Maybe It's Time for Komen to Change Those Pink Ribbons to GOP Red

Categories: Schutze

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We still have to read between the lines to glimpse the bottom line on the Komen Foundation's attack on Planned Parenthood, but the slowly emerging truth of the matter doesn't bode well.

Karen Handel, the Komen executive who resigned yesterday, has a weird talent for letting the cat out of the bag every time she tries again to toss the cat in the river. Speaking to her home-state newspaper yesterday, The Atlanta Journal-Constitution, the failed Georgia gubernatorial candidate reiterated her story about going to work Komen only to fight cancer.

But then in a statement the newspaper paraphrases rather than quotes directly, the paper reports that she also told their reporter her job at Komen was to "shepherd the organization to 'neutral ground' with respect to the abortion issue."

Yeah. That's what we thought.

NancyBrinkerandObama.jpg
Via.
"Does it burn?"
She said in her resignation letter that long before she went to work for Komen -- the personal fief of conservative Republican loyalist Nancy Brinker -- the foundation was already trying to find a way to get in on the right-wing blooding of Planned Parenthood.

That gets lost. This wasn't about the seven hundred grand that Planned Parenthood gets from Komen. This was about killing Planned Parenthood.

The far right is carrying out a jihad against Planned Parenthood -- an attempt to change its public profile from that of a deeply respected mainstream institution to the public image of institutional pariah. Komen was trying to put its own hard-earned mainstream heft behind that radicalism. Had Komen gotten away with it, this would have been a devastating blow.

Let's take Handel at her own unintentionally revelatory word. She says in her resignation letter that somebody at Komen was already trying to find a way to cut a vein at Planned Parenthood before she came on board. That would be ... let's see here, Sherlock ... that would be ... yes, Ms. Brinker, we believe, since Komen is entirely her own high tea party.

So Handel's brilliant contribution must have been the scheme to pass a policy saying Komen couldn't give money to any organization "under investigation," then cite an inquiry by a hare-brained Tea Party congressman from Florida, then cut off Planned Parenthood -- all to appease the anti-choice fringe.

What did the un-clever un-governor fail to consider? For one thing, within an hour of the announcement that Komen was cutting off Planned Parenthood, reporters and bloggers around the country began compiling lists of other entities still supported by Komen that were under investigations a hell of a lot more serious than the Florida goof-ball inquiry -- Penn State, for example, and right here in Dallas, at Parkland Hospital and its partner UT Southwestern Medical School.

But even more revealing is Handel's argument to the Atlanta Journal-Constitution that she did not intend for any of this to become "political" and that it was only Planned Parenthood that made it so. How could this not be political? Komen jumped flat-footed into the middle of the only political issue in this country that may be even more volatile than race -- abortion. What? They jumped in the ocean, but it was never their intention to get wet? What does the word, political, even mean to her? Does it mean controversial?

Well, sure, they wanted to pull this off but avoid any damaging blowback to themselves. That's like wanting to rob a bank but having a sincere and passionate desire not to get caught. Many of us might share similar feelings, but the resolution most of us come to is not to rob the damn bank.

I have to go back to some of my original assessment on a lot of this. This is another great oops moment in the Rick Perry tradition.

Now, some of you worthy Lawners out there got mad at me for blaming it on a "Texas echo chamber." You argued that the Northeast and the West Coast and Chicago all have their own echo chambers. True. Good points, all. I should have been way more precise.

Texas is a big diverse state with lots and lots of smart reasonable sophisticated people who wouldn't have touched this move with a 10-foot pole. This is not about a Texas echo chamber. This is about the dumb echo chamber.

This is about people who couldn't politically strategize their way out of a wet paper bag. And, if I may, at some point can we go back to another point that seems to be getting lost? What about the evidence showing that Komen gives barely a fifth of the money it collects to cancer research while the Breast Cancer Research Foundation gives almost 90 percent? Is that question worth revisiting?

The slowly emerging bottom line, meanwhile, will not go away soon. What emerges is a picture of Komen as a deeply conservative very political entity under the thumb of a rich Republican who thought it would be a good idea to slit Planned Parenthood's throat over the abortion issue.

That's what we will have to think about, next time somebody tries to pin a pink ribbon on us. Maybe, in the ultimate act of candor, Komen might agree to switch to red ribbons.

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140 comments
GBC
GBC

Boy, you liberals have gone completely bananas over this whole thing!  Wow, who would think one charity cutting off funds to another charity would cause this kind of controversy.  I mean what are you baby killers complaining about, they (PP) got more from the pro abortion forces in one week than Komen gives them in a year.  Go what's the big deal?  I guess when it's like a "religion" to you this kind of reaction can be expected.

WarDepartment
WarDepartment

Nancy Brinker has earned a place in the rogues' gallery of right-wing Zionist Jews. In December 2011, she received the Union for Reform Judaism's "highest honor" at a Washington convention that boasted of such "top-notch speakers" as the war-mongering Neocon ideologue William Kristol, Israel-first Tea Party darling Eric Cantor, and suspected Israeli war criminal Ehud Barak.

MightyCasey
MightyCasey

Jim, I love you. I'm a breast cancer warrior who long ago grew weary of "pink", recognizing that Komen was now more about pink culture than they were about cancer research. It might have been the pink-beribboned buckets of KFC, might have been the "Promise Me" perfume containing toluene and galaxolide (known carcinogens), might have been the team-up with Avon, whose makeup is full of carcinogenic preservatives. All in the name of "awareness" - WTF? Are we really not "aware" of cancer at this point? We don't need more awareness. We need effective prevention, early detection, and treatment. 

Sa
Sa

I just don't think I can ever wear my pink ribbon pin and bracelet again. 

RTGolden
RTGolden

Maybe Jim, you should do a bit more research into the charities you decide to laud and magnify and those you choose to castigate.

Komen President - Nancy Brinker - $400,000/yr

BCRF President - Myra Biblowit - $585,556/yr

For sourcing, I got the komen figure from a previous Unfair Park article.

for BCRF, I got the figures here:

http://www.bcrfcure.org/images...

I'm not claiming this should make a difference, but one of the most common charges leveled at Brinker is her $400k/yr salary.  Needless to say, I contribute to my own preferred charities and neither of these two are on that list.

Albert
Albert

Ok, I'll try for a third time...

**Grumpy Demo sez: " one-every-95-seconds pace of PP abortions"another Wing fun fact pulled from someone's (Rush, Hanity, OReilly's) ass.**http://www.plannedparenthood.o...

Joe L
Joe L

This whole mess may have a sterling silver lining if it gets people to take a closer look at these charities.  There is another cancer in this land, the insidious politicization of organizations that should not be political.  This has gotten enough attention and threatens Ms Brinker seriously enough that she probably won't be misbehaving again soon.  The dimensions of what she perceives can be gotten away with are probably diminished.

I would like to hear from some one who has inside information as to how Handel was selected for her job.  According to her Wikipedia bio she does not even have a college degree.

Was this purely a sinecure for political reasons?  To what extent, if any, is Komen a slush fund for conservative political purposes, hiring extreme right politicos who need a job?

Are there other people at Komen with this profile, that is their salient qualification is not professional, but political?  When we give money to Komen are we unwittingly contributing to a (far right) political cause and intolerance?  Handel was apparently caught in another lie.  She joined the Gay group "Log Cabin Republicans" for a couple of years (that's got to be an interesting group) but subsequently denied it, speaking against gay marriage and saying gay people should not be able to adopt.  My understanding is that gays often take adoptions that not one else will.

That the Breast Cancer Research foundation gives 90% to research is definitely good information to have.

If Susan B. Komen has a conservative political agenda they should be honest and openly state it.

Albert
Albert

Or like John Kerry.

Teagan Allen Caudle
Teagan Allen Caudle

Interesting slants in this whole article, especially equating "prolife" as "anti-choice". Funny, but when you choose to have unprotected sex, and the consequences are pregnancy, you have made a choice, but will not own up to the responsibility of the life you started. So, because of "inconvenience" or any other excuse, you "choose" to end a life. Medical professionals agree that life (or the process of life) begins at conception, but let's look at things, such as a heartbeat beginning at 18 days, or blood circulating at 21 days, or brainwaves at 6 weeks, or neural structures for pain sensation at 9 weeks. These are all medical facts, documented in texts like JAMA, medical books, etc. So, let's flip the "equation" - "pro-choice" as "pro-death"? Think about it... no really, "think" before coming up with rationalizations to excuse oneself for ending another life.

Erich S
Erich S

I think it's something more like $5-million.

Grumpy Demo
Grumpy Demo

I'm still trying to figure out why Komen hired a college drop-out with no education, experience or background in either health care or cancer for a leadership role?

It appears her sole qualifications was her, rather thin, political background.

I still think Komen wanted some of the Merck millions that was going to the Bush Propaganda Institute for rehabbing a failed Presidency and the Bush would let them in the club unless they threw Planned Parenthood under the bus.

Just another "mission accomplished"moment in the life of the Park Cities GOP fembots.

Albert
Albert

How's #Occupy doing these days?

Albert
Albert

Komen accounts for about 700K out of PP's ninety million dollar budget.

The one-every-95-seconds pace of PP abortions will continue, even should they lose this HUGE chunk of their budget.

Albert
Albert

About twenty percent.

Tis is real easy to find, on the internet.

Albert
Albert

While private sector folks grapple over this, the administration is busy attacking the first amendment via this same issue.

Priorities.

Chris Danger
Chris Danger

Jim, i'll say this about Nancy Brinker: Shes been off the deep end for years, even before she took over the family fortune.  She reminds me of one of those trophy wifes who wants to still be in the spotlight even after her husband dumped her and moved on..If you think about it, Norman Brinker did do that the day he died from falling off a horse..

Back to my point: Brinker is someone who has turned a very serious cause in her sisters memory into a money-making racket that "licenses" their symbol out to known carcinogen-laden products. Instead of taking issue with that, they turn a blind eye and try to defund vital services for lower to moderate income women. I have a feeling the Komen house of cards is beginning to fall into its self, heres hoping the IRS also launches an investigation into their practices and has their 501c3 pulled..

WatchingSouth Detroit
WatchingSouth Detroit

Hey Nancy Brinker - please explain why only 20% of the money raised goes to research?  "Administrative" costs at a "well run" charity should NOT be 80% of the money raised by the charity.  It should be the other way around - 20% for administration and 80% for research.  Take your Highland Park, society cronies off the bloated payroll.

master c
master c

People! Women like their birth control! That is the whole nut. Right there. Women over child bearing age and men are less likely to like it. 

footmeetA$$
footmeetA$$

Komen, hunny, why'd ya let us downwe've been running and buying your pink stuff all over townonly for the giving public to be slapped in the faceOh, Komen, what a big disgracea let down to those who stood for womenthe pink that shone brightly now seems to be dimmin'if it was abortions you didn't like why not be forwardinstead of hiding behind quick made policies that make y'all look like cowardsDamn, Komen, it pains me to saybut y'all just lost another pink customer on this blackened day....

Rimrock
Rimrock

Shut up Jim you left wing hack.  I know, I'm stating the obvious since you work at the left wing rag of Dallas. 

Bmarvel
Bmarvel

Jim,Just to keep things clear: I know the working assumption here is that only Republicans or Tea Pots or frothing right-wingers oppose abortion. The truth is, large numbers of Americans who count themselves as non-aligned or Democrat or even liberal view abortion as an unmitigated evil. In framing this as a right versus left issue, pundits have dragged the debate over abortion into territory where it doesn't stand a chance of a serious airing. Whatever happened between Komen and Planned Parenthood is mostly Komen's problem. As for the rest of us, one can work towards ending both breast cancer and abortion. The two causes are not mutually exclusive.

Bmarvel
Bmarvel

GBC,Your characterization of choice advocates as liberal is neither helpful nor accurate. As several here have pointed out, opposition to abortion is not a conservative-liberal issue, nor a right-left issue, nor a political issue at all, except secondarily. So thanks for muddyng the waters.Worse yet is your inflated rhetoric about "you baby killers." Your comments in general do no credit to whatever "religion" you imagine yourself to be professing. There are occasions when someone butts into an argument and immediately through their ineptitude spread crap all over their own side of the issue. You, GBC, are one of those occasions.   

Albert
Albert

More pink stuff got scrubbed from more Mercedes than any time in human history.

All over the choice of a private charity which donated less than one percent of of the budget.

Some insist on making the wrong choice, apparently.

Albert
Albert

If you're concerned about insidious politicization of charity, check out PP President Cecile Richards.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/C... don't get more insidiously political than her.If Planned Parenthood has a left-wing political agenda they should be honest and openly state it.

Albert
Albert

Grumpy, have you checked out Cecile Richards' background?

You should have, before going after Komen's choice.

Grumpy Demo
Grumpy Demo

Pretty damn good change the entire National conversation, even the GOP has to address income distribution.

When was the last time the Tea Brithers did anything, their last convention was a flop.

Grumpy Demo
Grumpy Demo

" one-every-95-seconds pace of PP abortions"

another Wing fun fact pulled from someone's (Rush, Hanity, OReilly's) ass.

Albert
Albert

400K of that 700K goes to pay  the salary of PP's president.

Albert
Albert

By "carcinogen-laden", do you mean the PlanB/Morning after pill?

G_David
G_David

According to Charity Navigator: (other watchdog groups report similar numbers) (Research 25% Education 35% Screening 11%Treatment 6%  22% was used for Fundraising and Other Administrative Expenses.

You're way off.

Albert
Albert

Komen devotes twenty percent to administrative, not eighty.

Get your facts straight

Mikey
Mikey

So does that make you a right wing hack-off?

Phelps
Phelps

I think that what you are missing is that in Jim-world, there are only two kinds of people -- those who agree with him, and frothing right wing tea pot republicans.

Grumpy Demo
Grumpy Demo

"The truth is, large numbers of Americans who count themselves as non-aligned or Democrat or even liberal view abortion as an unmitigated evil"

Truth is you don't know what you talking about 75-80% of Americans are NOT ant-choice.

http://www.pollingreport.com/a...

I know it's easy to think you can win an argument by pulling made of facts out of you ass.

scottindallas
scottindallas

change "unmitigated evil" to "unfortunate and inevitable evil"  like divorce and I can agree with what you wrote

Kb
Kb

This is an extremely good point, and one that always gets glossed over.  Assuming right-wingers are all anti-abortion, and vice versa, is sophmorically oversimplified, and just plain wrong.  

What's correct (I think) is that most right-wing religious whack-jobs are against abortion, on so-called "religious" grounds.  But not all conservatives are religious conservatives.

I know many, many, many very conservative folks who are in favor of abortion.  There are a variety of reasons, but let's face it, at the worst end of the spectrum I'm describing, plenty of non-religious, conservative, GOP-voting folks are ecstatic that poor and minority folks have abortion available to them as an option, as opposed to the bringing of more poor and minority kids into the world.

And on the other hand, I, like many, many of my friends, am considered pretty left-leaning on social issues, from gay marriage to the environment to gun control, you name it, am not at all religious, and would never vote for a Republican in a million years, but am of the opinion that abortion is unjustified homicide. 

GBC
GBC

Well to begin with you throw out the "opinion" that "choice" is not a right left issue is not accurate. Lets look at some facts from an ABC poll.  Direct quote: "Sixty-three percent of Democrats and 69 percent of liberals support legal abortion; 55 percent of Republicans and 58 percent of conservatives oppose it."  Here is the complete article if you think I am a lying conservative;   http://abcnews.go.com/sections...So your first premise is wrong it is, by and large, a right V left issue.

Second my "inflated rhetoric", exactly what would you call it.  To begin with every medical text book defines the beginning of life as conception, ask any doctor.  Here is a definition of when life begins straight out of a medical text book.

 "Human development begins at fertilization, the process during which a male gamete or sperm (spermatozoo developmentn) unites with a female gamete or oocyte (ovum) to form a single cell called a zygote. This highly specialized, totipotent cell marked the beginning of each of us as a unique individual."

Keith L. Moore, The Developing Human: Clinically Oriented Embryology, 7th edition. Philadelphia, PA: Saunders, 2003. pp. 16, 2.

So, the scientist all agree life begins at conception.  So, if it's not "baby killing" exactly what is it; convenient birth control?

Albert
Albert

The last time the <insert clever="" for="" funny="" name="" party="" tea=""> did anything was the last election. They changed the national conversation to US debt, etc, and got people elected

Obama, not #occupy, started the national conversation on inequality, which has been a staple issue for the democrat socialists for... oh... a few decades.

And now? #Occupy gets no real press coverage because the silly antics are embarrassing to supporters such Pelosi and Obama. 15 Minutes is up.

For kicks, check out how many governorships R's have compared to D's.

For even more better kicks, check out state legislatures. Momentum, baby.</insert>

Phelps
Phelps

Well, they elected Michelle Bachmann, Rand Paul, Marco Rubio, Allen West, Sean Duffy, and scores of others.  Who has Occupy elected again?  Chairman of the Rape and Robbery Committee?  (up twinkles!  up twinkles!)

Occupy didn't change anything in the conversation.  They just gave the media license to claim someone else was saying what they had been saying all along.

Albert
Albert

It's from Planned Parenthood, their own statistics.

I've tried to post the link 4 times, won't take for some reason.

You'll have to look it up yourself. It's not very difficult.

Every 95 seconds is correct.t.

Albert
Albert

Ok, now I'll embarrass you, dude.

http://www.plannedparenthood.o...

Do the math and get back to us, eh?

(You really should do some research on your own, preferably prior to making a fool of yourself.)

Grumpy Demo
Grumpy Demo

Another fun fact pulled from a Winger ass.

Towski
Towski

Physician, heal thyself.

Bmarvel
Bmarvel

I'm not arguing polls or statistics here, GD. I'm simply pointing out that opposition to abortion is not a monopoly of the right. Your reduction of everything to right-left politics, by the way, may explain why you are so Grumpy.

Phelps
Phelps

Did you even read the link that you posted?  

CBS Jan 12 poll -- only 37% support the current "choice" regime.  A full 60% want it either more restricted or completely abolished.

ABC July 14 poll -- 45% want it illegal in most or all cases

Gallup, May 5 poll: "Would you consider yourself to be pro-choice?"  Only 45% agreed.

You are wrong.  You're not operating on a difference of opinion.  You want your own set of facts.

Bmarvel
Bmarvel

GBC,You seem to be under the illusion that I am "pro-choice," so let me straighten out your muddled attempt to stuff me into one of your handy pre-arranged mental cubbyholes, which save you from the arduous labor of actually thinking. I am a committed, practicing Roman Catholic and have never made any secret of my opposition to abortion.Your argument, such as it is, seems to boil down to two possibilities: Either pro-abortion views are evil because they come from the liberal side -- an absurdity, inasmuch as only a fool or a dupe would argue that the rightness or wrongness of any particular view stems from its place on a (largely imaginary) left-right political spectrum. Or, on the contrary, the political left holds immoral views because it favors "choice" - also absurd inasmuch as (1) no coherent definition of liberal is offered (or even possible) and therefore the poll respondents were left to label themselves according to whatever criteria popped into their minds, and (2) even accepting ABC's bogus statistics, I note that over 30 percent of self-described "liberals" oppose abortion, a not inconsiderable figure and one that raises the question, What after all IS a liberal, or a conservative, and do these categories have any real meaning?Left and right, "liberal" and "conservative," are not consistent and considered political positions,as social scientists frequently point out, but mere reflections of emotional predispositions, examples of the power of one's upbringing, or history potty training, or the state of one's digestion.A little test, here: Ask yourself: Home schooling, good or bad? Big government, good or bad? What would be the "conservative" and liberal positions be? Well, in the late 1960s, "liberals" held that home schooling was food, big government bad; conservatives held the opposite. What in the world do liberals imagine they are so free about; what do conservatives think they are conserving?    My argument, once again since you seem to have missed it, is that opposition to abortion is not based upon political positions (Are constitutional monarchists pro- or anti-abortion? Social Democrats? Fascists? Capitalists?) Abortion finally in rooted in morality and ethics and not in politics. As to your inflated rhetoric: You seem to have lost your grip on rational argument at this point, so you fall back on that easy, sleazy old standby - labeling your adversary instead of dealing with your adversary's arguments. Has it crossed your mind here that your thoughtless and clumsy arguments actually might make the case for abortion more persuasive? (What if I think I hold mostly "liberal" views, whatever I imagine that might mean; do I give then give up my position on abortion in order to be consistent? Ås a conservative am I duty-bound to oppose "choice"?) As somebody who views the argument over abortion as one of the most important of our times, I implore you, next time think before you blog. Or better yet, keep still.     

Lolotehe
Lolotehe

You mean the movement that started a few months ago, between election cycles? Who did they elect?

Albert
Albert

And for all intents and purposes, they are gone from the national radar.

Other than the costs to the private and public sector, the destruction, flag-burning, piss-throwing "F*** Da Police!"

Oh yeah, this movement's got legs.

Albert
Albert

I won;t embarrass you, Grumpy.

I'll just suggest you do some research, amigo.

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