Minnesota

The Franken effect

Featured image Al Franken has fancied himself a leftist firebrand following in the footsteps of Paul Wellstone. What a dud. Franken’s true contribution to American politics now proves to be the grope and grin photograph. In the latest installment of the Franken affair, two more women offer accounts of Franken’s grope and grin maneuver. Think of them as too close encounters of the Franken kind. The testimony this time around has elicited »

The Franken factor

Featured image Al Franken remains in hiding. He holds his silence. He is, uncharacteristically, biting his tongue, hoping to ride out the storm that has followed Leeann Tweeden’s story. Franken’s scandal represents a crossover between the world of show business in which he made his career and the world of politics in which he has sought to become a champion of the left. Here former Minnesota Senator Paul Wellstone was his model. »

Al Franken: The movie

Featured image I have written a lot about Al Franken on Power Line over the years. I posted this review of the Doob/Hegedus documentary on Al Franken in September 2006. The movie was a complete and utter commercial bomb (domestic gross: $102,990). Just about no one saw it. As Franken rides out the scandal deriving from recent disclosures of his past behavior, I thought back to the film. A.O. Scott reviewed it »

Franken at the Fair

Featured image A second woman has emerged to tell her tale of a too-close encounter with Minnesota Senator Al Franken. Her name is Lindsay Menz. Her too-close encounter took place at the Minnesota State Fair in 2010, after Franken took office in June 2009. MJ Lee reports the story in scrupulous detail here for CNN. Menz’s account is supported by photographic evidence, but the misconduct she reports in this case is out »

Minnesota men at large

Featured image In today’s Star Tribune Stephen Montemayor takes a look at recently unsealed FBI search warrants in ongoing Minnesota terrorism investigations. Here is the opening of his story: The former Edison High School theater student had changed his Facebook name to “Mujahid Ibrahim Abu Tuabah.” He wrote reverently of four Twin Cities friends who had joined the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria, and boasted that the terror group “will never »

The Fineman reversion

Featured image Will Democrats give Al Franken a pass to preserve the double standard that is otherwise applied in their favor or cut him loose in search of bigger game? At the moment it is not clear. They are not of one mind. Hillary Clinton herself has spoken up on Franken’s behalf: “Look at the contrast between Al Franken, accepting responsibility, apologizing, and Roy Moore and Donald Trump who have done neither. »

Where’s Al? Tom Hauser reports

Featured image KSTP has just posted the video of Tom Hauser’s report last night from Washington, D.C., on his search for Minnesota Senator Al Franken or someone to speak on his behalf. Hauser reports in his dry style, but the thing has a “Where’s Waldo” quality that any aficionado of comedy should appreciate. If you’re following the story, you won’t want to miss this. The story was posted this morning at KSTP’s »

Where’s Al?

Featured image Tom Hauser covers Minnesota politics for KSTP, our local ABC affiliate. He flew out to Washington to land an interview with Al Franken or anyone on Franken’s communications staff. KSTP’s 6:00 p.m. news last night included video of Hauser in Franken’s Senate office seeking Franken or anyone on his staff to speak on his behalf regarding his treatment of Leeannn Tweeden. Hauser found no one willing to talk with him. »

Minnesota cage match, 2017 edition (8)

Featured image When we checked in most recently on the ongoing cage match between Minnesota Governor Mark Dayton and the Republican-majority legislative bodies, the Minnesota Supreme Court had ordered the parties to mediation. Governor Dayton angrily abandoned the proceeding in short order as the parties failed to arrive at any agreement regarding funding of the legislature or amendment of bills that Dayton had signed. The parties held competing press conferences that I »

On blue slips, Grassley pulls the trigger

Featured image Yesterday was a bad day for Al Franken. In the morning Leeann Tweeden posted the photograph of the sexual assault committed by Franken on her along with the compelling first-person account of her mistreatment by Franken. That was a shot heard round the world. Then in the afternoon Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Chuck Grassley announced that he would not let Franken’s withheld blue slip block the nomination of Minnesota Supreme »

Franken’s apology

Featured image 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 »

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

Featured image 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 »

At the Mall

Featured image In the Paul Simon song, it’s all happening at the zoo. In Minnesota, it’s all happening at the mall — the Mall of America. Sunday was a big day at the Mall. We had the knife stabbings that did some serious damage to two customers trying on clothes at Macy’s. Minnesota man Mahad A. Abdirahman is the alleged perpetrator. He is charged with two felony offenses and being held on »

Minnesota man charged in mall stabbings

Featured image Last night the Star Tribune reported that Minnesota man Mahad A. Abdirahman was charged with first-degree assault in connection with the stabbings at the Mall of America’s Macy’s store on Sunday evening. The charges were filed yesterday afternoon. Despite the intense local interest in the story, I can’t find it on the Star Tribune’s home page. If it’s there it isn’t featured. Rather, the Star Tribune has been featuring a »

The blue slip variations: Grassley speaks

Featured image On early Monday morning I wrote about the November 2 memorandum to news media disseminated by the Senate Judiciary Committee Majority. I wrote that the memo would probably not have been disseminated without Senator Grassley’s blessing as chairman of the Judiciary Committee and that the memo read like a backgrounder for reporters explaining a course of action that is about to be taken (and should be). Later that day Senator »

Minnesota man held in Mall stabbings

Featured image On Sunday night near closing time two customers were hurt in knife stabbings at the Mall of America’s Macy’s in Bloomington, Minnesota. The stabbings were described by Bloomington police as deriving from an interrupted theft. The stabbings took place in the vicinity of a fitting room as the thief sought to take off with the goods. The thief pulled a knife and stabbed the customers as he attempted to leave »

The blue slip variations

Featured image The Senate Judiciary Committee has gotten down to work holding hearings on President Trump’s nominees to the federal appellate courts. The confirmation of these nominees has only begun to redress the substantial effect achieved by President Obama with the help of Harry Reid and the Democrats. Although the Democrats have now gone to absurd lengths to throw sand in the gears of the confirmation process under President Trump, the pace »