Monday, June 5, 2017

Al Franken

Senator Al Franken graduated from Harvard College. Before running for office, he spent 37 years as a comedy writer, author, and radio talk show host, and has taken part in seven USO tours, visiting our troops overseas in Bosnia, Kosovo, Iraq, Afghanistan, and Kuwait. Franken was first elected to the United States Senate in 2008 and re-elected (by a much larger margin) in 2014. His new book is Al Franken, Giant of the Senate.

From the transcript of Franken's interview with NPR's Terry Gross:

GROSS: This is FRESH AIR. And if you're just joining us, my guest is Senator Al Franken. He has a new memoir that's called "Al Franken, Giant Of The Senate." So you write that one of the things that shocked you the most was after President Obama was elected, Mitch McConnell said the single most important thing we want to achieve is for President Obama to be a one-term president.


GROSS: Do you feel like that changed the tone in the Senate in any way?

FRANKEN: Well, yeah. I mean, I wasn't shocked that he thought it. I was shocked that he said it. And I write about the - I call it the curdling of Washington. Which was that Mitch chose basically to filibuster pretty much everything and to slow things down. That was about slowing things down so that we could not - he'd filibuster somebody. And we'd get 60 votes for cloture. And then we'd have to wait 30 hours of debate till we could vote. These are the rules. And then we'd have a vote on a judge. And the judge would get voted 99 to 1.

So they were filibustering things that they were not against. To overcome a filibuster, you have to take a lot of time. And so this really soured, made it hard to get things done. But McConnell wanted to defeat, to deprive Obama of achievements. That's how he did it. And it really did sour things very badly. And we still live with...[read on]
--Marshal Zeringue