Tag Archives: Greg Abbott

Tragedy transcends politics

Some moments of crisis would seemingly dispel any notion of partisanship, or of division between the major political parties and those who lead them.

Such as, oh, the massacre of school children and their teachers.

It happened again the other day in Uvalde, Texas. President and Mrs. Biden came to Texas to hug the necks of victims of the madman who walked into Robb Elementary School and slaughtered his victims before a Border Patrol tactical squad shot him to death.

My question, though, is this: Why weren’t the Democratic president and the Republican governor, Greg Abbott sitting next to each other, sharing in the nation’s grief, pledging a joint effort to rid the nation of this scourge of senseless, insane gun violence?

Abbott has decided to forgo any such appearance with a man he criticizes at will. Biden deserves a brickbat, too, as he could have extended an invitation to meet with the governor while he was visiting the victims in Uvalde. He didn’t.

I don’t expect these men to share a solution. They damn sure should share the goal of ending the violence. Of seeking common ground. They could proclaim their joint dedication to putting an end to this madness while vowing to work out the details later. Is that an impossible task?

The great chasm seems only to widen these days when crisis strikes. It mustn’t be that way.


Don’t stop trying, governor

Texas Gov. Greg Abbott decided to stay away from the National Rifle Association annual convention in Houston, but he delivered a piped-in message from Uvalde, where he was visiting with the grief-stricken community seeking to recover from the rampage of a madman.

He then said something to NRA conventioneers that I found a bit disturbing. Abbott said the laws we have on the books already would not have stopped the shooter from killing those 19 children and two teachers. “They don’t work,” he said.

Oh really, governor? Here’s a thought: How about continuing to look for legislative solutions that would work?

Gov. Abbott seemed to my ears to be waving a flag of surrender. As if to suggest there isn’t a legislative solution to be found. What nonsense!

There’s a bill called House Bill 8, which the U.S. House approved a couple of years ago. It calls for mandatory background checks for every firearm purchased, even those bought at gun shows. It has been stalled in the Senate. Indeed, Golden State Warriors head basketball coach Steve Kerr aimed his barbs this week at the 50 Republican senators who refuse to enact the bill. His frustration is visceral … and I feel the same way.

That’s one piece of legislation that needs to become law. Would HB 8 solve the issue once and for all? Oh, probably not. However, it well might deter someone from committing a heinous act. Isn’t there value in that?

Yes. There is. Therefore, I refuse to accept the notion put forth by Gov. Abbott that gun-control laws “don’t work.”


Abbott is ‘livid’ over misinformation

“As everybody has learned, the information that I was given turned out, in part, to be inaccurate, and I am absolutely livid about that.”

That was Texas Gov. Greg Abbott today responding to reports that the police in charge of the response to the shooting rampage that left 19 children and two teachers dead at a Uvalde elementary school had lied to him.

Is it fair to call it a lie? I believe so. A lie is the deliberate and purposeful telling of a falsehood. A shooter entered Robb Elementary School on Tuesday and opened fire with an AR-15 rifle.

The cops told the governor that they responded so slowly because they believed the shooting had stopped. It hadn’t. Department of Public Safety director Steven McCraw now admits to the mistake in delaying the DPS response. What he hasn’t yet copped to, though, is why he told Abbott a tale that prompted the governor to praise law enforcement’s efforts initially.

Some heads need to roll.


Uvalde to be theme of 2022 Texas midterm campaign

Hey, this is just a hunch, but I’ll toss it out there to see if sticks to any walls, but I believe that the Uvalde massacre this week might become the central campaign issue in the Texas midterm election campaign.

It’ll dominate the races for governor, lieutenant governor, attorney general, perhaps for the Legislature. Heck it might even play in some county commissioners court campaigns somewhere in Texas.

You know the story about the lunatic who entered Robb Elementary School and massacred 19 children and two teachers. About how Border Patrol tactical squad officers shot him to death. Now come the questions about how the gunman entered the building with relative ease — while packing an AR-15 rifle, the kind used to kill soldiers on the battlefield!

Beto O’Rourke crashed a press conference held by Gov Greg Abbott on Wednesday and said Abbott deserves blame for the deaths in Uvalde. O’Rourke is running against Abbott this year. Hold on with both hands, folks. Because this ride is going to get mighty rough.

Many millions of Americans are enraged at what happened in Uvalde. They damn sure should be. The question now becomes whether there can be a solution found to stem the violence. O’Rourke is correct to suggest that those in power should be held accountable for their inaction.

Thus, we have the campaign theme taking shape as we grieve the deaths in Uvalde.


Thank you, Beto

Beto O’Rourke stood up and spoke for millions of Americans who are heartbroken, shattered and grief-stricken over the latest eruption of violence in one of our public schools.

The Democratic Party nominee for Texas governor stood before the man he hopes to defeat. Republican Gov. Greg Abbott, and accused his foe of “doing nothing” to stop the violence. He was shouted down by others on the dais with Abbott and escorted out of the room.

But was it uncalled for? Did O”Rourke say anything inappropriate? No. He spoke from the heart and spoke for many Texans and other Americans.

Twenty-one people died Tuesday morning in Uvalde’s Ross Elementary School; 19 of the victims were third- and fourth-grade students. Children! The two adults were teachers who fought to protect them against the madman who opened fire.

Uvalde police officers and Border Patrol officers were able to kill the shooter.

This debate has exploded yet again. Beto O’Rourke correctly called Abbott, Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick, Texas House Speaker Dade Phelan and other legislative leaders for their abject failure to confront the issue of gun violence. Indeed, Abbott has actually boasted about legislation he signed this past year that allows people to carry firearms openly without so much as a certificate attesting their proficiency in handling a deadly weapon.

Abbott spoke about the need for greater “mental health” care for Texans, as if suggesting that residents of this state are somehow nuttier than anyone else.

We need tougher restrictions on gun ownership. We need common-sense legislation that honors the Constitution but seeks to prevent nut cases like the loon who stormed into Robb Elementary School to do the dastardly deed he carried out.

We need to find common ground among legislators of both political parties.

Why in the name of all that is sacred is that so hard to find?

Thank you, Beto O’Rourke, for standing up to the do-nothings whose inaction allows this carnage to continue.


War eclipses everything

War has this way of overshadowing all other concerns that should be at or near the top of our minds. Here in Texas, one of them involves undocumented immigrants and whether the state should allow them to attend public colleges and universities.

Gov. Greg Abbott has this thing against people who are illegally, even when they come here as children — perhaps even as infants or toddlers. They know no other country than the United States of America.

Abbott wants to ban undocumented students from our public colleges, despite a federal law that requires states to provide the education for all residents. He is right, though, to suggest that the federal government should do more to help the states. That’s a fair request.

However, he need not demonstrate some sort of false machismo by declaring Texas’s public university and college systems should be closed to those students who came here only because their parents wanted to create a safe environment for their children.

That, I dare say, is inhumane.

It’s an issue that deserves our attention, except that we are so terribly worried and appalled at the inhumanity being brought to Ukrainians at the hands of the Russian invaders. Hey, I’m concerned about them, too!

I just want us to turn our attention — perhaps if only for a brief time — to the many other important issues that need repair.


Abbott shows smallness

You know, I wasn’t sure I should offer a comment on this, but what the hey …

Texas Gov. Greg Abbott’s response to the prisoner swap that brought Texan Trevor Reed home to his family didn’t contain a single publicly uttered word in praise of the Biden administration. Abbott did thank the Texas congressional delegation for the work it did to secure Reed’s release from a Russian prison, where he had been held for more than 900 days.

My question: Why couldn’t the governor have offered a good word for the work put in by the folks at the State Department, in the White House, and oh yeah … even by the president of the U.S.A. himself?

It just troubles me that Gov. Abbott appears to be so small-minded when it comes to these national triumphs.

I should add that another GOP politician, Sen. John Cornyn, took a moment to “applaud President Biden and the State Department” for their work in securing Reed’s freedom.


Pro-business policy? Hah!

Let’s see. How does a politician who belongs to the political party that calls itself a “pro-business” organization justify a policy that stops shipments of goods and commodities and threatens so many businesses in the state he governs?

Republican Texas Gov. Greg Abbott has pulled back his enhanced-inspection order on the state’s border with Mexico. He said he was looking for human traffickers and their “cargo” of individuals who were being smuggled into the United States.

Then he worked out agreements with two Mexican state governors and lifted the inspection protocol at crossings involving the states of Nuevo Leon and Chihuahua. The delay in delivery of food and other goods has crippled businesses across the state.

Now he’s called off the inspection crackdown. The damage has been done to many businesses in Texas … and to what end?

Greg Abbott has pulled off yet another political stunt. It’s not a business-friendly stunt at that!


Siding with Sid Miller? Wow!

Hell has officially frozen over! How do I know that? Because Texas Gov. Greg Abbott has done something I never thought possible: He has enacted a policy that has me agreeing with the state’s goofball commissioner of agriculture, Sid Miller.

The Stetson-wearing ag commissioner has criticized Abbott’s decision to stop trucks coming into Texas across the state border with Mexico, citing the harm the decision to inspect all those vehicles is doing to Texas farmers and ranchers.

Abbott had decided to double- and triple-down on vehicle inspections at the border on the hunt for human traffickers. The intensity of the search delayed truckers’ stay along border crossings for many hours.

The delay drew Miller’s ire, which by itself is saying something, given that the Republican ag commissioner usually stands shoulder-to-shoulder with the GOP governor on policy matters.

Not this time.

Good news, though, has more or less arrived. Abbott met with the governor of Nuevo Leon, a state in Mexico, and said he would ease the inspections at one commercial bridge at Laredo. It gives some relief at one critical crossing point.

Will it assuage the criticism coming from Sid Miller? Probably not.

The Texas Tribune reported: As part of the deal, Texas Department of Public Safety troopers will stop inspecting every commercial truck on the Laredo-Colombia bridge as long as Nuevo León has checkpoints on its side of the Mexican state’s 9-mile-long border with Texas. The state inspections will continue for trucks coming from the other three Mexican states that border Texas.

Gov. Greg Abbott eases state inspections at one border bridge | The Texas Tribune

Miller had complained that Abbott’s inspection order could result in grocery store shelves being emptied as products imported from Mexico are held up for unreasonable lengths of time.

This latest Abbott order looks for all the world like another grandstanding measure by a Texas governor with his eyes on the White House prize around, oh, 2024.


Beto has a shot?

You know, there once was a time — not many weeks ago — that I considered Greg Abbott a shoo-in for re-election as Texas governor.

That Robert Francis “Beto” O’Rourke didn’t have a Democrat’s chance in blazing hell of defeating the Republican incumbent.

Today? I am not so sure about that gloomy forecast.

Am I going to predict a Beto O’Rourke victory this November, breaking the GOP vise-grip on statewide elected office, ending the Republican dynasty at the top of the Texas political food chain?

Not … on … your … life!

(Photo by Scott Olson/Getty Images)

However, I am going to suggest that the Abbott-O’Rourke contest well might become one of those races that the national media will be watching with intense interest.

This won’t surprise any readers of this blog, but my fervent hope is that O’Rourke defeats Abbott. The governor has become show horse, a guy who wants to elevate his personal political profile with an eye toward seeking the White House in 2024. Abbott’s idiotic pledge to send “illegal immigrants” to Washington, D.C., to hand the problem to the feds is an example of a politician looking to make headlines without offering the hint of a solution.

He doesn’t have a solution. Abbott has no interest in working with Democrats or seeking cooperation from President Biden.

I have no clue about how O’Rourke might handle this matter were he elected governor. I feel confident, though, in suggesting that O’Rourke, who hails from El Paso, knows plenty about border issues and he does not favor an “open border” policy.

Nor do I believe that O’Rourke is going to single-handedly disarm Texans by stripping us of our firearms. He knows better than to mess with the Constitution! That won’t stop Abbott and his cabal of demagogues from portraying O’Rourke as a soft-on-crime liberal.

I want this race to remain competitive. I want O’Rourke to make Abbott answer for the way the state handled the 2021 winter freeze. I want O’Rourke to offer a reasonable alternative to the Abbott posturing in the face of crisis after crisis.

What’s more, I want O’Rourke to tell Texans how he plans to govern and how he intends to end the state’s war against its gay residents, how he intends to make voting easier, not harder, for Texas.

And I want Beto O’Rourke to remain firm against the attacks that are sure to come from Greg Abbott.