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Opinion: Slurs only bolster Sandra Fluke's cause
Sandra Fluke speaks at the Democratic National Convention. The conservative blogosphere went mad, David Frum says.
September 10th, 2012
06:09 PM ET

Opinion: Slurs only bolster Sandra Fluke's cause

Editor's note: David Frum is a contributing editor at Newsweek and The Daily Beast and a CNN contributor. He is the author of seven books, including a new novel, "Patriots."

(CNN) – Of all the speeches at the Democratic convention in Charlotte, North Carolina, few offended conservative listeners more than the speech by Sandra Fluke.

There are plenty of good reasons to be annoyed. From the conservative point of view, Fluke is on the wrong side of a battle over religious freedom. Back in March, she testified in favor of a proposed Obama administration rule that would require Catholic institutions, like her own Georgetown University law school, to reject the teaching of their church and cover contraception in their university health plans - plans not funded by taxpayers, by the way, but by tuition and other university revenues.

Now here Fluke was again, on the national stage, warning that a vote for the Republican ticket in 2012 was a vote for "an America in which you have a new vice president who co-sponsored a bill that would allow pregnant women to die preventable deaths in our emergency rooms. An America in which states humiliate women by forcing us to endure invasive ultrasounds we don't want and our doctors say we don't need.

"An America in which access to birth control is controlled by people who will never use it; in which politicians redefine rape so survivors are victimized all over again; in which someone decides which domestic violence victims deserve help, and which don't."

Shortly before Fluke spoke, conservative commentator Ann Coulter had tweeted: "Bill Clinton just impregnated Sandra Fluke backstage."

That was nothing compared with the outpouring of fury during and after the speech.

Read David Frum's full column

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Filed under: Gender • Religion • What we think • Women
September 10th, 2012
12:00 PM ET

Chicago teachers strike; students and parents scramble

By Michael Pearson and Holly Yan, CNN

(CNN) – Chicago public school teachers began manning picket lines instead of classrooms Monday, launching the first teacher strike in the city in 25 years over pay, benefits and other issues.

The strike, announced Sunday night, left about 350,000 students without a school to attend and parents scrambling to find alternatives.

The school district has opened 144 of its 578 schools for part of the day to provide a safe environment and meals to children in need. Also, dozens of churches and civic organizations have stepped into the vacuum to provide activities for the thousands of suddenly idle students. And police, expecting an uptick in trouble from kids on the streets, pulled officers from desk duty to increase patrols.

The union that represents nearly 30,000 teachers and support staff in the nation's third-largest school district called the strike after negotiators failed to reach a contract agreement with school administrators despite 10 months of negotiations.

Teachers say the biggest issues leading to the impasse are maintaining their health benefits and job security, as well as improving classroom conditions.

As many as 6,000 teachers could lose their jobs under a new evaluation system based on standardized test scores implemented by the school district, Chicago Teachers Union President Karen Lewis said.

Read the full story 

September 10th, 2012
09:00 AM ET

From Kurt Warner's wife to internet famous

By Dan Merica, CNN

Washington (CNN) – In a stadium filled with 8,000 evangelical Christian women, one person near the stage stands out.

Sporting short salt-and-peppered hair, broad shoulders and a high-collared shirt, the man sits calmly as ballerinas flutter across the stage, women tell jokes about menopause and the event’s emcee announces that almost all the men’s rooms at the Verizon Center in downtown Washington have been converted to female restrooms for the night, provoking a round of applause.

For Kurt Warner, former quarterback for the St. Louis Rams and Arizona Cardinals and two-time National Football League MVP, this is about as far away from the testosterone-driven world of the gridiron as you can get.

Onstage is the reason Warner’s here: Brenda Warner, her angular face and close-cropped blonde hair radiating in professional lighting, telling the audience about God’s plan for her life.

For years, Brenda was known as Kurt’s uber-supportive wife – a woman whose unflinchingly defense and championing of her superstar husband sometimes made news in it its own right.

Today, two years into Kurt’s retirement, those roles are changing.

Read the full story on CNN's Belief blog

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Filed under: Family • Gender • How we live • Who we are • Women