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Such as whether you, as a potential Republican Senator, will pledge to investigate claims that the Chamber of Commerce is soliciting foreign money to be placed in bank accounts being used to run campaign attack ads.

You run!


Addendum: Al Franken asks the FEC to investigate.

On Politically Incorrect back in the 1990s talking about sex education and communists in the White House.

Part 1:

Part 2:

Franken’s first legislative win – the government will not hire contractors who mandate arbitration clauses for victims of sexual harassment or assault.  The text is as follows:

Sec. 8104. (a) None of the funds appropriated or otherwise made available by this Act may be used for any existing or new Federal contract if the contractor or a subcontractor at any tier requires that an employee or independent contractor, as a condition of employment, sign a contract that mandates that the employee or independent contractor performing work under the contract or subcontract resolve through arbitration any claim under title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 or any tort related to or arising out of sexual assault or harassment, including assault and battery, intentional infliction of emotional distress, false imprisonment, or negligent hiring, supervision, or retention.

It arose from a particular story of a brutal rape victim, drugged and attacked by her fellow KBR employees and denied legal recourse.  Franken grills the KBR attorney.

30 Senators voted against the amendment – all of them Republicans.  Only Jon Stewart can respond to that.

Vodpod videos no longer available.

more about “Stewart“, posted with vodpod

Al Franken at the Minnesota State Fair, drawing the US freehand.

And this video is interesting on several levels.  The most left wing senator and one of the most conservative up against each other several weeks ago on Lou Dobbs’ show, and he let them go on for a good five minutes.  The arguments are all well known by now, and this was before the death panel and IRS-will-get-you cards were played (and actually, I don’t think Hatch has been pushing those themes – he’s right wing, but he does have some integrity).  Still, you have that dualism in the conservative argument – the public option is inferior for consumers, but the private sector can’t compete.

The first hour anyway.

My favorite snippet to listen for:

Thompson:  In all of the bills the public option is mandated to have its costs covered by the premiums paid by the participants.

Heckler:  Who’s going to pay for it?!!!


Here’s a clip of a very productive discussion with Al Franken, captured on Youtube with the following introduction:

I got to witness something really special. About a dozen tea party activists had staked out Franken’s booth, and confronted him loudly when he arrived. But within minutes, he’d turned an unruly crowd into a productive conversation on health care. The discussion went from insurance reform, to the public option, to veterans benefits, to cap and trade. He made a few laugh and even told a touching story that moved a few to tears. A whole lot of common ground was found.

Franken explains his vote to confirm Sonia Sotomayor pretty eloquently, with some rhetorical reframing of the debate drawing dark glares from some of the right side of the aisle.

A good start.  I hope he rolls up his sleeves for the pending health care debate.  Word is out that the Progressive Caucus may sink the healthcare bill if the public option is watered down.

Flanked by Senator Amy Klobuchar and Walter Mondale.

Let’s hope the Democratic leadership doesn’t force him to become boring.

Lots of photos, history, and context in this Daily Kos post.

Addendum: TPM on “Remembering the Funny Al Franken” with lots of videos harvested from Youtube.  I wish more early SNL vids with Franken would find their way onto Youtube as well, now that some of the old skits are available on DVD.

Anybody remember this classic from SNL?

Jane Curtin: Well, the 1970’s are in their final month, and with some thoughts on this decade and the one we’re about to enter, here’s Weekend Update’s Social Sciences Editor Al Franken.

Al Franken: Thank you, Jane. Well, the “me” decade is almost over, and good riddance, and far as I’m concerned. The 70’s were simply 10 years of people thinking of nothing but themselves. No wonder we were unable to get together and solve any of the many serious problems facing our nation. Oh sure, some people did do some positive things in the 70’s – like jogging – but always for the wrong reasons, for their own selfish, personal benefit. Well, I believe the 80’s are gonna have to be different. I think that people are going to stop thinking about themselves, and start thinking about me, Al Franken. That’s right. I believe we’re entering what I like to call the Al Franken Decade. Oh, for me, Al Franken, the 80’s will be pretty much the same as the 70’s. I’ll still be thinking of me, Al Franken. But for you, you’ll be thinking more about how things affect me, Al Franken. When you see a news report, you’ll be thinking, “I wonder what Al Franken thinks about this thing?”, “I wonder how this inflation thing is hurting Al Franken?” And you women will be thinking, “What can I wear that will please Al Franken?”, or “What can I not wear?” You know, I know a lot of you out there are thinking, “Why Al Franken?” Well, because I thought of it, and I’m on TV, so I’ve already gotten the jump on you. So, I say let’s leave behind the fragmented, selfish 70’s, and go into the 80’s with a unity and purpose. That’s what I think. I’m Al Franken. Jane?

Jane Curtin: Thank you, Al. That’s the news. Good night, and have a pleasant tomorrow.

The Minnesota Supreme Court has uninimously declared Franken the winner over incumbent Norm Coleman.  As surreal as it sounds, Al Franken is the newest US Senator.

Is it over?  Will Coleman appeal to Federal Court?  Will Republican Governor Tim Pawlenty execute the certification?  Will the Federal Court grant Coleman an injunction against certification?  Will the Senate Republicans filibuster Franken’s confirmation?

Coleman is holding a press conference at 4:00 eastern time, which is about a half hour away from this posting.

Pawlenty has said he would sign the certification.

TPM has a slide show of the trial.  And Franken’s career.

The photo comes from TPM.

Update: It’s over.  Norm concedes.

Addendum: someone brought my attention to this amusing clip from a debate between Franken and our favorite hippie.

Posted by request, but of less interest I think, is a brief clip of a confrontation between Al and Norm following a debate.  Franken’s wife gets in between them.  Not sure why it’s post-worthy, but I aim to please.

Tom Davis reminisces about being arrested with Franken.

Second addendum: The Freepers are freaking out.

Third addendum: TPM headline – Murdoch Press Blows a Gasket over Franken Win

His challenge was unanimously “dismissed with prejudice.”

There will be an appeal to the Minnesota Supreme Court (if there are any justices left to hear the case) and then probably to the federal courts, but the current time estimate is that Franken will be seated sometime in May or June.  A couple of wildcard considerations are whether Republican Governor Tim Pawlenty will sign the certification, and whether the Republicans will filibuster, the threat of which has caused the Democrats to back down in pretty much every confrontration this year.


July 2020