Breast cancer gets cold shoulder (5×8 – 8/9/11)

Why men with breast cancer get the government’s cold shoulder, on the death of Elizabeth Mulay, bring back Washington’s birthday, the new financial picture, and Keillor at 69.


Men can get breast cancer, but don’t tell that to the federal government. Two-thousand men develop breast cancer every year. Raymond Johnson of South Carolina is one of them. But unlike a woman, Johnson is being denied Medicaid coverage for his cancer because of his gender.

According to ABC News:

Though Johnson wouldn’t normally qualify for Medicaid in the state of South Carolina because he is a single, non-disabled man with no children, he was advised to apply for a special supplementary program created specifically for those diagnosed with breast cancer whose income is 200 percent of the poverty line ($21,780 per year) — even those with no dependent children. What Johnson didn’t know is that the program, created by the Breast and Cervical Cancer Prevention and Treatment Act, is women’s only.


Elizabeth Mulay died Friday after suffering severe burns last month in a Minneapolis house fire, started by a suspected gas explosion, MPR’s Curtis Gilbert reports. She was 43, and, no doubt, accomplished a few things in her time on earth, although the headline around her death noted her contribution to Minnesota history as the woman who accused Jon Grunseth of molesting her just three weeks before the election for governor. He was the Republican nominee. She was 13.

Did she really bring Grunseth down? His decision to drop out of the race, actually came after a woman came forward to say she had an affair with him.

But in Minnesota lore, when you say “Grunseth,” “hot tub” usually follows.

Arne Carlson took his place on the ballot. Was history changed? Would there have been a significant difference between a Grunseth administration and a Carlson administration?

We can’t know, of course. But we know 43 is too young to die. And spending much of your life defending your story wasn’t all that fair, either.


Would you be willing to give up a three-day weekend in February in exchange for a better lesson about George Washington’s character? Congress may restore the February 22nd Washington’s birthday, US News reports, because the current President’s Day has been hijacked by car dealers and retailers.

Historian Richard Brookhiser suggests that early Americans would be shocked by the lack of respect for GW. “Washington has become disconnected from his own birthday,” he wrote to Wolf. “Celebrating it on the most convenient Monday, and calling it by the lazy shortcut ‘President’s Day,’ creates the impression that it honors everyone who made it to the White House, or maybe car and furniture sales.”


It didn’t get any better overnight in the financial markets. And maybe the domestic markets will burp again today. The head of the European Central Bank says it’s the worst financial crisis since World War II there.

But being the “half-full” blog we are, NewsCut bears good news, citizens. Newspapers all over the country have found an alternative to images of stock traders with their head in their hands.

This is appearing on front pages this morning…


What is this man in Times Square thinking?

Just try to keep laughingNews organizations are touting this poll from USA Today this morning, showing only about 25% of those surveyed think members of Congress deserve re-election. “We could be heading for another ‘change’ election,” a CBS news anchor said. Not likely. What they don’t say: The same poll showed 56% favored re-election of their own congressperson.


It was back to Avon — the birthplace of Lake Wobegon — yesterday for Garrison Keillor, who celebrated his 69th birthday at the club he owns there.

Bonus: Save the Children released this video this week…


Does the media’s approach to news about the economy make the economy worse?


Midmorning (9-11 a.m.) – First hour: Is Google affecting our memory?

Second hour: The bloodshed in Syria.

Midday (11 a.m. – 1 p.m.) – First hour: APM’s Chris Farrell joins discusses Monday’s stock plunge and the condition of the U.S. and global economy.

Second hour: James Fallows, speaking at the Chautauqua Institution about China and the global economy.

Talk of the Nation (1-3 p.m.) – First hour: TBA

Second hour: Measuring the impact of the last recession.

All Things Considered (3-6:30 p.m.) – Worried about declining enrollment in the wake of the May 22 tornado, north Minneapolis schools are aggressively courting families to make sure their kids return in the fall. An unknown number of families are displaced, many of them living with relatives or in hotels outside of the district. David Branch, an elementary-school principal who is living with his family in a one-bedroom hotel in Maple Grove, says the experience has given him empathy to what many of his transient, low-income students go through. MPR’S Laura Yuen also visits a Head Start program that is helping children who are still homeless and shaken by severe storms.

One of Mississippi’s poorest counties is also one of the most obese. And the young generation there is not immune. Some overweight people in their 20s are suffering from medical conditions normally seen only in people their grandparents’ age. NPR will look at a crisis of obesity and economics and the grassroots efforts to slim down.

  • Robert Moffitt

    I had missed the Mulay/Grunseth connection.

    Thank God Jon Grunseth dropped out and Carlson (one of our best Governors in recent years, IMHO) fought his own party to get his name on the ballot.

    What ever happed to Grunseth, anyhow?

  • I would welcome the return of George Washington’s birthday. And I agree with the historian that Revolutionary era Americans would be shocked. Before there was Beatlemania sweeping America, there was Washingtonmania. They revered him like a rock star.

    And I don’t think people understand or appreciate his having kept the Continental Army together – with little more than his charisma. There was no money, no supplies, but they stayed. They stayed for him. Without him (and Franklin) there would be no America. (I wouldn’t be opposed to a Franklin’s birthday holiday either.)

    For those who like to read – my blog partner & I like to do book reports at our blog, and he recently (in the last few days) wrote about Ron Chernow’s book on Washington. He highly recommends it, and I recommend the Joseph Ellis book on Washington. An incredible man worth studying and worth honoring properly.

  • Bob Collins

    According to Wikipedia, Grunseth now runs an orchard in Australia.

  • Bob Moffitt

    Mystery solved: Grunseth now grows cherries for a living, in Tasmania. No, I’m not making this up…

  • Kassie

    I knew that the Brest and Cervical Cancer program doesn’t cover guys, so I wasn’t surprised by the story, just that it took so many years for there to be a story.

    But for me, the real story shouldn’t be that the program is sexist, the real story is that we don’t cover people who have cancer. If you have cancer, your health care, at least for the cancer, should be covered.

    But eventually his health care will be covered. Eventually not treating his cancer will make him sick enough to become disabled. He will then need to quit his job, go on SSI or RSDI disability and get Medicaid. The treatments at that time will be far more expensive and he will have a greater chance of dying. It is a wonderful system we have.