The Al Franken Decade Begins

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Little-noticed in yesterday's hurricane of political news: The coming of Senator Al Franken.

Mike Ciresi, a DFLer who got extremely rich suing tobacco companies, bowed out of the U.S. Senate race today. Surviving him are writer/funnyman Al Franken and academic/anti-war enthusiast Jack Nelson-Pallmeyer.

"The memories and friendships forged are timeless," Ciresi said in a statement released on his website, although he's evidently not referring to his time spent with the remaining DFL candidates, neither of whom he is endorsing.

This is Jack Nelson-Pallmeyer.

So, yeah, he's not going to win. Al Franken will be a U.S. Senate nominee and quite possibly a U.S. senator. But there's a deep reservoir of schadenfreude we can drink from when it comes to Mike Ciresi. Ciresi got rich off the 46-state lawsuit against tobacco companies, after his firm won and claimed $440 million in fees. Ciresi decided to enter political life to let us benefit from his brilliance and charity: he blew $5 million on a 2000 Senate race and $2.5 million on this one.

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  1. Patton Oswalt for Centrum Silver.

  2. I hope the Republicans nominate Tom Davis.

  3. I have no love for Norm Coleman, but I’ll still take him over Al Franken.

  4. Personally, I’m hoping Franken benefits from low expectations. After the way Republicans have portrayed him as a foul-mouthed, mean-tempered lunatic, voters may be impressed just because he doesn’t melt down and start spewing obscenities at Coleman during their first debate.

    How does Coleman rate from a libertarian point of view?

  5. I don’t think America is serious about…anything anymore.

  6. If only that were case. Really, given all the trouble that “serious” politicians seem to cause for the rest of us, we could use quite a few more “unserious” ones.

  7. Not so, Adamness! We care deeply about American Idol.

  8. And erections lasting more than four hours.

  9. certain members of my family have an awful habit of giving me Al Franken books for Christmas. I have three from the last four years. I actually read one once. That man is more partisan than any writer I’ve ever read. He’s a democrat for one reason; because he hates republicans. The book amounted to nothing more than whining about how awful the republicans are, no substance whatsoever.

  10. Coleman was a fluke anyway, winning only because Wellstone died.

  11. He’s a bit of a douche, but he gets a pass from me on most things for asking Regan how he could oppose legalization of marijuana on the grounds it causes brain damage, but at the same time oppose helmet laws.

    Him and Tom Davis’ brain damage bit is also a classic.

  12. Now Franken can whine and moan about stupid insinificant stuff in the Senate. Cry about the Wellstone service or John Glenn’s treatement or if O’reilly got a Peabody or some other stupid award that nobody cares about instead of giving a damn about important stuff.

    In other news, David Gregory will be taking over for Tucker. David Gregory, the guy whose most heated exchange with Bush’s press secretary was over the fact that some small town newspaper was given the scoop when Cheney shot that lawyer in the face.

  13. It was Franken crying about the Wellstone service?

    I think you’ve got that a little turned around there, PC.

  14. Crying about how the Wellstone Service was spun I should have written. My point is that he picks pointless things and makes a big deal about them. Most of the stuff he takes on don’t even live past a news cycle.

  15. I just hope Franken reports from the Senate floor wearing his Mobile Satellite Uplink gear.

    Also, it’d be funny if he debated Norm Coleman in character as Stuart Smalley.

  16. PC,

    Ah, gotcha. Check.

  17. Congress is such a joke that even an SNL writer wouldn’t be able to ruin it.

  18. I bet that guy would be a hoot giving a filibuster.

  19. Any filibuster by an SNL writer would start out funny in the first minute but would quickly become boring.

  20. writer/funnyman Al Franken

    Franken hasnt been funny since The Year of Al Franken.

    Okay, I googled search to try to figure out when that was, and the first response I got was this:

    https://www.reason.com/blog/show/125046.html#917090

    Sigh, I need some new jokes.

  21. 1980 – btw. 28 years of unfunniness.

  22. Ciresi also grew rich by winning a $2B patent dispute between Honeywell and Litton back in the ’90s. He used to call my boss at Honeywell frequently. He was a very decent man back then and I suspect that he still is.

  23. “Coleman was a fluke anyway, winning only because Wellstone died.”

    A fluke? Or God’s will?

  24. President (and Govenor) Ronald Reagen
    Govenor Terminator
    Senator Sonny Bono

    It’s about time the democrats started to catch up

  25. PC, I think you’re referring to Franken’s book, “Lies and the Lying Liars who Tell Them.”

    Pardon me for sounding like a shill, but that book was intended specifically to refute right-wing claims about liberals. So, yes, Franken had to take up seemingly trivial topics like the Wellstone service, etc. But he did, at least, have a more substantive goal, which was to demonstrate that the stable of right-wing bloviaters (Coulter, Hannity, Limbaugh, etc.) are full of crap. Certainly, somebody could make a similar case about left-leaning commentators….

    Anyway, I’d argue that the truthfulness of certain media outlets is a significant issue.

  26. A fluke? Or God’s will?

    Da da DAAAAA!!!

  27. Timbo | March 11, 2008, 2:14pm | #

    I understand, but that goes back to the insignificance argument. See the problem is that the left and the right flip and flop. For example Clinton hated warrants during the nineties and now the Republicans think they are passe. Same with unnecessary wars. Those are substantive issues, Franken gets involved in the little partisan bickering about nothing that is no different than what the right does. He needed those right wing pundits to create a pathetic little niche for himself after SNL so he would have something that resembles a career.

    Also as a side question, does anyone think that Olbermann should pay Franken royalties?

  28. Ciresi decided to enter political life to let us benefit from his brilliance and charity: he blew $5 million on a 2000 Senate race and $2.5 million on this one.

    So you’re just waiting for him to get lung cancer for perfect kharma?

  29. I was searching NEWSMEAT campaign contributors recently and I’m sure this will come as a SHOCKER!!!, but nearly every Hollywood big shot listed donated to Franken’s campaign. (As well as to some Clooney character in Kentucky.)

    Seriously? This is what we’ve come to? Al fucking Franken in the US Senate?

    This country is completely FUBAR.

    Here’s some identity politics I can get behind, or rather, get under, or over, or in between, or down for.

    Nick Gillepsie & Matt Welch for Presidents of America 2008
    ~ Because They’re Both Just So Fucking Gorgeous & Sexy ~

  30. Um, people still like Al Frankin? robc is right, Al Frankin stopped being funny or relevant literally before I was born. Now the mofo is going to think he’s “somebody” again. We’re never going to be rid of him now.

  31. I seem to remember some talk of Dennis Miller running for Congress as a Republican.

    It would sort of amuse to know two Saturday Nighet Live alums are serving in Congress, even if Miller has been sipping a bit too much neocon Kool-Aid. At least Miller and Franken were on the show when it was still watchable.

  32. At least Miller and Franken were on the show when it was still watchable.

    “Things ain’t what they used to be and probably never was.” – Will Rogers

  33. I nominate Mr. Bill for senator. (oh no!)

  34. I want a campaign button for the Al Franken/Gloria Steinham ticket:

    “Vote FrankenSteinham”

  35. At least Dennis Miller used to be funny, before he became a political commentator. Franken was never funny.

    I don’t see how the people of Minnesota will be served by having a representative whose purpose is to whine, complaint, and attack the opposition.

  36. Franken “Stuart Smalley” bit was hilarious.

    Telling Michael Jordan, “I’ll call you Michael J, to protect your anonymity.”

    Making Al Gore look in the mirror – “Don’t look at me, only you can help you” – and say “I don’t have to be…the most powerful man in the world…”

  37. “I don’t see how the people of Minnesota will be served by having a representative whose purpose is to whine, complaint, and attack the opposition.”

    As a resident, I’m resigned to the fact that the Federal Government will never “serve” us. We consistantly rank worst among states getting far fewer dollars back from the feds than we receive.

    The prospect of a Franken senator delights me. While he likely won’t bring any more of our money back, at least he will try to make funny comments.

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