Tag Archives: Texas

Best Quotes of the Week – July 30, 2022

“I do not believe that we made any progress. In fact, I think the party got worse.”

Dale Carpenter, former president of Log Cabin Republicans, a GLBT political group, expressing disappointment about their acceptance within overall Republican Party

For years LCR has tried – and repeatedly failed – to garner the attention of Texas’ Republican Party.

I’ve known a few queer conservatives over the years and was always stunned at how they idolized Ronald Reagan and voted for the likes of George W. Bush and Donald Trump, despite the GOP’s hostility towards them.  So to know that a former LCR operative has essentially admitted defeat is somewhat of a vindication for me.

“Look, we pursue justice without fear or favor.”

U.S. Attorney General Merrick Garland, to NBC News’ Lester Holt, about the possibility former President Donald Trump could be criminally prosecuted for his role in the Capitol Hill riot of January 6, 2021

Garland added, “We intend to hold everyone, anyone who was criminally responsible for the events surrounding January 6, for any attempt to interfere with the lawful transfer of power from one administration to another, accountable.  That’s what we do.”

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Worst Quotes of the Week – July 9, 2022

“So, why didn’t anyone raise an alarm? Well, maybe because he didn’t stand out. Maybe because there are a lot of young men in America who suddenly look and act a lot like this guy.  And of course, they’re angry. They know that their lives will not be better than their parents’. They’ll be worse. That’s all but guaranteed. They know that. They’re not that stupid.  And yet the authorities in their lives – mostly women – never stop lecturing them about their so-called privilege. ‘You’re male, you’re privileged!’”

Tucker Carlson, about the 21-year-old man charged with the mass shooting at a July 4 parade in Highland Park, Illinois

“The Highland Park shooting, unbelievable. Unbelievable.  They just passed this law, didn’t they?  18 to 21 year olds couldn’t buy rifles and all kinds of other kinds of things in this law that we told you wouldn’t matter.  They don’t matter.  And they’re not going to matter.  We’ve got a huge problem in this country and it’s a cultural decay. That’s what’s going on in this country.  Cultural decay, the decay of the civil society, the war on cops, the way that human life is viewed, whether it’s abortion, infanticide, whatever the issue.”

Mark Levin, blaming abortion for mass shootings in the U.S.

“If a constitutional right is not mentioned in the constitutional text, it doesn’t exist. I don’t care how desirable it may seem as a matter of policy.”

Jonathan Mitchell, former Texas Solicitor General and principal architect of Texas Senate Bill 8, which outlawed abortion, on targeting other Supreme Court rulings now that Roe has been overturned

Mitchell has opened a private law firm in Austin, Texas, Mitchell Law PLLC, to go after such rulings as Lawrence and Obergefell.

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Tweet of the Week – July 2, 2022

Kenneth Paxton

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Worst Quotes of the Week – July 2, 2022

“The reason we had so many overreaching regulations in our nation is because the church complied.  The church is supposed to direct the government. The government is not supposed to direct the church.  That is not how our Founding Fathers intended it.  And I’m tired of this separation of church and state junk that’s not in the Constitution.  It was in a stinking letter and it means nothing like what they say it does.”

Rep. Lauren Boebert, in a speech to parishioners at a Colorado church, referring to an 1802 letter from Thomas Jefferson to the Danbury Baptist Association in Connecticut

The letter declared, in part, that the 1st Amendment to the U.S. Constitution established a “wall of separation between church and state”.

“I do care. I actually do care to address that and I’m really shocked. I’m actually appalled that Fox News would take a defamatory story like that and we are pursuing legal action against this drag queen, I’m appalled that you would bring that up when you have not talked about our stolen election.”

Kari Lake, a former journalist and current Republican candidate for governor of Arizona, responding to comments she allegedly had made about drag queens

The subject came up during an interview Lake granted to FOX News’ Bret Baier, when Baier inquired about a “Washington Post” story stating that stated: ‘Arizona GOP gubernatorial candidate Kari Lake who has attacked drag queens as dangerous to children attended the shows of drag queen Richard Stephens for 20 years and once hired him to perform at her home.’

“My job is to defend state law and I’ll continue to do that. That is my job under the Constitution and I’m certainly willing and able to do that.”

Kenneth Paxton, Texas Attorney General, about Lawrence v. Texas, a 2003 Supreme Court ruling that overturned a state anti-sodomy law and made all such laws invalid nationwide

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Best Quotes of the Week – July 2, 2022

“We will not live in a world, not in my city, where our rights are taken from us or rolled back. Fuck Clarence Thomas!”

Lori Lightfoot, Mayor of Chicago, reacting to the U.S. Supreme Court’s reversal of the Roe v. Wade decision and Justice Clarence Thomas’ statement that other rulings should be considered, including same-sex marriage

Lightfoot is Chicago’s first openly-queer mayor.

“Mr. Justice Thomas had much to say today about my loving marriage.  Oddly he didn’t have much to say about his ‘Loving’ marriage.”

Andrew McDonald, Connecticut Supreme Court Justice, about U.S. Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas

McDonald, who is openly queer and married his husband Charles Gray in 2009, was referring to the 1967 Loving vs. Virginia ruling that legalized interracial marriage.

Bexar County Sheriff Javier Salazar with his family. Bexar County Sheriff’s office

“I’m the Sheriff of Bexar County, but also a Dad of two beautiful and intelligent young women. As their Dad I will defend my daughters’ ability to do what they feel is right with their own bodies and to love whomever they choose.  My job is chasing predators, rapists, and human traffickers, not someone exercising a right… If it’s truly about protecting children, how about starting with the ones in our schools?”

Javier Salazar, Sheriff of Bexar County, Texas, announcing he won’t prosecute women seeking abortion

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Worst Quotes of the Week – June 18, 2022

“Look, maybe if we heard more prayers from leaders of this country instead of taking God’s name in vain, we wouldn’t have the mass killings like we didn’t have before prayer was eliminated from school.”

Rep. Louie Gohmert, about the Uvalde massacre

“If I lost one of my children I’d be pretty devastated, especially in a way that is so senseless and seemingly has no purpose.  I think … I would just have to say, if I had the opportunity to talk to the people I’d have to say, look, there’s always a plan.  I believe God always has a plan.  Life is short no matter what it is.  And certainly, we’re not going to make sense of, you know, a young child being shot and killed way before their life expectancy.”

Ken Paxton, Texas Attorney General, to radio host Trey Graham, about the Uvalde massacre

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Total Madness

Children flee Robb Elementary School in Uvalde, Texas on May 24, 2022.

They’re like recurring allergies – they just keep hitting over and over.  But we have a bevy of cures for allergies.  We don’t seem to have many for the sickening epidemic of mass shootings in the U.S.

As of this day, the U.S. has experienced over 250 mass shootings in 2022 – more than the number of days thus far in the year.  A mass shooting is defined as an event where four or more individuals are shot, not including the actual assailant.

Two recent massacres – 10 people in a grocery store in Buffalo, New York, and 21 at an elementary school in Uvalde, Texas – have garnered considerable attention.  The Buffalo calamity was racially-motivated, and the Uvalde event was the worst school shooting since the 2012 Sandy Hook Elementary School shooting in Newtown, ConnecticutBetween the Buffalo and Uvalde episodes, the U.S. experienced 14 other mass shootings.  Let that sink into your brain for a few minutes.

The gun issue has always been sensitive and controversial.  Hardline gun rights advocates have consistently placed the value of their sacred firearms over the right of people to live peacefully and happily.  Even more aggravating is a recent survey where 44% of Republican voters say mass shootings are one price we have to pay for living in a free society.  Somehow that doesn’t surprise me.  Ironically, many of these people consider themselves pro-life.

On the other side, far left gun control proponents want to eliminate all firearms for private citizens; believing that – in this violent, imperfect world – we only need herbal tea and kind words to solve every crisis.  These are the same people who get so emotional it’s almost painfully embarrassing to watch them recount their ordeals.  I understand these are horrific events, but the time for tears and anguish has already passed.

And that’s what I want to communicate to liberals.  Stop crying!  It’s time to get mad, stand up and yell back at these idiotic gun nuts whose only resolution to firearm blood baths is another weapon and a few thoughts and prayers.  Thoughts and prayers serve as little more than toilet paper for the carnage.

In the immediate aftermath of both Buffalo and Uvalde, as more talk of gun violence and gun control arose, we heard the usual cadre of right-wing loudmouths more worried (as always) that the rights of “law-abiding gun owners” could be desecrated.

Spare me the narrow-minded anxiety!

People have more of a right to live than anyone has a right to own a gun.  And no, they aren’t equally significant.  But conservatives campaigning for public office consistently point out one characteristic: they are pro-Second Amendment.  I see these ads every election cycle, especially here in Texas.  They always skip over the First Amendment, which ensures free speech and peaceable assembly and guarantees the right to vote.  Again, the twisted priorities of the conservative mindset.

Last year, when Texas Governor Greg Abbott signed several pieces of legislation into law that declared the state to be a “Second Amendment sanctuary”, I wasn’t shocked.  But I was angry.  This is the same governor who oversaw blatant attacks on the right to vote by dismissing the reality of gerrymandering in the state and allowing for partisan poll watchers.  In older days, partisan poll watchers across the South carried guns and would deliberately intimidate (mostly non-White) voters.  Conservatives steadily bemoan the myth of rampant voter fraud, while ignoring the very real pandemic of gun violence.

For the first anniversary of the 1999 Columbine school massacre, a national news network interviewed several of those first responders.  One man stated that he was particularly upset that the perpetrators (two teenage boys) had included girls among their victims.  He said could understand them shooting boys, “but they shot girls, too.”  I literally stopped when I heard him say that.  Aside from the shock value of the verbiage, that he could differentiate between the genders of the victims and therefore categorize his horror level proved how complacent people in this country have become towards violence.  It certainly was one of the stupidest things I’ve ever heard.

The outrage continued in the aftermath of the Sandy Hook massacre, when the U.S. Senate held a hearing on gun violence in the nation and the National Rifle Association’s Wayne LaPierre sat with a scowl on his face and became defensively hostile with every question lobbed at him.  And, as usual, liberals wept, while conservatives grunted.  And then…nothing.  Nothing happened.  No new legislation to address gun violence; no new funding for mental health counseling…nothing.  With that, it seemed the gun violence debate in the United States ended.  We’d accepted the murder of helpless children and thus, nothing more could be done.

At this point, I really don’t hold out much hope for any kind of movement on the legislative front.  Politics has gotten in the way of public service.  So, what’s new?

I remain as tired of the crying from liberals as I am of the concern for gun owner rights from conservatives.  If only the latter group understood the extent of the damage caused by bullet wounds, then perhaps they’d rethink their commitment to ensuring gun rights over human rights.  It’s time for we progressives to get mad and shout down the right-wing extremists who proudly pose with their firearms for family holiday photos the way most normal-minded folks pose with their children and pets, armed with little more than smiles.  The saccharine responses from the horrified won’t result in any considerable change.  They’ll just fade into the morass of national traumas.

Then we’ll have another mass shooting – in a school or some public venue.  And the cycle of tears and excuses will begin all over again.

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Best Quotes of the Week – June 4, 2022

“This bullshit you get from this guy about mental health and evil.  The only evil that exists is when the leader of this state has a problem and is a problem of epic proportions.”

Texas State Sen. Roland Gutierrez, criticizing Texas Gov. Greg Abbott for citing mental illness as a key factor in mass shootings, but thwarting funding for mental health care

“How many children have to die before you start to care?”

Jamiee Roeschke, in a statement to the National Rifle Association

Jaimee and her sister survived a shooting at Saugus High School in Santa Clarita, California, in 2019, in which two students died after a gunman opened fire on the school’s quad.

“No online platform, website, or newspaper should be directed by government officials to carry certain speech. This has been a key tenet of our democracy for more than 200 years and the Supreme Court has upheld that.”

Matt Schruers, President of Computer & Communications Industry Association, after the U.S. Supreme Court issued an emergency ruling temporarily blocking the State of Texas House Bill 20 from being enforced

A lower court will resolve a preliminary First Amendment challenge to the statute, also known as Texas’ “social media law”.

“No online platform, website, or newspaper should be directed by government officials to carry certain speech. This has been a key tenet of our democracy for more than 200 years and the Supreme Court has upheld that.”

Matt Schruers, President of Computer & Communications Industry Association, after the U.S. Supreme Court issued an emergency ruling temporarily blocking Texas’ HB 20 from being enforced

A lower court will resolve a preliminary First Amendment challenge to the statute, also known as Texas’ “social media law”.

Schruers added, “We are encouraged that this attack on First Amendment rights has been halted until a court can fully evaluate the repercussions of Texas’s ill-conceived statute.  This ruling means that private American companies will have an opportunity to be heard in court before they are forced to disseminate vile, abusive or extremist content under this Texas law. We appreciate the Supreme Court ensuring First Amendment protections, including the right not to be compelled to speak, will be upheld during the legal challenge to Texas’s social media law.”

Schruers added, “We are encouraged that this attack on First Amendment rights has been halted until a court can fully evaluate the repercussions of Texas’s ill-conceived statute.  This ruling means that private American companies will have an opportunity to be heard in court before they are forced to disseminate vile, abusive or extremist content under this Texas law. We appreciate the Supreme Court ensuring First Amendment protections, including the right not to be compelled to speak, will be upheld during the legal challenge to Texas’s social media law.”

“This is not an academic conversation. This is a very real conversation where people’s lives could be destroyed by these criminal prosecutions.  In Texas, you’re an adult at 17. We are looking at the prospect of a 17-year-old girl who has an unplanned pregnancy and is seeking an abortion [being] subjected to first-degree felony charges — up to 99 years in jail — and that’s just absolutely unacceptable.”

Austin City Councilman José Vela, on how the city will attempt to shield its residents from prosecution under a Texas law that will criminalize abortion, if Roe vs. Wade is overturned

Vela is proposing a resolution that would direct the city’s police department to make criminal enforcement, arrest and investigation of abortions its lowest priority and restrict city funds and city staff from being used to investigate, catalogue or report suspected abortions.

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Most Hypocritical Quote of the Week – May 28, 2022

“What happened in Uvalde is a horrific tragedy that cannot be tolerated in the state of Texas.”

Texas Gov. Greg Abbott, about the shooting in Uvalde, Texas

In 2019, Abbott signed into law a bill allowing gun purchases without a license.  Two years later he signed another bill into law lowering the age requirement for a firearms purchase from 21 to 18.

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Worst Quotes of the Week – May 14, 2022

“I think I can speak for myself and other colleagues that align with my policy beliefs — we’ll continue to do our best to make abortion not just outlawed, but unthinkable”

Texas Rep. Briscoe Cain, about the possibility the U.S. Supreme Court will overturn 1973 Roe vs. Wade

Cain is a member of the far-right Freedom Caucus in the Texas State Legislature.

“If you were to take or destroy the eggs of a sea turtle — now I said, the eggs…. The criminal penalties are severe: up to a $100,000 fine and a year in prison.  Now, why do we have laws in place to protect the eggs of a sea turtle, or the eggs of eagles?  Because, when you destroy an egg, you’re killing a pre-born baby sea turtle or a pre-born baby eagle.  Yet when it comes to a pre-born human baby rather than a sea turtle, that baby will be stripped of all protections in all 50 states…. Is that the America the left wants?”

Montana Sen. Steve Daines, arguing that human egg cells should be afforded the same protection as eagle and turtle eggs, in a speech on the floor of the U.S. Senate

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