Al Franken, U.S. Senator from Minnesota:
Famed comedian and author Franken holds strongly progressive liberal beliefs, and is a bright, serious intellectual. Franken was a writer/actor on Saturday Night Live for 15 years, for which he won 3 Emmy awards for writing.
Senator Al Franken on the Issues:
On July 6, 2009, Franken enthused that he's "ready to get to work" on "education, health care and energy issues."
About energy issues, Franken commented "We need to get serious about renewable energy by funding a real Apollo Program to explore new sources. From ethanol and biomass energy to solar and wind power, the solution to our 'addiction to oil' is right under our nose."
Senate Committees in the 112th Congress, 2011-2-12:
- Judiciary Committee
- Health, Education, Labor & Pensions Committee
- Energy & Natural Resources Committee
- Indian Affairs
Al Franken on Air America:
Franken's popular program reached 1.5 million unique listeners weekly at its peak, and featured interviews and serious commentary, as well as political humor, skits and parodies of conservative broadcasters Rush Limbaugh, Bill O'Reilly and others. A listener-favorite feature was his "Hate Email of the Day" segment.
Al Franken, Author:
Al Franken, Comedian and Actor:
Franken and Davis honed their comedy act during and after college, when they were spotted and hired as writers by Lorne Michaels for his fledging show, Saturday Night Live. Franken was an SNL writer/actor for 15 years, from 1975 to 1995, where he earned 3 Emmy awards for writing.
From 1995 to 2004, Franken devoted his time to film writing and acting, and to writing 4 bestselling books of political satire. (listed above).
- ]Birth - May 21, 1951 in New York City to a middle-class Jewish parents Joe and Phoebe, now deceased. The Frankens moved to Minnesota when their 2 sons were young.
- Education - The Blake School, 1969. B.A., political science, Harvard University, 1973.
- Family - Married in 1975 to Franni Bryson. Two children, Thomasin, a New York City school teacher, and Joe, a Princeton University engineering student.
- Faith - Jewish, Reformed
Interesting Personal Notes:
Since childhood, Al has known, and allegedly competed politically with, New York Times columnist Tom Friedman and respected political scholar Norm Orenstein.
Memorable Quotes by Al Franken:
On U.S. Deployment from Iraq
"We should also be re-deploying our troops out of the civil war that has engulfed Baghdad. They can be re-deployed to surrounding bases, to other parts of the country, to Kuwait and Qatar, and especially to Afghanistan, where our mission is in danger of failure. At the same time, we should be convening a regional conference including Iran, Syria, Saudi Arabia, Jordan, Turkey, and Egypt to come up with a long-term plan for Iraq and ensure that a regional conflict does not arise."
On the Religious Right
"They sometimes forget we don’t live in a theocracy. They can be in the public square and express their opinion but to expect other people to alter their behavior to say that, for example, that homosexuality is immoral because it says so in the Bible…I mean it also says you can’t eat pork. I don’t see a lot of orthodox Jews saying people who eat pork shouldn't be allowed to get insurance benefits.
"I mean there’s stuff in the bible how about how to sell your daughter. They kind of are pretty selective about what is important and what isn’t. I think slavery is ok in the bible. It’s stupid! It’s like the dumbest thing that they want to proscribe other people’s behavior based on their belief."
On U.S. Dependence on Foreign Oil
"President Bush has referred to our dependence on foreign oil in literally every State of the Union Address he’s given. Strangely, all his rhetoric hasn’t made us any less dependent on foreign oil. In fact, we are more dependent. In 2000, 58% of the oil consumed in the U.S. was imported. By September 2006, that number had risen to 70%."
On Wasteful U.S. Health Care Spending
"Overall, we spend 16% of our GDP on health care – nobody else spends more than 11%. We spend 34% of our health care dollars on administrative costs – nobody else spends more than 19%. Every other industrialized country insures 100% of its people, while we leave tens of millions without coverage. And in the most recent ranking by the World Health Organization, the U.S. ranked 37th, right between Costa Rica and Slovenia."