Greetings Senator Franken!

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al franken twn 2009.jpg
Former Minnesota Senator Norm Coleman has just given short, but gracious, concession remarks issuing greetings to Minnesota’s next US Senator, Al Franken.
Congratulations Al! This is a nice bit of news to get before flying off to Rome.
— Steve Clemons

Comments

17 comments on “Greetings Senator Franken!

  1. Tramadol says:

    I agree with you that New Hampshire and Ohio should be good for the Dems, but I wouldn’t count my chickens just yet in Missouri. If Obama’s popularity holds up it should be a Democratic pick-up; but if Obama’s popularity declines the seat could stay Republican.

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  2. David says:

    Having been following politics since before my 21st birthday (1963, and the first year I could register to vote), I have to concur with this comment by Tony: “Amerika has shapeshifted over the last 30 years into a nation of the predatorclass, by the predatorclass and for the predatorclass exclusively.” I would, however, spell it America because it is now us as a society, not an alternate version of us.
    Greed is good, looking out for numero uno, etc., etc. Problem is that these are the formulas for success in modern America, which has become, as a friend noted, the only place where he knew of that rewarded executives handsomely for destroying their companies. Bernie Madoff’s sentence was a dog-and-pony show, reinforcing the myth that it was a few bad apples. It’s systemic, and it’s not changing – vested interests, via Congress, have no intention of allowing fundamental change, or for that matter any real assessment of what happened, and why.
    Ironically, the talk is about Republicans gaining in the off-year elections. Flawed as the Democrats are, why don’t we just talk about handing the government over completely to the people who brought the economy crashing down, and are now making huge amounts of money off of the debacle? Makes as much sense as voting Republican. What is, and always has been, the mindset of the Republican Party post-Civil War, and the reason Teddy Roosevelt had to leave the Republican Party?
    Sorry, while I have considerable respect for particular Republicans on particular issues, what the Republican Party collective believes is a major problem, both politically and socially, a belief system become religious zealotry because of their rank-and-file base. They don’t even embrace science, for god’s sake, except the science of evermore exotic – and destructive – military hardware.

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  3. TonyForesta says:

    Of course not HWMNBN. I want other parties to form that will decouple the existing two party system, wherein both parties are totally focused on advancing the interests of the superrich, the predatorclass.
    I want some other party or parties or some other leadership to actually give voice to the voiceless in deed, not hollow promises.
    The only special interest groups in Amerika that do NOT have any influence in the conduct of the government, and NO voice in the government, and NO real representation in the government, and little support from the government – are poor and middle class Americans.
    Amerika has shapeshifted over the last 30 years into a nation of the predatorclass, by the predatorclass and for the predatorclass exclusively.

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  4. pauline says:

    Some sit on the left, some the right, but it’s really the American Corporate Party running the show.
    With 60 Dems now, maybe there’s no need to cater to Joe Lieberman’s neo-con wants and wishes. IMO, what a fool he looks like right now.
    BTW, has the drinking water ever been tested in Connecticut?

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  5. Don Bacon says:

    HWMNBN,
    The current virtually-mandated US two party system has resulted in two look-alike parties with people in each party who disagree with the party and are disappointed but have no other place to go. Other more progressive countries allow multiple parties with proportional elections, so that voters can vote green, socialist, labor or conservative and still have their votes counted although their candidate may not be in the top tier.
    The mandated two-party system makes it easier for corporate bankrolling of candidates and incumbents, as well as simplifying the stealing of elections as has happened.
    I was in Ireland recently during a national election. They had about twelve parties involved, with all their candidates speaking out, and it was much more vibrant and I think much more democratic.
    Ralph Nader wrote a book “Crashing the Party” about the hoops he had to jump through in 2000. Every state has restrictions and strict requirements for third parties, and then the national parties take over, limiting attendance in debates and (like Kerry did) suing the third party in every state, challenging its over ballot access.

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  6. HWMNBN says:

    “If there is a goddess or godz, then America will entertain third, fourth, and maybe fifth party candidates.”
    Why? Do you want special interests to have an even greater say in politics than they do now?

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  7. TonyForesta says:

    If there is a goddess or godz, then America will entertain third, fourth, and maybe fifth party candidates. The twoparty system is dead and rotting, for the cancer of internal corruptions and wanton greed dominates and perpetuates throughout our socalled democratic system. Dems and repugs are born of the same unholy beastly greedmongering cloth. Americans need new voices and new parties who will better serve and represent the voices of the people and NOT the obdurate, heartless, insatiable greed domination pathologies of the predatorclass and predatorclass oligarchies. Repubs are nazi’s; dems cowards. The two party system is one party and onepartylite. There are no two parties. In practical application there is only one party with vaque and nebulous shades of grey.
    We need real new parties and real new influence to truly give real voice to the voiceless.

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  8. WigWag says:

    Franklin, on New York, Pataki is far more popular upstate than Gillibrand is. She won by the skin of her teeth in one congressional district the first time and convincingly in her district the second time. Pataki won everywhere upstate in three statewide elections and he retains some popularity in the New York City suburbs. Gillibrand’s name recognition downstate is zilch and despite her frantic attempts to move left on issues like gun control, she will never be enthusiastically greeted in New York City. And remember that Gillibrand will probably be running on a ticket with the extraordinarily unpopular Democratic Governor, David Paterson.
    Could she win? Maybe.
    But if Clinton had remained in the Senate she would have been a shoe-in as long as she cared to run.
    The Democrats would have a better chance of retaining the New York Senate seat if Obama would butt out and leave the race to people who know what they’re talking about.

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  9. Franklin says:

    Well said, Don!
    WigWag,
    Kentucky is probably in play if Ben Chandler runs. He’s a Democratic representative in the House right now.
    It won’t have a huge impact on the partisan composition of the Senate, but it could be decisive on procedural votes (e.g. Chandler is a pretty solid-blue dog Dem).
    I agree with your read on CT and NV.
    PA is going to be interesting. I think there’s a chance that Sestak could get backing from Casey, labor orgs, and he’ll get enthusiastic support from the national grass-roots activists. He’s got $3 mill. left over from the 2008 cycle, so he’s got a running start.
    Rendell and the national party will throw their weight behind Specter — Rendell’s machine has pull. Obama will almost certainly help Specter with fundraising — not sure about campaigning with Specter though. Doing so would entail some potential embarrassment if Specter loses. But there is an opening for Sestak, because I don’t get the sense that there is strong enthusiasm for Specter amongst the Dem base (and the most partisan voters are the ones who typically show up for primaries).
    NY was a smart political move on paper. The Dem base is down-state and Gillibrand’s is from the GOP’s backyard in upstate (and a proven winner upstate). Even with moderate enthusiasm from the base downstate in the GE she’ll have a shot at winning based on her ability to marginalize the GOP’s strength upstate.

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  10. David says:

    Just learned, but not at all surprised, that Al Franken was a math jock in college. What a wonderful conjoining of brainpower and real connection to the everyday folk of Minnesota, a la Paul Wellstone. Al Franken will be a genuine asset on the committees to which he is assigned, and a champion of what is popularly referred to as the common man in the best and noblest sense of championing we the people.

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  11. Don Bacon says:

    With Ensign on domestic affairs and Sanford on foreign affairs they’d have it nailed! Ooops.

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  12. DonR says:

    2012 Repub ticket now forming —
    Ensign/Sanford
    “We’ll treat you like family”

    Reply

  13. TonyForesta says:

    Allah be praised. Now – there are effectively no republicans. The gop’s partisan obstructionism, institutional biggotry, racism, hypocricy, pathological lying forked tongued disinformation, propaganda, the mindless pandering to the freaks in the evengelical fundamenatalist christian churches, the gop’s pathological hatred for all things liberal, and complete and total disdain, disregard, and obdurate indifference to the interests, pain, and suffering of America’s poor and middleclass, the gop’s warmongering and warprofiteering, and penchent for needless fruitless but very costly, bloody and highly profitable warmaking misadventures, – the gop’s sliming of their fellow Americans and party devotion to piggish loudmouths, and rednecks like Limbaugh and Savage, the gop’s total focus on maximizing the interests of the predatorclass exclusively, and the gop’s sneaky stealth FASCISM are dead now. We have the 60 votes. The gop is irrelevent! Do not involve the gop in anything. If the individuals in the gop want to side with dems’ they are welcome, but the gop is dead and irrelevent and should be excluded and ignored.
    Ohh… I was only dreaming because the Obama and the dems are such cowards that they will continue to cower at gop threats and slime and undermine the best interests of the poor and middleclass America’s to feed the predatorclass and promote the gop’s fascist policies and reengineering of what little is left of our once more perfect union.

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  14. WigWag says:

    I hope you’re right Franklin.
    I disagree about Delaware. Mike Castle would beat Beau Biden. Castle has been ill so it is unclear if he will run; but if he does, he wins.
    Kentucky? I’ll believe that one when I see it. It wasn’t all that long ago that some people claimed that Mitch McConnell was vulnerable. I know that Jim Bunning is senile and that everyone in Kentucky knows it. But if the Republicans successfully force the delusional Bunning out of the race, the seat will probably stay Republican.
    Connecticut’s an overwhelming Democratic state but Dodd is very unpopular because of his role in the AIG bailout. A liberal Republican like Rob Simmons could beat Dodd. Remember that Connecticut has a Republican Governor, Jody Rell, who is incredibly popular. Connecticut also has a history of electing liberal republicans like Lowell Weicher
    I agree with you that New Hampshire and Ohio should be good for the Dems, but I wouldn’t count my chickens just yet in Missouri. If Obama’s popularity holds up it should be a Democratic pick-up; but if Obama’s popularity declines the seat could stay Republican.
    I wouldn’t be surprised if the Democrats lost Illinois (in light of the recent scandals there) and remember, Harry Reid won his race in Nevada six years ago by less than 1,000 votes.
    I think the Democrats look good, but retaining the 60 vote filibuster-proof cushion will be harder because Obama choose poorly.
    As for Pennsylvania, I’d love to see Shestak take on Specter in the Democratic primary. But there too we have the specter (pun intended) of Obama’s idiocy. After all, Obama promised to support Senator Specter in a primary and has repeatedly urged Shestak not to run. I hope Shestak tells Obama (and Rahm Emmanuel) to stick it.
    By the way, after begging Governor Paterson of New York to pick the unqualified Caroline Kennedy to replace Hillary Clinton as New York’s senator, now Obama is doing everything he can to prevent any democrat from challenging Gillibrand in a New York Democratic primary. The Republicans have two potentially very strong candidates; former Governor George Pataki and Long Island Congressman, Peter King. Either of them could beat Gillibrand. Instead of promoting a weak candidate like Gillibrand, Obama should be urging a strong candidate like New York City’s Caroline Maloney or Long Island’s Carolyn McCarthy to run.
    As I said, without the press to shill for him, Obama makes a lot of dumb moves. But of course he’s far better than anything the Republican Party has to offer. The Republicans aren’t just dumb; they’re suicidal.
    As for Bill O’Reilly, to paraphrase Al Franken, Bill O’Reilly is a big fat idiot.

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  15. WigWag says:

    I hope you’re right Franklin.
    I disagree about Delaware. Mike Castle would beat Beau Biden. Castle has been ill so it is unclear if he will run; but if he does, he wins.
    Kentucky? I’ll believe that one when I see it. It wasn’t all that long ago that some people claimed that Mitch McConnell was vulnerable. I know that Jim Bunning is senile and that everyone in Kentucky knows it. But if the Republicans successfully force the delusional Bunning out of the race, the seat will probably stay Republican.
    Connecticut’s an overwhelming Democratic state but Dodd is very unpopular because of his role in the AIG bailout. A liberal Republican like Rob Simmons could beat Dodd. Remember that Connecticut has a Republican Governor, Jody Rell, who is incredibly popular. Connecticut also has a history of electing liberal republicans like Lowell Weicher
    I agree with you that New Hampshire and Ohio should be good for the Dems, but I wouldn’t count my chickens just yet in Missouri. If Obama’s popularity holds up it should be a Democratic pick-up; but if Obama’s popularity declines the seat could stay Republican.
    I wouldn’t be surprised if the Democrats lost Illinois (in light of the recent scandals there) and remember, Harry Reid won his race in Nevada six years ago by less than 1,000 votes.
    I think the Democrats look good, but retaining the 60 vote filibuster-proof cushion will be harder because Obama choose poorly.
    As for Pennsylvania, I’d love to see Shestak take on Specter in the Democratic primary. But there too we have the specter (pun intended) of Obama’s idiocy. After all, Obama promised to support Senator Specter in a primary and has repeatedly urged Shestak not to run. I hope Shestak tells Obama (and Rahm Emmanuel) to stick it.
    By the way, after begging Governor Paterson of New York to pick the unqualified Caroline Kennedy to replace Hillary Clinton as New York’s senator, now Obama is doing everything he can to prevent any democrat from challenging Gillibrand in a New York Democratic primary. The Republicans have two potentially very strong candidates; former Governor George Pataki and Long Island Congressman, Peter King. Either of them could beat Gillibrand. Instead of promoting a weak candidate like Gillibrand, Obama should be urging a strong candidate like New York City’s Caroline Maloney or Long Island’s Carolyn McCarthy to run.
    As I said, without the press to shill for him, Obama makes a lot of dumb moves. But of course he’s far better than anything the Republican Party has to offer. The Republicans aren’t just dumb; they’re suicidal.
    As for Bill O’Reilly, to paraphrase Al Franken, Bill O’Reilly is a big fat idoit.

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  16. Franklin says:

    WigWag,
    I’m much less skeptical about the 60+ in 2010.
    Kentucky, New Hampshire, Missouri, Ohio are all likely pick-ups for the Dems.
    In PA there’s a pretty good chance too the seat could move a little more leftward if Joe Sestak decides to run and wins the party nomination.
    CT could flip GOP — although Dodd’s maneuvering over the past couple months is likely to restore some of the trust that voters lost in him. I think he pulls through with a narrow majority come 2010.
    DE would take a serious GOP challenger to overcome a strong partisan advantage that Dems enjoy in the state. If Beau Biden runs, the seat will almost certainly stay in Dem hands.
    Salazar was only moderately popular in CO and the state tilts in the blue column. Bennett could hold onto the seat, although Andrew Romanoff would probably be a safer bet.
    The GOP coffers are going to be flush with cash. However, the GOP has to defend more seats this cycle, and the national trends still tilt slightly in the Dems favor.
    Congrats though to Sen.-elect Franken. His seating is long overdue.
    Hopefully, Bill O’Reilly has had sufficient time to mentally prepare for this day.

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  17. WigWag says:

    Thank goodness that we finally have Franken in the Senate. Democrats should enjoy their 60 votes while they have them (assuming they can corral the needed 60 democrats on controversial votes like health care and climate change.)
    Because of Obama’s shortsightedness that 60 votes isn’t likely to last past the next election. First Obama picked Biden for Vice President (Biden could have been reelected to the Senate until the day he died). If liberal republican (and Delaware member of the House of Representatives) Mike Castle runs he’s an almost certain winner; no democrat including Joe Biden’s son can beat him.
    Obama picked Hillary Clinton for Secretary of State depriving New York of a Senator who would never have lost reelection. Now New Yorkers have the clueless Kirsten Gillibrand who is an almost certain loser to former Republican Governor George Pataki if he decides to run.
    By picking Ken Salazar for Secretary of the Interior, Obama deprived Colorado of a popular Democratic Senator. Colorado is a swing state that could easily be picked up by any number of Republicans.
    Finally, Obama selected the Democratic Governor of Kansas, Kathleen Sebelius, as Secretary of HHS. Sebelius was a sure winner for the seat being vacated by Sam Brownback; now it’s a seat that will be difficult or impossible for the Democrats to win.
    For a guy who’s supposed to be so smart, Obama’s pretty dumb. He only seems to do well when he has his friends in the media shilling for him.
    On his own, what is Obama?
    Not much.

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