Texas’ Governor Greg Abbott ( @GovAbbott ) isn’t trying to change Texas law with last week’s Executive Order – in contrast to the claims I’ve seen on my Facebook news feed.
Instead, he called for law enforcement agencies under the executive branch to establish policies and training, and financial incentives to encourage “improving reporting channels and closing ‘information gaps’ when members of the public or law enforcement agencies worry that a person might be a threat to commit violence.“
The last three mass shootings in Texas tell us that we need to improve how our law enforcement and agencies follow current law on following up on reports and investigations.
The Sutherland Springs Church shooter in South Texas should have been rejected at point of sale background check because of his prior conviction and incarceration for domestic violence crimes while in the military. Unfortunately, he was never reported to the Federal database. (And so, Texas law probably couldn’t have made any difference.)
However, the Odessa shooter threatened and brandished a weapon at his neighbor, but local Law Enforcement Officers didn’t follow up because his house wasn’t on their GPS maps and was difficult to find!
The El Paso shooter’s mother tried to report him, but the LEO who spoke to her on the phone dismissed her concerns. No record of the call was made, according to the Allen police department.
I’m not sure that current laws would have (or should have) allowed any action against the (future) shooter by authorities, but it looks like that question and reporting procedures are what Governor Abbott wants clarified. From the Executive Order:
“”Within thirty days of this order, the Texas Department of Public Safety shall develop standardized intake questions that can be used by all Texas law-enforcement agencies to better identify whether a person calling the agency has information that should be reported to the Texas Suspicious Activity Reporting Network.
Within thirty days of this order, the Department of Public Safety shall develop clear guidance, based on the appropriate legal standard, for when and how Texas law-enforcement agencies should submit Suspicious Activity Reports.”‘
The question should be whether the “standardized questions” and reporting processes might have made a difference. Unfortunately, I’m not reading questions: I’m reading accusations that the Governor wants to impose “red flag laws” and confiscation of guns without due process of law.
The Governor previously directed the Texas Department of Public Safety to implement the “iWatch app” in June, 2018, allowing the public to report suspicious activity. There was no outcry then, and there doesn’t appear to be any “red flag” incidents because of this initiative.
Why do people think the Governor wants gun control now?
Huge endorsement from Texas’ Governor Greg Abbott. This is one I had been wondering about.
In a video announcing the endorsement, Abbott said,
“Unlike far too many in Washington, the Ted Cruz we’ve seen in the Senate is the same Ted Cruz we elected and he’s the same Ted Cruz I served with when I was attorney general,” Abbott said.
I was very impressed and very proud of Ted Cruz back in 2009, on the day when Kay Bailey Hutchison announced that she would run one more time as Texas’ Senator. Within minutes, Cruz withdrew his bid for Attorney General, rather than run against General Abbott. Although later I became opposed to his campaign tactics, that moment showed integrity.
( I’m just barely cynical enough to think it also showed good political sense. In fact, that only just occurred to me. Doggone it! I want to believe it was character, not simply savvy politics.)
Cruz needs mentoring – to *accept mentoring* – from both Governor Perry, who has also endorsed Cruz, and from Governor Abbott. I hope that he will.
It is the duty of *our* government to protect *our* inalienable rights. We, the people, *are* the government and we have no business taking from our neighbors to give to another. We cannot ethically put others in danger for our purposes.
As the Governor of Texas wrote, there is absolutely no way to vet the current crop of refugees. Have you seen the make up of the groups? Largely, single men who should be defending their own land, not coming here so completely dependent on charity.
Good hearted people are claiming that we are hypocrits and false Christians if we don’t accept Syrian refugees with open arms ( and State tax coffers.
The good Samaritan analogy is not equivalent. The Samaritan self-sacrificed, both financially and with time. He didn’t tax anyone else to pay for his good deads, but covered the expenses from his own pocket.
And he didn’t put himself — much less his dependents and innocent bystanders — in harm’s way.
If you feel this way, you might consider sponsorship of an alien someday. However, we can’t afford the money as a State, to bring in these people who will need total care and we certainly can’t afford to risk that even one is a terrorist.
(As someone asked: If I hand you a bunch of grapes, telling you that 1% may be poisoned, but I can’t test –Are you going yo eat any of them?)
Posted from WordPress for Android. Typos will be corrected!
Don’t forget your photo ID!
Don’t forget your photo ID!
Don’t forget your picture ID!
Early voting for the 2014 General Election is October 20 – 31 — Take your picture ID and vote Republican!!!
Here are the Comal County Early Voting Locations:
Main Location: Comal County Elections Office
178 Mill St. Ste. 101
New Braunfels, TX 78130
Oct 20-24: 8am – 5pm
Oct 25: 7am-7pm
Oct 26: 11am-5pm
Oct 27-31: 7am-7pm
Temporary Branch Early Voting Locations for this election:
Bulverde/Spring Branch Library – 131 Bulverde Crossing,
Bulverde, TX 78163
Oct 20-24: 8am-5pm
Oct 25: 7am-7pm
Oct 26: 11am-5pm
Oct 27-31: 7am-7pm
CRRC Building – 1909 FM 2673, Canyon Lake, TX 78133
Oct 20-24: 8am-5pm
Oct 25: 7am-7pm
Oct 26: 11am-5pm
Oct 27-31: 7am-7pm
Garden Ridge City Hall – 9400 Municipal Parkway, Garden Ridge, TX 78266
Oct 20-22: 8am-5pm
Oct 23: 8am-4:30pm
Oct 24: 8am-5pm
Oct 25: 7am-7pm
Oct 26: 11am-5pm
Oct 27: 7am-5pm
Oct 28-31: 7am-7pm
Occasionally speaking of herself in the third person, Joann Fleming, the self-proclaimed head of an East Texas “Tea Party” group, led a press conference at the Texas State Capitol on Wednesday. The Fleming gang demanded that Governor Rick Perry and Attorney General Greg Abbott order a Special Session of the Texas Legislature (cost: well over $1 Million) in order to spend the Rainy Day Fund (cost: up to $4 Billion) and that the Governor declare martial law (cost: immeasurable).
Fleming (“. . . if you’re like me, your brain will be screaming to you . . .”) shrilly stated that the Federal government has no right to tax Texans “except when they have declared war or a state of emergency” and that “Maybe we can’t count on our State officials to protect us, either.” Calling Texas a “sanctuary State,” Fleming ignored the fact that Governor Perry “alienated some potential supporters after his push to ban so-called “sanctuary cities” in Texas.”
Failed 2014 Republican Congressional candidate, Katrina Pierson, who once called a US Marine Captain “deformed” because of his war injuries, took the stage to complain that 50% of Texas’ budget comes from Federal dollars! Where does she think “federal dollars” come from? In fact, through 2010, Texas was a “donor State. Since then, Texas received a bit more than Texas taxpayers sent to Washington – if you count Medicare, Social Security and the money that supports the military in our State. Sounds like pay back to me.
Another member of the gang, a lawyer, said that the Governor (and Attorney General?) had been getting bad legal advice. When asked what difference this plan would make, since Texas can’t legally deport illegal aliens, the lawyer suggested that the Governor should ignore the law, order the Guard and DPS to deport illegal aliens, and bypass Immigration and Customs Enforcement. He said that the worst that could happen is that President Barack Obama and Holder could sue.
Article 1, Section 10 of the United States Constitution:
“No State shall, without the Consent of Congress, lay any Duty of Tonnage, keep Troops, or Ships of War in time of Peace, enter into any Agreement or Compact with another State, or with a foreign Power, or engage in War, unless actually invaded, or in such imminent Danger as will not admit of delay.”
Under the usual circumstances, the National Guard is under the command of the President of the United States, rather than control of the Governor. As explained by the (far-right wing) Red State last year, the National Guard is not the “militia” of the several States. Instead, the men and women serving in the Guard are considered ‘troops.”
It is true that in times of “imminent danger” the Governor may declare a state of emergency and call up the Guard for duty within the State. You may even remember that in 2010, then-US Attorney General Napolitano told Governor Perry that if he wasn’t happy with the 250 troops sent to the Texas border, he was welcome to call them up himself and pay for it. Unfortunately, the current US Attorney General is Eric Holder.
The emotional demand by one woman, Alice Linahan of Women on the Wall, that Governor Perry and General Abbott “Show us that you’re actually different from Obama,” sums up the cognizant dissonance of the entire press conference. The gang seems to have no understanding of how quickly President Barack Obama and Attorney General Eric Holder ignore the law, at the same moment that they condemn it.
Well, flip! Substitute my F-word for their F-word and drop the suggestion that even straight women want to “do ‘very sexy things’ to Windy, and I could have had the Vast WingRight Conspiracy laughing at this column. Ironically, the f’ing-bomb-this and f-bomb-that commenters all seem to take Wonkette’s “satire” take on Windy as a sex object as supportive!
Wonkette is a left-wing blog whose writers spew forth with a foul keyboard, and I think that she and her readers are serious about supporting Windy. It’s just that their support is . . . shall we say “bent?”
Most of the readers of WingRight would agree that it’s preposterous to complain about “ties” to a Political Action Committee with which Greg Abbott has had no dealings since 2004. And it’s true that Windy ain’t Ann Richards.
But Wonkette’s Rebecca Shoenkopf is mostly upset that Windy’s campaign might object to the “very sexy things” comment.
Even odder than a feminists’ objection to an imagined objection from Windy is the use of an Austin-American Statesman article entitled “Greg Abbott holds double-digit lead over Wendy Davis, who is viewed unfavorably by almost half the electorate” to support the idea that Greg Abbott is a “nothingburger:” “
John Cornyn, US Senate
Lamar Smith, CD 21 –
Gregg Abbott, Governor
David Dewhurst, Lt. Governor
Donna Campbell, Tx Senate, 25
Ken Paxton for Attorney General
Wayne Christian for Railroad Commissioner
Sid Miller for Agricultural Commissioner
Nathan Hecht, Jeff Brown and Phil Johnson for the Texas Supreme Court
In Comal County, I hope you will vote for Jeanne Slupik for Commissioner, Precinct 4, and for Cherie Perez for District Clerk.
I’ve also been posting about (against) Katrina Pierson, who is running against Sessions, using her anti-family, anti-“social issue” comments on Twitter from 2012.
From the Greg Abbott Campaign website:
Communications Director Matt Hirsch speaks with Dr. Beverly Nuckols on location at The Texas Mailhouse in Austin about the negative impact ObamaCare is having on small businesses and the health care industry, while U.S. Secretary of Health and Human Services tries to sell an unworkable, expensive healthcare takeover in Texas.
(I’m a doctor, not an audio/visual expert. And I certainly can’t afford one. Since I can’t get the podcast to embed, so please go to the site. While you’re there, volunteer, donate, help out!)
Peggy Fikac once again proves that she’s not a reporter, and most certainly not anything like a fair and balanced media representative.
From the Houston Chronicle’s coverage of events in Austin, today:
“Obamacare is the wrong prescription for American health care, and I will never stop fighting against it,” Abbott said, joined by small business people and a doctor who also oppose the law at a company, the Texas Mailhouse.
One reason that Abbott gave for fighting the law came in response to a doctor who asked him from the audience about what Texas could do to keep the federal law from interfering with doctors’ judgment about the best way to treat their patients.
“You’re raising one of the more challenging components of Obamacare, and a hidden component in a way, and that is government is stepping in between the doctor-patient relationship and trying to tell you what you can and cannot do, interfering with both your conscience and your medical oath to take care of your patient,” said Abbott, who is campaigning to succeed Gov. Rick Perry.
That is similar to arguments raised against tighter abortion restrictions approved in special session, including a ban on the procedure at 20 weeks, along with stricter regulations on clinics and abortion-inducing drugs.
I am that doctor from the audience. Ms. Fikac is correct that I voiced concern over the Federal interference between the patient and the doctor. She’s flat wrong about Texas regulation of medicine by bring abortionists up to standards being equivalent to the
I prefaced the question by noting that it is the State of Texas that properly regulates Texas Doctors and medicine. At the State level, patients and doctors have more influence on our elected officials and the people they appoint to write regulations and enforce the law than we do on the Federal level.
I also noted that because of the increasing interference over the years by Medicare, I am concerned about the reach that this new set of regulations will have, including ever-invasive micro-reporting of patient’s private medical conditions. (I named the upcoming move to the ICD-10, which will be a nightmare, requiring doctors to make distinctions between medical conditions, out to five (5) decimal places.
As bad as the bureaucracy of the Office of the Inspector General for the Federal Health and Human Services and the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services have been in the past, I don’t look forward to the additional layer of IRS income verification, audits and enforcement.
We could stick closer to home, with the Texas Health and Human Services, the Texas Medical Board, and the Texas Insurance Commission!
In spite of repetitive fraud, in spite of Texas’ laws prohibiting sending money to affiliates of abortionists, in spite of all our work.
Planned Parenthood clinics could be facing a legal fight that could keep them from receiving funding for impoverished Medicaid patients.
When the state passed the Women’s Health Program in 2005, legislators said the intent was to provide more family planning services, but not abortions, to low-income Medicaid patients.
State Sen. Bob Deuell said due to a loophole in the law, Planned Parenthood is part of the program, but thinks they shouldn’t be. As such, he has requested the attorney general clear up the matter.
While Sen. Deuell admits he isn’t in favor of Planned Parenthood, he said his “goal is to provide comprehensive care and — abortion issue aside — the Planned Parenthood clinics don’t provide comprehensive care.”
It could take Attorney General Greg Abbott months to give his opinion.
In a brief HHSC officials sent to Abbott, they told him if the agency limits providers based on the way the law currently reads, the state risks violating Medicaid rules. State health officials said that could result in a loss of federal funding for the program.
The $1.4 Million previously reported was the part that Texas will receive, not the total. Can you guess how the (very few) media reports (if you can find them) are playing the story?
From the July 30, Houston Chronicle:
Planned Parenthood Gulf Coast Tuesday settled a whistle-blower lawsuit that alleged the Houston nonprofit engaged in fraudulent Medicaid billing for $4.3 million – nearly $3 million more than was announced last week by Texas Attorney General Greg Abbott.
Yes, Planned Parenthood is quoted as claiming that the settlement for the AG’s finding that they are guilty of over $30M in fraud is “baseless” and simply a way to end harassment and to avoid turning over the (altered) medical records of patients. But the spin on the story is that Texas’ Attorney General, Greg Abbott, didn’t report the total and sent out his announcement before the settlement was signed by all parties.
My news search yields some op-eds and stories by Texas’ newspapers and a few more on pro-life sites.
Good news for Texas, but it seems there should be more penalties for falsifying records!
Texas Attorney General’s Office Obtains $1.4 Million Settlement against Planned Parenthood Gulf Coast for Medicaid Fraud
Planned Parenthood Gulf Coast fraudulently billed Texas Medicaid program for products, services either not provided or not necessary
HOUSTON – The Texas Attorney General’s Office today concluded the State’s Medicaid fraud investigation into Planned Parenthood Gulf Coast, Inc. Under today’s agreement, Planned Parenthood Gulf Coast must pay $1.4 million for fraudulently overbilling the taxpayer-funded Medicaid program.
After a whistleblower lawsuit was filed alleging improper billing practices by Planned Parenthood Gulf Coast, an investigation was opened by the Texas Attorney General’s Office and the Texas Health and Human Services Commission’s Office of Inspector General. The State’s investigation revealed that Planned Parenthood Gulf Coast improperly billed the Texas Medicaid program for products and services that were never actually rendered, not medically necessary, and were not covered by the Medicaid program – and were therefore not eligible for reimbursement. For example, state investigators determined that Planned Parenthood Gulf Coast falsified material information in patients’ medical records in order to support fraudulent reimbursement claims to the Medicaid program.
Update: Of course, PP is saying the claims are “baseless,” and that they paid all that money to rid themselves of a nuisance suit! (See Texas Tribune’s “reporting” here.)
Update 2 on August 5, 2013: The total that PP agreed to pay is actually $4.3 Million. The first number was just that portion that will be paid to Texas.