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Ash writes: "Consent is the key. Consent is the cornerstone, the foundation of all sexual assault statutes in the U.S. and likely all nations."

Stephanie Kemplin takes a photograph with Senator Al Franken.  According to CNN this photo was taken at the time Kemplin says Franken was groping her right breast. (photo: CNN)
Stephanie Kemplin takes a photograph with Senator Al Franken. According to CNN this photo was taken at the time Kemplin says Franken was groping her right breast. (photo: CNN)

What Leeann Tweeden Did Not Say

By Marc Ash, Reader Supported News

03 December 17


This article was written while Leeann Tweeden was the only accuser against Al Franken. On the day it was scheduled to run, a second accuser came forward and I made the decision to forgo publication at that time. It is now two weeks later and there appear at this point to be perhaps six accusers, three of whom remain anonymous. The allegations, however, seem to not necessarily paint a conclusive portrait of events. The matter appears still somewhat unsettled. Accordingly and belatedly, this is the piece I held back on November 20, 2016.

onsent is the key. Consent is the cornerstone, the foundation of all sexual assault statutes in the U.S. and likely all nations. Although certainly not interpreted or applied uniformly across the wide spectrum of jurisdictions in equal measure.

What Leeann Tweeden did say was that the photograph Senator Al Franken staged twelve years earlier with him pretending to, or lightly touching her breasts as she slept and a kiss during a rehearsal of a scene, in the same time frame, in which a kiss was part of the script, were non-consensual.

What Al Franken said in part in a handwritten letter to Leeann Tweeden was, “Dear Leeann, I want to apologize to you personally. I don’t know what was in my head when I took that picture. But that doesn't matter. There’s no excuse. I understand why you can feel violated by that photo.” Franken expresses culpability and regret. That in effect settles the matter of consent as it relates to the Tweeden allegations.

There are however two questions that these statements do not address. Why Al Franken, and why now?

On its website, Playboy magazine presents a brief bio sketch for Leeann Tweeden, who has appeared on its pages. Presumably the characterizations are Playboy’s rhetorical enhancements and do not necessarily, or even accurately, represent Leeann Tweeden’s true character.

Nonetheless, the Playboy bio presents as resume points associations with rather noteworthy entities that have clearly defined track records. They include Playboy itself, Hooters Restaurants, Frederick's of Hollywood, and Fox Broadcasting. Yes, there is a common thread. These organizations are all patently, demonstrably exploitive of women and women’s sexuality. Fox Broadcasting has arguably the worst reputation of all, with scores of accusations of workplace sexual harassment it has had to negotiate in recent years.

Given that list of employment and professional associations, Leeann Tweeden would necessarily, without any doubt, have been subject to routine exploitation and on many occasions to varying degrees likely significant personal harassment. None of which abridges her right to withhold consent — in any way — or justifies Al Franken’s conduct. It does not. But it does make her decision to go public with an eleven-year-old grievance against a sitting U.S. senator stand out somewhat.

In a statement responding to Al Franken’s apology letter, Leeann Tweeden spoke of a desire to “stand on the shoulders of these other women” in coming forward with her story. The other women she referred to were those who had shown the courage to speak out against sexual assaults committed against them and, we are left to read, which inspired her.

One such woman upon whose shoulder Leeann Tweeden’s foot might rest could well be that of former Fox News anchorwoman Megyn Kelly. Kelly chronicled and helped expose not just the sexual harassment she endured at Fox but a pervasive, systemic, organization-wide pattern affecting a mind-boggling number of female colleagues. Leeann Tweeden was at Fox during the height of it, yet she utters not a word about the conditions and abuses there, and not a word in support of Kelly's assertions or those of the other women who showed the courage to come forward at Fox, and on whose shoulders she now purports to stand.

Beverly Young Nelson is yet another woman on whose shoulders Leeann Tweeden’s weight might now be said to rest. Nelson accused Alabama senatorial candidate Roy Moore of having sexually assaulted her as a sixteen-year-old. Nelson felt it was necessary to dispel any implication of political motive. She was clear, asserting that both she and her husband were Republicans and Trump supporters. Leeann Tweeden, on the other hand, left those boxes blank on the form.

Leeann Tweeden is a woman who could have reasonably and legitimately named a long list of abusers. Why Al Franken, why now?

Marc Ash is the founder and former Executive Director of Truthout, and is now founder and Editor of Reader Supported News.

Reader Supported News is the Publication of Origin for this work. Permission to republish is freely granted with credit and a link back to Reader Supported News. your social media marketing partner


A note of caution regarding our comment sections:

For months a stream of media reports have warned of coordinated propaganda efforts targeting political websites based in the U.S., particularly in the run-up to the 2016 presidential election.

We too were alarmed at the patterns we were, and still are, seeing. It is clear that the provocateurs are far more savvy, disciplined, and purposeful than anything we have ever experienced before.

It is also clear that we still have elements of the same activity in our article discussion forums at this time.

We have hosted and encouraged reader expression since the turn of the century. The comments of our readers are the most vibrant, best-used interactive feature at Reader Supported News. Accordingly, we are strongly resistant to interrupting those services.

It is, however, important to note that in all likelihood hardened operatives are attempting to shape the dialog our community seeks to engage in.

Adapt and overcome.

Marc Ash
Founder, Reader Supported News

-76 # kyzipster 2017-12-03 14:42
What this article isn't saying is that Franken is accused of forcibly sticking his tongue into Tweeden's mouth while rehearsing a kiss. It's quite possible she was not subjected to this treatment or the treatment in the photo at any of these organizations. Even if she was subjected to some sort of harassment, why should that negate her accusations towards Franken? It's all conjecture anyway and not worthy of promoting as a story. Even if the very nature of Hooters, Playboy and Frederick's is sexist to the core, this issue is about consent, not willing participation. A prostitute might willingly sell their body but can still be a victim of abuse when established boundaries are crossed. There are plenty of sex workers who do not see themselves as victims.

This is basically shaming a victim of harassment, questioning her morality, as if these associations prove guilt or insinuate a political agenda. 'Slut shaming' has often been used to discredit victims, this article borders on it. I expect more at RSN.

Of course it's a possibility that Tweeden is motivated by partisanship or personal gain but this article provides no evidence so I believe we should take her word for it. Franken has had plenty of opportunity to challenge the accusations and he has plenty of support if he chooses to do so. I do interpret what he's not saying as admission of guilt. That being said, I think his behavior falls short of grounds to force him out of office. I think voters should decide.
+114 # logical1 2017-12-03 15:38
LeAnn Tweeden was not a victim. She invited the behavior. She was climbing all over Robin Williams without his consent on the USO tour. She apparently liked the play with men. She apparently just did not want Al Franken to participate.
Now 11 years later, she only comes out against a democratic senator. She has been supporting republicans and tea party for years and would not come out against any of those that were aggressive at Fox.
-33 # kyzipster 2017-12-03 18:19
"She apparently liked the play with men."

This is what I'm talking about. Her consensual behavior around men should not be used as evidence of anything. I want Al Franken to be innocent, I like the guy a lot. I read Tweeden's account and it sounded believable and it did sound like inappropriate behavior deserving of exposure. Her experiences at Fox News is nothing but conjecture. The timing of it should be obvious, it's something that is snowballing and overall, it's a very positive movement for women who have put up with this for too long.

I agree that we should be very careful, we shouldn't try and sentence people so quickly with such potential for dirty politics coming into play but it seems to me that we're doing that with Tweeden here. I need to see evidence, her politics shouldn't matter anymore than a progressive woman accusing a conservative man of harassment.

If Al Franken denies what took place, I'll consider that it may be an unjust accusation but that hasn't happened.
+60 # JoanF 2017-12-03 19:33
He did not deny it but he did say his memory of the event was different. Perhaps he is being too polite for his own good.
-8 # LionMousePudding 2017-12-04 00:00
It is feelings, not facts, that bring these negatives.
-13 # LionMousePudding 2017-12-03 23:58
Because she was PURPOSEFULLY in physical contact with one man means ANOTHER man A can do anything she wants AGAINST HER WILL?

I am not a cheerleader for Tweeden but arguments like yours place you squarely as Part of the Problem.
+129 # Working Class 2017-12-03 14:49
Maybe Hanity will ask her the question of “why now” when Leeann makes a return to his show. She has been on the show of her friend before. Personally I think it’s as sad commentary that our USO shows promotes sexual roles and gags depicting women as objects and we call these shows “patriotic”. But keep in mind that was the nature of the script Leeann agreed to. So I don’t want to hear about her standing on anyone’s shoulders. She is part of the problem.
+145 # goodsensecynic 2017-12-03 15:10
Another woman recently wrote that, as a sexual assault survivor, she is angry that people such as Tweeden - plainly for political purposes - is "appropriating" the righteous rage of actual victims.

Same goes for the accuser of Garrison Keillor.

Somewhere we seem to have lost an interesting concept: due process and natural justice. These are unruly times and we may expect worse, but I am troubled when accusations are automatically convictions with no time or patience with fair trials.
+72 # Marshalldoc 2017-12-03 15:50
Perhaps it's appropriate to ask why the attention given to such important issues like sexual abuse takes the place of addressing (diverting attention from?) the overriding issue: The global domination by white supremacist, Christian, patriarchal, imperialist, corporate Capitalism. All the so-called 'identity' (silo) issues that preoccupy us (misogyny, racism, income inequality, environmental catastrophe, and others) are all consequences of our global socioeconomic system; not stand-alone isolated issues that can be addressed and 'cured' piecemeal allowing us to move on and address the next 'major issue'. It's akin to stamping out individual bedbugs rather than burning the mattress they live in. Yes, it's important to put abusers on notice that they'll be named, shamed, and prosecuted for their misdeeds, but patriarchy & male privilege are inherent in our system and until the system is changed any address to its superficial manifestations will be equally superficial and transient. Why don't those writing on this, or the other social ills, address this fundamental issue?
+6 # kyzipster 2017-12-03 18:05
You bring up good points but I don't think it's a waste of time to address issues of inequality. I think we've come a very long way in the last half century when it comes to marginalized communities and individuals enjoying much more dignified treatment and opportunity these days.

At the same time, everyone is wanting an equal piece of the pie, that's what much of a fight for equality is about. It's equal opportunity to rape and pillage the planet and to oppress impoverished cultures to keep the 'American Dream' going. You're right, we're not pointing that out enough. We need massive change beyond social justice issues.

Getting rid of every old rich white male in Congress won't change a damn thing necessarily when we consider Hillary's toxic foreign policy, Obama's drone wars and sellout to Wall St, Colin Powell lying to the UN about Iraq. The same is true in the corporate world.

I think you're right also that it serves as a diversion. It's why the Culture War works well for Republicans and not for Democrats so much. I think liberal identity politics is mostly a defensive posture against the GOP's Southern Strategy. When white supremacists have been emboldened enough to murder people, it's not like we can sit by and ignore it. When they attack transgender people, passing legislation to deny them the basic right to use a public toilet, we have to speak up. So we remain hopelessly divided as obscene tax cuts make it through Congress.
+5 # Marshalldoc 2017-12-04 13:49
Analogy: Considering the onrushing global catastrophe of climate change (a proximate result of the political, social, & economic issues I listed above) in addition to the ever-greater threat of global thermonuclear war, failing to address the overriding issues is akin to passing out fiddles so everyone can play their own tune while Rome burns. This is not to minimize the validity of anyone's personal 'tune' but to point out the futility of demanding the overriding issues be put on hold while everyone listens to someone's individual tune.
-29 # dwainwilder 2017-12-03 16:03
I think it is important to listen to women about abuse. One might find finer examples than Leann Tweeden, depending on one's affections.

However, I sense an editorial drift here that I took naively at first, in Dr. GS Potter's article defending Sen. Franken "A Survivor's Defense of Al Franken," 12/1/17. In this article Dr. Potter calls out Ms. Tweeden as not being a "true" victim of assault like Dr. Potter.

I took Dr. Potter's claim and claim of being offended at face value until challenged by other women. When I looked more deeply into her background as well as I could with web searches, I found she has not herself written anything about being abused herself, other than to defend Sen. Franken.
Furthermore, a look at her bona fides at the Strategic Institute for Intersectional Policy ( and following) shows a largely mixed view of interesting commentary articles but no action other than petition campaigns, even though she states in the "About" page she has been working on issues such as police brutality, homelessness and strategic organizing at the grassroots for close to two decades. No evidence of that work shows up on web searches other than a handful of articles. Nor is it clear who Dr. G.S. Potter actually is other than the author/activist she describes. Usually articles written by investigative journalists with clear histories of activity and transparent identity are contributors to Reader Supported News.
+7 # mozartssister 2017-12-04 07:21
I too went back and forth on Tweeden. I guess my ultimate assessment as is stands now is this:

I'm not convinced her report was necessarily made in good faith, but assholes can be molested too. Further, it's not for one survivor to legitimize or devalue another survivor's experience. Every woman must be allowed to speak for herself.

I think we're in a cultural panic at the moment. The dust has to settle before we can actually truly evaluate and examine each case. That won't happen for a while; too much has been ignored for too long.

So although I don't think Franken's behavior was on the scale of Weinstein's or Roy Moore's, it's on a spectrum and was undoubtedly wrong.
0 # kyzipster 2017-12-05 13:20
I liked much of what Dr Potter had to say but I took issue with her suggesting that Tweeden was trying to equate her experience of harassment with that of a rape victim. Tweeden wasn't trying to do that, that's not how I read it. The court of public opinion tends to go there, and that should be challenged.
+40 # DrD 2017-12-03 16:57
Thanks Marc for publishing the article.
+19 # CL38 2017-12-03 17:20
Appreciate your naming this nonsense.

Long time feminist.
+4 # chapdrum 2017-12-03 17:11
Tweeden hosts a right-wing radio talk show. The rest is rhetoric.
+33 # CL38 2017-12-03 17:16
Why now?? Franken is a formidable challenger of Republican's who are testifying in hearings about their unscrupulous behavior, i.e., the I-just-can't-he lp-but-grin-whe n-I-lie-in-hear ings, Jeff Sessions.

Al Franken and a 'Learning Moment' - The New York Times
+14 # elkingo 2017-12-03 17:23
Yeah, suspicious.
+32 # librarian1984 2017-12-03 17:37
It's interesting that private businesses are showing zero tolerance for this behavior but Congress is not, Republicans or Democrats.

And now we know they have a secret slush fund to pay victims of racism, harassment and other abuses, so that TAXPAYERS are paying for their bad behavior.

That sure sounds like unaccountable, institutionaliz ed criminal behavior.

They need to abolish the Nondisclosue Agreements, which leave predators free to repeat their offenses.
+7 # economagic 2017-12-03 20:14
I'll back you on that one.
+11 # LensViews 2017-12-03 17:45
Re "Consent is the key. Consent is the cornerstone, the foundation of all sexual assault statutes in the U.S. and likely all nations."

I am reminded of the scores, probably hundreds, of movies and tv shows over the decades that depict the agonizing, if funny in retrospect, difficulty that young men have in crossing the threshold, just to hold hands. There is no consent given, nor does he ask for any, until he makes his move - and then, and then, it still remains ambiguous, until it doesn't.

The current run of accusations of sexual assault on women, while often crossing the line, and no mistake, makes little note of this little bit of developmental history. So, to Marc's "Consent is the key," I would add: "Context." Without an understanding of context - and this includes the history (emotional and otherwise) of the parties involved - a verdict cannot be reached, and judgments should be tabled.

We must be cautioned that social movements have a life of their own, regardless of intended objectives. While unintended consequences cannot be predicted, it is certain that scattering one's emotional detritus on social media is not helpful. One worst case scenario I can imagine is that men - and boys - will learn to be more afraid of women and girls than they already are. Nor has the "sexual revolution" of the 1960s helped to clarify things. We are on our way to a moment when gazing, smiling, complimenting or asking any question could be assumed to have assaultive intent.
+24 # REDPILLED 2017-12-03 17:55
Why were ANY of these entertainers "entertaining" troops sent to wage an illegal war of aggression on a country that posed ZERO threat to the U.S.?

Are they proud of their "service" to the Empire? Should ANY USan who TRULY believes in liberty and democracy "thank" our imperial troopers "for their service" to the Empire?

If the despicable economy of the U.s. forces desperate USans to enlist to fight the Empire's wars against mostly Muslims, we should be working to change that perverse, unfair economy instead of encouraging more mass carnage for the war profiteering corporations's bottom lines as well as for the already-fat wallets of the sociopaths in Congress who depend on war profiteers for re-election funds.
-2 # Caliban 2017-12-06 00:08
The troops did not decide to make war anywhere. That is the work of political authorities.

The troops -- acting in the cause of what they are told is the "national security -- are in an institution that demands (and can enforce) obedience to authority.

That said, it is shameful that the politics and economics of the todays world must be sustained (in part at least) by military force. But this phenomenon is by no means an American one only.
+12 # Nancy Jakeman 2017-12-03 18:11
This whole matter feels quite wobbly especially with the sphectre of political bias on Tweedens part. A tough time coming as many of these allegations emerge. Authorities must be careful to take this and other issues which are bound to emerge into account before consigning peoples lives to ignomy. Because we intrinsically look towards better days ahead it seems important to allow some to regret, others to forgive.
+10 # librarian1984 2017-12-03 20:20
In 1988, Congressional staffer Dorena Bertussi filed a sexual harassment charge against her boss, Rep. Jim Bates (D-CA). He was reelected. A year later the Ethics Committee found him guilty. His punishment was an apology. In 1991 she revealed the details anonymously but later that year, amid revelations of the Anita Hill hearings, went public in an interview with Katie Couric.

She said she didn't speak because she didn't want to be fired. (Her predecessor had quit after three months after Bates grabbed her during a committee meeting.) She said: 'There was no woman who came out in support. I didn't get any calls from Congresswomen .. Everybody was silent. There were no speeches on the floor. I got support from other staffers.'

Katie Couric asked another panelist, 'Do you find it ironic that some of the men standing up talking about fighting sexual harassment are some of the worst offenders?' Response: 'I certainly do.'

Kasie Hunt had Ms. Bertussi on and asked her how it felt to watch the current conversation. She said: 'It's the same, 28 years later .. The staffers are afraid and not coming forward .. It's such a sad commentary.'

Marin Cogan, NY Mag: 'The culture of fear is still in play today.'

Predator Congressmen were gifted for decades with anonymity and unaccountability.

In 1991 there were 2 female senators, now there are 17.

I propose there be an anonymous survey for staff. Let them be frank about their experiences.
+15 # DrD 2017-12-04 05:19
I appreciate your comments. There are issues of real harassment that need to be addressed. But the fact remains there can be false accusations meant to destroy a career or retaliate for a perceived slight or other gain. In academia we see this frequently. Anonymous teacher evaluations and rating websites are used by *some* students to lash out at a professor - sometimes for real weaknesses or deficiencies but other times for simple retaliation for a poor grade or dislike of the professor. Anonymity provides a disproportionat e advantage to the accuser and does not lead to responsible responses always. How to separate the fact from falsehood is the key.
+2 # librarian1984 2017-12-04 14:11
I agree. False accusations ruin lives too, going back to the Salem witch hunts and beyond, and should be minimized. This is such a multi-pronged issue.

Elsewhere I linked to a really interesting article about false rape reporting. It said the majority are fairly predictable: young people who are in trouble at home for breaking curfew or getting pregnant, for instance; that most false accusations are given for a purpose, like not getting in trouble with one's parents, and are usually dropped when that purpose is fulfilled; that very few false accusations actually make it to prosecution; and the few widely covered cases, like the Rolling Stone story a few years back, are the exception rather than the rule.

FBI statistics tell us false reporting is in line with those for other crimes but I wonder how it is distributed. Maybe it's more common in education settings or divorce courts?

But I also think most harassment goes unreported and that more lives have been ruined by the abuse than the false accusations. Think about the effect on the accuser's life. This is not something done lightly. Only the troubled would enter into this for kicks or a petty squabble.
0 # librarian1984 2017-12-03 20:26
The person who wrote the story about Rep. Jim Bates' Congressional reprimand for the NYT in 1989 was Michael Oreskes, who went on to become a VP at NPR. He was forced to resign last month for allegations of sexual misconduct.
+3 # Saberoff 2017-12-03 21:33
Why Al Franken? Why now? Your last sentence (question) has a simple answer. The country is being deluged in McCarthyite propaganda. The latest accusers of people like Keillor and Rush don't even have to identify themselves! Their day in court does not exist. People are being fired; careers ruined; names defiled.

This is Kafka's "The Trial." In today's world everything, anything, anyone and all politically Left is being killed (Malcolm, Martin, etc.) or erased. Then there's Google, Facebook, Twitter, Others, fixing search engines, cracking the Internet, tax "reform", foreign agents! And it's all related. And (you guessed it) Russia-gate!

So as long as you are deciding what you want to publish, and what not, how about you take a look at your persistent, Russian propaganda fixation? Russia's constitution defines the country as "a democratic, federative, law-based state with a republican form of government." Sound like anyone you know?

Communism is dead, yet McCarthyism lives. Don't perpetuate this nonsense, distraction, from what absolutely needs to be disseminated!

+5 # DrD 2017-12-04 05:06
McCarthyism is a very apt analogy.
0 # cmp 2017-12-05 03:11
Thank You, Saberoff! Great, great post!!!
+13 # Jaax88 2017-12-03 21:50
A couple of points ton put this situation in better perspective. Franken has not admitted to abusive conduct with Tweeden, however he has suggested/agree d to an investigation. Good for him.

The Tweeden claim looks more look GOX/Fox dirty tricks to divert attention from Roy Moores' much more abhorant conduct with young girls. If nice guy Franken can get away with claimed bad conduct, what is so wrong with what Moore did?
+20 # tm7devils 2017-12-03 22:18
All this rhetoric, re Franken, can be simplified to one statement: If Tweeden had been molested by a man who later became a Republican congressman, this whole matter would never have seen the light of day...period. This whole scenario is 100% political.
Shame on you, Tweeden.
(And shame on any democrat that wants to oust Franken regarding this.)
-4 # librarian1984 2017-12-04 14:18
What a relief. To speak with such certainty you must have been there -- or seen a taped confession -- or somehow occupied Tweeden's mind!

I am really trying to stay out of this argument -- but you have NO idea, none, if this is 100% political, or 50%, or none. It's amazed me my whole life to hear people assert things with such confidence, even when they speak from total ignorance. In some ways I admire your unassailable certainty -- except that it does such violence to reason.
0 # cmp 2017-12-05 03:09
Hey Librarian!
How's thing's in Philly? Good, good, good! I hope!!!

I took the year off from political activism with this being the odd year, and I needed a little change; as well. So, I have been working with associations for immigrants and the poor. In January, I plan to hook in with the Greens and see if there is a few Local and Statewide Candidates that could use a hand this cycle.

I just got done making some Christmas cookies. These ones have been a tradition in our family for 70 years. (..I hope to keep the tradition going to 100 years. (

I 'am gonna take 'em up to NY soon for the Holiday. .. I also spent quite a lot of time up there this year; as well. We lost 7 people in the family this past year. They were some of the great ones.

As always, I fully agree with your take on a subject. (.. and, I hope that someday, we can mobilize and make a little noise together. (

.. But, once we all start confusing or mistaking prejudice, assault, or molestation as something political, then we all seriously need to reevaluate our common respect and decency, on top of our politics.

Librarian, Thanks Again!!
-1 # librarian1984 2017-12-05 19:57
Hey cmp! Isn't it weird you got a negative vote? (I'll fix it :-) Things are different. A few of the good ol' gang are here but too many have left. It's so great to hear from you!

Making cookies sounds fun. I'm just gearing up for it. Today I have a big pot of chicken-vegetab le stock simmering and the place smells divine.

So sorry to hear about losing so many (good) relatives. We had a spell like that about ten years ago -- to lose so many good people impoverishes the spirit -- and the reunions. But maybe others will fill those spots -- you seem like an excellent candidate!

Change is fun and it sounds like you were still doing good. I went to the Convergence Conference a few months ago. It was organized by DraftBernie people, who collected thousands of signatures asking Bernie to lead a third party. It was a great 3-day conference. Jimmy Dore was there and did one of his live shows, Lee Camp, Jamarl Thomas, Tim Black. Medea Benjamin from Code Pink, Jill Stein and Cornel West -- it was so invigorating.

At the conference the biggies had a meeting and at a plenary said they'd determined there's not enough time to start an effective third party before 2018 elections. Instead we should work together -- Green, DSA, etc -- and vote/support each other amap. Greens asked why we wouldn't just take them over, even said they'd change their name, but not everyone was convinced.

Big takeaway: support the leftmost candidates. Work together.

Hope to see more of you!
+1 # cmp 2017-12-06 02:57
Hi Librarian!
Concerning the thumb count, I feel that rsn is yet another, (.. too easy) a victim of Citizens United.

Isn't it funny (..Orwellian) how we hear the word "Troll" over & over, but we never hear about "Sock Puppets" or "Astroturfing"? .. IOW: be very afraid of your neighbor, but don't ever consider that Organized Money has preemptively declared war on you.

The whole justification of Campaign Finance is that we are "suppose" to have full Disclosure of who purchased or bribed our democracy.

.. But, you and I, both know that PACS are now WMD on the internet & social media.  .. Now, if a message is made by a PAC, then where is their declaration of disclosure, "This message was paid for by..."

You & I, both know that the Deep State with the 2 Major Parties are going to continue to exploit this criminal behavior. .. But I also feel that rsn is very vulnerable to Sock Puppets & Astroturfing in part, because of it's thumb score count.

I also feel that in many ways it handicaps the individual's Free Speech. (.. herding, group think, etc.)
+2 # cmp 2017-12-06 02:58
.. And, you know, Citizens United was all about the Owners being able to target their money without having to pay for the inefficiency's, like the Parties themselves. (.. Hillary played it to the hilt herself, with DNC scandal.) .. But, the banker & his asset corporations are long tired of paying for bricks & mortar, lights, phones, printers, etc., to fund races that they have already gerrymandered with a 90% recidivism.

The Owners carry the Campaign funding, but they don't want to have to pay for all 435 Congressional seats every 2 years. .. So, 90% of the Districts are taken off of the table with the Redistricti ng from inside DC by the RNC & the DNC and the ir Owners. .. It is then funneled down through the State Parties.

I believe that if you & I, were to do a study of all 50 States for their Districting, what we would find, is that it is predominantl y the geography around the major College Campuses that are purple. (.. for obvious reasons..) .. And, then the urban & rural areas within the State have been rigged such that the chosen incumben t has to be a moron to lose it. (.. piss the wrong people off.)

This means that the deep Blue District Primaries have to be hunted hard by the Leftmost Candidates..

It also means that Campaign Finance & the 50 State, 10 year Redistricting have to be HUGE priorities for us going into 2020.

I also think that hooking in with the Progressives in Europe and comparing notes with them will be very educational for all of us.
0 # librarian1984 2017-12-06 16:56
Yes, the Walmartization of political corruption. Corporations are people -- and they want bargains just like the rest of us.

Redestricting makes the 2018 and 2020 cycles that much more important, yes, and we're not seeing enough movement from the DP.

I think it's also interesting to see the cities becoming more blue, even in red states, so that the differing priorities are going to set up tensions there. Cleveland (I think) passed a higher minimum wage law and Kucinich vetoed it, for example. We're seeing very progressive mayors, evenin the south, but too many have GOP governors -- let's change that!

I read that Sanders met with Jeremy Corbyn and asked him where he got his ideas, and Corbyn said, 'You.'

Isn't it a thrilling thought -- not just Sanders in the WH but Sanders working with New Left leaders around the world. If we had progressives in the US, UK and France -- there are some of the biggest suppliers of arms and war materiel. That could lead to big changes. Can you imagine treaties written by progressives, real progress on climate change, people admiring America again?

Darkness before the dawn, cmp!
+1 # cmp 2017-12-07 01:45
Hey Librarian!
I agree 100%. Living here in AZ, I have always felt that for us, the mid term (State Wide) cycle is actually more important than the Presidential cycle.

We don't really carry much weight for the National Race, and we haven't voted for a Dem, since 96, with Clinton.

In 2007, I worked 300 hours for Dennis in the Dem Primary. (Impeach!.. Impeach Now!! ..hahaa!!!) .. Then I did about 700 more hours for Barack in 2008, because I wanted to see McCain lose his home state. But, on election day I, of course, cast my vote for Ralph. .. Now, that's really playing the "Leftmost" cards. (

You gave me a heck of a scare with Kucinich. But, then it occurred to me that you of course, meant Kasich.

As you know, Ohio is a real tough one. They have a super majority of Repub's at all levels of their govt. .. But, I do believe that a State Appeals Judge recently saved Labor with his ruling on that particular State Law to block City sovereignty. So, I think that Labor will be coming back for another bite at the apple soon. Yes!

Remember Claire Daly? She now represents the Dublin Fingal constituency. But, she is one of my all time favorites!!!.

If you have time to look at the old viral clip:

But, the reason I say this, is because after she went viral, she did an interview with Oksana Boyko where they both talk directly to what you are referencing. Two Great Women!!

Librarian, See U on next thread!
0 # librarian1984 2017-12-07 10:24
lol. Sorry about the mixup. Yes, Kasich! Great news about them going after it again.

I love to vote in the midterms because it means 'more', sort of. Because the turnout is lower each vote represents more people.

Our paths sound similar. I first voted for the Independent, Anderson, and happily voted for Nader. I was in a blue state so it was easy. Remember the vote trading that went on, blue and reds, so it wouldn't hurt Gore? People are so creative.

Thanks for the links. I'll check them out and see you later!
+1 # cmp 2017-12-08 00:28
Hey Librarian,
I have no doubt that you will greatly appreciate Claire Daley.

But, in that interview, she & Oksana talk a lot about the same symptoms of oppression that we see here. .. And, Just like you, Claire really makes the case that fighting back is the only option.

Another great one is the Scotsman, George Galloway. He now has a radio (internet) talk show that really cuts to the chase of what's happening day to day in England.

But, events like the Convergence Conference and their European, Central, South American equivalents, need to have cross participation with stated continuous objectives.

Librarian, Thanks Again!!
0 # cmp 2017-12-07 01:49
... Not enough character space above, so here is the link to the interview:

Thanks Again!
+4 # cmp 2017-12-04 10:29
Something tells me that the contributor's to this post would love to have been there over 200 years ago, when those Framer's of the Constitution went back home for their dinners and looked at their own sisters, their daughters, their wives, and their own mothers around their dinner tables, and said, "You didn't think that we were talking about you.. .. Did you?"

.. Well, it's now some 225 years later and they are still saying just that, and more. .. That's right, read that sentence again.

.. You see, the first Right that is protected, is the Right To Be Rich..

And, you just ain't "old" enough:

.. Nor, are you "man" enough:

.. As well;, you just ain't "white" enough:

Bernie got trashed in the Owner Media. .. And, he got maybe, 29 seconds of air time on OUR airwaves. But, he still got 43.3% of the overall Democratic Primary vote.

How does that work?

It works, because Owner Media and the usurpation of OUR airwaves is dying in it's effectiveness to bamboozle us.

It works because you did it in these pages. .. It, wasn't Bernie.. .. It,,, was you..

Thank You!!
+6 # tomwalker8 2017-12-04 13:00
Anyone wishing to read a compellingly sharp rebuke to Tweeden should check out "A Survivor's Defense of Al Franken
By Dr. GS Potter, Strategic Institute for Intersectional Policy"

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