Friday, July 17, 2015

A National Embarrasment

Texas Governor Greg Abbot is a national embarrassment. You'd have thought George W. would be the most embarrassing governor in Texas's history. Then Rick Perry came along. Now Abbott has managed to slither under even that low-set bar.

It wasn't bad enough that he bought into the Jade Helm conspiracy nonsense. Or, if he didn't actually believe it himself, he apparently felt obliged to pander to the lowest-IQ portion of the electorate and, frankly I don't know which is worse.

Anyway, if that wasn't crazy/stupid enough, now there's this:

Scientology Group Urged Veto of Mental Health Bill

After a Church of Scientology-backed group helped organize a campaign against it, Gov. Greg Abbott vetoed legislation that would have given Texas doctors more power to detain mentally ill and potentially dangerous patients, according to records obtained by The Texas Tribune.
Yep, now he's pandering to Scientologists of all people. Maybe he's the one person in America who didn't see or at least hear about "Going Clear?"

I mean, you do know these people are nuts, right? Well, the believers in Scientology are nuts, the ones running it may just be running the most hugely successful long-con since some Japanese chef convinced people that sushi is food.

But surely it can't just be because the Scientologists objected, right? There was peobably something in the bill that caused conservative Texans to rail against it. Maybe it involved an expenditure of tax monies? The bill must have been controversial, no?

The governor's early June veto of Senate Bill 359 caught many of the measure’s proponents off-guard. The legislation had sailed through the House and Senate with little debate and only a handful of negative votes — and during committee hearings in both chambers, a range of mental health advocates, medical groups and law enforcement officials showed up to testify in its favor.

So, Republicans, Democrats, doctors and police were all in favor of this bill? So who was against it, besides the insane cult that is Scientology?

In a letter hand-delivered to the governor’s office on May 20, the “SB 359 Veto Coalition” said the bill threatened the “delicate balance” between providing “access to humane care and treatment for persons suffering from mental illness and safeguarding the person’s legal right." It characterized the bill as granting “sweeping powers” to hospitals that could lead to fraudulent mental health detentions and threaten a patient’s right to refuse medical care.
Others lending their names to the letter included the Texas Home School Coalition, the League of United Latin American Citizens, the anti-vaccine group Parents Requesting Open Vaccine Education and Texans for Accountable Government, a libertarian organization currently campaigning to stop water fluoridation in Austin.

 So, a crazy cult, crazy home-schoolers, crazy anti-vaxxers and crazy Birchers? An entire coalition of unhinged imbeciles that are scared of science? That's the anti-this-bill constituency and Abbott actually went along with them? He sided with the dimwits, dullards, dolts and dunces over cops and doctors?
And, yes, also the League of United Latin American Citizens, who may or may not be crazy - I've never heard of them- and did actually have a legitimate concern about the law being used to incarcerate recent immigrants, but no one thinks for a second that a Latino group had any influence on Gov Abbott. Generally, he would have voted against them just to prove his anti-brown-people bona fides.

Mary Jensen, executive director of the San Antonio branch of the National Alliance on Mental Illness, who worked to shore up support for the bill throughout the legislative process, said she was “very surprised” by the veto.
“Right now, [doctors] cannot legally hold [patients], even though they know they are a danger to themselves, or they might go back to their house and harm their family members. There is nothing a doctor can do,” said Jensen.
So there's a decent chance that some Texans may be hurt or killed because of this. Because the governor of an actual state of the USA took mental health policy advice from people who think that psychiatry is a fraud because all mental problems are caused by the ghosts of dead martians that are attached to everybody.

So, congratulations, Texas. Three governors in a row that are national embarrassments. Each one worst than the last!