The Issues

Nota Bene: The HSFC team is rolling out its fundraising activities with a dinner and entertainment for our supporters. Danny Dillenger and The Dick Heads are back by heavy demand. There will also be a drawing for our famous, most favorite gift baskets prize. They were donated by our dear friends at Gift Horse and include a wine basket, a chocolate gift basket, and something called a tower. If anyone would like to join us for a great evening as well as supporting our candidate, call or email us.

Nota Bene 2: There are way too many of our brave young man and women coming back from the Iraq War severely injured. If you or a family member is one of those disable veterans we want you to know we have a number of lawyers willing to do Pro Bono work on your behalf if you need help getting the benefits you deserve. We even have access to social security disability lawyers who will assist you in filling out claim forms and applications for benefits. Just so you are not discouraged, more than 50% of applications for social security disability benefits are rejected. If your claim was denied do contact a social security lawyer to help with your appeal requesting a hearing before an administrative law judge (ALJ). Numerous statistics demonstrate that a disability claimant who is represented by a social security lawyer attorney at this appeals hearing level is twice as likely to be approved than an unrepresented person. Don’t hesitate to contact us.

The war isn’t the only way people get injured doing their job. I’m sure you’ve heard about the Deepwater Horizon explosion, where the workers on the rig were killed and injured on the job. In the town of Lafayette, Louisiana, we support a group of legal experts that include the most experienced Lafayette maritime lawyer in town who helps win settlements for the men and women who are at risk at sea on commercial ships or on offshore rigs and are injured doing often dangerous work to put food on the table. The large companies that run these businesses often care more about money than their workers. The fact that we need legal pressure to win well deserved settlements to pay for injuries and long term disabilities speaks for itself. If you know of anyone needing legal help for injuries incurred on the job, let us know.

The Iraq War is one of the most pressing concerns facing our Nation. I do not agree with President Bush on how to conduct this war. We need to get our combat troops out of Iraq as quickly as possible. Troop withdrawal must, however, be accomplished in a reasoned and responsible manner. The Administration has had years to take the lead in pursuing a political resolution to this conflict. Hopefully, by the time I get to Congress, our policy of troop surges will have been replaced with an international and/or regional effort to win the peace and stabilize the region.

Even in pressing stressful manners, people still find a way to get out with their lives.

Normally in wartime it is the obligation of the Administration to set policy directives for the conduct of war. The war in Iraq has, however, been going on for four years with no apparent leadership. If the Administration is not going to lead, Congress needs to fill the void.

An exit strategy should have been in place before the Administration committed American soldiers to the region. Such a strategy needs to be put into place immediately, and should include a goal of completing troop pullout while allowing for forces conducting certain non-combat missions, such as training Iraqi forces, to remain.

We need to negotiate a political solution to the current morass, one that:

•    Devises a fair plan to share oil revenues among ethnic groups in Iraq;
•    Starts a reconciliation process to defuse sectarian tensions;
•    Addresses the disastrous de-Baathification and puts Sunnis back to work; and
•    Engages sectarian death squads and tears them out of Iraqi security forces.

We need to be taking steps to de-escalate our troop involvement in the civil war that has engulfed Baghdad. Those men and women can be re-deployed to surrounding bases, to other parts of the country, to Kuwait and Qatar, and to Afghanistan. Hopefully, many of these men and women can be sent home to their families. Finally, we should seriously consider the Biden-Gelb plan for a soft partition of the country. Tens of thousands of Iraqis a month are already moving from mixed sectarian neighborhoods.

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