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Progressive Politics in Minnesota, the Nation, and the World

Franken Situation: Now It Has To Be A Process

Category: Donald Trump
Posted: 11/28/17 13:21

by Dave Mindeman

This Franken issue has become a dark rabbit hole. I can't defend Franken's actions, but this can get to a point where we have to let the process play out and stop the distracting arguments that keep us away from what we need to do.

Unlike a lot of other men being accused, Franken has volunteered to let an ethics investigation run its course. Has anyone else done that? Donald Trump is reversing the one apology he gave on the Access Hollywood tape. Roy Moore hasn't given an inch despite very credible testimony. Hollywood actors let their publicists handle the firestorm.

Now does that mean that Franken should not have to resign? No, certainly not. There comes a point where you cannot be an effective Senator if the conversation continues in this manner and there is little doubt that some uncomfortable situations did occur for several women.

But let's not let this devolve into an "I only believe her" or "I will never believe him" path. That isn't productive. Unfortunately, we have this awful tendency of going too far one way or the other. There is no question that women have been forced to suppress their discomfort and have been unable to vocalize outright criminal behavior. That is changing (and let's hope that this change continues) - but let's not lose sight of the differences in each situation.

I guess we should consider a time out on the Franken discussion. I know the Republicans will continue to make up for any reduction in sound bites from Democrats. But that is what they do. They attack Democrats and leave their own side alone. But Franken will have to deal with that if he wishes to stay on and muddle his way through this.

Given the fact that we have an agreed upon process....the Ethics Investigation.....let's allow that to play out. I hope that it will be a bipartisan process, but given the current environment, it is hard to believe that a fair and impartial procedure will occur. But so be it. We need to have some kind of public resolution and that is the avenue available.

In the meantime, the public discourse is getting a bit saturated. Every possible angle of the Franken story seems to have been examined. Even the women involved must be suffering from public fatigue on this.

I am not naive enough to believe that Senator Franken is not in for a rough time going forward. But that appears to be part of his penance.

Let's allow for a process and maybe we can find out what it takes to resolve these situations.

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A Trump Christmas Story

Category: Donald Trump
Posted: 11/27/17 07:09

by Dave Mindeman

And it came to pass, there went out a decree from Donicus Trumpdisgusticus that all the country should pay royalties to the emperor. And everyone was to go to the house of his lineage to sign up.

So, Joseph and Mary, descendants of Benicus Franklin, set forth on their journey to Bethlehem, Pennsylvania. It was an arduous journey and Mary was great with child.

When they entered the city they searched for a place to stay - all the Trump hotels were filled with Trump attorneys and Russian agents, so there was no room for them in the Inn-Tel. Desperate, Joseph begged the concierge for help. He would take anything. Finally relenting, the staff found an old shed in the back that usually doubled as a money laundering facility.

There was no furniture and Joseph, the carpenter, had to fashion a manger out of excess wood and found some straw to use for bedding. And Mary brought forth a young son and named him Donald for the great emperor. But Joseph overruled her, saying he must be named Jesus - or this story has no meaning.

Meanwhile, a group of unemployed steel workers were tending to their cans of beer in a clearing just outside of town. When low and behold, Ivanka appeared before them (no one is sure why) and said..

"Do not be afraid. I bring you good news that will cause great joy for all the people. Today in the town of Benicus Franklin a new leader has been born to you. You will find him the lying in a manger."

The steel workers said to one another, "Let's go to Bethlehem and see this thing that has happened, which Ivanka has told us about."

And so they set out on their journey only to be stopped at the city entrance because they could not establish proper residency requirements - and they were turned away.

As nightfall came, a bright shining star, the star of the Eastern Seaboard, shone brightly above the new baby and 3 wise men in the Far East observed the phenomena with great interest. They said, "this must be a sign - let us travel afar and see what this can mean."

And so, they set out on their long journey, bearing gifts from afar of gold, frankencense and myrrh. But after traveling the ocean and arriving in Mexico, they were halted at the border by a great wall and a border check. Since they did not have proper ID or papers, they, too, were turned away and forced to go back empty handed....and yes, their gifts of gold, frankencense and myrrh were confiscated and added to the US treasury.

So, Joseph and Mary and Jesus spent a lonely night in the tool shed. Listening to the sounds of city opulence - waiting for the morning when they would offer their meager tributes to the emperor.

The End.
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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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