Fast news day.

What a day to be working all day in Lansing – John Conyers quits, and…well, it was big news here. This remarkable column from the alt-weekly should give you an idea what things had come to by the time he stepped down. Bonus: It includes the phrase “polishing his knob.” In the lead!

(I would have messed with that, had this been mine to edit. Did he call it polishing the knob, or is that the writer’s euphemism? Also, I just want a lot more detail about the quid pro quo.) And it seems knob-polishing is only part of what was wrong in that office by the time its leader threw in the towel. To be sure, congressional offices can be efficient no matter whose name is on the door, as long as the staff is competent. But there’s a line.

Then there was the Russia Olympic ban, which led me to this story, which led me to watch the film in question, “Icarus,” last night. Highly recommended if you have Netflix – it’s that rare documentary that is simultaneously funny, serious, eye candy and important. It’s about sports doping, but it’s fascinating to watch in light of what we now know about Russian election interference. These people do not play, and the fact our president admires Vladimir Putin will eventually go down as a shameful chapter in American history, assuming we survive it. So do so.

Back to our sexual-harassment theme, you may have already seen this NYT piece, their follow-up to the Weinstein story. It’s devastating, in that it details the webs of accomplices, both active and passive, who allowed him to get away with his activities for so many years. The part about the National Enquirer is particularly nauseating. You think you can’t lower your opinion of those guys any more, and then you have to. Because, as Josh Marshall tweeted today, in calling it a “deeply malevolent” force in American life, “beyond just publishing exposes it’s also a kind of protection racket and enforcer for some of the county’s worst people.” Amen, brother.

Got some work to do, so I’m-a do it. Happy hump day, all.

Posted at 11:17 am in Current events, Media |
 

72 responses to “Fast news day.”

  1. Jeff Borden said on December 6, 2017 at 11:18 am

    Among those who David Pecker calls “friend” is the Orange King.

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  2. Peter said on December 6, 2017 at 11:35 am

    David Pecker and ‘Lil Pecker. Birds of a feather….

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  3. FDChief said on December 6, 2017 at 11:39 am

    I think what is starting to irk the hell out of me about all this knob-polishing is the one-sided-ness of it. Blue scoundrels are forced offstage. Red ones? Welcome to your office, Senator!

    I’m all good with guys who can’t keep it in their pants getting their conge’. But NOT if it means that the wingnuts are going to use this to their tactical advantage…and you KNOW they will. They’ve spent the last twenty years burning the political conventions of the late 20th Century down and dancing in the flames like fucking Shiva in the ring of fire.

    Some of my more centerist friends give me a hard time about being “angry”, but, seriously..? A gang of wannabe Jay Goulds and Cotton Mathers are trying to turn the clock back to 1885 and make my and my kids’ lives more like the sort of desperation that drove people out into the gunfire of federal troops at Homestead and I’m supposed to be quietly rational about that?

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  4. Icarus said on December 6, 2017 at 11:42 am

    From last post…

    #65 Connie – Clearly we need a better social media policy…I would be interested in your comments.

    I’m of the mindset that your FB page is yours to do what you want and suffer any consequences. That said, it isn’t that hard to vent your spleen without being too specific and adjusting your settings so only your friends can see it.


    #70 jeff borden Is there anyone in the NN.C community –I’m assuming Bibi Netanyahu isn’t a regular– who sees anything positive in the Orange King proclaiming Jerusalem the capital of Israel?

    Well if you read the comments on various shares of the story, the trolls do chime in….

    I don’t know enough about this to speak about this and am eager to learn. I’ve never understood why they cannot share this city? It’s the 21st century; surely the technology and know-how exists to build it up so it’s not a resource strain?

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  5. Bitter Scribe said on December 6, 2017 at 12:07 pm

    While we’re on the subject of people getting away with sexual harassment for a long time, Neil Steinberg has a blog post today on Bob Greene, who had been known as an obnoxious lech for years. The occasion for today’s post is Ann Marie Lipinski, then the Tribune’s editor, taking “yet another victory lap for the Trib finally firing the guy in 2002,” as Steinberg put it, with a column on Harvard’s Nieman Reports website. Steinberg says Lipinski “dislocated her shoulder patting herself on the back in 2002 and is still at it.”

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  6. Peter said on December 6, 2017 at 12:12 pm

    And speaking of hump day, Trump, and hanky panky in legislatures, Washington Post is reporting that Christine Keeler passed away – she was the person involved with the UK Profumo affair – she was a courtesan to the British Foreign Minister and was gabbing to a Russian spy.

    The more things change….

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  7. FDChief said on December 6, 2017 at 12:17 pm

    icarus: Here’s a good summary of the political ramifications of Crock-o-bile Dumm-ee’s proposed embassy move: http://www.slate.com/articles/news_and_politics/interrogation/2017/12/trump_s_jerusalem_decision_has_no_upside.html

    Like many of His Fraudulency’s “foreign policy” initiatives, it’s really all about raw meat for his domestic base. There’s no real geopolitical advantage to it, which is why previous administrations that have actual functioning hindbrains have punted on it.

    As far as “sharing” the city of Jerusalem, well…to put it bluntly, the Israeli government (and, I suspect, most Israelis) have ZERO interest in even suggesting the legitimacy of an Arab claim to any piece of the area between Temple Mount and the Jordan River. To which attitude I have a certain amount of rueful respect; modern ISraelis have lived in a low-level state of war with their Arab “neighbors” their entire lives.

    That said, I’m NOT an Israeli, I’m a U.S. citizen, and the problems of Israel are only my problems when they become a problem for me, my country, and our interests. To have an Israel that is, in effect, annexing conquered territory – which is one of the war crimes that we charged Nazis, Japanese militarists, and Italian fascists with after WW2 – with the tacit (or, it seems, now the active) approval of my country seems to me a very good way to drag my country, and by association, me, into a dispute without any sort of upside for my country or me, personally.

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  8. Jolene said on December 6, 2017 at 12:52 pm

    Eleven Senate Democrats have publicly called for Al Franken’s resignation. I see the political point, but am not sure that responding to the moment by calling for purism is likely to produce a good result.

    Reactions?

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  9. FDChief said on December 6, 2017 at 12:57 pm

    A little Moore lunacy, this one on the subject of George Soros:

    “He is pushing an agenda and his agenda is sexual in nature, his agenda is liberal, and not what Americans need. It’s not our American culture. Soros comes from another world that I don’t identify with. No matter how much money he’s got, he’s still going to the same place that people who don’t recognize God and morality and accept his salvation are going. And that’s not a good place.”

    These people…

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  10. susan said on December 6, 2017 at 1:16 pm

    Jolene, I do not think Franken should resign until or unless at the least Moore drops out of his race and the Orange Turd flushes himself out of our White House. Neither is likely to happen. The Democrats’ purity does no good while the goddamned Republicans continue on with their disgusting immoral power-grabbing. Democrats just piss me off.

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  11. Linda said on December 6, 2017 at 1:23 pm

    fdchief at 7:

    Maybe this will help you understand. (From Wikipedia)

    “A Special Committee was to be formed to make arrangements for safe movement of traffic between Jerusalem and Mount Scopus campus of the Hebrew University of Jerusalem, along the Latrun-Jerusalem Highway, free access to the Holy Places, and other matters. The committee was never formed, and access to the Holy Places was denied to Israelis throughout the Jordanian occupation.

    The remainder of the area designated as part of an Arab state under the UN Partition Plan was partly occupied by Egypt (Gaza Strip), partly occupied and annexed by Israel (West Negev, West Galilee, Jaffa). The intended international enclave of Jerusalem was divided between Israel and Jordan. The Jordanians immediately expelled all the Jewish residents of East Jerusalem.[15] All but one of the 35 synagogues in the Old City were destroyed over the course of the next 19 years, either razed or used as stables and chicken coops. Many other historic and religiously significant buildings were replaced by modern structures.[16][17] The ancient Jewish cemetery on Mount of Olives was desecrated, and the tombstones were used for construction, paving roads and lining latrines; the highway to the Intercontinental Hotel was built on top of the site.[18]”

    Meanwhile, since Israel took control of Jerusalem and, by inclusion, the Dome of the Rock which is holy to both Muslims and Jews, the state has forbidden Jews to perform any religious rites there while allowing Islamic rituals and prayers to be performed. So please don’t give me this shit about occupied territory regarding Jerusalem.

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  12. Jakash said on December 6, 2017 at 1:32 pm

    Ugh. I wasn’t very impressed with Franken’s “Sorry but I don’t remember that,” “I take thousands of pictures” response to the butt-grabbing charges, and the kissing incidents may be worse than that. I agree with FDChief @ 3. Fine, maybe *all* the offenders should go, but the idea that Dems are punished, while Roy Moore may and Dolt 45 did get *elected* despite such issues is disgusting.

    Republicans are openly cheating — voting restrictions that keep legitimate voters from casting their ballots, “money is speech” bullshit paving the way to a plutocracy, blatantly stealing a Supreme Court seat, etc., and pay no price.

    It’s just sad that those brilliant founding fathers, who had the foresight to realize that every citizen, mentally ill or not, *must* be able to buy an assault rifle in 2017 didn’t anticipate that there needed to be a mechanism for re-staging an election when it became evident that the recent one was interfered with by a foreign power.

    But the other thing about Franken is the all-or-nothingness of the punishment. Yes, it sounds like he’s been fairly creepy in a number of instances, but not nearly to the level of Roy Moore or Weinstein or some of the other guys. Is it essential that he be sent packing? Being publicly humiliated, investigated and made to answer for his transgressions doesn’t count for anything; the only satisfactory sentence is for him to resign?

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  13. Suzanne said on December 6, 2017 at 1:39 pm

    The evangelical set believes there will be a large scale war in the Middle East that will bring about the Lord’s return and that Israel becoming a modern country in 1948 was just the start of God’s prophecies coming true. Acknowledging Jerusalem as Israel’s Capitol is meant to be a poke in the eye of Muslims and to help the Good Lord along with his end times prophecies in order to move the apocalypse forward. Trump (well, most likely Bannon) knows this about the base. Red meat for them and to let them know it’s ok to vote for the pervert because the end is near anyway. Getting closer by the second.

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  14. nancy said on December 6, 2017 at 1:43 pm

    Not going anywhere near the Israeli/Palestinian question. Just recommending “End of Days,” a book about the Temple Mount that helped me understand that particular piece of ground. A little dated now — it was written pre-9/11 — but still worth your time.

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  15. Linda said on December 6, 2017 at 3:03 pm

    Just to clarify (and thank you Nancy for publishing my post): If the Jerusalem situation were reversed and Muslims were barred from the Dome of the Rock/Temple Mount while Jews and Israelis were given access, I would be equally outraged. In fact, there is a war brewing within Judaism regarding the Kotel (Western Wall) and the rights of non-Orthodox Jewish men and all Jewish women to pray there, and not in a segregated space set aside that stands away from the Kotel. Google “women of the wall.” If the Arab and Islamic world waits a bit, we may end up destroying ourselves from within.

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  16. FDChief said on December 6, 2017 at 3:05 pm

    Linda: Assuming that the UNGA ’47 partition plan is accepted fact (and there are a ton of issues with that, but let’s just say for the sake of argument that it is) then the eastern part of Jerusalem isn’t technically part of Israel. It was taken in a war. Per a bunch of international law (Rome statues that set up the ICC, 1907 Hague, 1949 Geneva) you don’t get to just take over a place you hold militarily and goof with it. It doesn’t matter how nice you are about it. East Jerusalem, by law, is occupied territory. You may argue niceness all you want. That doesn’t change the actual legal status of eastern Jerusalem or the West Bank.

    Now…frankly, that matters to me not a whit. “International law”, in reality, is exactly what Thuycidides said it was; the strong do what they can and the weak suffer what they must.

    The good thing about that is that it doesn’t HAVE to matter to me in this case. I, and the U.S., don’t need Israel for anything in particular. Out “national interest” in the whole region is in 1) free passage through Suez, and 2) a fair degree of regional stability so the damn place doesn’t go up in flames every 20 years or so and generate people who will attack U.S. nationals and U.S. interests.

    So Israel is a sort of indulgence, a bit of geopolitical frippery that some factions in the U.S. like to indulge that doesn’t include setting fire to the gasoline that litters the place.

    The U.S. embassy is perfectly good in Tel Aviv. Been there for years. Works just fine. And doesn’t set fire to anything but Bibi Netanyahu’s pants.

    So…like I said. This is a thing that doesn’t have to happen, and if it does it gains the U.S. nothing but some warm fuzzies for people who have a jones for Israel while helping stir up a whle BUNCH of shit in the Middle East. Which means that, regardless of how lovely Israeli occupation is, if what I am interested in is U.S. interests there, I’m agin it.

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  17. Julie Robinson said on December 6, 2017 at 4:52 pm

    As much as I adore Franken he has to go or the Democrats can’t pursue punishment and removal of Republicans. I love the guy and have been recommending his book to everyone. But we have to be consistent.

    My take on today’s Jerusalem announcement is that Trump said there’s a fire that’s been simmering since the Truman administration and all efforts so far haven’t been able to put it out. So let’s pour some gasoline on and light the match, and that will put everything right. He’s an idiot, but you knew that.

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  18. Jakash said on December 6, 2017 at 5:08 pm

    I hear you about consistency, Julie R., but it seems to me that consistent, in this case, would be saying “Al Franken will resign the day that the president admits that he’s guilty of harassment and resigns because of it, and when Roy Moore owns up to his past transgressions and concedes that election.”

    Franken resigning and those two going on their merry way seems more like unilateral disarmament, to me. Kinda like letting Bitch McConnell steal a Supreme Court seat and just grumbling about it and then moving on, with the 5 – 4 majority reversed from the way the electorate voted for it to have been, given any vacancies during Obama’s term, in 2012.

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  19. Jolene said on December 6, 2017 at 5:14 pm

    The Post is publishing its lists of “bests.”

    Here’s what Hank thinks is the best TV of 2017.

    And here’s what Ann Hornaday thinks are the best movies.

    Maybe there’s an idea here of something to lose yourself in to escape this shitty day.

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  20. Scout said on December 6, 2017 at 5:19 pm

    What jakash @18 said.

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  21. Jolene said on December 6, 2017 at 5:19 pm

    Best new music according to Chris Richsrds.

    Best books still to come, I guess.

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  22. Heather said on December 6, 2017 at 5:24 pm

    I’m torn. I do think Franken should resign but it also bugs me that the Republicans definitely will definitely use that to their advantage while refusing to address the rot in their party. I don’t know what the answer is besides vote those fuckers out of office.

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  23. beb said on December 6, 2017 at 5:55 pm

    Let’s bulldoze Jerusalem into the sea and had done with it. If the Jews Muslims and Christians can’t play nice with it, we should take it away so none of them can had it. I recommend a ten megaton nuke.

    As long as the Republicans never pressure any of their own to resign over criminal financial or sexual behavior, no Democrat should ever be asked to resign.

    So a 14 year boy did a heinous thing to a girl in high school. Should he be charged as an adult where he might be sentence to life without parole. Should he be tried as a juvenile where he would be released in 7 years at age 21? At 14 does any kid know how heinous his action was? Then again how could a 14 year old not know that what he did was wrong. I’m troubled by this story because the the proposed punishment seems harsh for someone so young. I’m troubled because the choices are between 7 years or life. What about something inbetween, like 15-20 years…

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  24. Deborah said on December 6, 2017 at 6:54 pm

    Popping in again from London, Peter as I said in the previous thread, Christine Keeler’s death is big news here. And oh my gosh but the Brits we’ve encountered do love kidding us about Trump, it’s embarrassing.

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  25. Icarus said on December 6, 2017 at 7:16 pm

    “Hey I think if anyone understands the deeply complicated 1500 year history of the Israeli-Arab conflict it’s Donald Trump.”

    Gin and tacos

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  26. Tim said on December 6, 2017 at 10:05 pm

    Al Franken’s resignation would weaken Democrats in the Senate and Minnesota — which could elect a Republican to replace him, according to an analysis today by a PBS commenter. The lesson his resignation would send, I fear, is that admitting to misbehavior, as Franken did initially, can open a powerful man to more complaints that ultimately bring him down. Issuing denials and changing the subject, as Trump did, seems to work better.

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  27. Jeff (the mild-mannered one) said on December 6, 2017 at 10:13 pm

    In the “you can’t make this stuff up” department . . .

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  28. Sherri said on December 7, 2017 at 12:03 am

    I know the Republican double standard is frustrating, but I don’t think that’s a good enough reason to keep Franken. Calling it unilateral disarmament presupposes that there are no good candidates to replace him, and I don’t believe that.

    Commit to your values. Yes, what Franken has done pales in comparison to Moore, and yes, the punishment may not fit the crime, and yes, he may have been set up, but do we value women or not?

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  29. Crazycatlady said on December 7, 2017 at 1:33 am

    Now that Franken will most likely be gone tomorrow, all my heroes will be gone and the enemy remains stronger than ever.

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  30. Jeff (the mild-mannered one) said on December 7, 2017 at 7:11 am

    There’s still Pete Souza. https://www.instagram.com/petesouza/

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  31. Icarus said on December 7, 2017 at 7:15 am

    do we value women or not?

    Yes but that doesn’t have to be mutually exclusive from having the punishment fit the crime. There is a reason we have felony misdemeanor and high treason. [im not sure what low treason is but I diagress]. Context and degree of offense are important here and zero tolerance never always has unintended consequences.

    Finally, those GOP stole a Scotus seat, and Frankens election had to have recounts and a special. Cannot let them have this seat without a fight.

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  32. Suzanne said on December 7, 2017 at 8:09 am

    I am putting this book on my reading list: http://medhum.med.nyu.edu/view/17283.
    A friend of mine is reading it right now and says it is amazing & incredibly depressing.

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  33. Claudia Allen said on December 7, 2017 at 8:43 am

    Re: @65 Connie and social media

    I am the social media manager for a nonprofit and I also have personal social media pages. Obviously, what goes on the nonprofit’s social media pages is work/subject related. I have a disclaimer on my personal Twitter page that says it is my page and my opinions only–however I am very careful about what I tweet because many of my followers are also among the nonprofit’s members. Same with Facebook, although I only count one of our members and a handful of co-workers among my friends (that’s telling, isn’t it?). If customers/members/whatever associate your name with your organization, I think you are obligated to keep the tone low. It’s that saying, don’t s*** where you eat that applies here. On the other hand, I plan to become profane and annoying when I retire.

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  34. john (not mccain) said on December 7, 2017 at 8:56 am

    If there’s something that says “we value women” more than giving extra power to the GOP I haven’t heard it.

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  35. Connie said on December 7, 2017 at 9:09 am

    This is a library. We tell our users they have an expectation of confidentiality in their library transactions. If an employee breaks confidentiality by telling stupid library patron stories on their facebook page, then I can no longer promise my users that expectation of confidentiality.

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  36. Julie Robinson said on December 7, 2017 at 10:16 am

    Connie, if your employee handbook says confidentiality must be kept, then breaking it would be a fireable offense. The platform used doesn’t make any difference. A warning placed in the employee’s file and a reminder to all employees would seem equitable to me.

    I still maintain Franken has to resign or the Democrats have no moral high ground to stand on. I don’t want him to leave the Senate and I think he’s done outstanding work. And we need to redouble efforts to get the other offenders out.

    And now a question for the room. I’m not sure if we have any CPA’s around, or tax attorneys. We have learned that my sister didn’t file taxes for the last three years, maybe more. What do we do next? The attorney we hired to handle her estate is leaving it up to us. He’s not even answering the question but simply referring us to a CPA.

    She was having taxes withheld, as far as I can tell from the paltry amount of paperwork she left behind. And her estate is going to be teeny-tiny. The paralegal suggested we do nothing. That doesn’t feel right to me. Anyone know?

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  37. Icarus said on December 7, 2017 at 10:42 am

    julie robinson @36:it says something that the attorney wont answer the question or provide hypothetical what if scenarios. you should both be protected under attorney client privilege.

    given the cuts to the IRS and the direction things are heading (you can do your taxes on a post card ‘merica) Id evaluate the Level of Effort and if it seems too much, I’d ignore it. But I’m a calculated risk taker like that.

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  38. Peter said on December 7, 2017 at 10:49 am

    Jeff #27 – you know, it would have been nice if you had put a NSFW tag on that obscenity. There isn’t enough liquor in the office to erase that image from my mind.

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  39. Mark P said on December 7, 2017 at 11:03 am

    Insisting that the Democrats “stick to their principles” is from the Before Times. These days we need to do what it takes to win because the consequences of losing could be disasterous. As I said in a previous comment, we could be congratulating ourselves on our high mindedness amid the ruins of our society.

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  40. Sherri said on December 7, 2017 at 12:00 pm

    I believe in fighting. I don’t believe in selling my soul. I’m not talking about the moral high ground here. I don’t care about being moral relative to the Republicans, which is a low bar. I’m talking about the principles that are important to me, personally.

    As we saw in the last election, both the left and the right contain far too much misogyny. That’s what I’m in zero tolerance of at this point. I’m just done with it. I’m sorry that Al Franken, whom I like, is caught up in it, but step aside, Al.

    We won’t start regarding women as equal until we show by our actions that we do so. The Berniecrats seem happy to support candidates that don’t support reproductive rights, for example. Yes, the Republicans are worse, so get out there and organize to beat them. There are more of us, we just have to show up.

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  41. susan said on December 7, 2017 at 12:01 pm

    I hope Senator Purity Murray and her Purity Harpies are happy now. They stuck to their principles as the nationstate implodes. Good for them.

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  42. Scout said on December 7, 2017 at 12:05 pm

    I value women. I believe them and understand it takes amazing courage for them to tell their painful stories. I am celebrating Time Magazine’s Person of the Year being the women who came forward. I AM a woman. But Franken resigning is not going to make anything better for women. Republicans do not value us one bit and they will only use Franken’s taking the high road to their own advantage and continue to marginalize us, screw us with draconian health care laws and disenfranchise as many of us as they can get away with. We are losing a women’s rights advocate and the Republicans have one more notch on their belts. Fuck this whole miserable year.

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  43. Deborah said on December 7, 2017 at 12:14 pm

    This was on sale at the Tate when we went to the shop there https://www.amazon.com/Beautiful-Poetry-Donald-Trump-Canons/dp/1786892278/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1512666709&sr=8-1&keywords=Book+of+Trump+poetry. We passed.

    I agree with Scout on the Franken issue. And I’ll add that there must be a way to take the high road without having to make Franken resign. There must be?

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  44. Jakash said on December 7, 2017 at 12:18 pm

    The “moral high ground” offers a spectacular view of the depths to which this country is sinking, but if it was a good spot for fighting political battles, we wouldn’t have a pussy-grabbing charlatan for a president.

    I value women, which is why it disturbs me to see a Supreme Court seat stolen from Obama. Stolen to serve folks who think that legislating based on the concept that contraception is a sin is part of the moral high ground.

    You know who else was committed to their values and thought they were sticking to the moral high ground? Jill Stein voters and folks who stayed home in 2016 rather than deigning to vote for Hillary. How’d that work out?

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  45. Mark P said on December 7, 2017 at 12:29 pm

    Well, Franken is going to resign. I hope the unicorns come out to save us.

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  46. Scout said on December 7, 2017 at 12:30 pm

    https://twitter.com/SnarkyLibruhl/status/938821591864975360

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  47. Jakash said on December 7, 2017 at 12:54 pm

    “There are more of us, we just have to show up.” I used to believe that. I certainly hoped it would be the case last year. Of course, I live in a deep-blue city in a blue state with 2 Democratic Senators and a fine U. S. Rep. My “showing up” hasn’t done much to counter this little graphic, however, which is a large part of how we got to where we are today. A map demonstrating just why the Senate is as fucked as it is — 14 Senators are elected from a population less than the size of L. A. County’s:

    https://twitter.com/williamjordann/status/937433168730234880

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  48. Sherri said on December 7, 2017 at 1:18 pm

    Yes, the Senate is by design an anti-democratic institution. That doesn’t mean things are hopeless.

    People tune out politics because they think that there are no real differences between the two sides. Most registered voters don’t vote. We have to stand for something besides the team, or how do we get more people to show up to vote?

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  49. Sherri said on December 7, 2017 at 1:22 pm

    I don’t think this is going to end with Franken and Conyers. I think the problem is more widespread.

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  50. Scout said on December 7, 2017 at 1:38 pm

    It’s definitely more widespread. And more Dems will resign and apologize while Repubs will lie and deny and strengthen their majority. I’m having a huge problem seeing how this is a good thing. Sorry.

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  51. susan said on December 7, 2017 at 1:45 pm

    Dahlia The uneven playing field.

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  52. Brandon said on December 7, 2017 at 1:45 pm

    Yes, the Senate is by design an anti-democratic institution.

    It was more so before the Seventeenth Amendment.

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  53. Jakash said on December 7, 2017 at 1:46 pm

    Of course, the problem is more widespread. But I agree with Icarus @ 31 about the punishment fitting the crime. I think Franken perhaps deserves censure, if these allegations are true. He’s already been humiliated. But the one-size-fits-all outcome of him being forced out of the Senate because of these incidents, which occurred before he was *in* the Senate, seems disproportionate to me. And would if he were a Republican, for that matter.

    Franken stands for a lot of things besides the team. My own Senators called for his resignation. I think they’re wrong about this, too.

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  54. Jakash said on December 7, 2017 at 2:02 pm

    From Susan’s link @ 51. “We live in a broken and corroded system in which unilateral disarmament is going to destroy the very things we want to preserve.” Perhaps Sherri will like that term better coming from Dahlia Lithwick than when I used it yesterday. ; ) (Sorry, couldn’t pass that one up!)

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  55. Sherri said on December 7, 2017 at 2:28 pm

    I get everyone’s point. My problem is, how do we ever get to disarmament if no one ever disarms? History suggests that power, once obtained, is not surrendered willingly.

    There are lines I will cross, and others I won’t.

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  56. Icarus said on December 7, 2017 at 3:08 pm

    how do we ever get to disarmament if no one ever disarms?

    you make the rewards of disarming and the risk/costs of not disarming extremely high. What the implementation looks like, I have no idea.

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  57. Mark P said on December 7, 2017 at 3:28 pm

    No one disarms during a war.

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  58. Heather said on December 7, 2017 at 4:06 pm

    Sherri @ 49, you are right: https://twitter.com/mikehtrujillo/status/938815136571129856

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  59. Bruce Fields said on December 7, 2017 at 4:16 pm

    I don’t see why it’s so obvious that this amounts to “disarming”. A democratic governor will choose Franken’s replacement. He *was* pretty popular, and reelecting the pre-scandal Franken would surely have been easier than reelecting a new appointee, but are people sure that’s still true now?

    And replacing Conyers kinda sounds like a win for Democrats and most everyone else?

    Five-thirty-eight had a couple pieces on this question:
    https://fivethirtyeight.com/features/why-democrats-are-finally-pushing-franken-to-resign/
    https://fivethirtyeight.com/features/democrats-missed-a-chance-to-draw-a-line-in-the-sand-on-sexual-misconduct/

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  60. Jolene said on December 7, 2017 at 5:46 pm

    Supposedly, Gov. Dayton is going to appoint the current lieutenant governor, who is not interested in running for the seat. Seems inside to me. Why not appoint someone who would be a strong candidate for election next fall? As it is, whoever wins that in 2018 will only serve the remaining two years of Franken’s term. He’d have been up for reelection in 2020.

    Buy his book!

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  61. coozledad said on December 7, 2017 at 8:18 pm

    I want to take this opportunity to remind all you proponents of increased white births (and you know who I’m talking about if you can read) that the word “motherfucker” is the most American word in the English language. It speaks to the incestuous core of a state bred in racism, and enculturated to celebrate it through either a paucity of historical accounts, or an outright denial of events just days or months in the past.

    It’s the process of willfully forgetting brutality or the will to brutality that defines us as a pariah nation. So I’m waiting for the birth cult apologists to answer for the shit Trent Franks is copping to. I’ve heard the whole “We need more white people!” shit on this very blog.

    Let’s just be clear with ourselves as liberals, if we are in fact liberals. Once we cede a woman’s right to choose to the facile arguments of an obvious sexist, we’re returning to the fuckshack out back of the plantation. We’re returning to the era of the fourteen year old girl as a sexual object(especially if she has no recourse to money or the law) and we’re playing into the hands of the alternate morality of right wing casuistry, which has always been about Droit de seigneur.

    You folks would love Trent Franks out here. He seems fluent enough in the pro-life languages.

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  62. coozledad said on December 7, 2017 at 8:57 pm

    This is every argument I’ve had with the Republican trash on this site in a nutshell. You might find yourself thinking fascism is pretty because it tends to the needs of the white poor, but it’s because you are willfully ignorant of history. If you think your duty as a citizen allows you enough time to watch Tolkienesque bullshit on the TV and call it a cultural phenomenon, you are an utter fucking dipshit. Our former allies are deserting us, and Y’all are still chasing that Republican crank.
    https://www.huffingtonpost.com/entry/anderson-cooper-janet-porter-roy-moore-spokeswoman_us_5a28c0d9e4b0b185e5394ca5

    No historical accident this blowfly is from Ohio.

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  63. alex said on December 7, 2017 at 9:37 pm

    Not sure I get this “surrogacy” shit.

    What’d he say? “Wanna make a cleft-lip baby with me?”

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  64. coozledad said on December 7, 2017 at 9:45 pm

    He wanted to make an entire race of Pilot Joes, with little sad otter faces. It would be like an Edgar Rice Burroughs novel, but with more teen sex.

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  65. Dexter said on December 8, 2017 at 3:21 am

    The 405, the 5, the 101…numbers not everyone recognizes I suppose but in the news every minute, as LA burns,clear out to San Bernardino, way up into Ventura County, south to just above San Diego, dash cam YouTubes of hell shot from those freeways I listed atop. 70 mph winds pushing flames everywhere.
    Then of course I am raging because of Trump’s latest folly , turning the world against the USA with this inflammatory nod to Netanyahu and his thug government supporters. It makes me sick to see stone throwers losing eyes to rubber bullets of the Israeli troops. And to read of worldwide condemnation of the USA by nearly every strong former ally in Europe. Fucking dastardly, stirring up this Intifata . No need for it, but a chance for Trump to crawl up Netanyahu’s asshole like a goddam gerbil.
    And now, on the light side, Norman Reedus’s series on AMC, Riding with Norman Reedus, has him motorcycling around Barcelona in S2E1. Good travel doc, lot of fun.
    Also, my wife Carla Lee’s 2nd knee replacement went to hell…infection set in…complicated removal of the knee and clean-out and an 8 week drip of antibiotics, all 8 weeks in a nursing home…then if all is well, back to Cleveland for another replacement operation. Cleveland Clinic is well-respected but it’s far away of course, and I have decided if I eventually need big time surgery I’ll have it done closer to home…after surgery there’s frequent check-back appointments, lots of driving/riding for a woman with no knee joint in much discomfort to be enduring all this. I would rather let the local bonesaw work his trade on me than go clear to Cleveland. Then again, an old man I knew here only trusted Mayo Clinic in Rochester, MN…a couple times a year he’d drive himself way the hell up there for checkups.
    Also, her basically incontinent 17 year old Jack Russell chewed up and ate part of her absorbent pad she lays on at night…she must be contained as she is feeble-minded. She thought she was eating her dinner, but her mind is shaky and she ate some plastic, but I think I got almost all of it out if her mouth right-quick. Damn…

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  66. Deborah said on December 8, 2017 at 5:38 am

    Dexter, that sounds awful, so sorry to hear about your wife’s knee problems. Ouch.

    Sunny in London today after a day of rain yesterday. Going to the William Morris museum and then the Tate Modern.

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  67. Suzanne said on December 8, 2017 at 8:39 am

    https://www.nytimes.com/2017/12/07/opinion/the-gop-is-rotting.html?_r=0

    David Brooks wakes up! Where has he been???

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  68. Icarus said on December 8, 2017 at 10:44 am

    Dexter as someone who will likely need artificial knees one day, I’m sorry to hear about your wife’s troubles (and now even more reluctant to get artificial knees).

    when i read the last couple of sentences I didn’t know you were talking about the dog until the part about the plastic! In my defense, it was early morning before coffee.

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  69. susan said on December 8, 2017 at 11:30 am

    Icarus @68 – Yah, I put off replacing my knees for years, because who wants to go through that? I knew too many bad stories, but then, those are the ones you hear about. But when I could not walk for more than eight minutes without sitting down (even while using two trekking poles for stability), and was in such pain the whole time—I was determined to KEEP MOVING—that last time I sat down in tears, and realized I had to do something about it. Because walking is one of my favorite things to do. Those bad deteriorated knees had made me so bow-legged, too. Two years ago yesterday, I had bilateral total knee replacements. Both done during the same surgery. Rehab was hard, but I’m a stubborn one, and did not relent on the exercises. You can’t. They kept telling me, “What you have after a year and a half, is what you got.” I spent five hours a day with that. Stationary bike. Flexion and extension. Strengthening. All of it. It was my job. Now I walk two to five miles every day (depends on if I’m in a hurry). Without pain. That shit was scary and difficult, but every day I’m upright, walking, and pain-free is a good day!

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  70. Deni Menken said on December 8, 2017 at 11:54 am

    Icarus, my only regret is that I waited so long. One knee only. Hopped off the gurney, walked to the bed, did all the physical therapy and got the max benefit. No pain and decent flexibility. Keeping the other knee uninformed. My daughter in law just had same surgery four weeks ago and didn’t even have staples (glue/resin), no knee machine and no blood thinner injections. Very smooth procedure and recovery. I would encourage you to schedule sooner rather than later. Susan is right. It is all about the physical therapy.

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  71. susan said on December 8, 2017 at 12:20 pm

    And now they’re saying these new implants last 30-35 years. That’s hard to believe, although I want to believe. Because, who wants to go through that shit again!

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  72. Icarus said on December 8, 2017 at 1:07 pm

    Thanks susan and Deni Menken. My issue is you are not supposed to run on artificial knees and although my marathon days are behind me (and the reason my knees are so bad) I still enjoy logging as much mileage as I can. It’s cheaper than therapy and I’m not allowed to drink at the office anyway.

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