Tag Archives: ThinkProgress

Is Texas Governor Greg Abbott Working With ISIS?

Is Texas Governor Greg Abbott working with ISIS?

Enquiring minds want to know.

If Liberals had a ‘Fox News equivalent’ media network, this would be a likely question asked during the news cycle this week.  The Governor of our nation’s 2nd most populous and 2nd most diverse state may not say outright that he’s working for ISIS (the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria) directly, but given his recent decision on those fleeing violence caused by the hate group, he may as well be on the payroll.

Here’s the story from Alexa Ura of the Texas Tribune

A day after about half of the country’s governors promised to block Syrian refugees from resettling in their states, religious and nonprofit leaders warned those governors that their actions could separate families and cause irreparable damage to public sentiment toward refugees.

“To close the door on resettling Syrian refugees would be nothing less than signing a death warrant for tens of thousands of families fleeing for their lives,” Linda Hartke, president of the Lutheran Immigration and Refugee Service, said during a press call Tuesday. “If ISIS had hoped that their attacks in Paris would provoke the U.S. and its allies in reacting with small-minded panic, some governors are helping them get their wish.”

Following terrorist attacks in Paris that were linked with the Islamic State, Republican Gov. Greg Abbott announced on Monday that the state would not allow Syrian refugees to be resettled in Texas. Leaders of refugee resettlement nonprofits argued on Tuesday that the actions of Abbott and governors across the country could create challenges to reuniting families that were separated as they fled their home country or during the refugee screening process, particularly in Texas which has seen some of the highest numbers of Syrian refugees.


In a letter to President Barack Obama Monday, Abbott said he would direct the Texas Health & Human Services Commission’s Refugee Resettlement Program “to not participate in the resettlement of any Syrian refugees in the State of Texas.”

“Given the tragic attacks in Paris and the threats we have already seen, Texas cannot participate in any program that will result in Syrian refugees — any one of whom could be connected to terrorism — being resettled in Texas,” Abbott wrote.

 As alluded in the above, ISIS leaders are counting on the very Anti-Islmaic, Anti-Syrian attitudes that Governor Abbott is displaying here.  Syria is a country of nearly 23 million people… a few million behind Texas.  Even if the estimated number of ISIS militants across the world is above 200,000, that would still be less than one percent of the population in Syria alone.  And when compared against the world’s population of 1.6 Billion Muslims, the radical beliefs of ISIS compare to any other hate group associated with major world religions.

Even suggesting that ISIS is somehow representative of all Syrians or all Muslims is basically like saying that David Koresh and the Branch Davidians are representative of all Texas Christians. Punishing refugees at the expense of a few bad actors is a painful, false representation used to stoke fear and gain political points at the expense of making our state and nation less safe.  But that is exactly what our state’s top elected official has done.

The effects of such careless politics are long-lasting, especially in today’s world of fast-flowing, information.  At some point, we have to realize that the things we say and do now are connected to our future.  Take one Timothy McVeigh for example, who was so angry at the government for their treatment of Koresh that he killed 168 innocent Americans in the Oklahoma City Bombing. Nobody had to sneak him into the country to do that.

Be assured that everything Abbott suggests is not based in fact.  For starters, he likely has no legal basis to deny refugees entry into the state, unless he’s planning on secession and rapid building of a wall to keep all Americans out.  If anyone has to even wonder about the vetting process for the very few refugees that America would even accept, check out this quick clip from ThinkProgress.  Who’s going to go on a two year waiting list, be subject to extensive background checks, questioning, immense government scrutiny and commit copious financial resources they may not even have just to come to the U.S. and commit a heinous crime?


So please Governor, would you please stop helping ISIS to achieve its goals?  If you love Texas, do what’s best for Texas, not what’s best for YOU.

From ThinkProgress: A Run-Down for SCOTUS’ Marriage Equality Hearings

The folks over at ThinkProgress have done a spectacular job on summarizing the very complicated range of possibilities for what could happen this week. As the Supreme Court has historic hearings on both the Defense of Marriage Act and Prop 8, here’s what you’ll want to look for…

How The Court Could Rule

A Broad Decision: The best, and most obvious, decision would be for the justices to follow the Constitution and the clear command of precedent and extend marriage equality to all fifty states. It is fairly likely, however, that at least one member of the majority will be too cautious to require Alabama to follow the Constitution, even if they are prepared to order California to do so. If the justices punt on the Alabama question, the important question is whether they hold that anti-gay laws are subject to “heightened scrutiny,” a skeptical kind of constitutional analysis that will make it very difficult for anti-gay discrimination to withstand court review in the future.

A One-Off: The Ninth Circuit proposed a way to strike down Prop 8 while leaving most other states free to engage in marriage discrimination (the court said that voters were not permitted to withdraw the right to marry once it had been established by the state Supreme Court). The logic of the ruling was thus confined to California. Similarly, two of the Court’s most important gay rights opinions relied on very narrow reasoning that advanced equality only incrementally. It is possible the justices will repeat this performance.

Jurisdictional Dodges: In both cases, the Court could potentially rule that it lacks jurisdiction to hear the case, a decision that would cast a cloud of uncertainty over the rights of gay couples.

A Stealth Attack: Several prominent conservatives are pushing a dangerous legal theory that would strike down DOMA on states’ rights grounds, and potentially endanger Social Security, veterans benefits and progressive taxation in the process.

A Loss: Ultimately, however, it is important to remember that this is a severely conservative Court, and even so-called swing vote Justice Kennedy is a severely conservative justice. Equality could lose.”

They even go into detail to examine the histories of the Conservative judges. Remember how the court is currently tipped 5 to 4 in favor of Conservative views? Oh yeah, how could we forget?? Well anyway, be sure to check it out.