Tag: Gov. Abbott

Speaking Truth to Power: The Real Deal

 

Governor Abbott of Texas actually did speak truth to power instead of just speechify about it when he handed “President” Biden the following letter pointing out how miserably — criminally?— this pathetic excuse for a Commander-in-Chief has violated his oath of office in many ways, in this instance, about the border.

The full letter is below, but here is the main charge: “…you have violated your constitutional obligation to defend the States against invasion through faithful execution of federal laws.” Would that more Governors and others in positions of leadership other than just Gov. Abbott and, of course, our Governor, Ron DeSantis, have the [_ _ _ _ _] to tell this wretched, corrupt old pol to his face how he is destroying his own country, the one he took a solemn oath (I’m so old, I remember when that meant what it said) to defend.

Honorable Burial Policy

 

Greg Abbott Ashli BabbittNewsmax is good at clickbait headlines and videos but falls far short in real reporting on the apparent Air Force refusal to support military burial honors for Ashli Babbitt, an honorably discharged Air Force veteran. The Newsmax story just features the angry, grieving mother and one attempt to call one military office before publication. There is not even a minimal effort to check the basic policy and law behind death benefits and military honors for veterans. Newsmax baits, I dig for your consideration, and leave you with a provocative possibility.

There are two pieces to the federal government honoring a veteran in death. The first piece is burial benefits, including burial in certain cemeteries, grave markers, and a folded flag. These are the statutory responsibility of the U.S. Department of Veterans’ Affairs (the VA). The second piece is a military honor detail at the internment, what used to be called a burial detail. This is a statutory duty of the Department of Defense. Each service has a duty to its own, fulfilled by active duty, and drilling Guard and Reserve service members. The statutory minimum is two service members in the military honors detail.

The general rule is that veterans who were separated from service under honorable or general conditions are entitled to certain VA burial benefits and military honors. Not surprisingly, then, the relevant law shows up in both Title 10 (Armed Forces) and Title 38 (Veterans’ Benefits). Here are the relevant bits, with emphasis added:

A New Constitutional Convention Is Not the Conservative Option

 

citizenshipday09The other day Peter Robinson asked what I thought of Texas Gov. Greg Abbott’s call for a constitutional convention. (Peter will be interviewing Gov. Abbott for Uncommon Knowledge early next month.)

The conservative in me thinks a constitutional convention is a bad idea because of the inability to limit the convention’s work. We could go in with a Constitution with a separation of powers, federalism, and a Bill of Rights, and emerge with a wholly new framework of government that merges all state power into one government, as in Great Britain or Europe. A convention’s work would still have to gain three-quarters approval of the states under Article V, though the Convention could reject that process too.

Think of where a majority of the nation is right now. Majorities regularly disapprove of the rights in the Bill of Rights, not just those protecting criminal defendants, but also the First and Second Amendments. I don’t see Citizens United and Heller surviving a majoritarian convention. My sense is that a majority of the country probably would do away with federalism (if indeed a majority would still support the welfare state) and much of the separation of powers (judging by Trump’s success, the people would support transferring more power to the President from Congress).