Is the Constitution outdated, how many 'helicopter parents' are there really, a police death up close, remembering Luverne's Frederick Manfred, and embracing winter in shorts.
It should be some session with reporters in Georgia today when Karen Handel, who has resigned as VP of the Susan G. Komen for the Cure, speaks about her departure and, presumably, the dust-up caused by last week's defunding -- and subsequent refunding -- of Planned Parenthood. Handel's fingerprints appear to be on the original decision.
She refused a severance package, which usually comes in exchange for keeping silent about the inner workings of an organization. Bottom line: There'll be some quotable statements in Goergia today.
In her resignation e-mail, Handel acknowledges she played a big part in the decision. In an earlier interview, Komen founder Nancy Brinker said she didn't. Somebody's lying.
Here's her resignation email:
Dear Ambassador Brinker:
Susan G. Komen for the Cure has been the recognized leader for more 30 years in the fight against breast cancer here in the US - and increasingly around the world.
As you know, I have always kept Komen's mission and the women we serve as my highest priority - as they have been for the entire organization, the Komen Affiliates, our many supporters and donors, and the entire community of breast cancer survivors. I have carried out my responsibilities faithfully and in line with the Board's objectives and the direction provided by you and Liz.
We can all agree that this is a challenging and deeply unsettling situation for all involved in the fight against breast cancer. However, Komen's decision to change its granting strategy and exit the controversy surrounding Planned Parenthood and its grants was fully vetted by every appropriate level within the organization. At the November Board meeting, the Board received a detailed review of the new model and related criteria. As you will recall, the Board specifically discussed various issues, including the need to protect our mission by ensuring we were not distracted or negatively affected by any other organization's real or perceived challenges. No objections were made to moving forward.
I am deeply disappointed by the gross mischaracterizations of the strategy, its rationale, and my involvement in it. I openly acknowledge my role in the matter and continue to believe our decision was the best one for Komen's future and the women we serve. However, the decision to update our granting model was made before I joined Komen, and the controversy related to Planned Parenthood has long been a concern to the organization. Neither the decision nor the changes themselves were based on anyone's political beliefs or ideology. Rather, both were based on Komen's mission and how to better serve women, as well as a realization of the need to distance Komen from controversy. I believe that Komen, like any other nonprofit organization, has the right and the responsibility to set criteria and highest standards for how and to whom it grants.
What was a thoughtful and thoroughly reviewed decision - one that would have indeed enabled Komen to deliver even greater community impact - has unfortunately been turned into something about politics. This is entirely untrue. This development should sadden us all greatly.
Just as Komen's best interests and the fight against breast cancer have always been foremost in every aspect of my work, so too are these my priorities in coming to the decision to resign effective immediately. While I appreciate your raising a possible severance package, I respectfully decline. It is my most sincere hope that Komen is allowed to now refocus its attention and energies on its mission.
With Handel aboard, there was no way the Komen wasn't going to be seen as bowing to politics in its Planned Parenthood decision, considering that she'd run for governor of Georgia before and made her position pretty clear:
First, let me be clear, since I am pro-life, I do not support the mission of Planned Parenthood. During my time as Chairman of Fulton County, there were federal and state pass-through grants that were awarded to Planned Parenthood for breast and cervical cancer screening, as well as a "Healthy Babies Initiative." The grant was authorized, regulated, administered and distributed through the State of Georgia. Because of the criteria, regulations and parameters of the grant, Planned Parenthood was the only eligible vendor approved to meet the state criteria. Additionally, none of the services in any way involved abortions or abortion-related services. In fact, state and federal law prohibits the use of taxpayer funds for abortions or abortion related services and I strongly support those laws. Since grants like these are from the state I'll eliminate them as your next Governor.
Even if it's true -- unlikely though it seems -- that the entire Komen episode wasn't a political coup unraveling, it appears unlikely the organization can escape the political sphere it's spent the last few days desperately trying to avoid.(4 Comments)
An unidentified woman at the airport in Duluth is alive today, because someone knew where an automatic external defibrillator was located and used it to restart her heart.
Many companies -- I think mine is one of them, but I'm not entirely sure -- have AEDs tucked into a wall somewhere, but they're not helpful if people don't know where they are.
New Zealand has the right idea. There, volunteers have set up a directory of AED locations.
A company makes a wireless product that will automatically locate a nearby AED, but the $399 product is mostly intended for emergency responders and most of them already carry a defibrillator.
Then there's the matter of how to use the AED if you can find one. When your cubicle neighbor is toes up, you don't want to be reading instructions. Maybe this will help:(3 Comments)
The news today is filled with head-scratching stories from the world of schools.
Check out these:
-- A Newfoundland teacher has been suspended with pay from her job after she sprayed a kid with Febreeze. Christian Roberts, 10, made the mistake of eating fish at lunchtime last week, according to his mother. His mother said her son's classmates starting teasing him about the fishy smell. The teacher sent her son out of class for one period and then sprayed the air freshener on him. (CBC)
-- In Florida, an 11-year-old boy is in police custody after he cornered a special education student in the bathroom and tried to set him on fire. CBS reports the boy "took a can of Old Spice body spray and lit the spray stream on fire." He then "directed the fire stream at fellow student." The school's resource officer told WTSP TV he doesn't think it was a targeted attack but more for "entertainment."
-- A young man in Winona is back in school after grabbing his crotch during a Michael Jackson impersonation. Lenny Boberg, 9, was suspended immediately after the performance of "Billie Jean." The school's principal apologized, the Winona Daily News reports..
-- Mark Denicore and his wife, Amy, are heading for court. Their crime: Daughter Sophie is chronically late for school. Mr. Denicore is an attorney and says he could lose his law license over this. (Loudon Times)(4 Comments)
Many times, an important legal decision comes with its own language, indecipherable by mere mortals. Today's 9th Circuit Court of Appeals decision that upheld a lower court's ruling that California's ban on gay marriage is unconstitutional is not one of them.
Consider, for example, this passage on the word "marriage," which invokes Frank Sinatra, Groucho Marx, Abraham Lincoln, Marilyn Monroe, and Shakespeare. We dare guess it's the first time in the history of this nation, that a legal ruling has done that.
We need consider only the many ways in which we encounter the word "marriage" in our daily lives and understand it, consciously or not, to convey a sense of significance. We are regularly given forms to complete that ask us whether we are "single" or "married." newspapers run announcements of births, deaths, and marriages. We are excited to see someone ask, "will you marry me?", whether on bended knee in a restaurant or in text splashed across a stadium Jumbotron. Certainly it would not have the same effect to see "will you enter into a registered domestic partnership with me?"
Groucho Marx's one-liner, "marriage is a wonderful institution... but who wants to live in an institution?" would lack its punch if the word "marriage" were replaced with the alternative phrase. So too with Shakespeare's "A young man married is a man that's marr'd," Lincoln's "marriage is neither heaven nor hell, it simply purgatory," and Sinatra's "A man doesn't know what happiness is until he's married. By then it's too late." We see tropes like "marrying for love" versus "marrying for money" played out again and again in our films and literature because of the recognized important and permanence of the marriage relationship. Had Marilyn Monroe's films been called How to Register a Domestic Partnership with a Millionaire, it would not have conveyed the same meaning as did her famous movie, even though the underlying drama for same-sex couples is not different. The name "marriage" signifies the unique recognition that society gives to harmonious, loyal, enduring and intimate relationships."
Here's the full ruling:5 Comments)
The Guardian website/newspaper in the UK apparently sent a team to Minnesota to find out how Minnesotans made up their minds about who to vote for in the primary (psst, Guardian, it's a caucus).
And by "Minnesotans," they mean about five white people on either a city block in Minneapolis or a shopping mall in Maple Grove.
(h/t: Jon Gordon)(5 Comments)