We'll discuss this and much more after the jump.
The Week That Was
Online women and health communities are holding the Komen Foundation's feet to the fire since it was revealed that the organization planned to cut funding (around $600k per year) to Planned Parenthood. Fuming activists are pointing the finger at tweeter and Komen VP Karen Handel for closing the spigot. Handel ran for governor in Georgia on an extreme anti-abortion/Planned Parenthood platform. Politicians are withdrawing support and encouraging donors to give directly to Planned Parenthood and similar organizations. Kudos to Michael Bloomberg and everyone else who chipped in. We'd like to say that Komen has done some fabulous work over the years - lest we forget about their 2010 partnership with KFC. "Cure that cancer with a bucket of fried chicken." Just kidding!
So how about that Mitt Romney? Florida Republicans played it safe and voted for the robot insider instead of that has-been, Newt Gingrich. Back to the Tiffany's you go! If there's one thing we've noticed about Gingrich, it's the tantrums. No sooner had the networks called Florida for everyone's favorite poor people-bashing RINO, did a flabbergasted Newt call to concede. Hah, not a chance. Maine and Nevada are next up but it appears that Mitt has this thing in the bag. Nevertheless, Harry Reid has launched a preemptive strike against the GOP frontrunner.
We haven't heard much lately from the Tea Party - at least not anything worth reporting on (and believe us, it doesn't take that much). According to the political scholars over at Real Clear Politics, the fledgling lawn-chair movement owes its 2012 success to Newt Mr. Gingrich. How's that working out? A handful of conspiracy theorists are still convinced some evil force (the Establishment) is out there trying to unseat Allen West. And finally, "Joe the Plumber" is taking flak as he continues the Tea Party tradition of power grifting.
Virginia lawmakers passed a bill that requires a woman to have an ultrasound preceding an abortion. State Senator Janet Howell appealed for some gender equality (nothing wrong with that!), so she attached an amendment requiring that men receive a rectal exam and a cardiac stress test before obtaining a prescription for erectile dysfunction. Howell's amendment was rejected, but she was pleased that it received the support of 18 of her colleagues. Frankly, we're surprised she even got that far.
American troops are scheduled to transition from a combat role to a "training, advise and assist role" later next year. The Pentagon is already committed to withdrawing 23,000 troops this summer. NATO members are expected to abrogate combat duties in 2014 as Afghan forces assume full responsibility for the security of their country. Twelve years and guess what - the Taliban can't wait for the day we leave.
We're less than a year out from our elections, so you know what that means: a delightful presentation from the intelligence community to prime us for the ballot box. According to an assessment from DNI James Clapper's office, Iranian officials are now more willing to conduct attacks on American soil. So, when can we expect the return of those fancy color-coded terror alerts?
Are You Not Entertained?
We don't care what the pundits think -- Stephen Colbert's brief run for the South Carolina presidency was not a joke. To prove that, his Americans for a Better Tomorrow, Tomorrow PAC raised a whopping $1 million. A few familiar contributors include California Lt. Governor Gavin Newsom and The West Wing's Brad Whitford. And who says that the Citizens United decision was a bad idea?
Barry teamed up with Google+ for a first-ever live "hangout." GOP spinsters are having a little fun, asking Americans to send in their resumes for delivery to the White House. That is so original! But we have a better idea that should be far less time consuming for bored RNC HQ staff: deliver those boxes of resumes to GOP congressional offices.
Kermit and Miss Piggy fired back against the Fox News culture warriors. A clearly agitated Bill O'Reilly has threatened the safety of two sewn-up puppets. And now we know how Fox News has stayed at the top.
Now onto some celebrity/political news: Snooki's had it with Chris Christie. While he's not running for president, he's no less deserving for calling Jersey Shore "bad" and the cast a bunch of "losers." You might remember that Snooki had a dust-up with Barry over a tanning salon tax. In that instance, she favored John McCain. What a turnaround!
It's payday for Facebook investors. The company filed for its initial public offering on Wednesday and afforded us a glimpse at user statistics and the social media giant's finances. Facebook is seeking a valuation between $75-100 billion, which would make Mark Zuckerberg a very, very wealthy man. LivingSocial, on the other hand, has been bleeding money like there's no tomorrow. The DC - based company lost $558 million last year.
It's official: we're in for another six weeks of wintry weather. Punxsutawney Phil emerged from his slumber and saw his shadow. The weather people aren't taking Phil's prediction seriously, because, as you know, there exists something called science.
Today's adorable video stars a snoring dormouse. Try not to fall asleep.
Tumblr is exceeding more than 15 billion page views per month. (Wow!) Here's a small sample of interesting blogs you should follow.
Have you ever had that urge to get arrested for the heck of it? John Hughes of Butte, Montana, always wanted to lead the cops in a car chase - so that's exactly what he did. This is a tale that will be passed along to future generations of Americans.
Fridays with Abigail
Dear Susan G. Komen for the Cure Foundation, I'd like to introduce you to social media. It occurs to me that you may not have heard of it. When you look back on what happened this week, and you ask yourself, what happened?, you may want to revisit the power of social media. Some of us over here at Turner Central are wondering if you hired Malcolm Gladwell to handle your social media strategy in the fallout over your decision to make up a reason to deny providing funds to Planned Parenthood, but we suspect based on your two days of silence that you were simply unaware of what social media is. In case you feel like really digging on this at some point, to understand more fully exactly how you destroyed your brand in just 3 days, we recommend Raven Brooks' analysis for lessons learned. In the meantime, we might suggest you lie low, at least on those useless social media sites anyway.
Out on the Town
Are you ready for Super Bowl Sunday?! If that's not your thing, we've got a few helpful suggestions to fill your weekend schedule:
- NPR's Terry Gross will hold a Q&A, so ask away.
- Comedian Demetri Martin performs at the Warner Theater.
- Freeze your buns off for a good cause in Reston.
- Phil Vassar, Sarah Evans and the rest perform in Silver Spring
- Art and recipes go hand in hand at GW
- Meat week in DC (isn't that every week)? Our apologies, vegetarians and vegans.
- David Copperfield will make you disappear.
- DC Arts Center Decathlon's closing ceremony is this Sunday.
- Commemorate Black History Month at the Smithsonian.
- Get yourself in a better mood with some DC Shorts Laughs.
To put it lightly, the Komen Foundation screwed up big time. This story is a warning to even the largest organizations: don't piss off a determined community of grassroots activists. You got that?
See you next week,