126 Comments

Steve, this is one of your very best. Telling the fake Christians their failures on Christmas is spot on. Thanks

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And the very same can be said of DeSantis, dictator of the state that I now call home. Many of us have tried and failed to turn Florida Blue but will never stop trying.

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Yes, it's going to be a race to the bottom for the GOP....DeSantis or Abbott.

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“This Christmas season finds us a rather bewildered human race. We have neither peace within nor peace without. Everywhere paralyzing fears harrow people by day and haunt them by night. Our world is sick with war; everywhere we turn we see its ominous possibilities. And yet, my friends, the Christmas hope for peace and good will toward all men can no longer be dismissed as a kind of pious dream of some utopian. If we don’t have good will toward men in this world, we will destroy ourselves by the misuse of our own instruments and our own power. Wisdom born of experience should tell us that war is obsolete. We must either learn to live together as brothers or we are going to perish together as fools." - Rev. Martin Luther King, Jr., 12/24/67

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Bravo, Steve. So well said, it made me weep. I will never understand how Texans chose Abbott. Again. Worse, chose Abbott over Beto.

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founding

It is my understanding that 54% of eligible Texas voters didn’t vote. Abbott’s lack of action on the grid killed over 200 Texans. His lack of action on gun control has meant more babies slaughtered with him left saying “It could have been worse. “ I don’t understand such apathy of 54% in light of such in action and hate against LGBTQ, immigrants and women. Yes I know gerrymandering and other voter suppression tactics have been effective but really that lack of participation after such failures is astounding.

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I agree and don’t understand it.

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Yes, Christine, I also weep! I thought about exactly the same thing when Beto lost. I had no idea how far Abbott would go with his evil ways. The loss of heat and electricity for the people affected by the cold prior to Christmas was heart-breaking to read about. That's twice Abbott let his people in his state die from the cold. But the words of the Reverend Martin Luther King say it all; no need for anything else to be said: "If we don’t have good will toward men in this world, we will destroy ourselves by the misuse of our own instruments and our own power." Abbott has to go; the sooner the better. Bless the poor people (especially of color!) and the immigrants in Texas he has so terribly abused in such a horrendous way!. Bless all of you dear mistreated souls! May kindness find you and hold you to Its heart in Love and in Peace. And, lastly, remember this - there is no order of difficulty in Miracles...

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I voted for Beto. I don’t understand how a good hardworking man can lose to a corrupt and immoral one.

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I am suspecting corruption.

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We are a defeated people here in Texas. Millions did not show up to vote. Voter suppression is very real,the propaganda and cult like followers are very real. We have no operating Texas Democratic Party, it’s corrupt and dysfunctional. The Democrats in my own county can’t get along, they are busy fighting each other and stabbing each other in the back, lying, cheating. It’s hopeless and I say that from experience and not just the sidelines. The infighting, the quest for power and money are disgusting. Gilberto Hinojosa is the the name of the the disgraceful State Chair who won reelection by underhanded cheating at the worse run, worse show of a Convention this summer. We are FUCKED and we know it. Beto ran an outstanding campaign but the people of Texas are like zombies going to vote for R’s because “muh guns and own the libs”

Uvalde is our legacy in this state, abortion ban, bounties on the heads of your fellow Texans. We have the worst people in office all through out. How the hell did Ken Paxton win reelection? Not ONE Dem won, not one and we had some really good candidates. I will tell you how, the Texas Do Nothing Democratic Corrupt Power Hungry Stay in Office party. Until that changes, which it won’t for the foreseeable future, there will be more evil Greg Abbott antics to endure and he will just keep getting re- elected. The next State legislative session is on the horizon, buckle up because only bad shit happens. Public Education and Transgender kids and families are the next target and it will be devastating.

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Rachel, I live in MT, and I volunteered to do my part to stave off Rs getting a super majority in our state legislature. We are a small population state who has an all-R gov't that just turned super majority in '22. (That didn't go as hoped.) Cruelty and grift is the point of entry here to an elected office. We voted in as governor the liar guy who punched a glasses-wearing reporter. We voted into our new 2nd district the R trump administration Interior Secretary who had to leave office hoping that would stop the investigations into him. (It did.) We are in essence a 60 - 40 state with evil far outperforming anything resembling good.

I do not hang onto hope for my state to prevent a disaster. Now it's a question of how bad will it get. It seems people have been very well conditioned to accept a great amount of pain as long as the ones they hate get more. I will never understand it.

I expect laws banning abortion, transgender care, drag queens, and more while leaving gun carrying in the open, child trafficking, high cost of living, and low wages in place to keep the peasants fighting to survive. And I'm betting we are getting an Amazon warehouse that will continue bad employment opportunities for already poverty-wage workers who will be required to live on the goodwill of gov't that no one wants to pay for. Continued good times ahead.

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That’s a pretty bleak picture. We can commiserate. I didn’t even get into the registering to vote and all the obstacles that have been put in place. It’s very difficult, no online registration, vote by mail is mostly obsolete. They have made that so difficult people give up or the application gets tossed because they didn’t sign their name like they did 10 years ago. Provisional ballots get tossed by the thousands. The rules are convoluted and obscure, forms are purposely confusing. What could possibly go wrong? (sarcasm)

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Things look bleak from my vantage point, and I have to work hard not to become pessimistic to the point of giving up while at the same time not looking away from the truth. The truth is Rs are going to work hard to make MT a place for the rich to buy, privatize, and play in. In the meantime, if they can also implement the cruel policies of Abbott and DeSantis, they will be contenders for President. We are a small, insignificantly populated state, so we don't garner headlines. You in Texas and those in Florida seem on a whole other level on the race to most cruel.

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Great article. I’m so angry, I need to collect my thoughts to begin to comment coherently. Condemnation needs to be loud is all I can say for now.

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Cruelty is the point because they can. I read an article in TIME magazine about Lexi Rubio's mother. Lexi was one of the victims of the Uvalde shooting. Her mom met with a staffer of John Cornyn, who told her that he would not do to get any gun legislation passed before the end of the year. Can you imagine telling the mother of a child murdered by gun violence that you will do nothing to help change that situation? If I were her I would make it my life's mission to get Cornyn voted OUT.

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Thank you for your unabashed, direct, and ground-level Texas soul-baring words. The Republican lemmings there boggle the mind. I try hard to look for a sense of decency, but it seems to be woefully MIA. These are the same lemmings who, Christian believers like me, look past the Uvalde massacre to crown Donald Trump "King David". As some in this threat has mentioned, I can only believe Jesus weeps at this behavior.

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What a horrible picture you painted. And I believe every bit of it.

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I live in Texas and the political leaders suck. Ken Paxton is a criminal but plays the system so he will never be convicted. It is all so maddening. All while bounties on anyone aiding an abortion and parents of transgender kids are being targeted.

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This guy, more than most, nauseates me. At every turn, he seems to deny the rights of his constituents. As another commenter wrote, he’s a hypocrite, with consistency-- and not overstating to add he’s diabolical.

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Texas, you could've had Beto.

I get it, but will never understand.

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There’s nothing worse than a God worshipping hypocrite!

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All of us have a choice whether to aspire to better ourselves or to succumb to the primitive base that we all have inside us. People like Abbot, DeSantis, Trump & their minions have seen the consequences of their cruelty & choose to continue down their wretched path. Worse still, they cloak themselves in the belief that they are the Christian soldiers of America. No other species revels in causing pain to others. Even the wildest & most dangerous animals with whom we share this planet are capable of altruism- not just for their kin, but for other species as well. There is no record of earlier hominids enjoying cruelty - no cave paintings of men pummeling other men. They are an abomination.

There was a small British study that did brain scans of subjects’ amygdalae & pre-frontal cortexes (PFC). They found they could predict political affiliation 3 out of 4 times based on the development of either. Conservatives had more developed amydgalae & lliberals had more developed PFC. I would love to replicate this study. I am interested in seeing how much our brains diverge as some humans choose regression over evolution.

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Interesting! Also, science shows that our brains change given repeated stimuli, including cult indoctrination, especially from an early age. Trauma can change a person's brain. We need some outreach programs for people who want to get out of the MAGA cult which has affected many of their brains over time.

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It disgusts me to think i live in a country with the Abbotts and the McCarthys and the Trumps - we are not alone in having these people in power - look at other countries around the world, look at Russia, look at Hungary - look at South America - they think they speak for the downtrodden - people who learn to blame others for what their lives are. This season is supposed to be one of peace and joy and Abbott just keeps fucking around with the poor and needy. How can people vote for him - how can people not see what they are made of - because they need to blame others for their conditions. It saddens me as much as it disgusts me. We are better than this.

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No, as it turns out, we are exactly this by the numbers. We don't have to be this, and I hope enough people come to that conclusion and start choosing differently.

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For these guys, hypocrisy is a badge of honor. They wear it proudly as an expression of absolute contempt for anyone who would call them on it, anyone who would dare question their power to act on their unlimited capacity for cruelty. Abbott and Trump are not monsters; they are human beings with severely damaged characters. They will never see nor care that there is no possible justification for their cruelty. I believe it is up to us to condemn their cruelty and not lower our standard for what it means to be a good human being.

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Excellent. Your voice is clarion and so needed.

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I’m afraid that Greg Abbott and shame aren’t related. He has none! He demonstrated that with the school shooting this past year. This act is nothing less than despicable! It should embarrass all Americans!

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It should APPALL all Americans, and motivate them to vote for gun control laws as well as fund gun buy-back programs and restrict ammunition sales.. End "State's Rights" on these issues.

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Highly taxing each bullet will make gun nuts go crazy!!

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Let’s go to the place that everyone seems afraid to mention about Governor Abbott because it feels dirty and unseemly. But it needs to be said out loud.

39 years ago, while out jogging, a large tree suddenly snapped, crushing not-yet-Governor Greg Abbott and paralyzing him for the rest of his life.

Now, I am agnostic on the subject of a higher power, but every day our world provides challenges that shape who we are - and what we will become.

One would assume from his experience as he lie under that crushing, jagged trunk, that Governor Greg Abbott would understand the true meaning of what it is to be like a “helpless child“; the simple danger of not being able to help yourself. 

One would be wrong.

I think we all understand that young children who alone are not yet capable of bringing themselves to a safe and healthy circumstance - like keeping warm in the cold and snow - depend upon their parents and others in their community to protect them until they are able to protect themselves. Greg Abbott seems blind to this fact.

So, you would think that Governor Abbott, with the tragedy that befell him early in this life - as someone who when alone is now incapable of managing many of the basic challenges of life that we take for granted - who needs help to negotiate the simple challenges of negotiating this world - would possess - even overflow - with empathy for his fellow human beings. 

Whether it is from the people who drive him – or build the vans that allow him to drive himself - or the person who helps to dress him where he is incapable of fully doing so for himself, or the folks who construct his luxury accommodations so that he can go to the bathroom without assistance - you would think he would have learned and understand in his bones and deep in his heart how important it is for us to take care of each other.  Despite the advantages of affluence, and the help of a loving family, you would think that he at the very least would develop an innate empathy for those in a similar circumstance – like helpless children. It is difficult to conceive that someone in his circumstance would react toward others in this world out of meanness, rather than kindness.  I suppose that it’s possible for a person who has encountered tragedy in their life to strike out with bitterness toward his fellow human beings because of his circumstance in the world, but it is hard to imagine that even if someone were so embittered that they could be so completely lacking in empathy as to callously pile misery upon those incapable of yet helping themselves – like infants and young children. It is almost as inconceivable that in such circumstance that someone could feel so damaged by this world that he would go out of his way to eviscerate the pride of a parent in caring for their own children because you derive some sick pleasure in diminishing these parents in front of their kids.

This cannot simply be a willingness on his part to do this just to score political points. Greg Abbott must suffer from an evil sickness – this is not just politics.  the man needs therapy, emotional and intellectual therapy to help him to understand that no matter how he has suffered. He has no right to inflict misery on others just because he holds one of the weakest governor ships in the country.

I could go on and talk more about the importance of immigration, and how it strengthens America by replenishing an ambitious working class, that eventually migrates to a successful middle class, but I am dumbstruck by the blatant unkindness displayed by a man who has succeeded in the way that he has because the world was kind to him and gave him the kinds of assistance and chances that allowed him to succeed in this world. Possibly Abbott thinks he did it alone – and I suppose it is even possible that he has done what he’s accomplished in his life without any help – but it still provides no explanation for busing homeless children without proper clothing or food, and sending them on a political stunt on Christmas Eve to a federal government property during the winter.

I actually sympathize with the communities at the border who are suffering under the weight of illegal immigration, and the lack of resources to accommodate so many people in a relatively concentrated area, and I understand the necessity of transporting these people to share the burden around the country. In my state and many others groups and local government have worked hard to provide capacity to take care of these people, to help them find shelter, warm clothes and a hot meal, and eventually a way to support themselves - first with the kindness of others, and then eventually out their own.

All that it would’ve taken for Greg Abbott to avoid being evil would be to make a phone call. To Massachusetts, the governor of Connecticut, the mayor of Washington DC, or the city of New York - anywhere where he might get some mileage out of a political stunt in sending these poor souls who are stuck and freezing after crossing the border - all it would’ve taken was a phone call and those states would have been ready and waiting to take care of our brothers and sisters who are in need. But for some reason this physically- and apparently mentally - disabled and paralyzed governor, who has risen up on the shoulders, empathy and the kindness of others – cannot find it in his own heart to ensure that helpless children with whom he shares so much in common are welcomed and provided with love and caring from their fellow inhabitants of this earth. So that they are received and given the chance, as we share the burden in this large and generous country, to help these people find opportunity and relief in a world where they only want a job, the ability to make money, and improve the circumstance of their families. No free lunch - just the opportunity to fill a role that ironically our country desperately needs to be filled in this economy – workers at the bottom of the ladder, who are willing to work hard, pay their taxes, and find a safe place for their children that is better than the countries they fled. That is the American way and that is the basic kindness that Americans extend to immigrants from around the world.

Instead, we are afraid to point out that the paralyzed governor of Texas doesn’t have the basic human decency to take care of others who are as helpless as he is. I understand why we are afraid to point out his disability or paralysis– the conditions of his life that make him a less able to be independent without the assistance of others. We allow evil people like Abbott to hide behind their disability and imply therefore, that helpless children dumped on a street corner without socks, or a coat, when the temperature is 32° is OK because he took care of himself, didn’t he?

We shouldn’t be afraid to open our mouths and speak the truth about the sick man who heads the state of Texas. 

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Rick, this is excellent and right on point. I hope you and readers here can find a way to get what you've written out into the public through newspapers, magazines, social media, Youtube, etc. It is a much needed wake-up call. Thank you.

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Greg Abbot is easy. He and his ilk plays to an audience that has turned its back on Christianity. Easy to do if you ignore what the Gospels call us to do. Steve, you used Sermon on the Mount, but when dealing with Abbot and his crowd, you also need to mention the Sermon on the Plain. In particular what happens when you follow evil leaders.

As the alternative to the mention Bishop William Barber and his new program at Yale Divinity School and their focus on moral fusion of theology and public policy. Understanding the requirements to others should be our focus. This is the answer to Greg Abbot "performance Christianity".

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Our immigration policy needs to be overhauled. It is broken but without support from more than a few Republicans there are not enough votes. The Republican Party is a party of obstruction that is their creed. The Republican Party has no solutions so they obstruct and point fingers at Democrats and do not see the 3 fingers pointing back at them. They manipulate laws to punish the less fortunate and make harder to vote so opposition will be thwarted. They rely on useful idiots in the right wing media outlets who spread their lies and hate. Greg Abbott is a broken white christian. I use the informal because Christ's name should not be emphasize when referring to this man and what he stands for. He is if anything an anti-christ. He spews hate and division while speaking gospel. I am ashamed to admit he is an American because he displays no American values that I cherish. His Christmas message is selfish and does not have the spirit of Christmas is any of his words or actions. Greg Abbott is a small man who thinks being cruel make him look strong. He is wrong. Being cruel only shows weakness and will bring in return only strength from those he would disparage. There is no Christmas in the Abbott house only exchanges of meaningless gifts.

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