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Morning Fix: Senator Al



Soon to be Senator Al Franken stands with Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid. Photo by Melina Mara or the Washington Post.

Al Franken: comedian, satirist, talk show host, author and, as of 12:15 p.m. today, a United States senator.

Franken will be sworn in as the second senator from Minnesota and the 60th senator to caucus with Democrats this afternoon -- an arrival long in the making and heavy with expectation (both good and bad).

Franken, who immediately upon joining the world's greatest deliberative body will become one of its best-known members, is being closely watched not only by his colleagues but by partisans on both sides of the aisle to see how much -- if any -- of his flamboyant personality comes out in the early days of his term.

If Franken's arrival on Capitol Hill Monday is any indication, he appears to have received that memo.

"I'm going to work day and night to make sure our kids have a great future and that Americans' best days lie ahead," said Franken, sounding just like the other 99 members of the chamber. "I'm ready to get to work." (The Post's Perry Bacon Jr. described Franken as looking more like Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid's "shorter, stockier twin than a three-time Emmy winner for comedy.")

The issue for Franken will be whether he can keep up that sort of keep-my-head-down humility while being feted as a celebrity by every Democratic group in Washington. An example: Franken will be the guest of honor at an event at the AFL-CIO tonight -- "Join us to celebrate the long-awaited seating of our newest senator" reads the invite.

Franken, too, will have to weather attempts by Senate Republicans to draw him out. Even if Franken proves to be the most inoffensive senator this side of Herb Kohl (D-Wis.), Republicans will almost certainly use him to raise money for their side.

If he gives them additional fodder with which to work, Franken will quickly replace Ted Kennedy or Hillary Clinton -- both of whom have lost some of their ability to enrage the GOP base -- as the preferred Republican bogeyman.

Franken would do well to follow the examples set by Kennedy and Clinton during their own first years in the Senate. Both came into the body as celebrities -- one was the youngest son of the most famous family in Democratic politics, the other was a former first lady -- and impressed their colleagues by adopting a low-key demeanor that played well in a workplace where each of the 100 employees believes that he or she is the most important man or woman in the world.

One longtime Republican Senate strategist offered two pieces of advice for Franken if he truly wanted to change the way his GOP colleagues perceive him.

First, "be serious," which to be frank (pun intended), Senator Al appears already to be doing.

Second, "vote against the party on something he believes in," a vote of conscience that would show GOPers that Franken is not simply a rank partisan but a thoughtful legislator with a commitment to issues.

Franken will be under a microscope unlike almost any other freshman Senator in modern political history. How he handles himself will impact not just his chances at reelection in 2014 but how his party is perceived nationally.

Tuesday's Fix Picks: It's true what they say -- everything really is bigger in Texas.

1. President Obama and the Russians.
2. Palin is popular.
3. Sanford censured.
4. Steve Pearce will try for his old House seat in 2010.
5. Could the King be the next mayor of Memphis?

DGA $$$: The Democratic Governors Association will announce later today that it raised $11.6 million in the first six months of 2009, eclipsing by nearly a half million dollars its showing for the first six months in the election year of 2008. At this same time in 2005 -- the last off year prior to a midterm election, the DGA raised only $10.5 million for the entire year. The pickup is attributable to several reasons: a Democratic president in the White House and an increased sense among donors that with redistricting on the horizon in 2011 that the governors races are the critical battlegrounds of the next two years. The DGA has already spent heavily in the 2009 races in Virginia and New Jersey and their haul over the first six months should position the committee well to fight for the whopping 37 governors races up in 2010.

NH Poll Shows Ayotte Strong: A survey conducted by the University of New Hampshire shows state Attorney General Kelly Ayotte (R) leading Rep. Paul Hodes (D) 39 percent to 35 percent in a hypothetical matchup for the seat being vacated by Sen. Judd Gregg (R) in 2010. Ayotte has yet to make a decision on a candidacy although national Republicans are recruiting her aggressively to run. Ayotte's calculation grew more complicated over the holiday weekend when an aide to Gov. John Lynch (D) told nhpoliticalreport.com that the attorney general had pledged to serve a full four year term when Lynch reappointed her to her post earlier this year.

Click It!: The National Republican Senatorial Committee is releasing a web ad -- read: video press release -- today designed to ensure that folks know what a 60-seat Democratic majority means. The basic message? "With 60 senators the Democrats have total control," appears on screen. "No checks. No balances." While a web ad has little effect with average voters -- these sorts of appeals are aimed squarely at the party base -- this particular message is one political junkies should expect to hear a lot more of between now and the 2010 midterm elections.

Americans United Up With "Thank You" Ads: As first reported late last week on the Fix, Americans United, the leading liberal outside group involved in the promotion of President Obama's agenda is up with ads in 15 House districts thanking members for their vote in support of a climate change legislation. The ads will be on the air starting today in Democratic-held districts represented by: Reps. John Boccieri (Ohio), Mary Jo Kilroy (Ohio), Steve Driehaus (Ohio), Mark Schauer (Mich.), Betsy Markey (Colo.), Baron Hill (Ind.), Ben Chandler (Ky.), Frank Kratovil (Md.), Dan Maffei (N.Y.), Mike Doyle (Pa.), Tom Perriello (Va.) and Rick Boucher (Va.). "We want to make sure these members' constituents know that what their Representative voted for was creating tens of thousands of new clean energy jobs in their states," said Tom McMahon, the acting executive director of Americans United.

Say What?: "This guy was a pervert." -- Rep. Peter King (R-N.Y.) mincing no words when it comes to the late Michael Jackson.

By Chris Cillizza  |  July 7, 2009; 5:40 AM ET
Categories:  Morning Fix  
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Next: Mouthpiece Theater: Big Fish

Comments

Ever hear of a guy called George W. Bush?

==

Sorry, not my type

Posted by: chrisfox8 | July 7, 2009 10:17 PM | Report abuse

"You have a tendency to be overly effusive with your words. Could you keep your responses to 300 words or less? It gives the reader a chance."

He actually just copies and pastes everything from other blogs.

Posted by: DDAWD | July 7, 2009 5:34 PM | Report abuse

zouk Where is zouk, a suburb of Chicago? Are you one of Obama's boys?

I noticed in your 10:43AM post that you knew the reason Walpin was fired. What is your inside source? You have a listening device in the WH? (You can say inside source and I'll get it.) When I read about the firing no reason was given. Maybe you’re a psychic? If so what was Palin saying on Thursday when she was woolgathering at her press conference? I got dizzy trying to follow her circumlocutions. No fair answering on the basis of what she said afterwards or using what other people said she said.

You have a tendency to be overly effusive with your words. Could you keep your responses to 300 words or less? It gives the reader a chance.

Posted by: Gator-ron | July 7, 2009 5:28 PM | Report abuse

"Cheerleader? I'm gay, you idiot."

Ever hear of a guy called George W. Bush?

Posted by: DDAWD | July 7, 2009 5:14 PM | Report abuse

@DDAWD - Only one asinine poster? :-)

BB

Posted by: FairlingtonBlade | July 7, 2009 5:13 PM | Report abuse

Sad is more like it.

Posted by: king_of_zouk | July 7, 2009 5:12 PM | Report abuse

zouk you are so inept at this stuff.

Cheerleader? I'm gay, you idiot.

I do have one cat, though. Milk that for all it's worth

Posted by: chrisfox8 | July 7, 2009 4:56 PM | Report abuse

Then she needs to learn to make sense.

Posted by: chrisuxcox

Poor pencil neck. Rebuffed by the cheerleader. bitter ever since. Maybe your cats will purr for you.

If not there's a help desk call. someone from India needs to be talked through plugging in their printer. this should stretch your intellectual abilites to their limit.

Posted by: king_of_zouk | July 7, 2009 4:50 PM | Report abuse

Palin's speech sounded like it was being delivered by a sixteen year old girl. She really needs to discover her voice's lower register.

Then she needs to learn to make sense.

Posted by: chrisfox8 | July 7, 2009 4:18 PM | Report abuse

Sarah Palin was able to prattle herself into silliness without help from any Republican or Democrat. She is just plain silly. Alaskans are tired of their state being the subject of a million jokes. I guess Republicans are so in need of just anyone to run against Obama so perhaps she can wiggle her way into being nominated. Imagine comparisons between Obama and Palin during any appearance. You know, her with her high pitched giggle and lack of credibility about what newspaper she reads against the best orator in those running for the Presidency for several years.

Posted by: mJJ2 | July 7, 2009 4:08 PM | Report abuse

The goopers STILL think they can shape national perceptions by posting in WaPo blogs.

Posted by: chrisfox8 | July 7, 2009 3:43 PM | Report abuse

otherwise they take over the joint, dawd. they don't have anything else to do, unlike those of us who are employed.

Posted by: drindl | July 7, 2009 3:36 PM | Report abuse

Why is it that it takes an asinine poster to get this place livened up? Anyone with a brain knows bubette is an idiot. No need to state the obvious.

Posted by: DDAWD | July 7, 2009 3:07 PM | Report abuse

Obama's political operation always cared more about state numbers than national polls, and with good reason, so this has to be slightly alarming:

President Barack Obama gets a lackluster 49 percent - 44 percent approval rating in Ohio, considered by many to be the most important swing state in a presidential election, according to a Quinnipiac University poll released today. This is President Obama's lowest approval rating in any national or statewide Quinnipiac University poll since he was inaugurated and is down from 62 percent - 31 percent in a May 6 survey.


At last the reality of Lib governance is sinking in. Only took 6 months to reject the reject.

Posted by: king_of_zouk | July 7, 2009 3:06 PM | Report abuse

drindl Are you posting from prison, high school or an insane asylum?

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

answer - sandbox. No wonder her cats keep trying to bury her.

Posted by: king_of_zouk | July 7, 2009 3:04 PM | Report abuse

Producing a photograph of a Certification of Live Birth does not rise to the level of vetting of a candidate. The fault for this lies directly at the feet of the Democratic National Committee and the Federal Election Commission. They allowed an unqualified candidates name to be placed on the primary ballot.

Posted by: Bubbette1

==

The tinfoil will protect you from the rays being broadcast from the black heely-copters, but you have to make sure it covers your head completely.

Unconfirmed reports suggest that unless the foil covers your eyes and ears, the rays will get through and you will find yourself believing that Obama was legitimately elected.

Beware.

And tighten that foil.

Idiot.

Posted by: chrisfox8 | July 7, 2009 2:55 PM | Report abuse

2010 cannot come soon enough to start sending these Spendocrats their walking papers.

Posted by: Bubbette1

==

Obama can't possibly hope to match Bush for deficit creation.

(snap snap)

Pay attention.

Posted by: chrisfox8 | July 7, 2009 2:51 PM | Report abuse

Oh Bubette's a birther too! Another wacked out tinfoil hat case. perfect!

Posted by: drindl | July 7, 2009 2:50 PM | Report abuse

Bubette -- I don't think it's possible for you to dumb down any dumber, hon.

Posted by: drindl | July 7, 2009 2:48 PM | Report abuse

drindl Are you posting from prison, high school or an insane asylum? Just want to be sure to so I can dumb down the response appropriately for you to comprehend.

Posted by: Bubbette1 | July 7, 2009 2:36 PM | Report abuse

"Does mikeinmidland also know that Obama has spent $2 million to fight lawsuits about his birth certificate?"

No he hasn't. Do you have a source for this?

________

Actually if you go to the Keyes vs. Obama, et al. case filed in Sacramento and look at the pro hac vice declaration filed by Obama's attorney it states that he has been traveling the Country fighting these law suits. The Sacramento Superior Court website is easy to use, do a case name search for Obama and it will take you to the case and the pleadings.

At last count there were some 50 law suits filed across the Country, many still going forward on appeal so the legal fees continue. Obama or the tax payers are shelling out large amounts of legal fees and costs to defend these actions.

Andy Martin has a suit in Hawaii seeking production of the vault birth certificate.

Kerchner v. Obama is progressing.

http://puzo1.blogspot.com/

Keyes vs. Obama is going forward on appeal.

One of these cases will find a judge who will do the right thing and allow discovery to open access Obama's records to be obtained for inspection and review by legal and document experts. This question could be answered in about 60 days once and for all.

The voter's assumed Obama was properly vetted by the Democratic National Committee or the Federal Election Commission but that did not happen. Try and find anything from either organization on this. Keep looking because it does not exist.

Producing a photograph of a Certification of Live Birth does not rise to the level of vetting of a candidate. The fault for this lies directly at the feet of the Democratic National Committee and the Federal Election Commission. They allowed an unqualified candidates name to be placed on the primary ballot.

Posted by: Bubbette1 | July 7, 2009 2:33 PM | Report abuse

TAKE AWAY HIS SARDONIC WIT? THEY'D PROBABLY GIVE SAMSON A HAIRCUT, TOO...


Senator Al:

Play it straight? Curb the sardonic wit? Don't listen to these people! Humor is your most potent weapon. If Will Rogers were elected to the Senate, what would HE have done?

While I have your attention, Senator Al:

Help take down the secretive security/military/intel extrajudicial targeting and punishment "torture matrix" spawned or expanded by Bush-Cheney -- and now enabled by a naive and "shadow government- restrained" Team Obama:

http://NowPublic.com/scrivener RE: "Gestapo USA"

Posted by: scrivener50 | July 7, 2009 2:27 PM | Report abuse

Bubbette -- so aptly named. You do have to wondeer why every winger that posts here is so fond of pre-kindergarten level word play.

'Spendocrats" -- gosh darn, that's sophisticated. Dazzling. Wonder where she stole it? Because as you will notice, there is no original thought among the base. I guess that's why they were such big defenders of Terry Shiavo -- fellow sympathy for the braindead.

Posted by: drindl | July 7, 2009 2:26 PM | Report abuse

chrisfox8 So if McCain owes an apology for having Palin that close to the White House what would be appropriate for Obama given Pelosi is after Meat Head, er I mean Biden?

There should be a penalty for Minnesota like in college sports where they lose a Senator for four years for sending a comedian to represent them. Too bad Pat Paulsen is not around to run for President, but actually that would be an upgrade.

2010 cannot come soon enough to start sending these Spendocrats their walking papers.

Posted by: Bubbette1 | July 7, 2009 2:21 PM | Report abuse

chrisuxcox - cheerleader turned you down? that's a long time to carry a grudge.

Posted by: king_of_zouk | July 7, 2009 2:08 PM | Report abuse

With the full force of my saracasm, I would like to *thank* the person who taught king-of-zouk how to copy and paste.

==

who cares? Only his fellow trolls read zouk posts.

Posted by: chrisfox8 | July 7, 2009 2:04 PM | Report abuse

Motes and beams.

A comedian is now a US Senator.

You guys want a woman who believes in apocalytpic End Times theology holding the nuclear trigger.

Eugene Robinson says McCain owes America an apology for his irresponsible choice of Palin as a heartbeat from the presidency.

I agree with him.

Posted by: chrisfox8 | July 7, 2009 1:52 PM | Report abuse

With the full force of my saracasm, I would like to *thank* the person who taught king-of-zouk how to copy and paste.

Posted by: molsonmich | July 7, 2009 1:32 PM | Report abuse

"Does mikeinmidland also know that Obama has spent $2 million to fight lawsuits about his birth certificate?"

No he hasn't. Do you have a source for this?

Posted by: VTDuffman | July 7, 2009 1:21 PM | Report abuse

"If there is no wrongdoing, then there can be no evidence of wrongdoing. So there is no need to quash evidence, or fight subpeonas. How can it cost two million dollars to defend against baseless lies?"

Posted by: Lisa421 | July 7, 2009 1:13 PM | Report abuse

Does mikeinmidland also know that Obama has spent $2 million to fight lawsuits about his birth certificate?

Posted by: Lisa421 | July 7, 2009 1:07 PM | Report abuse

Somebody needs to switch Zouk to decaff.

BB

Posted by: FairlingtonBlade | July 7, 2009 1:05 PM | Report abuse

With regard to why Todd Purdum of Vanity Fair, David Letterman, and other liberal males continually go after Palin, the answer might be as easy as they secretly lust after her while also seeing her as the "girlfriend of the quarterback" they could never get in high school. Seriously, look at the "men" who belittle Palin on a regular basis. For the most part, they fit the description of "the pencil-neck geek" from high school. Are they now trying to make Palin pay for their long-ago inadequacies? Is that why Letterman imagines her now as a "Slu++y Flight Attendant?" Because she is his fantasy and rather than admit it, he strikes out at her?


>>>>>>>>>>

I had you pegged chrissuxcox.

Posted by: king_of_zouk | July 7, 2009 12:59 PM | Report abuse

Since you would obviously rather talk about Sarah Palin's ethics problems than Al Franken being sworn in to the Senate....

I can understand that "frivolous" suits are sometimes filed against government officials, and that these suits need to be answered. But $2 million in legal fees? That's an awful lot of billable hours to fight a frivolous suit.

If there is no wrongdoing, then there can be no evidence of wrongdoing. So there is no need to quash evidence, or fight subpeonas. How can it cost two million dollars to defend against baseless lies?

Posted by: mikeinmidland | July 7, 2009 12:55 PM | Report abuse

If you had any sense, you would start using our tactics against us. After all, you have a few lawyers on your side. Sue us. File frivolous ethics complaints against all our elected officials until, like Sarah, they go broke from defending themselves. (David Paterson would be a good place to start.) Challenge the constitutionality of BO2’s legion of fill-in-the-blank czars — none of whom have to be confirmed, or even pass a security check. (Come to think of it, neither did Barry.) Let slip your own journalistic dogs of war, assuming you have any, to find Barry’s birth certificate, his college transcripts, whether he applied to Occidental as a foreign student, and on which passport he traveled in 1981 to Pakistan with his friend Wahid Hamid, for starters.

You might also want to think about interviewing New York literary agent Jane Dystel, who a) contacted the totally unknown Obama in the wake of an adulatory New York Times piece in 1990 and b) got him a $125,000 advance for a memoir that c) he couldn’t write, even after a long sojourn in Bali, which d) got the contract canceled, whereupon e) Dystel got him $40,000 from another publisher, following which f) the book finally came out to glowing reviews and g) Obama fired her. Wouldn’t she have an interesting story to tell?

And that’s why Sarah had to go. Whether she understood it or not, she threatened us right down to our most fundamental, meretricious, elitist, sneering, snobbish, insecure, Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders bones. She was, after all, a “normal” American, the kind of person (or so I’m told) you meet in flyover country. The kind that worries first about home and hearth and believes in things like motherhood and love of country the way it is, not the way she wants to remake it.

Posted by: king_of_zouk | July 7, 2009 12:41 PM | Report abuse

And so the word went out, from that time and place: Eviscerate Sarah Palin like one of her field-dressed moose. Turn her life upside down. Attack her politics, her background, her educational history. Attack her family. Make fun of her husband, her children. Unleash the noted gynecologist Andrew Sullivan to prove that Palin’s fifth child was really her grandchild. Hit her with everything we have: Maureen Dowd of the New York Times, taking a beer-run break from her quixotic search for Mr. Right to drip venom on Sister Sarah; post-funny comic David Letterman, to joke about her and her daughters on national television; Katie Couric, the anchor nobody watches, to give this Alaskan interloper a taste of life in the big leagues; former New York Times hack Todd “Mr. Dee Dee Myers” Purdum, to act as an instrument of Graydon Carter’s wrath at Vanity Fair. Heck, we even burned her church down. Even after the teleological triumph of The One, the assault had to continue, each blow delivered with our Lefty SneerTM (viz.: Donny Deutsch yesterday on Morning Joe), until Sarah was finished.

Posted by: king_of_zouk | July 7, 2009 12:38 PM | Report abuse

I Still Hate You, Sarah Palin
The Republicans bring a knife to a gunfight, and lose again.

By David Kahane

One of the most terrifying moments of my political life came last summer at the Republican convention in St. Paul. No, I don’t mean seeing John McCain careering around the Xcel Energy Center like Eyegore in Young Frankenstein, his face frozen in a Lon Chaney Sr. rictus grin as he reached across the aisle to his erstwhile friends in the media and got his hand bitten off. Rather, I’m referring to the aftermath of Sarah Palin’s outrageous acceptance speech, which whipped up the Rotary Club delegates into a frenzy of white-boy fury that not even heckling by a brave Code Pink embed could deter. Truly a fascist classic and one that sent shivers down our collectivist spines.

Even worse was the glaze of horror on the phizzes of the assembled heroes of the Mainstream Media. Andrea Mitchell — yes, the very same Andrea Mitchell, NBC News, Washington, whose employer saw no conflict of interest at all when she married then Fed pooh-bah Alan Greenspan — stood there gaping like a frog while the rest of the assembled Finemans and Matthewses and Olbermanns scurried around like roaches when the light gets turned on: What the hell just hit us? For one horrible moment, it looked as if the carefully crafted plans of David Axelrod, Rahm Emanuel, George Soros, and the Second Chief Directorate, first department, of the old KGB were about to gang agley.

Not only were we offended at the sheer effrontery of McCain’s pick: How dare the Republicans proffer this déclassée piece of Wasilla trailer trash whose only claim to fame was that she didn’t exercise her right to choose? Where were her degrees from Smith or Barnard, her internships at PETA, the Brookings Institution, or the Young Pioneers? We were also outraged that the Stupid Party had just nominated a completely unqualified candidate nobody had ever heard of, a first-term governor of Alaska whose previous experience consisted of a small-town mayoralty. As opposed to our guy, Barry Soetoro of Mombasa, Djakarta, and Honolulu, a first-term senator nobody had ever heard of, whose previous experience had been as a state senator (D., Daley Machine) in Illinois. After eight long, illegitimate, lawless years of &*^%BUSH$#@! tyranny, how dare you contest this election?

Posted by: king_of_zouk | July 7, 2009 12:35 PM | Report abuse

It seems CC is too busy making his goofy videos to actually do any journalism.

Hey CC, how about you post another Palin story and rouse up the angry moonbats?

you can preface it with your usual

"totally unexpected" gambit.

Posted by: king_of_zouk | July 7, 2009 12:18 PM | Report abuse

Good Point mnteng, I perfer the Congress settle the matter the old ways, The Code of Honor Duel. I am sure old Andy Jackson would love to see it come back in favor. KOZ, thanks for highlighting matters of state that the MSM doesn't seem interested in.

Posted by: vbhoomes | July 7, 2009 12:09 PM | Report abuse

"Too, too bad for the country that a hateful bigot like this fool should be elected...actually elected, a hateful bigot."
--usarownow

Actually, usarownow, when true hate-mongers like your pals Rush and Sean, and your crush, Ann Coulter, were spewing venom, Al Franken was one of the few with the guts to call them out.

Now, he's a United States senator.

And you're still a dittohead.

Posted by: Bondosan | July 7, 2009 11:49 AM | Report abuse

That quote about Franken being Reid's brother is hilarious. You do see the similarities in that picture.

Posted by: DDAWD | July 7, 2009 11:20 AM | Report abuse

Hey, why not put some of Al's more teasty bit from air america on line for the voters to hear, but then they already have. The conclusion; too, too bad for the country that a hateful bigot like this fool should be elected...actually elected, a hateful bigot.

Posted by: usarownow | July 7, 2009 11:06 AM | Report abuse

Will Sen. Franken cover his own swearing-in wearing the "self-contained new apparatus", complete with satellite uplink dish on his head?

Posted by: rlritter | July 7, 2009 10:50 AM | Report abuse

Rep. King ought look at his own church diocese before he goes after some demented pop star.

http://topics.nytimes.com/topics/reference/timestopics/people/m/william_f_murphy/index.html

It's also Hannity's and O'Reilly's diocese yet nary a word.

Franken did 4 USO tours

"Macho" gun waving psudo-patriot teabagger Ted Nugent-Zero

Posted by: MerrillFrank | July 7, 2009 10:46 AM | Report abuse

Mad King Barry, the banana despot:

--ABC News reported that a senior White House official said the urgency of extending the expiring U.S.-Russia nuclear arms treaty "might mean temporarily bypassing the Senate's constitutional role in ratifying treaties." Did you hear that, Sens. Leahy and Feingold?


President Obama is appointing so many "czars" to help him run the government without the usual accountability of Cabinet-level positions that even Sen. Robert Byrd said this practice "can threaten the constitutional system of checks and balances." Byrd's worried, but what do Leahy and Feingold think of Obama's pay czar, who'll have broad discretion over executive pay?
Obama has so insulated himself from ordinary press scrutiny that even liberal journalists Chip Reid and Helen Thomas grilled White House press secretary Robert Gibbs for Obama's "tightly controlled" town hall meeting on health care. During that forum, Obama "coincidentally" called on three people (out of 200) who work with groups trying to pass his health care proposal.

--Obama is so intent on bullying our ally Israel that he is breaching a previous Bush administration-negotiated agreement between Israel and the United States to allow some Israeli construction in West Bank settlements to allow for natural growth.

--The Obama-Holder Justice Department dismissed a strong case against New Black Panther Party members for billy club-style voter intimidation because the members were intimidating for Obama's election.

Obama and Holder are now mirandizing terrorists on the battlefield.

Obama's auto task force used "intimidation tactics" against Chrysler's senior bondholders and called their Democratic lawyer, Tom Lauria, a "terrorist" for refusing to accept its offer outright. Where, by the way, were Leahy and Feingold -- and all the liberal media -- when Obama's deal involved an executive-forced transfer of ownership from shareholders and creditors to Obama's favored unions? Were they also unbothered by claims of Chrysler dealers that they were threatened and lied to?

--Obama's thugs fired AmeriCorps inspector general Gerald Walpin and slandered him as virtually demented because he blew the whistle on the corrupt practices of Obama's buddies.

To say this is scratching the surface is a monumental exaggeration.


Posted by: king_of_zouk | July 7, 2009 10:43 AM | Report abuse

Don't bother trying to convince this crowd, who actually think a comedian is fine as U.S. Senator, but Governor of our largest State is not for (Vice) President. They simply can't be reasoned with.

Posted by: JakeD | July 7, 2009 7:42 AM

C'mon Jake - give me a break! The only job Palin has ever had that qualifies her for VP/POTUS is Governor of Alaska. She served 2 1/2 years and QUIT for unknown reasons. You're saying that experience qualifies her for higher office? You are being either totally disingenuous or delusional.

Posted by: NMModerate1 | July 7, 2009 10:39 AM | Report abuse

The banana despot cost - the wife

“In my own life, in my own small way, I have tried to give back to this country that has given me so much,” she said. “See, that’s why I left a job at a big law firm for a career in public service, “ Michelle Obama

How things have changed! If you’re one of the tens of millions of Americans facing certain destitution, earning less than subsistence wages stocking the shelves at Wal-Mart or serving up McDonald cheeseburgers, prepare to scream and then come to realize that the benefit package for these servants of Miz Michele are the same as members of the national security and defense departments and the bill for these assorted lackeys is paid by John Q. Public:

$172,2000 - Sher, Susan (CHIEF OF STAFF)
$140,000 - Frye, Jocelyn C. (DEPUTY ASSISTANT TO THE PRESIDENT AND DIRECTOR OF POLICY AND PROJECTS FOR THE FIRST LADY)
$113,000 - Rogers, Desiree G. (SPECIAL ASSISTANT TO THE PRESIDENT AND WHITE HOUSE SOCIAL SECRETARY)
$102,000 - Johnston, Camille Y. (SPECIAL ASSISTANT TO THE PRESIDENT AND DIRECTOR OF COMMUNICATIONS FOR THE FIRST LADY)
Winter, Melissa E. (SPECIAL ASSISTANT TO THE PRESIDENT AND DEPUTY CHIEF OF STAFF TO THE FIRST LADY)
$90,000 - Medina, David S. (DEPUTY CHIEF OF STAFF TO THE FIRST LADY)
$84,000 - Lelyveld, Catherine M. (DIRECTOR AND PRESS SECRETARY TO THE FIRST LADY)
$75,000 - Starkey, Frances M. (DIRECTOR OF SCHEDULING AND ADVANCE FOR THE FIRST LADY)
$70,000 - Sanders, Trooper (DEPUTY DIRECTOR OF POLICY AND PROJECTS FOR THE FIRST LADY)
$65,000 - Burnough, Erinn J. (DEPUTY DIRECTOR AND DEPUTY SOCIAL SECRETARY)
Reinstein, Joseph B. (DEPUTY DIRECTOR AND DEPUTY SOCIAL SECRETARY)
$62,000 - Goodman, Jennifer R. (DEPUTY DIRECTOR OF SCHEDULING AND EVENTS COORDINATOR FOR THE FIRST LADY)
$60,000 - Fitts, Alan O. (DEPUTY DIRECTOR OF ADVANCE AND TRIP DIRECTOR FOR THE FIRST LADY)
Lewis, Dana M. (SPECIAL ASSISTANT AND PERSONAL AIDE TO THE FIRST LADY)
$52,500 - Mustaphi, Semonti M. (ASSOCIATE DIRECTOR AND DEPUTY PRESS SECRETARY TO THE FIRST LADY)
$50,000 - Jarvis, Kristen E. (SPECIAL ASSISTANT FOR SCHEDULING AND TRAVELING AIDE TO THE FIRST LADY)
$45,000 - Lechtenberg, Tyler A. (ASSOCIATE DIRECTOR OF CORRESPONDENCE FOR THE FIRST LADY)
Tubman, Samantha (DEPUTY ASSOCIATE DIRECTOR,SOCIAL OFFICE)
$40,000 - Boswell, Joseph J. (EXECUTIVE ASSISTANT TO THE CHIEF OF STAFF TO THE FIRST LADY)
$36,000 - Armbruster, Sally M. (STAFF ASSISTANT TO THE SOCIAL SECRETARY)
Bookey, Natalie (STAFF ASSISTANT)
Jackson, Deilia A. (DEPUTY ASSOCIATE DIRECTOR OF CORRESPONDENCE FOR THE FIRST LADY)


Posted by: king_of_zouk | July 7, 2009 10:36 AM | Report abuse

The cost of the banana despot:

Barack Obama's White House is spending more than $80,000 a week to staff its old and new media offices. Add the price of speechwriters and the White House communications tab reaches nearly $100,000 a week, or nearly $5 million a year-and that is for salaries alone.

Posted by: king_of_zouk | July 7, 2009 10:32 AM | Report abuse

PRESIDENT Obama went to Moscow desperate for the appearance of a foreign-policy success. He got that illusion -- at a substantial cost to America's security. The series of signing ceremonies in a grand Kremlin hall and the litany of agreements, accords and frameworks implied that the United States benefited from all the fuss. We didn't. We got nothing of real importance.

Posted by: king_of_zouk | July 7, 2009 10:30 AM | Report abuse

Both of my sons served in Iraq (one is out, the other is still in) and one thing none of us should ever forget is Al Frankin's going over here, entertaining the troops, meeting with them. It wasn't comfortable and it was dangerous, but Frankin did it. With all of the self serving rubbish of the Washington and Hollywood elite, Frankin took the time to bring a bit of home to them.

Posted by: mibrooks27 | July 7, 2009 10:26 AM | Report abuse

dognabbit writes
"Is Senator Al exempt from participating in the annual Funniest Celebrity in Washington event?"


Useless trivia: Sen Amy Klobuchar (D-MN) is the current 'Funniest Senator', making MN the hands-down winner for funniest Senate duo. If you add Michele Bachmann, we get the funniest fed team; though when she opens her mouth I don't know whether to laugh or cry.


.

Posted by: bsimon1 | July 7, 2009 10:25 AM | Report abuse

Both of my sons served in Iraq (one is out, the other is still in) and one thing none of us should ever forget is Al Frankin's going over here, entertaining the troop, meeting with them. It wasn't comfortable and it was dangerous, but Frankin did it. With all of the self serving rubbish of the Washington and Hollywood elite, Frankin took the time to bring a bit of home to them.

Posted by: mibrooks27 | July 7, 2009 10:24 AM | Report abuse

"Governor of our largest State is not for (Vice) President"

Stanford Law strikes again. No, cretin, but "our largest state" to people with brains refers to population, not land mass -- most of which in Alaska is owned by the federal government anyway.

Alaska is really the 44th (or so) largest state. Nice try though. No, not really.

By your "logic," the governor of Wyoming has a tougher job than the governors of New York, Pennsylvania, Illinois, Florida, Georgia, etc.

Your stupidity is exceeded only by your penchant for posting garbage even you know is nonsensical.

Posted by: koolkat_1960 | July 7, 2009 10:20 AM | Report abuse

Is Senator Al exempt from participating in the annual Funniest Celebrity in Washington event? That would be akin to Jim Bunning playing for the Senate softball team, wouldn't it?

Frankly, Franken won't be able to tell even a normal, everyday joke to anybody -- "I'll see you later, Al." "Not if I see you first." "Ha, ha, ha, ha..." -- without someone tattling on him. "He told a joke! He told a joke! He's not taking his job seriously! What a clown! He's such a clown!"

I'm looking at you, Fox News.

Posted by: dognabbit | July 7, 2009 10:08 AM | Report abuse

Obambi is trying today to retroactivly go back and lose the cold war and surrender to Russia. Putin is interested.

Posted by: king_of_zouk | July 7, 2009 9:59 AM | Report abuse

vbhoomes writes:
"We sure have came along way since Webster, Clay and Calhoun."

We have also come a long way from Sumner and the Southerner that beat him about the head with his cane. Though I have to admit that I'm at a loss to come up with the modern equivalents to your triumvirate.

Posted by: mnteng | July 7, 2009 9:53 AM | Report abuse

'DICK TRACY' BLOWS THE 'FULL LID' OFF FED-FUNDED NATIONWIDE VIGILANTE NETWORK

See latest comments to "GESTAPO USA" at:

http://NowPublic.com/scrivener

• When will Team Obama, mainstream media, wake up and smell the police state?

Posted by: scrivener50 | July 7, 2009 9:46 AM | Report abuse

"Anyone wonder why pols are a joke these days."

I don't know...Ensign, Sanford, and Palin come to mind.

Posted by: Bondosan | July 7, 2009 9:38 AM | Report abuse

"Another bozo joins the other lib clowns. Anyone wonder why pols are a joke these days."


Another clown joke? Surely you can do better than that. Find a mirror and remind yourself: "I'm King of Zouk; I'm good enough, I'm smart enough and doggone it, people like me."


.

Posted by: bsimon1 | July 7, 2009 9:31 AM | Report abuse

Another bozo joins the other lib clowns. Anyone wonder why pols are a joke these days.

Posted by: king_of_zouk | July 7, 2009 9:28 AM | Report abuse

AndyR3 writes
"I would say that Russ Feingold would be an excellent example for many senators to emulate, but especially progressive ones like Franken."


If Franken starts voting like Feingold, he might get my vote next time.

Posted by: bsimon1 | July 7, 2009 9:25 AM | Report abuse

The Village People are always amusing. Did you expect Franken to turn up wearing a red clown nose and floppy shoes? There are many Senators who fit the comedian mode already serving. However, funny is in the eye of the beholder.
Senator Franken has already chosen his role model: Paul Wellstone. A perfect choice.
Also, as for the diapered bunny, JWx2, that picture was photo shopped. Another example of Republican humor.
Senator Franken graduated with honors, lives his life respectfully, and takes the issues seriously. If only pundits were that well qualified.

Posted by: jeanne33 | July 7, 2009 9:25 AM | Report abuse

They had to "hold" Coleman's office. What if Coleman had won?

Posted by: mikeinmidland | July 7, 2009 9:25 AM | Report abuse

Bondosan,

Unfair to who--Franken? He earns the same salary. If it punishes anyone, it is the voters of Minnesota. Their junior senator is marginally less influential due to their dithering. Perhaps they will ignore 3rd party candidates a bit more, or if they are really concerned with seniority over all else, re-elect the incumbent.

Posted by: mikeinmidland | July 7, 2009 9:22 AM | Report abuse

bondosan writes
"From what I've been able to tell online, it hasn't been completely settled whether Franken's seniority will be retroactive to January or not, but it appears that it will not be.

That doesn't make a huge difference now, but down the line it can play a role in committee assignments and other matters."


Yes and no. They held a spot on Judiciary for him, which is no small thing. And they held former Sen Coleman's office, so he hasn't been relegated to the basement broom closet, as the least senior Senator traditionally is. There will be new freshman following the '10 elections, after which he will no longer be most junior.

Posted by: bsimon1 | July 7, 2009 9:22 AM | Report abuse

Senator Franken says he didn't come to Washington to be a clown, instantly shaming 99 senators and 435 representatives.

Posted by: IanGilbert | July 7, 2009 9:19 AM | Report abuse

A Comedian in the Senate?

What's next, an Actor in the White House?

Posted by: VTDuffman | July 7, 2009 9:19 AM | Report abuse

From what I've been able to tell online, it hasn't been completely settled whether Franken's seniority will be retroactive to January or not, but it appears that it will not be.

That doesn't make a huge difference now, but down the line it can play a role in committee assignments and other matters.

It seems a little unfair to me. The man was elected in November, it just took eight months to sort the mess out.

Posted by: Bondosan | July 7, 2009 9:09 AM | Report abuse

There simply and genuinely seems to be an inability for the Right to have a healthy, substantive debate about anything without it becoming about personality.

This holds true for the peoples the Right embraces (Reagan, Palin) or despises (The Clintons, Franken).

If the Right has a legitimate disagreement with Senator Franken's (or Kennedy's, or Reed's, etc) positions, policies, or principles - then where is the case? Rare is the evidence that the Right (that is, conservatives and their Republican Party) actually has a case to make beyond personal attack.

The Right's focus on peronage - its penchant for personality - leads them to tautological circles whenever they speak. Hence: "the policies of Ronald Reagan were good because they were policies of Ronald Reagan"; "Senator Franken is wrong because Senator Franken can never be right."

Posted by: molsonmich | July 7, 2009 9:02 AM | Report abuse

Chris,
I think you should hold a contest among your following to see which Republican they think will help get Palin off the hot seat. Sanford saved Ensign, Palin saved Sanford. Who will do something stupid and move Palin off the hot seat? Or has Rep. King already done that?

Posted by: roboquinno | July 7, 2009 8:54 AM | Report abuse


The advice was to vote his conscience, as opposed to the party line, and I think that is good advice. The most junior senator should be modest, but not taken completely for granted.

Being a former comedian doesn't disqualify Franken, any more or less than being a former actor or a former beauty queen.

The vote was essentially a tie, and Minnesota sorted it out according to its laws. Those voters can re-elect him or not, based on their view of his performance in the next 6 years.

Similarly, the good voters of Alaska can vote their approval of their governor when she runs for re-election in 2010. Oh, wait.

Posted by: mikeinmidland | July 7, 2009 8:52 AM | Report abuse

We sure have came along way since Webster, Clay and Calhoun. Franken will be a poster child for republicans if he behaves the way he did prior to last year. But so far, he's acting Senatorial, lets bait him, to see if we can't get the old Franken back.

Posted by: vbhoomes | July 7, 2009 8:40 AM | Report abuse

The difference between Frankin and Palin is like the difference between a book and its Cliff Notes with its last two pages missing.

Frankin is a wit and Palin is a twit.

Posted by: Gator-ron | July 7, 2009 8:32 AM | Report abuse

Mark, I would say that Russ Feingold would be an excellent example for many senators to emulate, but especially progressive ones like Franken.

Posted by: AndyR3 | July 7, 2009 8:32 AM | Report abuse

I second Andy. Every Senator should vote against Party on matters of principle to the individual, or to the state. The quoted R commentator may have meant no more than that, of course.

Texans will recall LG Bill Ratliff, who once said
"I am a Republican because I agree with the Republicans at least 51 percent of the time." Beloved by most Texans because he stood for principle so many times, he withdrew from public life when he was opposed for the LG slot by a doctrinaire R, remarking that he would have to sacrifice his independence to raise the millions it would cost to run statewide in a contested primary.

New Englanders will recall Warren Rudman, the R Senator who voted with Ds many times, especially on issues affecting New England. He wrote that he had that luxury of independence because he was never seriously opposed.

My point is that the odds are that Franken will not likely have the security to buck a party-line vote early in his career. Perhaps like Russ Feingold he will occasionally surprise in this respect.

Posted by: mark_in_austin | July 7, 2009 8:05 AM | Report abuse

I second Andy. Every Senator should vote against Party on matters of principle to the individual, or to the state. The quoted R commentator may have meant no more than that, of course.

Texans will recall LG Bill Ratliff, who once said
"I am a Republican because I agree with the Republicans at least 51 percent of the time." Beloved by most Texans because he stood for principle so many times, he withdrew from public life when he was opposed for the LG slot by a doctrinaire R, remarking that he would have to sacrifice his independence to raise the millions it would cost to run statewide in a contested primary.

New Englanders will recall Warren Rudman, the R Senator who voted with Ds many times, especially on issues affecting New England. He wrote that he had that luxury of independence because he was never seriously opposed.

My point is that the odds are that Franken will not likely have the security to buck a party-line vote early in his career. Perhaps like Russ Feingold he will occasionally surprise in this respect.

Posted by: mark_in_austin | July 7, 2009 8:03 AM | Report abuse

CC, Franken should "vote against the party on something he beleives in" not to impress the members of the GOP but because that's HIS JOB. Also why should Franken care what the GOP think of him. The repulblican party as a whole is falling further and further down the rabbit hole, and if you listen to people like Michael Steele (the head of said party) the solution is a guy (President Reagan) who has been dead now for about five years. Also the way that possible GOP presidential candidates keep falling off they may just have to run "an unnamed source" as their candidate.

Posted by: AndyR3 | July 7, 2009 7:45 AM | Report abuse

JWx2:

Don't bother trying to convince this crowd, who actually think a comedian is fine as U.S. Senator, but Governor of our largest State is not for (Vice) President. They simply can't be reasoned with.

Posted by: JakeD | July 7, 2009 7:42 AM | Report abuse

This is great for Minnesota, but 60 Dem senators means virtually nothing for the Obama agenda. Big plans mean big controversy. 65 is the new 60.

http://www.political-buzz.com/

Posted by: parkerfl1 | July 7, 2009 7:41 AM | Report abuse

you clowns in Minn with your newly elected diaper wearing senator are going to get pretty cold in winters to come with electricity triples in price....i guess you can all slum up together on one of them frozen over lakes and share a fire.

Posted by: JWx2 | July 7, 2009 6:59 AM | Report abuse

Senator Al.

The people of Minnesota elected Senator Franken -- Yeah, I know the decision was legal rather than electoral. But it would have been up to the voters if it had been a wider margin.

So now, get over it and let our 100'th seated Senator start his 5 1/2 years.

And stop calling him a "funnyman". Anyone who listened to the short lived "Air America" know how biting the guy can be -- but serving in the highest legislative body on the plant has to sober one. But if Jeanane Garafolo (his Air America sidekick) show up on his staff as speech writer, get ready for some of the most partisan sound bites since our President was in the Senate.

Posted by: tommariner | July 7, 2009 6:47 AM | Report abuse

Franken has played it cool so far. He wasn't 'in-your-face' during the recount, just stayed in the background. I assume he'll continue in this vein in the Senate.

This compared to Palin, who probably has an agent lined up and will be even more in our face than before... How you gonna keep her down on the farm, after she's seen DC?

Posted by: RickJ | July 7, 2009 6:46 AM | Report abuse

Somebody check the temperature in H3ll 'cause I am going to agree with a Republican! I just would have been briefer than Rep King: no need to belabor the obvious.

Posted by: margaretmeyers | July 7, 2009 6:42 AM | Report abuse

chris,

"vote against the party on something he believes in"—since this is a quote, how about you actually tell us who said this? c'mon now, on its face, this is asinine! would you do something you don't agree with 100% just to impress a group of people who most likely will cite you as an example of what's wrong with the world regardless?

if you're passing this advice along, you're being used, and that's too bad. i thought you had more backbone than that.

how about this for a recommendation? he should do what he believes is right while representing his constituents, instead of voting against his own interests in order to make one or two other senators, or a few pundits, happy.

what do you think, chris, doesn't that make more sense?

Posted by: IMGoph | July 7, 2009 6:37 AM | Report abuse

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