PowerLine -> Franken’s apology + “Al Franken groped me” [updated] [with update by Paul]

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PowerLine -> Franken’s apology + “Al Franken groped me” [updated] [with update by Paul]

Daily Digest

  • Franken’s apology
  • Bottom Stories of the Day
  • The Nation Whine Club
  • “Al Franken groped me” [updated] [with update by Paul]
  • The Hewitt option
Franken’s apology

Posted: 16 Nov 2017 01:33 PM PST

(Scott Johnson)Al Franken is a well-known jerk. I would say that just about everyone who has dealt with him personally knows it, including Senator Amy Klobuchar and his other Senate colleagues. One can see the pure manifestation of this aspect of his character in his treatment of Leeann Tweeden as set forth in her powerful first-person account of his unwanted attention.

Franken has issued two statements in response to Tweeden’s account today. First, he offered a cursory attempt at exculpation. As his colleagues abandoned him, Franken sensed he couldn’t talk his way out of this jam. He abjectly apologized and joined the call for the Senate Ethics Committee investigation of his own conduct.

Very big of him, but more calculating than generous. He can reasonably hope that the Ethics Committee will give him cover in the slow-moving gears of Senate procedures while the storm blows over.

The abjectness of Franken’s second statement should count for nothing. Tweeden’s account of Franken’s harassment includes a photograph that caught Franken in the act of sexual assault. Despite his effort to say something to mitigate it in his first statement, mitigation is impossible under the circumstances. His initial statement reveals his character and aggravates his misconduct. It is otherwise worthless.

The photograph is a killer. It is incriminating, but it is more than that. In the context of Tweeden’s account, it is devastating. It shows Franken gleefully humiliating Tweeden. It demonstrates his malice.

Sexual misconduct of the Franken kind is almost never a one-off. It is characteristic or compulsive. There are undoubtedly other women like Tweeden who have received Franken’s unwanted attention. One can only hope that they will have the courage to come out and face down the jerk.


Bottom Stories of the Day

Posted: 16 Nov 2017 12:00 PM PST

(Steven Hayward)While we await the breaking news of this hour’s sexual harasser, let’s take in a couple of news stories that seem fitting for the stupid time in which we live.

From Detroit: two groups of undercover cops bust each other in a storyline that sounds like it’s right out of Brooklyn 99 (which is a great show, by the way):

Sources say it started when two special ops officers from the 12th Precinct were operating a “push off” on Andover near Seven Mile. That is when two undercover officers pretend to be dope dealers, waiting for eager customers to approach, and then arrest potential buyers and seize their vehicles.

But this time, instead of customers, special ops officers from the 11th Precinct showed up. Not realizing they were fellow officers, they ordered the other undercover officers to the ground.

To paraphrase Will Rogers, who needs fake news when you have the government working for you?

(Hat tip: Power Line’s comedy consultant David Deeble.)

Meanwhile, another reason to hate Nazis:

Finally, the feel-good story of the day:

Mass killer Charles Manson gravely ill at California hospital, reports say


The Nation Whine Club

Posted: 16 Nov 2017 10:26 AM PST

(Steven Hayward)I guess cruises with the ever delightful Katrina van den Heuvel and junkets to Cuba just aren’t enough for the cosmopolite readership of The Nation. They have a Nation Whine Club now! Oh wait, it’s a Wine Club, but you can understand how the confusion could creep in.

I already belong to too many wine clubs, and in any case, wouldn’t trust The Nation to select wines anyway. Because I am sure the club’s sommelier thinks in the following manner:

First, the club only stocks red wine, since red is the color of the revolution, and white wine offers subtle reinforcement of white supremacy. You’ll just have to come up with some new cheeses to pair up with red wine.

Second, the club will only carry red wines made with unionized grapes. (This will actually rule out wines made from Nancy Pelosi’s grapes, as it is rumored that she uses non-union labor to harvest her Napa Valley vineyard. But sacrifices have to be made.) Most likely the Nation Wine Club grapes will all come from Venezuela.

Third, needless to say, only sustainable grapes, with no sulfites added. Or pesticides. Hey—if a worm in the bottle is good enough for fine Mexican tequila, why not Nation Wine Club wines?

Fourth, all selections will be red wine blends, because distinct varietals like Cabernet Sauvignon reinforce inequality. The poor Merlots have been marginalized ever since Sideways. In fact, the club won’t even have labels on the bottles, since labels facilitate invidious discrimination.

Fifth, the wine will be free, since everyone has a basic human right to wine.

Finally, because of this standardization of the wine, every wine review will be the same:

“This high alcohol blend boasts of its high residual sugar level that draws you in, but the strong sweet taste over the front of the palate turns immediately to a bitter, ashen texture as it goes down. May cause indigestion and eventual gastro-intenstinal shut down. These are not wines for drinking. They are wines for laying down and avoiding, or serving at Bernie Sanders rallies. Pairs well with seeds, shrubs, small rodents, grass clippings, and other staples of the Venezuelan diet.”

Of course, it will get 100 points, because anything less would hurt the self-esteem of The Nation winemakers.

Pretty certain The Nation wine club won’t be offering these:


“Al Franken groped me” [updated] [with update by Paul]

Posted: 16 Nov 2017 07:37 AM PST

(Scott Johnson)Leeann Tweeden has posted a detailed account of her sexual assault by Minnesota Senator Al Franken in 2006 (Franken was first elected to office only two years later). Tweeden’s account has been posted by 790 KABC in Los Angeles, where she works as a morning news anchor. Her account is posted here. I see no reason not to take it at face value.

The incidents recounted by Tweeden amount to recent history by comparison with the conduct charged against Roy Moore. Moreover, unlike the charges against Moore, Tweeden’s case against Franken is supported by photographic evidence. She has the ocular proof (below). If Tweeden’s account bears out…well, you finish the sentence.

UPDATE: Franken has issued a statement apologizing for groping her. He thought it was funny. What a pig. It is incumbent on him to resign or on the Senate to expel him. The photograph by itself looks like it may document a criminal sexual assault. On Tweeden’s account, in any event, Franken’s groping in the photo would have been an act of malicious humiliation. Franken is counting on the double standard applicable to liberal Democrats to let bygones be bygones.

UPDATE (By Paul): Senate Majority Leader McConnell has called for an Ethics Committee investigation of Franken. He said:

As with all credible allegations of sexual harassment or assault, I believe the Ethics Committee should review the matter. I hope the Democratic Leader will join me on this. Regardless of party, harassment and assault are completely unacceptable-in the workplace or anywhere else.


The Hewitt option

Posted: 16 Nov 2017 06:32 AM PST

(Scott Johnson)For several days our friend Hugh Hewitt has promoted a scenario premised on the resignation of appointed Alabama Senator Luther Strange. In Hugh’s scenario, Strange would then be replaced by a new appointee selected by Alabama Governor Kay Ivey. On Hugh’s reading of Alabama law, Ivey’s selection of a successor to Strange would begin the process all over again. Now Alex Isenstadt and Eliana Johnson (my daughter) report for Politico that the Hewitt option is under consideration by Republican leaders.

The Republicans are motivated by the unlikelihood of Roy Moore prevailing against the liberal Democrat opposing him in deep red Alabama. Politico illuminates the element of realpolitik involved here: “New GOP polling obtained by POLITICO suggests that Moore is cratering. A survey conducted by the National Republican Senatorial Committee after allegations emerged that Moore had engaged in sexual misconduct with teenagers showed him trailing Democratic candidate Doug Jones by 12 points. Other recent polling has the race closer.”

Consider the fact that this scenario began with the appointment of Jeff Sessions to take the position of Attorney General. I thought Sessions was an excellent Senator but I am afraid he has not distinguished himself as Attorney General. This whole matter appears to me to constitute a lose-lose-lose proposition for the GOP. Worse than a crime, as the French adage has it, it’s a blunder, at least in retrospect.


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