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He Gone (Franken)

by Grantland @, y'allywood, Thursday, December 07, 2017, 10:23
edited by Grantland, Thursday, December 07, 2017, 11:04


At some point should we concern ourselves with due process?

by San Pedro, Friday, December 08, 2017, 07:16 @ Grantland

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Just wondering who the "we" is here

by JRT, Island of Misfit Toys, Friday, December 08, 2017, 10:56 @ San Pedro

1. It generally makes sense to defer judgment and allow due process to play out when there's a due process that's about to play out. Here, there's never going to be a trial for Franken or Roy Moore, so it's not that we're waiting for a process. Other than media reporting and Franken statements there's no other real process.

2. One might argue that we as observers should withhold judgment in any matter that doesn't have a due process hearing procedure, but that seems like a whole lot of the things that voters of citizens take into account about our elected officials. Of the hundreds of hours I spent reviewing, say, the 2016 presidential candidates, I would say the minority of items had a full due process hearing- seems like I read one or two actual Court decision about Trump (the Polish workers, and maybe the Fred Trump casino loan?) but the great, great majority of his lawsuits were settled prior to hearing-whether you're talking about Trump University or his bankruptcies or whatever. Same with HRC-there was a lot of investigating of Benghazi and emails, but it didn't ever arrive at a due process hearing with presentation of evidence by each side. Should I ignore Trump University and Clinton's email server?

3. Your "we" might be referring to elected officials who urged Franken to step down. I'd be fine with a public official who consistently said he wanted to wait for the results of the Ethics investigation or trial of members on either side accused of impropriety. I know there's public pressure to act even quicker, but I think if someone really stuck to their guns on that they could probably sustain that position because they could keep rolling out their prior examples of keeping to that and it would work. Imagine, if, say, Susan Collins said she was withholding comment on Franken, and that it was in keeping with withholding comment on Bob Menendez until after his trial, and on "the Russia stuff" until Mueller was done, etc., etc. I think that would work.

4. I think waiting for the investigation before commenting also requires a good investigation setup, and what they have for the House right now for Conyers/Farnethold, etc., sounds horribly lacking. I think we should wait for due process and ensure the process is fair to the public interest in discovering lawmakers who act horribly and cost taxpayers money like Farenthold, Conyers, etc.

5. This is a tough environment where a ton of old stuff is hitting the light of day precisely because the public (and sometimes institutional) climates were so hostile to those make such accusations that they have been kept down for some time. I dont' think its that due process views have changes, I think the easing of some (nowhere near all) of the negative results of reporting has opened some floodgates that needed to be open. I'm not sure that I would say we used to be more devoted to due process or the presumption of innocence in general. Gary Hart and John Edwards and Bob LIngston and plenty of people got convicted in the court of public opinion. Even Bill Clinton, I don't think it was due process that saved him, I think the people made their judgments on the original reporting/rumors whatever and stuck to their guns as it was substantiated and litigated. I don't know if we're dropping our reliance on due process or not, but it's certainly an important value to uphold.


This one’s original

by Jim (fisherj08) @, A Samoan kid's laptop, Thursday, December 07, 2017, 17:01 @ Grantland

Incredibly gross, but original


Wow it's somehow even grosser than I could've imagined!

by Jim (fisherj08) @, A Samoan kid's laptop, Friday, December 08, 2017, 14:15 @ Jim (fisherj08)

GOP making mischief

by hobbs, San Diego, Thursday, December 07, 2017, 11:30 @ Grantland
edited by hobbs, Thursday, December 07, 2017, 11:36

If I were employed by the RNC and saw the "zero tolerance" policy that Democrats have effectively adopted with pushing Franken out, I'd game their situation to our benefit.

I'd take a quick look at all male Democrat Senators who are serving under Republican governors. From that list I'd could pick 1 or 2 senators and have some state operatives find some people to make accusations against those Senators. One or two accusations isn't going to bring a Senator down but as the numbers grow so will pressure on Democrats to hold to the Franken doctrine.

If Dems hold that line (and the LIBERAL media will hammer them on holding the line), the Senator would resign and then our Republican Governor would get to appoint his replacement. There is nothing that states that the Govenor has to appoint a replacement from the same party. In fact 3 months ago the Administration floated an idea to appoint WV Senator Manchin to the EPA. The result of that would have been the Gov, who had just switched his party affiliation from Democrat to Republican, would have appointed a Republican replacement for Manchin and thus increased the GOPs hold in the Senate.

The Govenor wouldn't even have to be brazen about stealing the seat. He/She could either appoint a nominal democrat who follows the GOP line. Or they could seat a weak Democrat that makes the seat ripe for picking off at the next election.

I'll say one thing about Republicans. They play to win.


Roy Moore should be in jail, not an effing ballot.

by scriptcomesfirst @, Thursday, December 07, 2017, 15:50 @ hobbs

Conyers should have been jettisoned a long time ago. Trump should be nowhere near the Oval Office. Franken is just pathetic to me. I don't think Party should have anything to do with any of this.

The latter day realization that just maybe Bill Clinton was a sexual predator and that Hillary enabled and abetted him with her character assasinations of his accusers would be comical if it wasn't so nauseating. I would wager a decent amount that his fall from grace gets steeper once more info about his activities on the Island of underage orgies comes to light.

The standard won't change until people stop trying to score political points and rather just stand up for what they knowing is fucking right.


I agree with most of this

by ndphilo @, Seal Beach, Thursday, December 07, 2017, 16:38 @ scriptcomesfirst

But I think things start getting more difficult when you reference reaction to Clinton. Given that the past is the past, what are people supposed to do now? If they stick by there defenses of Clinton, it perpetuates the problem. If they shift, and rightly condemn what was wrong, you find them comical or nauseating?

I think it is fair to say people should have done better in the past. I think it is counterproductive to do anything but praise them if they do come around to the right view of things. I think the only response to the shifts is to say things like: "absolutely, its about time, sorry it took you so long but good that you are saying it now, etc.." Anything else perpetuates the partisan, competitive response that you are decrying, elevating the charge of hypocrisy over the importance of getting things right.


No, because the sudden soul searching is a joke

by scriptcomesfirst @, Thursday, December 07, 2017, 21:00 @ ndphilo
edited by scriptcomesfirst, Thursday, December 07, 2017, 21:04

Clinton no longer can benefit the party. There's not one new piece of evidence or data point that makes it more believable that he was what he was. It's a politically risk-free move to pile on him now and that's the only reason it is happening. Some of the same voices who've found religion on this were some of the worst offenders when it came to targeting the victims. It was especially nauseating to hear Hillary Clinton talk about believing women who claim sexual harassment & assault.

The same people propping up Trump & Roy Moore will no doubt rediscover their outrage for the next Dem who has similar proclivities. And I'll call them out too. That doesn't perpetuate partisanship - it shines a light on it.

It's still important to do the right thing for the right reasons. Otherwise it's a cynical action.


They had more than just accusations against Franken

by Jeff (BGS), A starter home in suburban Tempe, Thursday, December 07, 2017, 12:12 @ hobbs

The photo evidence didn’t help. I’m not so sure it would be that easy to conjure up a credible attack without evidence. A single whistleblower who was aware of the scam could bring down the entire thing.

At night, the ice weasels come.


One thing I never got with the Franken photo

by hobbs, San Diego, Thursday, December 07, 2017, 12:25 @ Jeff (BGS)
edited by hobbs, Thursday, December 07, 2017, 12:56

the image never showed him touching her.


The picture struck me as a gag photo with Franken smiling while playing to the camera.

Tweeden subsequently claimed that she was groped but as I say in the public picture Franken isn't groping actually her. Tweeden in the picture is wearing a military flak vest. Those things weigh about 8 lbs and are made ballistic weave nylon. You simply can't 'cop a feel' when someone is wearing one of those things.


That photo was a damned joke.

by KGB, Thursday, December 07, 2017, 12:46 @ hobbs

Ill-advised but not exactly what I would call incriminating.

The bothsiderism is making my fucking head explode. 14-year-olds, dude. Fourteen-year-olds.



I think its really important to be able to say two things

by ndphilo @, Seal Beach, Thursday, December 07, 2017, 13:03 @ KGB

What Franken did was wrong, gross, and not funny, whether it was intended as a joke or not. He treated a woman he was working with in a disrespectful and sexually demeaning way backstage while she was asleep. I think we shouldn't be afraid to say it was gross, and wrong.

It is also true that what Roy Moore did was many, many, many times worse. The two cases are in no way equivalent.


Agree with all of that.

by KGB, Thursday, December 07, 2017, 13:18 @ ndphilo

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I totally agree. I kept trying to say something like this

by Grantland @, y'allywood, Thursday, December 07, 2017, 12:36 @ hobbs

and it always came off to myself as defending Franken to the detriment of the accuser.

Many referred to that picture as groping her. I even looked up the definition of grope - just to be sure - he is not groping her in that pic.


To me it doesn't matter

by ndphilo @, Seal Beach, Thursday, December 07, 2017, 12:30 @ hobbs

Its still grossly inappropriate.


Exactly right

by Larry, Enemy Territory, Thursday, December 07, 2017, 13:34 @ ndphilo

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Does his background as a sketch comic

by hobbs, San Diego, Thursday, December 07, 2017, 12:39 @ ndphilo
edited by hobbs, Thursday, December 07, 2017, 12:48

weigh in your thoughts any?

I'd have a problem if the picture showed anyone physically assaulting a woman while she slept. But Franken isn't actually touching her and he's clearly playing to the camera.

To me his background as a comedienne who is clearly going for a laugh, cuts him some slack with me in this instance. If a lawyer did the same thing I'd frown on it. But I guess I cut Franken some slack for the picture because a view it as a funny man (he had yet to run for public office) doing what a funny man does and going for a cheap laugh.


Its funny to grab the breast of an obviously sleeping woman?

by ndphilo @, Seal Beach, Thursday, December 07, 2017, 12:48 @ hobbs
edited by ndphilo, Thursday, December 07, 2017, 12:59

I don't get the joke.

No one should find grabbing the breasts of someone sleeping in that context as funny.

edit just to be clear: merely "simulating" the grabbing of breast doesn't make it funny either.


Maybe an attempt at funny?

by PMan @, The Banks of the Spokane River, Thursday, December 07, 2017, 13:50 @ ndphilo

Since he seems to be simulating feeling her up through a Kevlar vest? I mean, about as funny as a chastity belt joke?


I'm surprised that I haven't read anywhere that Tweeden

by BillyGoat, At Thanksgiving with Joe Bethersontin, Thursday, December 07, 2017, 14:21 @ PMan

was an occasional contributor/panelist on Hannity.

Not condoning or excusing Franken's behavior, but I wonder if there was a little bit of a "perfect storm" factor here.


Video of Tweeden being groped on her USO tour w/Franken

by hobbs, San Diego, Thursday, December 07, 2017, 19:02 @ BillyGoat


I am one who thinks Franken should step down

by Domer99, John Wesley Powell's Expedition Island, Friday, December 08, 2017, 08:13 @ hobbs

But damn if it is not the height of hypocrisy that no one is saying a damn thing about Tweeden and her behavior. There are other clips besides this one that incriminate her initiating groping.

I guess Al should have had a better talent than being funny. If he was a singer or soldier, maybe a little better looking, and **poof** it's OK. SMH.


I agree, but it's the subsequent groping claims

by Jay ⌂, San Diego, Friday, December 08, 2017, 09:15 @ Domer99

that skeeved me out more than the Tweeden photo, and it's because of that I think Franken is making the right decision. There's a big difference in doing something as a tasteless gag, but in full view of others and playing for the cameras, and copping a feel, or worse, in Moore's case, for your own salacious gratification.


I agree but I tell you one thing, if I were a woman, I

by Grantland @, y'allywood, Friday, December 08, 2017, 10:51 @ Jay
edited by Grantland, Friday, December 08, 2017, 11:03

MUCH rather have Franken in the Senate than Moore. Granted, Frankens replacement is probably a woman, but just comparing people with allegations against them...

Hell I'd rather have Franken with his allegations than Moore had he none. Just on a reasonableness basis - not even political views. I hate to say it here but I probably share more views with Moore. But he is a shit.

EDIT: But that might prove just how unawakened I am!


Looks like it was in the air.

by Grantland @, y'allywood, Friday, December 08, 2017, 07:14 @ hobbs

Agreed. But it is not illegal. Is it?

by Grantland @, y'allywood, Thursday, December 07, 2017, 12:37 @ ndphilo

not being sarcastic, I am really asking, "nothing caught in that picture is illegal, is it?"


I think it likely meets a standard for sexual harassment

by ndphilo @, Seal Beach, Thursday, December 07, 2017, 12:57 @ Grantland

Is it a criminal offense? No. Is it innocent behavior? No.


Probably not even sexual harassment. I am not that type

by Grantland @, y'allywood, Thursday, December 07, 2017, 13:24 @ ndphilo
edited by Grantland, Thursday, December 07, 2017, 13:33

of lawyer, but I think the actions have to somehow be a condition of employment or pay.

Nonetheless, that does not matter. I happen to have a 25 year old female associate down the hall with whom I able able to have frank conversations. She debates whether or not he is touching, but even assuming he is not, she thinks that picture is grounds for him resigning from the Senate. I am going to have to defer to her (and you) on that.


On your first point

by ndphilo @, Seal Beach, Thursday, December 07, 2017, 13:36 @ Grantland

I am admittedly not a lawyer, but I think you are right that there are conditions that mean it doesn't fit the legal definition of actionable sexual harassment.

But, I think it is definitely the case that the actions done are the kinds of actions that clearly do count as sexual harassment in those legally defined circumstances, and are the kinds of behavior that sexual harassment law is meant to prevent and punish when it does occur. It is that, convoluted, sense of the term that I intended in saying it is sexual harassment. It is exactly the sort of thing the spirit of the law is meant to address, even if it doesn't fit the letter.


Sen. Gillibrand

by Grantland @, y'allywood, Thursday, December 07, 2017, 13:50 @ ndphilo

On that last thing, that they play to win

by Jack @, Thursday, December 07, 2017, 11:34 @ hobbs

Is why I think if Moore gets elected, they'll vote to expel him from the Senate and let the Republican governor of Alabama appoint a replacement.

It's actually the best possible political outcome from the mess they've gotten themselves into, because they keep the seat Republican and can pontificate how wonderful they are for getting rid of this joker. And Mitch McConnell can stick it to Steve Bannon, icing on the cake.


I don't see it. The base controls that party

by hobbs, San Diego, Thursday, December 07, 2017, 11:40 @ Jack

Moore has the base and if he wins the election I simply don't see the GOP Washington establishment effectively overruling the will of the Alabama voters.

As McConnell said on Sunday its for Alabama to decide.

The President is also in Moore's corner.


Why not?

by IrishGuard, Thursday, December 07, 2017, 11:50 @ hobbs

McConnell expels Moore and puts a traditional republican in his place. The base gets all ornery, nashing their tooth and brandishing their fists at Washington. What are they going to do about it? Elect a Democrat next time?

They'd rather have a molester.


Because McConnell would get primary'd for 2020

by Captain Robb, Thursday, December 07, 2017, 12:47 @ IrishGuard

Hell, they ran Tea Partier Matt Bevin against him in 2014 and Bevin crept above 35%. Bevin went on to run for governor AND WIN in 2015.

If McConnell turns on the base, Bevin will absolutely unseat him in 2 years.


He's going to get primaried anyway, so I don't see the

by Jack @, Thursday, December 07, 2017, 15:02 @ Captain Robb



Exactly. They have nowhere else to go

by Jack @, Thursday, December 07, 2017, 11:52 @ IrishGuard

Bannon's already running primary challengers all over the place even before this anyway. Hell, Moore was one of them.


But that's the problem

by ndphilo @, Seal Beach, Thursday, December 07, 2017, 12:13 @ Jack

If you make the war between "establishment" and "whatever the hell you call Bannon" worse, you increase the chance that those primary challenges will be successful, and where they aren't that the Bannon side won't turn out in the general. That means McConnell gets fewer steady establishments types, eroding his power, and/or fewer Republicans as fringe candidates struggle in genuinely competitive places, eroding his power.

It is absolutely not in McConnel's interest to wage that war. They'll seat Moore, and hope they can control him. See the response to Trump, Donald J. I don't think they see any other option.


No you don't. They aren't the majority of

by Jack @, Thursday, December 07, 2017, 15:05 @ ndphilo
edited by Jack, Thursday, December 07, 2017, 15:14

the GOP electorate in most parts of the country.

And they're certainly not the majority of the general electorate. Look at Trump's polling numbers. He's plumbing new depths of unpopularity for a president in his first year - and that's with a strong economy.

There are four Democrats in the Senate who likely wouldn't be there had they not had the luck to face a tea partier who upset the "establishment" Republican who likely would have won in the general election:

Coons (Delaware)
Donnelly (Indiana)
McCaskill (Missouri)
Bennet (Colorado)


I'm confused

by ndphilo @, Seal Beach, Thursday, December 07, 2017, 15:40 @ Jack
edited by ndphilo, Thursday, December 07, 2017, 15:45

Your post starts disagreeing with me, and then you go on to seem to make exactly the point I was making.

There are 4 democrats who wouldn't be there if a more moderate Republican won the primary. If establishment Republicans boot Moore, that will only anger the anti-establishment wing of the party. My suggestion is that anger over this may drive turnout and result in more anti-establishment candidates winning primaries. Such candidates will either go on to win the general election (bad for McConnell) or lose to dems (as in your examples, also bad for McConnell).

If the establishment candidate does pull out the primary, greater anger will make it harder to turn out the anti-establishment voters, which might tip close races that could have been won otherwise (bad for McConnell).

Making the fight between establishment and anti-establishment Rs worse in no way benefits McConnell. The only play is to try to make peace, and keep all oars pulling in the same direction. That may not be possible, but its the only option with any upside. That is why my guess is they will seat Moore.


The disagreement is in Moore's level of support

by Jack @, Thursday, December 07, 2017, 16:31 @ ndphilo

I don't think his support among the anti-establishment outside of Alabama is anything like what it is inside Alabama where Moore has an electoral history and has been well-known for a very long time. I'm talking support for Moore specifically. And that includes the anti-establishment within the Senate, where Ted Cruz and Mike Lee both have withdrawn their endorsements of Moore.

As a nit, if he gets elected, they have to seat him. They have no choice. But they can then choose to expel him.


Jack hasn't reached his posting quota for today yet

by Jay ⌂, San Diego, Thursday, December 07, 2017, 15:42 @ ndphilo



They are

by Jim (fisherj08) @, A Samoan kid's laptop, Thursday, December 07, 2017, 15:10 @ Jack

Trump's at 76% approval among Republicans, which is a slight decrease from the 84% he got on inauguration day.

The fact of the matter is that Trump won the primary election because registered Republicans (still) really really really like him.


No, 76% among his own party is terrible for a president

by Jack @, Thursday, December 07, 2017, 15:20 @ Jim (fisherj08)
edited by Jack, Thursday, December 07, 2017, 15:28

It means one in four Republicans don't like a Republican president. It should be at least 90%.


But they really don't control the party

by Jack @, Thursday, December 07, 2017, 11:47 @ hobbs

They want to, but don't. At least not yet. And the people that do (which is still McConnell and the people Bannon hates) also play to win.

And they definitely don't control the GOP delegation in the Senate.

As for Trump, he couldn't care less who holds that seat as long as it's a Republican. That's why he's campaigning for him. Once he gets seated, he'll act like he never heard of him.


There is merit to much of what you say

by hobbs, San Diego, Thursday, December 07, 2017, 11:51 @ Jack

I don't think anyone knows how this thing endgames, but its going to be fascinating to see how the Washington branch of the Republicans handles this.


Oh, definitely. I'm pre-ordering mass quantities of popcorn

by Jack @, Thursday, December 07, 2017, 11:55 @ hobbs

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Per my unofficial count...

by Greg, sittin on the dock of the bay, Thursday, December 07, 2017, 10:33 @ Grantland

...that's two Democrats who have stepped down from national office based on seemingly-verifiable harassment/assault allegations.

If Alabama elects Judge Gropey McPedophile, the Senate should either refuse to seat him or immediately open an investigation and oust him as soon as the investigation lets them. It's the Republicans' best way to claim any sort of equal footing on the issue.


They can't refuse to seat him but they can expel him

by Jack @, Thursday, December 07, 2017, 11:04 @ Greg
edited by Jack, Thursday, December 07, 2017, 11:23

And they only need to get 18 Republicans on board to do so.

They've got a few already, I think, and public pressure may get more. And one guy who is no friend of Moore is the Senate Majority Leader.

If he gets elected, then expelled, the Republican governor of Alabama will appoint a Republican to replace him.

I think they will expel him. Because not doing so will absolutely kill them in the 2018 election as the Democrats hang it around their necks. And Franken's resignation cleared the way for them to do just that.

I heard Lindsey Graham say on Face the Nation on Sunday that Moore was a "child molester" and if he takes his seat in the Senate "there's going to be a problem".


As Rob Portman said,

by Jim (fisherj08) @, A Samoan kid's laptop, Thursday, December 07, 2017, 10:41 @ Greg

He’s for the tax bill, so he’ll be a Senator. He’s a pedophilic racist homophobe, but he wants to cut corporate taxes, so he’s ok.


Why would they?

by Pat (Moco), Slave Den, Brian Cook's Basement, Thursday, December 07, 2017, 10:40 @ Greg

When has this iteration of the GOP shown an ounce of self-awareness? They literally don't care. The only thing they care about is power, and a Franken-loss/Moore-gain is a two seat swing in the senate.


Franken will be replaced by a Democrat.

by Bill, Southern California, Thursday, December 07, 2017, 10:50 @ Pat (Moco)

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I'm talking instantaneously.

by Pat (Moco), Slave Den, Brian Cook's Basement, Thursday, December 07, 2017, 11:09 @ Bill

Franken won't be there to vote against bills and Moore is filling a vacant seat and would certainly vote the exact opposite.


The replacement can be appointed and sworn in immediately

by Jack @, Thursday, December 07, 2017, 11:26 @ Pat (Moco)

There won't be a time delay. The appointee is already known. It's the Minnesota Lt. Governor, Tina Smith.


Fair enough.

by Pat (Moco), Slave Den, Brian Cook's Basement, Thursday, December 07, 2017, 11:48 @ Jack

Didn't know they had someone already.


Franken even referred to her in his speech

by Jack @, Thursday, December 07, 2017, 11:50 @ Pat (Moco)

Not by name, but as "she". It's a done deal.


Franken's resignation won't take effect until January

by Captain Robb, Thursday, December 07, 2017, 11:20 @ Pat (Moco)

Also, the Alabama seat is not vacant - Luther Strange, who was appointed by the governor to fill Session's absence, is serving in Washington and will do so until the winner of the election is seated.


The GOP senate will accept Moore just fine.

by Bill, Southern California, Thursday, December 07, 2017, 10:40 @ Greg

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