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Progressive Politics in Minnesota, the Nation, and the World

Is This A Conspiracy Against Franken?

Category: Al Franken
Posted: 11/20/17 22:50, Edited: 11/21/17 02:08

by Dave Mindeman

There are a lot of inappropriate actions happening out there. Weinstein, Kevin Spacey, Jeremy Piven, Charlie Rose, Louis CK, Former President George H. W. Bush, Russell Simmons, Glenn Thrush, Brett Ratner, Mark Halperin, and the list goes on.

And then there is Roy Moore which takes this to a new level of real criminal behavior. And please, let us not let this go as some kind of false equivalency to everything else that is going on. Moore's conduct is absolutely disqualifying.

But I want to talk about Al Franken for a moment. Yes, I have talked about my disappointment regarding it. I find the Leeanne Tweeden story credible (at least so far). And his apology and heartfelt response did seem different than other responses. So I still think he should serve.

And yes, that is in spite of this second allegation that came out today - which I will reference a bit later.

I hesitate to delve deeper into this because I also find victim shaming to be abhorrent and we have far too much of it in this society - so much so, that victims tend to not come forward because of it.

So I was content to leave things stand as they are - until now.

Too many things have set off my suspicious nature regarding Franken's situation - there are too many questions that have come up.

Now Franken's situation is still his own fault. His sophomoric attitude about men and women was bound to catch up to him - but I have a hard time believing that he has some kind of sexually inappropriate pattern of behavior as people like Roy Moore, Charlie Rose, Kevin Spacey, Mark Halperin and Louis CK have clearly shown.

There are a number of things regarding Leeanne Tweeden's accusation tht really should be answered - and maybe they will come to light in an ethics investigation that Franken, himself, has called for.

1. Roger Stone seemed to know that there would be some kind of Franken problem coming. One of his Twitter accounts (his personal account has been terminated) predicted it before Tweeden came forward.

2. Leeanne Tweeden has worked for Fox affiliates and has been a repeat guest on Sean Hannity's show. Her Instagram page has a photo of her and Hannity where she states "he always lets me throw the football."

3. She is certainly no sexual prude - she has done photo spreads for Playboy, FHM Magazine, and Maxim.

4. I watched the "skit" from the USO show that she mentioned in her letter and you realize that the point of the skit is to set up a random soldier in the audience to get a real kiss from Leeanne on stage.

5. As for groping, it seems Leeanne is not above doing it herself....


6. And finally, this was the final straw. Within days of making her public statement, Sinclair Broadcasting's publishing division (which deals mostly with Fox and Breitbart personalities) signed Leeanne Tweeden to a book deal. Now you have to wonder - was this deal contingent on the publicity she would receive from her accusation?

I know that I will probably get push back about this. It may seem that I am blaming the victim. I am not. Her grievance is legitimate and Franken has and should address that. But the timing and circumstances of all of this do not seem to be mere coincidence. And that cannot be ignored.

I ignored much of the above as pertinent but not relevant - until Sinclair Broadcasting entered the picture. They are plotters of agendas - and distractions from Moore and Trump are needed now.

As for the MN State Fair accusation - I assume she is telling the truth as she experienced it. Her husband and herself voted for Trump and sought out CNN reporters on their own to tell them about this. A 3 to 4 second squeeze of a woman's behind is not OK - but I fear this kind of thing can be misconstrued as well. It seems foolish that Franken would do something inappropriate at the State Fair with crowds of people around. No one but the woman noticed it - the husband taking the picture didn't, but she did tell her husband immediately after, which makes it more credible. Franken doesn't remember it specifically, but he apologized anyway which is the right thing to do, because the way she perceived it is what matters.

Once more, I hope that she tells her story to the ethics committee and let them hold him accountable.

You can ignore all of this if you wish. I make no definitive claim to clear knowledge of what is right or wrong about any of this. But then, the surrounding background is also important and needed for context.
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Selective Outrage

Category: Al Franken
Posted: 06/01/17 14:52

by Dave Mindeman

Alright. Kathy Griffin did an obscenely stupid thing. It was ugly and I have not seen anyone, liberal or conservative, that condoned it. No one. She apologized and did so very publicly.

But conservatives and Republicans have a very selective way of approaching these things. They express some justified outrage - and then they start to fundraise and attack.

Al Franken had a scheduled fundraiser with Kathy Griffin. He didn't cancel it. So the right makes the assumption that Franken is OK with what she did. He is not. He said so - clearly. But when the right sees an opening, they can't help themselves.

And they are very selective about what outrages them. Ted Nugent talked of killing Obama. Donald Trump mocked a handicap person. Nobody on the right is talking about the noose appearance at the African-American museum and other places. It was the left that gave voice to the outrage of the scaffolding art exhibit at the Walker. These things seem to be acceptable to our right leaning cohorts, because of who did the offending. That kind of reasoning is not OK.

The right jumps on an idea to encompass all liberals and Democrats under any banner they find offensive - even if it comes from one person. At the same time, they defend the free speech of people who say and do outrageous things that offend liberal groups or even entire ethnicities.

Trump embraces white supremacists. Many Republicans say OK. Trump leaves out the word Jewish while discussing the holocaust. A large number of Republicans yawn. He says disgusting things about women. Too many Republicans snicker. Tweets a Taco Bowl lunch as some kind of outreach to Latinos. Too many Republicans shrug.

And I do not mean to lump all Republicans either (although the right never misses an opportunity to lump all liberals into one class). But too many Republicans act in a tribal manner. They defend their own to the utter extreme of civility.

What Kathy Griffin did with that Trump photo and video was reprehensible. But the left issued their outrage at it immediately. The right used it to rake in a few bucks.

Kathy Griffin pushes the envelope. Way more than I have ever been comfortable with, but entertainers tend to do that. Trump has pushed the boundaries himself....and frankly, he gets away with it when he shouldn't.

And if any association with someone who has done something offensive is somehow supposed to envelope anyone associated with them, then why doesn't Trump, or anyone in his sphere, pay a price for associating with Richard Spencer....or his sexist actions on that bus....or mocking a disabled person....or offering to pay legal fees for anyone who roughs up a protester...or any of his Russian affiliations? Why is all of that OK, while everyone on the left is lumped into the actions of Kathy Griffin?

It boggles the mind.
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Sen. Al Franken: Just Getting The Job Done

Category: Al Franken
Posted: 04/25/15 09:47

by Dave Mindeman

I went to MinnRoast last night - and if you have never gone to this annual event, get there next time - it is a great evening of fun....but like I say, I went to MinnRoast and got to hear from a lot of Minnesota Democrats plus a little Tom Emmer.

Al Franken was the finale speaker and I expected to hear some much deserved chest thumping about the announcement yesterday that Comcast was cancelling its proposed merger with Time Warner.

But in his usual self-deprecating way, Franken just gave a one sentence mention without talking much about the major role he played in stopping this potential corporate dagger in the heart of consumerism.

Franken was a lonely voice of caution when Comcast made its announcement. Wall Street was happy, the Fed regulators were asleep, and Congress was keeping busy with their usual list of partisan issues. But Al said, 'wait a minute' - is this really a good deal for the American people?

It wasn't. And Al embarked on a one Senator campaign to raise enough questions about the deal that eventually educated enough people and garnered enough attention that Comcast felt it had to withdraw its bid.

If this deal had gone through, the influence of the company would have been enormous....

Combined Comcast and Time Warner Cable would have given control of more than 50% of the home broadband market -- and dominance in 19 of the 20 largest media markets, says Todd O'Boyle, program director at Common Cause, a government watchdog group. "That is anti-competitive by anybody's definition," he said.

Once regulators finally took a hard look at the deal, the questions got louder....and the debate on net neutrality, (for which Franken also led the charge) gave more scrutiny to this mega-merger.

Franken's early involvement in questioning the merger was not one of those 'red meat' liberal issues, but it is one of those things that affects just about everybody in their daily lives.

Al Franken has become an extraordinary Senator...and extremely funny.

You'll have to hear the story about Al and Amy's Delta flight some day - especially when told by Al Franken.

In the meantime, let's thank Al Franken for doing a great job representing all of us.
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