Politics & Government

Cornyn: Victims of Fort Hood shooting deserve more

Sen. John Cornyn wants Congress to once and for all pass his measure to honor the victims of the 2009 Fort Hood shooting rampage.

He and others have filed measures to give the shooting victims the same honors and benefits that service members serving overseas in combat zones would receive.

“We cannot denigrate the service of those military members who lost their lives that day and this civilian hero, Michael Cahill, who lost his life, by saying that this is somehow workplace violence or just some ordinary criminal attack,” Cornyn said recently. “We need to recognize officially that this was a terrorist attack, inspired by an agent of al Qaeda, carried out by another agent of al Qaeda on our own soil.

“It shouldn’t matter whether they lose their lives in America, whether it’s in New York on 9-11, Killeen, Texas, four years ago, or whether it’s on the battlefield in Afghanistan,” he said. “It shouldn’t make any difference. When they lose their life as part of the effort to protect innocent life in the war on terrorism … then they are casualties of the broader war on terrorism, and they deserve to be treated as such.”

Nidal Malik Hasan was sentenced to death for the deadly shooting in August.

Monday night football?

Texas Agriculture Commissioner Todd Staples wanted to make sure everyone knew how much he was enjoying a debate between candidates for Texas lieutenant governor in Fort Worth last week.

“This is almost as much fun as watching Monday night football,” Staples said with a grin during a forum before the 912 Project Fort Worth last week. “But tonight the Dallas Cowboys can’t get beat — because they’re not playing.”

Staples, state Sen. Dan Patrick of Houston and Land Commissioner Jerry Patterson are challenging Lt. Gov. David Dewhurst for the state’s No. 2 job. They have participated in more than a dozen forums statewide.

Is that a yes?

Few things can match overwhelming enthusiasm for political candidates.

Asked recently whether he was going to run for re-election, “Hecht yes!” was the reply of Nathan Hecht, chief justice of the Texas Supreme Court.


U.S. Rep. Pete Olson, R-Sugar Land, is really unhappy with Attorney General Eric Holder, so much so that on Nov. 14, he introduced articles of impeachment against him.

“For nearly five years, Attorney General Holder has systematically deceived Congress and destroyed the credibility of the Justice Department in the eyes of the American people,” Olson said in a statement. “During his tenure, Mr. Holder refused to cooperate with a congressional investigation into Operation Fast and Furious and the resulting death of a Border Patrol agent, refused to prosecute IRS officials who unlawfully disclosed private tax records to third-party groups, and misled Congress about his involvement in the investigation of a journalist.”

Olson is getting a boost from other Texas Republicans who are co-sponsoring the bill: Reps. Roger Williams of Austin, Bill Flores of Waco, Sam Johnson of Plano, Mike Conaway of Midland, Blake Farenthold of Corpus Christi, Louis Gohmert of Tyler, Steve Stockman of Beaumont and Randy Weber of Pearland.

But he’s not getting much of a boost from House Judiciary Committee Chairman Robert Goodlatte, R-Va., who would initiate proceedings.

“If we determine that there are impeachable offenses, we would look at that. But at this point in time, we think that the process of holding him in contempt and that moving through the courts is where we should watch this right now,” Goodlatte told Al Hunt of Bloomberg News. Holder is fighting a contempt vote from the House for withholding documents on the Fast and Furious gunrunning operation to Mexico.