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Author Topic:   Senator Al Franken?
NoNukes
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From: Central NC USA
Joined: 08-13-2010
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(1)
Message 151 of 212 (824402)
11-28-2017 3:17 AM
Reply to: Message 150 by Minnemooseus
11-28-2017 1:02 AM


Re: Franken: Resign Now
As I've seen it, Franken is pretty much neither admitting nor denying any of the incidents. He certainly is taking pains not to accuse any woman of lying about it, although he did seem to imply that Tweeden was lying ("I didn't remember it that way").

I agree. Franken's responses are carefully crafted. It is impossible to blow up his responses into some kind of he-lied, she-lied back and forth because he is going out of his way not to call most of the women liars.

I would suggest that Franken is getting great legal advice from someone.


Under a government which imprisons any unjustly, the true place for a just man is also in prison. Thoreau: Civil Disobedience (1846)

I was thinking as long as I have my hands up … they’re not going to shoot me. This is what I’m thinking — they’re not going to shoot me. Wow, was I wrong. -- Charles Kinsey

We got a thousand points of light for the homeless man. We've got a kinder, gentler, machine gun hand. Neil Young, Rockin' in the Free World.

Worrying about the "browning of America" is not racism. -- Faith

I hate you all, you hate me -- Faith


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Phat
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Posts: 10230
From: Denver,Colorado USA
Joined: 12-30-2003
Member Rating: 1.3


Message 152 of 212 (824406)
11-28-2017 3:41 AM
Reply to: Message 150 by Minnemooseus
11-28-2017 1:02 AM


Franken: Hold Your Ground But Be Honest
My gut feeling on the whole affair is that Franken was a victim (a guilty one to be sure) who was found with skeletons in his closet (though they were minor, they were useable) and that he is handling the situation well. I almost feel that the salvo came about because of Roy Moores scandal on the Republican side. Each side is lobbing potshots to try and oust seated congressmen and senators and prevent new ones from replacing them--if the opposition party benefits.

It is politics at its usual dirty best.

Not to say that Franken isn't guilty---which he wisely admitted--but waiting for the ethics committee and holding his ground appear to be good strategies for now.


Chance as a real force is a myth. It has no basis in reality and no place in scientific inquiry. For science and philosophy to continue to advance in knowledge, chance must be demythologized once and for all. –RC Sproul
"A lie can travel half way around the world while the truth is putting on its shoes." –Mark Twain "
~"If that's not sufficient for you go soak your head."~Faith
Paul was probably SO soaked in prayer nobody else has ever equaled him.~Faith :)

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RAZD
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Posts: 19295
From: the other end of the sidewalk
Joined: 03-14-2004
Member Rating: 2.3


Message 153 of 212 (824410)
11-28-2017 7:59 AM
Reply to: Message 152 by Phat
11-28-2017 3:41 AM


Re: Franken: Hold Your Ground But Be Honest
It is politics at its usual dirty best.

Not to say that Franken isn't guilty---which he wisely admitted--but waiting for the ethics committee and holding his ground appear to be good strategies for now.

So far the worst I have seen as an accusation is a hand on a buttock, not a pussy grab, and not a grapple ...

Just remember -- Al Franken is NOT Roy Moore:

Enjoy


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Percy
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Posts: 16305
From: New Hampshire
Joined: 12-23-2000
Member Rating: 2.4


(1)
Message 154 of 212 (824413)
11-28-2017 8:57 AM
Reply to: Message 150 by Minnemooseus
11-28-2017 1:02 AM


Re: Franken: Resign Now
Minnemooseus writes:

Suppose most or all the charges against him are indeed false. If you were him, how would you handle the accusations?

I believe the women.

According to NPR this morning, 98% of workplace harassment claims (not Franken's situation, but close enough to be relevant) are dismissed by judges, who are merely following the law regarding thresholds to go forward to trial. I don't believe 98% of women are lying. I believe hardly any of them are lying. The system is very strongly stacked against women. Unfortunately, this current heightened dialogue will subside and little will change.

I hope Franken finds a way to retain his job with honor, but that is not possible as long as he denies awareness of a longstanding pattern of despicable behavior that no perpetrator without some mental pathology could reasonably ever forget. NoNukes suggested that Franken may be receiving some excellent legal advice, and perhaps that explains the strategy he's employing, but whatever the case he appears focused on retaining his position in the Senate and not on forthrightly facing up to what he's done.

My advice? Resign now, make full disclosures including honest descriptions of the kinds of things he would do to women and including all specific instances he can recall, invite women to come forward, make sincere apologies in person, get personally involved in women's rights groups. If the person appointed to replace him in the Senate doesn't work out he can run again in 2020, if honor and trust have been restored.

--Percy


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ramoss
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Posts: 3057
Joined: 08-11-2004
Member Rating: 4.1


(4)
Message 155 of 212 (824421)
11-28-2017 11:28 AM
Reply to: Message 154 by Percy
11-28-2017 8:57 AM


Re: Franken: Resign Now
I am going to have to give some points here. I would say , the vast majority of the time, I would agree with you. However, in lieu of the fact that the Washington Post let it be known that Project Veritas tried to scam them by having someone come over with a fake rape accusation against Roy Moore, which they rejected due to inconsistencies , and then saw her going into Project Veritas's home office, people are using accusations for political purposes. In the case of Tweeden, there is specific evidence (in the form of the exif data in the photo) that she is giving false information out. In the case of the second claim, there is the counter claim of evidence the photo given was tampered with , removing fingers from the shoulder. I would like to see if that counter argument is true before making a judgement. Those are pieces of evidence beyond 'he said she said' that indicate what 'she said' is not true.

We have evidence of dirty tricks being pulled by the Republicans for political purposes in the past, and we have claims of evidence tampering in this particular set of accusations. I don't think that politicians should roll over for dirty tricks. On the other hand, they shouldn't be given a free pass either.


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RAZD
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Posts: 19295
From: the other end of the sidewalk
Joined: 03-14-2004
Member Rating: 2.3


Message 156 of 212 (824423)
11-28-2017 12:04 PM
Reply to: Message 155 by ramoss
11-28-2017 11:28 AM


Re: Franken: Resign Now hold that thought ...
We have evidence of dirty tricks being pulled by the Republicans for political purposes in the past, and we have claims of evidence tampering in this particular set of accusations. I don't think that politicians should roll over for dirty tricks. On the other hand, they shouldn't be given a free pass either.

Indeed, the timing is suspicious, and that's why I will await the ethics committee results.

I would also like to see similar investigations done for all politicians who have settled similar accusations by paying off the accusers with taxpayer money or contributions.

and I still don't see how Franken's purported actions rise to the level of child sex trading and serial child abuse.

If Franken resigns and other more serious scumbags don't then that will not be just.

Enjoy


we are limited in our ability to understand
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RebelAmerican☆Zen☯Deist
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Percy
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Posts: 16305
From: New Hampshire
Joined: 12-23-2000
Member Rating: 2.4


(1)
Message 157 of 212 (824430)
11-28-2017 1:34 PM
Reply to: Message 156 by RAZD
11-28-2017 12:04 PM


Re: Franken: Resign Now
RAZD writes:

And I still don't see how Franken's purported actions rise to the level of child sex trading and serial child abuse.

I don't think anyone is saying that they do.

If Franken resigns and other more serious scumbags don't then that will not be just.

Franken has no control over how others conduct themselves. That is between they and their God. But if Franken resigns, faces what he's done forthrightly, and dedicates himself to righting his wrongs on both the personal and the political levels, he would be conducting himself with integrity.

--Percy

Edited by Percy, : Didn't notice someone changed the title of this subthread. Restoring it to original subtitle.


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Minnemooseus
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Posts: 3580
From: Duluth, Minnesota, U.S. (West end of Lake Superior)
Joined: 11-11-2001
Member Rating: 4.3


(3)
Message 158 of 212 (824441)
11-28-2017 10:35 PM


Relevant Bloom County today
Can't embed the cartoon, you have to go there:

http://www.gocomics.com/bloom-county/2017/11/28

Moose

Added by edit:

Essentially, the cartoon is a young girl conflicted by what Al Franken has done for women vs the current scandal.

Edited by Minnemooseus, : Added by edit.


    
Minnemooseus
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Posts: 3580
From: Duluth, Minnesota, U.S. (West end of Lake Superior)
Joined: 11-11-2001
Member Rating: 4.3


(2)
Message 159 of 212 (824449)
11-29-2017 3:07 AM
Reply to: Message 154 by Percy
11-28-2017 8:57 AM


Guilty by statistics
Minnemooseus writes:

Suppose most or all the charges against him are indeed false. If you were him, how would you handle the accusations?

I believe the women.

According to NPR this morning, 98% of workplace harassment claims (not Franken's situation, but close enough to be relevant) are dismissed by judges, who are merely following the law regarding thresholds to go forward to trial. I don't believe 98% of women are lying. I believe hardly any of them are lying. The system is very strongly stacked against women.

Nor does Franken think that the vast majority of women are lying. He has said "Women should be believed". He seems to be sacrificing his own credibility to maintain the credibility of all those women who certainly do have legitimate grievances.

You are convicting Franken by statistics. Kind of like what I believe Attorney General John Mitchell once said - Something along the lines of "They wouldn't be on trial if they weren't guilty."

But there is surely some small fraction of a percentage of women who are less than truthful. Reasons might include an alternative (political?) agenda or maybe just wanting to bring down someone powerful. And I think Franken might well be a prime target for such a thing. Maybe that Tweeden photo opened the floodgates for some women to think "We need to take this guy down, even if it means lying."

I hope Franken finds a way to retain his job with honor, but that is not possible as long as he denies awareness of a longstanding pattern of despicable behavior that no perpetrator without some mental pathology could reasonably ever forget.

Even if all the charges are true, that seems to be a bit harsh. I'm not buying the Tweeden angle, and the other ALLEGED incidents seem to be at worst still pretty minor, especially considering Franken's strong record of working for progressive women's issues (and other things). I think condemning Franken seems to be more of a "shooting yourself in the progressive women's issues foot" sort of thing.

NoNukes suggested that Franken may be receiving some excellent legal advice, and perhaps that explains the strategy he's employing, but whatever the case he appears focused on retaining his position in the Senate and not on forthrightly facing up to what he's done.

Franken probably is receiving excellent legal advice, but I also think that he is also intellectually (and morally) the polar opposite of Donald Trump - He can communicate in a calm rational way.

A strange thing is, Franken seems to be conceding guilt to the charges without admitting guilt. A kind of a "nolo contendere plea". I await the Senate ethics committee hearing. I'm not sure that's an effective route to investigate the situation, but it seems to be the best we have.

Ramoss, in message 155 writes:

We have evidence of dirty tricks being pulled by the Republicans for political purposes in the past, and we have claims of evidence tampering in this particular set of accusations. I don't think that politicians should roll over for dirty tricks. On the other hand, they shouldn't be given a free pass either.

I agree.

My advice? Resign now, make full disclosures including honest descriptions of the kinds of things he would do to women and including all specific instances he can recall, invite women to come forward, make sincere apologies in person, get personally involved in women's rights groups.

Or he could continue as a women's issues progressive Senator that is his substantial reputation. He might also continue being a highly significant opponent to the Trumpian right wing agenda.

Look, I'm a Minnesotan and may very well be biased here. Might others from elsewhere, having a better grasp of the big picture, give opinion of Franken's level of being a good and effective Democratic Senator?

Of all the Democratic Senators, who are the ones that the right wing would most like to bring down/get rid of? Is Franken high on the list? Certainly he is a lot easier to smear that Elizabeth Warren.

In this goofy situation, it sure is hard to write a coherent message. I really fear I have failed, and feel so embarrassed and ashamed about it.

Or something like that.

Moose


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Rrhain
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Posts: 6210
From: San Diego, CA, USA
Joined: 05-03-2003
Member Rating: 2.4


(1)
Message 160 of 212 (824452)
11-29-2017 4:57 AM
Reply to: Message 154 by Percy
11-28-2017 8:57 AM


Re: Franken: Resign Now
Percy writes:

quote:
I believe the women.

But what is it you believe?

Let me tell of an incident that happened to me. I was in a play, Cabaret, playing Cliff. As you might know from the show, Cliff and Sally have a kiss. So you rehearse the kiss.

And then, during one performance, that kiss came with something extra. She stuck her tongue in my mouth. That was decidedly *not* what we rehearsed.

I confronted her about it after the performance and she admitted that she thought something was off in the scene. When I told her that it's because she put her tongue in my mouth, she was mortified. She didn't realize that she had done it.

So here's the question: Did she sexually harass/assault me? The specifics are pretty close to the incident that happened with Franken. So is what happened to me the same thing?

What if I said that I felt violated? What if I said that didn't feel comfortable explaining just how much I felt violated and only now do I feel OK with it to be able to relate my story?

What if I said that it wasn't a big deal? That I understand that she was acting? She was getting into the scene and momentarily forgot herself?

Is it possible that the women accusing Franken of groping them while at meet-and-greets really did have what they say happened but that Franken isn't aware of what he did? That he reached behind the woman as if to hold her about the waist as one might do in such a situation, misplaced his hand, and doesn't realize what happened because he's not paying attention?

Now as I have often said, intent is not magic. But when we say that we believe them, exactly what is it that we're believing? A man who doesn't pay attention to what it is that he's doing and where his hands are when he's taking pictures is not exactly innocent. That might be enough to say that he is unfit to serve.

But it isn't the same as what Moore and Trump have done.

And even if we assume that Franken knew exactly what he was doing, it's still not the same as what Moore and Trump have done.

Unless you're somehow saying that pedophilia (remember, Trump admits to having barged into the Miss Teen USA dressing room specifically to look at the underage girls in a state of undress...and when Ivanka was told about it, she responded with, "Yeah...he does that") is the same as patting someone on the ass. Are the acts Franken is accused of the same as the attempted rape that Moore is? And let's not forget that Trump has been accused of rape three times, including by his first wife, Ivana and by another accuser who was only 13 at the time.

This is the problem with "zero tolerance." It refuses to allow for any difference in circumstance.

And even more sadly, it doesn't allow for anybody to change. Should Byrd have never been in Congress due to his past with the KKK? He filibustered the the Civil Rights Act of 1964 and voted against the Voting Rights Act of 1965. He voted against Thurgood Marshall...and also against Clarence Thomas because he believed Anita Hill. And he kept on screwing up (see his comments about "white niggers" in 2001)...and yet still was praised by the NAACP upon his death.

So is it possible that things might be more complicated? Simply saying, "I believe the women," doesn't actually say much.

What are you believing?


Rrhain

Thank you for your submission to Science. Your paper was reviewed by a jury of seventh graders so that they could look for balance and to allow them to make up their own minds. We are sorry to say that they found your paper "bogus," specifically describing the section on the laboratory work "boring." We regret that we will be unable to publish your work at this time.

Minds are like parachutes. Just because you've lost yours doesn't mean you can use mine.

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Percy
Member
Posts: 16305
From: New Hampshire
Joined: 12-23-2000
Member Rating: 2.4


Message 161 of 212 (824461)
11-29-2017 9:28 AM
Reply to: Message 159 by Minnemooseus
11-29-2017 3:07 AM


Re: Guilty by statistics
Minnemooseus writes:

But there is surely some small fraction of a percentage of women who are less than truthful.

Yes, of course.

And I think Franken might well be a prime target for such a thing. Maybe that Tweeden photo opened the floodgates for some women to think "We need to take this guy down, even if it means lying."

How would you react if I claimed, "And I think Moore might well be a prime target for such a thing. Maybe that Corfman story opened the floodgates for some women to think 'We need to take this guy down, even if it means lying.'"

Or how would you react if I claimed, "And I think Trump might well be a prime target for such a thing. Maybe that first accuser opened the floodgates for some women to think 'We need to take this guy down, even if it means lying.'" Besides, that Action Hollywood tape was faked, anyway.

Or, to flip the script, how would you react if I claimed, "And I think Clinton might well be a prime target for such a thing. Maybe that Gennifer Flowers thing opened the floodgates for some women to think 'We need to take this guy down, even if it means lying.'"

I'm not actually much bothered by the Tweeden thing. She's a big girl. I much more bothered by the innocent and unsuspecting women at events like the Minnesota State Fair standing next to their senator and getting groped. Until Franken admits recalling this pattern of behavior that began when he was still part of Franken and Davis he hasn't even taken the first step on the road to recovering his credibility and integrity.

Even if all the charges are true, that seems to be a bit harsh. I'm not buying the Tweeden angle, and the other ALLEGED incidents seem to be at worst still pretty minor, especially considering Franken's strong record of working for progressive women's issues (and other things). I think condemning Franken seems to be more of a "shooting yourself in the progressive women's issuesp foot" sort of thing.

You're doing what the Moore and Trump supporters are doing, supporting your guy. Integrity has to start somewhere, why not with the Democrats.p

--Percy


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Phat
Member
Posts: 10230
From: Denver,Colorado USA
Joined: 12-30-2003
Member Rating: 1.3


Message 162 of 212 (824464)
11-29-2017 9:54 AM
Reply to: Message 159 by Minnemooseus
11-29-2017 3:07 AM


Re: Guilty by statistics
Percy writes:

You're doing what the Moore and Trump supporters are doing, supporting your guy. Integrity has to start somewhere, why not with the Democrats?


writes:

Look, I'm a Minnesotan and may very well be biased here. Might others from elsewhere, having a better grasp of the big picture, give (an unbiased opinion) of Franken's level of being a good and effective Democratic Senator?
Of all the Democratic Senators, who are the ones that the right wing would most like to bring down/get rid of? Is Franken high on the list? Certainly, he is a lot easier to smear that Elizabeth Warren.

edited for context~Phat

And the question is which issue we should be focused on? The integrity of the Democrats or the political war to gain seats of power?


Chance as a real force is a myth. It has no basis in reality and no place in scientific inquiry. For science and philosophy to continue to advance in knowledge, chance must be demythologized once and for all. –RC Sproul
"A lie can travel half way around the world while the truth is putting on its shoes." –Mark Twain "
~"If that's not sufficient for you go soak your head."~Faith
Paul was probably SO soaked in prayer nobody else has ever equaled him.~Faith :)

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Percy
Member
Posts: 16305
From: New Hampshire
Joined: 12-23-2000
Member Rating: 2.4


(1)
Message 163 of 212 (824471)
11-29-2017 11:16 AM
Reply to: Message 162 by Phat
11-29-2017 9:54 AM


Re: Guilty by statistics
Phat writes:

And the question is which issue we should be focused on? The integrity of the Democrats or the political war to gain seats of power?

Not what should we focus on, but what should anyone focus on? Integrity, honesty, principle, virtue, truth, decency, goodness, virtue, generosity, kindness, character. Of what value is the seat of power if in attaining it one becomes the very thing one sought to replace?

--Percy


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ramoss
Member
Posts: 3057
Joined: 08-11-2004
Member Rating: 4.1


Message 164 of 212 (824474)
11-29-2017 11:41 AM
Reply to: Message 159 by Minnemooseus
11-29-2017 3:07 AM


Re: Guilty by statistics
When it comes to the current accusations against Franken, what strikes me out of the 5, the first two have positive evidence for them lying (the EXIF data in the photo for Tweeden in conjunction with her story, and her links to Hannity and the book deal coming out now), and the alleged photo shop of the photo of the second accusation. Numbers 3 and 4 are 'anonymous', and only to one web site that pretends to be a news organization, and number 5 the harassment claimed is not sexual in nature, but sounds more like a big disagreement

Even if number 2's photo is not modified and the claims are the fevered imagination of conspiracy theorists , the photo was right in front of the woman's husband, in public. I can't imagine that there was any solid intention there.

Since the Washington post got fake claims about Roy Moore to try to discredit them, I am going to suspect claims against politicians for a while. That isn't going to say there are women out there telling the truth, but the republican dirty tricks brigade is on the loose. I am sure the stories about Conyers are accurate. There is much much more , since congress payed out 17 million dollars in the last 20 years to settle sexual harassment claims. That's a lot of hands (and probably other parts of the anatomy) wandering.


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Percy
Member
Posts: 16305
From: New Hampshire
Joined: 12-23-2000
Member Rating: 2.4


Message 165 of 212 (824476)
11-29-2017 12:34 PM
Reply to: Message 164 by ramoss
11-29-2017 11:41 AM


Re: Guilty by statistics
ramoss writes:

Since the Washington post got fake claims about Roy Moore to try to discredit them, I am going to suspect claims against politicians for a while.

Then liars win. As political theorist Hannah Arendt wrote a long time ago:

quote:
If everybody always lies to you, the consequence is not that you believe the lies, but rather that nobody believes anything any longer.

The quote isn't perfect for this context, but the point is that Trump and the Republicans are devaluing and obfuscating truth. There *is* truth out there, and we should require it from all our men and women in public service. The example of Trump, the national liar, cannot become the norm.

Franken must take appropriate action if he is to avoid contributing to this extermination of truth. This link's about how Franken and Davis used to take advantage of very young women called onto the stage during their comedy act by grabbing their butts: Leeann Tweeden was hardly Franken’s first groping victim. And then years later we have this story about Franken grabbing a women's butt: Woman says Franken inappropriately touched her in 2010. And later two more women make the same accusation that he grabbed their butts: Two More Women Accuse Sen. Al Franken Of Inappropriate Touching. I believe the women.

To not devalue truth Franken must own this. Whatever words he chooses he must in effect say, "I did this, a person in my position of trust cannot do this, and I must therefore resign my position."

--Percy


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