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Franken objects to Lieberman taking a 'moment' for extra Senate remarks

Updated 5:52 p.m.
By Joel Achenbach
Tensions flared in the Senate during an otherwise slow afternoon Thursday when Sen. Joe Lieberman asked for unanimous consent to extend some remarks on health care for "an additional moment." He didn't get it.

Lieberman, the independent from Connecticut, has in recent days infuriated his fellow members of the Democratic caucus by nixing any form of public health insurance in the Senate health-care reform bill under consideration. His actions have particularly enraged liberals, one of whom, Sen. Al Franken, the freshman Democrat from Minnesota, happened to taking his turn presiding over the Senate when Lieberman made his request to extend his allotted 10 minutes.

"In my capacity as the senator from Minnesota, I object," Franken said.

"Really?" Lieberman said, clearly shocked.

He chuckled. "Okay," Lieberman said, as if talking to himself. "Don't take it personally."

Moments later, Sen. John McCain, the Arizona Republican who had Lieberman's energetic support during the 2008 presidential campaign, expressed outrage at what he'd just witnessed.

"I don't know what's happening here in this body, but I think it's wrong," McCain said. "I'll tell you, I have never seen a member denied an extra minute or so, as the chair just did."

Sen. Carl Levin (D-Mich.) quickly corrected McCain, saying that the same thing happened earlier in the afternoon.

He was referring to an attempt by Sen. John Cornyn of Texas (R.) to extend remarks by two minutes. Mark Begich (D-Alaska) was presiding at that moment, and objected. When Cornyn pointed out that there was no one else waiting to speak in the nearly empty chamber and demanded an explanation for Begich's objection, Begich backed down and Cornyn proceeded.

McCain, however, had missed that exchange.

"I just haven't seen it before myself, and I don't like it and I think it's -- it harms the comity of the Senate not to allow one of our members at least a minute," McCain said.

Lieberman laughed off the incident as much ado about nothing when he returned to the chamber a couple of hours later. He said that Franken apparently was following procedures for sticking to time limits that had been handed down by Senate leaders. Franken had made a good-natured gesture with his hands, Lieberman said, "as if to say 'There's nothing I can do'."

Lieberman said he appreciated his good friend McCain coming to his defense.

"No hard feelings," he said.

By Web Politics Editor  |  December 17, 2009; 4:34 PM ET
Categories:  44 The Obama Presidency  
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Comments

Hack Alert!

This story is just plain wrong. But the facts didn't get in the way of the Post's efforts to paint Franken as a vindictive partisan.

Reid mandated 10 minutes max. (b/c conservatives were delaying on purpose) - Franken was just following orders. And the same thing happened earlier in the day (with Bevich in the Franken role). But WaPo didn't think to check that out.

Terrible what's happened to journalism, these days. Just terrible.

Link to debunk: http://mediamatters.org/blog/200912180032

Posted by: lgraham1 | December 20, 2009 5:41 PM | Report abuse

Joe Lieberman (I-Israel) is the finest U.S. Senator from the Middle East.

Posted by: MarkinJC | December 19, 2009 1:49 PM | Report abuse

About 3 months ago, my husband and I both lost our jobs. Now, money being tight, but wanting to get involved, Someone on Foxnews comments section mentioned a website that I found to be amazing. Two weeks ago, I went to the website for the first time. The site is a FREE, non-partisan website that makes it really easy for people to send letters to their politicians. They pretty much automated the process from the addresses of all the politicians, to the same-day delivery of your letters. The really cool thing that got my attention is that, not only could I send a letter to the President, Vice President, Senators, Congressman, but I could select to send my letter to complete Senate and Congressional committees. All I can say is WOW! After writing the body of the letter in the template, I had the option to print the letters off and mail them myself, or have Dearpolitician.org FAX them to all the politicians that I chose for FREE. The total amount of letters, including a Senate committee and a Congressional committee, was 53 in all. Over the past few days I have gotten 13 responses from politicians from the letter I wrote.

Posted by: paytonmarx | December 18, 2009 10:06 PM | Report abuse

He was powerful in what he did. The Senate has reach a level of ineffectiveness.

And in regards to good will--the Republicans have reached a new low.

Posted by: 411Tibby | December 18, 2009 10:02 PM | Report abuse

I think Al Franken should go back to working on SNL. This job he has is a joke.

Posted by: susies229 | December 18, 2009 8:46 PM | Report abuse

The Jester speaks and the world stops. What the heck is going on in Washington? Send the SNL clown back to NYC.

Posted by: 45upnorth | December 18, 2009 8:24 PM | Report abuse

Please do not compare poor, suffering dying cats with Lieberman's insufferable blather. Perhaps we the people would more aptly be compared because we suffer because of him.

Good for Franken. That had to be hard to do, considering his junior status.

Posted by: moorpheus | December 18, 2009 5:01 PM | Report abuse

It could have been worse. I am sure Franken would have rather carried Lieberman over his head and thrown him into the power generator of the Senate building. It would have been poetic. Did Lieberman get angry enough to have electric bolts fly from his fingertips?

Posted by: steveboyington | December 18, 2009 3:32 PM | Report abuse

Joe Lieberman has never spoken for just a "moment" more in his life.

Posted by: edismae | December 18, 2009 3:30 PM | Report abuse

Lieberman and McCain are hardly an example of bi-partisianship.

Name calling (jerk from Minnesota) certainly illustrates a person who has a hold on the issues and is making an intelligent decision.

Posted by: 1969dale | December 18, 2009 2:20 PM | Report abuse

Lieberman and McCain are hardly an example of bi-partisianship.

Name calling (jerk from Minnesota) certainly illustrates a person who has a hold on the issues and is making an intelligent decision.

Posted by: 1969dale | December 18, 2009 2:20 PM | Report abuse

Comity. The high-falutin' way of saying we are Senators, and nobody tells us what to do. For the record, this is nothing compared to VP Cheney telling Pat Leahy to go f himself on the Senate floor. For the record, I LOVED that episode, for few people deserve to hear that more than Pat Leahy. I also LOVE this episode, for few people deserve to be told to just shut up than Lieberman.

Posted by: steveboyington | December 18, 2009 2:19 PM | Report abuse

Everything Lieberman says can and will be used against him on judgement day. Franken has done him a favor by shutting him up. What a mealy-mouthed whiner! He sounds like a dying cat.

The insurance industry owns Lieberman. While insurance is the largest source of income in Connecticut, that money only goes to a relative few money-hogs in Hartford. Statewide the majority of citizens want a public option, but when money talks, democracy walks.

Those who have derailed this attempt to heel the sick are a disgrace to humanity, and they have innocent blood on their hands. Enjoy being a sucker to fat cat propaganda. You'll answer for it one day. Disgusting.

Posted by: rooster54 | December 18, 2009 2:13 PM | Report abuse

Hey, folks, calm down. Someone has to represent the invertebrates. Lieberman has stepped up to the plate to be that guy.

Posted by: steveboyington | December 18, 2009 1:39 PM | Report abuse

Joe is by far not one of my favorites in the Senatem, but he certainly is many heads above the jerk from Wisconsin. But, then again, who isn't?
Posted by: depoulins

_________________________________________

Who is the jerk from Wisconsin?
Sen. Franken (D) Minnesota ????

Do any of you conservatives have a clue?

Posted by: lostinthemiddle | December 18, 2009 1:22 PM | Report abuse

Some of the most inane comments I've ever seen on this liberal web site. These liberals were all in praise of Lieberman when he got reelected as an Independent but promised to vote with the Democratic Caucus which he has done 99% of the time.
Yet these ridiculous comments by liberals trying to kick Lieberman out of their caucus and out of his Chairmanship don't seem to realize that they need him on their side if they want their 60 vote majority in the Senate. Joe is by far not one of my favorites in the Senatem, but he certainly is many heads above the jerk from Wisconsin. But, then again, who isn't?

Posted by: depoulins | December 18, 2009 1:17 PM | Report abuse

Senator Franken didn't stop the Senator from the Insurance Industry from talking. He only refused the UNANIMOUS CONSENT to keep ON talking past his allotted time.

I'm not sure why anyone would think that the insurance industry isn't adequately represented in the Senate, just because one of their Senators wasn't permitted to continue running off at the mouth.

Posted by: Iconoblaster | December 18, 2009 12:49 PM | Report abuse

Thank you, Senator Franken. LIEberman has had enough time to show WE the People how he stands for the insurers and NOT for the people of his state or of this country!

Posted by: SpotlessCrab | December 18, 2009 12:33 PM | Report abuse

What Franken should has said is, Lieberman you prostitute sit down, your pole dancing for the Insurance executives is over for today.

Posted by: ginda | December 18, 2009 10:59 AM | Report abuse

Norm Coleman shoulda' won Minnesota, NOT some over-the-hill, pathetically-myopic, overly confident, under-talented self-professed satirist from yester-era. "Hack" of Lorne Michaels, whom I think is brilliant.

Same can be said about Frankens' political savviness. Sure, Lieberman's got his fault, as does McCain, but they have a far more honorable goal than some Freshman Senator that thinks he has a chance, aspiring to a second term, or higher-office.

Imagine 'Speaker-of-the-House' Franken. Although truthfully? It would take a quantum-leap to imagine ANYONE worse than Pelosi serving in this capacity.

Franken's nothing more than a blow-hard.

Posted by: pcps1975

_________________________________________

Speaker of the House?!?! Hey, craniorectal inversion victim, Senators don't become Speaker of the House. Congress is BICAMERAL. One chamber is The House of Representatives, one chamber is The Senate. If you don't already understand this basic knowledge of how our government works, you should stick to being a Lorne Michaels fan and leave the poliics to people serious enough to know what they are talking about.

Posted by: lostinthemiddle | December 18, 2009 10:42 AM | Report abuse

Norm Coleman shoulda' won Minnesota, NOT some over-the-hill, pathetically-myopic, overly confident, under-talented self-professed satirist from yester-era. "Hack" of Lorne Michaels, whom I think is brilliant.

Same can be said about Frankens' political savviness. Sure, Lieberman's got his fault, as does McCain, but they have a far more honorable goal than some Freshman Senator that thinks he has a chance, aspiring to a second term, or higher-office.

Imagine 'Speaker-of-the-House' Franken. Although truthfully? It would take a quantum-leap to imagine ANYONE worse than Pelosi serving in this capacity.

Franken's nothing more than a blow-hard.

Posted by: pcps1975 | December 18, 2009 10:21 AM | Report abuse

Socialists,like Franken, believe in freedom of speech only when you agree with them. SOCIALISTS WILL SHUT DOWN ANYONE WHO DISAGREES WITH THEM. THERE ARE NO FIRST AMENDMENT RIGHTS FOR OTHER POINTS OF VIEW IF YOU'RE A SOCIALIST!

Posted by: Dodgers1 | December 18, 2009 10:21 AM | Report abuse

It's about time someone stood up to the Senator from Aetna/Hartford. Too bad someone doesn't object anytime he opens his mouth! His self-serving comments only inflate his already gigantic ego and speak to the interests of the insurance giants. Take a lesson Senator Reid.....strip him of everything within the Democratic caucus.....chairmanship of Homeland Security, senority etc....let him bed down with Mc Cain, Pallin and the rest of the negative, industry owned Republicans he seems to like so much.

Posted by: dwatson1 | December 18, 2009 10:16 AM | Report abuse

Well, well ... a Senator that has integrity, cojones and Senate Rules. Thank you Al Franken for firing the first shot over the bow. Lieberman is a big pharma-prostitute, a turncoat and a lying SOB. I can only hope Sen Reid has a back-of-the-envelope plan to dump Turn-Back Joe from the Democratic Causus, strip that sleazy SOB from his commitee chairmanship and move his senate office to the lowest ranking digs possible. Lieberman is an independent alright ... he is independent of all intgrity.

As for the dolt on this blog that derides Franken being a comedian ... oh don't be so jealous of a guy that can buy and sell you a few thousand times ... and can make us all laugh while he does it. Get over it ...

Posted by: CAPinFLA | December 18, 2009 9:44 AM | Report abuse

How sad that Senator Windbag got "only" ten minutes to prattle on. Maybe other senators will grow a pair, like Senator Franken has, and stand up to Lieberman on a regular basis.

Posted by: gmcduluth | December 18, 2009 9:36 AM | Report abuse

He can't shake his true colors, still a comedian, this is not good as a representative of We the People, as he has become a complete a$$.

Posted by: boski66 | December 18, 2009 8:57 AM | Report abuse

Great work Senator Franken! This is why you are "Americas' Senator!"

Next time remember to add: "mr. LIEberman, why don't you just go ahead and move your desk down to "storage D" and don't forget to bring your stapler!"

"We need to make room in Congress for real public advocates, legislators, statesmen, and stateswomen. Corporate handpuppets, greed-monkeys, and shills are just hindering our work up here."

"Throughout history, it has been the inaction of those who could have acted; the indifference of those who should have known better; the silence of the voice of justice when it mattered most; that has made it possible for evil to triumph:" Haile Selassie

Posted by: MrTruth | December 18, 2009 8:19 AM | Report abuse

This is why people struggled so hard to keep this jerk out of office, everyone knows he does not belong in anything close to government. He cannot even govern his own mouth.

Posted by: prossers7 | December 18, 2009 5:13 AM | Report abuse

It was a public health protective measure.

As Lieberman was not sufficiently organized to 'spit it out' in ten minutes of whining, Big Al knew the Senate was past the EPA toxic limit...

Posted by: T-Prop | December 18, 2009 3:01 AM | Report abuse

al shud have told mccain he could give looserman some of HIS time, if he had any left.

looserman doesn't deserve anytime. he's a lying two faced backstabber.

Posted by: surlydoc | December 18, 2009 1:39 AM | Report abuse

and to you sen mccain?

all i have to say is that cindy called, and she said you forget to wear your depends tonight. she said to tell you, "whatever you do john, DON'T FART."

obviously mister mccain, you know what that means.. i don't.

Posted by: AuthoritativeAuthoritarian | December 18, 2009 1:25 AM | Report abuse

.

you know.. i have always been OPPOSED to franken becoming a senator...

... but if he keeps THIS up.. i just have but that boy an ice cold 24oz frosted in the mug root beer!

:D

.

Posted by: AuthoritativeAuthoritarian | December 18, 2009 1:21 AM | Report abuse

.

hey lieberman, you little CRY BABY...


(__!__)

.

Posted by: AuthoritativeAuthoritarian | December 18, 2009 1:17 AM | Report abuse

Mr. Lieberman and Mr. McCain can both STFU,how is that for bipartisanship?Thank you Al Franken!

Posted by: mtjimi | December 18, 2009 1:15 AM | Report abuse

If only Senator Franken could extend his time to run up and kick Lieberman's chesnuts up his throat...

Posted by: LABC | December 18, 2009 1:05 AM | Report abuse

Franken is a professional buffoon, a jester, a clown, an ignoramus even by Dimwitcrat standards (and I use the term loosely).

Posted by: thebump | December 18, 2009 12:16 AM | Report abuse

We need more senators like Mr. Franken. He does his homework, thinks critically about issues, and isn't afraid to declare something BS when he hears it.

Posted by: cellmaker | December 18, 2009 12:15 AM | Report abuse

What no one seems to understand about Joe is that he is looking out for his constituents in his state.

My fellow libs want to bring an end to the health industry. It makes money on our illnesses and gobs of it. Still, if those jobs are lost, those jobs disappear from Connecticut.

Now, is that more important than the greater good? Well, to answer that, does anyone remember a Senator from Illinois or West Virginia voting to close coal plants in their states? I don't think so.

The bottom line is that there are other Senators to turn to get key votes. In particular, the two Senators from Maine.

Maine is a Democratic state. A concerted effort to get those voters to appeal to their Senators to vote for the strong public option that is in the House bill and will be presented at the conference stage, that will only come about if a bill passes in the Senate.

So, liberals, forget Joe. He is not the Insurance Senator, he's the jobs Senator for Connecticut. Let's focus on Maine and reaching out to Maine's voters to convince their Senators that it is in their best interests to vote for real reform!

Posted by: campaignman | December 17, 2009 11:48 PM | Report abuse

Al Franken came out of the gate with a thud and landed flat on his face on the track with a bad record.

Posted by: dottydo | December 17, 2009 11:45 PM | Report abuse

Franken is the second big Minnesota mistake. Ventura was the first one. Minnesotans are in the habit of electing jokesters, and given the current Congress, perhaps Minnesotans were just ahead of the curve.

Posted by: judithod | December 17, 2009 11:16 PM | Report abuse


==============
==============
Well at least SOMEONE'S taking on the damm repuglycans.

God knows Pelosi and Obama won't. Pelosi lies down in front of the 'uglican truck, and Obama's driving it.

--faye kane, homeless brain
Read more of my smartmouth opinions at http://tinyurl.com/fayescave

Posted by: Knee_Cheese_Zarathustra | December 17, 2009 10:53 PM | Report abuse

The arrogance of this Congress is astounding.

BEAR REVOLT was started by Veterans ( Czar nick named terrorists) seeking to empower the active troops with a clear documentation of the majority's will of the people via archival quality hardbound petitions (signatured by all men, women, and children who have No Confidence this 2009 Federal Government).

The signed petitions are being entered into County recordations offices as a "recorded document", then pooled, and placed as a" Document" into the Library of Congress by the people of each State.

The well documented majority with " no confidence" can allow the defenders of the US Constitution the ability to carry out the "will of the majority".

It seeks to void all signatures of the current Fed 2009, and hence can retro from 2010 , 2011, etc. to do it.

This Redress call was named when Pelosi went to THE BEAR REPUBLIC of California , threw imported ACORNS at their heads,
then called them astroturf and walked on their backs with her spikey heels out the door absolutely refusing to listen to them saying NO.


PETITION:

The REDRESS of the 2009 Federal Government of the United States of America
For NO CONFIDENCE
By the recall of :
The Congress, (all names listed both Partys)
The Hill , ( all names listed both Partys)
The Cabinet, (all names listed)
The Czars, ( all names listed)
Barack Hussein Obama ( all "currently" known names listed: Barack Hussein Soroeto, Barack Hussein Dunham )

The people are pretty pizsed at this Obamaland crap.

The new candidate people are seeking is from the peer groups of the founders.

http://www.masonicinfo.com/famous2.htm#O

No one who sports a big war chests, or power torches passes need apply.. The new elected group will be to serve the people from the people, and not act above the people.

Posted by: dottydo | December 17, 2009 10:31 PM | Report abuse

Mr. Franken is the south end of a north-bound horse-and completely out of his depth. A quintessential "new" Democrat.

Thanks Minnesota-pure class!

Posted by: Towson_Tiger | December 17, 2009 10:25 PM | Report abuse

United States Senator Joseph L. Lieberman demanded the extra floor time in order to introduce a new proposal to Tax Insurance Corporate profits as a good way to get around the Public Option. As the insurance industry is the least regulated of all of the financial institutions, the proposal would kill two birds with one stone. Sarbanes-Oxley type regulations for this industry to keep producers more honest, taxation of all premiums that were not paid out in claims.
..

Posted by: pyee | December 17, 2009 9:37 PM | Report abuse

No hard feelings? Oh, there are hard feelings. Way to go, Franken. That was one small step, and hopefully the first of many that will shut that mofo down.

Posted by: johnsonc2 | December 17, 2009 9:00 PM | Report abuse

Posted by: douglaslbarber | December 17, 2009 8:28 PM | Report abuse

Still trying to find the U.S. AIR FORCE in the Constitution...must be in here somewhere ...

OH WAIT... that's not in there either.

++eyeroll++

The constitution give the Congress the authority to CHANGE THINGS. Get over it.

If something the Congress does seems constitutional, then someone will challenge it.

If the court doesn't overturn it, the people can always vote in a new Congress.

The constitution gives the people the power to LITERALLY and legally overthrow the U.S. Government EVERY TWO YEARS by voting in a new House of Representatives.

And I hate to break it to you, but your noisy little (yes, LITTLE) "tea party" movement doesn't have enough popular support to do anything but rudely shout people down at public meetings AND radicalize party primaries.

So get over your "ooh, I don't see it in the constitution" silliness.

Many, many things that make our modern capitalist economy possible were not and ARE NOT in the constitution at all. Many of the freedoms and luxuries (electricity, running water, the interstate highway system) that we enjoy today are mentioned NOWHERE in the Constitution.

But guess what? The CONSTITUTION gives the Congress the authority to make laws for all kinds of things.

GET OVER IT.

Posted by: sumipatel1985 | December 17, 2009 8:14 PM | Report abuse

"Still trying to find universal health care in the Constitution...must be in here somewhere ..."
Posted by: stateofcolumbia | December 17, 2009 7:19 PM
==
Gee, soc, what part of:
"promote the general welfare"
can't you understand?
==
Senator Franken, congratulations!
Thank you so much.
A man with grit and fortitude.
A rare hero in the Senate.
Too bad there are so few.

Posted by: Judy-in-TX | December 17, 2009 7:46 PM | Report abuse

Franken should have notified McCain that he was using his ten minutes up also.

Posted by: JRM2 | December 17, 2009 7:42 PM | Report abuse

The only way Franken could have improved on this delightful performance would have been to have arranged for a whoopie cushion on the chair to which sanctimonious fraud from Connecticut retired from the podium.

Posted by: douglaslbarber | December 17, 2009 7:42 PM | Report abuse

Who's claiming it is in the constitution?

Posted by: JRM2 | December 17, 2009 7:38 PM | Report abuse

Still trying to find universal health care in the Constitution...must be in here somewhere...

Posted by: stateofcolumbia | December 17, 2009 7:19 PM | Report abuse

>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>

It's right next to the section about preemptive wars and tax cuts for the rich. Find it yet?

Posted by: horace1 | December 17, 2009 7:35 PM | Report abuse

Still trying to find universal health care in the Constitution...must be in here somewhere...

Posted by: stateofcolumbia | December 17, 2009 7:19 PM | Report abuse

Later, in the Senate cloakroom, Lieberman reportedly broke down into tears at Franken's rebuke, crying like a little girl whose friends shunned her on the playground. McCain moved up to comfort Lieberman, putting his hand on his shoulder (well, actually on Joe's elbow, since John can't reach that high), cooing "There, there, Joe, buck up and take courage. You know there are many of us who love you for..." McCain trailed off. Joe looked up into John's eyes, startled at his candor. "Yes, John? Go on." John stared back deep into Joe's eyes, before looking away. "No, Joe, now is now the time. You're not ready for it... the country isn't ready for it. Just know that someone loves you so much for what you believe in (whatever that might be), and know that that someone never has you far from his... er... their thoughts." John's hand brushed up (not far) Joe's elbow, before he broke the contact, their eyes still locked ... and then their longing stare was broken, as they were startled by the loud pounding of the tyrant Franken's gavel.

Posted by: TomCadorette | December 17, 2009 7:11 PM | Report abuse

I knew there was a reason I liked Sen. Franken. Lieberman is among the worst, paid for by insurance companies, everto serve. Joe, you suck.

Posted by: dudh | December 17, 2009 7:04 PM | Report abuse

I love reading comments from Liberals bashing another Liberal because they don't agree with some position they have.... then I really love it when they turn around and talk about Republicans being in lock-step.

All I want for Christmas is term limits! Please vote all of these fools out and give me a new bunch.

Posted by: LifeRunner | December 17, 2009 7:03 PM | Report abuse

Thanks, Senator Begich, for objecting to the objectionable. Too bad you felt the need to back down. Be a stand up guy and start working to elect a Democrat from Connecticut.

Posted by: akcrabber | December 17, 2009 7:01 PM | Report abuse

Lieberman, the Aetna Senator, is doing a great job for his client. Their money has been well-spent on him.

Posted by: bpai_99 | December 17, 2009 6:57 PM | Report abuse

Thank you, Al. I think everyone has heard just about enough from that slime ball. We can write his speech for him. "Too bad you're sold up the river, fellow Americans. I have friends in high places." His ten minutes are up.

Posted by: SarahBB | December 17, 2009 6:55 PM | Report abuse

I knew there was a reason I liked Sen. Franken. Lieberman is among the worst, paid for by insurance companies, everto serve. Joe, you suck.

Posted by: dudh | December 17, 2009 6:54 PM | Report abuse

Joe Lieberman, the bona fide snake in the grass among the democratic caucus.

Posted by: veloboldie | December 17, 2009 6:49 PM | Report abuse

Too bad Franken did not add a little humor to his reply like we have heard what your wife has to say Sen. Lieberman, as Henry Fonda once said, sit down and shut up.

Posted by: jameschirico | December 17, 2009 6:47 PM | Report abuse

Senator lieberman is a pariah in the democratic caucus, and he is also a fraud. He was nominated for the democratic Vicepresidency, ran many elections portraying himself as an advocate of Universal Health Care, the expansion of Medicare and then he switches parties and positions. Can a senator with such blatant misrepresenation be recalled?

Posted by: TomCastano | December 17, 2009 6:44 PM | Report abuse

8 months of joint committee work down the drain by an obstinate GOP and they are asking for time to further try to torpedo the bill. I for one am P>O>ed at nearly everyone in the GOP and a good part of the
Dems. Good ideas are being shot down for special interest. Nobody is addressing the boomers hitting medicare, nor how high cost unemployed due to untreated malady treatments by medicaid are growing exponentially with this massive recession.

Posted by: jameschirico | December 17, 2009 6:42 PM | Report abuse

Thank you for writing this glimpse of what has happened to the Senate. It shows how cordiality and communication no longer exist in our government and why nothing of value can get done. Senators are more interested in their biases than in their country or democracy.

Posted by: llrllr | December 17, 2009 6:38 PM | Report abuse

John McCain just needs to keep his piehole shut for the foreseeable future. He's old, defeated, and irrelevant.

Posted by: dlopata | December 17, 2009 6:35 PM | Report abuse

Pass what major changes can be made now, then come back and make "reconciliation" changes later.

Posted by: michael4 | December 17, 2009 6:34 PM | Report abuse

By any chance did Senator McCain speak up when his colleague demanded Sen Sanders amendment be read out loud. Did McCain speak up when his colleague played with his Blackberry and smiled and winked at Sanders while the amendment was being read.

Does Senator McCain think that contributes to comity?

Does Senator McCain think that demanding a 30 hour debate on the Defense appropriations bill that will get a near unanimous vote for the sole purpose of injecting delay into the business of the Senate contributes to comity?

McCain is a hypocrite who has no interest in comity.

Posted by: James10 | December 17, 2009 6:24 PM | Report abuse

What I don't understand is why Senate Democrats won't threaten the use of the "Nuclear Option" (not reconciliation) for breaking the threat of a fillibuster? If the Republicans think holding up the health care bill is worth losing the right to hold up any bill, let them slit their own throats.

So put the Medicare buy-in back in the bill, threaten to invoke the "Nuclear Option" and pass this damn thing with 51 votes!

Posted by: knedd | December 17, 2009 6:22 PM | Report abuse

Thank you Sen. Franken. Please teach the President and Harry Reid how to stand up to Joe Lieberman & the GOP.

Posted by: question-guy | December 17, 2009 6:21 PM | Report abuse

Thank you Sen. Franken. Please teach the President and Harry Reid how to stand up to Joe Lieberman & the GOP.

Posted by: question-guy | December 17, 2009 6:21 PM | Report abuse

It almost reads like a McCain/Lieberman slashfic piece.

Posted by: TomCadorette | December 17, 2009 6:05 PM | Report abuse

Lieberman should be personally shunned by every Democrat in the Congress. Don't shake his hand. Turn you back when he walks past. Don't speak to him. Walk out of the chamber when he gets up to say something.

The man is a dishonorable and lying skunk. At least Benedict Arnold--also from Connecticut--was personally brave, and a hero before he chose to vent his spleen (at unmerited disregard) by turning traitor. Lieberman doesn't even have Arnold's good points. He's just a low-down poltroon.

Let John McCain and the Republicans have him.

Good for Franken.

Posted by: jasm917 | December 17, 2009 6:04 PM | Report abuse

Thank you Sen. Franken. Finally someone has the cojones to stand up to Joe. When will the rest of the leadership realize that he is nothing but a republican in sheep's clothing and strip him of his committee assignments? Who needs him!

And in response to 15of18, the rights' idea of bipartisanship is "accept what we say without disagreement or modification." After all, if the left acted like the right, then they would be a group of lemmings marching to the same beat rather than the dysfunctional group that we all complain about.

Merry Christmas to all, especially you Sen. Franken.

Posted by: LeftCoastReader | December 17, 2009 5:59 PM | Report abuse

So, McCain got his panties in a wad because Franken was a better comedian than he was pilot.

Sit down, John, you lost what little cred you had when you drafted the the incompetent quitter from Alaska to your ticket.

Posted by: mmax | December 17, 2009 5:59 PM | Report abuse

Lieberman has had too many years already to talk about health care reform. He has no good reason to vote against closure--he can still live up to his position by voting against the bill itself--but he won't do so unless he gets his way. Reminds me of a 4 year old.

Posted by: joeboe1 | December 17, 2009 5:58 PM | Report abuse

Once again, Mr. LIEberman and Mr. McCain demonstrate nothing but bare-assed hypocrisy.

Posted by: TomCadorette | December 17, 2009 5:54 PM | Report abuse

Once again Mr. Lieberman and Mr. McCain demonstrate by thier actions the bipartisanship that is so dreadfully lacking in the so-called august body of the U.S. Senate. The others, generally have no shame and we all suffer for it.

Posted by: 15of18 | December 17, 2009 5:09 PM | Report abuse

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