Five Weeks

Monday, August 12, 2013

Last week both the upper and lower houses of our United States Congress went into recess, purportedly  to return home and interface with their constituents. Constituents, by definition, being the men and women represented by elected officials, the majority of whom cast their vote in the affirmative to seat that selfsame official. 

Our East Tennessee contingent of the Tennessee Congressional Delegation is composed of two Senators and four Congressmen with offices in East Tennessee as follows:

Senator Alexander - Blountville, Chattanooga, Knoxville
Senator Corker - Chattanooga, Jonesborough, Knoxville
Congressman DesJarlais - Cleveland
Congressman Duncan - Knoxville and Maryville
Congressman Fleischmann - Athens, Chattanooga, and Oak Ridge
Congressman Roe - Kingsport and Morristown

We're told they've come home to wander around their respective districts to speak with their homies much like Tennessee favorite son Colonel David Crockett, the original who was almost 50 years old when he lost a hand-to-hand combat exercise with a bunch of Mexican soldiers, but they knew he was there and he took several with him, not that cat who drives a black Suburban around Chattanooga in the middle of summer telling the rest of us we need to drive smaller cars and become greenies, was doing during his fictionalized encounter with Horatio Bunce. 

Where are they?

As of this writing, noon-ish on Monday, Aug. 12, only one of the six has any town hall meetings scheduled... Congressman Roe from way upper East Tennessee. Congressman DesJarlais, in fact, had a Tele-Townhall sign-up on his web page Saturday. It's gone now.

They tell us a Tele-Townhall, a spiffy name for a big conference call, is more efficient. It may be, but it's also a good way of hiding, of not having to face one's constituents, of not having to look into the eyes of someone whose pocket he's just reached into and grabbed what someone else has worked hard to earn.  Isn't it. 

They want our money to campaign for office. They want our votes to be first elected, then stay in office. They demand our tax dollars to pay for their feel-good projects with the force of a government gun. With that same gun they take our money to support themselves and their families. They tell us how to live our lives, going so far as to dictate what types of toilets and light bulbs we'll use in our homes, offices, and shops.

With hubris, they lecture us about courage. 

Then don't have the nads to face their constituents to explain themselves. If they do honor us with their presence they're only asked soft, meaningless questions in venues with attendees who don't want to offend.

That's cowardice. 

In his short story A Madison Square Arabian Night, American author O. Henry writes of an artist he named Sherrard Plumer whose portraits showed the true, hidden character of the sitter. It's too bad that was fiction, isn't it. How many in Congress possess the nobility, the sense of honor of Remsen in The Badge Of Policeman O'Roon?

It's raining. I need chocolate.

Royce Burrage, Jr.
Royce@Officially Chapped.org

True Revenue Situation

My honorable and respected friend Roy Exum tells us again today, “It has been 12 years since the county fathers have approved a tax increase ... .” I’ll take his word for that, but want some more information. “No tax increase for 12 years” is just the chorus; I want to hear the rest of the song, the specific verses that really tell the tale. The fact is, although Roy’s bare ... (click for more)

Send Your Opinions To Chattanoogan.com

We welcome your opinions at Chattanoogan.com. Email to  news@chattanoogan.com . We require your real first and last name and contact information. There is no word limit, but if your article is too long you may lose your reader. Please focus more on issues than personal attacks. (click for more)

Judge Walter Williams May Go Back On The Bench As Administrative Hearing Officer

One of the city's most colorful judges may go back on the bench. The City Council on Tuesday is set to vote on the nomination of former City Court Judge Walter Williams as administrative hearing officer - a new city position. The law license of the former judge was transferred to disability inactive status in August of 2015 after he suffered a stroke early in the year.  ... (click for more)

Body Believed To Be That Of McCallie Student Jackson Standefer Recovered In Colorado River

A body believed to be that of a McCallie School student who was swept away in a creek in the Grand Canyon was recovered on Friday. The Grand Canyon Regional Communications Center said it was notified by a commercial river trip that they located a body on the Colorado River at River Mile 152. Park rangers responded and recovered the body, which was transported to the rim ... (click for more)

Morgan, Smith, Parrott Pace Lady Pounders Past Bearettes 6-0

Maybe Central softball coach LeeAnne Shurette won’t nag her Lady Pounders so much in the coming days. Central collected eight hits, including two-run singles by Tatum Morgan and Janara Smith, on Friday to back Brooke Parrott’s three-hitter and the Lady Pounders defeated Bradley Central 6-0 in the East Hamilton tournament at The Summit. “Shurette has been nagging, maybe ... (click for more)

McCallie Earns 3-1 Soccer Win Over Rival Baylor

When his team needed him the most, McCallie senior Drew Viscomi did what he does best. Two minutes after the Blue Tornado allowed an equalizer to rival Baylor in the Division II Mid-East Region soccer match on the Red Raiders’ home field, Viscomi’s strike put his team back on top. Five minutes later, the All-American and school single-season scoring leader ... (click for more)