Abbott can’t control himself

Greg Abbott has demonstrated once again why he has proven to be such a disappointment as Texas governor.

When border officials found a semi-trailer full of deceased migrants seeking to sneak into the United States, Abbott released a hideous statement that sought to place all the blame on President Biden for the unfolding tragedy.

“These deaths are on Biden,” Abbott tweeted Monday night. “They are the result of his deadly open border policies. They show the deadly consequences of his refusal to enforce the law.”

There’s that phrase again: open border.

For the life of me I cannot stomach continuing to swallow that canard coming from Republican politicians. 

The nation’s southern border isn’t “open.” Immigration and Custom Enforcement officials and Border Patrol officers are rounding up undocumented immigrants every hour of every day. They are holding them for processing and sending them back to their countries of origin.

Has the federal program succeeded? No. It hasn’t. However, for GOP pols such as Abbott to keep saying our border is “open” becomes the rhetoric of shameless demagogues.

What’s more, Abbott’s bloviating ignores this fact, too: The state’s policies aren’t working, either.

Furthermore, when a Republican was sitting in the Oval Office, Abbott spoke in decidedly milder tones after a similar tragedy occurred in South Texas. As the Texas Tribune reports:

Abbott’s tone was notably softer when a similar tragedy played out in 2017. Thirty-nine migrants were found in sweltering conditions in the back of a commercial truck in San Antonio — 10 ultimately died.

“Human trafficking is an epidemic that Texas is working to eradicate,” Abbott said at the time, when Donald Trump was still president. “To that end, Texas will continue to provide protection for the victims who have been robbed of their most basic rights and bring down the full weight of the law for the perpetrators of this despicable crime.”

Migrant truck deaths raise questions about Greg Abbott’s border policies | The Texas Tribune

I am not going to give short shrift to the recent tragedy that killed 51 people who perished in unspeakable misery. 

Gov. Abbott, though, needs to reflect a bit on his own words spoken five years ago. He said then that Texas is “working to eradicate” human trafficking.

It’s not working.

johnkanelis_92@hotmail.com

Texas GOP: certifiably loony

Here is a statement from the Texas Republican Party, the dominant political organization in a state that comprises 29 million residents and drives a world-class economic engine.

“We reject the certified results of the 2020 presidential election, and we hold that acting President Joseph Robinette Biden Jr. was not legitimately elected by the people of the United States.”

OK! I’ve already declared that the Texas GOP has gone bonkers. Its leadership is certifiably crazy.

I just want to reiterate that The Big Lie as regurgitated by the Texas Republican Party is a poisonous dose of rhetoric that does absolutely nothing but harm our cherished democratic process.

For the Texas Republican Party to swallow that snake oil — to my mind — is too damn close to sedition for comfort.

johnkanelis_92@hotmail.com

Uvalde’s loved ones need answers

Uvalde’s community of teachers, students and their loved ones and friends are demanding answers from the police who so far are acting as if they have many things to hide.

This is a travesty that needs instant repair.

The gunman who walked into Robb Elementary School and killed 21 children and teachers did so with apparent ease. Why in the name of truth and justice aren’t the cops telling us the whole truth about what wend down a month ago in that tightly knit South Texas community?

The Uvalde school district chief of police Pete Arredondo is on administrative leave. From where I sit, he needs to be fired. Department of Public Safety director Stephen McCraw is only a little more forthcoming, but he, too, is holding back. The Uvalde Police Department also has a dog in this fight, but where are UPD’s statements of clarification?

This outrage has gone on long enough!

The community is grieving. So is the rest of the state and the nation. We are getting some legislative help in the form of congressional action aimed at stemming the violence. It’s not enough, but it’s a start.

I want to offer a snippet from the Dallas Morning News editorial that states: The families of the victims and every Texan deserve better from law enforcement agencies and politicians whose prime responsibility is to serve the public interest, not their own. The common public interest must be to determine how and why so many died when faster action in line with nationally accepted active shooter protocols would have saved lives.

Uvalde was an ‘abject failure,’ but there’s more to the story (dallasnews.com)

The cops sign on to “protect and serve.” They offered little protection for those 19 children and the two teachers who died in that massacre. They are derelict in their service to the state that is demanding answers to what created what has been called “an abject failure.”

johnkanelis_92@hotmail.com

Gun lobby digs in on age requirement

You have to be 21 years of age to buy a beer, a jug of wine or a mixed drink at your favorite watering hole.

To be emancipated from parental control? That’s generally accepted at age 21.

Some insurance companies won’t sell insurance to you until you turn 21, unless you’re in school.

What, then, is the reason we don’t require someone to be 21 years of age to purchase a firearm? The issue has burst onto the forefront in the wake of recent spasm of gun violence. The moron who shot those 19 precious children and two of their teachers to death in Uvalde turned 18 and then purchased an AR-15 rifle right after his birthday; he bought a second one days later.

President Biden has called on government to increase the age from 18 to 21. Republicans — naturally! — are digging in against even that modest notion.

The GOP is marching to the cadence called by the gun lobby.

These politicians are acting disgracefully.

johnkanelis_92@hotmail.com

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.

johnkanelis_92@hotmail.com

Crowd reaction portends … what?

Donald J. Trump is fond of holding rallies, listening to the noise coming from a sizable crowd … and then using the size and sound of his rallies as a measure of his political standing.

That’s foolishness, to be sure. However, if we apply that metric to the present day, consider this:

Texas Gov. Greg Abbott ventured for the second day in a row to Uvalde, the site of the horrific slaughter of 19 school children and two teachers this past week.

He got a rousing welcome, all right … of boos! The noise was loud and sustained.

The stricken Uvalde residents want the governor to do something to end the violence. They speak for a lot of other Texans, not to mention even more millions of Americans who are shaken to their core by the violence that erupted against those precious children and their protectors.

They blame Gov. Abbott for refusing to act. They are taking their anger out, too, on legislators who continue to dance to the tune called by the gun lobby … and ignoring the cadence set by their real bosses, the voters!

It is long past the time for our elected representatives to “represent” the interests of voters, most of whom favor a legislative remedy to the carnage that continues to cause undue grief and misery.

johnkanelis_92@hotmail.com

What if the killer … ?

I am hearing from gun-rights apologists who suggest that laws designed to install universal background checks wouldn’t have prevented the lunatic from opening fire in Uvalde, Texas, with an AR-15 rifle.

Hmm. They ask: What laws would work to stem such a tragedy? My answer: I haven’t a clue, which is why I depend on my elected representatives to craft solutions that are too far above my limited knowledge and skill set.

However, in an editorial this morning, the Dallas Morning News is calling on John Cornyn, Texas’s senior Republican in the U.S. Senate, to show leadership, to reach across the aisle to work with Democrats — as he is capable of doing — in finding solutions to this sheer madness. The state’s junior GOP senator, Ted Cruz, is too wrapped up in blaming “Democrats and the media” for “politicizing” this tragic event. What horsesh**!

The DMN poses this: What if their killer, an 18-year-old, had been turned away at the gun store? What if he had just one or two obstacles in front of him on his way to destroying lives and terrorizing our country? Would those children be alive?

The answer is that maybe they would be. Maybe they would be starting summer vacation. Maybe they would be playing with their friends. Maybe their moms and dads would be holding them right now.

It’s John Cornyn’s moment. Reform gun laws and lift up the American middle (dallasnews.com)

Lots of “maybe” to examine, you know?

I want Congress to explore the possibilities of turning “maybe” into commonsense public policy.

johnkanelis_92@hotmail.com

Unspeakable evil?

Ted Cruz stood before the National Rifle Association faithful and proclaimed that there are “no words” to explain the unspeakable evil that befell the students and teachers in Uvalde earlier this week.

Yes, Sen. Cruz, you are right.

There also are no words to explain another phenomenon that is getting the short shrift at the NRA convention underway in Houston.

No words can explain to me and many millions of other Americans the cowardly inaction by politicians — chiefly Republicans such as Cruz — over searching for legislative remedies to curb this kind of insane gun violence.

Poll after poll say the same thing: Most Americans favor stricter gun control legislation. We live in a “representative democracy,” a nation that is governed by those we elect to “represent the interests” of the governed.

These politicians are not beholden to the big-money interests of the powerful lobbies, such as the gun lobby. They work for you and for me.

I say this once again understanding the sanctity of the Second Amendment to our Constitution. I support the Second Amendment. I also believe in my heart that there is a legislative remedy to be found to keep firearms out of the mitts of those who have no business carrying them.

The moron who slaughtered those children and their teachers in Uvalde was, as Ted Cruz said, the personification of evil … but dammit, evil also exists in the refusal of our elected officials to listen to the pleas of those of us they represent and act to end this senseless violence.

johnkanelis_92@hotmail.com

Abbott is ‘livid’ over the lies

“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.

johnkanelis_92@hotmail.com

Lift the ‘fog of war’

They call it the “fog of war” when the whole truth sometimes gets lost in people’s recollections of what happened during the intense heat of battle.

So it might be playing out as a grieving nation seeks the truth behind the police response to the Uvalde, Texas, massacre on Tuesday that killed 19 precious children and two teachers seeking to protect them from the lunatic who opened fire.

Did the police respond correctly? Why did it take an hour for the cops to put down the shooter? Why was the shooter able to walk directly through an unlocked door at Robb Elementary School carrying an AR-15 rifle? Was there an armed police officer on duty at the school … or not?

To their discredit, the Texas Department of Public Safety flacks answering media questions in Uvalde have told conflicting stories of what happened and when it occurred?

Meanwhile, the loved ones of the victims are suffering unbearable pain while awaiting answers to the key question: Could the police have stopped this lunatic before he inflicted such misery?

The “fog of war” defense isn’t enough.

We need answers. We need them right now.

johnkanelis_92@hotmail.com