50 thoughts on “Free Form Friday”

  1. Pogo, bonjour or bonne après-midi as the case may be now.

    Thank you for letting us know that “ Al’s back.  With a vengeance. He’s self-published now, but that should change.  I hope he’s returning to the public eye from his Me Too exile.”

  2. Welcome to AlFranken.com, the destination for cool people in the know.


    When we launched the website in April, we featured our book drive for the new Bug-O-Nay-Ge-Shig School. That went crazy nuts! You and people like you (well-educated liberals and open-minded, self-taught free thinkers), bought all 2,500 books the school librarian had requested and donated another $81,000 on top of that so their library can fill its capacity of 20,000 books. Thank you.


    Now on to the Al Franken Podcast, which Poddy, the podcast magazine that reviews podcasts with a focus on podcasts about podcasts, calls “the best new podcast not about podcasts.” This week, Jeffrey Toobin (CNN and The New Yorker) and Professor Nancy Gertner (of something called the Harvard Law School) talk about the pernicious Federalist Society. It’s scary, fascinating, funny, but mostly scary. Check it out.


    One last thing. Frankly, I don’t think Poddy is a very good magazine. There. I’ve said it. It may hurt me, but that’s how I roll.




    Al Franken Signature


  3. here’s his masterpiece yesterday:

    In the Heat of the Moment




  4. politico: 

    President Donald Trump is challenging his former White House counsel’s testimony to Robert Mueller, asserting that he never even so much as suggested firing the special counsel.


    In an interview with ABC News, the president suggested that Don McGahn told Mueller of Trump’s supposed directive that he be fired in order to save face.

    “The story on that very simply, No. 1, I was never going to fire Mueller. I never suggested firing Mueller,” Trump said.


    Pressed on why McGahn would have told Mueller’s team during his more than 30 hours of voluntary interviews of the multiple times the president sought to have the special counsel removed, Trump pushed back.


    “I don’t care what he says, it doesn’t matter,” he argued. “That was to show everyone what a good counsel he was.”


    McGahn, who left the White House last fall, is a key witness in the portion of Mueller’s final report on whether the president obstructed justice.

    The president also defended not testifying in person for Mueller. Though he submitted written responses to the special counsel’s questions, his legal team feared that the freewheeling, hyperbole-slinging president might perjure himself during a face-to-face interview.


    Challenged on the fact that he didn’t answer any questions pertaining to his potential obstruction of the probe — for which Mueller laid out evidence but did not make a final determination — Trump did not answer, but chastised Stephanopoulos for being a “little wise guy.”

  5. C’est apres midi. We visited the Latin quarter and Versailles this morning. A modest home for 3 down to earth kings whose royal lineage ended with Louis XVI’s head in a basket. Tonight dinner in a cafe and a boat trip on the Seine. Tomorrow, back to America. 

  6. nytimes:  

    How the Raptors Won Their First N.B.A. Championship

    Toronto held on despite a late push by the Golden State Warriors and won its first title.

  7. on another front

    politico:  California poll: Warren surges to second, Harris falls to fourth

    Elizabeth Warren is threatening Joe Biden’s front-runner standing in California, and Kamala Harris is showing signs of weakness in her delegate-rich home state, according to a new poll.


    A new UC Berkeley-Los Angeles Times poll found Biden leading with 22% of likely Democratic primary voters; followed by Warren and Sanders, who are at 18% and 17%, respectively.

    Harris (13%) and South Bend, Ind., Mayor Pete Buttigieg (10%) are the only other 2020 presidential contenders to exceed 3% in the survey, which was directed by pollster Mark DiCamillo, who for years led the venerable Field Poll.


    Warren’s surge into a tie with Sanders aligns with other recent polls that show her cutting into Sanders’ support with liberal voters. But it’s particularly notable in the Super Tuesday state of California, where Sanders has set up camp since his 2016 loss to Hillary Clinton, and where his team has pointed to structural advantages that in mere months have seemed to dissipate.



    and from mother jones:  



    Elizabeth Warren Has a Plan for Winning the White House, and Right Now It’s Working

    How the Massachusetts senator engineered her surge in the polls.

  8. In the interest of staying away from anything serious, is anyone going to the movies this week.  I’m torn between Toy Story 4 and Late Night.


  9. Jamie I’m still down with the immersion therapy experience with a veritable deluge, an inundation, of old western movies….it’s been, and continues to be, quite an experience. 

  10. I know that so many of these I actually saw at the drive-in with the ‘rents when I was a squee liddle monkey.  That was one of our main family excursions. 

  11. Run…  Al…  RUN!

    Sturg…  as a kid, we lived between 2 drive-in theaters.  My father brought us frequently.  He was most partial to Elvis movies and the Beach Blanket series with Annette Funicello and Frankie Avalon.  I don’t think he liked westerns as I don’t remember any.

  12. I always thought Franken should have had the investigation and hearing and was hounded out

  13. My parents seldom viewed movies. When they did, it would generally be something that earned a stellar review in the New Yorker. I don’t believe they ever went to a drive-in. They would support and attend the several playhouses in the Cleveland area. The last time Kumcho and I went to a movie was ca.1975 when we were stationed in the Canal Zone. With the girls turning 14 that year, we had enough drama at home.

  14. When I was in elected office I had a couple of women employees make passes at me. I quenched their efforts immediately. My military training helped and was quite effective in a city hall elevator. Al didn’t have the benefit of my type of background; instead, he has taken the road that allows him to be a whole person. Good for him.

  15. Fire update: No growth overnight. The southeast boundary, which would likely be the path towards us, is now cold with little fuel remaining and containment on track. Firefighters are working to herd the fire to the north. No percentages indicated for full containment yet, but firefighters have succeeded in keeping the fire moving away from state lands and personal property.
    Kudos to Arizona firefighters! Indications are that it could be a busy wildfire season.

  16. Good news Travis
    SInce you mentioned it I have been watching – my niece and family live in the area
    One thing about Franken.   He did admit to the bottom pinching etc –in the tradition of  George HW Bush.

  17. Travis…  so happy to read you’re probably out of danger.

    Now that Rick is retired and I am semi-retired…  we sometimes go to movies in the central Massachusetts city where we met.  There is a Burger King right across from the movie complex.  We will go there for lunch and then to a 1pm showing.  There’s usually only gray hairs like us…  but we can pick great seats.

  18. KGC

    What bothered me about the whole Franken mess is that all of the complaints seem to have come from USO style tours where the behavior of the women was just as suggestive as the men’s including Franken’s main accuser who spent a good part of her act practically climbing the body of another man.  Sure it was raunchy, but that was the audience and the mores of the time.  There was never any charge of infidelity or assault.  He should run again and someone can give Gillibrand a sleeping pill until after the election.  

  19. travis, glad to hear it’s contained or semi-contained.  has your area been affected by the utility co. outages or is the faulty wiring not a problem in those parts?


    Jamie, “late Night” sounds great.  from wapo’s In ‘Late Night,’ Emma Thompson and Mindy Kaling deliver sparkling wit and surprising sweetness  review of it:

    Forget national treasure: Emma Thompson could rent herself out as a national utility. In the alternately sharp-edged and generous-hearted comedy “Late Night,” she is so radiant, so utterly in command of her instruments of voice, body and facial expression that she could light up an entire urban grid with slightest suggestion of a grin.


    Then again, Thompson’s Katherine Newbury, an acerbic talk-show host facing imminent replacement, is more likely to bare her fangs than turn the world on with her smile. As “Late Night” opens, she fires one of her writers — a new dad with concomitant family responsibilities — after he has the temerity to ask for a raise. Katherine lights into him with vinegary disdain, noting that the “good provider” role was used for decades to justify paying men more, and then drawing a tone-deaf analogy between parenthood and drug addiction. The defenestration is crisp, merciless and final.

    For pure sang-froid, Katherine gives Meryl Streep’s Miranda Priestly a breathtakingly arrogant — and elegant — run for her money.



    sturge, while on your cowboy movie horse, hope you revisit one of my favorites

    loved jimmy stewart’s Harley character

  20. I never went to a USO show. Sensed they were using us to push their own careers (with exceptions such as Bob Hope.)
    In Korea, the Red Cross Doughnut Dollies came to visit us in our bomb-dump once a week. They were thoroughly nice young ladies who were doing their service. They chatted with the troops individually for half an hour or so while serving them snacks and coffee. They were like their sisters visiting from home. Much more meaningful than any sort of USO show.

  21. Sturgeone

    Make room in that lineup for The Searchers if you haven’t already.  One of the few where Wayne isn’t the good guy.

    The recent remake of True Grit is much better than the original.


  22. Patd – No issues with utilities at this time in my area. I haven’t heard about any problems, but now that you mention it I’ll check that out.

  23. sturge, in addition to Cheyenne Social Club, be sure to rewatch Cat Ballou and Paint Your Wagon

    great character actors in them

  24. Paint your wagon I watch at least once a year……caught Cheyenne Social just the other day ….the searchers is coming up soon.  Ballou I catch if it comes on.
    what I’m mostly catching is the old oaters with weird names ….gunfight at Comanche Creek, escape from fort Bravo, Waco,  bullet for a bad man, face of a fugitive, the charge at feather river, the command, the Jayhawkers, the golden stallion, bend of the river, Comanche station, wagon master, Fort Apache, Joe Dakota, Taza Son of Cochise, arrow in the dust, fort Osage, Canyon River, she wore a yellow ribbon……muchos etceteros 

  25. Rio grande, dodge city, San Antonio, lots of railroad building movies like Kansas Pacific 

  26. Yes……Al should have had an investigation like he called for.
    as far as the famous photo, he was clearly not actually touching leeann tweed em.

  27. Tv shows: Dock Powell’s Zane Gray Theater, Death Valley days, Laramie, and Wyatt Earp show……I like them for the range of their guest stars

  28. Jaime
    Actually the majority of the complaints were about unwarranted kissing and not in the USO setting.
    Butt pinching during photo sessions — very much like George Herbert Walker Bush.   The USO stuff got the most attention.  And Franken did admit to some of it….although not all of it.
    I think  Gillibrand was wrong not to let it go to the hearing.

  29. I bet Slanders Suckabee runs for the  Senate in Ark.
    or maybe Alabama — the porker fits right in either place

  30. The people at Monsanto must be delusional.  They should stop making Round-Up
    It’s banned by most municipalities in Cal and a few other states as well.  The payouts in the lawsuits are huge
    and more coming.

  31. patd…  I just sent you a video for Sunday morning…  I think.  If it didn’t go through…  sorry…  it’s been so long since I started a new post here that I haven’t any idea how to do it any longer.

  32. Loved Zane Gray theater, Wagon Train, and of course a soft spot in my heart for Wyatt Earp since I got to kiss Hugh O’Brien.  

    Reading my way through all of the Zane Gray novels make me a hopeless addict for the discovery of L’Amour & McMurtry.  

  33. Well, a fitting last night in Paris. We took a boat trip on the Seine at dusk and the Eiffel Tower lit up while we were turning beside it  to head back to dock. Pretty special way to end the trip. Now up early, to the airport and back to the US. 

  34. The new VA under SFB is a disaster.  1430 appointment and I spend until 1700 before getting out of the building.  Short of doctors and staff so appointments are rescheduled or waiting times extended.  It is sad.  I can say the other veterans were mocking SFB on television.  We had a lot of time to watch television, primarily CNN.  The sets tuned to faux snooze had no viewers.

  35. 1. I haven’t sparkled since 2014.
    2. I share Mr Flatus USO experience. I expect that he chose not to go. My prickly personality did not endear me to superiors. I didn’t care to see Joey Heatherton from 100 yards away and other sour grapes.

  36. CNN whatever….thats Ted turner and The  first 24 hour news network kujos go where kujos go……all the times we’s Riding in them old not air conditioned cars tween Charleston and Birmingham and back we’d see the billboards—-“TURNER”—-

  37. Sturg, I remember the 50s. Green grass, blackberries, catching sunfish and snakes at the creek, baseball, sunburn, all that stuff. Mrs. P doesn’t remember it so much, being 4 months old when the 60s arrived. She’s heard the music (doesn’t like Elvis – weird) and kinda thinks she sorta remembers them.

  38. Renee, thank you for the sunday thread.  you did good.  once a threader always a threader, like riding a bike, ‘cepting you forgot to give it a title.  I temporarily titled it “the ways we were” awaiting your approval.

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