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Member since: Mon Nov 29, 2004, 09:18 PM
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Did Me Too get wrong guy? Former staffers say resignation will do more harm than good for women.

By Alex Thompson Dec 8, 2017

Eight women accused Al Franken of inappropriately touching, groping, or kissing them. For the Democratic leadership in the Senate, it was an open-and-shut case: Franken must go.

But for former Franken staffers — the ones who worked most closely with the Minnesota senator over eight years and two statewide campaigns — he was the wrong target, and his resignation “in the coming weeks” will do more harm than good for the cause of women on Capitol Hill and workplaces across the country.

In interviews with eight former Franken staffers and top campaign aides — most of them women — all of them felt that it was unfair for Franken to become to poster boy for sexual misconduct in Congress and some felt that he shouldn’t have resigned at all. They also applauded his defiant speech on the Senate floor Thursday, for which Franken has been criticized for not directly apologizing to his accusers.

“Many, if not most, offices in Congress are hostile environments for young women, and Franken’s office was not one of them,” said one former female staffer, who declined to be named because she still works in Democratic politics. I am desperate to see change, but this is not the solution.”

She added that she worried Franken’s resignation would make lawmakers feel satisfied that they took action instead of addressing the more systemic problems facing women in Congress. “If that is the case, the end result will be harmful for women, not helpful,” she said.


Franken aides are adamant that their boss was part of the solution in Congress and not the problem, and several described him as among the best bosses to have in Washington as a young woman. “A lot of politicians could learn from the way he treated women in his office,” Emily Mellencamp Smith, Franken’s finance director in his 2014 reelection campaign, told VICE News. “So it’s a really sad day,” she added.

Read the entire article. It's excellent and reflects the thoughts many have expressed here but comes directly from those who know him well.


Icelands new PM is 41-year-old anti-war feminist and environmentalist. Good news for them.

Katrin Jakobsdottir plans to make the small island nation a world-leader in fighting climate change.

Her Left-Green Movement will lead a coalition government with two parties across the political spectrum in the hope it gives Iceland some ‘stability’.

The country has been rocked by a cycle of scandals that have triggered three elections in the past four years.

A snap election was called by former PM Bjarni Benediktsson in September over a furore caused by his father suggesting a paedophile, who repeatedly raped his stepdaughter for 12 years, should have his ‘honour restored’.

Less than a year earlier, Sigmundur David Gunnlaugsson stepped aside as prime minister amid public fury over the Panama Papers revealing his family had sheltered money in offshore tax havens.

In an attempt to break with the past, Jakobsdottir campaigned on a platform of restoring trust in government and leveraged a boom in tourism to increase public spending.


By being the party of high morality Dems are self-neutering in face of unprecedented threats (Slate)

The Uneven Playing Field


Al Franken, many argue, should now resign. He should resign immediately because there are credible accusers (another emerged Wednesday), and because the behavior alleged is sufficiently abhorrent that there is simply no basis to defend him. In this parade of unilateral disarmament, Trump stays, Conyers goes, Moore stays, Franken goes.

Is this the principled solution? By every metric I can think of, it’s correct. But it’s also wrong. It’s wrong because we no longer inhabit a closed ethical system, in which morality and norm preservation are their own rewards. We live in a broken and corroded system in which unilateral disarmament is going to destroy the very things we want to preserve.


Sexual predation is bad and grotesque and disqualifying for national office and positions of power. Stipulated. Victim-shaming and claiming that “the people should decide” is contemptible avoidance of responsibility. But the question that remains is whether the analysis stops right there. I, too, would like to live in a world where the debate begins and ends with that proposition. But I don’t think any of us live in that world anymore. And this may not be the moment in which to try to resurrect it.


My own larger concern is that becoming the party of high morality will allow Democrats to live with themselves but that the party is also self-neutering in the face of unprecedented threats, in part to do the right thing and in part to take ammunition away from the right—a maneuver that never seems to work out these days.


Who knows why the GOP has lost its last ethical moorings? But this is a perfectly transactional moment in governance, and what we get in exchange for being good and moral right now is nothing. I’m not saying we should hit pause on #MeToo, or direct any less fury at sexual predators in their every manifestation. But we should understand that while we know that our good faith and reasonableness are virtues, we currently live in a world where it’s also a handicap.

Unilateral disarmament is tantamount to arming the other side. That may be a trade worth making in some cases. But it’s worth at least acknowledging that this is the current calculus. It’s no longer that when they go low, we get to go high. They are permanently living underground. How long can we afford to keep living in the clouds?


Just called Wyden & Merkley's office; asked them to push for Franken investigation, not resignation

My senators, who are both saying Franken should resign. Staffer said this is very difficult and agreed with me that the nature of the allegations is quite different from others. I said I thought this was a perfect set up for right wingers to go after our progressive champions, and if this works, why stop with Al? And given that these allegations appeared they could be unsubstantiated, go for an investigation first!

This was the only action I could think of, other than calling Franken's office to offer support, but I thought this would be more important since I am not a constituent of Franken's.

Auntie Maxine guest on Chris Hayes ! RE Trump finances/Russia.

Nazis Feeling Neglected After Republicans' Embrace of Child Molesters

WASHINGTON (The Borowitz Report)—Several prominent Nazis said on Tuesday that they feel “neglected and hurt” by what they see as the Republican Party’s decision to court child molesters instead.

After the Republican National Committee agreed to fund the alleged child molester Roy Moore’s campaign for the United States Senate, aggrieved Nazis called the move a blatant attempt to pander to the child-molester vote.

“It seems like just last summer President Trump was saying what ‘fine people’ we were,” Heinz Dorrinson, an embittered Nazi from Mississippi, said. “Now it seems like all he can think about is his precious child molesters.”

Dorrinson warned that, in their frenzy to woo the child-molester vote, Republicans were playing a dangerous game by taking the Nazi vote for granted.

“President Trump needs to remember who put him in the White House,” Dorrinson said. “Nazis have feelings, too.”

In Washington, the Senate Majority Leader, Mitch McConnell, said that the battle between Nazis and child molesters for control of the Republican Party was largely an invention of the media.

“The Republican Party in 2017 is a place where both Nazis and child molesters can feel at home,” McConnell said.


Trumps Lawyer Claims to Be Voice on Access Hollywood Tape

by Andy Borowitz

WASHINGTON (The Borowitz Report)—Hoping to put to rest a mystery that has long bedeviled the nation, Donald J. Trump’s personal lawyer, John Dowd, revealed on Monday that it is actually his voice that appears on the notorious “Access Hollywood” tape.

Speaking to reporters, Dowd said that the so-called locker-room talk attributed to Trump had actually been carefully crafted by the former reality-show host’s legal team and then read aloud by Dowd himself.

Additionally, Dowd said that comments widely thought to have been made by Trump indicating that he believed that Frederick Douglass was still alive were also Dowd’s handiwork.

“President Trump was about to say something about whether Frederick Douglass was alive or not, and I stepped in at that moment and said that he was,” Dowd said. “I stand by that statement.”

Dowd went on to say that other actions attributed to Trump since he took office, including alienating NATO allies, stating that an imaginary armada was steaming toward North Korea, and naming Anthony Scaramucci as White House communications director, were all actually done by Dowd.

“Let’s be clear,” Dowd said. “Since Donald Trump was elected President, he has done nothing.”

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