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Thursday, April 20, 2006

Empty Suit Thursday: It's (almost) on!

Posted by: Hammer / 11:56 AM

The release of Al Franken: God Spoke, a documentary about Al Franken puts us one step closer to Franken's official announcement that he's running for Senate. Franken's going to run because he has enormous affection for the late Paul and Sheila Wellstone and unbridled antipathy toward Sen. Smilin' Norm Coleman (R-MN).

Can Franken win? Sure he can. Franken is very smart, charismatic, and engaging. He needs to toughen up, though. He cries too easily, which will be perceived (and portrayed) as weakness. He still has the comedian's instincts -- which means he has a hard time not saying something funny, even when it's not appropriate. (Jon Stewart has struggled mightily with this during his interviews, and has gotten much better.) He's also been candid about his coke-fueled stint with SNL and his use of Grateful Dead-enhancing substances. He will be well-funded and the only New York Jew in the Senate race who was born in Minnesota. That has to count for something.

Smilin' Norm hates your grandma

Well, he doesn't seem to get along well with someone's grandmother. From the Minnesota Women's Press :

"We are still his [Norm Coleman’s] constituents, whether he likes it or not," said Erica Bouza, one of about a dozen grandmas who gathered in U.S. Sen. Norm Coleman’s St. Paul office on April 5 to protest the Iraq war. The grannies delivered a letter stating that they wouldn’t leave Coleman’s office until he promised to vote against the federal supplemental funding bill, which will provide more money for the Iraq occupation, among other things.

The women waited all afternoon in the office, waiting to hear from Coleman, who was in D.C.; when his staff finally relayed an answer, it wasn’t the one they were hoping for. ...

...[At] 7 p.m., as the building closed, police arrested the seven who were left, including Standefer. They were charged with trespassing and issued citations...

Getting meta

A while back, it was revealed that Smilin' Norm's senate staff was actively scrubbing his Wikipedia entry. Recently, there's been a minor edit war over whether to include the scrubbing. Coleman's staff is not involved.

Saint Paul Ford plant

Smilin' Norm regrets the closing of Saint Paul's Ford plant. The loss of so many quality manufacturing jobs will be felt throughout Minnesota. I certainly don't blame Pawlenty or Coleman for the plant closure. If, however, you expect that Pawlenty and Coleman would have proclaimed a personal victory if the plant stayed open, then I think it's appropriate to view their failure in reciprocal measure.

Canadian garbage

Smilin' Norm has joined Carl Levin in an effort to ban trash imports from Canada, but only so that the garbage can be inspected before entering the U.S. I'm a bit floored that it would be cheaper to drive your garbage into Michigan than to find a remote location in Canada.

Smilin' Norm goes to Tehran

This Tehran Times article is dated April 18, but looks to include some quite dated material. In discussing the call for Rumsfeld's ouster, we get to revisit this Norm Coleman gem from the Murtha flap:

The denunciation of Murtha even reached the Senate floor. Sen. Norm Coleman, R-Minn., said Murtha's statement "doesn't just demoralize American troops. I fear it emboldens America's enemies."

For the record, Jack Murtha served in the American military. Smilin' Norm did not.

Federal employee Thrift Savings Plan

Sen. Smilin' Norm Coleman (R-MN) wants to add a real estate investment option to the Thrift Savings Plan. The TSP is the retirement plan for federal employees. On the one hand, REITs have done very well lately. On the other hand, REITs have done very well lately. Over the long term, allowing further diversification of retirement funds is probably a good idea. I just don't think that now is a good time to sink your savings in real estate speculation.


I don't think Franken's substance experimentation will ever be brought up in a Senate race. Mr. Empty Suit probably couldn't stand the scrutiny of an "inhaled/never inhaled" test either. I mean, c'mon, a roadie for Ten Years After not using drugs is about as likely as Jambo attending Assembly of God services.

By Anonymous Jerjo of Flonase, at 10:43 AM  

You might be right, but Franken's openness about his past could come back to haunt him.

By Blogger Hammer, at 11:01 AM  

I would think it might come down to how well Franken could turn the issue around on Norm. We have seen in the past the the Republicans have no trouble attacking an opponent on issues where their guy is weak. VN war records for example.

I don't know if REITs are as good an investment as they have been of late but I don't think they are necessarily all that speculative. The attraction of REITs tends to be high dividends since by law they have to return most of their profits to shareholders. I may be wrong but I think most of their revenues come from rents rather than buying and selling properties.

By Blogger Jambo, at 11:12 AM  

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