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  #11  
Old 11-20-2017, 04:41 PM
Roger Slater Roger Slater is offline
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The part about shoving his tongue into her mouth has not been confirmed by Franken, who tactfully says he remembers it differently (rather than screaming that the woman is a liar who pals around with Hannity), and there are many circumstances that lead me to believe that she is not accurately reporting what happened.

I don't feel like going over every last bit of evidence, but for now let me mention one thing that makes me doubt her. She claimed that Franken wrote the script in 2006 at the last minute for no other reason that to have an excuse to kiss her. But it turns out that:

A. This was a standard USO set-piece that she and Franken actually performed in their 2003 USO shows, and it probably predates even those shows, and

B. One of the lines she reads from the script is "You just wrote that to have an excuse to kiss me!", before proceeding to say she'd rather kiss one of the soldiers (and then doing so).

In other words, her memory of what happened is so shaky and unreliable that she didn't even remember that the script wasn't new, and she invented the part about his having cooked up the script just to be able to kiss her, not recalling that this was a joke in the script itself.

There are other circumstances as well, but I need to stop now.
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  #12  
Old 11-20-2017, 05:16 PM
John Isbell John Isbell is online now
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I've had a high opinion of Franken for some time.

1. That is precisely how Moore's supporters feel about Moore.
2. However, the reported acts are quite different.
3. As is the number of witnesses (and acts).
4. And from what Roger states, the lead-off Franken accusation does seem to raise some questions about simple reliability.
5. Not least if the accuser is in fact friendly with an enemy (I think Hannity deserves the word) political operative, as I believe are none of Moore's accusers.

Michelle Goldberg called for Franken to resign. I see the argument, but I'm not there yet.

Cheers,
John

Update: I think my points 2 and 3 will stand at present (barring further testimony). 4 and 5 I'd like to know more about, before forming an opinion.

Last edited by John Isbell; 11-20-2017 at 05:21 PM.
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  #13  
Old 11-20-2017, 05:29 PM
Erik Olson Erik Olson is online now
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There is a question as to whether Franken should resign. For my part, it is premature to call for any such thing. For this would depend on his continued response, which has so far stood out in a good way relative to other notables accused of misconduct (his second, if not quite his first, apology to the first accusation was the best he could have done in the circumstances). This question would be influenced greatly by the advent of additional accusations. Especially if that happens, he may have too much baggage to be an asset to the party moving forward, as much as it pains me to realize; but if he makes it through all the scrutiny, he may yet continue to be more of an asset than a liability in the final analysis. Time will tell, or so I suppose.

Last edited by Erik Olson; 11-20-2017 at 05:54 PM.
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  #14  
Old 11-20-2017, 07:33 PM
John Isbell John Isbell is online now
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Leaving aside for the moment the first allegation against Franken, I've heard two commenters so far on MSNBC note that the second, from 2010, concerns his time as senator, which involves a whole different power dynamic. That may well become a focus of an ethics investigation.

It should be repeated I think that Moore is a quite separate issue. Trump has been vocal on the first case and silent on the second, FWIW. A profile in presidential courage.

Cheers,
John
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  #15  
Old 11-20-2017, 08:36 PM
Jim Moonan Jim Moonan is online now
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Feeling demoralized has not has such a wide scope of meaning as it does today, in my lifetime.

I don't want to get caught up in a futile discussion about sexual indiscretions vs. repeated sexually abhorrent and felonious behavior. If Al Franken's turn out to be the latter I will join the chorus for him to go away.(Today there was a second more recent incident reported). We will have to suffer our way through the morass of politicization and hope something good comes from it (which it may for the privileged few but likely not for the legions of women who suffer like the plague from the repeated sexual abuse and assault of men.)

It may sound like an odd analogy, but I think the men who represent the horrific actions of Isis are to Islam what male sexual predators are to being male. How do women manage see beyond such actions and still have faith that men are worth the time?
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  #16  
Old 11-20-2017, 09:24 PM
Alder Ellis Alder Ellis is offline
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I think itís game over for Franken if the second accusation proves substantial. Too bad, he seemed to be doing a good job. Sort of like Anthony Weiner, a refreshingly irreverent & acute voice in congressóoh yeah, & a complete idiot about sex.

What gets me, today, is suddenly 8 accusations against, of all people, Charlie Roseóa wonderfully avuncular, obviously well-meaning, nuanced, interesting, well-connected interviewer. I will miss him.

Of course Trump couldnít resist tweeting/gloating over Franken, & when his spokesperson was asked about possible hypocrisy, the spokesperson pointed out that Trump has never admitted wrongdoing. The point was, not that he never did anything wrong (everyone knows he did), but that he never admitted it. Thatís the moral high ground in Trumpís way of thinking.
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  #17  
Old 11-20-2017, 10:30 PM
Michael Cantor Michael Cantor is offline
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Brilliant thinking, guys. Every Democrat who is accused of any infraction -no matter how questionable or mild, or accidental - should resign. And every Republican accused of far worse - Start with Trump and Moore - will lie and say it never happened, or just ignore it. And in a few years, when Trump and his buddies have turned America into a kleptocracy (assuming we've somehow avoided nuclear devastation) we can all stand around with our thumbs up our asses and say, "Golly. Gosh. How did that all happen?"

Yes, what Franken did was sophomoric. (But it's pretty obvious from the photo with Leeann Tweeden that his hands aren't even touching her - it was clearly a gag shot. Bad taste, but hardly a hanging offense) And grabbing Lindsay Menz's ass during a photo (and then apparently altering the photo to she looked like she was enjoying the moment) may or may not have been accidental but, again, it's not a hanging offense.

Yes, it shouldn't have happened. And we should do everything possible to raise public consciousness to make sure that incidents like these - and all of the seriously worse things that Trump and Moore and Harvey Weinstein, etc., have done - shouldn't occur. But to talk seriously about Al Franken resigning over this - to remove an experienced and conscientious voice from the Senate because of this incident - is totally asinine.

Related situation. While Democrats were wringing their hands and overreacting for the last decade or more over situations like this, the Republicans were systematically pushing through gerrymandered districts and limitations on voting in state after state, so that - in Virginia, to take the most recent example - Democrats got far more total votes in ballots for the House of Delegates, but Republicans will probably (a number of districts are undergoing a recount) maintain a slim majority in seats. It's the electoral college problem - and Hillary's 3MM vote lead, versus Trump's victory - in state after state. But the individual states are easier to address. And it would help if we focused on things like that, and not wallowing in nonsense about Al Franken. He apologized. Compared to everything else that's going wrong with this nation, it's trivial. End of subject.
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  #18  
Old 11-21-2017, 01:48 AM
John Isbell John Isbell is online now
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"But to talk seriously about Al Franken resigning over this - to remove an experienced and conscientious voice from the Senate because of this incident - is totally asinine."
This is not a defense, it's an excuse. I'd like to know just what he did, when, and what he's going to do about it. So far, I'd say not enough to leave the Senate (though I don't like doctored photos), so I for my part am withholding judgment. But that's not because I like the guy or value his political agenda. Those are indeed criteria: they are the exact criteria of the Roy Moore constituency.

Cheers,
John

Last edited by John Isbell; 11-21-2017 at 05:09 AM.
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  #19  
Old 11-21-2017, 10:04 AM
Michael Cantor Michael Cantor is offline
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Sorry, John - sometimes I try too hard to be too clever. I was being facetious when I said that the photo with Lindsay Menz was doctored.

While I'm back - I forgot to mention Roger Slater's two posts earlier in the thread. Anybody who skipped past them should read them. I get carried away, and rant. Roger is thoughtful and factual. But we almost always agree in areas like this.

Last edited by Michael Cantor; 11-21-2017 at 10:07 AM.
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  #20  
Old 11-21-2017, 10:28 AM
John Isbell John Isbell is online now
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Hi Michael,

Thanks for clearing up that doctored photo question, which alarmed me somewhat. And I agree, Roger's posts are valuable here. On that note, The New York Post just ran a new allegation against Franken, which the alleged victim (Ariana Huffington) then said was a complete fabrication. It's a highly charged environment.

Cheers,
John
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