Archive for the ‘Al Franken’ Category
Thanks to articles that Michael Brodkorb posted at Minnesota Democrats Exposed in 2008, I’ve known about Al Franken’s disgusting behavior for years. I suspect, however, that there’s a bunch of voters that haven’t heard about Sen. Franken’s disgusting background. Let’s dig into it a little. Here’s what Al Franken said in the 1970s:
He recalled writing a skit called “Seamen on Broadway” that was rejected from the Hasty Pudding show “by some preppie so they could take some other preppie’s skit.” Franken started to smile again, but his tone was serious, too serious. “It’s not preppies, cause I’m a preppie myself. I just don’t like homosexuals. If you ask me, they’re all homosexuals in the Pudding. Hey, I was glad when that Pudding homosexual got killed in Philadelphia.” The smile became so broad it pushed his eyes shut. He couldn’t stand it any longer. “Put that in, put that in,” Franken laughed, leaning over the desk. “I’d love to see that in The Crimson.”
That’s the ‘before’ Franken. The ‘after’ Franken is ultra politically correct…except when he isn’t:
As New York magazine reported in 1995, from a writing session that the reporter sat in on:
Franken: “And, ‘I give the pills to Lesley Stahl. Then, when Lesley’s passed out, I take her to the closet and rape her.’ Or, ‘That’s why you never see Lesley until February.’ Or, ‘When she passes out, I put her in various positions and take pictures of her.’”
Franken’s progressive allies will undoubtedly defend Franken with excuses like ‘Lighten up. He’s a comedian. It’s just humor.” Or they might say that he’s changed since his cocaine-using days with SNL:
Franken’s own words/direct quote from pages 108-109:
“There was not as much cocaine as you would think on the premises. Yeah, a number of people got in trouble. But cocaine was used mainly just to stay up. There was a very undisciplined way of writing the show, which was staying up all night on Tuesday. We didn’t have the kind of hours that normal people have. And so there was a lot of waiting ’til Tuesday night, and then going all night, and at two or three or four in the morning, doing some coke to stay up, as opposed to doing a whole bunch, and doing nitrous oxide, and laughing at stuff.
“People used to ask me about this and I’d always say, ‘No, there was no coke. It’s impossible to do the kind of show we were doing and do drugs.’ And so that was just a funny lie that I liked to tell. Kind of the opposite was true, unfortunately, for some people, it was impossible to do the show without the drugs. Comedians and comedy writers and people in show business in general aren’t the most disciplined people, so the idea of putting the writing off until you had to, and then staying up all night, was an attractive one. And then having this drug that kept you awake in an enjoyable way was kind of tempting too. But I only did cocaine to stay awake to make sure nobody else did too much cocaine. That was the only reason I ever did it. Heh-heh.”
Sen. Franken is anything but a serious politician. He’s a deeply flawed person. He isn’t a comedian. He’s got a temper. What he doesn’t have is dignity or character.
I know it’s a high expectation to hope that a Democrat politician to tell the truth about Obamacare but Sunday morning’s free-for-all featuring Al Franken and Mike McFadden was too much. Here’s the video of that part of the debate:
One of the first things Sen. Franken said was that 95% of all Minnesotans are now insured, which is misleading but statistically true. It’s misleading because 93% of Minnesotans were insured in 2012. Another 60% of Minnesotans were eligible for taxpayer-subsidized health insurance, either through medical assistance, which is Medicaid in Minnesota, or through MinnesotaCare. Based on a population of 5,300,000, that means 97.2% of Minnesotans would’ve been insured or eligible for taxpayer-subsidized health insurance. It’s worth noting that it wouldn’t have required spending $160,000,000 on a failed website, too. It would’ve only required an advertising campaign that would’ve cost less than $5,000,000 to highlight these programs.
Another of Franken’s chanting points was that Mike McFadden wants to totally repeal Obama, “which means people with pre-existing conditions” wouldn’t get covered. That’s BS on multiple levels. First, it’s impossible to believe that people with PECs wouldn’t get coverage if 97.2% of Minnesotans were insured or eligible to be insured. I know Minnesota is a healthy state but I’m betting that more than 2.8% of Minnesotans have PECs.
Then there’s the myth that Republicans were unwilling to vote for legislation that would’ve guaranteed insurance for people with PECs. If a bill would’ve been written that guaranteed that people with PECs couldn’t be denied insurance, 95%-99% of House and Senate Republicans would’ve voted for it.
If we were to start over and do health insurance reform right, there’s no question that covering people with PECs would be in the bill.
Next, Franken was questioned about health insurance premiums going up. Predictably, he said that “some people’s rates are going up but some people’s rates are going down”, suggesting that there was just as much a chance of a person’s rates going down as there was of them skyrocketing. That’s extremely dishonest and Sen. Franken knows it. Almost 75% of people will see their premiums go up dramatically while less than 25% of Minnesotans will see their premiums shrink marginally.
Franken said this after McFadden talked about a woman he met in Rochester who told him that her premiums are going up 50% and that her deductibles were increasing by 220%.That’s why McFadden called the ACA a “train wreck.” That’s why Minnesotans are increasingly calling it the Unaffordable Care Act. McFadden added that this woman “had a look of fear and anger” on her face.
One thing that came through clearly was Franken’s dishonesty. His faux outrage was contemptible. Major industry organizations like MAHU, aka Minnesota Association of Health Underwriters, have testified under oath to the MNsure board that health insurance premiums are skyrocketing.
If Sen. Franken wants to ignore the truth, then that’s proof that he’ll say anything to get elected. That immediately disqualifies him from elected office. It’s one thing to make statements with statistically accurate information that’s misleading. That happens during a campaign. Franken started by telling outright lies. Those lies were quickly discredited statistically. That didn’t cause him to stop the lies. He’s just continued repeating his refuted lies.
The simple solution to this is to elect Mike McFadden. He’s got a pro-prosperity plan to get Minnesota heading in the right direction. He’s got a plan to do health care reform right. Finally, he’s honest so we won’t have to worry whether he’ll lie to us.
Technorati: Debates, Al Franken, Affordable Care Act, Premium Increases, High Deductibles, MNsure Board, Minnesota Association of Health Underwriters, DFL, Mike McFadden, Patient-Centered Health Care, GOP, Election 2014
To the surprise of nobody, the St. Cloud Times in endorsing Joe Perske and Al Franken. What’s surprising is that the Times admits they’re biased:
Central Minnesotans should back Sartell Mayor Joe Perske in the 6th District House race and incumbent Al Franken in the race for U.S. Senate.
Republicans will immediately call “liberal bias” with the endorsement of two Democrats. The truth, though, in both these races is no matter which major-party candidate wins, the victor is going to seldom cross party lines and compromise on major issues.
Before anyone gets their undies in a bunch, it’s clear that the St. Cloud Times thinks they’re fairly impartial. The truth is that they aren’t impartial. Here’s proof:
Voters need to elect the person who can begin to restore district credibility while improving the return district residents get on the tax dollars they send to Washington.
The soft-spoken, blue-collar-leaning Perske is a better choice than Republican Tom Emmer. While Emmer is the likely favorite because of the district’s conservative demographics, voters need to seriously consider whether his political persona will help the district. He’s similarly conservative to Bachmann and he is known as a political bully, which makes his House strategy is “building relationships” a tough sell.
The Times’ logic behind endorsing Joe Perske is that he’s a “blue-collar-leaning” kind of guy and that Tom Emmer’s a “political bully.” That’s stunning in its lack of seriousness. There’s this though:
Voters need to elect the person who can begin to restore district credibility while improving the return district residents get on the tax dollars they send to Washington.
I won’t insist that the Sixth District’s credibility is untattered. That said, the Times Editorial Board’s animosity towards Michele Bachmann is extensive and well documented. Another thing I’ll say is that it isn’t just about “improving the return district residents get on the tax dollars they send to Washington.” It’s about whose policies will strengthen central Minnesota’s economy and Minnesota’s economy.
One of the things Tom Emmer will jump right into is cutting the federal government’s wasteful spending. He’s spoken frequently about his admiration of Sen. Tom Coborn, the man who put together a series of videos on sequestration.
In not endorsing Al Franken in 2008, this board cited Independence candidate Dean Barkley as being most in touch with local, middle-class voters. Franken objected immediately and vowed to show it. In six years, and in a highly polarized Capitol, he has, and he deserves re-election.
Again, noting neither he nor Republican challenger Mike McFadden will stray far from their respective party’s line, Franken still stood up for Main Street over Wall Street, for a reasonable farm bill, and for better matching people with employers through education.
That’s insulting. The Times didn’t mention the fact that Sen. Franken signed onto letters that oppressed his president’s political opponents while ignoring the Bill of Rights protections of citizens. The Times ignored the fact that Sen. Franken signed onto a letter to the IRS directing the IRS to apply additional scrutiny to TEA Party organizations.
As for Sen. Franken staying in touch with Main Street, he’d pass with flying colors if Main Street was defined as a union hall. If staying in touch with Main Street is defined by holding town halls in profitable businesses, Franken would get a D-.
Whenever a DFL politician talks about major construction projects, whether it’s the Sandpiper Pipeline project or the PolyMet Mining project, they always say these 6 extra words:
“We need to do this right.”
This time, the politician was Al Franken and the project he was talking about was PolyMet. Unfortunately, Sen. Franken loves using the environmental activists’ code words. Here’s a perfect example:
The Minnesota Democratic senator, who is in a re-election contest with Republican challenger Mike McFadden, spoke about the copper/nickel/precious metals venture during an interview at the Mesabi Daily News Monday morning. The senator said he believes “a vast majority of Minnesotans want to see those (PolyMet) jobs … no question about that.”
Franken said he has regularly been in touch with PolyMet officials. And he has also heard from critics of the project. “One thing I’m very aware of is that we haven’t done this before here,” the senator said. “But boy, can I understand how people are frustrated” about the nine years of environmental review. “Believe me that’s not lost on me.”
Franken said he aligns himself with the Iron Range Legislative Delegation on the issue — “Get it done based on the science.”
“Get it done based on the science” is code for ‘let’s let the environmental activist organizations drag this out with lawsuits, PR stunts and propaganda wars’. DFL politicians are experts at that. DFL politicians like Sen. Franken and Rep. Nolan are professionals when it comes to looking like they’re doing something while dragging their feet.
That’s what they’ve both done since getting to DC. Nolan voted for HR 761, then promised environmental activists that he wouldn’t vote for it again if it came back for final passage:
Northern Minnesota is known for its great fishing, so perhaps it’s fitting that tracking 8th District Congressman Rick Nolan’s position on a bill that deregulates the mining industry and fast tracks the permitting process for PolyMet is a bit like watching a fish flopping around on a dock: first he’s against it, then he’s for it and now he once again opposes it, this time promising to vote against the legislation if it “comes anywhere near close to becoming law.”
This weekend, Nolan told Tom Hauser that he voted to streamline the permitting process. Sen. Franken couldn’t say that because he hasn’t lifted a finger to make PolyMet a reality. Nor has he done anything to streamline the permitting process in the future.
Instead, Dayton, Franken and Nolan have worked hard to walk a perilous tightrope. Dayton, Franken and Nolan have to appear to be friends of the miners without overstepping the environmental activists’ boundaries.
The PolyMet supplemental draft environmental impact statement is currently in the comment review phase, which Department of Natural Resources Commissioner Tom Landwehr said earlier this month should be completed in early-2015.
If the project receives a certificate of adequacy from the SDEIS, permits can follow, with construction beginning. The venture is projected to create 360 permanent jobs, hundreds more spin-off positions and more than 2 million hours of construction.
“We’ve got an incredible deposit of minerals,” Franken said. “But if this had been done too soon and it was tainted and the watershed contaminated, it would be mitigated for decades or centuries. And what would that have meant for the second or third project?”
Throughout this process, environmentalists have portrayed mining companies as deadbeats that destroy the environment, then skip the country while taxpayers foot the cleanup bill. They’ve also portrayed mining companies as thugs who love destroying the environment in their lust for big profits. This is dishonest.
That isn’t what happens. These companies have a history of following the rules. They have a history of doing things right.
Technorati: Al Franken, Mark Dayton, Rick Nolan, PolyMet Mining, Sandpiper Pipeline, Environmental Activists, Minnesota Department of Natural Resources, US Forest Service, Lawsuits, MCEA, Conservation Minnesota, DFL, Election 2014
When it comes to national security, Sen. Franken is a lightweight. This article provides additional proof of that:
Franken said Obama doesn’t have authority to bypass Congress, but he has long backed closing the military prison and handling suspects through the American judicial system. Franken said he worries Guantanamo’s continued existence has only boosted terrorist recruitment efforts, and said there are plenty of high-security prisons in the United States to house the dozens of terrorism suspects at Guantanamo.
Sen. Franken isn’t serious about fighting terrorists. Check out this statement about taking on ISIL:
There are no good options on Syria. But as I’ve said, the use of chemical weapons to kill over a thousand people and injure many more is a horrendous act, and there have to be consequences for that. Whatever action the United States takes, it has to be limited action. This can’t be an open-ended commitment, and it definitely should not lead to American boots on the ground. Congress now has an important role to play, and I look forward to participating in a vigorous debate about the use of force and the best interests of our country.
Destroying ISIL isn’t possible without putting American boots on the ground. If you’re opposed to putting American troops into harms way, Sen. Franken, then just say that you aren’t really interested in doing what it takes to destroy ISIL.
There’s no doubt that Sen. Franken thinks that that’s the best poll-tested statement he could issue. Similarly, there’s no question that half-hearted airstrikes without boots on the ground is a political action. It isn’t a serious attempt to destroy ISIL. The Democratic Party, led by pacifists like President Obama and Sen. Franken and Sen. Klobuchar, is going soft on national security again. Closing Gitmo, not taking the airstrikes on ISIL seriously and ruling out putting boots on the ground in Anbar Province and in Syria says one thing unmistakably clear.
It says that Obama, Franken and Klobuchar aren’t serious about national security.
Why wouldn’t you keep Gitmo open? Why give these terrorists the opportunity to radicalize American prisoners? Back in 2006, Amy Klobuchar said that it was important to get out of the war responsibly. In 2008, Franken campaigned on the same message. Then-Sen. Obama campaigned on getting us out of Iraq. Franken, Klobuchar and Obama didn’t talk about winning wars. I wrote about that multiple times in 2006-2008.
As George Will and Charles Krauthammer highlight, the fastest way to end a war is to lose that war. That’s what Franken, Klobuchar and Obama are about. If they aren’t about losing winnable wars, then they’re doing the same things that people who want to lose wars would do.
Politicians that aren’t interested in killing terrorists and winning wars are anti-American. Sen. Franken and President Obama, it’s sad to see that that shoe fits.
After last night’s bombshell polling data from Minnesota’s Eighth District, the next questions are quite logical. First, when will the DCCC and Nancy Pelosi’s PAC pull their money from the Mills-Nolan race? Second, when that money is pulled, where will it be spent?
The conventional wisdom is that the money pulled from Nolan’s race would be spent on Collin Peterson’s race. I don’t think that’s what they’ll decide. They’ve already pumped millions of dollars into the Westrom-Peterson race. It hasn’t hurt Westrom a bit. Next, they’ve thrown everything at Torrey, including the proverbial kitchen sink. Torrey Westrom keeps gaining. In fact, Torrey will campaign tomorrow with Mike McFadden:
McFadden knows that his message sells in the Seventh. He’s campaigned with Torrey before, too. It’s obvious that they feed off each other and complement each other nicely. Why would Pelosi’s superPAC or the DCCC shift money into that situation?
Finally and most importantly, a little money pays for tons of ads in the 7th. How much more money does Collin Peterson need to win that race? People know Peterson because he’s finishing his twelfth term. If the first and second ad buys didn’t put Peterson over the top, why would the DCCC think that the third and fourth ad buys will? Known commodities are known commodities. If they don’t sell right away, they won’t jump off the shelf later.
Pelosi’s superPAC and the DCCC have other seats that need propping up. Nolan’s seat is history. He’s an ancient candidate whose policies are from the 1970s. There’s nothing that indicates he’ll catch fire in the last 2 weeks.
Peterson has a better shot at winning but that’s because he’s frequently won with over 60% of the vote. He’s either popular and heading for victory or people have tired of him and he’s heading for defeat. There isn’t a middle ground with him.
Ken Martin, the DFL, Steve Simon, Gov. Dayton and Sen. Franken are watching these races. That’s because they know their races are based, at least partially, on doing well in these districts. If Nolan and Peterson lose, Gov. Dayton’s, Sen. Franken’s and the DFL’s path to victory gets complicated fast.
Technorati: Rick Nolan, Collin Peterson, Nancy Pelosi, House Majority PAC, DCCC, Al Franken, Mark Dayton, Steve Simon, Ken Martin, DFL, Stewart Mills, Torrey Westrom, Mike McFadden, Dan Severson, MNGOP, Election 2014
It’s still too early to say that the Franken-McFadden race is a top opportunity to flip a seat from blue to red. Still, MSNBC’s Mark Halperin seems to think it’s a possibility:
Here’s the transcript of Halperin’s commentary:
The other one to look at is Minnesota. It isn’t talked about much. You always see at the presidential level and statewide races a natural tightening at the end. It is a politically divided state even though it’s normally thought of as a blue state. Al Franken has gotten a visit from Bill Clinton, other big Democrat surrogates. I wouldn’t be surprised if you saw television money pour in there from both sides at the end to make that race competitive.
This race will tighten dramatically towards the end. McFadden’s finishing kick has started on a positive, uplifting note, starting with this promise:
Here’s the transcript of the clip:
KTTC ANNOUNCER: Well, US Senate candidate Mike McFadden made a stop in Rochester to sign a contract with the people of Minnesota. With a background in business, he said that drafting a contract detailing his agenda just made sense. In the contract, McFadden promises to visit all 87 counties each year, to hold quarterly townhall meetings and to post reasons behind every vote that he casts on his website if elected to the US Senate. After signing the contract, he talked about the Ebola virus. He says he supports additional screenings at Minneapolis International.
MCFADDEN: I think this is a huge issue. It’s the role of the federal government to keep our citizens safe. That’s why I think we need to be much more proactive on Ebola screening. It’s a big, big issue.
That’s the type of contract that will appeal to Minnesotans. We love hands-on democracy. We insist that politicians mix and mingle with the people they represent. That isn’t what Sen. Franken has done. He’s done the opposite, in fact.
Earlier this week, McFadden introduced plans to help middle class families:
Republican U.S. Senate candidate Mike McFadden said Wednesday tax incentives for parents with children in day care should be consolidated and made available to parents who choose to care for their kids themselves.
McFadden cited the financial squeeze on middle class parents as he unveiled his child tax proposal. He said consolidating credits and making tax benefits available to parents who stay home with their children makes sense.
“A working mother may want to work part-time or may want to care for her child directly rather than to use a child care program. And right now under the current program, she doesn’t have that option if she wants to avail herself to some of these programs,” McFadden told reporters after touring a business in Mounds View.
Anything that helps parents spend more time directly raising their children is a positive thing. It’ll be interesting to hear Sen. Franken explain why he didn’t think of this during his time in office.
After all, he’s been telling everyone in Minnesota that he’s the champion of the middle class.
The reason why Sen. Franken didn’t propose this is because this initiative would kill AFSCME’s attempt to force unionization down Minnesota parents’ throats. If parents suddenly had the ability to raise their own children, AFSCME’s ability to grow their union would disappear instantly.
Watching all the ads being run by Nancy Pelosi’s PAC, the Franken campaign, the Nolan campaign and all the anti-business rhetoric coming from the Dayton campaign, DFL chairman Ken Martin and other anti-business parasites, there’s only one conclusion you can draw. The DFL and its candidates hate employers. Joe Soucheray’s column highlights the DFL’s silliness perfectly:
It’s to the point of comedy that the national Democratic Party has raced to Minnesota to help Nolan out with television ads that feature yachts and private airplanes and white sand beaches. I guess the voter is supposed to believe that Mills sits around all day and has grapes fed to him as he pages through the Neiman Marcus Christmas catalog pining for a new Maserati Ghibli S Q4.
Whether it’s Nancy Pelosi’s superPAC or Rick Nolan’s campaign, the hard left’s disdain for companies is unmistakable. It’s in each of their ads against Stewart Mills. What’s most appalling is that the DFL’s agenda doesn’t have a thing in it that says they’re pro-capitalism. In fact, when the DFL held their state convention, Iron Range Democrats wanted the state party to ad a simple sentence to their party’s platform. That simple sentence was to say that the DFL supports mining.
After hours of negotiations, aka Metrocrats intimidating the Iron Range delegation, that simple sentence was dropped because Alida Messinger declared that statement was too controversial. Nolan isn’t the only 1970s reject that thinks companies are evil:
The Franken camp says that as an investment banker, McFadden has brokered the sales of companies that have resulted in the loss of jobs. Well, that can be true in some cases. In other cases, there will be a gain of jobs. Besides, once a company is bought or sold, what does McFadden have to do with it? The Franken camp also insists that McFadden has been involved with companies that have committed the mortal sin of tax inversion by moving their headquarters overseas. No. McFadden’s company represented a foreign company being bought, not the U.S. company moving abroad. That’s business, however unfamiliar Franken might be to business.
In Franken’s thinking, the problem isn’t that the tax code is filled with special favors. It’s that small businesses, aka the rich, aren’t paying a high enough tax rate. The thing is that Franken and Nolan haven’t started a business that requires sound judgment. That’s why they don’t know that many of these small businesses owners work 60-75 hours/week to build a business, paying their employees first, then paying their bills before they can start funding their retirement and their kids’ college education.
After sweating through tough times before getting to the point of profitability, then idiots like Dayton, Franken and Nolan accuse them of being greedy and of “not paying their fair share.”
The truth is that Stewart Mills and Mike McFadden have done more to improve middle class families’ lives in 5 years than Dayton, Franken and Nolan have done in a lifetime. Long-winded politicians haven’t paid for their employees’ health insurance or contributed to their employees’ retirement accounts or paid them a good wage that put a roof over their employees’ families’ heads. Stewart Mills and Mike McFadden have.
When Dayton, Franken and Nolan do that for a generation, then I’ll listen, not a minute before.
Technorati: Nancy Pelosi, House Majority PAC, Rick Nolan, Al Franken, Air America, Mark Dayton, Alida Messinger, Ken Martin, Big Government, DFL, Stewart Mills, Mills Fleet Farm, Mike McFadden, Capitalism, Tax Simplification, Republicans, Election 2014
I know it isn’t the highest hurdle ever constructed but it’s apparent that some citizens are smarter than Sen. Franken when it comes to the Bill of Rights. Here’s proof:
“Congress and the states may regulate and set reasonable limits on the raising and spending of money by candidates and others to influence elections.” This is a proposed constitutional amendment Sen. Al Franken supports along with 47 other Democratic senators. Hopefully in one of his remaining debates he will explain his reasoning for supporting this amendment and why incumbent congressmen like himself should be entrusted to set “reasonable limits.” Perhaps Democrats think we shouldn’t be exposed to too many ideas. It’s ironic his party supports such an amendment since the Democratic Party is far outspending the GOP in this year’s mid-term election.
This LTE hits the nail on the head in highlighting the silliness of thinking anyone in Washington, DC is capable of setting “reasonable limits” on fundraising spending during campaigns. To quote the great economist and philosopher Milton Friedman during his interview with Phil Donahue, “Just where do you suppose we’re going to find these angels who are going to organize society for us? I don’t even trust you to do that.”
The notion that government bureaucrats always care about families or individuals rights is myth. The sooner that myth is demolished, the better. The thought that an incumbent will set up election rules that don’t favor the incumbent is foolhardy. Thinking that Al Franken, Harry Reid and Chuck Schumer are interested in playing fair is intellectually insulting.
Yes, raising and spending money can be used to influence opinions and elections. That is what free speech is supposed to do.
It’s a beautiful thing. Shouldn’t “the rich” have the right to express their political opinions? If not, why not?
Actually, that’s just a trap. Who made any of us the impartial arbiter of what’s acceptable political speech? Is any of us so virtuous that we’d trust ourselves with never showing partiality? If you think that of yourself, then you’re either lying through your teeth or you’ve got a higher opinion of yourself than you should have.
Al that aside, the fact is that Sen. Franken has shown he isn’t the impartial arbiter of what’s acceptable political speech and what isn’t. He’s signed his name to a letter telling the IRS to crank up their investigation against conservative organizations by saying that they were involved in something suspicious. What that suspicious thing was wasn’t identified in Sen. Schumer’s letter.
What’s interesting is that Sen. Franken wants to give politicians the right to tell people that think differently than him that the First Amendment doesn’t protect them like it protects people that think like him. After that, he’s essentially saying that we should trust him with the authority to unlevel the political playing field.
The thing that came through when KARE11 interviewed David Schultz about the just-concluded Franken-McFadden debate was how disinterested Prof. Schultz seemed in the right policies. That’s perhaps a bit harsh but that’s what I took from the interview. Here’s what Prof. Schultz said that got me thinking:
In many ways, the debate went about exactly the way both sides wanted it to go.
Dr. Schultz, was it Sen. Franken’s goal to get his butt kicked in that debate? That isn’t what was reported but that’s what happened.
One potential game-changing moment came when Franken and McFadden debated the railcar shortage, which is a huge issue in northern and rural Minnesota, Franken said that he’d talked with the Surface Transportation Board since getting to DC and that he’d worked with David Vitter of Louisiana on making it cheaper to file a complaint with the Surface Transportation Board. When it was McFadden’s turn, he criticized Franken. Here’s what he said:
Al, with all due respect, your lack of an energy policy and the lack of an energy policy from President Obama has caused the rail car shortage. There’s not been one pipeline built. You haven’t approved any pipeline. The Keystone Pipeline has been under the review process for 6 years. That is crazy. That is too long. Pipelines are proven to be the most effective, the most efficient, the most environmentally sensitive way to transport oil. Until you start passing pipelines, we’ll have a railcar shortage. I know how to fix this economy. I know how to get us back on the road to growth and prosperity and you are putting Band-Aids as opposed to going to root causes. We need pipelines in this country. I want everyone in this room and in this state I am for pipelines. I will get them built.
Sen. Franken sounded like a typical DC politician who wanted to sound like he was doing something without really fixing anything. Sen. Franken also sounded like a politician who didn’t want to cross his special interest allies.
By comparison, McFadden sounded like a person not beholden to special interests. He also sounded like a solutions-oriented leader intent on making Minnesotans’ lives better.
Sen. Franken sounded like a politician who wanted to make it easier to file complaints. That won’t get the farmers’ grain to market or the miners’ ore to the shipping port. Schultz apparently thinks it’s more important to evaluate how politicians look rather than opine on whether that politician’s policies will solve problems or make Minnesotans’ lives better.
Admittedly, that’s a harsh indictment of Prof. Schultz. This isn’t about being gentle. It’s about getting people’s priorities right. That includes high profile professors’ priorities, too.
Technorati: David Schultz, Hamline University, Political Pundit, Senate Debate, Al Franken, Surface Transportation Board, Railcar Shortage, DFL, Mike McFadden, Sandpiper Pipeline, Keystone XL Pipeline, Farmers, Miners, Economic Growth, GOP, Election 2014