Addison’s Disease is a very painful hormonal disorder caused by adrenal glands not producing enough cortisol. Addison Disease is a painful political disorder when your state keeps electing a federal politician who doesn’t represent your state’s best interests.
Presenting false narratives about a candidate’s personal and private history is nothing new in national politics. The 35th President of the United States, former senator John Fitzgerald Kennedy, used his boyish good looks to promote an image of “vigah” against his churlish opponent, Vice President Richard Milhous Nixon. The extent of Kennedy’s medical problems was well-hidden from the public. Kennedy suffered from ulcers, colitis and Addison’s Disease.
The National Institute of Health’s MedlinePlus website describes Addision’s Disease as:
The adrenal glands are small hormone-releasing organs located on top of each kidney. They are made up of an outer portion, called the cortex, and an inner portion, called the medulla.
The cortex produces three hormones:
Glucocorticoid hormones (such as cortisol) maintain sugar (glucose) control, decrease (suppress) immune response, and help the body respond to stress.
Mineralocorticoid hormones (such as aldosterone) regulate sodium and potassium balance.
Sex hormones, androgens (male) and estrogens (female), affect sexual development and sex drive.
Addison disease results from damage to the adrenal cortex. The damage causes the cortex to produce hormone levels that are too low.
Presidential historian, Robert Dallek, writes in “The Medical Ordeals of JFK”
Together with recent research and a growing understanding of medical science, the newly available records allow us to construct an authoritative account of JFK’s medical tribulations. And they add telling detail to a story of lifelong suffering, revealing that many of the various treatments doctors gave Kennedy, starting when he was a boy, did far more harm than good. In particular, steroid treatments that he may have received as a young man for his intestinal ailments could have compounded—and perhaps even caused—both the Addison’s disease and the degenerative back trouble that plagued him later in life. Travell’s prescription records also confirm that during his presidency—and in particular during times of stress, such as the Bay of Pigs fiasco, in April of 1961, and the Cuban missile crisis, in October of 1962—Kennedy was taking an extraordinary variety of medications: steroids for his Addison’s disease; painkillers for his back; anti-spasmodics for his colitis; antibiotics for urinary-tract infections; antihistamines for allergies; and, on at least one occasion, an anti-psychotic (though only for two days) for a severe mood change that Jackie Kennedy believed had been brought on by the antihistamines.
It was the treatment of steroids for his variety of medical problems that may have caused or contributed to Kennedy’s Addison’s disease. Dallek’s information raises serious question about the fitness of the 35th President to be the most powerful person in the world and how much those maladies affected his judgement. Kennedy, his family and his political advisers perpetuated a lie on the American public. This lie diminishes all we want to believe about the time of Camelot in the White House.
It is also the treatment of steroids for a more specific medical condition that brings into question the desirability of the Senior Senator from Kentucky’s fitness for holding federal office. Addison Mitchell “Mitch” McConnell, Jr. is running for 6th term against Kentucky’s Secretary of State, Alison Lundergren Grimes, who at age 35, is 37 years his junior.
Senator Addison’s past has some “unexplained peculiarities”. In 1967, McConnell enlisted in the Army Reserve was assigned to 100th Division in Fort Knox, Kansas. He allegedly contracted optical neuritis, which is treated by steroids to reduce the swelling and pressure. This condition is not considered to be serious and not cause for military discharge. McConnell allegedly requested his discharge to attend New York University Law School, except he was not enrolled at NYU and had already had achieved a law degree from the University of Kentucky.
“Alan Lynch, a Lexington Postal Clerk, served in the 100th Army Reserve Unit, Louisville, Kentucky. He was in another unit in 1964 but the Army did a consolidation of units and he was transferred to the 100th in 1965 or 1966. He performed several duties while he served in the military postal clerk and personnel officer. Mr. Lynch has a remarkable story about the summer of 1967.
The summary of the story is as follows:
In the summer of 1967 Lynch reported for his summer active duty in the 100th Training Unit Army Reserve. The Unit did their summer active duty at Ft. Jackson, South Carolina. Lynch worked for S-1, the administrative arm of any army unit. Lynch worked for a Major, who was the assistant Adjutant and new to the unit. During his active duty in August of 1967 Lynch remembers coming into the office and noticed that the Major was upset. He asked him what was going on and the Major told him the following:
A new member of the 100th Army Reserve Unit in Basic Training at Ft. Knox was arrested in the barracks for sodomy. The guy is getting out of the military and the excuse will be due to an illness an eye disorder. The Major then told a joke about it saying I guess the guy couldn’t see the difference between guys and girls.
Lynch asked him how this guy could accomplish this and get a release from the army. The Major told him that the soldier had served as an intern to Senator John Sherman Cooper and Senator Cooper called the Commanding General of Ft. Knox to arrange the discharge.
At the time the Major told Lynch the name of the soldier but the name didn’t stick to his brain. Lynch said frankly it was not important at the time because the name McConnell meant nothing to him. It was not until the issue was raised in McConnell’s senate race of 1990 that he remembered the incident. Lynch provided the information to reporters with the Courier Journal and Herald Leader but they did nothing with it because they didn’t have any real evidence. They only have the story of Lynch.”
This story is important because of how it compares to McConnell’s anti-female and anti-LGBT voting record in the Senate.
Voted NO on reauthorizing the Violence Against Women Act. (Feb 2013)
Voted NO on recommending Constitutional ban on flag desecration. (Jun 2006)
Voted YES on constitutional ban of same-sex marriage. (Jun 2006)
Voted NO on adding sexual orientation to definition of hate crimes. (Jun 2002)
Voted NO on expanding hate crimes to include sexual orientation. (Jun 2000)
Voted YES on prohibiting same-sex marriage. (Sep 1996)
Voted NO on prohibiting job discrimination by sexual orientation. (Sep 1996)
Voted YES on banning affirmative action hiring with federal funds. (Jul 1995)
Rated 20% by the ACLU, indicating an anti-civil rights voting record. (Dec 2002)
Rated 0% by the HRC, indicating an anti-gay-rights stance. (Dec 2006)
Rated 7% by the NAACP, indicating an anti-affirmative-action stance. (Dec 2006)
You can review McConnell’s full voting record through 2013 at http://www.ontheissues.org/senate/mitch_mcconnell.htm
In 2014, he also voted against the Violence Against Women Act, The Paycheck Fairness Act, The “Hobby Lobby Overturn” Act, and The Lily Ledbetter Act. He voted for the Defense of Marriage Act. McConnell voted against the Employment Aon-Discrimination Act. Add to this list, Senator Addison’s strong opposition to the Affordable Health Care Act, which has greatly benefited Kentuckians and especially, women’s access to healthcare, then there is a strong pattern of voting against women’s rights.
What’s worse is that he publicly claims credit for voting for these acts, except he didn’t.
So this support for McConnell by Kentucky women at the recent Fancy Farm picnic is bizarre.
In Senator Addision’s world, if you’re a female it’s OK if you don’t receive equal pay for equal work. It’s OK if you’re female and you’re a victim of domestic violence. It’s OK if you’re female and you don’t have control of the reproduction in your own body. If you’re lesbian, gay, transgender or bisexual, it’s OK if you’re discriminated against in the workplace for your sexual identity. If you’re lesbian, gay, transgender or bisexual, It’s OK to be harmed for your sexual identity. In Senator Addison’s world, if you aren’t a white male, preferably a rich, white male, then you don’t matter at all.
This is just one more example of Kentucky’s Addison Disease – voting for a federal politician who does not vote for or represent your state’s interests. Unfortunately, this disease is not limited to Kentucky and it is not limited to women and LGBT rights.
In part II of Kentucky – You Have Addison Disease, we’ll present more information about how Senator Addison does not represent the interests of Kentucky. When you check a candidate’s history and you see reports of bizarre incidents then you should think twice about how trustworthy they are overall.