What’s the Emergency?

Both the Texas House and Senate have now released initial budgets intended to cover a massive state fiscal deficit that experts have placed as high as $27 billion. Cuts outlined in those budgets could mean the loss of tens of thousands of jobs in education — one lawmaker describes the effect on public schools as “Armageddon.” The budgets also include drastic cuts in critical state services, such as health care, public safety and criminal justice. And that’s only part of the terrible fiscal bloodbath facing the state.

But Gov. Rick Perry has spent the last few weeks declaring as “emergencies” a long list of divisive issues that appeal to his base of hard-right supporters. Legislators will be able to take those issues up quickly because of the “emergency” declaration. And what are those supposed “emergencies”? Voter ID. Outlawing “sanctuary” cities. Passing a symbolic resolution calling for a federal balanced budget amendment. And forcing women seeking an abortion to have a sonogram first.

Even the editorial board of the San Angelo Standard-Times — you know, out in liberal West Texas — has been critical of the governor’s misplaced priorities:

“Political calculations are at least as old as the democratic form of government, but rarely are they so undisguised. For whatever reason, Perry apparently wants to shine up the far right, and those issues are the red meat he decided to serve up. . . .

A governor is supposed to lead. With his selection of priority issues, Perry has disappointed.”

Religious-right pressure groups are happy, however, praising the governor for wanting government to interfere in private reproductive health decisions made by a woman in consultation with her doctor. Never mind, of course, that those same groups and the governor constantly rail against what they see as intrusive government.

This is government by distraction, and Gov. Perry has become a master at it. Maybe that’s the real emergency facing Texas.

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13 Comments

  1. Robert Bohmfalk
    Posted January 29, 2011 at 10:47 am | Permalink

    Perry and the Republicans want more kids born, but don’t want to help educate them, or give them health care. Face it. Republicans don’t care about kids AFTER they are born. They are pro-life, but oppose universal health care for all children and pregnant women.

  2. Kristin
    Posted January 27, 2011 at 10:58 pm | Permalink

    One last comment on Mr. Perry – and yes, Mr. Perry, I was the one that asked this question at Mr. Bill White’s speech in Meridian – the one you had videotaped by your minions – how can anyone take you seriously when you now run around shouting,”The sky is falling, the sky is falling!” and we taxpayers are still supporting your $10,000/month rental bill for your “housing” while the governor’s mansion is being renovated at a cost of over $10,000,000. Rest easy, fellow Texans!

  3. David
    Posted January 27, 2011 at 10:26 pm | Permalink

    Charles, I’ve noticed more than once the similarities between “Blazing Saddles” and current American events. You’re absolutely right.

  4. Posted January 27, 2011 at 8:25 pm | Permalink

    This governor deserves to be called every name in the book, starting with “A” and going all the way to “Z”–and they would fill up that book three inches thick.

  5. CT (ASCP)
    Posted January 27, 2011 at 6:24 pm | Permalink

    You said it, Charles! Interesting that we’ve had Democratic presidents many times, and conservatives always complained. But NO conservative EVER alleged that any Democratic president was either (a) not a U.S. citizen, or (b) not of the religion he said he was. Only when we get a BIRACIAL president do we hear such allegations. And only when we get a BIRACIAL president do the top GOP leaders not correct their screaming loonies and, instead, go right along with the screaming loonies.

    As for Kristin’s comment – which was spot on – I only have this to add to her mention of DNA exonerations: Ain’t it weird that so many prisoners who’ve been exonerated STILL REMAIN IN PRISON? At taxpayer’s expense, of course. So WTF, Rick???? What’s up with that, you who are supposed to be SOOOOOOOOOOO concerned about costs.

    It has nothing at all to do with the budget and saving taxpayer money. It’s ALL about controlling and manipulating women.

  6. Charles
    Posted January 27, 2011 at 12:05 am | Permalink

    The Bible tells them they can kill “guilty life.” In reality, I don’t think the Bible has much to do with it. I think they just want to go out and kill something first and soothe their conscience with a Biblical balm later. As the Republican leadership has said, “Our Number one priority is to make Obama a one term President.” Funny? I thought we had many more important priorities than that—like maybe getting my wife a job!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! The people who think like that and vote for people like Perry are just like the citizens of Rock Ridge, and we all know why they really want to make Obama a one-term President:

  7. Kristin
    Posted January 26, 2011 at 11:08 pm | Permalink

    What I find so adorable about Mr. Perry is all through his campaign he spoke about the “Balanced Budget.” He balanced the budget, the budget was fine, no worries, just vote for him. What a crock! People in Texas, and I am one of them, are so focused on being anti-Obama that anything or anyone that preaches against Obama, well hell son, they are just fine with me!! So they voted this idiot Perry in AGAIN!?!?
    Now, the thing I find most interesting about all of this is most, not all, conservatives want to cut funding to health and human services, abortions, etc. So, when a woman finds herself pregnant and needing to get on Medicaid for doctor’s visits, good nutrition, etc., – they are against funding for that. They are against funding for abortions but they are also the first ones to complain when social services, run through the government, provide aid to her through WIC and TANF?!? How many of those people railing against governmental intervention and governmental assistance have run out and adopted children to cut down on all of those children getting lost in the system?
    And one last thought – for all of those who consider themselves “Pro-Life”, I ask if you are also pro-death penalty. Yes, you say, that is hypocritical because there have undoubtedly been innocent people put to death, especially here in Texas, so that kind of throws a bit of a wrench in your theory, doesnt it? (Cameron Willingham for one and more than 21 DNA exonerations in Dallas County since 2001) http://www.correctionsone.com/re-entry-and-recidivism/articles/3164412-Exonerated-Texas-man-relishes-freedom/

  8. CT (ASCP)
    Posted January 26, 2011 at 9:32 pm | Permalink

    The emergency is that Rick needs to divert attention from Texas’ real problems and blame women who are trying to abort unwanted fetuses for all Texas’ problems. It makes the screamin’ Righties happy, and it’s so much easier to deal with, ya know.

    Interesting that I’ve not seen anything that informs me as to who is to PAY for these sonograms. The woman? What if she has no money? Her insurance company? Good luck forcing an insurance company to pay for a medically unnecessary procedure! What if she’s uninsured (which will most likely be the case)? I guess that leaves us taxpayers stuck with the bill. Explain that one, Rick!!!

    Fact is an abortion is far less costly for taxpayers than having taxpayers pay to raise a chid from fetus to adulthood. But Shhhh! Don’t tell the Righties that. Saving money is the objective for them….. as long as the savings don’t upset their cherished politicoreligious agenda, of course!

  9. Posted January 26, 2011 at 3:47 pm | Permalink

    Forced sonograms fight “socialism”. Or something.

  10. Don
    Posted January 26, 2011 at 11:57 am | Permalink

    So it’s OK with the far-right folks for government to intrude into the lives of people who disagree with them?

  11. james_breck
    Posted January 26, 2011 at 2:40 am | Permalink

    Calling for a cut in social services and in the same breath calling for new barriers to abortion. Gee what’s wrong this picture? What a diseased sack of hypocritical stinking human garbage Rick Perry is.

  12. Charles
    Posted January 25, 2011 at 11:51 pm | Permalink

    Yep. Take the peaches out of that boy until he secedes from himself—you know—like that there Sybil gal.

  13. David
    Posted January 25, 2011 at 7:42 pm | Permalink

    He needs to be impeached.

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