Everything's big in Texas. That truism applies to PR stunts. By dispatching 1,000 National Guard troops to the Mexico border, Governor Rick Perry is committing a whopper of a PR stunt.
The national spotlight is shining brightly these days on the Lone Star State. The focus is on the human tragedy that is playing out in Texas as thousands of desperate children flee gang violence, poverty and homelessness in Honduras and Guatemala.
That national attention is why Prime-Time Rick, who still considers himself a viable Presidential candidate, is capitalizing on that human misery via his oddly named "Operation Strong Safety," which must be a tip of the Stetson to football, the state's religion.
Now General Perry hasn't ordered his statewide army to corral the kids and ship `em back home. That's against the law. Perry's brigade is to serve as a "visual deterrent," which is worse than a meaningless gesture.
There have been widespread reports that the desperate migrants are throwing themselves into the arms of anyone in uniform north of the border due to the incorrect belief that US authorities will grant amnesty to them.
The Texas National Guard might wind up serving as "official greeters" to the US. That would be a PR blow to Perry, though Wal-Mart would be proud and may hire some of the Guard as greeters in its mega-stores.
And then there is the cost of the deployment. The McAllenMonitor reported that the Guard will cost Texas $12M a month. Perry says the state will dip into budgets for "non-critical" areas such as healthcare and transportation. Poor Texans may dispute Perry's notion of healthcare spending "non-critical."
But the Governor, who cares little for the poor and elderly, is true to form. While Texas has the highest rate of uninsured people (25 percent) among states, Perry fought Obamacare tooth and nail. He also rejected expanded Medicare payments under the Affordable Care Act, thus foregoing about $10B of US matching grants in 2022.
Perry, of course, believes Uncle Sam should pick up the tab of his army's occupation of the Mexican border. Think of it as a contribution to the Perry in 2016 campaign for the White House.
Joe Honick, GMA International Ltd (Jul. 24, 2014): Sam, your comments are of course valid, except you avoided the point I tried to make about the hypocrisy of those who raise hell about the illegal entries while many are also guilty of paying to get those illegals here because we cannot find people to clean toilets and make beds, a modest description of reality not just along the borders. I don't like lots of things Obama does, but I also don't like folks who speak out of both sides...not you, but the ones who do hire those contractors to get the illegals into the country to do work. What do you propose to do about that since it involves stuff that has been going on for years and hardly started with Obama. Did you also comment on the illegals and felons we recruited to fight in Iraq?
Bottom line: I do not support any illegal anything and would hope you would join in some modest probe of the actions that have fed a lot of crooked contractors on the other sides of the borders who have been feeding employers eager to get the cheap labor to do stuff few Americans seem to want to do. Please stay to that point.
As to Governor Perry, he had years before an election period to send all the troops he wanted to the borders. Those folks are robbing you sure as any others, and the wonder is why you avoid the point.
Samuel L Waltz Jr., www.SamWaltz.com (Jul. 23, 2014): I'm afraid I've never met Gov Perry, unlike my next door neighbor Joe Biden (who I've known for 40 years, and who lives a block from me), and Joe and I have discussed issues for the years, dating back to when I covered him as a young reporter in my 20s and Joe was in his 30s. So I'm not certain, Joe Honick, unless you have some kind of mind powers that most of don't, that you could fathom what was the Illegal Invasion (it's an Invasion, not Immigration, which is a LEGAL PROCESS) Tipping Point. And while all of us have immigrated here via ancestors (my own from Germany in the 1850s on my Dad's side, and my mother's Davis-Ball Family into Colonial Virginia), as far as I know, my ancestors -- and I hope your own Joe -- abided by whatever laws existed at the time. In other words, they did not criminally violate laws by sneaking into the country in the middle of the night and continue to remain in violation of law.
The world is full of Needy, and I help my own share, by contributions through the Baptist Church I attend, by more charities that I support than I count, the tithing of my time to needy causes incl helping children of the incarcerated. But, Joe, I'll tell you, Buddy, I didn't sign up to have Obama reach into my checking account, or my meager savings, and confiscate them and redistribute them to children sent here by their parents to suck at the American public teat! Everyone is needy.
If someone sent their kid into a bank to rob because they needed money, they'd be violating the law, creating criminal behavior. Someone who sends kids here to usurp public resources paid for and meant for Americans is also guilty of creating criminal behavior!!!
Joe Honick, GMA International Ltd (Jul. 23, 2014): For Sam and Jack, Kevin is on the real planet. As the first generation product of Ukrainian escapees who fled the daily pogroms, I do not endorse the idea of loose borders, 'BUT I condemn the very hypocrisy of the industries and businesspeople along the borders who pay to get those folks over.k I also have a piece of art that shows a politician screaming at an Indian tribal chief: if you don't like it here, go back where you came from!
Perry could have, if he were not a hypocrite, acted ages ago. I see no mention here of the annual introduction of talented major baseball players from other countries, and I certainly never saw a peep when the vaunted US Chamber of Commerce cited a former SS Colonel named Werner Von Braun as, are you ready? A GREAST LIVING AMERICAN.
I also recall one of the Roosevelts addressing an audience: " Good morning, fellow immigrants."
I also remember reading about the SS St Louis, loaded with Jews fleeing Hitler...and turned away not only by the US but 18 other nations, a reason it was eventually called "The Voyage of the Damned."
This is not a liberal or conservative issue but a humane issue that needs humane consideration that could both stem the tide of illegals(some of whom were recruited to fight in Iraq by the way)while getting some of the benefits of their willingness to work.
Samuel L Waltz Jr (Jul. 23, 2014): Kevin and Joe, it's my impression that Gov Perry's responsibility is to Texans, incl its Poor and Elderly, not to the Poor and Elderly of other nations who decide to invade Texas. Frankly, even as a lifelong Democrat, it strikes me that Gov Perry is protecting the Poor and Elderly Texans from the usurpation of their Freedom, not to mention the confiscation of their Wealth and Income, that would be necessary to fund the illegal presence of invaders and the subsidies they would require. If America decides under this President to continue to thumb its nose at its Constitutionally-mandated Immigration Policies, then what use is Congress in even deciding what kind of America we want by deciding what kind of immigrants we will admit.
Admit it or not, many of my Liberal friends in my own Democrat Party won't admit it (I was VP of the Campus Ds in the 1960s at the U of Illinois), but our once-great America is a lifeboat that is in danger of taking on more than it can handle and it will sink this country into the mediocrity of another 3rd world nation, drowning the American Exceptionalism which made this country great. It's a shame to realize this country's greatest days are in the rear view mirror thanks to such pathetic policies as this President's encouragement of people to criminally -- gang members, drug dealers, and, yes, pathetically poor kids -- slip into this country in the dead of night and begin to usurp the public assets that were built by our parents and our grandparents as their legacy to a generation of Americans!
Jack Trammell (Jul. 23, 2014): Kevin, What planet are you on?
Jack Trammell (Jul. 23, 2014): Kevin, What planet are you on?
Joe Honick, GMA International Ltd (Jul. 22, 2014): If Perry felt this strongly, why in hell did he not dispatch the NG five years ago instead of close to the 2014 election season when he also wants to suggest himself as presidential timber for 2016? BTW, has he also tried to go after those businesspeople who raise hell about illegals while hiring contractors to bring them in because Americans can't be found to clean toilets and bedrooms in hotels or the lofts of the border well to do...or clean up in the hot fields of the farmers? OTH, has anyone in the media ever asked Perry about this?