Rape-Supporting Senators Blame Al Franken for Making Them Support Rape

A demonstration of self-abuse, courtesy of John Cornyn.We apologize for not getting to this yesterday (we had already filled our Bummer Quota), but it’s still worth notice:

Republican senators feel burned by Al Franken — and not by his old jokes.

The Republicans are steamed at Franken because partisans on the left are using a measure he sponsored to paint them as rapist sympathizers — and because Franken isn’t doing much to stop them.

“Trying to tap into the natural sympathy that we have for this victim of this rape — and use that as a justification to frankly misrepresent and embarrass his colleagues, I don’t think it’s a very constructive thing,” Sen. John Cornyn (R-Texas) said in an interview.

It’s a complicated issue, as such things are. An employee of defense contractor KBR was “drugged, beaten and gang-raped at age 19 when stationed in Baghdad.” KBR argued that gang-rape is a condition of employment subject to arbitration. An appeals court disagreed. Franken submitted an amendment to a Pentagon spending bill that denied funding to private contractors who require that gang-rape be subject to the same procedures as overtime and coffeebreaks. Thirty Republican Senators opposed the amendment, saying that regulating gang-rape is an unnecessary intrusion into the free market.

The logic, as we understand it, is that companies that promise a gang-rape-free workplace have a hiring advantage over those which offer gang-rape as an untaxed fringe benefit.

Politico offers its typically astute analysis of the situation:

In a chamber where relationship-building is seen as critical, some GOP senators question whether Franken’s handling of the amendment could damage his ability to work across the aisle.

We’re with Politico on this. Gang rape is one of those issues where reasonable people can disagree, and for Al Franken to submit an amendment that allows opponents to be subjected to vicious caricature is a grave breach of senatorial decorum.

Al Franken fallout has GOP fuming [Politico]

Al Franken: Likes?
GOP Senate Caucus: Rape, war, human suffering, and rape.
Al Franken: You said rape twice.
GOP Senate Caucus: I like rape.

Of course, maybe if the GOP voted for the amendment instead of being a bunch of whiney whores to the war outsourcing industry then maybe people wouldn’t get the idea they luves their gang rape.

my question is is it equal opportunity rape or do we have a rape glass ceiling?

I ask because I probably know people for whom gang rape would in fact be an incentive.

I love me some Al
oh, and that republico comment, I bet Al is losing some sleep over that one.

@nojo: I’m waiting for Al to really open up on these guys. He’s been very restrained so far.

@Dodgerblue: Al’s gonna wait a couple years — he wants to establish his Serious Cred first.

This is an outrage. If we start regulating gang rape, what next? Regulating cannibalism? There have got to be limits on government’s reach into life and enterprise.

By the way, you guys know everything; who is Harry Shearer? He does an extremely unfunny and inept yet somehow strangely narcissistic radio show I have sometimes been stuck with in the car. I heard him indulging, a couple of weeks ago, in a ‘spoof’ of Project Runway complete with all kinds of fag voices. So I wrote him and told him to quit with the faggy voices. I got a wonderfully huffy reply in which he wrapped himself in the mantle of Comedy. I wrote back but have heard nothing. But I’m curious. Who is he? I haven’t heard that schtick since NY in the 60s. Woody Allen and Mel Brooks are given to it still. One averts one’s eyes in the case of Brooks for obvious reasons.

@Benedick: Harry Shearer…

1. Is one-third of Spinal Tap.

2. Does dozens of voices on the Simpsons, including Ned Flanders and Principal Skinner.

3. Is the reason I set my alarm on Sunday mornings to listen to his show live on KCRW.

@nojo: You both do and don’t astonish me. I figured he reckoned he was ‘somebody’ by his all-around smugness. Eric Idle is afflicted with the same kind of self-confidence. Would you like to see his email? Or shall I get it autographed first?

BTW. You’re much funnier than him.


oh, that Eric Idle comparison is spot fucking on. I never felt one way or another about him until that MP documentary. Geez, what a putz.

Gang rape is one of those issues where reasonable people can disagree

Just like torture. Simply a matter of policy differences.

@Benedick: Maybe he’ll include it with his Apologies of the Week.

Harry, like Mel (but for different reasons), gets a pass from me. I’ll agree that he doesn’t always fire on all cylinders, but he’s been doing that show weekly for more than 25 years, and he’s built a solid track record with it.

Among other things, he’s been pointing out the problems with our support of Pakistan for years. And as a part-time resident of New Orleans, he’s used his show a number of times to interview local experts who know in detail the faults of design and construction by the Corps of Engineers that led to the post-Katrina flooding. (Hint: It wasn’t the hurricane.)

And while I appreciate the compliment, Harry Shearer is lot funnier than me.

@Benedick: Oh, I forgot…

4. As a child actor, played a character in the Leave It to Beaver pilot who became Eddie Haskell in the series.

@nojo: No he isn’t.

@Jamie Sommers: I only find Python funny with quite a lot of effort. Apart from Cleese, who is wonderful. E Idle was always the least talented and the most confident. He has become quite repulsive over the years. But then, I regard No Sex, Please, We’re British as being a masterwork on par with Don Giovanni so you should probably pay no attention.

And since I’m shitting on everyone’s dorm-room faves, here’s another: saw Strangelove last night for the first time in years. Girlfriend, please! Falls to pieces amid some wonderful wreckage. But that design! Ken Adam was God.

@nojo: Here’s his reply. And remember, I called him old-fashioned and unfunny:

I do hope you got to hear the rest of the show, in which both the practice of waterboarding and the antics of former (now convicted) NY police chief Bernie Kerik were subjected to the same kind of lampooning as was in the “Project Runway” sketch you objected to. If you’d heard them, perhaps your anger might not have been so easily aroused. Or perhaps it still would have been. In any case, the point of the program is to make fun of all sorts of actors on the public stage, and I neither include nor exclude anybody based on the kind of prejudice your note seems to assume.
Best regards.

Can we spell ‘evasive’? It’s my fault, you see, for not understanding the wonderfulness of his vorpal blade going snicker-snack through waterboarding safe in his studio in Chi town.

@Benedick: You can make a case that Strangelove doesn’t add up to the sum of its parts, but the parts are so wonderful, I really don’t mind.

@Benedick: Good thing you’ve never heard his Blackwell parodies.

@nojo: I worship Kubrick but this film is badly acted apart from some dazzling exceptions. And its tone wears out its content. Sellars is wonderful but G Scott so overacts. But still, good to have it, I guess. Kubrik was not always lucky with performances. 2001 is flawless. B Lyndon is saddled with O’Neal and that Berenson woman. But I love to watch his movies. I must get Clockwork Orange.

@Benedick: I literally can’t watch Barry Lyndon. The Shining is a failure despite some classic moments (and the exteriors were filmed at Oregon’s Timberline Lodge), Full Metal Jacket just doesn’t work, and the Last Unfinished Film doesn’t count because Stanley didn’t finish it.

Clockwork Orange? Just watched it again recently, but it’s so odd I hesitate to render judgment. It certainly merits the respect it’s given, and I’m more than happy to raid at least a half-dozen moments. But is it good? I really can’t say.

@Benedick: George C Scott, didn’t he always overact? I think of him as the Gentile William Shatner, I enjoy some people for their awfulness.

In Strangelove, it might make it more enjoyable to know he was portraying a caricature of a very real person, Curtis LeMay, who may actually have been beyond caricature, in WWII he was the main proponent of strategic bombing, which is basically criminal, and he was the driving force behind the creation of our strategic nuclear bomber force, and he apparently was constantly urging various presidents to nuke everyone and anyone who sneezed.

Strangelove himself was a caricature of a czech physicist, Edward Teller, who invented the hydrogen bomb, and also, was nearly a nazi, politically, and also constantly advocated the use of his H-bombs.

On python, I will ask only about two sketches, which both make me laugh until I am silly, Okay, maybe three; the unexploded scothman disposal squad, Harold, the sheep who thinks he can fly, and the blancmange from outer space whose goal was to win Wimbeldon. Oh, and Confuse a Cat, and the street mountaineering team. And nobody expects the spanish inquisition, and also, The Larch.

It was not dormroom stuff for me, it was junior high school, maybe 1972 to 1975, when python originally ran in the US, that I fell in love, yes, I was 12 or 14.

You know, I am an afficionado of written “humour,” I have a collection of more than 30 Wodehouse novels, many collections of early american humor, from the 1840-1890 period, all of Thurber (not so funny) I adore early Evelyn Waugh, hundreds more, the obscure and the obvious, as an undergrad I did seriously consider becoming a literature prof, and specializing in humor, which seems to me neglected in academia.

@Benedick: I love-hate Kubrick, seems he was able to create amazing atmospheres and moods, but the acting, as benedick notes, it seems maybe only actors who resisted his micromanagement were able to shine, I have read that Sellers ad-libbed many of his lines in Strangelove, which is very not-kubrick.

@nojo: I recently saw FMJ again and adored it. His cast served him well in that. And I love its structure. I liked the Shining in the movies mostly for its dizzying camera. But you couldn’t help but want to slap Shelly thing. I like the film of Lyndon but as I said it has a cipher at its centre. Lolita is smashing, though I think Sellars doesn’t help that film. Paths of Glory, The killers. And 2 0 0 1.

Pity he didn’t make more. Damn the movies and their financing.

@Promnight: Scott is so pushed in it. And I get that it’s based on real people but it doesn’t really help. But if it gives you pleasure, or noje, that’s good enough for me. When I was a kid I loved Thorne Smith – is he now entirely forgotten? His books made me laugh till I cried. I always find that there’s something very nasty about Mark Twain. I try to enjoy it but can’t. And I thought that American Psycho was hilarious.

@Benedick: True, not much mentioned, but late in life, twain was very very bitter, and seemed to hate mankind. His biographers blame it on the loss of 5 of his children, I think it was, to various of the diseases that vaccinations have now done away with, scarlet fever, I think, was the biggest one.

But Mark Twain, and Huck Finn, there is no anger in them, I maybe should re-read them. ”

When I was young I like savage humor, but as I grow older I love more the more gentle humor, that sees what is funny without condemning so much the foibles of people.

@Benedick: Kubrick’s Lolita, is that the first one, I thought it great, or the recent one, that was put down as politically incorrect?

The young actress in the older one, she was wonderful, at showing, that truth that it is so so so politically incorrect to acknowledge now, that there are indeed underage young women, nevertheless fully physically mature, who fully come to realize their sexual power, before they are mature enough or morally developed enough to recognize the boundaries, and who do indeed enjoy their ability to make men fools.

Was Lauren Bacall over 18 when she said “you know how to whistle, don’t you? Just put your lips together, and blow.” I seem to recall she may have been 17 or 18.

Dux down by 9 in the 3rd on ESPN. They need some stinqueluv NOW!

52 yd Duck TD, 2pt conv FAIL. 34:33 1:20 3rd

@redmanlaw: No stinqueluv here. I’ll let Mr. SFL sweat it out.

@Promnight: I believe she was 17 when that film was made.

I’m no fan of Kubrick and am actually surprised to recall that he directed Lolita. Sellers can absolutely do no wrong with me but he came close in that film. He was ultimately saved because Shelley Winters, bless her heart may she rest in peace, annoyed me more.

Ducks – Rose Bowl, New Year’s Day

/got caught up in robot chicken and Nirvana Live at Reading, but I caught the last 1:30

@redmanlaw: Better brew fresh coffee…

Or not. They made a point of telling me to be ready, but I haven’t heard from them today. Clients are fun!

@nojo: Apparently Mr. SFL went through several martinis and a bottle of wine, the game was so stressful. I was not there to hold his hand through this.

@SanFranLefty: I almost tuned in following RML’s first few updates, but I was watching Wrath of Khan extras.

@SanFranLefty: My 30 Rock martini carried me through the game, then I capped it off with #2 watching Nirvana. I just got through farting around on the guitar (cheap electric run through a distortion box and computer speakers) myself.

Singles is on. Grunge nolstagia is here. Son of RML looks really cool in his khakis, flannel shirt and skate shoes. OTH, he was impressed to find a Massive Attack cd in the stacks. I told him I’d been looking for it for months.

@redmanlaw: LA Times: “The wind-chill factor of 25 degrees at Autzen Stadium…”

Current temperature, Sandy Eggo: 55.

But for the record, I did have to wear socks today. Part of it.

@Benedick: @nojo:

Kubrick was a genius who ended up as a crazy cat lady. I love his earlier films. Strangelove right up to Full Metal Jacket. the Shining was great but I wish some one would make a movie based on the book.
Eyes Wide Shut was a sad travesty. and he did mostly finish it I think. he had simply lost it. and the fact that he anointed Spielburger to do AI seals the deal of his having lost his mind. I read the script of AI in about 1995 when I was at Digital Domain but it kept being put off. while S’burgs movie has some moments it is not the script I read.
most people dont even pick up on the part about it really being about pedophilia. the original script made that much more clear. think about it.
his best friend was a male prostitute.
and the whole stupid stupid STUPID alien part at the end, well dont get me started. that was all Spielburger. the script ended with him sitting at the bottom of the sea staring at the blue fairy (fairy, get it?).

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