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Sen. Al Franken shuts up Joe Lieberman -- and the comic wasn't joking

An unsubtle brush-back pitch thrown today by the most recent late-night comic to be elected to the U.S. Senate. And an indication of how high emotions are running among Democrats over this endless healthcare debate.

In 2006, Democrats tried unsuccessfully to oust Sen. Joe Lieberman from his Connecticut seat over his support for the Iraq war. These days, they are even more unhappy with the Democratic vice presidential candidate from 2000.

That's because not only did Lieberman campaign for his Republican chum John McCain last year, but now-Independent Lieberman exercised his clout as the crucial 60th Democratic vote this month to kill some provisions of the healthcare bill that he didn't like.

Now his liberal pals don't like him even more and are mounting a campaign to get even.

Today, Lieberman was explaining some amendments that he intended to offer. At the end of Lieberman's allotted time, an unsmiling Democrat, Al Franken, who was presiding in the chair, interrupted to say that Lieberman's 10 minutes were up.

Lieberman made a routine motion that he be allowed a few additional moments to finish, usually a pro forma courtesy in the world's most exclusive club of talkers.

Franken made the un-routine move to object.

"Really?!" exclaimed a surprised Lieberman.

Take that.

End of Lieberman speakig.

McCain then rose in his friend's defense but, of course, to no avail, seeing as how not only did the Arizonan lose the 2008 presidential election handily but his party is a distinct Senate minority now. And don't let anyone forget it.

Check out the brief C-SPAN video here. For the Senate, it's goshdarnit pretty blunt stuff from Stuart Smalley.

-- Andrew Malcolm

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Video courtesy of the all-seeing, all-knowing folks at C-SPAN

Comments () | Archives (33)

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Senator Lieberman,
You were elected by the people, not the insurance companies. It is the people who vote for you, not those who lobby you and give you money who should be represented. Your efforts to emasculate the health care bill by killing of any real reform that would make insurance competitive and extend Medicare to a broader segment clearly protects insurers at the expense of those who desperately need coverage but can't afford it or are turned down because of pre-existing conditions. "Deny until they die" is a policy America should be ashamed of and one your actions perpetuate. What's happening in the Senate now shows the rest of the world just how much greed and self-interest has consumed us to the point we callously watch our fellow countrymen die every day to maintain a system that rewards the profiteers and the privileged, and turns its back on the rest of us. It's exactly what the British did to the Irish during the potato famine. It's disgusting. I thought our country was better than that. Think about the consequences of your obstructionist policies and those who will suffer if reform is delayed or is killed altogether. Is that the legacy you want to leave behind? It's not about power, it's about people. Your fellow human beings. I implore you to stand up to moral principle and support a bill that breaks the iron grip of the companies that literally hold our lives in their hands.

Al Franken, way to go MN, you put an unqualified, idiotic, uninformed person in office. Why on Earth would we want to actually understand what is going on with our, yes, OUR bills in office. I am a citizen, Mr. Franken, YOU are my EMPLOYEE. You better figure that out.

thx. a devout Democrat.

Ah,now we see the violence inherent in the system. Come and see the violence inherent in the system... Oh, what a giveaway! Did you hear that? Did you hear that, eh? That's what I'm on about! Did you see him repressing me? You saw him, Didn't you?

Lieberman is drunk on his new found power. If he wasn't the 60th. vote he would be largely ignored these days. They already cut him some slack once, (last year) but they will not do it again. He's now in deep water on a leaky boat of his own making, with no motor or paddle. Nobody will throw him a line this time.

Yeah! Shut up all dissenting opinions. We don't want to allow those we don't like to speak! Free speech is only for those with whom we agree! Typical liberal drivel. So much for diversity of thought and listening to all voices. Franken is a JOKE!

The Democrats will be guilty of ruining this country. Spend until we are bankrupt! Steal our liberties with this massive government takeover of our health care! Redistribute our wealth to foreign countries through the knee-cap and trade bill! Read the Constitution and the Federalist Papers! You will see exactly what the founders were warning us of in this Congress and this Senate. Both sides of the aisle are guilty! POWER POWER POWER. Kick all of the bums out!

And so the civility which endears the Congress to the American people continues. Al (count 'em again, until I win) Franken was rude and disrespectful. He fits right in.

The new democrat is too limited to understand the legislature. Boorish behavior loses and the new democrat does not understand. People everywhere are now seeing what a democrat is. The huge win in 2008 revealed to the world what the left is.

As Jerry McTigue indicated, Senator Lieberman was elected by the people.

Hey, Jerry? Who do you think Lieberman is representing? That's right, Bub. He IS representing the people who voted for him. GET A FREAKIN' CLUE!

Don't becry YOUR politics just because Lieberman and HIS CONSTITUANTS happen to have some disagreements with this monster healthcare pkg!

Your whole post comes across as a bleeding heart hanky wringing liberal who *waaaah* isn't getting his way....who isn't being carried by your government, the Mommy State. Get over it. Get over yourself.

The freshman senator from MN embarrassed his constituants and I believe they're all cringing at allowing this CLOWN to serve them. Shame on Stuart Smalley for his rude, arrogant attitude.

As Jerry says..... It's about your fellow human beings. I thought our country was better than that. Hey Jerr, pass the bar bag, wouldja'? Wah....legacy! Waaah, I implore you! Waaah, deny until they die! *snicker*

At some point in his career, Sen. Franken will be in the minority party. Something tells me his antics will come back to haunt him. But, this is what you get when you elect inexperienced people.

Bottom line: Franken is a punk and a jerk.

Sorry to say that Franken is my Senator. I love my home State of Minnesota, but I am always shocked with the glibness with which the people of this state are willing to elect famous, but social idiots like Jesse Ventura and Al Franken.

Of course, Franken wasn't legally elected...if that matters to anybody. Having watched the recount extremely closely, I for one know that this election was hijacked by ACORN and Secretary of State Mark Ritchie, and now the Democratic leadership of the Senate is rubbing it in our faces.

so much for transparency and bipartisan politics!! Not only are the dems not listening, they won't even let others speak for fear of exposing the flaws in this devastating spending spree!! Free speech only applies if you are condemning those who have worked for a living or if you support gay marriage. Way to go MIN, you put that moron in office. Franken and Jesse the body-what a state!

Al Franken is a pig...not much more to say about that.

...Couldn't agree more with Sen. Franken. I have heard enough from Lieberman, too. He had his 10 mins to speak about his perspective and the rules say that what you get. So, "really", Lieberman, yes really! Shut up and go off into the sunset somewhere. I don't understand, Lieberman, how up until Sept. 09 and over the past 8 or 9 years, you publically supported the Medicare buy in program. When it has real opportunity to making it into the bill, you all of a sudden, can't support it any longer. What happened... did you get a call or have a meeting with some of your insurance company buddies... did they threaten to stop sending money your way. I think that I read at last count they had sent over $1,000,000 your way. For that kind of money, they certainly can't have one of their "boys" getting out of hand. Yes, "Lie"berman, sit down, shut up and go off into the sunset somewhere. I gave you my vote when you ran for Vice President with Mr. Gore. If I could take my vote back for you only, I certainly would! You are exactly what is wrong with our politically decision making process. Seemingly, you are driven and motivated by your own personal interests and will do what it takes to promote those interests, even if it as the expense of the millions of Americans who don't have health insurance, millions of Americans who are drowning financially because of trying to pay for a health issue they experienced.

At last! Somebody stands up to that unethical little twerp!
Three cheers, Senator Franken!

I think that Bill "O" was right when he said that anyone who voted for
Al Frankin was a pinhead.

Is this grade school or what? Thanks, Minnesota, for this imbecile.
Hopefully this newbie, green senator without a clue will get one soon. We have 5 more years of this idiot. God help us.

Franken is too naive to recognize how much he embarassed himself and his associates. He's just like Obama he thinks this whole game is about getting elected but has no idea what to do when he gets there. And American taxpayers pay the price -- again.

Ha! Lib. Got his ten minutes! Nobody was denied
free speech. It's funny how the publicans can F up the
country for ten years, then blame it all on the new guy!
Both parties are a scam! Both doors lead to slaughter!

Someone should tell Jewcula to get back in his
coffin! No one cares what droopy dog thinks!
Except maybe Mccane. Seriously wish I could drive
around with those two in the bed of my truck!

This kind of immaturity in the Senate, WE DON'T NEED. When we can't be customarily courteous to each other for "a moment" any more, we've reached unresolvable partisanship. Thanks for all the fraudulent registrations, ACORN. I hope Minnesota will do a better job next time...if there is a next time. These elitists would like to stay and control the rest of us.

Maybe the Honorable Senator from Arizona, John McCain doesn't feel that there is no rush on the matter, but people are dying from not having health insurance. While, these two Senators may not see any urgency in providing health insurance or healthcare reform, the rest of the country sees it as long overdue. These two men are political parties they represent from time to time, are the problem. The people cannot be fooled all of the time, Senators Lieberman and McCain. While it's fine for your both to continue to prevent Americans from getting healthcare and healthcare reform, as both of you and your families are supplied with the latter for free; people are dying in this country everyday. You are disgraceful. Senator McCain might at least have addressed the urgency of the bill. I guess all Republicans have health insurance.

Aptly named, Nutjob. The issue was that each senator was to get 10 minutes. Lieberman hit his limit. Franken enforced the rules. Obviously, in your mind, playing by the rules is going to just RUIN the country.

What would Al Franken had done if the speaker had been Ted Kennedy? Or any other Democrat? How did Franken ever get in the presiding chair? He only got in the Senate with the help of ACORN. Intelligent, respectible people did not vote for him.

We all knew Al was an idiot and a loud mouthed liberal punk, now Lieberman and You Tube knows it as well. Only in the state that elected Jessi Ventura as governor could Al Franken be elected to the Senate. Way to go Minnesota! If Garrison Keillor wanted to run for office we would probably elect him as well.

Steve (from Minnesota).

Gee! Franken wants to make the Senate more productive, and enforces the protocal. Meanwhile Liberman and McCain want to babble on not supporting people with Alheimers, or something else that they forgot about. This should not bother McCain, the taxpayers have paid for his healthcare all of his life, as well as his father, and his grandfather. He is someone that has lived off the taxpayer since he was concieved. Lieberman, he does not know what he wants, other than to satisfy his indecisive ego.

LOL Real Neal, Liebermann is drunk on new found power...what are you smoking? That moron Franken is the new guy on the block, not Joe. Franken hasnt got the smarts to carry Joes lunch. I have new found loss of respect for the people of Minnesota

MN should go back to electing pro-wrestlers instead of comedians. More leftist drama.

Stuart Smalley has no business in the US Senate!!!!

A democracy permits freedom of speech. The quote "I disapprove of what you say but will defend to the death your right to say it" come to mind. Lieberman had every right to complete his commentary. Franken is a very junior senator whose life experience revolved around a comedic format. Healthcare issues are not something to be rushed through on a 10 minute time table and this is not a Saturday Night Live skit with a certain amount of time alloted to discourse. Franken is inexperienced, disrespectful and offensive.

Al Franken as Senator portends ruin for America--as do many other current Senators, on all sides.

Read all the posts on this website. It's clear that the constituents of the Senator from MN can't write or spell, much less read. Your Senator owes an apology to not only the Senator from CN, but to the rest of the country. Oh, and to the person that wrote "he has 5 years left". Sorry, it's only 4...if MN doesn't impeach him first....

Clearly, Lieberman is a pawn of the insurance industry. What a dispicable man! God will get him for the damage he is trying to do to the American public.


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About the Columnist
A veteran foreign and national correspondent, Andrew Malcolm has served on the L.A. Times Editorial Board and was a Pulitzer finalist in 2004. He is the author of 10 nonfiction books and father of four. Read more.
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