What sort of man picks on hungry children?
by Kevin Foley
July 03, 2014 11:55 PM | 2668 views | 23 23 comments | 23 23 recommendations | email to a friend | print
Rep. Jack Kingston calls himself a “fiscal hawk” who would slash federal budgets with a machete.

He especially wants to chop federal assistance programs for the elderly, the disabled, the unemployed and even young children.

When speaking about themselves, politicians just love to talk about the quality of their “character.”

So what sort of character does it take to single out low income children for special abuse? What kind of man wants America’s poor kids to suffer more than they already do?

It doesn’t take a cryptologist to crack Kingston’s Senate campaign code if you want to find the answers:

“Hard work built America’s economy, but today too many choose a handout over a hand up,” proclaims his web site.

Translation: He means the “hard work” of white Georgians. “Too many” refers to low-income black folks.

According to his campaign, “Jack Kingston has fought to implement a work requirement for able-bodied Americans on food stamps and to restore the work requirement for welfare that was gutted by the Obama Administration.”

Translation: Our black president made it easier for black folks to mooch.

Except that’s not true. Republican Ron Haskins, who helped overhaul welfare in 1996, said the work requirement was never “gutted” and Haskins calls such claims “very misleading.”

“I brought up my family on the same Judeo-Christian values on which I was raised and on which our country was founded,” says the candidate.

Kingston is one of those right-wingers who tell you in one breath they faithfully follow Jesus Christ’s teachings and in the next say “the least of these” richly deserve their lousy lot in life.

But what if you’re a little boy who didn’t ask to be born into a poverty-stricken home where buying food is a daily struggle?

Luckily, that child receives a free breakfast and lunch at school, which helps sustain him through a rigorous day of classes, the objective of which is to educate him so he can lift himself out of his dire circumstances.

Teachers know hungry kids have difficulty concentrating.

According to No Kid Hungry, 75 percent of America’s teachers said they have children showing up at school hungry and half say hunger is a serious problem in their classrooms.

Ah, but Kingston contends hungry children are being deliberately conditioned by their parents to sponge off others while letting the “social safety net become a hammock,” in the words of another God-fearing Republican, Rep. Paul Ryan.

“(T)here is, in fact, no such thing as a free lunch,” Kingston pontificated during the Christmas season last year. “(Children whose parents can’t afford to pay for lunch should) sweep the floor in the cafeteria. … Think what we’d gain as a society in getting the myth out of their head that there is such thing as a free lunch.”

And think of the humiliation those boys and girls would suffer as targets of ridicule. As if they don’t have enough bad stuff going on in their lives already, Kingston would add to their misery.

And this isn’t Kingston “misspeaking,” either. Last year, to save a tax break for millionaires, the congressman voted for a bill that would have kicked 280,000 low-income children out of the $11.6 billion National School Lunch Program.

Meantime, Kingston’s campaign website makes no mention of the epic waste and fraud at the Pentagon, where $11.6 billion is a rounding error.

Today, for example, the Navy is blowing $30 billion on the problem-plagued Littoral Combat Ship, a vessel that may never see combat.

So, Kingston would hand the Defense Department a blank check for big ticket boondoggles but, by God, make sure those indigent kids sweep the cafeteria floors if they want to eat.

Kingston’s contemptible attitude toward America’s most vulnerable citizens reveals the true content of his character.

Kevin Foley is an author, writer and public relations executive who lives in Kennesaw.

Comments
(23)
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Libby Howze
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July 10, 2014
I am so grateful that you wrote this story, Mr.Foley, and that the MDJ had the courage to publish it. Calling out the dog whistlers and raising the critical question of why a candidate would pick on children and the down trodden are the kinds of things that real leaders (not demagogues), the media, our religious institutions, and our communities need to be doing much more of. And we as individuals have a responsibility too to challenge dog whistlers and those who think they know how the other half live, but really haven't a clue or any interest in learning what it is like to walk in their shoes. Again, thanks!
Kevin Foley
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July 15, 2014
Thanks Libby. We progressives need to come out of the shadows and stand up to the status quo/Cobb-is-conservative cabal. It's total B.S.

When you remain silent and motionless, you enable the haters.

Speaking of religious institutions, have you noticed the crickets from Cobb's "Christian leaders" on the humanitarian crisis at the U.S. border?
mom comment
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July 09, 2014
I consider myself a liberal, but I agree with Jack Kingston on this point and will vote for him in the Primary. No one is taking any food from children.

My children went to Catholic school for as long as I could afford it. We good Catholics make every child work in the café they eat in. In order to keep the costs down, the children must do the cleanup with parent volunteers who supervise. To attend, parents have mandatory volunteering, you don't volunteer at something and your child will not come back next year. Students are scheduled on a rotating basis to wipe the tables, sweep the floors, pick up trash, etc... It gives them character.

When my children moved to public school you see the massive fraud of the free lunch program, promoted by the large school district staffs. Handing out forms telling certain demographics to fill out the form, leave the income blank or telling them the magic number to be under. I have seen parents get out of $60K plus Mercedes, with expensive weaves, nails done, designer handbags, shoes, clothes, sitting watch practice at the Rec. League games filling out the forms. If you are driving a luxury vehicle and can afford fancy hair and nail, with luxury purse, shoes and clothes you do not deserve free or reduced lunch. Buy your kids lunch or make it at home.

Anyone really in need is already receiving food stamps with the children's three meals included. If you shop the exterior of the store and cook at home you can make health meals and to go lunches on the food stamp allotment for families or 3-4 without a problem.

No never married person should have more than 1-2 children. What is wrong, there is perfectly good birth control. If you are so religious you should not have had sex outside of marriage first. More oops above that need to be put up for adoptions. Mothers under 21, that aren't married need to think what is best for the child, Adoption. If your 30, stable with a good job that supports a family then go for having children. But don't have children unless you can buy your own house and feed your own children without help.

These school districts are pathetic counting on the Free lunch population being high to get them Title one money. This is were the real theft of the system is.

All Free Lunch applications need to be 100% audited. The government can easily do this, they have the capability to check multiple systems now with the ACA ( Obama care, which is currently sending out letters to every self-employed or small business owner who got coverage asking them to verify their 2014 income. Two of my self employed/small business owners have been asked, and one whose family has been in Georgia since the 1700's was asked for proof of citizenship within the past couple of weeks).
Kevin Foley
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July 08, 2014
Mr. Harvey, I appreciate your polite response, although it would be nice if Mr. Devereaux told us what facts were missing or the facts I got wrong in this column (hint - he can't)

As for the red neck dog whistle, it's part and parcel to nearly every GOP campaign in the South. Remember Gingrich's "food stamp president" crack?

Sorry, sir, but "plausible deniability" doesn't cut it. Kingston knows exactly what he is saying and doing. Now how about responding to the crux of this piece? Why is Kingston picking on poor kids?
Ben Twomey
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July 10, 2014
Your letter is one more example of your liberal lunatic spin, motivated by your overt racism and hatred. Your "interpretations" of what Kingston said are childish as well as unsubstantiated. Your remarks about the defense budget arise from your total ignorance of the topic. ( I seem to recall your stating, in one fo your recent pieces of drivel, that ex-Presidents knew they were not privy to all the information available to those in power. Neither are you and that is why you are not qualified to judge what the military is working on.)

Your goal, in misstating what Kingston is trying to do, seems to be to perpetuate the entitlement mentality in order to gather more slaves onto the government plantation, with Obama as the master.

The fact that you choose to ignore the obvious waste in the free lunch programs does not mean that it does not exist. It means that recognizing it does not fit into your agenda.
Morris Devereaux
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July 04, 2014
How in the world can a moderately respected publication like the Marietta Daily Journal, provide space for this sort of biased propaganda? The entire article is based on nothing more than the writer's own racist, bigoted conceptions. There is NOTHING showing that Kingston has any sort of racial prejudices against the President or anyone else, yet this frames the gist of this cesspool. I'm astounded that the MDJ would publish pure crap like this. It is not an editorial...which would require some semblance of facts upon which to base an opinion. It's simple racist crapola.

Kevin Foley
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July 05, 2014
Mr. Devereaux, the MDJ's right wing columnists can make any baseless accusation or slur they please and you have no problem, but when I offer a progressive counterweight, backed up by the facts, your hair catches fire. So you've said there is "no semblance of facts" here, please identify for MDJ readers any fact I got wrong in this piece.

Of course there is nothing overtly racist coming from Kingston's campaign. That's why I said he is relying on the code Southern conservative politicians use when playing to racial stereotypes.

This is the tactic the late GOP strategist Lee Atwater advised them to employ back in the '80s if Republicans wanted to win white Southern votes. I'm not at all surprised that Kingston is taking that low road.

Byron Harvey
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July 08, 2014
And the irony is that it's the "progressive" types like Foley who find racism behind every shrub who want to then turn around and have a "national conversation" about race. Let's start here, Mr. Foley: I'm happy to concede that there are shameful remnants of a racist past which occasionally rear their ugly heads, if you'll admit that it's a cowardly cop-out to retreat to playing the race card as a convenient fall-back position when arguments fail or to effectively ruling out the telling of the truth on certain points because to do so necessarily and automatically means that "Southern code words" are dog-whistling to the rednecks.
Laura Armstrong
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July 04, 2014
Leave it to a liberal to be unable to rise above petty partisan rhetoric and lies on our nation's birthday. Foley is apparently incapable of finding any topic that would celebrate America or bring people together, if for a short moment.

Way to go Kev. Keep on showing us how liberal's truly think. Mean, nasty and willing to ay anything to advance the agenda of breaking our country.
PeeWeesBrother
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July 04, 2014
Kevin why should these poor unfortunate offsping of incompetent parents have a right to anyones hard earned funds? Why can't concerned people like you and others post your own money to a fund similar to the voluntary $3 Presidental Campaign Fund on the 1040 Federal Income Tax form? As we all know millions of dollars are generated each year by this fund to be distributed among qualified Presidental candidates. Something similar could be established to by groceries for these poor kids. It would be completely voluntary and no one who didn't want to be forced to pay support for someone else's brood would not be. And those who like you see a moral obligation to support these poor kids can do so on your own free will. Problem solved.
anonymous
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July 04, 2014
PeeWeesBrother, W.W.J.D. What would Jesus Do!
Bob Johnson
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July 05, 2014
anonymous

Jesus would get a job, pay his on way and get off of Well fare and food stamps.
PeeWeesBrother
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July 05, 2014
@to anonymous: I really don't give flip what Jesus would do or not do. Maybe Kevin can take a loaf of bread and a single fish and feed the massive influx of these illegal hungery alien brats? No one should be forced to pay child support with their tax dollars for the offspring of the disfunctional 3rd world.
anonymous
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July 06, 2014
@Bob Johnson & PeeWeesBrother who doesn't give a flip.

Mark 25, 38-41

When saw we thee a stranger, and took thee in? Or naked and clothed thee? Or when saw we thee sick, or in prison, and came unto thee?

And the King shall answer and say unto them Verily I say unto you "Inasmuch as ye have done it unto one of these the least of these my brethren, ye have do it unto me.

Then shall he say also unto them on the left hand,

Depart from me, ye cursed, into everlasting fire, prepared for the devil and his angels:

It'll be a hot time in the Republican Party tonight!

just saying
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July 06, 2014
Your ignorance is showing Ben Johnson: Jesus was an itinerant preacher who lived his life with no 401K, stock, real estate or other investments. He and his disciples lived entirely from the charity of others.

Matthew 8-20

"The foxes have holes, and the birds of the air have nests; but the Son of Man hath not where to lay his head".

If you look in the mirror Ben you will see that the vast majority of the people on welfare and food stamps are the same color as you!
Ben Twomey
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July 07, 2014
Jesus is not the one facing this problem, therefore what he would or would not do is irrelevant. It is also irrelevant because none of us are qualified to speak about what Jesus would do, since he never faced the problem.

As has been pointed out, he was apnnioless, itinerant preacher who did not have to face the problem of the government taking from him in order to give to someone else.

He could not even have fed the 5000 had not some boy WILLINGLY gave up his loaves and fishes. Or, do the liberals think that the disciples forcibly took 1020the loave and fishes from the kid?
just saying
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July 08, 2014
@BenTwomey What Jesus would or would not do is irrelevant! "None of us are qualified to speak about what Jesus would do". 'Isn't that the purpose of Christianity for the last two thousand year and the reason we use the Bible to guide our lives. Jesus did not need the government to take from him: Matthew 19-21 "Go and sell that thou hast, and give to the poor, and thou shalt have treasure in heaven: and come and follow me". Conservatives continually claim that this not a secular government but was founded by Christians on Christian principals. So at what point do you start acting like it? A government cannot stand idly by while innocent children suffer and still call itself Christian!

Ben Twomey
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July 08, 2014
@just saying. You have your thoughts on what Jesus would do. That does not make them correct. Nobody on this earth is qualified to say what Jesus would do in this circumstance becuase it never came up.

Nobody is advocating denying anybody anything. But, since I worked for the tax money they are using to feed these people, why is too much to ask for them to work a little bit in order to receive it?
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