Texas Republican Governor Greg Abbott is coming under fire for his response to the deaths of what authorities now say are the deaths of 50 people found in San Antonio locked in a tractor-trailer that crossed the border into the United States. 16 people, including young children, were found alive and hospitalized.
It is being called “the deadliest migrant-smuggling operation in memory.”
“These deaths are on Biden,” the two-term governor running for re-election tweeted Monday night. “They are a result of his deadly open border policies. They show the deadly consequences of his refusal to enforce the law.”
Many on social media noted that if the border were “open,” migrants desperate to come into the U.S. wouldn’t have had to risk their lives in the back of an 18-wheeler in 101-degree Texas heat to do so. Some noted San Antonio is hours – about 150 miles – from the U.S.-Mexico border.
Others blasted Abbott for politicizing their deaths, treating them as a political “opportunity” instead of as human beings who died trying to find a better life. Some also noted Abbott has spent billions to deploy the Texas National Guard to the southern border, in what has been called a “campaign prop,” with little to show for it. (The Houston Chronicle in April put the cost to Texas taxpayers at $4 billion.)
By comparison, San Antonio mayor Ron Nirenberg called the deaths “a horrific human tragedy,” The New York Times reported. “The plight of migrants seeking refuge is always a humanitarian crisis.”
Abbott’s response elicited anger from many.
“So it’s not OK to politicize school shootings but it is OK to politicize migrant deaths? I see,” tweeted the LA Times’ Elvia Limón.
Republican turned Democrat Matthew Dowd:
what is wrong with you???? you are the governor of our state and you take zero responsibility for your inhumane policies at all levels.
— Matthew Dowd (@matthewjdowd) June 28, 2022
The communications director for the Libertarian Party did not hold back.
“I’m normally measured. Respectful. Not tonight,” tweeted Bekah Congdon. “Fuck you, Greg Abbott, you fucking monster. Why the fuck would people have to be smuggled into this country if we had anything resembling open borders? Are you as dumb as you are evil? Human lives. Political pawns to you.”
Others also expressed outrage:
FFS you’re right on brand Greg. If it’s open you don’t need to cram yourselves into a container to be smuggled across the border. #BetoForTexas
— From the other side of the mirror 🏴🇺🇸 (@jt1anglais) June 28, 2022
One of those times when the point is so obviously nonsensical and being used in such a grotesquely partisan, transparently opportunistic way that I don’t even have the energy to say anything to him.
— 🦎SwampLizard🦎 (@DiscoTempoJazz) June 28, 2022
If it was an “open border” they wouldn’t be sneaking in by truck.
Your thinking of Texas gun laws.
— Will Pundit (@WillPundit4Food) June 28, 2022
That doesn’t even make sense. If crossing the border undocumented seas easy, this wouldn’t have happened. That’s the whole point.
Also where’s your fucking humanity? You don’t see the loss of human life as anything but political points to be scored. Ghoulish and sickening.
— Mikel Jollett (@Mikel_Jollett) June 28, 2022
Tell me again how this isn’t politizing death?
— WhatIfBarackOrHillarySaidIt (@IfBarack) June 28, 2022
Governor Abbott, you have spent over $1B of our taxpayer money to have the National Guard at the border for over a year. This truck came in through a major port of entry on YOUR watch. https://t.co/TmRSOhEAPX
— LunA 🇺🇦 (@thelunaticcz) June 28, 2022
I’m old enough to remember when Gov Abbott was disgusted that anyone would politicize the deaths of kids gunned down at a school. https://t.co/76L74FcaVT
— Scott Braddock (@scottbraddock) June 28, 2022
A cruel, repulsive statement from the governor of Texas. Not an ounce of humanity or empathy shown here. https://t.co/rbJUvtVF5o
— Keya Vakil (@keyavakil) June 28, 2022
These people simply are not going to help you build a culture that respects the value of human life. https://t.co/Z9lQDJWEYo
— Just look at that parking lot (@borrowedbones) June 28, 2022
Nope, this is on you & former President Trump, Biden administration fought to have Title 42 (remain in Mexico during asylum claims) lifted then lost in court. you fought to make it harder to get in, therefore more covert smuggling necessary.
— Cyndl (@cmtwx) June 28, 2022
This is a horrific take. If there were “open borders” then they wouldn’t have paid smugglers to shove them into a packed truck. Maybe it is the smugglers fault? The ones who abandoned the rig? I think all well-meaning people might actually be able to agree on this fact. https://t.co/R95DLQuEVf
— Juliette Kayyem (@juliettekayyem) June 28, 2022
Or, here me out you dimwitted excuse of a person, this is the result of having such a convoluted, difficult and unfair immigration system that human beings resort to risking, and losing, their lives packed like animals in their way to the slaughter house. https://t.co/GPxPDYxpwA
— Carlos Marcano, Dick Allen Stan (@camarcano) June 28, 2022
Yesterday I fell to my knees here in beautiful San Antonio…
It is all too much now with GREG ABBOTT…
This state is on a precipice…
The #UvaldeMassacre, now 46 migrants dying a savage death in the Texas heat…
***TEXAS is an INHUMANE HELLSCAPE for LATINOS.
ABBOTT has to go. pic.twitter.com/4WIKk3yUOl
— Kathleen Vale (@SanAntoGuera) June 28, 2022
This is the most heartless, crass, inhumane, deplorable response I’ve ever seen to a tragedy of this magnitude.
For Greg Abbott, these lives mean only an opportunity to score political points by criticizing Biden. 46 lives lost — and he sees that loss as an opportunity. pic.twitter.com/h3j8N7spdG
— My dog thinks SCOTUS has lost any legitimacy. (@Mamaofthreebear) June 28, 2022
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Rep. Tim Walberg Tells Uganda to ‘Stand Firm’ on ‘Kill The Gays’ Law Ted Cruz Called ‘Horrific’
Representative Tim Walberg (R-MI) delivered a speech in Uganda to defend the country’s President Yoweri Museveni and the Anti-Homosexuality Act of 2023, better known as the “Kill the Gays” law.
Walberg traveled to Uganda in October to attend a national prayer breakfast organized by the Fellowship Foundation, also known as The Family, which also covered the cost of his trip, according to TYT. In the speech, transcribed by the blog Take Care Tim, he told the attendees to “stand firm” in the face of criticism.
“Whose side do we want to be on? God’s side. Not the World Bank, not the United States of America necessarily, not the UN. God’s side,” Walberg said. “I think as we go on here, it says, ‘So I will deliver you from the hand of the wicked, And I will redeem you from the grasp of the violent.’ – Who’s gonna do that? God is gonna do that. Your esteemed President, his excellency, President Museveni needs a nation that stands with him and says, though the rest of the world is pushing back on you, though there are other major countries that are trying to get into you and ultimately change you, stand firm. Stand firm.”
Walberg made it clear he knew his view would be unpopular in the United States.
“Now, this will probably get back to the national media in the United States, and I expect some pushback, but I’m not gonna give in to them. … I know that your President is a warrior. I like that about him. We’re in a battle, folks. We are in a battle,” he said.
Though Uganda has had homophobia enshrined in its legal code since it was a British protectorate, the Anti-Homosexuality Act of 2023 is a drastic escalation. Previously, homosexuality was punished with life in prison, according to the Advocate. The new law allows the death penalty for those convicted of “aggravated homosexuality.” It also bans “promotion of homosexuality,” much like Russia bans queer “propaganda”.
The law is so draconian that Republican Senator Ted Cruz—no ally to the queer community—condemned it. In May, shortly after Museveni signed the law, Cruz called the law “horrific” on X, formerly Twitter.
“This Uganda law is horrific & wrong. Any law criminalizing homosexuality or imposing the death penalty for ‘aggravated homosexuality’ is grotesque & an abomination. ALL civilized nations should join together in condemning this human rights abuse. #LGBTQ,” Cruz tweeted.
This Uganda law is horrific & wrong.
Any law criminalizing homosexuality or imposing the death penalty for “aggravated homosexuality” is grotesque & an abomination.
— Ted Cruz (@tedcruz) May 29, 2023
Attempts to pass a similar bill to the Anti-Homosexuality Act of 2023 started in 2014, with a bill also called the “Kill the Gays” law. That form of the bill was built by anti-LGBTQ activist Scott Lively, who previously claimed then-President Barack Obama was secretly gay.
While it didn’t go into effect then, the bill and ones like it kept popping up on Uganda’s parliamentary agenda. Earlier this year, President Joe Biden threatened to cut nearly $1 billion in annual aid to Uganda if the bill passed.
A previous version of this story credited Salon with the initial reporting; Salon had republished the article from TYT. The sourcing has been corrected; NCRM regrets the error.
Federal Judge Issues Injunction on Idaho Anti-Trans Law Days Before It Takes Effect
A federal judge issued an injunction Tuesday against an Idaho anti-trans law that would bar prescribing puberty blockers to transgender youth.
The Idaho anti-trans law, House Bill 71, was signed into law by Republican Governor Brad Little last April, according to the Idaho Statesman. It was scheduled take effect on January 1, 2024. Providing gender-affirming care to minors, including puberty blockers, hormone therapy and gender-affirming surgeries would become a felony under the law. This is even though it is exceedingly rare for a person under 18 to be offered these type of surgeries, according to the Human Rights Campaign.
U.S. District Judge B. Lynn Winmill issued a preliminary injunction Tuesday, stopping the Idaho anti-trans law from taking effect in less than a week. Winmill said that the pending lawsuit filed by two trans minors and their parents will most likely succeed, citing the 14th Amendment, according to the Statesman.
“Time and again, these cases illustrate that the 14th Amendment’s primary role is to protect disfavored minorities and preserve our fundamental rights from legislative overreach,” he wrote. “That was true for newly freed slaves following the Civil War. It was true in the 20th century for women, people of color, interracial couples and individuals seeking access to contraception. And it is no less true for transgender children and their parents in the 21st century.”
Idaho Attorney General Raul Labrador told the paper he will appeal the injunction. Labrador claims “Winmill’s ruling places children at risk of irreversible harm.” The use of the phrase “irreversible harm” echoes the anti-trans book Irreversible Damage by Abigail Shrier. Shrier’s book endorses the since-debunked theory of “rapid-onset gender dysphoria.” The theory claims girls will declare themselves to be transgender as part of a “social contagion”—basically comparing transitioning to a fad.
Winmill, appointed to the Idaho district court in 1995 by President Bill Clinton, has recently ruled in other pivotal culture-war cases. This August, Winmill blocked Labrador from prosecuting doctors who send patients out-of-state for an abortion, KMVT-TV reported.
In August 2022, he also issued an injunction stopping Labrador from prosecuting ER doctors who provide an abortion in attempts to stabilize a patient, according to the Idaho Capital Sun, while a suit against the law.works its way through the court system. The injunction was overturned by the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals in September of this year, according to the Capital Sun, though the lawsuit itself is still pending.
Mike Johnson Likens Himself to Moses, Tells Christian Nationalists God Charted His Path to Speaker
Mike Johnson, delivering the keynote address to a far-right Christian nationalist group Tuesday, likened himself to Moses and declared God had charted his path to become the Republican Speaker of the House, after telling him in his prayers to prepare.
Speaker Johnson, a Christian nationalist who falsely claims the Constitution’s separation of church and state is a “misnomer” and has declared the United States is not democracy but a “biblical” republic, is an attorney who once worked for a far-right organization that has since been designated an anti-LGBTQ extremist group by the Southern Poverty Law Center. Johnson was the lead sponsor last year of a federal “Don’t Say Gay” bill and has bragged that he and his teenaged son are accountability partners in a no-porn pledge that includes installation of monitoring software on all their devices.
“I’ll tell you a secret since the media is not here,” Speaker Johnson said at the National Association of Christian Lawmakers (NACL) Gala (video below), where he was honored with their American Patriot Award for Christian Honor and Courage, as Right Wing Watch reported.
“Thank you for not allowing the media in, I’ll tell you a secret because they wanted to come because they wanted to, you know, take my comments out of context as they’ve been doing with with great joy for the last few weeks,” Johnson charged, not specifying which of his remarks he believes have been taken out of context.
“The Lord impressed upon my heart a few weeks before this happened, that something was going to occur,” Johnson continued. “And the Lord very specifically told me in my prayers to prepare, but to wait. ‘Prepare for what?’ I said to the Lord. You know, I had this sense that we were going to come to a Red Sea moment in our Republican conference and the country at large.”
“And look, I’m a Southern Baptist, I don’t want to get too spooky on you. Okay, but you know, you know okay,” he continued. “All right. But you know, the Lord speaks to your heart. And He had been speaking to me about this and the Lord told me very clearly to prepare and be ready. Be ready for what? Okay, I don’t know. We’re coming to a Red Sea moment. ‘What does that mean, Lord?’ And then when the Speaker’s race happened.”
He said, “the Lord began to wake me up through this three-week process we’re in in the middle of night and to speak to me and to write things down plans and procedures and ideas on how we could pull the conference together.”
“Now at the time I assumed the Lord is going to choose a new Moses. And oh, thank you the Lord. Lord, you’re gonna allow me to be Aaron to Moses,” Johnson told the attendees.
Johnson reminded his audience of the Speaker’s debacle, going down the line of friends who he tried to help become Speaker, acknowledging that all of them failed.
He continued, explaining that “at the end, when it came to the end, the Lord said, ‘Now step forward.’ ‘Me? I’m supposed to be Aaron.’ Now the Lord said, ‘Step forward.’ Psalm 77 speaks of the Exodus in the 14th chapter of Exodus and it says, ‘Only God saw the path through the roiling sea, we could not see it, men could not see it.’ And I believe deep in my heart, is my core conviction, that God wants us to seek Him for the path through the roiling sea.”
As Right Wing Watch reports, after Johnson’s speech, “NACL founder Jason Rapert presented Johnson with the Honor and Courage award, along with a piece of a destroyed Ten Commandments monument that Rapert had placed in front of the Arkansas state capitol in 2017.”
“’It’s very obvious to see, you’re one of us,’ Rapert told Johnson.”
Rolling Stone adds that Johnson’s speech Tuesday is “just the latest evidence that the politician who is now second in line for the presidency views himself as on a divine mission.”
Watch the video of Speaker Johnson below or at this link.
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