Tag Archives: Ronny Jackson

Why let an interloper represent the Texas Panhandle in Congress?

I hate what I fear is going to happen to the Texas Panhandle’s 13th Congressional District.

The district’s strong Republican ties are likely to hand the district over to an interloping carpetbagger who doesn’t know the first, second or third thing about the district. But he’s an R and that’s good enough for them.

He is Ronny Jackson, a retired Navy admiral, a physician (and former doc to two presidents, Barack Obama and Donald Trump). He doesn’t know Pantex from Spic ‘n Span, but he’s going to represent the district for at least the next two years after they count the votes in the November election.

I’ll get to the glimmer of good news in just a bit.

I maintain an interest in the 13th District, even though I no longer live there, because my wife and lived there longer than we have anywhere else during our 48 years of married life. The congressman who is leaving Congress, Mac Thornberry, took office the same week I reported for duty at the Amarillo Globe-News in January 1995. So I have told Thornberry that he and I “grew up together” in the Panhandle.

Thornberry, though, has deep roots there, growing up on a ranch in Donley County. So he knows the district he has represented for 25 years … unlike Dr. Jackson — a native of Levelland — who took up residence there only to run for the office he thinks is ripe for the picking. And he’s right.

But … here comes the glimmer of good news.

He won the endorsement of Donald Trump in his primary race. Indeed, Jackson — from all I’ve heard — has spoken only about his close he is to Trump, that he is wedded to the president’s agenda … whatever the hell that is.

The good news? Trump is on course at this moment of losing his bid for re-election. Bigly! He has bungled the presidency at every turn. He has clearly mismanaged the national response to the COVID-19 pandemic. He has sought to divide the nation. Trump spews racist-sounding thoughts.

It is my fondest hope that Joe Biden defeats Trump. If that comes to pass, then what becomes of Dr. Jackson’s main selling point he is using to land a seat in Congress? He likely will be hard-pressed to get the time of day from a Biden administration.

Would that mean it’s one term and then out for the doc?

I just know that my friends in the Texas Panhandle deserve a whole lot better from their congressman than they’re about to receive. At the very least they deserve to be represented by someone who knows the issues relevant to the region.

One more point about The Carpetbagger

I received an email from a longtime friend and former colleague who wanted to add a thought about Ronny Jackson, the Republican congressional nominee who wants to succeed Mac Thornberry in the 13th Congressional District.

My friend, who shall remain anonymous, made a point that I didn’t make in a blog item I posted earlier today. He writes:

Where Jackson permanently lost me was on a tweet a few months ago. The Obama admin hired him as one of his physicians. They gave him a chance. They said some very nice things about him and it was probably instrumental in that he was kept on by Trump.  Despite all of that, he had a tweet that ripped Obama for the absurd spy scandal, and said he was part of the “Deep State.” That didn’t speak well of his character, and just showed me, like Trump, who he worships, he will say anything.

The point my friend made essentially is that Jackson is a member of the Trumpkin Corps. He slobbers all over Donald Trump’s shoes. He trots out the Deep State canard that plays so well within the Trump base of lemmings, er, followers.

What is so terribly troubling to me is that many of my friends who live in the Texas Panhandle — people with whom I have developed wonderful friendships — are going to buy into the claptrap bullsh** that Trump tries to peddle. One of the dire consequences of that blind loyalty is that their interests in Congress will be looked after by a guy — Ronny Jackson — who doesn’t have a clue about the district he likely will be elected to represent.

Get ready for another Texas nut job in Congress

Get ready for another Texas nut job in Congress

Oh, I hate to say this but it’s got to be said: The Texas Panhandle is likely to send a nut job to Congress to represent them and, ostensibly, their interests.

Thirteenth Congressional District Republicans this week nominated Dr. Ronny Jackson to run for the seat being vacated by longtime GOP U.S. Rep. Mac Thornberry. What makes this upcoming contest so fascinating to me — a former 13th District resident — is that Jackson knows next to nothing about the district he likely will be elected to represent. I mean, he’s never lived there … until just in time to run for the House.

Jackson was born in Levelland. He joined the Navy, became a doctor, rose to thank of rear admiral, tended to two U.S. presidents — Barack Obama and Donald Trump — and then retired from the Navy after Trump sought to have him become the secretary of veterans affairs. The nomination didn’t go well. It turns out Jackson has no administrative experience and he also allegedly got caught prescribing drugs in a rather cavalier fashion.

He pulled out of the running for the VA job.  He sought a safe Republican seat and found one in the Texas Panhandle. Thornberry announced he wouldn’t seek a new term and in jumped Admiral/Dr.  Jackson.

He’ll run against the Democrats’ latest sacrificial lamb, Gus Trujillo, who beat a friend of mine, Greg Sagan, in this week’s Democratic runoff.

Now, though, it gets even more interesting. Dr. Jackson says face mask wearing should be an individual choice and has downplayed the importance of face masks in the wake of the COVID crisis that is killing Texans every single day.

I am quite certain that Ronny Jackson’s lunacy quotient doesn’t measure up to that of the guy who nominated him to be VA secretary … but statements like the one he issued about face masks make me wonder.

Texas has elected too many wackos to Congress over the years. The nuttiest of them all is Louie Gohmert, the East Texas birther conspiracist; a close second might be John Ratcliffe, the former Northeast Texas House member who happens to be the current director of national intelligence.

Step aside, gentlemen. You’re about to be joined by a medical doctor/carpetbagger who well could put your wackiness to shame.

Club for Growth channels Empower Texans

I no longer live in the 13th Congressional District of Texas, but I remain interested in the political dynamics of that sprawling region of the state.

The upcoming Republican Party primary runoff election is the latest event to trigger my interest. Retired Navy Admiral/Dr. Ronny Jackson is running against Josh Winegarner for the congressional seat being vacated by longtime GOP Rep. Mac Thornberry.

Winegarner finished first during the primary in a huge field of GOP contenders, but didn’t get enough votes to win the nomination outright; so he’s facing the second place finisher, Jackson.

This is getting interesting. Jackson has received the endorsement of a group called Club for Growth, which an Amarillo political action committee, Amarillo Matters, describes as a group that “raises and spends a lot of money on political races, mostly pitting Republicans against other Republican candidates.”

They’re outsiders, according to Amarillo Matters. Club for Growth has no discernible interest in the 13th Congressional District, except to help elect candidates who hue to its right-wing national agenda. Amarillo Matters compares this outfit to Empower Texans, an Austin-based right-wing advocacy group that does the same thing. Empower Texans, in 2018, sought to unseat state Sen. Kel Seliger and state Rep. Four Price, both of Amarillo … but got its melon thumped by voters in Seliger’s Senate district and Price’s House district.

Amarillo Matters is backing Winegarner, contending that their guy is a locally grown candidate who knows the district. Jackson is a carpetbagger, having never lived within the 13th District.

Amarillo Matters writes: You might remember the name Chris Ekstrom. He’s a multi-millionaire from Dallas who spent more than $1 million trying to buy our congressional seat in the primary election. He was one of fourteen candidates that Winegarner beat by steep margins in March. In that election, Ekstrom received an endorsement from a nation-wide organization named Club for Growth. 

So now this outfit is at it again. It seeks to meddle where it has no real interest or concern. Don’t misunderstand me on this point: I don’t really care whether Winegarner gets the GOP nod. He’s a right-winger, too, and not precisely my kinda congressman. At least, though, he knows the district — unlike the retired naval officer and physician who once treated Presidents Obama and Trump.

Amarillo Matters has done a good job of alerting voters of the 13th Congressional District about what’s going on … supposedly in their name. Stay alert, my former neighbors.

Carpetbagging is in style

We made a quick return this past weekend to the Texas Panhandle to see our son and to, oh, just get away from the house for a bit.

Along the drive both ways along U.S. Highway 287 I noticed campaign signs for a single congressional candidate, a guy named Ronny Jackson, who’s running for the Republican nomination for the 13th Congressional District.

It occurred to me on our drive to Amarillo and then back to the house in Princeton: How did this guy Jackson manage to persuade voters that he knows anything about their needs, their desires, their concerns?

Then it dawned on me: Carpetbagging is in vogue these days.

Jackson has never lived in the 13th CD. He was born in Levelland, which isn’t in the district. He moved away, though, to attend college. He obtained a medical degree. He rose the rank of Navy vice admiral. He served as physician to two presidents: Barack Obama and Donald Trump.

Then he got nominated to become Department of Veterans Affairs secretary. Oops! He got into trouble. He had to back out when it became known that Dr. Jackson drank on the job, over-prescribed certain drugs and didn’t have a lick of administrative experience that qualified him to run a monstrous agency such as the Department of Veterans Affairs.

What does he do then? He runs for Congress in a district being vacated by a longtime Republican House member, Mac Thornberry of Clarendon, who isn’t running for re-election this year.

Jackson is a carpetbagger. He is running against an Amarillo resident, Josh Winegarner of Amarillo, who is not a carpetbagger.

Look, being a stranger to a congressional district or a state while running for public office isn’t new. Robert Kennedy sought a U.S. Senate seat in New York in 1964, with only a passing knowledge of the state; so did Hillary Clinton in 2000; this year we have numerous candidates running for Texas congressional seats who have never lived in those districts.

I don’t have a dog in that fight any longer, as I no longer can vote in the 13th Congressional District. My memory is pretty good, though, and I have trouble understanding how this guy, Ronny Jackson, has positioned himself to possibly be elected this year representing a congressional district about which he knows nothing.

Is this how we define “representative government” these days?

This congressional candidate has rocks in his noggin

Ronny Jackson wants to be elected to a West Texas congressional seat, representing a district where he’s never lived.

However, he is now trying to appeal to the right-wing nut base of the Republican Party by suggesting that President Obama has “weaponized” the federal government in an effort to bring down Donald J. Trump.

Jackson, a retired Navy admiral, put this out via Twitter. “President Obama weaponized the highest levels of our government to spy on President Trump … Every Deep State traitor deserves to be brought to justice for their heinous actions.”

There you go. Did you get that? The punishment for “traitorous” acts is death. If you read that the way I read it, Admiral Jackson is calling for the execution of the former president of the United States.

What a crock!

Jackson is running for the GOP nomination in a runoff election in the 13th Congressional District, which covers the Texas Panhandle. Mac Thornberry, who has represented the 13th since 1995, is not seeking re-election this year.

Now we have this carpetbagger Jackson seeking to succeed Thornberry. Jackson was born in Levelland, which is outside the district. He has never lived within the 13th District. But he purports to know the district and its residents’ needs and desires.

I will say this, though: Jackson’s accusation that President Obama has weaponized the government plays nicely into the vacuous numbskulls who believe as he does about the former president. Take my word for it, the district has a number of them out there.

Jackson, who served as personal physician to both Obama and Trump, has decided to weigh in on the Michael Flynn matter. Obama fired Flynn as head of the Defense Intelligence Agency and counseled the Trump team about hiring him, fearing Flynn would be a threat to national security. Well, it turned out that Flynn lied to the FBI about the Russian attack on the 2016 election, then pleaded guilty to the lie. The Justice Department now wants to clear Michael Flynn’s name and Trump is backing the DOJ recommendation to do just that.

Now we get this hack doctor/politician tossing out an accusation that President Obama is a member of the “Deep State”?

Ridiculous!

How is the doctor going to campaign for this congressional seat?

Our return over the past few days to the 13th Congressional District exposed us to some TV ads touting the candidacies of those who are running to succeed Rep. Mac Thornberry, who’s leaving office at the end of the year after serving for 25 years representing the Texas Panhandle.

I didn’t hear a TV spot from one guy who’s caught my interest, although I did see some yard signs as we blasted through Claude and Clarendon on our way to Amarillo and then back home to Princeton.

Dr. Ronny Jackson is among the huge number of Republicans seeking the GOP nomination. He intrigues me to the max? Why is that?

He’s kind of a national figure. Donald John Trump, the nation’s current president, nominated him to be the nation’s veterans affairs secretary. It turned out, though, to be a bad call on POTUS’s part; Jackson has zero administrative experience and he also allegedly prescribed drugs wrongly. Jackson pulled his name out of consideration as VA secretary.

Now he wants to run for the U.S. House — in a district where he’s never lived. Indeed, the only West Texas connection he has is his place of birth … in Levelland, which sits in a congressional district that is near the 13th.

What does this guy know about Pantex, the nuclear weapons storage complex known colloquially as the “Bomb Factory”? Or how does he comment intelligently about the nitty gritty of the V-22 Osprey aircraft assembly plant in Amarillo? How about federal farm policy, which is vital to cattle ranchers, cotton producers, corn growers throughout the Texas Panhandle?

I am hoping that my GOP friends in the Panhandle will know better than to cast their vote for an individual whose only notable achievement was to be nominated as veterans secretary and to serve as physician to two presidents: Donald Trump and Barack Obama.

Hey, I honor Dr. Jackson’s military service, given that he’s a now-retired rear admiral in the U.S. Navy. That’s it and that is far from sufficient for anyone to be nominated by a major political party to serve in a congressional district with which he has zero familiarity.

Do not nominate this carpetbagger for a congressional seat

I am about to stick my nose into a political race that, for all intents, is no longer my business, given that I do not live in that congressional district, but here goes anyway.

Thirteenth Congressional District Republicans need to avoid nominating a carpetbagger for the seat being vacated by longtime U.S. Rep. Mac Thornberry, R-Clarendon.

The carpetbagger to whom I refer is Dr. Ronny Jackson, the former physician to Presidents Barack Obama and Donald Trump.

He claims a West Texas heritage. He was born in Levelland, just west of Lubbock. Levelland also happens to sit within the 11th Congressional District. Jackson, a retired Navy admiral, has never lived within the 13th Congressional District, which stretches from the Texas Panhandle to the outskirts of the Dallas/Fort Worth Metroplex. He doesn’t know the district, he doesn’t grasp the district’s unique issues.

He rose to notoriety when Trump nominated him to become veterans affairs secretary. The problem, though, was that Dr. Jackson faced accusations of falsifying prescriptions, of abusing his staff and of drinking too much on the job. He was unqualified for the VA post. He withdrew his name from consideration. The president went with someone else and the Department of Veterans Affairs is running just fine.

So what in the world of soft landings is Admiral/Dr. Jackson seeking to do now? He wants to serve in Congress. Why, though, pick this particular seat? I guess it’s because the 13th District is as reliably Republican as any of the 435 House seats.

But Jackson isn’t the guy to succeed Thornberry. Indeed, the GOP field is full of candidates who actually live in the Texas Panhandle and who actually understand the issues of constituents’ concern.

Ronny Jackson? Don’t let him get away with the charade he is playing.

Dr. Carpetbagger set to seek 13th Congressional District seat

What do you know about this?

A fellow who hasn’t lived anywhere near the 13th Congressional District for many years has decided to run for the House of Representatives seat being vacated by an incumbent who’s been there since 1995.

This Republican candidate, though, does have some name recognition. He is Ronny Jackson, a now-retired U.S. Navy physician who once served as personal doctor to two presidents, Barack Obama and Donald Trump. Jackson wants to succeed Mac Thornberry of Clarendon.

Dr. Jackson is a native of Levelland. However, he has been serving his country for more than two decades in the Navy. He also got tapped by Donald Trump to become veterans secretary. His nomination derailed, though, amid controversy arising from the absence of any administrative experience, not to mention allegations that he abused his staff, overprescribed drugs and drank too much while on the job as the president’s doctor. Jackson pulled out.

So now he wants to serve in Congress.

Jackson joins a crowded GOP field, with 13 other candidates running in the Republican Party. I am left to wonder whether this guy is going to parlay his name ID into a congressional job, representing a congressional district about which he likely knows next to nothing.

What fascinates me is that while he does have West Texas roots, Levelland is in the 11th Congressional District. Has the good doctor ever lived anywhere near the district he now wants to represent? Has he ever attended a grange hall meeting in Claude, or Fritch, or Dumas, or Memphis? What does this fellow know about farm policy, or water conservation, or any of the issues unique to communities such as Amarillo, or Wichita Falls?

The 13th District is spread out a long way, from the Panhandle toward the Metroplex. It is as reliably Republican as any congressional district in this nation. With apologies to my good friend Greg Sagan, who’s running as a Democrat again this year for the seat, it isn’t likely to flip to the other party in 2020.

However, the district’s constituents need to representation from someone who at least knows the issues that are unique to the sprawling region.

Dr. Jackson looks like a carpetbagger to me.

Trump gets it right — apparently — with new VA pick

How about this?

Donald J. Trump has nominated a proven administrator to lead the Department of Veterans Affairs. Yep, Robert Wilkie is the acting VA secretary who’s been filling in since the firing of David Shulkin in March over Shulkin’s expensive travel habits.

The president turned first to the White House physician, Dr. Ronny Jackson, to lead the VA. This, despite Dr. Jackson’s lack of administrative experience. Then came allegations of some bad behavior: hostile workplace, over-prescribing of medicine and — oops! — drinking on the job.

Out went Jackson.

Now the president has selected Wilkie. Man, I hope he sails through the U.S. Senate confirmation process and is able to assume the role formally that he has been performing for the past three months.

Let’s not just yet put this nomination in the bank. Trump’s inability to vet these nominees has gotten him into trouble.

The president didn’t vet Jackson’s past adequately before nominating him to lead the VA.

The VA is a huge federal agency that needs an experienced hand to lead it. The agency also needs someone who is clean, ethical, sharp and has the veterans’ issues at the top of his mind at all times.

I am one of those 20 million veterans who is enrolled in the agency’s medical care program. Therefore, I demand a careful selection process when choosing a veterans affairs secretary.

Meanwhile, I will hope Robert Wilkie is the right man for the job. It’s good that senators on both sides of the aisle are much more enthusiastic about Wilkie than they were about Jackson.

My first benchmark for the correctness of this selection is whether Wilkie will reject the notion of privatizing VA functions.

Do not go there. Ever!