Franken Freezes Out Lieberman

While not game-related, it is very entertaining, something not always associated with Senate floor proceedings.

Check out the embedded video of Senator Al Franken (D-MN) denying Senator Joe Lieberman (I-CT) an extra “moment” to finish his remarks in the midst of a debate on healthcare.

Add in reaction from a peeved Senator John McCain (R-AZ) and the event comes off as a real-life Saturday Night Live sketch.

More videos and commentary are available here.

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  1. Seiena_Cyrus says:

    It’s happened in the past, but from what -I- have seen. More often then not it seems like they do allow the extra time…I’m hoping that it was just the clip and Franken did give the time warning if not then Franken is in the wrong for failing to let Liberman know that his time was almost up, and then denying his request for a few extra minutes. If he did give the warning then I don’t care. My only real issue with health care becoming a government thing is my mother has Psoraisis and I doubt they’ll pay for that, and I’ve heard word of not letting people pay out of pocket for things and I -know- they are not going to pay for the things I need to get in a dentists chair. (And I call BS on anyone that says that’s not true because if it were true when I was 8 years old and we were living far far below poverty level in an RV, we wouldn’t have been denied Welfare because my dad ‘made too much money the previous year.’) Those are my only worries about the current healthcare, I’d rather see straight up removable of boundries, not being allowed to deny people on pre-existing conditions, and maybe a community Health plan option that could support people that can’t afford Health care on their own, something like that. Then I’d feel safer, However I’m not deluded this thing is going through and there is nothing anyone can do about it and people like me and my mom will have lower quality of life then everyone else. Granted I have Low Quality of health right now due to no medical insurance and I’m cool with that cuz my mom’s health is being taken care of.

  2. Lou says:

    Funny you say that. Didn’t he just won an election last year? So as far as I know people from MN elected him cause they liked him.

  3. Dan says:

    I’m from MN, and I voted for him and haven’t had any issues with his conduct yet.


    Bachmann on the other hand… she’s just crazy ala. the Sawyer family.

  4. Lou says:

    And what are republicans doing now? Playing poker? They are doing the very same thing democrats did during the bush years. They are ranting and nagging like ten year olds playing politics and asking for "more time" for rants that everyone and their pet rabbit have said already. And didn’t republicans objected to the same tactics back then? Or you have selective memory just like every political pundit.

    "Much like the liberals should have done for going into Iraq, Afghanistan and the Patriot Act, right?  Oh, wait, I forgot.  On GP, that all falls squarely at Bush’s feet that Democrat Senators and Congresspeople couldn’t be bothered to read the bills they voted for and LATER came out against."

    Ah here is you ace the the hole. Hasn’t this been discussed like a million times already. Democrats didn’t read all the three measures, heck even that fat bastard of Michael Moore took them to task over it and they paid in 04′ by Loosing to Bush and I voted for Bush. Right now I could care less about either side but your arguments are beyond weak. This is a bill that has been in the hot seat for over eight months and republicans are still using the very same excuses like the "they are rushing this bill" among other retarded arguments. They had nearly a year to discuss this, they had nearly a year to come out with their own version of the bill (one that would not cost more money like the bone they threw and ended up costing 100 billion more han the dems plan). As a conservative it is hard for me to defend the party I am ashamed of the party. If democrats were "anti-american" 8 years ago Republicans are acting like traitors.

  5. jedidethfreak says:

    "even thou democrats went occasionaly over the limit during the Bush years"

    Occasionally?  Try something akin to a 45-minute rant every three days.  All Lieberman wanted was to finish his god-damned sentence.

    "If they haven’t [read the bill] maybe they should spend less time with the tea-bagger assclows and get to work don’t you think."

    Much like the liberals should have done for going into Iraq, Afghanistan and the Patriot Act, right?  Oh, wait, I forgot.  On GP, that all falls squarely at Bush’s feet that Democrat Senators and Congresspeople couldn’t be bothered to read the bills they voted for and LATER came out against.

    You KILL Vampires. You don’t DATE them.

  6. imroadkill2 says:

    Just because something happens all the time doesn’t make it right.

    That was low, to just disregard a few extra seconds.. Then Liberman asks that the rest of his speech to go on record as being read.  That is shit, and should not be allowed.

  7. eston says:

    These things are not run on personal courtesy alone. Leiberman (rightfully) did not take it personally, so you shouldn’t either.

    And McCain, in his effort to stand up for general politeness etc. only showed what a hypocrite he is.

  8. OldManOnTheHill says:


    Happens all the time.

    In fact McCain himself did it to another senator during the debate about giving Bush the power to have his war in Iraq.


    Senators get a set amunt of time to speak.

    When your time is up. your time is up.

    At which point you can ask for UNANIMOUS pardon to continue your point. If any one person objects…then oh well…your time is up.

  9. Weatherlight says:

    He wasnt notified, he was cut off. There is a BIG difference. You normally give a gentle reminder and ask that someone rap it up, if they don’t, then you can stop them. You don’t just cut them off then deny their request to have a couple more minutes to wrap up their talking points. That was very rude and inconsistent with the common respect and decorum that senators are expected to give.

    Remember just because you can, doesn’t mean you should.


  10. Valdearg says:

    Lol.. A time limit is a time limit.. Sorry. If you try to claim "OMG’s, my sentence was interrupted?!" what’s stopping you from just starting a new sentence before Franken can get a word in edgewise? They have 10 minutes, at which point they are notified and may request a few extra moments. Franken decided not to grant those extra few minutes. Essentially it was a big "STFU, Lieberman!"

  11. jedidethfreak says:

    Interrupting a recognized speaker is speaking out of turn, even in this context.  He didn’t wait until Lieberman stopped speaking at the end of his sentence, which is protocol.  It doesn’t matter that he controlled the debate, he is still supposed to wait until the sentence is finished, so that the whole sentence gets on record.

    You KILL Vampires. You don’t DATE them.

  12. Valdearg says:

    LOL.. His actions may have been rude, but they were 100% within the rules of the Senate. He wanted Lieberman to sit down a shut up. Lieberman, as far as I’m concerned, deserves no better than EXACTLY what Al Franken gave him. It’s nice to see at least ONE dem treating that powerhungry jerk the way he deserves.

    Lieberman needs to made an example of. Strip him of his Chairmanship, his seniority, and kick him out of the caucus.

  13. Austin_Lewis says:

    His actions were rude and uncalled for.  It’s always been allowed for senators to go a bit over their time, and NO ONE ever objects.

    Of course, this isn’t the most astonishing show of rudeness and lack of care for decency, decorum, or the rules of the senate.  Yesterday, after the single-payer amendment was called to be retracted, the reading was dispensed with without unanimous consent.  That’s against the rules of the senate, just as this is against the common courtesy of the senate.  Then again, Franken knows little of courtesy.

  14. Valdearg says:

    Franken didn’t speak out of turn, you idiot.. He was running the debate at the time. HE had the control over who was speaking.. Try understanding the entire situation before opening your mouth, next time.

  15. jedidethfreak says:

    Your personal distaste for Lieberman doesn’t give a junior Senator the right to speak out of turn.  Had the situation been reversed, and Franken was trying to express displeasure with a measure to cut funding to Iraq, and someone told him to STFU, I’m sure you’d be singing a different tune.

    You KILL Vampires. You don’t DATE them.

  16. JDKJ says:

    No, he looses at best the prestige of chairing an important Committee. But Homeland Security is, at best, "important." It isn’t "influential." It’s not Ways and Means. It’s not Appropriations. It’s not Budget. It’s Homeland Security. And the power of a Senator doesn’t necessarily lie in chairing a Committee, particularly some fringe Committee. The real power, as I tried to explain to you, lies in the horse trading. And who owes you a horse or two that you can call on them to repay. And always being in the position of having some horses owed to you. That’s why Appropriations is influential. It’s one of the key places where the horses are traded. And in order to give out horses from Appropriations, you ain’t even got to be the Chair. Just a non-ranking Committee member. The same holds true for the ability to raise campaign finances beyond your own requirements which you can then gift to other more needy candidates and to the national party. That creates some horses that are owed you. It’s all about the horse trading. If they take away Lieberman’s  chair over Homeland Security, that ain’t likely to seriously change the influence he wields. Not if he’s been smartly trading horses for the last 20 years.

    Pelosi tried that crap with Jane Harmon and the Chairmanship of Intelligence. She broke protocol and gave it to someone else despite the fact that Jane was the long-standing Ranking Member because the Caucus wanted to spite her for supporting Bush and his nonsense in Iraq. What’d that get them? Nothing more than a pissed-off Jane Harmon. Because Jane is married to the Harmon in the electronic consumer goods giant Harmon-Kardon and therefore gots more money than the DNC does. And therefore could outspend and handily defeat the candidate the DNC put up against her in the primary. 

    And if you think that when Pelosi and Reid give out Chairmanships, that the result isn’t the product of some horse trading, then you really don’t know how it works on the Hill. Matter of fact, and I know this for a fact, Pelosi gave pretty much everyone she gave a Chair her speech about how they’d now be expected to raise substantial amounts of contributions for the DNC’s war chest. That’s a horse trade. I’d assume there’s some similar quid pro quo that goes along with Lieberman getting a Chair. Not to say that they can’t, but if they do take back their quid, then he gets to keep his quo. Whatever that quo is. That, my friend, is how the game gets played. 

  17. Valdearg says:

    JDKJ.. The dems do have a few gems they can hold over him. He’s spent YEARS building his seniority and vying for power in the Senate. He also chairs the Senate Homeland Security Committee. If the dems kick him out of the caucus, he loses that chairmanship and his senority. He essentially gets knocked back to "Rookie" status and loses all of the power he spent 20 years building.

  18. JDKJ says:

    You’ll notice that the essence of my comment is that Lieberman’s seat in the Senate is a safe one and that, therefore and contrary to Val’s assertion, there’s not much the Democrats can do to leverage him into their camp. The level of support in Connecticut for a public option doesn’t really inform that issue. As you pointed out and as I already mentioned, public support of a public option dosn’t translate into lack of support for Lieberman if he doesn’t support a public option. As a political and practical matter, his popularity with Connecticut’s voters would tend to inform his positions. If his popularity is high and remains high despite a position he takes, then he – like any other elected official – is likely to see little downside in taking the position. And if the Democrats can’t field a candidate with any real chance of unseating him because his popularity is high, then why would he care about how the Democrats want him to vote?  Or, as a political and practical matter, what the level of support for a public option is in Connecticut? 

  19. Monte says:

    Does it really matter what his popularity is? i mean just because you disagree with your senator on one thing doesn’t mean you don’t enjoy the other work he’s doing. But that’s beside the point; you said "I don’t know what poll you’re relying on for your sense of what the people of Connecticut think about the issue", and there is a poll that DOES tell us what the people of Connecticut think, and the high majority want the option.

  20. JDKJ says:

    That poll doesn’t in any way support the proposition that "[a] lot of people in [Connecticut] are now lamenting voting for [Senator Lieberman]." You got a poll that measures Lieberman’s approval ratings? Or that counts people willing to vote for him in an election? There’s not necessarily a high correlation between popular support for a particular issue and disapproval of an official who fails to support that issue. The question which is of real significance is whether Lieberman is losing his grip on the seat. And if the answer is that he isn’t, then there’s no real political fallout from him taking the position he’s taken.   

  21. Davis 51 says:

    You "don’t know what poll" he’s referring to? Let’s see what google turned up.

    "Connecticut voters support 64 – 30 percent giving people the option to buy health insurance from a government plan."

    Lieberman doesn’t represent just Greenwich or Hartford or Stamford. He represents all of Conenticuit. A few towns may make all the difference if you’re in the house, but when you’re in the Senate, saying "I found some moron in some town who doesn’t support it therefore I’m going to make absolutely zero effort to find people that do even if they may make up a supermajority of my constituants because I’m more loyal to insurance companies than my state" doesn’t really fly. Especially when you’re a two-faced attention whore named Lieberman.

    Oh no! Franken was so rude using formal senate procedure and abided by the rules to stop someone who is known for actively trying to draw attention to themselves from going over the time limit! I wonder how many of you supporting him also supported Joe Wilson. I see a few names *coughaustinlewiscough*.

    But McCain has never seen that happen? Then I guess it never happened! Or he’s going senile. Whichever is more convenient for his party I guess.

  22. JDKJ says:

    I don’t know what poll you’re relying on for your sense of what the people of Connecticut think about the issue, but I’d imagine that in towns like Greenwich and Stamford, none of them rich folks are in favor of either a public option or a Medicare extension. And I’d confidently include Hartford in that group, since that’s were most of the insurance companies are based.

  23. paketep says:

    Lieberman doesn’t represent CT. If he did, he’d push and approve the health care bill WITH a public option and WITH a medicare extension (like HE said three months ago and HE campaigned in 2000).


    Lieberman is nothing more than a lying bastard that only represents himself. A lot of people in CT are now lamenting voting for this senator that defends the industry instead of Ned Lamont.

  24. JDKJ says:

    Christ, Val’, you can oversimplify a situation. Lieberman represents Connecticut. Connecticut is the epicenter of the American insurance industry, providing not only thousands of jobs but also significant tax revenues to the State. You don’t think those facts have something to do with Lieberman’s position on a public option?

    And I keep trying to tell you that the kind of heavy-handedness you seem to think can work on the Hill isn’t how the game gets played. Lieberman already renounced his affiliation with the Democratic Party and still won his seat as an Independent. And he will likely keep right on getting re-elected by the voters of Connecticut as an Independent. He obviously doesn’t need the Party in order to keep his seat. So, if, as you suggest, the Democratic Caucus takes some punitive action against him, what does that earn them? Not a whole lot more than a pissed-off Lieberman whose vote on anything else they’re trying to do in the future will certainly be that much harder to get. If they had some real way of leveraging him into their position on health care reform, don’t you think they’d have already used it to do so?

    Take it from me, Members of Congress don’t really bully and threaten others Members of Congress and get much accomplished – other than maybe some media coverage – by doing so. Particularly not with a long-standing Senator with a safe seat. They try to horse trade (or, as it’s called on the Hill, "log-rolling"). The ones who get the most done tend to be the ones that are better at horse trading than others. Like Ted Kennedy. Who could get influential Republicans on his side. You think he managed that by threats and bullying?  

  25. Valdearg says:

    Here’s the thing. Lieberman believes in one thing and one thing only. That thing is Lieberman. He has no political beliefs and no opinions. The only thing that matters is: "Is this good for Lieberman?" That’s why the dems need to make it clear that if he doesn’t play ball, he will lose EVERYTHING he worked so hard to get during his tenure.

  26. Erik says:

    I’m conflicted.  On one hand I think that members of the Senate should be a little more diplomatic and polite than Franken was.  On the other hand anything that makes McCain mad makes me happy.

    -Ultimately what will do in mankind is a person’s fear of their own freedom-

  27. Joe_Sixpack says:

    Yeah, that McCain sure is righteously outraged. Why, this sort of thing is completely unprecedented! Except for that time that McCain did the exact same thing himself.

    But that’s ok, Austin Lewis, you just go on thinking it’s never happened before, and that rank hypocrite McCain is some kind of whiny hero for pointing it out, in spite of the fact that Lieberman himself didn’t have any problem with it. Don’t let the facts get in the way of your contrived outrage.



  28. hellfire7885 says:

    Heh, fuck it. I’m doen with this whole debat.e When it’s lal over the insurance industry will be allowed to keep their note bokes and NOTHING will ever change.

    Asll I’ve learned here is that when a politicians promises change, they mean that ironically.

  29. jedidethfreak says:

    I think it’s funny that the only people I’ve ever spoken to who LIKE Franken aren’t from Minnesota.

    You KILL Vampires. You don’t DATE them.

  30. ecco6t9 says:

    Don’t even try to defend any of them. It takes a special kind of person to run for office in DC and fact of the matter is all 537 of them are crooks,theives and liars.

  31. Lou says:

    Noo! There is absolutely nobody better than Glen Beck when it comes to distorting the facts. Hell Glenn Beck will probably create a conspiracy out of a freaking bowl of Cheerios.

  32. Valdearg says:

    I’ve not read about a second bill, yet.. Then again, I’ve kind of separated myself from this healthcare debate after that moron Lieberman managed to get the Public Option Removed..

    I’m, frankly, furious with the Dems for not doing what they were elected to do, Healthcare Reform being a huge priority.

    That being said.. No offense, but considering most of what you say would literally be a transcript of the Rush Limbaugh or Sean Hannity shows, I take what you have to say with a grain of salt. Your perception of things, while SOMETIMES based in reality, are always warped, misunderstood, or downright false. I’ve never yet seen you provide evidence or make an accusation that was unequivocally true.

    Hey, look at the bright side, you are as good at twisting and distorting facts as Glenn Beck is. Maybe you could take over his show?


  33. Austin_Lewis says:

    Hate to break it to you Val, but it looks like they’ve been working on a second bill behind the scenes that only Reid and his cronies have read.
    Look at all that transparency.  Wasn’t this bill supposed to be debated on C-SPAN in it’s entirety, not written behind closed doors with an entire party shut out of the writing?  
    Then again, when the bill is such garbage that the democrats feel the need to push it through as fast as possible before they have to go home and listen to their constituents, I guess transparency is the least of their problems.

  34. Valdearg says:

    Hate to break it to you, Cha, but the vast majority of Major players in this healthcare debate, Franken included, have read the bill in it’s entirety. Perhaps some of the background players, nameless senators and congressmen on BOTH sides of the aisle might not have, but the Major players certainly have.

  35. Austin_Lewis says:

    What’s even worse is that no one except those Harry Reid has shown the bill to knows what’s in the bill that they’ll try to force a vote on.  McConnell has been talking about that all week.


  36. Lou says:

    I just don’t get Lieberman, seriously. How does he sleep at night??? It take a special kind of creep to go even against your own beliefs. 

  37. Valdearg says:

    I friggin LOVE Al franken.. I wish he was my Senator.. (Then again, I my Senator is the Progressive Hero Russ Feingold, so maybe not.)

    He’s done take LIEberman’s crap, just like the rest of the democratic party should be. They need to make him realize that he’s made a HUGE mistake by going against his caucus and singlehandedly causing the public option to be repealed. As far as Mr. Franken is concerned, the less time LIEberman spends his time lying, the better, and I wholeheartedly approve.

  38. Lou says:

    Sooo just because junior senator (Franken) wants keep order and prevent Joe (I flip flop more than John Kerry) Lieberman from going over the 10 minute limit to speak in the senate means the he is "rude"…. Dude do you have ANY idea how a cabitnet from a branch of goverment conducts business. If you are a US senator/house member you are given a time frame to express yourself it is common courtesy to respect it (even thou democrats went occasionaly over the limit during the Bush years). Sure there have been times when everyone goes over the time allowed but I assume they are not in the mood for those antics at the moment. And about your statement of the senate not being able to read the bill I bet that even the republicans have read the bill in it’s entirely. If they haven’t maybe they should spend less time with the tea-bagger assclows and get to work don’t you think. Or you like the obstructionism from your party, just like the liberals did on Bush’s first term. I don’t need to remind you what happened to the dems in the 02 midterms when they lost even more seats so that startegy didn’t worked so well.

  39. Valdearg says:

    He was doing it because Lieberman has been a thorn in the Democratic side for a while now, especially on health care. It has absolutely NOTHING to do with trying to get the bill passed quickly, and EVERYTHING to do with the fact that Franken is sick of Lieberman’s crap, and if he has the oppurtunity to shut Lieberman’s dumb big eared ass up, Franken will take it. I applause Franken’s tenacity, myself.

  40. Austin_Lewis says:

    Ah yes, Al Franken being rude to Mr. Lieberman.  I’ve never heard of someone being denied an extra minute or two, especially on major issues.  But in their rush to pass this before too many people notice what garbage the bill is, I suppose manners must be put aside.


  41. thefremen says:

    I liked that. PWNED. When the round is over the round is over. Lieberman can cry "hax" all he wants but he got pwned by a noob. 

  42. chadachada321 says:

    I would also like to add that, from reading the linked article, I disagree with the passing of ANYTHING without reading the bill in its entirety. That goes so much against what the founding fathers would support. You don’t pass 1000+ page bills unless you know everything that is on them. Congress has been doing it for decades/centuries, and it’s retarded. This is just another example of senatorial idiocy, but this time they’re at ends with each other.

    -Optimum est pati quod emendare non possis-It is best to endure what you cannot change-

  43. chadachada321 says:

    Lol. I like McCain in this video, making the chair-guy look like an ass for denying Lieberman (douche or not) an extra minute or two of speaking.

    -Optimum est pati quod emendare non possis-It is best to endure what you cannot change-

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