Thursday, February 15, 2007

BIG Al Enters Politics

Picture Deleted Due to Nausea Urge!

Al Franken Enters Minnesota Senate Race

Wednesday, February 14, 2007

(02-14) 15:21 PST MINNEAPOLIS, (AP) --

Al Franken announced Wednesday that he will run for the Senate in 2008, making it clear that the comedian and author of "Rush Limbaugh Is A Big Fat Idiot" wants to be taken seriously as a political figure.

Franken said he would seek the Democratic nomination to challenge Republican incumbent Norm Coleman and immediately acknowledged the doubts voters may have about electing a former "Saturday Night Live" performer.

"Minnesotans have a right to be skeptical about whether I'm ready for this challenge, and to wonder how seriously I would take the responsibility that I'm asking you to give me," Franken said in a video on his Web site.

"I want you to know: Nothing means more to me than making government work better for the working families of this state, and over the next 20 months, I look forward to proving to you that I take these issues seriously," he said.

Franken's announcement came on the final day of his show on the liberal radio network Air America. His decision instantly makes him a serious contender and brings national attention to the race.

Franken had been considering a run since 2003. He said several weeks ago that he would leave Air America and privately told prominent Democrats about his plans to seek office.

His name is well-known, and Franken is likely to be well-funded, but he's expected to be challenged by several other Democrats, including wealthy trial attorney Mike Ciresi. Franken said he would abandon his campaign if Democratic activists decide to support another candidate in the primary.

The race will be important to Democratic efforts to retain the slim Senate majority they secured last year.

His candidacy will also test whether Minnesotans are in the mood for another celebrity-turned-politician, after the 1999-2003 governorship of former pro wrestler Jesse Ventura. Ventura's fame and occasionally outrageous behavior regularly brought national attention to the state but wore on the patience of many Minnesotans.

Stephen Hess, a professor of political science at George Washington University, said Franken's bid is serious. "He's not doing this as some folks have done it to give them better gigs on the Borscht circuit."

Coleman is viewed as vulnerable because of a Democratic resurgence in Minnesota and President Bush's unpopularity. But his proven skills as a campaigner and fundraiser make him a formidable opponent.

State GOP Chairman Ron Carey suggested Franken moved back to Minnesota when he smelled opportunity and will have a tough time connecting with voters.

Franken is "going to have to explain to Minnesota how he represents his values when spent he pretty much all of his adult life in New York and Hollywood," Carey said.

Franken said he supports universal health care, greater efforts to find alternative energy sources, and stronger congressional oversight of the executive branch.

Franken, 55, was born in New York City but grew up in the Minneapolis suburb of St. Louis Park. He graduated from Harvard University in 1973, and in 1975 joined the writing staff of "Saturday Night Live" during its first season. He soon began appearing in sketches and remained a fixture on the show well into the 1990s.

In 1996, Franken took his career in a political direction when he wrote "Rush Limbaugh Is A Big Fat Idiot and Other Observations," a broadside against the conservative radio host and other figures on the right. He's since published several other books critical of Republicans.

In his latest book, "The Truth (with jokes)," Franken criticized Coleman for his leadership of the Permanent Subcommittee on Investigations, saying Coleman had not held a single hearing on Iraq war corruption.

Franken planned to make his first public appearance as a candidate Thursday at a Minneapolis clinic.


On the Net:

Al Franken's Web site:

Well maybe he has a chance against the carpetbagger Norm Coleman being a Minnesota raised candidate. Norm showed up out of nowhere after Paul Wellstone met his demise in a suspicious plane crash, co-incidence? I think not.

Time for Norm to go back to wherever he came from, (Bush shillville).


DEN said...

US prison population to add 200,000 convicts by 2011: study
Published: Thursday February 15, 2007

The US prison population ballooned eight-fold between 1970 and 2005 and will grow by an additional 192,000 convicts by 2011, according to a new study.

The report by the Pew Charitable Trusts said one in 178 US residents will live in prison by 2011 and the increase could cost American taxpayers another 27.5 billion dollars over the next five years in jail spending.

"After a 700-percent increase in the US prison population between 1970 and 2005, you'd think the nation would finally have run out of lawbreakers to put behind bars," said the report by Pew's Public Safety Performance Project.

But figures provided by US states show that 1.7 million people will be behind bars in 2011, a 13 percent increase that is three times the growth rate of the US population, the study said.

The Pew data does not include local prisons, whose population in 2005 was nearly 750,000, bringing the total US prison population to 2.2 million people, the largest in the world.

The jail growth will cost states another 15 billion dollars for prison operations and an additional 12.5 billion dollars to build new prisons.

WTF is going on here? BIG FLAG!!!

Maybe we should rethink sending NON VIOLENT offenders to prison, DUH!
Prison is a training ground to turn them into violent ones at taxpayers expense.

More fascist policy!

DEN said...

Cindy Sheehan: Money Trumps Peace...Sometimes
Submitted by BuzzFlash on Thu, 02/15/2007 - 10:23am. Guest Contribution

by Cindy Sheehan

It is always painful to watch George stumble his way through press conferences. He can't get through a sentence without at least two-three "uhs," his eyelids flutter up and down in what my daughter Carly calls the "liar's blink." It is painful that a human like that is ostensibly the leader of the free world. There is always a plethora of things that he says, does, or screws up on to write about but this time what caught my attention happened during the Q&A. George was asked if he thought the economic sanctions on Iran would work because so many European nations trade with that country.

He stopped to collect his thoughts with what he thought must've looked like a studied and careful demeanor, but more like someone with a sour tummy, and said: "well, let's put it this trumps peace, sometimes. In other words, commercial interests are very powerful interests throughout the world." (I added the italics.) It is always interesting with people who frequently play fast and loose with the truth, such as the liars in BushCo, once in a while if they talk long enough, they tell a truth.

"Money trumps peace" is the fundamental reason for the invasions and subsequent gory and violent occupations of Iraq and Afghanistan. In Richard Behan's excellent article "From Iraq to Afghanistan: Connecting the Dots with Oil," he brilliantly follows the history of the oil-money trail in these countries that are 1) rich in oil, and 2) well placed for the transportation and delivery of oil. Neither Iraq nor Afghanistan, or their leaders or governments had anything to do with 9-11, but they were in the way of oil and other industries that profit from oil, so they had to go. Money trumped peace in those countries and they are destroyed and hundreds of thousands of Iraqis, Afghanis, and Americans have been slaughtered because they were blocking American imperialistic profiteering.

"Money trumps peace" is the underlying reason for all wars as two-time Congressional Medal of Honor winner and highly decorated Major General Smedley D. Butler wrote in his reflective, prophetic work, "War is a Racket":

WAR is a racket. It always has been.

It is possibly the oldest, easily the most profitable, surely the most vicious. It is the only one international in scope. It is the only one in which the profits are reckoned in dollars and the losses in lives.

A racket is best described, I believe, as something that is not what it seems to the majority of the people. Only a small "inside" group knows what it is about. It is conducted for the benefit of the very few at the expense of the very many. Out of war, a few people make huge fortunes.

During the short booklet that every prospective parent, current parent, and every teen should read thoroughly and often, he keeps referring to World War I as the "World War" because he was writing directly after the "Great War" -- the "war to end all wars." There was no World War II...yet. General Butler was no unwashed, hippie peace-nik. He was a warrior who, as often times happens when men face the horrors of war ("War is hell" -- General Sherman), saw the futility of killing as a diplomatic tool that kills and maims our young people for "the benefit of the very few."

"Money trumps peace" should be the rallying call of all the Democrats and Republicans who are exploiting our tired and wounded soldiers in the field to justify handing BushCo more money to complete his mission of totally decimating the Middle East for the oil companies, construction contractors, and defense industries. How many times have we heard: "We have to vote for the emergency funding for the troops." That money is not for the troops, never has been for the troops, and the troops in the field wouldn't need any support if they used the money that was already in the pipeline to bring our soldiers and Marines home from the killing deserts. I talked to a young lady at a university in Minnesota whose good friend was a Marine in Iraq who just got home and one of the only things that he shared with her was that he had to eat ants. If you don't believe me, just ask Mr. "You go to war with the Army you have, not the Army you want." Our troops have never been supported in this monstrous mistake of a war and they have never received the tools they need to survive, let alone be successful in their so-called mission. The money goes to one thousand dollar a day mercenaries -- not our two thousand dollar a month grunts.

"Money trumps peace" when while asking for tens of billions of more dollars for war, George is balancing the budget off of the backs of vets who have served this country honorably by cutting back on VA benefits. Many times I am asked: "What would you say to Bush if you were to meet with him now?" I think my first question would be: "How the hell do you look at yourself in the mirror?" How dare he?

"Money trumps peace" is one of the reasons why true peace won't be possible when our country is misgoverned by people who are beholden to and entrenched in the military industrial complex. K-Street palm greasers have an easier passage in the Halls of Congress than do activists with petitions, or a Gold Star Mother wearing a "protest shirt" do.

"Money trumps peace" is the problem when some leaders of Congress, who should be working day and night to bring our troops home to save Iraq and the lives and souls of our brave soldiers and Marines, are out raising money for presidential campaigns that are still a year away. Sometime between now and the first primaries in 2008, we will be holding vigils for the 4,000th troop killed in Iraq and thousands of Iraqi families will be overcome with grief and pain while the talking head shows are already consumed by election fever.

"Money will always trump peace" unless BushCo are impeached, removed from office, and imprisoned for leading our military like lambs to the slaughter to die for Raytheon, Halliburton, and Blackwater Security.

"Money will always trump peace" until we the people demand that our tax dollars remain in our communities, schools, and families and not directly funneled from the Treasury Department to the Pentagon, so that our children do not have to offer themselves up as these human sacrificial lambs.

Peace can and should trump money, but only if we are willing to stand up and challenge the continuing and immoral perception that "Money trumps peace."

Cindy Sheehan is the mother of Spc. Casey Sheehan who was killed in Bush's war of terror on 04/04/04. She is the co-founder and president of Gold Star Families for Peace and the Camp Casey Peace Institute.
She is the author of three books, the most recent is: Peace Mom: A Mother's Journey Through Heartache to Activism.


Micki said...

Den, here's your answer regarding Coleman's prior residence, before becoming a Minnesotan:

Franken expects his years in New York to be an issue in the campaign but has had a ready line as he promotes himself to Minnesota audiences: "If I do run against Norm Coleman in '08, I'll be the only New York Jew in the race who actually grew up in Minnesota."

Coleman grew up in New York and moved to Minnesota as an adult.

(From Minneapolis-St Paul Star-Tribune, January 31, 2007)

DEN said...

He was the mayor of St.Paul before running for the senate too.

DEN said...

Here is the catch on Norm.
from WIKI, Coleman campaigned in 2002 for the United States Senate, after being persuaded by Karl Rove to channel his elective efforts from a second race for governor to a race for the senate seat against incumbent Senator Paul Wellstone. He was elected to the U.S. Senate in 2002, narrowly defeating Vice President and former Minnesota senator Walter Mondale, who entered the race as the Democratic candidate after Senator Wellstone died in a plane crash on October 25, 2002. Coleman succeeded Dean Barkley, appointed by Governor Jesse Ventura to serve the remaining two months of Wellstone's term.

Timing IS everything, this is why his election timing raised suspicions with me, 'convinced by KKKarl', and Wellstone was mysteriously killed in a plane crash.

Way too convenient, no?

Alan said...

and Switzerland makes three...

Switzerland approves probe of CIA flight

GENEVA - Switzerland on Wednesday followed Italy and Germany in raising the threat of criminal prosecution of CIA operatives involved in anti-terrorism operations in Europe.

DEN said...

Good that some countries have enough balls to stand up to the Nazi-Bush regime, especially the Swiss.

Geneva Convention was there after all.

Buck Fush!

Alan said...

Pelosi's new blog that's "...showing Republicans how responsiveness to your constituency looks."

There is also some more of those 5-minute speeches against the "surge". Don't miss Iraqi War veteran Patrick Murphy.

The Gavel

Alan said...

Colbert, the ice cream: It tastes like irony

Ben & Jerry’s has named a new ice cream in honor of the comedian: “Stephen Colbert’s Americone Dream.” It’s vanilla ice cream with fudge-covered waffle cone pieces and caramel. Announcing the new flavor Wednesday, Ben & Jerry’s called it “the sweet taste of liberty in your mouth.”

Alan said...

Den, I dunno if you're a baseball fan, but there's an article here to the rhythm of "Casey at the Bat", 'cept it's Cheney. haha

DEN said...

Alan, I'll have to check out Pelosis site at home where I can get video to play decent, too slow here at work, slow DSL and full of bandwidth hoggers, thanks for the tip.

Baseball Cheney, wish someone would hit him out of the park!

Carey said...

Your suspicions about Coleman, Rove and the mystery surrounding the crash of Wellstone's plane are fascinating. Talk on.

So they expect more and more nonviolent or violent prisoners? I'm not sure how they arrived at their stats. I am quite sure that nonviolent drug offenders do not belong in prison.


David B. Benson said...

Maybe, just maybe, the Demorats are actually going to do the right thing?

If they do, then I'll call them Democrats!

DEN said...

The man! The man puts lawbreakers in prison to teach them a lesson.

That lesson involves getting a**f**cked and beat up and turned into an even worse criminal than they were to begin with, nice lesson eh?

Wellstone got zapped by an energy weapon similar to the ones used to blow up suspicious packages found by bomb squads. Knocked out the electronics on the plane.


Carey said...

Really Den. Wow. I had heard there were suspicions but had never seen anything on the Wellstone crash other than the mainstream news reports. I cried that day. Wellstone was to be part of the wave of the future in Congress.

Energy zapper? Like one of those heating waves they claim are used for large crowd control of the enemy?

This is a petition from the League of Conservation Voters to call for all 2008 presidential contenders to take a stand on global warming.

Ignore this if you received it in the email.


DEN said...

Carey, I know of the weapons because I saw one used to blow up a suspicious package on TV and used my DVR to seek out the flash of the beam which was zig-zag beam of energy.

I figure someone was lurking near the airport runway and zapped him when they flew over, pure conjecture on my part but using a beam like that would leave NO trace.

Interesting? you bet!

Carey said...

Wow Den.

Democrats Criticize Lack of Alernatives to Intelligence Estimate

Democrats on the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence have questioned whether the recent National Intelligence Estimate on Iraq gave political advantage to the Bush administration by making "rapid withdrawal" of U.S. troops the only alternative military option the NIE explored.

The estimate judged that rapid withdrawal of coalition forces from Iraq would "almost certainly" increase sectarian violence, intensify Sunni resistance, possibly cause the Iraqi Security Forces to dissolve and allow al-Qaeda to seek a sanctuary to plan attacks inside and outside the country. That assessment came just days before the Senate and House prepared to debate nonbinding resolutions opposing increased troop levels in Iraq.

Carey said...

Joe Conason writes quite an intriguing little assessment of Clinton's situation.

Time for Hillary to Admit a Mistake--and Act

In fairness, it is true that as long ago as March 2003, Clinton voiced her preference for "coercive inspection" rather than pre-emptive war. When the moment of the invasion arrived, she released a supportive statement that mentioned a forlorn yearning for "more international support."

The most convincing explanation is simple and happens to be true. When the president asked for the authorization, he told America he would use that power to "keep the peace." He said the authorization would force Saddam to permit the U.N. weapons inspectors to return to Iraq and fulfill the pertinent resolutions. He promised that he would invade only as "a last resort."

Those false promises persuaded Clinton to support the resolution. She endorsed the potential use of force because she wanted the inspectors to return to Iraq -- as she has said many times. She then watched President Bush terminate the inspections unilaterally, violating his pledge to seek a peaceful resolution. Trusting him was a mistake that she should no longer be unwilling to admit.

...She might begin to demonstrate that strength not only by opposing the escalation of the war effort in Iraq, but by speaking out against the provocation of a military conflict with Iran. She should lead the Democratic Party in demanding that the president reverse course and accept the recommendations of the Iraq Study Group, including diplomatic engagement with Iran and Syria.

Carey said...

I find this a thoughtful take on the current state of Obama's candidacy and his chances.

As a total aside, I've always thought that 2008 might just be a tad too early for America to fully accept a black man as President.

Inside Man

The next president will inherit a dangerous world that has hardened against the U.S. during the eight years of George W. Bush’s presidency. This is not 2000, when the campaign unfolded against a backdrop of relative peace abroad and prosperity at home.

David B. Benson said...

Gore for Prez!

DEN said...

Anyone who is NOT an corrupt money grubbing, self serving, child molesting, homophobic, racist, power hungry, womanizing, bible beating, liar, for president!

Thats narrows it down a bit, eh?

DEN said...

Sorry I posted the photo shopped pic of dear Al but it just seemed funny at the time, it is rather disgusting isn't it?

David B. Benson said...

Den --- Oh dear! No president!

DEN said...

There just HAS to be someone out there, someone that cares, someone with a proper inner strength, someone to stand up and serve their country as our forefathers had intended.
Someone with intelligence to lead the country on a new path of promoting peace and prosperity for all citizens of the world instead of prosperity for a few. Honest and truthful, wise and considerate.

Why is it so difficult to find this type of person and what does that tell us what we have become.

ยบ¿carol said...

Exactly, Den. Everyone seems to have an agenda, or tries to play the same old game. No one genuine out there. Oh, to have a renegade as in an honest person.

DEN said...

Honesty is evidently NOT a requirement in politics....sigh.

Nor is a resume'


DEN said...



Micki said...

I'd love it if Al Gore was my president. He's been out there for going on 20 years promoting awareness of global warming -- shows he's a man ahead of the times and not afraid to break from the mold. Gore has long called for stronger U.S. action on climate change, co-sponsoring the first congressional hearings to study the issue in the 1980s.

Go, Al!

PS Carol, Al's agenda is the people's agenda.

Jeanne said...

Ahhhhh. I finally get to sit in front of the computer and vegge. Between my new job and the senior in high school working on homework and college applications I have had no access to the computer.

As for Frankin...he's in MN a lot. He supported a lot of candidates in the 06 election. He went to democratic picnics and that kind of stuff. He may have been testing the water but how is that different than any other candidate. I have always thought he had very strong ties to MN.

Micki said...

Working on solutions for climate change, to me, sure seems like a better use of the world's time, resources, creativity, technology, and compassion than what's going on now -- sure beats war any day of the week.

Gore Announces Climate Campaign Concerts

Organisers of the concerts and the new campaign Save Our Selves (SOS) hope to reach a global audience of two billion people through concert attendance, radio, television and Internet broadcasts.

"In order to solve the climate crisis, we have to reach billions of people," Gore said in a statement. "We are launching SOS and Live Earth to begin a process of communication that will mobilise people all over the world to take action.

"The climate crisis will only be stopped by an unprecedented and sustained global movement. We hope to jump-start that movement right here, right now, and take it to a new level on July 7, 2007," Gore said.

Jeanne said...

I respect Gore. He's not waiting for the political winds to change. He's forging ahead towards a progressive and necessary goal.