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Books by and about 2020 presidential candidates
Crippled America,
by Donald J. Trump (2015)
by Cory Booker (2016)
The Truths We Hold,
by Kamala Harris (2019)
Smart on Crime,
by Kamala Harris (2010)
Guide to Political Revolution,
by Bernie Sanders (2017)
Where We Go From Here,
by Bernie Sanders (2018)
Promise Me, Dad ,
by Joe Biden (2017)
Conscience of a Conservative,
by Jeff Flake (2017)
Two Paths,
by Gov. John Kasich (2017)
Every Other Monday,
by Rep. John Kasich (2010)
Courage is Contagious,
by John Kasich (1998)
Shortest Way Home,
by Pete Buttigieg (2019)
The Book of Joe ,
by Jeff Wilser (2019; biography of Joe Biden)
by Michelle Obama (2018)
Our Revolution,
by Bernie Sanders (2016)
This Fight Is Our Fight,
by Elizabeth Warren (2017)
Higher Loyalty,
by James Comey (2018)
The Making of Donald Trump,
by David Cay Johnston (2017)
Books by and about the 2016 presidential election
What Happened ,
by Hillary Clinton (2017)
Higher Loyalty ,
by James Comey (2018)
Trump vs. Hillary On The Issues ,
by Jesse Gordon (2016)
Hard Choices,
by Hillary Clinton (2014)
Becoming ,
by Michelle Obama (2018)
Outsider in the White House,
by Bernie Sanders (2015)

Book Reviews

(from Amazon.com)

(click a book cover for a review or other books by or about the presidency from Amazon.com)

Planned Bullyhood
The Truth Behind the Planned Parenthood Funding Battle

by Karen Handel

(Click for Amazon book review)

OnTheIssues.org BOOK REVIEW:

Two non-profit organizations had a big fight about one funding the other, and the author Karen Handel was caught in the middle; the result is this book. Here's the story:

  • Planned Parenthood gets lots of federal funding; Planned Parenthood also provides abortion services. They keep the abortion services separate from the federal funding, but that's why the organization is controversial.

  • Susan G. Komen For the Cure is a breast cancer funding organization -- they are not controversial -- they invented the ubiquitous pink ribbons shown on the book's cover. Komen funds other organizations that fund breast cancer research, and accordingly provided funds to Planned Parenthood annually.

  • Komen decided, under Karen Handel's leadership, to stop funding Planned Parenthood because, according to Handel, they really did very little breast cancer-related research, and also because some Komen members objected to Planned Parenthood's abortion services. Planned Parenthood claimed that it fell under the general category of women's health services, and fought the defunding -- effectively, because (as Handel points out on p. 158), Planned Parenthood routinely undertakes large-scale lobbying and publicity.

  • The whole fight, according to Handel, showed that Planned Parenthood was a bully, and on Komen's part, was a "black smudge on the pink ribbon" (p. 246).

  • Planned Parenthood's "Battle" with Komen ended up with Komen reversing the defunding and Handel resigning. Although Handel was not solely responsible for the defunding decision, as a "public figure" she took the blame in the press -- and as a response, wrote this book.
That pretty much sums up the book; the remaining 276 pages detail the fight between Komen and Planned Parenthood, making Handel's case that Planned Parenthood are "bullies", as referenced in the title, and that they spent a fortune fighting Komen to ensure that other organizations would dare not similarly defund them.

At OnTheIssues, we complain in our book reviews about Inside Baseball: when a book has too much insider information about campaigns, and hence has too little interest the vast majority of outsider readers. The same applies to this book, but in a different context. This book details, from an insider's perspective, the funding battle, with an enormous amount of detail. We find "Inside Baseball" to be pointless reading when applied to a political campaign -- of interest mostly to the people involved, or to those who wish they were similarly involved. This book, too, might be of interest to those involved with these two organizations, but it is just far too much detail for most readers.

To Handel's credit, she avoids the biggest problem of most "Inside Baseball" books, which provide an insane amount of detail which serves only to make the author look important: this book is free of the sin of self-aggrandizement. But Handel does fall for the other "Inside Baseball" sin of the military metaphor (like the way-too-Inside-Baseball book, The Battle for America 2008):

  • "The Escalation": subchapter section heading, p. 140
  • "Ready for combat": one of many military metaphors, p. 145
  • "Implosion": chapter title, p. 219
  • "DEFCON 4", which Handel thinks means "state of war", p. 190
Handel claims her pro-life views were not the rationale for defunding Planned Parenthood -- that it was primarily a financial decision based on restructuring Komen's grant programs to better focus on their mission. Handel claims that Planned Parenthood only even knew she was pro-life because she had run for Governor previously. Probably both of Handel's assertions are true -- she makes a compelling case, in great detail of course -- but a one-sided representation just begs for a response (there are plenty on the Internet; just google "Komen vs. Planned Parenthood"). OnTheIssues is more interested in Handel's other views on other issues. We found some in this book, hidden among the endless details of her "battle," and we excerpt them below. But the endless details of her battle are just too endless. This book should have been a 10-page essay, omitting the remaining 266 pages of endless details.

-- Jesse Gordon, editor-in-chief, OnTheIssues.org, February 2014

 OnTheIssues.org excerpts:  (click on issues for details)
    Karen Handel: Pro-life beliefs deepened by failure to conceive.
    Karen Handel: Who am I to prevent a couple from fertility treatments?
    Karen Handel: Planned Parenthood is country's leading abortion provider.
    Karen Handel: End $500M annual federal funding of Planned Parenthood.
    Karen Handel: FactCheck: Yes, ObamaCare allows states to fund abortions.
    Mike Honda: Urged Komen to reverse defunding of Planned Parenthood.
    Mike Pence: Defund Planned Parenthood for providing abortion.
    Mitch Daniels: Prohibited state funding for Planned Parenthood.
    Mitt Romney: Target of $1.4M in attack ads from Planned Parenthood.
    Mitt Romney: Since 1960s, illegal for states to ban contraception.
    Rush Limbaugh: Don't require colleges to pay for students' contraception.
Civil Rights
    Karen Handel: 2010: Woman running for governor "raised some eyebrows".
    Karen Handel: Sponsored gay group event for Log Cabin Republicans.
    Karen Handel: Cultural outreach via Circle of Promise & Lazos Que Perduran.
    Karen Handel: "War on women" coined by feminist Left to attack Right.
    Karen Handel: 1992: Spokesperson for Fur Info Council, against PETA.
Families & Children
    Dan Quayle: Society trivializes parenthood and especially fatherhood.
Government Reform
    Karen Handel: Implemented ban on Georgia legislative gifts & nepotism.
    Nathan Deal: Resigned Congress after being named most corrupt politician.
Health Care
    Karen Handel: ObamaCare forces insurance plans to provide contraceptives.
    Marco Rubio: Backed out of Race for the Cure over abortion funding fight.
Principles & Values
    Karen Handel: Avid runner, covering 12-15 miles per week.
    Karen Handel: Resigned Komen for the Cure over Planned Parenthood issue.
    Sonny Perdue: Held day of prayer during Georgia's worst drought.
Tax Reform
    Karen Handel: 2003: Closed county budget deficit without tax increase.

The above quotations are from Planned Bullyhood
The Truth Behind the Planned Parenthood Funding Battle

by Karen Handel

All material copyright 1999-2022
by Jesse Gordon and OnTheIssues.org
Reprinting by permission only.

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Page last edited: Feb 21, 2019