Thursday Open Thread

“In the last analysis, our every right is only worth what our lawyer makes it worth.”

–Robert Kennedy

35 Community Comments, Facebook Comments

  1. RepealAndReplace says:

    If they had any brains, they would simply vote on whatever the House passes….

    The House is expected to pass its tax reform bill today. But for some reason, the Senate needs to screw around with its own version once again proving that the Congressional Republican are good at saying "No" to Obama but incapable of legislating anything themselves.

    I don't understand why Two Scoops doesn't tell them to simply pass the House version at once while they still have the votes.


  2. Lucy MontroseLucy Montrose says:

    This is in response to Duke Cox, since the thread he responded to me on is buried by now:

    I guess my favorite banners are "we need more democracy in the workplace" and "we need to unlearn a lot of things we were taught about what is good for our mental health".

    For instance, I blame America's tribalism in part on the messages we've gotten over the last twenty years about socializing and our mental health. We should have gotten a more nuanced message, about how to disagree with our groups and still maintain warm feelings. Instead, in everywhere from our workplaces to social media, we feel disagreeing with the leader or the herd means we'll be kicked out. And being kicked out is now considered so dangerous for our emotional health that we will do anything to keep it from happening.

    And so you have national Republicans falling all over themselves to protect a theocrat child molester. Why? Because they want to stay in the Republican club… which means they must agree with the base, their “leaders”. Disagreeing means potentially losing everything. Just ask Cynthia Coffman.

    The whole problem is we're not motivated to fix a problem we've been told for years is good for us.


    • Duke CoxDuke Cox says:

      I certainly will salute both those banners. I would add that "unlearning" a lot of shit we have been taught would be good for us.

      Democracy in the workforce is fundamental to the advancement and well being of workers and their families. For a time, we in this nation exalted work …now we celebrate wealth. 

      It is hard to avoid the role of cynic….


  3. mamajama55mamajama55 says:

    The Repubs are after my teeny little school supply tax credit!

    Republican Susan Collins of Maine originated the law for this $250 credit in 2002, got it made permanent last year, and the GOP geniuses  are killing it in this year's tax bill.

    So go buy your own Kleenex, hand sanitizer, snacks,  and pencils, teachers and kiddos. (and I'll never look at a box of Kleenex the same way – thanks, Dio)
    Rachel has the story:

  4. RepealAndReplace says:

    Dave Young's entry into the race likely dooms Lesbock's candidacy.

    Pols, you need to update your Big Line on the Treasurer's race.

    Isn't there something else that jeopardizes Lesbock's candidacy?

  5. allyncooper says:

    “It could probably be shown by facts and figures that there is no distinctly native criminal class except Congress.”

    Mark Twain

  6. JohnInDenver says:

    It is SO RARE that I agree with Bill Kristol, it is worth a mention.  Click on the link for his tweet:

    If the Democrats were a competent political party, this photo would be in ads in every GOP swing district tomorrow, with a competition for best caption to get voters engaged.

    Picture is quite similar to Mamajama55’s post, above.

  7. Shoes are dropping like flies. Al Franken "grabbed my breasts while I was sleeping". With a picture. And a non-pology.

    Pretty much guarantees that Roy Moore will stay seated if he gets elected.

    Just to be clear – to all men (and women, although the vast majority of perpetrators are male), elected or not,  gay, straight, bi, Democrat, Republican, independent, whatever – sexual harassment and assault is not funny. It is not OK. Stop it.

    • Did you look at the picture? It's very obviously a prank shot (in poor taste) with no groping going on. The accuser is a regular on Hannity and a Tea Party activist.

      I'm not saying there wasn't bad behavior here – but I need more than one accuser with a political axe to grind on a network that's had a long-standing feud with Franken, and so far no contemporaneous corroboration (which she says she should have).

      • Yes, I looked at it. Did you read the article? Regardless of whether he actually touched her, it is harassment. And Franken admits that the picture happened.

        I'm not trying to say it is the same or as bad as what Moore apparently did. Just that the political consequence is that Moore will not be expelled. If he wins, expect censure for both Franken and Moore (and anybody else who gets caught with their hands or other body parts where they should not be).

        • RepealAndReplace says:

          I'm surprised moderatus hasn't been in yet for today's  drive-by shilling about Franken.

          • unnamed says:

            He'll do it.  Because he will always try to find an angle to make it look like Dems are worse.  Yet, he stands 100% with Donnie the grab man and all he says with Pederast Moore is "let the Alabama voters decide."

        • There is a big difference between what was going on in that picture and the non-consensual actual groping of multiple people, including minors and complete with abuse of office, in Moore's case.

          I think Franken is done – at least on his next re-election – unless there are witnesses on his side. I think that would be fair. I think if worse comes out he should "man up" and ship out.

          But there is no way that this comes close – so far – to the behavior of Moore, or Weinstein, or Cosby, or… There has to be some measure of evaluation here.

      • PseudonymousPseudonymous says:

        When is using a woman's body, without her consent, for your amusement "poor taste", and when is it harassment/abuse?  It seems to be, if you like the person, it's poor taste; if not, it's something worse.  If I did this in my workplace, even if it was "very obviously a prank shot (in poor taste) with no groping going on," I'd be fired.

        Other people's bodies aren't ours to play with.  When we do, it is certainly more than simply "poor taste."

        • I'm not saying this is "right". I am saying this is not sexual assault, and the claim being made by the accuser is that this was an actual grope in a photo. If she's misrepresenting something in a photo that she brought along to show, what is the truth about that rehersal?

          My problem with the Republican "if true" statements the other day was that the Washington Post had quite clearly already gone down that path extensively before publication. There was little doubt. I'd like to have that same comfort level with the seriousness of this allegation, made by a partisan and without that corroboration (for now).

          Make no mistake – we should not accept as "normal" even the "joke behavior in the picture without consent on the other person's part. But no person is perfect, and there are different levels of foul. For the picture a sincere apology and strong recognition that such a prank was a bad idea is appropriate – along with the fact that Franken most likely won't win any future elections because of it. If it's worse than that, then it deserves a stronger reaction. Just MHO

          • PseudonymousPseudonymous says:

            My choice is to believe women who come forward with accusations.

            • I do – until their second claim proves inaccurate by evidence of the photo they're holding up.

              The allegations are serious. They warrant a full investigation with a starting presumption of belief in the claim and a respect for the accuser's statement. But there are many possibilities going forward, ranging from Franken is a total perv, through one-time inexcusable assault during the rehersal, to the accused conflating events through what has become PTSD for her, to outright misrepresentation.

              So far, we have her word only on the recital kiss. We have an apology and an open request for an investigation from Franken. There's more out there; her statement makes that clear. Just what that "more" is, I'll wait on; I don't like rushing to judgement.

    • A much better statement:

      The first thing I want to do is apologize: to Leeann, to everyone else who was part of that tour, to everyone who has worked for me, to everyone I represent, and to everyone who counts on me to be an ally and supporter and champion of women. There’s more I want to say, but the first and foremost thing—and if it’s the only thing you care to hear, that’s fine—is: I’m sorry.

      I respect women. I don’t respect men who don’t. And the fact that my own actions have given people a good reason to doubt that makes me feel ashamed.

      But I want to say something else, too. Over the last few months, all of us—including and especially men who respect women—have been forced to take a good, hard look at our own actions and think (perhaps, shamefully, for the first time) about how those actions have affected women.

      For instance, that picture. I don’t know what was in my head when I took that picture, and it doesn’t matter. There’s no excuse. I look at it now and I feel disgusted with myself. It isn’t funny. It’s completely inappropriate. It’s obvious how Leeann would feel violated by that picture. And, what’s more, I can see how millions of other women would feel violated by it—women who have had similar experiences in their own lives, women who fear having those experiences, women who look up to me, women who have counted on me.

      Coming from the world of comedy, I’ve told and written a lot of jokes that I once thought were funny but later came to realize were just plain offensive. But the intentions behind my actions aren’t the point at all. It’s the impact these jokes had on others that matters. And I’m sorry it’s taken me so long to come to terms with that.

      While I don’t remember the rehearsal for the skit as Leeann does, I understand why we need to listen to and believe women’s experiences. 

      I am asking that an ethics investigation be undertaken, and I will gladly cooperate.

      And the truth is, what people think of me in light of this is less important than what people think of women who continue to come forward to tell their stories. They deserve to be heard, and believed. And they deserve to know that I am their ally and supporter. I have let them down and am committed to making it up to them.

    • itlduso says:

      Stop chasing the freakin Franken squirrel that happened to be so conveniently timed while the burglars are robbing us blind passing a billionaire's wet dream tax bill.  That is the predatory behavior that I am incensed about today.  We must hold all CO House  members who voted for this travesty accountable.

  8. RepealAndReplace says:

    Let me do my Mitch McConnell imitation here:

    IF THESE ALLEGATIONS TURN OUT TO BE TRUE, then they are indeed troubling and Senator Franken should step down.

    The ALLEGATIONS against Franken are bad news.

    Some good news for the Senate Democratic Caucus today. Bob Menendez was not convicted. At least not yet. That makes it all the more likely that Phil Murphy will select Menendez' replacement at some point in the future.

  9. RepealAndReplace says:

    Another solid conservative family values Republican right out of middle America caught in flagrante delicto with a dude in his office…..

  10. It is apparently finally time to start talking about guns – at least softly.

    A bipartisan group of Senators – a diverse group including Sen. Cornyn from Texas and Sen. Murphy of Connecticut – are introducing the Fix NICS Act. The bill would incentivize better State and Federal reporting to the database through requirements of plan submissions, public shaming through reporting, preference in grant allocations, and denial of bonuses to Federal political appointees if their departments fail to follow through. It also puts focus on domestic violence reporting.

    It's not enough. It doesn't close the private sale loophole nationally, it doesn't say anything about bump stocks or lower receiver build kits, oe other ways people get around gun laws. It certainly doesn't go to just how much gun a law-abiding citizen could realistically need. But it's a start, and one of the first admissions that something – anything – could be done legislatively by Republicans in decades. Good.

    • DavieDavie says:

      I applaud it as well but with reservations:

      1.  Realistically, can it pass in today's Congress?

      2.  If it does pass, is that the beginning, or more likely…

      3.  Our work is done for a generation, now on to more tax cuts.

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