Jeff writes:

A while back, you and I had a disagreement in the comments section about how partisan Al Franken was. While I appreciate the time that you took to respond to my comment, I wanted to forward along this video of Sen. Franken discussing policy with his constituents: . I would like to invite you to reconsider your opinion of Sen. Franken–at least in comparing him to the likes of Rush Limbaugh.


Category: Politics, Video

Please use the comments to demonstrate your own ignorance, unfamiliarity with empirical data and lack of respect for scientific knowledge. Be sure to create straw men and argue against things I have neither said nor implied. If you could repeat previously discredited memes or steer the conversation into irrelevant, off topic discussions, it would be appreciated. Lastly, kindly forgo all civility in your discourse . . . you are, after all, anonymous.

15 Responses to “Franken Talks Down Angry Mob”

  1. cewing says:

    This video shows how off the mark the Right Wing’s attempts to paint Franken as a Wacko Liberal from Commie Town were. Facts, evidence, calm reasoning…no wonder they think he’s a weirdo.

  2. Fredex says:

    Angry mob? That seems an over the top characterization.

  3. Michael says:

    Franken does a great job, I’m very impressed actually.

    I take exception to the “angry mob” headline. No one is shouting, but rather people are asking very difficult questions that concern them and holding their elected official accountable for the answers. No one is even talking over another. There are no signs and no one is shaking their head in disgust. I worry about a country if “angry mob”‘s like that are not around, for truly active democracy would be dead. I’m irritated these difficult questions are not asked more often to all of our elected officials so they have an opportunity to fully outline their thinking, reasoning, and conclusion.

    I think Franken does an excellent job answering these questions and does so in a very conciliatory way. I agree with him in his answers about how he’s an elected representative that will vote how he wants, not some poll. That’s our representative government and he doesn’t waffle on that.

  4. Wes Schott says:

    This was an email I sent to my friends Max and Mary a couple of weeks ago (Max is a Dermatologist). Alex is my 18 yo son….Judy is my wife and Flax is our Gastroenterologist (we are both old enough for colonoscopic inspections)….

    I had a bad experience with the health care system recently.

    Alex had been having episodic vomiting events. I asked if he had been doing anything he should not have been. He said no, of course.

    In any case, after several episodes of increasing frequency Judy took Alex to our local GP. He was on vacation, so they were sent to his “associate”. Upon interview with the Dr. it came out that Alex had also been experiencing diarrhea for the last month – everyday.

    OK, so the Doc says intermittent vomiting, can’t do anything with that, have Alex get a CT scan of the stomach at some clinic that he recommends and take him to a Gastroenterologist. And, btw, here is a business card of my buddy who is a GE. And here is a prescription for anti-nausea medicine.

    Judy is going to FL the next day, so I need to swing into action. I think this whole story doesn’t sound right – seems like Alex needs to see the GE before the CT scan. I am getting upset with Judy for not knowing all of the answers to the question I have, but in the end, there is no time to work it out – I am very busy with work deadlines, and we feel we need to take quick action for Alex – Judy makes the appt for the next day, Friday at the recommended CT Scan clinic, We at least make an appt with Flax (our GE) for Monday.

    I drop Judy off at the airport Fri AM, then take Alex to the imaging clinic at 9 am. This place is across the road from Fallbrook Hospital on FM 1960. The whole strip center is full of “support services” clinics presumably to support Fallbrook. We go in the clinic and it is like we have entered the ghetto. Low life people on both sides of the desk and in the parking lot (not as bad as the light rail, but almost). After several hours, Alex gets his scan and we leave. On the way out the door the lady said the results will be ready in 48 hours. I say OK, we need them for Alex’ appt Monday at 3:30 pm, will they be ready? Yes, no problem. Have to send them to the referring physician and he, will send them to my GE.

    OK, we arrive on Monday at Flax’ office. CT scan results not there. Call and cannot locate them. OK, let’s see Flax, and then, when the scan comes in he can look at the scan and advise.

    We tell the story to Flax who say’s he would not have ordered the CT Scan. He says the vomiting is most likely unrelated and could be caused by many things. The diarrhea is likely Giardia. Let’s treat it (it can be tested, but the treatment is just as fast and cheaper). At last, Alex sees a real doctor.

    Now, here is where I have an issue with our health care system. The first Dr. who had no business whatsoever, in my mind, ordering the CT scan did so to cover his ass and send some business to his buddies at the ghetto clinic and try’s to get some business to his buddy the GE. OK, that maybe cynical, but, I am pissed, so forgive me.

    In any event, this is the way the medical business is done – since most people who have insurance coverage are not hit out of pocket, what is the harm? Just get an expensive test/scan whether needed or not. Then there are all of these crummy little clinics around leaching off of this system. Meanwhile the insurance companies are paying and insurance rates are rising. The healthy continuing to subsidize the unhealthy and the incompetent Dr’s feeding this medical complex. Huge waste of money and resources.

    This is a broken system.

    I have high deductable insurance to cover catastrophic events and to keep costs down. We work on being as healthy as reasonably possible. I just paid $750 for an unnecessary CT scan. I don’t mind paying when there is good reason, but this was just plain stupid Dr’ing. And the system in place encourages this kind of behavior.

    OK, I feel better now.

    Have a good day.



    Ps. Flax’s office called last Friday saying the CT Scan was negative…and they just received the CT Scan images that day – 5 days late! BS.

  5. tkinder says:

    Wow, what a bunch of “angry” Tea Partiers. They spoke above a whisper. You might want to reconsider a more accurate headline. I do have to admit that Franken handled the questions well, and was very respectful. However, I am surprised nobody mentioned to him that much of the health care cost issue is due to government interference in health care. There is not a true free market in health care. Insurance is highly regulated by states already and restricts competition. Insurance is essentially prepaid medical and discourages price shopping.

    Looks like Franken better beef up his security detail. Those Minnesota “mobs” are out of control.

  6. Boofus says:

    What a bunch of angry, bitter, jerks. I can’t believe those right wingers were so rude and uninformed.

    Oh wait, I should have viewed the video before reacting to the title of this post. No question the system is broken, especially after reading Wes’ comment, the question is how to fix it.

    If this is the real Al, he should be around awhile.

  7. ajeshp says:

    Here is the link to the NewYorker article which Franken uses to get his facts on McAllen, Texas and El Paso.

  8. adamsvictor says:

    Al Franken is clueless when it comes to “insuring against a pre-existing condition”. He doesn’t understand that an insurance policy is a bet against a risk not a certainty such as a pre-existing condition; that would be akin to expecting the auto insurance to also pay for your gasoline use, along with the RISK of a crash accident. I’m all for covering pre-existing conditions but call that a SOCIAL PROGRAM not insurance. And NOBODY tells us who’ll pay for it….

  9. hoaganp says:

    Franken looked pretty impressive to me and I consider myself a conservative.

    Honestly, this whole health care issue has me confused. There is so much crap being thrown out there by all of the special interests, it is hard for the mere mortal working guy to have time to sort it out.

    What I do know is I am a 57 year old person with a high deductible group health insurance policy. I am glad to have the coverage; however, because I may have pre-existing health issues, getting new insurance as a self employed person is complicated. It is difficult to get the group coverage that would cover my pre-existing condition. This is limiting my options.

    I feel trapped in my current job because of the risk I may be taking by changing jobs and not having the health insurance coverage on the pre-existing conditions. I would certainly like to see some provision made to solve this issue.

    Although I am thankful to have the coverage, it is costing me approximately $1,300. per month. My out of pocket health expenses over the last few years due to the deductibles and expenses not covered have been substantial, in excess of $60,000. I am blessed to be in a position to weather this storm but I have to admit I am getting a bit sea sick from the unsettling motion of trying to balance my personal finances. I have heard there are those less fortunate that have declared bankruptcy for health care debts of less.

    And while I am at it, am I the only person sick and tired of all of the self interests and talk radio show hosts who, in my opinion, are doing nothing but spreading confusion and hatred in this country. I have gotten to the point where I just can’t listen to the venomous and self-rightious conversations that seem so often one sided and demeaning to those they oppose. Where is the honor and integrity and the desire to do what is right for this country? If it is there, I may be missing it because of the tone in which the message is being delivered.

    I would welcome leaders from both sides of the aisle in Congress who genuinely would work for health care reform that benefits the citizens and The United States of America. I am sure they exist but it is hard to hear them over the propaganda of both conservative and liberal talk radio and media. Perhaps Al Franken is one such leader. I know I would not have said that prior to seeing this video.

    Also, maybe we need more music and less ‘talk radio’.

  10. Afthought says:

    “Angry Mob”?? Looked pretty calm to me . . . is there footage missing, or is this a headline aimed at the average “headline scanner” who then reports on “Angry Mobs” against health care reform?

  11. CTB says:

    There are a few ignorant interjections (about immigrants, etc.) but for the most part the crowd was polite. Although, it appears that there were a few people that weren’t really listening to his answer. I guess that’s the main problem with the public dialogue. I lot of people talking and not many people listening.

    All the “free market” supporters need to realize that we will NEVER have a health care system that is free from government involvement. The best we can hope for is a healthy injection Common Sense. Unfortunately, that is a dwindling commodity these days.

  12. Aaron says:

    BR: Three things stood out to me after watching this video…

    A) Franken’s analysis was more data driven, as opposed to consensus driven, in the debate;

    B) Franken’s experience as a comedian didn’t hurt when dealing with a somewhat “hostile” crowd (angry mob, they ain’t); and

    C) Franken personally connected with his “audience”, even those who were dead set to disagree with him, and the result was the respect he engendered.

    Nice post!

  13. Black Hills Observer says:

    What is histaricle about this video is that no one seems to be thinking about how much this cost the tax payer. I recently attended a training seminare in regards to hotel group sales. Which has nothing to do with this article other than that the Trainer was from Switzerland. on an off topic conversation i ask him what he thought about his helth care? he indicated that how nice it was and so one… I then asked him how much he pays in taxes? Holly COW! 40% of thier income is taxed. so if you live in switzerland and you make $60,288 your take home salery is $43,698. Not to mention your expenses are comparable to living in New York. I dont live in New York but i can only imagine it is probably just above poverty level so where did health care really reform happen?

  14. wunsacon says:

    >> Holly COW! 40% of thier income is taxed.

    What are you so surprised about?

    Here in the US, my guess is I pay *at least* 40% tax. How?
    - Income (30-something)
    - Social security (really 15%)
    - Sales (5-8%)
    - Property (on car)
    - Rental surcharge (barely hidden extra $300/month to subsidize lower-income renters).

    As for cost of living, we have so much more natural resources. We *should* be living better. I take “better” as the baseline and don’t think we should “leave well enough alone” when it isn’t “well enough” and is instead “inferior”.

  15. wunsacon says:

    Franken’s book “Lies and the Lying Liars Who Tell Them” was hilarious! While waiting for my wife at B&N, I casually picked it up and then couldn’t put it down until I finished it. (I never do that.) She had to wait for me.