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Tuesday: Franken wins. Finally. Sort of.

A three judge panel ruled that Franken was the winner of November’s election and firmly rejected Norm Coleman’s claims to the contrary.  This after a 3 month trial where Norm Coleman tried to get many previously rejected absentee ballots included but instead only increased Franken’s lead over him.  Franken wins by a little over 300 votes.

So, you would think that the election board could certify him and after 6 long months Minnesota would have a senator, right?  Silly readers, MN is governed by a Republican, Tim Pawlenty.  Besides, the GOP party apparatus never let little things like votes stand in the way of victory.  Come to think of it, neither does the Democratic party anymore, but I digress.  Norm Coleman has 10 days to file an appeal.  According to Richard Hasen, election law expert, Coleman’s case was dealt a heavy blow by the panel:

“It is the kind of opinion that is unlikely to be disturbed on appeal by either the Minnesota Supreme Court or the United States Supreme Court,” said Richard Hasen, an expert on election law at Loyola Law School in Los Angeles. “The opinion considers the major arguments made by Coleman and rejects them in a detailed and measured way.”

Added University of Minnesota political scientist Lawrence Jacobs: “This is judicial speak for ‘nothing here,’ and it is most definitely aimed at the appeals process. It’s a signal that they are supremely unimpressed by the Coleman case.”

Now, no one who read the panel’s ruling thinks that Coleman has a chance in hell of succeeding but that’s not the point.  The point is to keep this dragging out as long as possible.  If he has 10 days to file an appeal, we can expect it to be filed at 11:59pm on the 10th day.  That will be 10 fewer days that Franken gets to be senator.  And then there is the appeals process itself, which is going to cost mucho dinero.  Would Norm Coleman take his case to the Supreme Court even if he hasn’t got a prayer of winning?  Um, yeah.  Would the Supreme Court take up the case. ponder it for awhile and then eventually rule in Franken’s favor?  Sure.  That’s as it should be, in Karl Rove’s world.  Keep Franken out of the Senate for as long as possible.  Having him in there makes Republicans dangerously irrelevent.  Well, at least the Democrats would have no further excuses for acting like bankers have them by the junk.  Come to think of it, *both* parties may have an interest in keeping him out of the Senate…

If you want to see Franken seated, eventually, donate here and help him keep up the good fight.


Note to new readers: The Confluence and it’s frontpagers have no interest in the COLB (Certificate of Live Birth) controversy and think that if Obama *is* a Muslim, he has a very weird way of showing it. Frankly, we feel that there are many legitimate reasons to object to Barack Obama’s rise to power and the presidency and that the birth certificate issue is just a unproductive distraction.  We don’t want to offend anyone who still thinks it is important, but we encourage you to get your fix on a more accomodating blog, like NoQuarter.  Any comments on COLB or Obama’s illusory ties to Islam here may be subject to moderation.

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Saturday: Al Franken wins recount in MN

The Minneapolis Star Tribune says it is over:

Norm Coleman’s term as a U.S. senator ended at noon Washington time on Saturday, and by evening his hopes of winning a second term had been dealt an expected but serious setback as state officials counted previously rejected absentee ballots in St. Paul.

DFLer Al Franken held an unofficial lead of 225 votes over Coleman, according to a newspaper tally of the officials’ count of the absentee ballots. Franken had led unofficially by 49 votes going into the day and gained a net 176 votes from the new ballots.

With the recount complete, focus immediately shifted to the Minnesota Supreme Court, which continued to consider a request from the Coleman campaign to alter the process and add more absentee ballots to be reconsidered. But by early evening there was no word from the state’s highest court as to when it would rule or hear arguments.

Sounds pretty definitive to me but Republicans don’t give up easily so expect them to drrrraaaaagggg this out until the middle of next term. But it sounds like it is possible for Franken to be seated next Tuesday along with the other freshman.

We expect great things from Franken. Frank Lautenberg is no Borscht Belt comic but he did an adequate job with the Chickenhawk concept.

Now, we’re not saying that this wasn’t funny but someone in the Senate graphics department is suffering from a failure to imaginate funny chickens.

On the other hand, Al is going to have to try really hard to top Senator Ted Stevens’ description of the internet.


{{Catching breath, wiping eyes, clearing throat}}

But seriously, Al Franken is a serious liberal who used humor to get his point across during the gloomiest days of Movement Conservatism.

We need him more than ever in the session to come. So, Congratulations, Al.

Now, get to work.

On the 2008 Weblog Awards front: The 2008 Weblog Awards site features a lot of finalists in categories we’d never heard of before.  Over the next week, we’d like to spotlight a few for your consideration.  Our first one, recommended by myiq2xu, is Nice Deb, from the Best Small Blog category.  Tonight, Deb takes a look at Obama and his menagerie of magical creatures in I Don’t Get It and poses this important etiquette question: when is it appropriate to appear in the nude with a magical creature?  Take a look and send some mojo Deb’s way.

PUMA Cocktail Party: Cherish the Ladies

There have been several publicized reports of the effects of women in politics. Bottom line: “it’s a good thing”, as Martha would say.

For example, take the recent study on math education that was in a recent issue of Science. All things being equal, girls perform as well as or better than boys in math. There is only a slight difference in spatial abilities and these differences vanish with the top performing girls. But the researchers noted that some countries showed much better female performance than others. When they examined the factors that lead to discrepencies between countries, here’s what they found:

Having recognized gender gaps that expanded and contracted from country to country, Sapienza and colleagues examined social features that might explain the changes. Other researchers had shown that social conditioning and gender-biased environments can impact test performance, so Sapienza and colleagues used four tools to measure how well women were integrated into each society compared with men. The first measure was the Gender Gap Index (GGI) developed by the World Economic Forum (WEF; see Hausmann et. al. 2006). “There are a number of variables that go into the Gender Gap Index,” said Sapienza. “For example, it measures resources given to women who want to work, such as maternity leave and child care facilities. Participation of women in labor is also a big factor, as is their role in political leadership.”

Ding! Ding! Ding! If you want more equality, better quality of life, more opportunities, elect more women. The magic formula is 30%. With 30% of the body politic composed of women, you should see a profound change in society. Like, maybe we won’t have election wins for women nullified in favor of a male candidate? It’s a thought.

So, tonight, we are celebrating women in politics. We have a slate of women who need your help this year, ‘cos they sure as heck aren’t getting any from Obama. Take a look at our ActBlue for The Confluence page and send a few buckaroos to the lady of your choice, or all of them.

Welcome to the PUMA cocktail party! Now is the time to kick off your shoes, grab a drink ad relax with your friends. Our bartender with flair is Rico. You can find him to the left of the door working on a sudoku puzzle. His cocktail du jour is a snagglepooty. It’s a bit on the sweet side so if you prefer, you can purchase a Causmo for $10.00. Tonight’s cause is Heidi Li’s Democrats for Principle before Party to pay for ads in Capital Hill newspapers.

Our musical entertainment tonight consists of two sister acts: The Burns Sisters and The Guthrie Sisters who teamed up for some sweet harmony on this bluesy tune:

Ladies and gents, we run a respectable joint. If you’ve got something to say that is likely to break some chairs, take it outside or leave your trigger words with our lovely checkroom attendant, Florence. The waiters will be circulating soon with duck confit with black cherry spread and bleu cheese, sea scallops with bacon and green apple and haricot verts with valencia oranges and hazlenuts. Please dring responsibly and tip your wait staff generously.

I’m off to back to school night. I’ll be back at 10PM EST for Conflucians Say on PUMA United Radio (PURrrr) and we’ll pick up this cocktail party where I left off. Later taters….