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Greg Abbott: Texas has a Shitweasel in the Governor's Mansion


Cartmann99
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I don't want to continue clogging up the main governor's thread for those who have no interest in Abbott's shenanigans.

New order strips local officials' ability to set capacity limits amid high hospitalizations, stresses 'personal responsibility'

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DALLAS — A new executive order issued Thursday from Gov. Greg Abbott stripped local officials' ability to limit capacity at businesses or to require vaccines or face masks.

Abbott tweeted that the order "emphasizes that the path forward relies on personal responsibility rather than government mandates."

The new order overrides previous orders, so local officials can't restrict business capacity, even if hospitalization rates are over 15% in an area. 

That option was in place last year during the height of the pandemic, and businesses in North Texas were limited to 50% at one point.

The new order comes as hospitalizations reached over 15% on Thursday in the Galveston region, according to the state health department. Other areas are increasing close to that threshold, such as the Belton/Killeen region at 14% and Bryan/College Station region at 12%, according to the state.

On Wednesday, WFAA reached out to county judges who said, at the time, still had the option to limit business capacity if hospitalizations were at 15%.

Now, here can be no COVID-related limits for operating a business or any other establishment, the new order said. School districts or local officials also can't enact mask requirements.

In a virtual interview with WFAA, Dallas County judge Clay Jenkins reacted to the new order, accusing Abbott of making decisions based on what’s best for him politically instead of what’s best for public health.

“The governor will tell you what’s legal based on polling that will help him," Jenkins said. “The virus doesn’t care whether you’re a Democrat or a Republican or whether you’re tired or not tired. It’s just relentlessly looking for a host.”

On Wednesday, Dallas County and Texas both reported the highest number of daily cases since early February.

Texas also set several COVID milestones, Thursday:

More than 10,000 confirmed cases for the first time since Feb. 9. (10,086)

Positivity rate above 15% for the first time since Jan. 27 (15.48%) 

More than 5,000 COVID hospitalizations for the first time since March 4, 2021, at 5,292

Only 52.44% of the eligible Texas population has been fully vaccinated, according to the state.

The CDC's community transmission map measures the level of COVID-19 spread for every county in the U.S. The order says that in areas where the transmission rate is high (the orange and red areas seen in the map below), people are encouraged to wear face masks in areas where it's not feasible to social-distance.

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"Texans are strongly encouraged as a matter of personal responsibility to consistently follow good hygiene, social-distancing and other mitigation practices," the order said.

It said state and local officials should continue to make the vaccine available for eligible people.

Hospitals must submit daily reports of hospital bed capacity to the state. Public and private entities must continue to share COVID test results with the state.

:angry-cussingblack:

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This is from the Houston Chronicle:

Editorial: Gov. Abbott, if you won't lead on masks, get out of the way so school leaders can

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If any of the 45,000 schoolchildren in Alief ISD gets sick or is hospitalized with COVID-19, HD Chambers knows their parents will come banging on his door for answers.

That’s why the superintendent of the southwest Houston school district has dutifully followed science and public health guidance on the pandemic, by the book, for more than a year.

When the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention first recommended closing school buildings and instituting remote learning, Alief schools were quick to abide. When schools were required to report COVID cases to the state, the district created its own dashboard as a one-stop shop for virus-related information. The district has a comprehensive plan for a return to full, in-person learning and is in constant communication with parents and teachers on health protocols.

At a time when public health guidance is constantly evolving about an idiosyncratic virus we’re still trying to understand, Chambers has tried his best to emphasize clarity and common sense in his messaging.

“The way I’ve kept my sanity is I’ve tried to be consistent,” Chambers told the editorial board this week. “I think that’s where a lot of elected officials in general get in trouble is people get frustrated when they start seeing you go back and forth. One day you make a decision based on what you think the science can be, and the next day you make a decision because some political poll tells you (something different).”

But the one thing Chambers cannot do — the one thing that practically every virologist, public health expert, and epidemiologist says will keep children safe — is mandate that everybody wear masks on campus.

“I would feel more comfortable, more confident, if entities had the ability to make that decision based on the local situation,” Chambers said.

Hear that, Gov. Greg Abbott?

At a time when the COVID-19 delta variant is driving a massive surge in cases among unvaccinated people across Texas, and other states with lagging vaccination rates, the governor’s misguided polices have tied the hands of Chambers and other responsible school leaders.

An executive order Abbott issued in May prohibits public schools from requiring masks on campus. This policy was arbitrary and nonsensical from the start. There was little data to support his decision, especially at the time when only 30 percent of the state was vaccinated and the vast majority of children had yet to receive a shot.

A mere two months later, and a fourth wave of the virus is filling hospitals again. The Texas Medical Center reports 245 new COVID patients per day, nearly 100 more than the previous week and almost 200 more than last month. The weekly positivity rate has nearly quadrupled in the past month, from 2.4 percent to 10.8 percent. The delta variant now accounts for more than 80 percent of COVID cases in the country, the CDC said last week.

And yet Abbott continues to double down on his obtuse refrain of “personal responsibility,” telling KPRC on Tuesday, “(Kids) can, by parental choice, wear a mask, but there will be no government mandate requiring masks.”

Buzzwords such as “choice” and “responsibility” sound great in stump speeches but make little sense in terms of public health: one person’s choice to go maskless can affect someone else’s health. Our personal responsibility isn’t limited to protecting our own bodies and families: it includes our responsibility to act in the best interest of our community.

That community includes people who can’t be vaccinated. Among them: more than half of the state’s 5.4 million public school students under age 12, for whom the Food and Drug Administration has yet to approve a vaccine. Wearing a mask provides some measure of protection for a student, but far less if he’s the only kid in class wearing one.

“We’re starting to see a lot of young people — defined loosely as young adults, adolescents and kids — going into hospitals and it's happening a lot more, of course, in communities with low vaccination rates,” Dr. Peter Hotez, director of the Center for Vaccine Development at Texas Children’s Hospital, told the editorial board.

The American Academy of Pediatrics recently updated its back-to-school guidance, recommending that all staff, and students over the age of 2, wear face masks in schools, regardless of whether they are vaccinated. The CDC quickly fell in line on Tuesday, issuing the same guidelines in response to the delta variant, which is more transmittable among children than the original strain.

Of course, it’s probably pointless to urge Abbott to follow medical guidance over the guidance of his political advisers. His priority these days is fending off political challenges from people who equate a life-saving mask requirement with tyranny.

So we’ll make another plea: Governor, if you won’t do what’s best for Texas public schoolchildren, please untie the hands of superintendents across the state to do it for you. They aren’t running a re-election campaign. They don’t care about primary politics. They’re in a better position to decide what’s best for their students.

Some may choose not to mandate masks, but those in communities where the hospitals are filling with COVID patients and where kids are losing unvaccinated grandparents to the disease deserve the freedom to protect their communities.

If some in your party balk, just remind them of a cherished virtue once held by freedom-loving Republicans: local control.

What Texans of all stripes can agree on is that children learn better in-person, not siloed in front of some computer screen away from their peers. What most every parent and teacher wants this fall is for kids to return to the classroom but to return safely.

Kids need to interact with each other on the playground without fear of catching the virus or passing it to family. Teachers need assurance that they won’t be teaching in a petri dish of unvaccinated, unmasked students.

Most have no desire to remain in virtual instruction and even if they did, there’s no money for it. The Legislature deprived districts of that contingency plan by failing to pass a bill to pay for remote learning.

That leaves school leaders with one main tool to protect their campuses from this raging pandemic. It’s simple, painless and proven to keep kids, teachers, and their communities safe.

Governor, rescind your prohibition on commonsense mask requirements that superintendents across Texas implemented successfully last year. We’re not asking you to lead. We’re just asking you to get out of the way so others can.

 

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6 hours ago, Cartmann99 said:

"The way I’ve kept my sanity is I’ve tried to be consistent,” Chambers told the editorial board this week. “I think that’s where a lot of elected officials in general get in trouble is people get frustrated when they start seeing you go back and forth. One day you make a decision based on what you think the science can be, and the next day you make a decision because some political poll tells you (something different)"

An actual leader, leading. I respect that so much.

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Earlier this week:

The response from Merrick Garland:

Spoiler

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Abbott fires back with:

Spoiler

 

"I will take every available step consistent with the law to fulfill my duty to protect the health and safety of all Texans."

Spoiler

black and white life GIF

 

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11 hours ago, Cartmann99 said:

"I will take every available step consistent with the law to fulfill my duty to protect the health and safety of all Texans."

Have you considered... a mask mandate?

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Hey Greg - what are you going to do about unvaccinated white Texans who "pose a risk of carrying COVID?"  

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1 hour ago, Becky said:

Hey Greg - what are you going to do about unvaccinated white Texans who "pose a risk of carrying COVID?"  

Why, nothing of course. White people Covid is a hoax! 

/s

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 Abbott is actually fiddling while Texas burns with Covid. :shock:

In case it gets deleted:

Spoiler

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:doh:

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Every single family who ends up with a child in the hospital due to spread in schools should send him the medical bills.

I hate him so much.  I can't think about him for too long or I can feel my blood pressure rising.

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10 hours ago, Cartmann99 said:

 Abbott is actually fiddling while Texas burns with Covid. :shock:

In case it gets deleted:

  Reveal hidden contents

image.png.e632f616d02953685cce42f4d057a223.png

:doh:

Yeah, Greg, your so-called Patriots are trying to keep Texas red in more ways than one. If you're really lucky, you'll end up a brown on the covid chart instead of your desired red for high spread.

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7 hours ago, danvillebelle said:

Every single family who ends up with a child in the hospital due to spread in schools should send him the medical bills.

I hate him so much.  I can't think about him for too long or I can feel my blood pressure rising.

I know. :angry-fire:

My husband and I had a ghoulish discussion as to whether Abbott's political advisors have calculated what percentage of the various demographic groups in Texas can die before it starts hurting Abbott with Republicans.

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2 hours ago, Cartmann99 said:

I know. :angry-fire:

My husband and I had a ghoulish discussion as to whether Abbott's political advisors have calculated what percentage of the various demographic groups in Texas can die before it starts hurting Abbott with Republicans.

I was thinking about this in both Florida and Texas. Unfortunately the state legislature has things so gerrymandered and they have worked so hard on suppressing voters that they could probably lose about half of the Republican voters in Texas and Florida and still maintain complete power.

Edited by Audrey2
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9 hours ago, Cartmann99 said:

My husband and I had a ghoulish discussion

I wouldn’t classify it as ghoulish per se, but as realistic. Because let’s be honest, attaining and maintaining power is all that a Republican cares about. Nothing more, nothing less. Sacrificing human lives— even Republican lives— does not matter if it means they can hold onto it.

Discussing that is discussing the truth. It’s time more people start doing that, and calling them out on it.

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I truly loathe Greg Abbott.

Spoiler

robin hood lol GIF

 

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I love that Dallas and Austin ISDs basically told him to fuck off.  They will require masks.  ❤️

He's also going to be indirectly taking money away from schools, because anyone with at-risk kids who can afford to will just pull them out and homeschool, whether hands-on or through a virtual academy like K-12.

Edited by danvillebelle
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Part of Houston is in Fort Bend County.

 

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I love it.  The more districts that defy him, the more will gain the courage to do the same, and the more ridiculous his threat will become.  He can't take dozens of districts to court, it would drag out for years.  Or at least until we can vote his sorry ass out of office.

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On 8/8/2021 at 8:30 AM, danvillebelle said:

Every single family who ends up with a child in the hospital due to spread in schools should send him the medical bills.

It's so much worse than this.  A public school is NOT required to alert parents know when another child in a class has COVID.  How f**k up is that?

@Cartmann99, Gov. Abbott has always been awful, but awful in the typical Texas Republican politician kind of way.   It seems in the last year or so, he's gotten magnitudes worse and really gone around the bend to being truly horrible, blatantly appeasing the Trumpist base.  

In this morning's Austin American Statesman:  The Border Patrol is busing  migrant families coming through Laredo directly to Austin, Dallas and Houston, "bypassing the non-profits who were providing testing, quarantine, vaccine and humanitarian aid, amid a resurgence of the COVID pandemic." 

These people, from Central America and Haiti,  and being dumped at bus stations desperately hungry, thirsty,  disoriented and without masks. Non-profits in these cities who could provide help these migrant families were not alerted. 

So while Republicans are screaming about Biden's open borders, the Border Patrol -- the most conservative and retrograde of all Federal institutions -- is putting unvaxxed, unquarantined migrant families on buses to random cities. I'm not hearing Greg Abbott complaining about that. 

 

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28 minutes ago, Howl said:

It's so much worse than this.  A public school is NOT required to alert parents know when another child in a class has COVID.  How f**k up is that?

@Cartmann99, Gov. Abbott has always been awful, but awful in the typical Texas Republican politician kind of way.   It seems in the last year or so, he's gotten magnitudes worse and really gone around the bend to being truly horrible, blatantly appeasing the Trumpist base.  

In this morning's Austin American Statesman:  The Border Patrol is busing  migrant families coming through Laredo directly to Austin, Dallas and Houston, "bypassing the non-profits who were providing testing, quarantine, vaccine and humanitarian aid, amid a resurgence of the COVID pandemic." 

These people, from Central America and Haiti,  and being dumped at bus stations desperately hungry, thirsty,  disoriented and without masks. Non-profits in these cities who could provide help these migrant families were not alerted. 

So while Republicans are screaming about Biden's open borders, the Border Patrol -- the most conservative and retrograde of all Federal institutions -- is putting unvaxxed, unquarantined migrant families on buses to random cities. I'm not hearing Greg Abbott complaining about that. 

 

That's because it is the cities who tend to be less red and Austin and Dallas have defied Abbott and are mandating masks in the schools.  It's punitive.

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We should tell Greg Abbott that after Covid takes out enough Republicans, it's going to open a statewide chain of 24-hour abortion clinics.

We'd have a mask mandate before sunset. 😏

 

 

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Greg Abbott is so very Catholic and the Catholic church is NOT in agreement with his stance towards COVID. 

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I just found out my neighbors went WITH THEIR LITTLE KIDS to visit JoannaGainesLand in TX this week. They are anti-vax, anti-mask, and will likely bring a raging case of Delta variant Covid back here to PA. 😔

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On 8/14/2021 at 5:03 PM, yeahthatsme74 said:

I just found out my neighbors went WITH THEIR LITTLE KIDS to visit JoannaGainesLand in TX this week.

It isn't just a visit, it's a pilgrimage to the Silos!  Our Target (all Targets?) now has a large Magnolia-dedicated section in the middle of the store. It's kind of like Magnolia Pearl did a quaaludes/Valium cocktail with a pot gummie chaser. 

Walking through that is as much as much Magnolia as I need. 

ETA: I find the sort of modern farmhouse aesthetic OK, so I'm no snarking on that. 

Just not my style preferences, which seem to be mismatched furniture + clutter, unfinished projects, mega number of pins on Pinterest and newspapers piling up. 

 

 

Edited by Howl
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It is mind blowing to me that you would risk your own life and the lives of your children to travel anywhere right now simply to buy things that have a Magnolia label on them. 

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