Archive for February 2nd, 2012

by jhwygirl

By now most of you have heard of the Susan G. Kolman for the Cure Foundation hullaboo over them having pulled funding from Planned Parenthood for mammogram funding. Because Planned Parenthood is under investigation by Congress.

Because, you know, women’s health is an issue for a bunch of old white men in DC to decide.

Statistically, most of you that read this blog are men. I don’t know if the severity of this is something that you all understand. Planned Parenthood has been under attack for decades now because a very very tiny portion of the many services it provides to women includes abortion. The House has voted to eliminate it’s funding at least twice last year with all the budget battles.

This attack on Planned Parenthood represents an attack on women’s health issues and free choice.

The bulk of what Planned Parenthood does is regular old women’s doctor stuff – and we’ve got lots of parts that need regular maintenance and inspection. That preventative health care is provided to women of all incomes, and in areas where access to healthcare is limited. While they provide birth control pills, they also provide obstetric care.

I was outraged when I heard this late Tuesday – that’s because Twitter is light years ahead of everything, including print media. I was more outraged to find the GOP agenda directly imprinted on the more by Susan G. Kolman.

Meg Lanker, of Cognitive Dissonance was on this story like the winds that batter I-80 outside of Laramie, Wyoming from where she writes. You must follow her on twitter. Immediately she pointed out that Susan G. Kolman’s new VP of Public Policy, Karen Handel, vowed to defund Planned Parenthood when she ran for governor of Georgia. Ms. Lanker also provides Ms. Handel’s mailing and email address – just in case you wanted your thank you note from Planned Parenthood sent her way.

Shannyn Moore, another favorite blogger of mine going back to the 2008 election (she provides investigative political reporting and commentary from The Mudflats), tweeted this very early (Montana time) Wednesday morning:

@shannynmoore Shannyn Moore
Planned Parenthood found my lump on a Tuesday and I was in surgery on Friday. I was 33. #ThanksPP #SuckItKomen

From there, 1000’s of women spoke up for what Planned Parenthood has done for them. I didn’t read of one abortion. We’re talking life-saving breast and cervical cancer screenings and treatments. Lives saved.

Susan G. continues to defend its stance – even now. A nonpolitical decision, they say – and their funding of breast cancer will continue as their mission. Women will just have to go about differently. Maybe they’ll weather this storm, but I think it’s more likely they end up battered and significantly downsized with support after this. People are already pulling funding, burning ribbons and pulling from races.

Their pink-shirted races being their most visible message. So while conservative money may pour into Susan G. as a result of this choice, throwing a partisan blanket on what was a cause that brought women together of all folds has now been forever changed.

We’ve reached a point in this nation where national organizations can be taken over by GOP ideologies. Susan G. Kolman no longer represents elimination of cancer, it represents the conservative ideology of making a woman’s vagina a crime scene, subject to the scrutiny of elected officials.

Susan G. should be losing their tax-free status (though I won’t be holding my breath). What congress has to do with breast cancer and Susan G. Kolman for the Cure’s choice in funding, I don’t know – but that connection alone should be clear enough a political connection that their mission is muddled.

by Pete Talbot

Eating crow

First, an apology to our readers for a factual error.  We wrote that GOP gubernatorial candidate Ken Miller was going to announce Billie Orr, from Bozeman, as his running mate.  It turns out that the PSC’s Bill Gallagher got the nod.

We got the Orr info from a reliable source.  The tip was originally emailed to jhwygirl but it bounced back because of an old address. It was then forwarded to me.  I passed it back to j-gal because: 1) I’m super busy right now and 2) I’m not really that interested in who the far right is recruiting for lieutenant governor.  But I figured the tip was worth a mention.

Now in real journalism, at least one more source should have confirmed this, and calls to both Miller and Orr would be made, to confirm or deny.  But hey, this isn’t the New York Times.  It isn’t even the Missoulian.  It’s a blog.  The contributors here all have real lives and do this in their spare time, with no remuneration.

But apologies are still due to jhwygirl for me passing the buck to her, to Pogie for giving him an erroneous tip, and to our readers.

Some interesting asides, though.  One is that I learned a little something about Ms. Orr — an education activist and tea party member.  Now that’s an oxymoron.  Also, the Miller campaign is doing some strange things — campaign insiders are either being very clever or haven’t a clue as to what’s going on.  I suspect the latter.  Finally, the PSC’s Gallagher is a right-wing ideologue who poorly represents Montana on the commission.  We can only hope he resigns to spend more time on the governor’s race but fat chance of that.  The PSC paycheck is just too good.

UM makeover

So the University of Montana is giving $160,000 to a Pittsburgh consulting firm to “rebrand” the school’s image.

From the Missoulian story:

“Tree-hugger school.”

That’s what a Missoula gas station attendant called the University of Montana when a Mind Over Media team member casually asked whether he knew anything about the university.

The university is redoing its image based on what a gas station attendant says.  It should be ashamed of its nationally recognized environmental studies program, its touring Montana Repertory Theatre, its creative writing program, its journalism, pharmacy, law, education, forestry and music schools …

Yo.  It’s a liberal arts college.  If someone wants to learn about mining, they go to Butte’s School of Mines (now known as Montana Tech).  Engineering or agriculture?  Go to MSU (also known as Moo U, but I don’t see them “rebranding”).  Another excerpt:

UM is still defined in some ways by the political rhetoric expressed in the 1960s. That, in addition to its liberal arts curriculum, has earned UM names over the years such as “The People’s Republic” and the “Dancing Academy.” It shows how slowly perceptions change, said Chris Comer, dean of the College of Arts and Sciences.

“Your campaign is going to have to be awesome,” he said.

Again, the university should shy away from its artistic, political and environmental activism.  That sure would be “awesome.”

Here’s a PR suggestion: take that $160K and put it toward faculty and staff raises, or a break on tuition, and be proud of what you are, UM.  I am.  That’s what I call “branding.”

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