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Progressive Politics in Minnesota, the Nation, and the World

Selective Outrage

Category: Al Franken
Posted: 06/01/17 14:52

by Dave Mindeman

Alright. Kathy Griffin did an obscenely stupid thing. It was ugly and I have not seen anyone, liberal or conservative, that condoned it. No one. She apologized and did so very publicly.

But conservatives and Republicans have a very selective way of approaching these things. They express some justified outrage - and then they start to fundraise and attack.

Al Franken had a scheduled fundraiser with Kathy Griffin. He didn't cancel it. So the right makes the assumption that Franken is OK with what she did. He is not. He said so - clearly. But when the right sees an opening, they can't help themselves.

And they are very selective about what outrages them. Ted Nugent talked of killing Obama. Donald Trump mocked a handicap person. Nobody on the right is talking about the noose appearance at the African-American museum and other places. It was the left that gave voice to the outrage of the scaffolding art exhibit at the Walker. These things seem to be acceptable to our right leaning cohorts, because of who did the offending. That kind of reasoning is not OK.

The right jumps on an idea to encompass all liberals and Democrats under any banner they find offensive - even if it comes from one person. At the same time, they defend the free speech of people who say and do outrageous things that offend liberal groups or even entire ethnicities.

Trump embraces white supremacists. Many Republicans say OK. Trump leaves out the word Jewish while discussing the holocaust. A large number of Republicans yawn. He says disgusting things about women. Too many Republicans snicker. Tweets a Taco Bowl lunch as some kind of outreach to Latinos. Too many Republicans shrug.

And I do not mean to lump all Republicans either (although the right never misses an opportunity to lump all liberals into one class). But too many Republicans act in a tribal manner. They defend their own to the utter extreme of civility.

What Kathy Griffin did with that Trump photo and video was reprehensible. But the left issued their outrage at it immediately. The right used it to rake in a few bucks.

Kathy Griffin pushes the envelope. Way more than I have ever been comfortable with, but entertainers tend to do that. Trump has pushed the boundaries himself....and frankly, he gets away with it when he shouldn't.

And if any association with someone who has done something offensive is somehow supposed to envelope anyone associated with them, then why doesn't Trump, or anyone in his sphere, pay a price for associating with Richard Spencer....or his sexist actions on that bus....or mocking a disabled person....or offering to pay legal fees for anyone who roughs up a protester...or any of his Russian affiliations? Why is all of that OK, while everyone on the left is lumped into the actions of Kathy Griffin?

It boggles the mind.
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Sen. Al Franken: Just Getting The Job Done

Category: Al Franken
Posted: 04/25/15 09:47

by Dave Mindeman

I went to MinnRoast last night - and if you have never gone to this annual event, get there next time - it is a great evening of fun....but like I say, I went to MinnRoast and got to hear from a lot of Minnesota Democrats plus a little Tom Emmer.

Al Franken was the finale speaker and I expected to hear some much deserved chest thumping about the announcement yesterday that Comcast was cancelling its proposed merger with Time Warner.

But in his usual self-deprecating way, Franken just gave a one sentence mention without talking much about the major role he played in stopping this potential corporate dagger in the heart of consumerism.

Franken was a lonely voice of caution when Comcast made its announcement. Wall Street was happy, the Fed regulators were asleep, and Congress was keeping busy with their usual list of partisan issues. But Al said, 'wait a minute' - is this really a good deal for the American people?

It wasn't. And Al embarked on a one Senator campaign to raise enough questions about the deal that eventually educated enough people and garnered enough attention that Comcast felt it had to withdraw its bid.

If this deal had gone through, the influence of the company would have been enormous....

Combined Comcast and Time Warner Cable would have given control of more than 50% of the home broadband market -- and dominance in 19 of the 20 largest media markets, says Todd O'Boyle, program director at Common Cause, a government watchdog group. "That is anti-competitive by anybody's definition," he said.

Once regulators finally took a hard look at the deal, the questions got louder....and the debate on net neutrality, (for which Franken also led the charge) gave more scrutiny to this mega-merger.

Franken's early involvement in questioning the merger was not one of those 'red meat' liberal issues, but it is one of those things that affects just about everybody in their daily lives.

Al Franken has become an extraordinary Senator...and extremely funny.

You'll have to hear the story about Al and Amy's Delta flight some day - especially when told by Al Franken.

In the meantime, let's thank Al Franken for doing a great job representing all of us.
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Elect McFadden & Westrom? You Lose Your Health Care

Category: Al Franken
Posted: 10/23/14 01:54, Edited: 10/23/14 06:47

by Dave Mindeman

So Mike McFadden's health care ideas don't hold up.

Huh - there's a shocker.

In advocating for a replacement for the federal health care law, McFadden opposes a national solution. He would leave most of the decisions up to states, including whether to require people to buy health insurance.

But McFadden would force states to keep some of the most popular benefits of the heath care law. Their plans would be prohibited from placing lifetime caps on insurance payouts and they would have to allow parents to keep adult children on their insurance up to age 26.


Republicans are caught in their own fiscal trap. They don't PAY FOR IT. Sure these aspects of Obamacare are universally appealing; the public has asked for them for years. But that is why Obamacare has to be taken as a whole - not some of its parts. Obamacare needed an intricate mechanism of fiscal balance to find a way to PAY FOR THESE BENEFITS.

You know, being fiscally responsible. Remember GOP? Remember that?

And it's not just McFadden. Torrey Westrom in the 7th District uttered the same nonsense on At Issue with Tom Hauser. He wanted to keep the "good" parts but repeal the rest.

Absolute foolishness.

Same goes for Mitch McConnell. He's stuck with a promise to repeal Obamacare, while the Kentucky Obamacare exchange KYNECT is wildly popular. He even put forward the crazy idea of repealing Obamacare but letting Kentucky keep its exchange.

You would think the Minority Leader of the US Senate would at least know that without Obamacare, Kentucky can't keep kids on their parents insurance up to 26, that pre-existing conditions would still disqualify people from insurance, that lifetime caps won't go away, and that Medicaid expansion has no monetary support.

The Federal dollars go away and Kentucky has to pay for it - all by themselves - which, as McConnell full well knows, is impossible.

Republicans are simply lying about health care. There is no other way to characterize it. They have to know that Obamacare is never going away, so they believe that, at least for now, they can say any tin foil hat thing they want and no one will ever remember it once the election is over.

Experts .... say much of what McFadden proposes has been tried before and left millions of Americans without health insurance.

There it is my friends - elect the Republicans that espouse this fantasy and you lose your healthcare.

It's that simple.
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