Friday, November 19, 2010


This is Lynn Jenkins, she does not represent us

Lynn Jenkins is once again spewing the party line. This time she waves the budget cutting scalpel at National Public Radio. Over the years I have noticed that some, but not all, Republicans tend to have a dislike of publically owned broadcast media.

Jenkins argued from the floor of the House for a bare bones and ultra limited government. Government should only protect our citizens, maintain a strong infrastructure, and uphold our rights as outlined by the Constitution. Then Jenkins makes a wild course change apparently challenging some unnamed "political radio show" on NPR which has a "litmus test" on something which she does not identify. Her speech was so vague as to be baffling.

Lynn Jenkins ignores the fact that NPR is  tax-exempt, being organized under secion 501 (c) (3) of the Tax Code.  Therefore, NPR is prohibited from engaging in the political conduct she describes. Since Jenkins is a CPA one can only guess she is engaging in demagoguery.

Jenkins says that the federal government is leaking money left and right and that it is time to plug some holes. You betcha as long as those holes don't put the kibosh on those she serves, the wealthy, the damn wealthiest folks in America.

Jenkins voted against extending unemployment insurance compensation to un-employed Americans yesterday. Jenkins continues to urge extension of the Bush-era tax cuts for her damn wealthiest supporters. The Fat Cat Tax Boondoggle that Jenkins wants extended will add $700 Billion of borrowed money to the nation's debt.

The unemployment benefits will immediately stimulate the economy because virtually all of that money gets spent as soon as it arrives in the hands of the beneficiary. It is spent on rent, food, and the necessities of life. The Bush-era tax cuts for the Jenkins' damn wealthiest supporters haven't paid any dividends. Borrowing money to give these rich folks more money is insane.

Now what was it Lynn Jenkins just said, the federal government should uphold our rights as outlined by the Constitution. Apparently Lynn Jenkins is ignorant of the First Amendment, the history of radio, the history of National Public Radio, and the history of the Corporation for Public Broadcasting. Jenkins may or may not know that the radio spectrum belongs to We the People. Licensees of broadcast stations hold their use of the spectrum in trust for the people. Misuse of that trust can result in license revocation.

In the early days of radio the Federal Communications Commission let the lower end of the radio dial be used by colleges and universities so that student run stations could help develop technology, skill, and talent. The Corporation for Public Broadcasting was formed by an Act of Congress in the 1960's. Commercial radio declined as the new technology of television soared. One mandate of that Act was for CPR to encourage the growth and development of non-commercial radio and to develop programming responsive to the interests of the American people.

National Public Radio was formed in the 1970's. NPR has been on the bleeding edge of broadcast programming when it comes to the public interest. From its start with live broadcasts of Senate hearings on the Vietnam War to Supreme Court nominees testifying before the Senate, NPR provides Americans with ready real-time access to live action from Washington. NPR developed All Things Considered and Morning Edition as it matured in its mission.

If Jenkins' rant was in some way related to the firing of Juan Williams then she should have said so. NPR has strict standards and Mr. Williams crossed the line. In my opinion the cable network pretending to be a legitimate news organization, calling itself FOX News, has no standards. FOX Propaganda serves no useful public interest. Demagoguery is not in the public interest, whether it stems from the floor of the House or that Republican propaganda machine called FOX.

Perhaps Jenkins was stoked by FOX Misinformation's owner Roger Ailes. The head distortionist for the Republican Party's Publicity Department was raging against National Public Radio making an attack often made by that entertainment company. Ailes compared NPR to Nazis. If that is what got Jenkins in a huff then she should turn FOX Fantasy off and turn on NPR. In Jenkins' case NPR can stand for Not Propaganda Radio.

Whatever Jenkins meant by her rambling discourse she needs to get a good case of being serious in quick fashion. Jenkins and the naysayers no longer have the luxury of not governing. Don't tell Kansans that NPR should be de-funded while you are advocating a $700 Billion increase to the deficit over the next decade.

Lynn Jenkins is going to find it difficult to govern without facts. Maybe that's why we got her tirade against NPR when the bill being debated was H.R. 1722. Had Jenkins checked she could have found out that NPR doesn't have a line in the federal budget to directly attack. That's right, NPR doesn't get direct contributions from the federal budget. Here is what NPR has to say on their website,

NPR receives no direct funding from the federal government. Less than two percent of the budget is derived from competitive grants from federally funded organizations such as the Corporation for Public Broadcasting, National Science Foundation, and National Endowment for the Arts. (Emphasis added.)
Approximately half of NPR's funding comes from NPR member stations. In an average year, NPR funds about 45 percent of its operations with membership dues and program fees from member stations. The balance of NPR's annual revenue is derived from private foundations, individuals and corporations, in the form of grants, gifts, investment proceeds, and corporate sponsorships. NPR receives some revenue from distribution fees and fees from tapes and transcripts. Financial statements, based on annual audits, are available in NPR's most recent Annual Report (5.7 MB - Requires Adobe Acrobat).
Jenkins and the Party of No continued their onslaught against advancing any positive ideas when they voted against H.R. 1722. The Teleworks Enhancement Bill now moves on to the President for his signature. H.R. 1722 is projected to cost $30 million over the next five years in administrative costs, if those funds are appropriated. H.R. 1722 is an important piece of legislation designed to keep certain governmental offices open during times of natural disaster or worse. One ice storm in the District of Columbia can shut down many government functions for days at a cost far exceeding these projected administrative costs.

Yesterday marked the first time in the modern history of the Republic when the servants of the Fat Cats openly thumbed their noses at the rest of America during a period of excessively high unemployment.

Yesterday, Lynn Jenkins and the Party of No, said no to extending unemployment benefits. The jobs are gone, the Fat Cats are sitting on the sidelines with their cash and their tax exemptions intact, and the Republicans said no to making sure middle class families can remain in the middle class. Happy Thanksgiving indeed.

The betrayal of trust with the middle class occurred on roll call vote 579. The bill H.R. 6419 got a majority of the votes from the Members of Congress. It failed because it was brought up under a Suspension of the Rules which required a ⅔ majority. The vote was 258 to 154, that means it needed 275 for passage. Seventeen lousy votes is what keeps the most economically stimulative measure from moving forward. Shameful!

The final order of business in the House was S.3774, a bill extending the deadline for filing for Social Services Block Grant expenditures of supplemental funds appropriated following disasters occurring in 2008. (Emphasis added). The bill extends, through FY2011, the deadline for state expenditure of certain emergency supplemental appropriations to the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) for the Administration for Children and Families provided for recovery from Hurricanes Ike and Rita and other 2008 natural disasters.

That's right the black hearted naysayers want to recoup those dollars from Children and Families to offset the Fat Cat Tax Boondoggle. Things are going to get very bad for the lower 98% of Americans if the Republicans give $700 billion to the Fat Cats!

S. 3774 passed on roll call vote 580, having garnered the required ⅔ majority vote with a margin of 366 to 40.

No comments:

Post a Comment