[News] Post a Political News Story

Ongoing discussion of the political news of the day.

Edwin wrote:
JeffreyLSmith wrote:
oilypenguin wrote:

Franken should step down. He has a D governor to appoint a replacement. Hell, he could run again if he wanted but we need a higher standard here.

You may be right. As a Minnesotan who voted for him, and followed his career since his original appearance on SNL in 1975, I was very disappointed to hear about this. But justice should be blind, and there isn't room for this behavior in DC.

Also, his resignation would remove him as a distraction and cover for pedophiles and serial molesters (assuming this is an isolated incident for Franken). If he were to apologize and step down, how could Roy Moore supporters say a d*mn thing?

Bingo. Franken needs to go and set the example of how things are supposed to be done.

Yes. It annoys the crap out of me because he is one of the only D senators that seems to have been a strong voice but he has to go he will just be used as a "but your side didn't" figure forever.

Quite honestly I am pissed at him. What an ass. Jesus, grow up you dumb asses.

NathanialG wrote:

Bill O'neil is running for Governor of Ohio

Now that the dogs of war are calling for the head of Senator Al Franken I believe it is time to speak up on behalf of all heterosexual males. As a candidate for Governor let me save my opponents some research time. In the last fifty years I was sexually intimate with approximately 50 very attractive females. It ranged from a gorgeous blonde who was my first true love and we made passionate love in the hayloft of her parents barn and ended with a drop dead gorgeous red head from Cleveland.
Now can we get back to discussing legalizing marijuana and opening the state hospital network to combat the opioid crisis. I am sooooo disappointed by this national feeding frenzy about sexual indiscretions decades ago.
Peace.

https://www.facebook.com/WilliamMONe...

IMAGE(https://media1.tenor.com/images/076c865ae75b347a443ae0e7596ca3e3/tenor.gif?itemid=5103666)

Why is my state always so hecking stupid with elections? Like, yeah, we're not at Alabama levels.... but seriously.

Two times in the last decade we've had idiots running who BOTH managed to say "We have federal grant money for this thing, we're not going to do this thing, we're going to do a different thing with that grant money!" Cue election victory. "Wait, what do you mean we can't use that grant money for a specific thing on something else?"

Now we've got "Look how sexually accomplished I am while I completely miss the point of a string of discussions about the very thing I'm missing."

Another WaPo editorial viewpoint on Franken
It's worth reading the whole article.
Strongly political, but seems nuanced about it?

As a feminist and the author of a book on rape culture, I could reasonably be expected to lead the calls for Al Franken to step down, following allegations that he forced his tongue down a woman’s throat, accompanied by a photo of him grinning as he moves in to grope her breasts while she sleeps. It’s disgusting. He treated a sleeping woman as a comedy prop, no more human than the contents of Carrot Top’s trunk, and I firmly believe he should suffer social and professional consequences for it.

But I don’t believe resigning from his position is the only possible consequence, or the one that’s best for American women.

...
...

But in a sharply divided political climate where toxic masculinity knows no party, yet is only ever acknowledged by one, we must think about how to minimize harm to women. One more empty apology and resignation, one more head on a pike, will not make American women safer or better off. Powerful men lifting up women’s concerns and supporting progressive women candidates, however, could be a real step toward changing the culture that makes victims of so many of us.

Demosthenes wrote:

Why is my state always so hecking stupid with elections? Like, yeah, we're not at Alabama levels.... but seriously.

Two times in the last decade we've had idiots running who BOTH managed to say "We have federal grant money for this thing, we're not going to do this thing, we're going to do a different thing with that grant money!" Cue election victory. "Wait, what do you mean we can't use that grant money for a specific thing on something else?"

Now we've got "Look how sexually accomplished I am while I completely miss the point of a string of discussions about the very thing I'm missing."

There's five other Democrats who've said they're running for governor as well as a host of other potential candidates. O'Neil's going to have to bring more to the table than legalizing weed and claiming that he's a goddamn sexual Tyrannosaurus, the later of which probably isn't going to be that impressive to the three women who are also running for governor.

EDIT: And it looks like O'Neil's Facebook post just cost him his campaign manager who wasn't impressed his "disturbing and misguided" comments.

OG_slinger wrote:
Demosthenes wrote:

Why is my state always so hecking stupid with elections? Like, yeah, we're not at Alabama levels.... but seriously.

Two times in the last decade we've had idiots running who BOTH managed to say "We have federal grant money for this thing, we're not going to do this thing, we're going to do a different thing with that grant money!" Cue election victory. "Wait, what do you mean we can't use that grant money for a specific thing on something else?"

Now we've got "Look how sexually accomplished I am while I completely miss the point of a string of discussions about the very thing I'm missing."

There's five other Democrats who've said they're running for governor as well as a host of other potential candidates. O'Neil's going to have to bring more to the table than legalizing weed and claiming that he's a goddamn sexual Tyrannosaurus, the later of which probably isn't going to be that impressive to the three women who are also running for governor.

EDIT: And it looks like O'Neil's Facebook post just cost him his campaign manager who wasn't impressed his "disturbing and misguided" comments.

Nina Turner or no one.

Fight me.

Haha. Oh, man. Here's what went through my head when reading this without paying much attention.

WASHINGTON (The Borowitz Report)—An Alabama man whose brain was ravaged by severe amnesia is somehow able to function in an extremely demanding legal job, leading neurologists reported on Tuesday.

Wow, that's so cool. It's amazing how the brain works; that someone could be seriously impaired by a brain injury but their ability to perform a highly specialized, professional job was somehow preserved. This is gonna be cool to read about. Why is this in P+C?

The man, whom neurologists are calling a “medical mystery,” has performed highly exacting tasks in one of the country’s top legal positions despite having virtually no short- or long-term memory.

Wait a second (glances at picture again). Oh... Sessions. Duh.

oops wrong topic

Well the current state of affairs of our country/society has really got me down and a bit flummoxed. My nurse and I hugged in clinic today as we were fighting back tears after giving particularly bad news to a young woman with very advanced cancer. It is something we have done countless times because the job just breaks your heart sometimes.

And then the thought popped into my head “crap I’d better be careful because this is probably inappropriate behavior.” I thought the same thing after I realized I had put my hand on the young woman’s leg while consoling her.

I f’ing hate that I think like this now but a no touch policy with the opposite sex at work is probably the best approach.

Sigh.

Can you really not tell the difference between a consoling hug or kind gesture and feeling someone up?

Sorry, that came off as harsh, and I didn't intend it to be. A no touching policy just seems like an extreme over reaction. The stories coming out are not stories of, "I just told someone they would die, and my friend gave me a hug". It's not about touching, it's about inappropriate and unwelcome touching. Are you genuinely concerned that something you're doing would qualify as assault or harassment? If so, what is it that you're doing?

ClockworkHouse wrote:

Sorry, that came off as harsh, and I didn't intend it to be. A no touching policy just seems like an extreme over reaction. The stories coming out are not stories of, "I just told someone they would die, and my friend gave me a hug". It's not about touching, it's about inappropriate and unwelcome touching. Are you genuinely concerned that something you're doing would qualify as assault or harassment? If so, what is it that you're doing?

I think it’s important for men to re-evaluate how they are interacting with women at work. The intent of the hug is in no way sexual but how do I know how it is perceived? Would someone whom I am in a position of power over (my nurse or patient) tell me if it’s unwanted? I think there are other ways to express sympathy that don’t involve physical contact.

I would guess many men are making women uncomfortable without realizing it and this is a good time to reassess our assumptions. And frankly it’s really not necessary to touch someone you are working with. Just a habit that I should probably break.

In general, it's a good policy to always ask before hugging (or touching in general) another person. Not because you're worried that it might be taken the wrong way, but because you simply don't know whether the person you're interacting with is comforted or stressed from hugs, and so on.

You wouldn't want to touch someone for a medical procedure without letting them know what's going to happen ahead of time. So take the time to just check-in with people before you touch them at all. (And be prepared to take no for an answer, and don't assume that the answer will always be the same.)

I'd say honestly that we are in general much more able to tell when we're acting in an inappropriately sexual way than when we're acting in a way that's considered "usual" but which makes people feel uncomfortable.

(That historically, so many sexualized actions that society has considered "usual" in fact make people very very uncomfortable just makes asking all the more important.)

Docjoe wrote:

I think it’s important for men to re-evaluate how they are interacting with women at work.

Hypatian wrote:

In general, it's a good policy to always ask before hugging (or touching in general) another person.

That I can agree with. Consent to touch is important, as is making sure that our behavior is welcome and being received as it's intended. The original post read to me as, "I shouldn't offer comfort to a woman because she'll say I'm harassing her" which is a bit different.

I'm really glad you all talked this out, I had the same thought as Clocky and it was disturbing me. I think I agree with where everyone landed. Great job, each of you.

I think this is a really interesting subject that has made me do a lot of introspection but I don't want to derail this thread so I'm going to start a new one to continue the discussion.

It’s crazy how pernicious this stuff is. I remember a few years ago reading a piece about how the author thought people should stop forcing their kids to hug or kiss relatives. I already thought that was a weird thing to ask kids to do, to demand they do. But after I read it I took it to heart and basically explained to my brother and sister in law that as much as I loved my niece and nephews I felt strongly that they not learn that some forms of touch were forced or mandatory. They got it. It was a good learning moment all around. From the article down through the parents.

Serious questions for those who believe Al Franken should step down. Is it because he is a Senator and is in a position of leadership? What job could he presently have that you would not ask him to quit? Any job? Does any indescetion disqualify someone from working anywhere indefinitely? If not, where's the line and who gets to decide?

I’m asking because it seems wrong to me that Franken is being lumped in with Roy Moore, Weinstein, Roger Ailes, etc. It is NOT all the same and it troubles me that we are going for an all-or-nothing extreme with Franken when there's no way in hell Republicans will respond in kind.

I don’t condone what Franken did at all, but he did not do it as a serving Senator, he did it when he was a (sh*tty) comic trying to be funny. It wasn’t. No one has come forward about anything he’s done as a Senator and in fact the woman he did this to has now accepted his apology. When do we accept it and move on and fight the truly evil people instead of sacrificing our own?

I've been sexually assaulted before. I don't think Franken should step down. And I consider it ridiculous that people are trying to compare what he did to any of the others you mentioned. It's a farce.

He is free to perform any job in which his employer has no issue with his past of having sexually assaulted someone. But in this current climate, I think he has to step down from political office. He is damaged goods as a politician and will not be able to effectively perform in his role. And it smells of a double standard for the Dems to look away in this case. The fact that Republicans wouldn’t do the same does not change what is wrong or right.

And I do think it is black and white, all or nothing. You have been someone who has sexually assualted women or you are someone who hasn’t. If you have, you need to find a different job.

Admittedly, my first thoughts were a Hannity guest/commentator accusing a liberal politician was most likely going to be "See? The libs won't condemn one of their own!" from the right, and it mostly has been, despite most of the left immediately condemning Franken (and Weinstein, and later than I'd like, Bill Clinton). A former friend, whom some of you know, and who mysteriously stopped calling the President "King Putt" around January, has done nothing but crow about it on Twitter, as if it's good because it happened to someone on the other side.

It was sh*tty, and I think he did the right thing by calling an ethics investigation into himself. While I like him as a politician, he should probably step down, if only to prevent the right from using it to distract from their own wrongdoing, even if it was before he was a politician, and has no bearing on his ability to do his job.

Honestly, this doesn’t have to be a disaster for the Democrats. We have a sitting Democratic governor in MN (at least for now). Franken is dead man walking politically no matter what. If he steps down, Dayton can appointment a replacement (preferably a woman) to replace him and serve out the rest of his term. That would give over 2 years to allow the stink from this episode to diffuse and would give MN 2 female Senators.

Win win.

Edit: Clarification, one year not two since a special election would be held in 2018.

I find it kind of offensive that people have decided we can accept forcing Franken out because the governor is a Democrat, so we can keep the blue team in tact. He either needs to go based on his actions, or he doesn't. The governor should not come into play. It draws into question whether we are actually supporting women, or if we are just using this as a political tool to shame Republicans.

Because bringing this up just means you can live with the guy if it meant a Republican was going to take the seat. What does that say to the women in your world?

As it is, the woman who brought charges accepted his apology and has not called for him to step down. What she did was provide a story to the public that would make it easier for other women to come out, if there are some. That is a good thing, and deserves to be investigated to make sure he doesn't have a larger pattern of abuse. If he does, I think we can all agree that this will need to be revisited.

Agreed, I've even seen some people suggesting Franken shouldn't be forced out because the Republicans never would force out their bad actors. It's not about game theory and making sure we keep whatever power we still have.

Welp, at least some pastors are doubling down on their support for Moore.

Pastor Franklin Raddish of the Capitol Hill Independent Baptist Ministries, a nationwide church, told AL.com from his South Carolina home that the spate of accusations against men in politics, Hollywood and elsewhere was a "war on men."

"More women are sexual predators than men," said Raddish. "Women are chasing young boys up and down the road, but we don't hear about that because it's not PC."

Bonus_Eruptus wrote:

It's not about game theory and making sure we keep whatever power we still have.

Of course it's not game theory. Game theory assumes that people are rational. Politics accepts that people make irrational and purely emotional decisions.

But the fact of the matter is whichever party controls enough votes to push through their agenda gets to push through their agenda. Which is why the House passed a massive tax cut for the super rich and corporations that everyone else is going to be paying for.

Kehama wrote:
Pastor Franklin Raddish of the Capitol Hill Independent Baptist Ministries, a nationwide church, told AL.com from his South Carolina home that the spate of accusations against men in politics, Hollywood and elsewhere was a "war on men."

"More women are sexual predators than men," said Raddish. "Women are chasing young boys up and down the road, but we don't hear about that because it's not PC."

Dear lord...
It is facepalm-worthy to see a priest join the time-honored tradition of Christianity blaming women for literally everything.

Even if he was right, the reasonable conclusion would be that all the sexually harassed men should speak up too. But apparently everyone should just be silent. Like the victims of pedophile priests I guess.

OG_slinger wrote:
Bonus_Eruptus wrote:

It's not about game theory and making sure we keep whatever power we still have.

Of course it's not game theory. Game theory assumes that people are rational. Politics accepts that people make irrational and purely emotional decisions.

Don't sell game theory short. One of my favorite classic game theory studies - can't remember its name - is the one showing people will accept a loss for themselves, as long as someone who they feel treated them unfairly loss more. It says so much about where we are right now.

Anyway, feels wrong to me to 'sacrifice' Al Franken just to prove a point that can be used against others. Really makes it feel like the whole thing has nothing to do with the victims of sexual assault/harassment. Either he went way too far and should be punished for it, or he didn't, and maybe it is possible to forgive. Unless more stuff comes up, which it might well do, it seems to me like the Al Franken case is very much the latter.

Kehama wrote:

Welp, at least some pastors are doubling down on their support for Moore.

Pastor Franklin Raddish of the Capitol Hill Independent Baptist Ministries, a nationwide church, told AL.com from his South Carolina home that the spate of accusations against men in politics, Hollywood and elsewhere was a "war on men."

"More women are sexual predators than men," said Raddish. "Women are chasing young boys up and down the road, but we don't hear about that because it's not PC."

I wonder if this is a cynical ploy, or if he's a true believer? I don't think it matters either way, ultimately, but if it's the latter, what's it like living like that?

I guess I should clarify my point. I think Franken should go down regardless, I’m just pointing out that it will not hurt politically. My viewpoint wouldn’t be different if it were a Republican governor in power.

And I think the game of “who is the more serious offender” shouldn’t be played. It’s OK because it was a long time ago and he wasn’t a Senator? Same argument could be made for Moore. It’s OK as long as there hasn’t been a more recent string of events showing a pattern? Well, there was the bit about the skit he wrote where a woman gets raped. And again, same argument could be made for Moore.

I think a history of being a sexual predator makes you ineligible to serve in government, full stop. Party affiliation shouldn’t matter nor political consequences of removal of said predator.

Bonus Eruptus wrote:

It was sh*tty, and I think he did the right thing by calling an ethics investigation into himself. While I like him as a politician, he should probably step down, if only to prevent the right from using it to distract from their own wrongdoing, even if it was before he was a politician, and has no bearing on his ability to do his job.

I do not get this specific argument. The last decades have proven over and over again that it doesn't matter what the left does or doesn't do. If there's nothing, something will be invented (see Obama the Kenyan Muslim), if there's something small it will be blown out of proportion (see: Benghazi). Even if there's plenty to criticize something outlandish will be invented and believed anyway, as long as it's politically expedient and feeds into the cognitive dissonance (Pizzagate). At least in this specific case you're starting off somewhat from the same facts, instead of a make-believe.

Whether Franken needs to stay or go or whatever in between is a serious question of course. And it doesn't mean political expedience couldn't or shouldn't play a role either. But how the right might use or perceive it is completely moot.

On the political expedience part, Nate Silver at 538 wrote an excellent piece.

tl;dr version: seeing how a Democratic governor would replace Franken with another Democrat, how re-election in a blue state in a country that's leaning blue would be very likely, and with several good candidates waiting in the corridor, and how Franken's resignation would have allowed the Dems to keep playing the moral high ground card it would have been very expedient to walk this path. But the theory is that Franken's resignation would have made it very difficult to keep others in Congress or the Senate in place when inevitably other women step up with their stories.

Another worthy quote from the article:

When we were thinking through the Franken story in FiveThrityEight’s internal Slack channel today, most of the men in our office thought that Franken was in deep trouble (“I think he’s toast,” I wrote at 11:07 this morning). Most of the women thought he’d hang in and survive. We’re less than a day into the story, but no surprise — it looks like the women will be right.