Thursday, August 31, 2006

He Was JUST Joking

Republicans get accused of leaking CIA information and outing the covert agents and they want to somehow turn the issue against us somehow about not being patriotic because President Bush said the other day we're asking questions about the Iraq War and the intelligence information. They always play offense and I think that that's an important lesson.Chet Edwards

It follows that one of the most sensational charges leveled against the Bush White House — that it orchestrated the leak of Ms. Plame's identity to ruin her career and thus punish Mr. Wilson — is untrue.

Nevertheless, it now appears that the person most responsible for the end of Ms. Plame's CIA career is Mr. Wilson. Mr. Wilson chose to go public with an explosive charge, claiming — falsely, as it turned out — that he had debunked reports of Iraqi uranium-shopping in Niger and that his report had circulated to senior administration officials. He ought to have expected that both those officials and journalists such as Mr. Novak would ask why a retired ambassador would have been sent on such a mission and that the answer would point to his wife. He diverted responsibility from himself and his false charges by claiming that President Bush's closest aides had engaged in an illegal conspiracy. It's unfortunate that so many people took him seriously.

Sorry Chet, you took him seriously when Joe was just poking for fun.

Wednesday, August 30, 2006

It's Not the Money, It's the Message It Sends

What is the correct ethical response of elected representatives when juggling the act of constituent requests with the responsibilities of serving the nation? Chet Edwards (D) boasts of his efforts to protect those serving in our military. The jackalope has made it clear she is skeptical of his efforts, and his dealings with constituent insurance company American Amicable is a case in point.

According to Congressional Committee Meeting hearings, one of the products American Amicable offered was mutual funds with a 50% first-year commission — a product that has virtually disappeared from the civilian market. The reasons behind the success of marketing such a punitive product to the recruits are: their young age, their financial inexperience, and the use of retired military officers to make on-base compulsory briefings that turn out to be a sales pitch boiler room.

American Amicable approached their representative Chet Edwards for help. They were seeking a stay against a ban prohibiting them from selling insurance and financial products on military bases, stateside and overseas because of fraudulent practices and specious products. Edwards chose not to examine the dubious practices of his constituent even though they were a recognized predator of the same military he swears he champions. Edwards facillitated a meeting between his predator constituent and a Lt. General, who just happened to be the new bride of his long-time friend in partisan congressional politics, Martin Frost (D). The predator constituent company promised their days of "miscreatin'" were behind them. The Lt. General said "Okay, then." A certain amount of money was added to the Congressman's campaign war chest. And voila, the ban was stopped and on the hustle went.

The jackalope is always stunned by the paltry sum people accept in exchange for doing something sleazy to another person. But that's another issue. In the tempest of ethics, constituents, war chests, and standing firm for our military, it seems the military always gets a pounding when Chet's on the case. It was never about the money, it's just the message it sent.

Tuesday, August 29, 2006

A Good Shepherd is Not a Demagogue

When deciding who will represent us in government it would be useful to contrast each candidate with the character of a good shepherd. The good shepherd would risk his own life to defend his flock from thieves and predators while resisting the impulse to tell scary stories to the vulnerable lambs of what their life would be like without him. The good shepherd sings lullabies of comfort and safety while shouldering the burdens of responsibilty to the flock on himself. This is not to imply that the good shepherd does not prepare his sheep for hardships to come. Should the grazing become sparse, the good shepherd prepares his flock for the rugged journey to a new meadow. He comforts the new mothers to fear not for their young, because he is there to carry those that falter or grow weary. The rams are encouraged because of the steadfastness of their shepherd. When the shepherd calls them to follow, they step out in trust knowing that their shepherd will provide their needs to the utmost of his ability. The shepherd is prepared with food and water for the journey and travels with purpose seasoned by grace. These are the qualities of a good leader.

Here in District 17 we are currently represented by a demagogue rather than a good shepherd. The demagogue unnecessarily scares his flock of constituents in order to gain power. The specific target of Chet Edwards (D-TX) is veterans and he never misses an opportunity to scare them. His own campaign site is full of articles that detail his fear-mongering efforts disguised as the work of the good shepherd.

Consider this article by the Associated Press headlined:
Lawmakers Work To Fill $1 Billion Gap In Funding For VA
Previous efforts failed in wake of pressure by GOP to keep spending levels down

According to the opening lines, Chet speaks in the tone of a good shepherd protecting his flock. The article is definitely written in a manner that would make the reader believe so. The story ends well with the VA receiving $1.5 billion to cover the $1 billion shortfall, but that wasn't because of Chet's work but rather the work of Senator Kay Bailey Hutchison (R-TX).

In the previous link it was the tiny quote by Rep. Jeb Hensarling that revealed Chet's character. Chet Edwards is one of a handful of representatives serving on both the budget and appropriations committtees. Each committee has rules concerning issues that can be addressed: appropriation issues in appropriation committees and budget issues in buget committees. Bringing up an appropriation issue for the VA in a budget committee meeting was calculated to net sound bites to scare the bejeebers out of the targeted victims. Presenting the request for the VA before the Appropriations Committe of which he is the Ranking Minority leader, would have been the appropriate forum, but would not have generated the sparks necessary for enflamed rhetoric. "I was accused of making partisan attacks."

But the partisan stunt was executed not only to scare our veterans, but also to create a political embarrassment for the administration. Chet's plan involved raising taxes and increasing the budget deficit and would be totally unacceptable to Republicans who are cutting taxes to grow the economy and bring down the budget deficit. Viewed logically, Chet's actions were: a) politically oriented rather than a pragmatic service to the nation and b) a self-serving and malicious attack on the peace of mind of our veterans and those now in service.

I'm grateful to know the Good Shepherd and I hope He is your Shepherd, too. By His Grace, the Good Shepherd is a friend of mine. You, Chet Edwards, are no good shepherd.

Monday, August 28, 2006

The B/CS Eagle Has Decided

The Jackalope has learned from reliable sources that a favorable article on Van Taylor was spiked by The Eagle. The reporter is no longer available for comment. We wish her well in her journalistic career.

The Jackalope is not surprised by this information as her voice was also silenced by The Eagle.

Trick Rider

Chet Edwards (D) finally requested removal of a Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee internet ad showing flag draped coffins of American soldiers killed in Iraq. The furor over the ad, along with Chet’s request, finally caused the ad to be pulled after 2 1/2 weeks of collecting campaign donations for congressional Democrats. Concerning the effectiveness of the ad: “It was more successful than we’d ever dreamed,” said DCCC spokesman Bill Burton.

Are we to believe that Chet, after eight terms in Congress, was totally unaware of the production of the offensive ad?

Or did he know, but was unable to stop Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) from producing and running it?

Or did the ad run its full intended course, with Chet, feigning outrage, continuing his charade as a Democratic Party maverick by finally demanding its removal?

Or maybe he's just a trick rider on two ponies fixin' to rip his pants.

The Truth Should Hit Everybody

Although heralded as a hawk on the War on Terror, the Jackalope has searched the web extensively for Chet Edwards' (D) quotes to substantiate this claim. When fellow congressman Jack Murtha (D-PA) was attacking our troops, Chet Edwards made this ambiguious statement:
It sends a message that the American people are increasingly unsure about the operations of the Iraq war and that it is no longer a debate over whether one is a hawk or a dove, but should we be or should we not be in Iraq. People would make a mistake if they attack (Murtha) personally.

Hardly a resounding defense of our troops and overlooks the obvious message Murtha's comments sent to our enemies — the guys shooting at our military. Chet always seems ready for a quick partisan dig. Here he neither defended the troops nor condemned Murtha. The truth should hit's time Chet was smacked.

Saturday, August 26, 2006

Who's Your Daddy?

TX Congressional Dist. 17 Election 2006
Van Taylor vs. Chet Edwards

We all know the classic western script where the larger than life cattleman solves the problem of settlers moving in, or the widow owning the land with the spring fed lake, by hiring a dark, nasty man to take care of the problem. The big cattleman never wants to actually know the methods of his man because knowing ignites complicity, which could land even a cattle baron in front of the judge.

The dark, nasty hired man wants power and prestige and he doesn’t care what he has to do to get it. He’s a ham-fisted brawler able to knock a man standing in his way down to the dirt quick. He enjoys eliciting fear when he walks down the street or into a room.

Here in the Brazos Valley that man is Chet Edwards (D) of the spread called District 17. Chet maintains an iron grip on his territory by sinking his big hands into the Federal Trough and bringing home the bacon. Edwards swaggers into town bragging about how he not only pushed aside any lesser beings standing in line at the House Bank but makes it sound like he forced all the other congressmen to toss their own wallets into his hat so he could bring back even more. Like our cattle baron, the recipients of this mammon may not like his methods, but acknowledge he does get the job done. Some may even quietly grin at Chet’s strong-arm tactics; giving a wink and a nod to his devilish nature and marveling at how he seems to get away with it.

But just because Chet brings home the bacon don’t confuse him with Daddy. Chet’s the kind of man that would drive your underage daughter across state lines so she can get an abortion without parental consent. Having a 100% NARAL rating gets big campaign dollars along with the added bonus of striking fear into those suckers in Congress with moral convictions.

As recipients of Chet's money we should be aware of the blood attached. Are we willing as a society to build great monuments at the expense of innocents? Can we maintain an advancing society by undermining the moral foundations? Should we accept the money without asking how it was obtained? Does blood money really spend just like cash?

This election will tell if the Brazos Valley is still a safe place for the settlers or if an immoral thug has outgunned us.
No one can serve two masters. Either he will hate the one and love the other, or he will be devoted to the one and despise the other. You cannot serve both God and Money.
Matthew 6:24

Friday, August 25, 2006

Chet's Tax Irons are in the Fire - Beware

When it comes to taxes, Chet Edwards has more than one iron in the fire. If it's the homemaker's iron, he believes tax cuts are good. He said, "This helps working families to better meet their own family budgets while freeing up more dollars to put back into the economy." Now that makes sense to me even though I'm not a Harvard Business School graduate like Chet. When the marriage penalty tax is repealed then families have more money to spend. The money they spend helps build the economy. As the economy improves, wages increase and new jobs are created. When wages increase, the taxes collected by government increase and the government collects more money than projected. So, the little homemaker iron in Chet's fire is a "good" iron because it makes money for the government. Now, that's a sweet deal.

But Chet's got another iron in the fire--the class warfare iron. Watch out for innocent bystanders when Chet's swinging this red-hot branding iron. Evidently tax cuts for the rich don't grow the economy like the little homemaker tax cut did. Chet said, "This sends a terrible message to our troops here at home, in Iraq, and Afghanistan that this Congress would cut $507 million in vital military construction projects and $735 million from military healthcare in order to pay for the tax cuts they passed just a few days ago." Recognize the smell of a burning red herring?

It's a nasty low blow. Caring nothing for the military he says he protects, Chet casually burns the peace of mind of our brave men and women in uniform to use that class warfare branding iron one more time. Talk about striking while the iron is hot…maybe it's more like time to pull the plug.
Beware of the dogs, beware of the evil worker...Philippians 3:2a

Thursday, August 24, 2006

Chet's Demagoguery Rebuked II

TX Congressional Dist. 17 Election 2006 Post 7
Van Taylor vs. Chet Edwards

It's true Van Taylor owns EXXON MOBIL stock and he respects and even reveres the words "... that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty, and the Pursuit of Happiness..." The American pursuit of happiness is what drives men like his Great-Grandfather to pursue a dream that became a world-wide company, a giant of industry. Yes, he inherited EXXON stock but what Mr. Edwards won't tell young people is that he voted against privatizing your own social security account.

Through privatization, young people could direct their own account; investing their own money in an assortment of approved mutual funds and stocks, experiencing the creation of wealth and even will the proceeds to their heirs just like Van's family has been able to do. He believes young people should have the opportunity to equality through investing their own retirement funds in proven growth funds like EXXON MOBIL stock instead of the current social security method which is to write young people an I.O.U. and file it in a metal file cabinet. No investment, no interest, no future wealth.

Who needs a hindrance when it comes to oil?

TX Congressional Dist. 17 Election 2006 Post 6
Van Taylor vs. Chet Edwards

Van Taylor's Great-Grandfather was a visionary who helped found a company that not only provides gasoline at the best market price possible, but created jobs for hundreds of thousands of men and women. Today, EXXON MOBIL stock is owned by teachers and other state employees through Teacher Retirement Funds because it is a dependable growth investment. If Mr. Edwards cared about the price of oil, he would have voted for drilling for oil in ANWAR when he voted for drilling for natural gas in the Gulf and on the Pacific and Atlantic coasts. When Mr. Edwards finally votes to override the 25 year old ban on drilling off-shore... well, he's been there for 16 of those 25 years and how long have regular Americans known that America was too dependent on Middle East Oil? Van Taylor's family participates in creating a product that keeps America moving forward while Chet's been a hindrance for 16 years.

Reconquistadors vs. The Rule of Law

TX Congressional Dist. 17 Election 2006 Post 5
Van Taylor vs. Chet Edwards

170 years ago, men inside The Alamo drew a line in the sand solidifying their resolve in resisting a despot and his desire to re-negotiate land grants previously signed and sealed in the Mexican court of law. It was this blatant disregard of the rule of law that united Mexican citizens, both brown and white, to declare their independence and create a new man, a man of myth and legend, The Texan.

The rule of law is the greatest ideal in preserving the rights of man by encouraging peace, stability, and the continuity of civilization. The rule of law defends all men equally and apart from war, is the only thing that stands between common men and despotism.

The willingness to defend the rule of law is what established the Republic of Texas and what makes the state of Texas the wealth creator it is today. Only those that covet the property of others are desirous of overthrowing the rule of law. We must resist those that would make promises that will never be honored to those ignorant to the benefits they enjoy because of that rule of law.

A Strong Mexico

TX Congressional Dist. 17 Election 2006 Post 4
Van Taylor vs. Chet Edwards

…it is very true that I threw up my cap for liberty with great ardor, and perfect sincerity, but very soon found the folly of it. A hundred years to come my people will not be fit for liberty. They do not know what it is, unenlightened as they are, and under the influence of a Catholic clergy, a despotism is the proper government for them, but there is no reason why it should not be a wise and virtuous one.
Santa Anna during interviews
after his capture at San Jacinto

The Mexican government is now only two elections into the establishment of a second political party since these words by Santa Anna doomed the Mexican people to a future of despotism. A one party system invites cronyism and corruption and is hardest on the poor and powerless. Van Taylor will work with President Bush to promote a foreign policy that gives stability and continuity to the 2 party democratic system now just beginning to emerge in Mexican politics. A strong democratic/republic government in Mexico is in the best interest of the United States and the best way to halt the need of illegals to leave their homeland in order to provide for their families.

Chet's Demagoguery Rebuked

TX Congressional Dist. 17 Election 2006 Post 3
Van Taylor vs. Chet Edwards

No attack on a Texas oil man ever put gas in an 18-wheeler!

Chet Edwards On Drugs

TX Congressional Dist. 17 Election 2006 Post 2
Van Taylor vs. Chet Edwards

A word to our young voters on Chet’s idea of equality. Every job you apply for today seems to require random drug tests. You understand that it’s dangerous to your employers and fellow employees to have a person working under the influence. You live in a “You use, you lose” world. And that’s the law and you know its requirements. But that’s just for you in the private sector because Chet voted NO on subjecting federal workers to random drug tests. That’s Chet Edwards on drugs. Scary, very scary.

Play Until You Pay

TX Congressional Dist. 17 Election 2006 Post 1
Van Taylor vs. Chet Edwards

Chet’s a midnight basketball kind of guy when it comes to juvenile crime. He supports spending $61 million to fund Girls and Boys clubs which could be a real service to our community, but not when the $61 million was diverted from money allocated for violent offender imprisonment and truth-in-sentencing programs. Mr. Edwards also voted NO when it came to appropriating $1.5 billion for states to improve their juvenile justice operations: building and renovating juvenile correction facilities, hiring juvenile judges and probation officers, and most importantly development and administration of a graduated sanctions program for juvenile offenders.

However, if wayward children push that criminal free throw line until a heinous act receives the death penalty, Chet turns into an unwavering hard-liner. He voted NO on replacing death penalty with life imprisonment and YES on making death penalty appeals harder. So, with Chet it’s “Midnight Basketball” until you get the death penalty. Where’s the mercy in that? Any parent knows that instilling personal discipline and character in a young person is an everyday task. Justice is the correct response for each stage of infraction. That’s why implementing a graduated sanctions program is so important. With Chet, it’s play until you pay — big time.