Dianne Feinstein, to start some discussion about what to do to prevent future slaughters such as the one that occurred on Valentine’s Day in Parkland, Fla.

Now, is this the start of a move toward legislating a solution to gun violence? I am not yet holding my breath.

Seventeen people died in the carnage. High school students who survived the slaughter have risen up to issue direct threats to politicians who block efforts to legislate a remedy.

As the Texas Tribune has reported: At a Senate Judiciary Committee hearing, U.S. Sen. Dianne Feinstein, D-California, brought the issue to the fore.

“Let’s take some action,” she said. “We cannot see this continue on.”

She then mentioned two areas where compromise might be reached. The first was a “Fix NICS” bill Cornyn sponsored last fall that would hold government agencies accountable for uploading relevant information to the federal background check system.

The second was related to bump stocks, which are legal firearm enhancements that allow shooters to operate firearms as if they were automatic weapons. Several Texans said last fall that they would consider banning bump stocks after the devices were found on the guns of the man who shot dozens on the Las Vegas strip. No law has since passed.

“Nobody likes these devices. You can’t have automatic weapons on the streets,” Feinstein said. “It’s easy to fix. Why don’t we do it?”

Cornyn hasn’t been much of a friend to those who oppose the gun lobby. However, there might be the tiniest of cracks beginning to appear in the armor that has surrounded politicians who resist any effort to legislate some remedies to the type of carnage that erupted once again.

It would be a near miracle if Sen. Cornyn would help widen that crack and start to deliver some sensible legislation that doesn’t destroy the Constitution’s Second Amendment.

But, you know … stranger occurrences and alliances have taken shape atop Capitol Hill.

Tightening criminal records checks: It’s a start

U.S. Sen. John Cornyn deserves an “A” for effort in trying to crack down on a tragic flaw in the nation’s effort to keep guns out of the hands of criminals.

He has announced a bipartisan bill that seeks to strength the federal background check of individuals seeking to buy firearms. The legislation comes in the wake of the Sutherland Springs, Texas, massacre that killed 26 people at First Baptist Church. The gunman, an Air Force veteran, slipped through the USAF’s criminal records system when the Air Force failed to report to the FBI that the gunman had been convicted of domestic assault; he was given a bad conduct discharge from the Air Force.

According to the Texas Tribune: The Texas Republican’s bill, known as the Fix NICS Act, tries to ensure federal and state authorities accurately report relevant information, including criminal history, to the National Instant Criminal Background Check System.

“For years, agencies and states haven’t complied with the law, failing to upload these critical records without consequence,” Cornyn said in a statement.

The Tribune reports: The NICS database is maintained by the FBI and used to determine if a prospective gun buyer has a criminal record or is ineligible to purchase a firearm. The database became the focus of national attention earlier this month after a man fired an assault rifle at a small church during Sunday morning services, killing 26 people and injuring scores others.

Read the Tribune story here.

I fear this legislation might be too little, though, to have a significant impact on the huge numbers of guns already available for anyone to buy — legally or otherwise.

The bill under consideration has the support of leading senators from both parties, which suggests at least a smidgen of bipartisan outrage over the flood of firearms.

It’s a start.

How can this guy possibly serve?

Texas’ two U.S. senators, both Republicans, have turned their backs on a GOP candidate who wants to join their august body.

John Cornyn has joined Ted Cruz in saying that Roy Moore of Alabama is not fit to serve in the Senate. They say the accusations against him by women who accuse him of improper sexual advances when they were girls are deal breakers.

Senate support vanishes

Get out of the race, Roy Moore! they are saying. Moore is having none of it. He continues to stand his ground. He says the women are liars. He blames Democrats and the liberal “fake media” for making these stories up. He says he “generally” didn’t date teenage girls when he was a 30-something lawyer; that is some denial, eh?

Senate leaders are bailing left and right from Moore. They don’t want him in the Senate. One Republican senator, Jeff Flake of Arizona, now supports Moore’s Democratic opponent, Alabama lawyer and former federal prosecutor Doug Jones.

This arcs back to my fundamental question: How in the world can this clown possibly serve in the Senate?

Moore is in it for the duration, or so he says. Time will tell. The Alabama special election is still about a month away.

Maybe this individual might realize what the rest of us already know: There is no way he can serve the people back home if he manages to get elected to the U.S. Senate.

Earth to Judge Moore: Read the Constitution

Roy Moore went to law school, has served on the Alabama Supreme Court and I must presume has actually read the U.S. Constitution.

The Republican nominee for the U.S. Senate from Alabama, though, has blathered ridiculously about whether Muslims should be able to serve in the U.S. Congress.

I am left to utter a simple “ugh.”

Moore says, for instance, that U.S. Rep. Keith Ellison, D-Minn., should be barred from serving simply because he is Muslim. The candidate’s idiocy has been challenged by U.S. Sen. John Cornyn, R-Texas, who earlier had announced his backing of Moore to join him in the Senate.

Moore is demonstrating a breathtaking ignorance about the Constitution, which states quite clearly that there shall be “no religious test” for anyone seeking or holding public office. It means that no one’s faith should become a litmus test for their qualifications to serve in public life.

There once was a time when Catholics were scorned because of their faith. Mormons continue to battle that stigma. As for Muslims, they are considered the dreaded “enemy” of Americans. Yep even those who also happen to be Americans.

Cornyn disagrees with Moore

Roy Moore is furthering the cause of bigotry with his belief Ellison’s faith should bar him from serving the country.

Sen. Cornyn said he disagrees with Moore’s statement about Ellison and whether Muslims should serve. But his statement does sound rather tepid, in that he doesn’t say what I believe he should say — which is that Roy Moore’s ignorance of our nation’s governing framework makes him unfit to serve in the U.S. Senate.

‘Most of America’ first, eh Mr. President?

I need some time to digest this idea a bit more completely, but what I see initially gives me stomach pains.

Donald J. Trump has pitched a budget that takes away oil royalties the federal government shares with four Gulf Coast states that bear the bulk of the responsibility for responding to disasters related to the drilling of oil off their respective shores.

The result could cost the states of Texas, Mississippi, Louisiana and Alabama billions of dollars in revenue.

Who gets the dough? The feds do!

Is this how the president plans to “put America first”?

This is another baffling proposal that has to pass congressional muster.

Here’s a thought for Sens. Ted Cruz and John Cornyn — two Republicans who are among the president’s seemingly dwindling roster of congressional allies: Don’t stand still for a budget proposal that robs your state of valuable revenue.

According to CNBC: “The plan is part of the president’s effort to contain the growth of the U.S. federal deficit. The Office of Management and Budget estimates that ending the royalty-sharing program would save the federal government $3.6 billion over a decade.”

I’m a deficit hawk, too. I get the need to reduce the deficit — which the Obama administration had overseen during its eight years in office. Why, though, take money from states that also rely on this revenue stream to help them deal with pressure to fund valuable state programs?

My hope now is for Congress to step in and dispose of a presidential proposal that appears to punish four of our United States.

Even presidents need a ‘filter’

The FAKE MSM is working so hard trying to get me not to use Social Media. They hate that I can get the honest and unfiltered message out.

OK, there you go. Donald J. Trump has tweeted — yet again! — in a rant that takes aim at the “mainstream media” because it is seeking to do something the president of the United States does not want to do.

The media are seeking to drum into the president’s thick skull that these tweets represent the statements of the head of state, head of government, the commander in chief of the world greatest military apparatus.

Thus, this individual — the president — must exercise some self-control, self-restraint, and even some self-awareness in sending these messages around the world.

George Conway, a lawyer of some repute — and the husband of Trump senior adviser Kellyanne Conway — has warned Trump about the danger of firing off these tweets.

Moreover, he is stripping away any claim of “executive authority” he might want to claim as he does battle with Congress, special counsel Robert Mueller and former FBI director James Comey over the “Russia thing” that continues to bedevil the Trump administration.

Does anyone consider U.S. Sen. John Cornyn, R-Texas, to be a tool of the “fake media”? He isn’t. Even a Trump ally such as Sen. Cornyn has acknowledged the self-inflicted “problems” associated with Trump’s tweet storms.

The bottom line is this: Mr. President, the so-called “FAKE MSM” is issuing you a well-deserved warning about the trouble your own impulses can produce.

Get a bleeping grip!

What? No call for Trump to kick his Twitter ‘habit’?

U.S. Sen. John Cornyn says the president of the United States is afflicted with a “Twitter habit.”

Still, Cornyn gives Donald J. Trump a B+ in foreign policy.

I suppose Sen. Cornyn’s Republican credentials just cannot allow him to say the obvious thing: Mr. President, you need to rid yourself of that Twitter habit, immediately!

Cornyn was interviewed by WFAA-TV in Dallas and acknowledged that the president’s habit of firing off tweets — and then have them stand as presidential policy statements — has caused him some difficulty.

Then he saluted Trump’s action against Syria and suggested the president is dealing with Russia and its president, Vladimir Putin. Thus, he gets the good foreign-policy grade.

I suppose he chose to ignore the tension between Trump and fellow NATO allies, or perhaps the G7 meeting during which he tweeted that Germany is selling “too many cars” to Americans and how that must stop.

Hey, how about the confrontations the president has initiated with the leaders of Canada, Mexico, Australia, the United Kingdom and France?

I don’t think I’d give the president anywhere near a B+.

He also needs to kick the “Twitter habit.” If only his so-called Republicans “friends” had the guts to mention it out loud. The president damn sure doesn’t listen to his critics.