Tag: greg abbott
Fox Staffer: Rising Antisemitism Reflects 'Jewish Presence In Banking'

Fox Staffer: Rising Antisemitism Reflects 'Jewish Presence In Banking'

Matteo Cina, a production assistant for Fox News Digital and a former writer for Texas Gov. Greg Abbott, repeatedly posted antisemitic comments on his TikTok page, writing that “it is hard to talk about the Holocaust and rising anti semitism without discussing Jewish presence in banking.”

Media Matters has confirmed the legitimacy of Cina’s comments after they were first circulated in screenshots on Twitter. In replies to a video posted to his own profile on TikTok, Cina made multiple comments validating “Jewish stereotypes,” including that “Jews control the financial sector,” and claiming this contributed to the atrocities of the Holocaust. In the video, Cina defended Republican Gov. Ron DeSantis’ new teaching guidelines in Florida that claim “slaves developed skills which, in some instances, could be applied for their personal benefit.”

Cina’s TikTok bio reads: “Former Capitol Hill Dep. Comms & Writer for Gov. Abbott. Currently Fox News”. According to his LinkedIn page, he worked for Abbott beginning in August 2021 and joined Fox News in February 2022. Cina’s author page on the Fox News website identifies him as a production assistant for Fox News Digital, and his most recent byline was published July 9.

The revelations of Cina’s antisemitic commentary come amid internal discontent at Fox News over prime-time host Greg Gutfeld’s recent comments that victims of Nazi concentration camps “had to be useful” to survive extermination. “Utility kept you alive,” he added. The comments prompted pushback from the Auschwitz Museum, which said Gutfeld’s comment “does not represent the complex history of the genocide perpetrated by Nazi Germany.”

Reprinted with permission from Media Matters.

Greg Abbott

Abbott's Pardon Candidate Premeditated His 'Self-Defense' Murder Spree

Texas Gov. Greg Abbott is planning to pardon Daniel Perry, the man convicted of murder for killing a Black Lives Matter protester at a rally in Austin in July 2020. Abbott is citing a “Stand Your Ground” law after Perry ran a red light and accelerated his car onto a street filled with protesters, then shot Garrett Foster, a protester who approached the car while openly carrying an AK-47. That Abbott wants to make Perry into a cause célèbre, given the bare facts of the case, is bad enough, but on Thursday, the Houston Chronicle released a 76-page filing by Travis County prosecutors that should really make Abbott think again, but probably won’t.

The filing includes page after page of social media posts and private messages filled with racism, violent imagery, and, tellingly, a strong preoccupation with exactly what counts as murder when it comes to killing protesters. The man did research on what he might be able to get away with—a search for “degrees of murder charges,” web history looking at Wikipedia on murder in United States law, a status posted about the distinctions between different degrees of murder and manslaughter, discussions of people who drove into crowds of protesters. Daniel Perry didn’t just happen to drive onto a street with protesters and then shoot and kill one of them. This was something he’d thought about a lot.

On May 31, 2020, Perry shows how he is thinking this through:

DANIEL PERRY: “I might have to kill a few people on my way to work they are rioting outside my apartment complex.”

JUSTIN SMITH: “Can you legally do so?”

DANIEL PERRY: “If they attack me or try to pull me out my car then yes.”

DANIEL PERRY: “If I just do it because I am driving by then no.”

So that’s the first question for Greg Abbott: Do you want to pardon the guy who not only murdered someone, but murdered someone after doing his research on different types of murder charges and showing a preoccupation with driving into crowds of protesters?

The second question for Abbott would probably involve some of the more overtly racist things Perry said and shared. Just one with the n-word, apparently, but you don’t need to use that word to be unbelievably racist, like when Perry shared “a meme with a photo of a woman holding her child’s head under the bath water and the text reads, ‘WHEN YOUR DAUGHTERS FIRST CRUSH IS A LITTLE NEGRO BOY.’”

Perry also compared Black Lives Matter protesters to monkeys at the zoo and said, speaking for himself, not sharing a meme, “To bad we can’t get paid for hunting Muslims in Europe.” How about that, Gov. Abbott? Still can’t wait to pardon him?

But that’s not all prosecutors want on the record about what Perry was up to online. They also have him searching for “good chats to meet young girls” and messaging with multiple underage girls, with the strong implication that he had a sexual relationship with one too young to have her driver’s license. This is the guy Greg Abbott wants to make into a heroic martyr of the right.

There are also some messages exchanged that you really want more context on, like this one:

OUTGOING MESSAGE: “He is now saying they threaten him.

”JUSTIN SMITH: “Probably. Sounds like he got kidnapped.”

OUTGOING MESSAGE: “Look just fix it.”

JUSTIN SMITH: “Literally how.”

OUTGOING MESSAGE: “By ensuring this never happens again contacting me and my father if he contacts you.”

JUSTIN SMITH: “I’m sorry.”

OUTGOING MESSAGE: “And tell me if the money shows up.”

That exchange goes on from there, concluding:

OUTGOING MESSAGE: “I am legally not allowed to talk about said issue anymore.”

OUTGOING MESSAGE: “I will hit you up on the DL.”

Daniel Perry was obsessed with protests, especially protests for racial justice. He was specifically interested in when it was permissible to kill protesters. He was also sharing racist memes, saying his own personal racist stuff, and hitting on teenage girls. This guy is a real prince. And Abbott isn’t the only Republican who has defended him:

Maybe Republicans will back away from Perry a little bit following the revelations in this filing, with their racism and obsession with teenage girls and evidence of premeditation. But that’s not a given. And even if they back away now, they were willing to go with him right up to murder. This is where we are right now: Major politicians in one of the major parties support murderers if the murderer is on their side politically and the victim was on the other side. It’s hard to see how you come back from that.

Reprinted with permission from Daily Kos.

We Need More Immigrants -- And Less Lying About Immigration

We Need More Immigrants -- And Less Lying About Immigration

On Christmas eve in Washington, D.C., the temperature plunged to 15 degrees Fahrenheit, the coldest on record. In our neighborhood, people were admonishing their neighbors for leaving dogs outside too long. "It's friggin' 15 degrees!"

And yet, the governor of Texas nonetheless decided to dump another 130 men, women and children — some wearing just T-shirts — on the doorstep of Vice President Kamala Harris' official residence. Three buses arrived between 8 and 10 p.m., and, thanks to the work of volunteers, the dazed and confused migrants were offered blankets and conveyed to local churches. Several restaurants donated food. So the immigrants were OK. But without that intervention, we must assume that the bus drivers were under instructions to leave them there, in a residential neighborhood, on a frigid night, wearing only light clothing, not speaking the language and having no idea where they were.

This brings to 8,700 the number of immigrants Gov. Greg Abbott has shipped to the District this year. Another 6,520 have been bused to New York, Chicago and Philadelphia.

When, in a similar attention-seeking stunt, Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis flew a planeload of asylum seekers to Martha's Vineyard, it was at least in September. The two Republican governors are in a heartlessness duel. Perhaps the next step will be to shoot would-be migrants in the legs as Trump demanded in 2019.

Yes, this country is being swamped by would-be immigrants, and a mature polity would address the problem with sensible reforms. But that's not what the governors of Florida and Texas are demanding. They and their right-wing media claque are saying that immigrants are clamoring for admission to the United States only because President Joe Biden has an "open borders" policy.

They repeat this mantra even though it contradicts another of their favorite talking points, namely that the border patrol has experienced record numbers of encounters with would-be crossers. Customs and Border Protection reports that agents had 2.2 million encounters with illegal border crossers in fiscal year 2022 — a new record. (Many are repeat crossers.) If the border were truly open, the border patrol would not be apprehending anyone, right? They'd be standing aside and waving them on in.

In fact, the constant GOP refrain about the border being "open" may actually be aggravating the problem by disseminating the impression around the globe that it's worth making the attempt to get into the United States.

Here is the complicated reality. It is not Biden's fault that so many people want to come to the United States. There was a big jump in border encounters under the Trump administration as well (from 310,531 in fiscal year 2017 to 859,501 in fiscal year 2019 — the numbers plunged temporarily during the COVID-19 pandemic). People want to come here because 1) so many nations around the globe are hellish and a number of those are within walking distance; 2) this is a place where people with a good work ethic can get ahead and enjoy the blessings of liberty; 3) our immigration laws and rules are confusing.

A 1980 law permits migrants to ask for asylum. Unfortunately, it requires asylum seekers to be physically present in the country — thus the crush at the border. Also, word is out around the world that you can claim fear of persecution and at least get a hearing (though 75 percent of claims are rejected, which may be less well understood). So many have attempted to take advantage of this avenue that the backlog of cases now stands at 1.29 million. Perhaps one way to handle the hordes of people hoping to gain admittance is to clarify the asylum criteria. Another possible reform is to permit people to make an asylum claim at the U.S. embassy in their countries.

Here's another solution to the immigration problem — welcome more legal immigrants!

More immigration is in our national interest. Even aside from the injection of vitality that immigrants always provide, we are suffering from a serious labor shortage. The wait for green cards, even for those who've been fully vetted, can be insanely long because our needlessly complicated law imposes caps by country of origin. Immigrants from India and China, for example, can wait their entire working lives.

We are starved for workers. Americans are paying more for food, housing, and other commodities and services due to the severe labor shortage. We have backlogs of already-vetted immigrants, asylum-seekers with credible claims, and refugees who would gratefully (dare I say tearfully) accept jobs and lives in this country if we could only get out of our own way.

But our politics is poisoned by the demagogues who speak of immigrants as "invaders" and warn of catastrophe if we don't close our border. In contrast to the finest traditions of this country, which at its best has been a haven for the persecuted and a friend to the oppressed, they are treating immigrants as enemies. No — worse. Enemies would be entitled to the protections of the Geneva conventions, which would prohibit what Greg Abbott did on Christmas Eve.

Mona Charen is policy editor of The Bulwark and host of the "Beg to Differ" podcast. Her most recent book is Sex Matters: How Modern Feminism Lost Touch with Science, Love, and Common Sense. To read features by other Creators Syndicate writers and cartoonists, visit the Creators Syndicate webpage at www.creators.com.

Reprinted with permission from Creators.

While Abbott Traffics Migrants, Texas Electric Grid Freezes Again

While Abbott Traffics Migrants, Texas Electric Grid Freezes Again

Before and on Christmas Day 2022, much of the United States suffered extreme weather — from record snowfall and blizzard conditions in Buffalo to severe cold in Colorado and Kansas. Temperatures fell to 9F in Atlanta, 8F in New York City and 12F in Washington, D.C. Thousands of flights had to be canceled, and weather-related fatalities occurred everywhere from upstate New York to Tennessee.

Texas suffered effects from the weather as well, bringing back memories of the February 2021 blackout and once again reminding Texans of the vulnerability of their energy grid.

On Christmas Day, Newsweek’s Fatma Khaled reported, “Texas Gov. Greg Abbott is facing a grid ‘emergency’ this holiday weekend due to an electric energy shortage as an arctic blast causes failures at power plants in the state. The U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) on Friday, (December 23) declared that an emergency exists in Texas ‘due to a shortage of electric energy, a shortage of facilities for the generation of electric energy, and other causes.’”

On December 23, according to Khaled, the Electric Reliability Council of Texas (ERCOT) “requested” an “emergency order” that it be allowed to “exceed the usual federal air quality restrictions” that day because of the weather and the energy demands it was facing.

In February 2021, Texas suffered a major crisis when it experienced unusually cold weather and a widespread blackout occurred — leaving millions of Texans without heat or electricity during freezing temperatures. Fox News’ Tucker Carlson and other far-right media pundits claimed that green energy caused the blackout because it couldn’t handle the colder weather, which was nonsense; the vast majority of Texas’ energy comes from fossil fuels, not green energy.

Moreover, Scandinavian countries that typically get much colder than Texas during the winter months use green energy extensively without any problem. Texas’ problem in 2021, rather, was that its power grid had not been properly winterized. Former Rep. Beto O’Rourke, Texas’ 2022 Democratic gubernatorial nominee, sounded the alarm about Texas’ energy problems during his campaign and stressed that GOP incumbent Abbott was dropping the ball; regardless, Abbott was reelected, defeating O’Rourke by 11 percent.

Khaled reported that on December 23, “Reliant Energy, which serves over 1.5 million Texans, urged its customers to reduce their energy usage by limiting the use of large appliances. Temperatures in some parts of Texas reached a low of 1 degree by Thursday night, according to the National Weather Service (NWS). Meanwhile, wind gusts reached up to 40 miles per hour in areas in North Texas, The Texas Tribune reported.”

Khaled added, “Many Texans experienced power outages on Friday amid strong winds and the brutally cold temperatures, with more than 77,000 customers losing power, according to PowerOutage.us. As of Sunday afternoon, a little more than 5000 customers were without power. Still, Texas officials assured residents that the power grid is up and running despite the challenges, and that the grid will not be severely impacted as it was in February 2021 when three severe winter storms and frigid temperatures stressed the grid.”

Reprinted with permission from Alternet.