Friday, August 28, 2009

Lynn Jenkins: Racist, Ignorant or Both--You Make the Call

I don’t know much about boxing. I am not a fan of the “sport.” In fact, I don’t even consider it a sport.

But I know my country’s history of racism and I know my country’s culture. I know enough to know that when Jack Johnson, the first African American boxing champion won the Heavyweight Title almost one hundred years ago, whites in this country lamented that a white man might never own the title again and looked to “a great white hope” to regain the title.

For the record, it was several years later that a white fighter finally managed a win over Johnson in a fight surrounded by controversy. And it was over twenty years later that Joe Louis regained the Heavyweight Title for the African American community when he beat “The Cinderella Man” of recent movie fame.

Apparently, I know more than first term Kansas Republican Congresswoman Lynn Jenkins. This does not surprise me. If she believes half of the things that came out of her mouth during her recent campaign, she is either delusional or seriously ignorant.

At a recent town hall meeting with constituents, Jenkins made the following statement:

"Republicans are struggling right now to find the Great White Hope. I suggest to any of you who are concerned about that, who are Republican, there are some great young Republican minds in Washington." Jenkins reportedly went on to list the names of several young, white Republicans.

Of course, since the media got wind of her statement, she has her staff doing some very quick tap-dancing to try to defend herself against allegations of racism. From the Topeka Capital-Journal:

In response to inquiries by The Topeka Capital-Journal, a Jenkins spokeswoman said Wednesday the congresswoman wanted to apologize for her word choice and to emphasize she had no intention of expressing herself in an offensive manner.

Mary Geiger, a spokeswoman for Jenkins, said the reference to a great white hope wasn't meant to denote a preference by Jenkins for politicians of a particular "race, creed or any background." Jenkins was expressing faith fellow GOP representatives in the House would be key players in returning Republicans to a leadership role in Washington, Geiger said.

"There may be some misunderstanding there when she talked about the great white hope," Geiger said. "What she meant by it is they have a bright future. They're bright lights within the party."

Jenkins wasn't available to comment personally on her presentation in Hiawatha, Geiger said.

Figures. What is the criteria for being a “bright light” within the Republican Party? Who can tell? From where I sit, it appears that the criteria is to be able to deliver party LIES in the most effective manner. If that is the case, woe be to Jenkins because she doesn’t even do that well.

I recently had opportunity to view Lynn Jenkins’ White paper on healthcare reform, in which she supports all the lies and propaganda currently being floated by the insurance/healthcare-industry-owned opposition to reform. I won’t bore you with all the details (if interested, read it here: but she repeats the lies that you hear being parroted at any Teabagger’s picnic. Specifically, she states that, “If you like what you have, you can’t keep it, health savings accounts will be eliminated, 2 of 3 workers will lose their current coverage, and that a proposal will prevent private insurance companies from selling new policies. Her references for these supposed “facts”?? Kaiser State Health Facts, America’s Health Insurance Plans, and the Lewin Group. Obviously the first two “authorities” have an ulterior motive. But who is this Lewin Group, which Republican politicians continually cite? They describe themselves as a non-partisan consulting group. From their website:

The Lewin Group employs more than 140 consultants drawn from industry, government, academia, and the health professions. Many are national authorities whose strategies for health and human services system improvements come from their personal experience with imperatives for change.

However, a Washington Post article is very enlightening about who they really are:

July 22 Washington Post

Generally left unsaid amid all the citations is that the Lewin Group is wholly owned by UnitedHealth Group, one of the nation's largest insurers.

More specifically, the Lewin Group is part of Ingenix, a UnitedHealth subsidiary that was accused by the New York attorney general and the American Medical Association…of helping insurers shift medical expenses to consumers by distributing skewed data. Ingenix supplied its parent company and other insurers with data that allegedly understated the "usual and customary" doctor fees that insurers use to determine how much they will reimburse consumers for out-of-network care. In January, UnitedHealth agreed to a $50 million settlement with the New York attorney general and a $350 million settlement with the AMA, covering conduct going back as far as 1994.

In that article, a representative of the Group explains that there is an APPEARANCE of conflict of interest since the Group was bought out by UnitedHealthcare, but that they retain all editorial control over their reports. If that was meant to comfort me about the unbiased nature of their numbers, the following paragraph disabused me of any notion of lack of bias:

But not all of the firm's reports see the light of day. For example, a study for the Blue Cross Blue Shield Association was never released, Sheils said.

"Let's just say, sometimes studies come out that don't show exactly what the client wants to see. And in those instances, they have [the] option to bury the study -- to not release it, rather," Sheils said.

And, sadly, as they so often do, not only are the Republicans citing biased corporate-produced data, they are also cherry-picking what they want from the report that they are currently quoting.

Politicians have argued that the public plan would place bureaucrats between patients and doctors. However, Lewin wrote that, like traditional Medicare, the federal program for the elderly, a public plan would do less than private insurers to restrict medical care.

"People would indeed lose what they have, but they might very well be better off," he said.

The Tax Foundation, which Jenkins also cites in her white paper, could more aptly be called the ANTI-Tax Foundation. The Board members are all engaged in careers that either help others avoid paying taxes, are associated with tax preparation. The commentary page listed articles such as, Higher Cigarette Taxes: Unhealthy and Unfair, and The Tyranny of Taxing Sin. I’d say it’s a good bet that this foundation is not going to be coming out in support of anything that might raise anyone’s taxes anytime soon.


Is Lynn Jenkins lazy?

Is she a liar or just a syncophant?

OR is she actually THAT stupid?

Whatever the case, I sure as hell would not judge her a qualified representative of ME to our Federal Government. Hear that Second District? The Representative you elected is either knowingly lying to you, parroting the Republican Party line, protecting the insurance industry at your expense and probably raking in lots of insurance company lobbying money OR she is lazy and/or lacking the intelligence to properly gather and analyze the FACTS and come to a logical conclusion.


Kansans and Americans: We cannot allow the willfully misinformed and purposefully propagandizing opposition movement to hijack and derail progress for meaningful health care reform in this country. Stand up and Fight Back!

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Tango daddy said...

I think you have aptly made the point that she is a dipshit douchebag as well.
And I am so proud of you for not having the rudeness to say that!!!
And the call I make is this Racist, Republican, and ignorant.

ksliberal said...

I definitely prefer your term "asshat" over the other. However, I do think she could accurately be described as a dipshit asshat.

And just think, she represents a whole district of people to the Federal Government! And then we wonder why we have these horrible problems and why we can't seem to solve any of them! (Too many asshats)

thepoetryman said...

Her qualifications can begin with this- "She's a terrible"- and whatever one adds after that will suffice.

ksliberal said...

Thanks for stopping by, poetryman. I loved your post on the Day America Died. Your lyrics flowed well and yet you still managed hit the ball out of the park politically. Great job!

Frank said...

What a lame self-hating liberal maunder...

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