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Trump weighs in on Franken

Plus: Twins radio broadcasts going back to WCCO; Met Council member questions exclusive use of LRT for Super Bowl ticket-holders; state task force sets new limits on opioid prescriptions; and more.

President Donald Trump
REUTERS/Kevin Lamarque

In the New York Times, Nicholas Fandos writes: “The storm that enveloped Mr. Franken in a matter of hours marked a merger of sorts between the harassment scandals darkening the political world and the grave misconduct marring the entertainment industry. … President Trump, who has himself been accused of sexual harassment by multiple women and has refrained from weighing in on the accusations against Mr. Moore, wrote on Twitter late Thursday that ‘The Al Frankenstien picture is really bad, speaks a thousand words.’ He continued the tweet in a cruder manner: ‘Where do his hands go in pictures 2, 3, 4, 5 & 6 while she sleeps?’ Earlier, response from Republicans and Democrats alike was swift and unsparing.”

More reax. At Newsweek, Julia Glum writes, “Calls for Senator Al Franken’s resignation were circulating on social media Thursday after news anchor Leeann Tweeden publicly accused the Minnesota Democrat of inappropriately kissing and groping her in 2006. Former Alaska Governor Sarah Palin told reporters she thought Franken should step down. Comedian Kathy Griffin flatly tweeted that he should be replaced. Women’s organization UltraViolet demanded accountability … while actress Alyssa Milano chimed in to say, ‘Sorry, [Franken], you should not be in a position to represent the female constituents in your state.’”

And at WCCO-TV, Esme Murphy reminds us, “two things from [Franken’s] comedic past surfaced that almost derailed his political career. An article in the March 1995 issue of ‘New York’ magazine contained a fly-on-the-wall account of Franken in the ‘Saturday Night Live’ offices …. Franken was quoted discussing a sketch with fellow writers Jim Downey and Norm Macdonald, the latter of whom was to play former ‘60 Minutes’ commentator Andy Rooney. While riffing on ideas involving Rooney finding an empty bottle of sedatives in his desk, Franken suggested Rooney say he had used the drugs to sedate and rape fellow ‘60 Minutes’ correspondent Lesley Stahl.”

In other news, the Met Council has concerns. The Strib’s Janet Moore writes: “A member of the Metropolitan Council expressed concern Thursday regarding a decision to restrict light rail service on Super Bowl Sunday to just game ticket holders with a special Metro Transit pass. Gary Cunningham … said he found out about the arrangement by reading the newspaper, and was subsequently contacted by ‘numerous constituents.’” 

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‘CCO gets the Twins back. The Strib’s Phil Miller writes: “For the first 46 years of their existence, the Twins could always be found on WCCO radio. So in a sense, they are going home. The Twins and WCCO will reunite for the 2018 season and beyond, multiple sources confirmed Thursday, after 11 seasons on other outlets. An announcement is expected as soon as Friday. Twins games have been broadcast on Go 96.3, an FM station owned by team owner Jim Pohlad and his family, since 2013.”

Speaking of good (or not) neighbors … The Pioneer Press’ S.M. Chavey writes: “After 20 years as the focus of complaints, police calls and code violations, Gilbert Mancheski lost a legal battle and will have to sell his Maplewood home and leave the city forever. .… The city sued Mancheski in August, and the decision came back in its favor Monday. Closing is scheduled for Nov. 27.”

Latest opioids effortJeremy Olson in the Strib writes: “In Minnesota’s latest effort to combat the abuse of prescription painkillers, a state task force has set new limits on opioid prescriptions by doctors who participate in the state’s Medicaid program. The rule, adopted Thursday by the state’s Opioid Prescribing Work Group, says that doctors who exceed a new state dosage limit for more than half their patients would receive warnings and training. If they don’t bring their dosage amounts down, they would eventually face removal from the Medicaid program, which covers roughly 20 percent of Minnesota’s population and has broad influence on providers.”

Finally, something not horribleMPR’s Bob Collins writes: “Stacey Elsenpeter, of Andover, got the Ellen DeGeneres treatment in a segment that aired [Thursday] when the show surprised Elsenpeter, a single mom who participated in a parent-kidney exchange to find a match for her son, Zach, who was born with kidney failure.Stacey wasn’t a match to donate a kidney to her son, so she donated a kidney to a stranger, instead. Three years later, a stranger donated a kidney to Zach.”