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Craig Crawford

Author: Craig Crawford

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72 thoughts on “Place Your Bets”

  1. boss, you asked last thread: “Would anyone here be defending Franken right now if he was a Republican?”

    yes, I would if he (or she) otherwise spent their time as u.s. senator conscientiously working on legislation, civilly debating, cooperating and compromising with others they ordinarily disagree with in order to insure the welfare of the nation in keeping with their constitutional responsibilities toward the public good.  no, I would not defend a republican or independent or democrat for the least infraction or whiff of impropriety if that individual also intentionally used/uses his/her public position to harm the country or flout constitutional responsibilities and duties. 

  2. H-y-p-o-c-r-i-s-y becomes final today

    Our o-u-t-l-o-o-k is colored by our p.o.v.

    P-o-l-i-t-i-c-s gives some cads a pass

    Two s-e-p-a-r-a-t-e scales that weigh the souls

    H-i-s-t-o-r-y is quite apropos

    H-e-r-s-t-o-r-y depends

    Is she a R-e-p-u-b-l-i-c-a-n

    Or is s-h-e a Dem?

    (With apologies to Tammy Wynette)



  3. And now Matt Lauer is gone.

    Heaven only knows what he did to get an almost overnight hustle out the door and a “we weren’t involved” from the network trying to get out of the way of legal dodge balls.

  4. Jamie44,

    Mr Olbermann noted last week that “something big” was coming down – the case on his phone was nearly melted by the texts, as he put it.


  5. Glenn Thrush (Politico/NYT), Mark Halperin (MSNBC/Bloomberg), Hamilton Fish/Leon Wieseltier (New Republic), Sam Kriss (Vice), Jordan Chariton (TYT), Charlie Rose (CBS/PBS), Matt Lauer (NBC).

    All of them negatively shaped the narrative about Hillary. All sexual harassers.

  6. Interesting timing on Lauer, so near the end of the month. Contract consideration -?

    Hey Good Morning America, keep your wicks dry & you can claim a new tag line: Creep Free TV.

    Also worth noting, North Korea keeps advancing towards missiles that can reach Hawaii.

    The yin & yang of news.


  7. SJWNY

    Absolutely agree.  The sins of the men visited upon the woman who didn’t do anything wrong.  Lauer should have been fired for the interview or more appropriate mauling of Clinton while practically licking Trump’s boots.

  8. excerpt from Minnesota’s very own garrison Keillor:

    Al Franken should resign? That’s absurd.


    The greatest absurdity of our time is You Know Whom, which goes without saying but I will anyway. What his election showed is that a considerable number of people, in order to demonstrate their frustration with the world as it is, are willing to drive their car, with their children in the back seat, over a cliff, smash the radiator, bust an axle and walk away feeling good about themselves. No other president in modern times has been held in contempt by a preponderance of people from the moment he said, “So help me, God.” The playboy blather, the smirk of privilege, the stunning contempt for factual truth — how can the country come together when the president has nothing in common with 98 percent of the rest of us?

    And then there is Sen. Al Franken. He did USO tours overseas when he was in the comedy biz. He did it from deep in his heart, out of patriotism, and the show he did was broad comedy of a sort that goes back to the Middle Ages. Shakespeare used those jokes now and then, and so did Bob Hope and Joey Heatherton when they entertained the troops. If you thought that Al stood outdoors at bases in Iraq and Afghanistan and told stories about small-town life in the Midwest, you were wrong. On the flight home, in a spirit of low comedy, Al ogled Miss Tweeden and pretended to grab her and a picture was taken. Eleven years later, a talk show host in LA, she goes public, and there is talk of resignation. This is pure absurdity, and the atrocity it leads to is a code of public deadliness. No kidding.

    Franken should change his name to Newman and put the USO debacle behind him and then we’ll change frankincense to Febreze. Remove the slaveholder Washington from our maps, replacing him with Wampanoag, and replace Jefferson, who slept with Sally Hemings — consensual? I doubt it — with Powhatan, and what about the FDR Drive in New York, named for a man who was unfaithful to his wife? Let’s call it RFD and let it go at that.

  9. Jamie44,

    Ha, television is the shallow end of life, looking for the newest shiny bauble. Ratings, ad money really push the narrative. There are very few news people left; plenty of spokes models. Is what it is. Choose your poison.


  10. public ridicule best deterrent.  no politician or pundit wants to be laughed at and ridiculed.

    publick stocks perfect example to deter gropers: if for no other reason they make it hard to grab

  11. Ever notice that for every negative action #45 enacts Justin Trudeau does something positive?


    Offering up Lieutenant Governor of New York Kathy Hochul as a potential 2020 Democratic Candidate (President or Vice President.) Wow, is she smart & savvy. I’ve run hot & cold on her through the years, but as I age I recognize & appreciate her skills & service. Plus she has natural warmth & connectivity, which is something much needed. Through the years the Democrats have offered the brightest most qualified people in the room as candidates who have all the warmth of a rock. Does connectivity matter in today’s personality driven world? You betcha. Shallow but key, unfortunately. Lt-Gov Hochul should at least be given a look.

  12. SJ, i got your message. Somehow your post did not get in the bin. Sorry about that. That’s happened to me but rarely. I now write posts in Word and paste in so that I have a back up.

  13. Thanks for the reply, Mr Crawford. Will chalk it up to the great Internet editor deeming my work irrelevant & unworthy. ✒⚠💥


  14. hey, ya’ll remember alcyee hastings U.S. Representative for Florida’s 20th congressional district, serving in Congress since 1993?  can’t imagine he’s the only one still around after several scandals weighed against what voters value and still elect and re-elect.  no surprise if same thing happens in Alabama or even that (god forbid) the twit gets another term to trash the country.  grand tradition in good ole usa…

  15. MrDoodlesdog,

    Mr Olbermann’s first love is baseball, has been since he was a child. It makes him happy. He has worked in media since he was a teenager. Politics is mean, ugly, old & unproductive on a commonsense level. He has said what he wanted to say. Good for him to choose having a life & enjoying it  🙂


  16. Well, back from TG in NYC.  It was fun in many respects – did the iconic things, got Mrs. P’s Mom to see the Macy’s parade, Rockettes’ Christmas Extravaganza and Balanchine’s Nutcracker, with a trip to the Top of the Rock and a Central Park carriage ride to boot – all on her first trip to NYC.  (I skipped the Nutcracker – went to see Dylan instead).  It was mild for late November – generally in the 50s, so a good time was had by all.

    Be interesting to see what the Lauer story reveals – strikes me as odd that a guy as valuable to NBC would be fired over one workplace incident.

    So Keith has had enough.  Sorry to hear that – Trump ain’t out yet.  I hope he’ll at least get a gig writing periodic political commentary – and hopefully with a higher profile publication like the Times, the Post , The Globe….

  17. the hill:

    “Well, he’s a little obsessed with me, but I think it’s partly his own ego because he knows I got more votes and he knows that there are questions about the election that deserve answers,” Clinton said in the interview. “And he knows I’m still speaking out, I haven’t retreated under a rock somewhere.”

    Trump, she argues, attacks familiar targets because much of the country viewed the last election as a battle to determine the lesser of two evils.

    “It’s also part of his political strategy. It is something that he knows his hard-core supporters will respond to, and he’s trying to keep them on board,” Clinton explained. “When in trouble in the Congress or the Russian investigation, his go-to targets are President Obama and me, and African Americans. It just is part of how he responds.”

    The former secretary of state was not shy in her criticism of Trump, accusing him of attracting “people who had racial animosity, bigotry, prejudice,” to his campaign.

    “I saw from the beginning of Trump’s campaign, really before, when he signed on to the “birther” lie about President Obama, that he was willing to use the dog whistle to attract people who had racial animosity, bigotry, prejudice,” she said. “And throughout the campaign, he continued that. He was kind of an equal opportunity bigot.”

    an example of what she’s talking about re twit using bigotry to deflect, also from the hill:

    On Wednesday, Trump re-tweeted a series of videos purporting to show violent acts by Muslims sent out by the leader of the ultranationalist Britain First Party, Jayda Fransen.

  18. Mr. D, i don’t have any insight into Keith’s latest move. But I seriously doubt he can stay away from political commentary for very long.

  19. A friend said of KO’s ending his #Resistance videos: “Wow. He has confidence Trump is going down.”

    Mr. O deserves his political retirement, and many glorious days of baseball. We’ll always have his Thurber readings, won’t we.

  20. Thanks, Craig. Hmmm. I’ll cling to that. And how could KO avoid commentary (at least an “I told you so”) when we finally bid/boot *45 adieu aka “Scram!”

  21. mac attack alert to all ye appletinis!

    the guardian:

    MacOS High Sierra bug: blank password lets anyone take control of a Mac

    Apple working on emergency fix for flaw that allows access to secure preferences with username ‘root’ and subsequent bypass of lock screen

  22. another story that may be of interest in the guardian today:

    For Mormon women, saying #MeToo presents a particular challenge

    Sexual abuse survivors say notions of modesty and patriarchal authority make speaking out difficult: ‘There’s a lot of pressure to forgive and to not rock the boat’

  23. Harking back to the last thread and workplace decorum and complaints:

    There was a newsroom of good size I worked in. It was Lebowski-bowling lane cavernous. And near the middle of it was an editor who would loudly refer to women who passed by as wenches and bitches.

    That wasn’t done to me (that I knew of) but it was loud and within earshot of my work station. It was stunningly offensive and it just went on and on. One day, I’d had enough and went to HR, where I was assured it would be looked into.

    Upshot: I was later taken aside in the newsroom and told that “wenches” and “bitches” were not offensive terms in this instance. No, they were part of this editor’s cosplay and were used as terms of endearment. The reaction to my complaint was, from my perception, “Don’t you get it, spoilsport?”

    The editor did stop with the “wenches” and “bitches,” though  Maybe I wasn’t the only one to complain. She kept her job, and I never heard of her going to any individual corrective HR training afterward.


  24. Reading from Tom Namako, citing AP: Garrison Keillor says he’s been fired by Minnesota Public Radio over allegations of inappropriate behavior.

  25. patD – “For Mormon women…” and women who were unfortunate enough to be born into geographical areas/religious world views that abuse and mute them…which is a lot of women in this old world.

    By the way, I never said Al should get a pass; I figured he won’t because he admitted to what he did, unlike Moore.

    Now I wonder if he admitted it because he thought it was a forgivable level of harassment?

  26. catching up on comments from yesterday…

    mrdd: You really hit the nail on the head for me. Actually, two heads. First trumplestiltskin: All the ridiculous witch hunting that’s going on…kill them all, string them up, don’t bother investigating just condemn them…just makes my blood boil when I know that we have an avowed sexual predator at the head of our government. Not only has he never apologized for anything, he brags about it. Second: “The Reign of Terror trivializes rape as it magnifies the importance of personal comfort zones. If you “felt” groped, why then …” Exactly! Where is this all going to end? How will serious sexual abuse & harassment ever be taken seriously again?

    Travis: Thank you for sharing your story. It’s a prime example of what happens when people rush to judgment over someone misinterpreting some words and actions. In your case it was dealt with swiftly and accurately with lessons learned on all sides. That’s how it should be done. Thankfully, for you, it wasn’t on a national scale. Because even if your witness verifying your actions & the original reporter herself realizing she overreactied, the damage would already be done as is happening w/Franken.

    Craig: “Granny, I get what you’re saying but fears of unfair accusations shouldn’t justify ignoring, discounting, or even ridiculing claims against political figures we might like.” I NEVER suggested anything should be ignored, justified or discounted! I’ve worked for women’s rights and against abuse of all kinds all my adult life. What I say is:

    1. women are not children. They can take responsibility for their actions in several ways and if they feel an actually violation took place they can report it to whatever authorities are available to them and it should be investigated (as in Travis’ situation) In this hideous age of the internet and instant gratification, that’s not what is happening.

    2. As for exusing a politician that I like…I had no opinion re Al Franken before this mess started. I do have an opinion about ruining a man for stupid things he did many years ago when he was not a public servant. At that standard every class clown should never be allowed to have any important job ever, and we should not believe in personal growth and the ability to change. From what I’ve read those accusations have been debunked or refuted by many people who were involved at the time, including the original complainant. Those accounts aren’t getting nearly the attention as the accusations.

    3.  Mr Franken grew up and learned that jokes at the expense of women arnn’t funny. He learned his lesson, changed his behavior and has apologized. Certainly that makes him more deserving of a job in public service than many (maybe most) who are serving now.

    KGG: re missed oportunities with ads-I’d love to see the democrats run some of the ads you suggested. If they don’t start showing the public what’s actually being done to them they will not strengthen their position…are they even showing that they have a position right now? I hope we start devoting our time and energy to who’s who in the Dem party and how can we ensure that the cream of the crop rises to the top for ’18 and ’20 elections, especially who will be able to run for President. I’d like to see people under 70 start being a force to be reckoned with. The senior citizens of the party seem to still be getting the most attention. We need young blood now more than ever.

    Back to today’s news:

    sjwny: Just read up on Kathy Hochul. She might be a contender. Right age, good experience doesn’t seem to be part of a lot of muck-raking. I hope to hear and see more about her.

    So long KO I will miss you. I too would much rather talk baseball than deal with the rubbish that goes on in politics. Enjoy your retirement. Well earned.

    I suspect that with the asshat we have running our country it’s only a matter of time before another crisis occurs. I hope KO will come back if/when that happens.

    Just when you think trumplestiltskin can’t be more clueless or offensive he takes the opportunity to make a stupid Pocahontas reference and belittle Lizzie while speaking at a ceremony honoring WWII code talkers. What a moron.

    Meanwhile N. Korea says their new missile can reach Washington. Stay tuned!

  27. All the ridiculous witch hunting that’s going on…kill them all, string them up, don’t bother investigating just condemn them…just makes my blood boil when I know that we have an avowed sexual predator at the head of our government. Not only has he never apologized for anything, he brags about it.”

    granny, could what we are collectively experiencing in this moment of mania be considered transferential displacement?  we are so mad at the predator in chief we are lashing out at all who sin in like manner even though the sin is not in like magnitude.   

    this from wiki:

    In Freudian psychology, displacement (German: Verschiebung, “shift, move”) is an unconscious defense mechanism whereby the mind substitutes either a new aim or a new object for goals felt in their original form to be dangerous or unacceptable.

    also somewhat reminiscent of mass hysteria. wiki defines …mass hysteria (also known as collective hysteria, group hysteria, or collective obsessional behavior) is a phenomenon that transmits collective illusions of threats, whether real or imaginary, through a population in society as a result of rumors and fear (memory acknowledgment).

  28. Ya know….  all one has to do is look at history to know that whenever hysteria of any sort takes hold of a population…  there is always a resulting backlash.

    And considering how many powerful men are biting the dust….  boy oh boy…  is the upcoming backlash gonna be a doozy…

  29. I’m of the belief that the finger pointing in the political realm is almost exclusively the result of Roy Moore’s victims coming forward (which revived SF’s PG moment) and backlash from it.  Beyond that, I think it’s dangerous to try and generalize.  A lot of it seems to be in the entertainment industry, but we pay a lot of attention to that industry, so firings and accusations get picked up by the press and run with.

    Granny you seem to be in the somewhat of the same camp as me (or I could be misreading your comment in response to mrdd) – this stuff exists on a continuum of behavior from innocent to criminal, and you don’t want to see the criminal trivialized by focusing on the merely boorish and offensive, or worse, perceived boorish and offensive.  My take – everyone should be encouraged to report anything based on perception without fear of reprisal or retaliation of any sort, but we should not expect the same response to every perceived offense. A comment is not a suggestion is not a brush is not a touch is not a grab is not a rape and they should not be treated the same any more than we should expect all crimes to result in the same punishment.

    As general counsel at our local hospital I had a few sexual harassment complaints I had to investigate each year, some seemingly trivial and some seemingly serious.  In almost every case the complaint seemed to be an honest one, but in the end the results of the investigations varied from meritless to a firing offense.  (I always involved the manager(s) of the complaining party and the accused and made it clear to all that regardless of the outcome there would be no retaliation against the person who complained and that there would be no discussion or action taken outside the SH investigation and discipline framework).  They were not pleasant tasks to undertake. Having been charged with that responsibility, I don’t judge what should happen with this or that person accused of this stuff – I don’t have a clue what the underlying facts in each case are, and those facts make all the difference.

    That said, Roy Moore is an idiot, an assholian and if there’s any truth to the accusations, very likely a borderline pedophile – or at least he was one. Trump, just a sick old bastard who abused his power as a rich celebrity and owner of beauty pageants to get his rocks off.


  30. Granny, Patd and Renee, someone else agrees with us regarding this current  Reign of Terror:

    Garrison Keillor regarding his firing from Minnesota Public Radio, via

    In his statement to MPR, he reiterated that position, writing, “I think the country is in the grip of a mania — the whole Franken business is an absurdity,” adding that he wished someone would resist. “But I expect MPR to look out for itself, and meanwhile I feel awfully lucky to have hung on for so long.”

    If *45 skates on his admitted sexual predation, and we continue along this high-heeled path, history will be laughing at us.




  31. Trump can skate if Democrats skate. Hold your own accountable and he’ll be accountable. Zero tolerance.

  32. “And considering how many powerful men are biting the dust….  boy oh boy…  is the upcoming backlash gonna be a doozy…”

    renee, am afraid you’re right and that for awhile only women (at least an unusual increase) will be anchoring the news or will be the spokesperson for this or that industry and appear to have taken the reins of power, fully equal if not more so than the once dominant men….BUT a backlash is sure to come like the backlash against the freed slave and the empowerment of black men in politics, the reconstruction era  following the civil war with its ensuing violence and legislated bigotry.

    the smoldering resentment expressed on the internet towards Hillary for being so ambitious and uppity and competent and combative will be nothing compared to what the new backlash will bring.

  33. what’s the backlash? Men in power finally treating women with respect because they’ll get fired if they don’t? I don’t understand all this hand wringing. Ignoring this stuff was better?

  34. “Hold your own accountable and he’ll be accountable.”


    all we’ll end up with will be the twit more powerful than ever because the opposition has been cleansed/purified/weakened or ejected from power and his trumpians strengthened in number and vocally louder.

    okay, i’ll agree that each of the accused should be made accountable for his/her behavior as we all should, but that means the accounting corrective action taken should equal the weight and seriousness of the bad behavior. none of this wholesale chop off their heads stuff on one side thinking that displaying a show of fairness will entice a like comeuppance for the twit.

  35. PatD: “wholesale chop off their heads stuff”

    Whose head has been chopped off who didn’t deserve it?

  36. craig, we’ll never know if the dunked alleged was a witch and deserved to be drowned if there’s no due process before hand.

  37. remember the attacks on helen Thomas accusing her of anti-Semitism?  off with her head! don’t consider any personal mitigation, any complexity to her arguments….off with her head!

  38. Unfortunately, the only holding accountable for SF is through impeachment – Repug House, Repug Senate – not a chance in hell that will happen no matter how many Frankens are held to account.  And thanks to the evangelical hypocrite vote in AL, Roy Moore will be sitting in the Senate while Franken is trying to remember how to write comedy sketches if Franken were to step down.  It’s a conundrum – absent some strong bipartisan board (Constitutionality of the same aside) – and I mean evenly balanced board with the power to remove elected officials – nothing dems do to dems will cause pugns to do anything to pugns. I’m afraid taking the moral high road will only lead to a more lopsided pugn balance in congress.

  39. Poobah, like I said, I won’t comment on the validity of firings – I just don’t know the facts underlying the allegations. As to Harvey however, seems there’s more than enough out there to justify his firing.

  40. OK I give up on this discussion. Let Franken and Conyers keep their jobs, see how that works out with suburban women who could deliver Congress to the Democrats.

  41. What a day.  eh?

    I think it is important to grasp that the media is tossing out its men of power.  Many others are lesser known and are on page 4 or 8 or 11, but they are there.  Why media?  Clearing out high priced contracts? Perhaps.  Clearing out nasty, self-absorbed prima donna’s? Perhaps.  I do not know, but I am thinking there is more to the to this purge and with the focus on the media there is a lot more to it.

    When will SFB  crash?  It looks and sounds like he is on the edge of crashing and it will not end well for the rest of us.  Someone is going to have to get the extra large net to capture him when he is out on the Mall howling at the moon.


  42. I invite anyone to write a post for tomorrow because I don’t understand the apparent consensus view here that sexual harassment just doesn’t matter against political/media figures you like while instantly embracing allegations against those you don’t like. Am I wrong? Please explain.

  43. Well, I’m not part of the consensus unless the consensus is to let due process play out and have equal or at least fair consequences for all, regardless of party affiliation or popularity of the show or person.

    For politicians that’s at the voting booth.  SF was elected after his PG admission.  Roy Moore will be elected after disclosure of his pedophiliac past. Wouldn’t an equal treatment of Conyers and Franken be to leave them to the judgment of their constituents?  Or am I missing something about equal treatment?

  44. Pogo: “Roy Moore will be elected after disclosure of his pedophiliac past.”

    Where was Roy’s due process? This is my point. Insisting on due process cannot legitimately be politically situational.

  45. Roy had as much “due process” as you can get decades after the events.  You either believe the women and the testimony of those who knew or associated with them in some fashion, plus adding all his other negatives of arguing for females not having the right to vote and his poisonous religiosity.   After that it is totally up to the voters of Alabama.

    This is entirely different than present time events or in Franken’s case the willingness to submit to an Ethics hearing where those complaining could be heard.


  46. Time Inc has been sold to the Koch Brothers.  Here is the list of publications you might want to cancel:

    Sports Illustrated
    Travel +
    Leisure Food & Wine
    Golf Magazine
    Southern Living
    Real Simple
    Entertainment Weekly

  47. Craig: I’m likening it to a witch hunt because most of what I’ve been seeing shows very little that looks like any actual investigations are happening. You say you just don’t understand where some of us are coming from but I don’t think you’re listening (reading) or maybe not hearing (interpretation). Where some of us want justice and investigation you seem to want to throw out the baby with the bath water. None of this is going to help either men or women in the long run. My bottom line is: believe a woman and investigate all accusation equally, don’t blindly dismiss the accusers or blindly lynch the accused. We’ve had a couple of trail hands describe being in positions of doing those things for their companies in the past. That’s how it should be done. I don’t see what’s hard to understand about that.

    Final thought (I hope). It’s very sad that Garrison Keillor has been caught up in the backlash. I don’t know when or how this will end but I, for one, have had enough.

  48. All things being equal, Donny’s bad behavior with women would oust his orange arse.   However, all things are not equal & he will stay, while others pay.

  49. Most of the men who have been outed seem to have a history of this behavior. Most of the people I’ve talked to about this have said, “I’ve heard rumors about “him” for a long time.”  I read the “Variety” article tonight about Matt Lauer and it was pretty detailed about his bad behavior when it concerned women. I don’t get these men who apologize and say, “That’s not who I am.” or “That’s not in my character.” Well, at some point it was. Otherwise, these stories wouldn’t be coming out. I don’t doubt the sincerity of some of these men who have apologized and I know that none of us are perfect, but some of these stories have left me scratching my head.  What on earth made these men think that some of the things they did or said was a good idea? I think a lot of people are angry seeing all these men lose their jobs while Trumpy sits in the White House unaffected by his past bad behavior.

  50. Poobah,  c’mon, you’re a lawyer. Due process is situational by its nature. Like it or not, Roy Moore’s  due process is limited strictly to the voters at this point, Franken’s is under the Congressional ethics structure.

  51. Corey: “What on earth made these men think that some of the things they did or said was a good idea?”

    amen pal

  52. Corey,  “I think a lot of people are angry seeing all these men lose their jobs while Trumpy sits in the White House unaffected by his past bad behavior.”

    As Craig said, amen, pal.

  53. Seeing men lose their jobs is exactly what will ultimately hold Trump accountable. Excusing them is how he escapes scrutiny.

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