Tag Archives: 13th Congressional District

Media falling asleep

A longtime acquaintance of mine takes time every week to review the contents of the Amarillo Globe-News, a once-thriving newspaper in the city my wife and I called home for more than two decades.

It’s now a battered shell of its once-proud self. My friend noted the absence of a major breaking story that should have raised an eyebrow or two in what passes for the newsroom at the AGN.

What was missing: The story this week in so many print and electronic media sites about the demotion of former Rear Admiral and current Congressman Ronny Jackson after the Navy OIG found multiple unacceptable aspects of his service.

Jackson is serving his second term as a Republican congressman from the 13th Congressional District. He moved to the Texas Panhandle to run for the office when Mac Thornberry announced his retirement from Congress.

Dude once served as White House physician for two presidents: Barack Obama and the idiot who succeeded him. The Navy inspector general stripped Jackson of his rear admiral rank, busting him to captain after probing many allegations of serious misconduct.

This is the kind of story that should be splashed all over the front page of the local newspaper … except that the 13th District doesn’t have a local newspaper based in Amarillo. 

Jackson is a disgrace to his office and to the uniform he once wore. He continues to tout himself as a rear admiral on his website. The guy doesn’t even have the decency to tell his constituents the truth about his post-military standing. “As a retired U.S. Navy Rear Admiral with nearly three decades of military service I understand the commitment and sacrifices made by servicemen and servicewomen to serve our country,” the two-term Texas representative writes on his congressional website.

I am left to ask: Does character matter any longer to what passes for a formerly great political party … or to the media outlets that report on the conduct of those in power?

Brown vs. Jackson … no contest!

You might be able to read two messages into this proclamation: an election pitting Democrat Kathleen Brown vs. Republican Ronny Jackson is a “no-contest” affair.

One way is to presume that Jackson, a first-term congressman representing the 13th Congressional District of Texas will have little trouble winning re-election to a second term in about 41 days.

Another way is to suggest that there’s “no contest” between the quality of the candidates. To my way of thinking, that puts Brown far ahead of the blowhard Donald J. Trump toadie.

I got acquainted with Brown this morning. We had a nice chat over the phone. I told her of my continuing interest in the affairs of the 13th district, even though I no longer live there. I spent 23 years in Amarillo and became quite embedded in the politics and culture of the Texas Panhandle.

I also informed her that I am appalled by the conduct of Jackson, who moved to the Panhandle prior to the 2020 election in order to seek the seat that Mac Thornberry vacated after serving the district for 25 years.

I want to repeat a couple of things I told Brown about Jackson. One is that I consider him to be a “carpetbagging opportunist” who doesn’t “know Pantex from potting soil.” He’s also a blowhard who spends an inordinate amount of time tweeting diatribes against President Biden.

Those who know Brown understand that she is a lawyer who lives in Wichita Falls. She is married and the mother of three children. She claims — which they all do — that she isn’t a politician … but in reality she is, right?

Her top priority if elected to Congress? She said the 13th District needs water. Her hometown of Wichita Falls is running dry. The Ogallala Aquifer is receding rapidly. To be blunt, she didn’t offer any specifics on how to provide the Panhandle and her home region with water.

I reminded her that I now live in Collin County, which is one county too far from the eastern edge of the congressional district she wants to represent. I have been following Ronny Jackson’s rise to the front of the right-wing media chorus line and I dislike what I am hearing.

I don’t know if Kathleen Brown has what it takes to defeat Ronny Jackson, meaning I don’t know if she’ll be able to persuade enough voters to join her effort.

I do believe the 13th Congressional District deserves far better than it is getting from the interloper who claims to “represent” it. Kathleen Brown can do better. Then again, Ronny Jackson has set the bar shamefully low.


Astonishing turn in one congressional district

Ladies and gentlemen, we are witnessing an astonishing and frightening turnaround in at least one Texas congressional district, which happens to be one district I know quite well, given that I lived in it for 23 years before moving southeast to Collin County.

It is the constant haranguing of the commander in chief by a member of the House Armed Services Committee, who happens to represent the 13th Congressional District of Texas. Ronny Jackson, the former White House doctor and one-time Navy admiral, cannot stop berating President Biden via Twitter and the Fox (Propaganda) Network.

The turnaround involves the quality of representation that befell residents of that district and the dignity the district residents used to witness from Jackson’s predecessor in Congress, fellow Republican Mac Thornberry.

Jackson is a loudmouth wacko who cannot stop suggesting from afar that President Biden lacks the snap to perform the duties of the office to which voters elected him. He keeps yammering via Twitter and on Fox about the need for Biden to take a cognitive test. What the hell for … doc? He’s just as sharp as you are!

Thornberry, a man with whom I had plenty of differences, wouldn’t dare take to the Twitter-verse to stage the non-stop harangues we keep seeing from his dipsh** successor. Jackson won’t stop.

We’re represented in Collin County by a GOP House member. Van Taylor is as conservative as Jackson, but he doesn’t resort to the constant barrage of epithets via Twitter to make his point. Indeed, Taylor actually reaches across the aisle to work with Democrats when issues present themselves. Does the former doctor now representing the Panhandle do any of that, or is he just too damn busy seeking ways to undermine the commander in chief?

Ronny Jackson simply just pisses me off. The dude is a disgrace.


Why fret over this clown?

By John Kanelis / johnkanelis_92@hotmail.com

Some readers of this blog might be wondering why I spend any time  criticizing a member of Congress who represents a district where I no longer reside.

I will answer that query, presuming some of you are wondering.

I have spoken out about the Twitter rants of a Republican serving the 13th Congressional District of Texas. Ronny Jackson lives in Amarillo. He is a disgrace. I have said so, admittedly with extreme prejudice.

I care about that fellow’s rants for two reasons.

One is that my wife and I lived there for 23 years, longer than anywhere we have resided in our nearly 50 years of marriage. One of our sons still lives there. We have many friends there, too. I care about them. They should be represented by someone who (a) isn’t a carpetbagger and (b) isn’t prone to making defamatory remarks about the commander in chief, which Jackson does regularly about President Biden.

The second reason is that Ronny Jackson votes on legislation that affects every American. It’s the same reason I care about the goings-on involving other congressional fruitcakes and loons; Reps. Marjorie Taylor Greene, Matt Gaetz, Kevin McCarthy and Sen. Mitch McConnell come immediately to mind. When they vote on federal legislation, they put their imprimatur on laws that have a direct impact on every single American.

Congressman: detestable! | High Plains Blogger

I won’t apologize for harboring these feelings about members of Congress, any more than I feel the need to justify why I support other members of the legislative branch of government. Or, for that matter, why I continue to support President Biden … even as he struggles with crises, as he is doing at this moment.

We have plenty of fruitcakes in North Texas, where we now live. I’ll be getting to them in due course. I just felt the urge to explain a thing or two about why I still look back fondly at our time on what I call the Texas Tundra and why I want the best for the good folks who still call it home.

How about taking the test yourself … doc?

By John Kanelis / johnkanelis_92@hotmail.com

U.S. Rep. Ronny Jackson keeps making a name for himself as a rookie member of Congress. It’s not the kind of “name” that should do him, or the folks he represents, proud.

Jackson, who represents the Texas Panhandle’s 13th Congressional District, wants President Biden to take a cognitive test. Jackson, who once treated President Obama and the fellow who served as POTUS just prior to Joe Biden taking office, declared POTUS 45 to be in excellent health. He said Joe Biden needs to prove he has the mental capacity to do the job.

Good grief! This clown — Dr. Jackson, that is — is making an ass of himself.

Instead of working on legislation pertinent to the residents of the sprawling congressional district he represents — and about which he knows next to nothing — this goofball has taken to Twitter to make pronouncements such as the ridiculous notion calling for President Biden to prove his mental fitness.

Jackson is far from free of any controversial baggage of his own. POTUS 45 nominated him to become secretary of veterans affairs, only to pull his name out when we learned that he misbehaved while serving in the Navy. He had this habit, allegedly, of prescribing medications a little too generously. He also, again allegedly, drank too much.

If it were up to me, I would suggest that Rep./Dr. Jackson take a cognitive test himself … just to make double darn sure he’s up to his job.

I worry that my many friends and former neighbors in the 13th Congressional District — where I lived for 23 years — aren’t getting the kind of representation they deserve. Then again, many of ’em well might have voted for this clown. So, maybe they’re getting precisely what they deserve.

This guy’s got to go!

By John Kanelis / johnkanelis_92@hotmail.com

I really shouldn’t be concerned about the political future of the 13th Congressional District. Except that I am.

You see, I lived in that district for 23 years. I watched its former congressman, Mac Thornberry, come of political age. Then he retired from the U.S. House of Representatives. Ronny Jackson, a retired Navy admiral and physician, succeeded Thornberry in January of this year.

Now we have a re-election effort that’s about to commence. Jackson will seek a second term. He already has a Democratic opponent waiting in the wings. She is Kathleen Brown, a Wichita Falls lawyer. She is going to declare her candidacy this coming week.

I never have met either of them. Jackson, a Republican, has managed to piss me off royally with his cliche-ridden tweets and demagoguery. Brown remains unknown to me, other than we are social media acquaintances.

That all said, I do hope someone beats Jackson. He won’t get a GOP primary challenge, or so it appears. That leaves it up to the Democrats to knock off this bum. How hard will that be? Oh, my … Democrats’ hurdle appears insurmountable. Jackson represents one of the most Republican congressional districts in the nation.

I am unaware of any meaningful legislation that has Rep. Jackson’s name on it. I am acutely aware of the endless Twitter tirades he launches accusing Democrats falsely of promoting socialism, seeking to rescind the Second Amendment, adhering to the “cancel culture,” promoting abortion, destroying the economy.

The 13th Congressional District can do better than this. Its constituents, including my many friends and a member of my family, deserve better.

If only they would vote for representation that could make them proud. Is that Kathleen Brown? Well, I believe she would present a marked improvement over Ronny Jackson.

Dr. Jackson becomes U.S. rep.-elect

(AP Photo/Alex Brandon)

By JOHN KANELIS / johnkanelis_92@hotmail.com

I skedaddled from the Texas Panhandle a couple of years ago, so my thoughts on a just-completed political campaign in the 13th Congressional District should be considered in that context.

I am not as close to the action in the Panhandle as I used to be, but my interest in the region remains high.

13th District voters elected Dr. Ronny Jackson as their next representative. Rep.-elect Jackson presents a strange new turn in Panhandle politics, in my humble view.

Jackson is a former White House physician. He served three presidents: George W. Bush, Barack Obama and Donald Trump.

Trump wanted to nominate Jackson to be secretary of veterans affairs. Jackson didn’t make the cut; he bowed out after questions arose about his lack of administrative experience and then about his conduct as a physician.

So, he looked for a place to run for Congress and set his sights on a district where he never lived. He wanted to succeed longtime Rep. Mac Thornberry of Clarendon, who decided he didn’t want to seek re-election to a seat he held since 1995.

Jackson doesn’t know much about the district he now will  represent. He was born in Levelland, but moved away to join the Navy  — attaining the rank of rear admiral — and never looked back. Until now.

During the campaign, he became something of a shill for Donald Trump. He said some goofy things about the soon-to-be-former president.

What he knows specifically about Pantex, about the Bell/Textron aircraft assembly mission, about water conservation, or wind energy, or farm policy remains a mystery to me. Mac Thornberry is a son of the Panhandle, coming from a longtime Donley County ranching family. Jackson is a new resident of the region, so I guess I can call him a carpetbagger.

In these times, I guess it’s OK for carpetbaggers to represent the interest of folks who formerly used to demand that their political representatives be proficient in the issues important to them.

Jackson won handily.

As for his shilling for Donald Trump, I am wondering how long he’ll want to stay in office with his main man no longer in office.

Speaking of eras’ ending …

By JOHN KANELIS / johnkanelis_92@hotmail.com

I must be in the mood to commemorate the end of eras.

A profoundly unhappy era might end Nov. 3 with the defeat of Donald Trump in the presidential election. Up yonder in the Texas Panhandle, another sort of era is sure to end with the retirement of 25-year U.S. Rep. Mac Thornberry, a Clarendon Republican.

Thornberry, I reckon, had all the fun he could stand in Washington, D.C. He called it quits early this year, declaring he won’t seek re-election to Congress.

Up stepped a peculiar Republican, Ronny Jackson, to succeed Thornberry. Jackson is a former Navy admiral and is former physician to three presidents: George W. Bush, Barack Obama and Donald Trump.

I used to live in the 13th Congressional District. I now live in the 3rd District. My congressman, GOP member Van Taylor, already has earned my scorn because of his silence over the bounty paid to Taliban terrorists by Russian government goons; what enrages me so is that Taylor is a former Marine who saw combat in Afghanistan, fighting the very Taliban fighters who might have gotten paid by Russia if they managed to kill Taylor on the battlefield.

Now we have Admiral Jackson moving into a congressional district about which he knows not a damn thing. He is likely to defeat Democratic opponent Gus Trujillo. Why? Because Republicans are just too damn strong in the 13th Congressional District!

Ronny Jackson is a Trumpkin. He adheres to what passes as ideology coming from Donald Trump. I guess you could say the same thing about Thornberry. It’s just that Thornberry isn’t the loudmouth that Jackson has become.

I admit to have conflicted feelings about Thornberry. I like him personally. I dislike his policy positions. I’ve never told him so to his face, although I think he understands that I do have a degree of personal regard for him. Given that, I wish him well in his retirement from public policy and politics.

I don’t know Admiral Jackson from Cap’n Crunch. I only know what I’ve read about him and some of the utterances that have flown out of his yapper.

I hope the fellow studies up on the region he is going to represent in Congress. I also hope Jackson exercises some discretion when someone sticks a microphone in his face. I don’t have much hope he will do that.

Get ready for a blowhard

Based on what I have witnessed from afar and from my extensive knowledge of the man who has represented the 13th Congressional District of Texas since 1995, voters in that part of the world are about to get a whole new brand of congressman.

Dr. Ronny Jackson is the odds-on favorite to succeed Mac Thornberry as the Republican representative for the sprawling West Texas congressional district.

My knowledge of Jackson is limited. I acknowledge the obvious, given that I no longer live in the district. I know that he was born in Levelland, went into the Navy, achieved the rank of rear admiral, became a physician and has served as White House doctor for three presidents — George W. Bush, Barack Obama and Donald Trump.

He moved into the13th District when Thornberry announced he wouldn’t seek another term.

What is the difference that will occur? It will arrive in the vocal, more media-hungry style of the new guy. He is going to become a right-wing blowhard, the type of individual who generally annoys the daylights out of me. 

He has popped off, for instance, about mask wearing in light of the global pandemic. He has been dismissive of masks as protection against the killer virus. It’s the kind of baloney we hear from right-wing talking heads and various politicians such as, oh, Rep. Louie Gohmert, the East Texas loon who tested positive for the virus after making a public show of his refusal to wear a mask; Louie is singing a different tune these days.

Thornberry has served the13th District for 25 years. He won election in 1994 as part of the GOP Contract With America Brigade led by fire-breathing Rep. New Gingrich. Thornberry, though, became a quiet back bencher for much of his time in the House. He voted according to the Gingrich world view. He didn’t say much about anything publicly.

Rep. Thornberry was able to parlay his loyal service into the chairmanship of the House Armed Services Committee, where he served for a couple of terms before Democrats took control of the House in the 2018 election; he now serves — again, quietly — as the panel’s ranking member.

And so, Thornberry will leave at the end of the year. Jackson figures to win election over the Democrats’ sacrificial lamb. I will lay down a bet that Jackson will preen and pose for as long as he can, although some of that might be dictated by whether Donald Trump is still president after Election Day.

Whatever. A new day in congressional representation awaits my friends and former neighbors up yonder in the Texas Panhandle.

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.