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Monday, December 09, 2019 {{ new Date().getDay() }}

When Al Franken first ran for the Senate — and until his overwhelming reelection victory in November 2014 — the famed comic, actor, and writer tried to avoid what came most naturally, at least in public. Being funny seemed incompatible with being the smart, sober, diligent Senator that his home state deserved. So Franken suppressed his urge to make people laugh, at least in public (and except on a few occasions when the antics of his Senate colleagues or a committee witness provoked that innate snark).

Today Franken releases a new book, Giant of the Senate, whose very title indicates that he no longer feels quite so comedically constrained. It’s funny as hell — and includes a full chapter on that most unpopular of senators, up for reelection next year, the appalling Ted Cruz. In this video from All In With Chris Hayes, Franken tells the story of a very special personalized joke he wrote just for the Texas Republican.

 

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Mehmet Oz

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Fox News is in attack mode after its own polling showed Republican nominee Mehmet Oz trailing Democratic nominee Lt. Gov. John Fetterman in the Pennsylvania Senate race.

The July 28 Fox News poll showed that Fetterman has an 11-point lead over Oz. Additionally, according to the poll, “just 35 percent of those backing Oz say they support him enthusiastically, while 45 percent have reservations. For Fetterman, 68 percent back him enthusiastically and only 18 percent hesitate.” These results, combined with data showing that Fetterman is outraising and outspending Oz, could spell disaster for the GOP hopeful. However, since this polling, Fox has demonstrated it’s a reliable partner to help Oz try to reset the race.

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For decades, abortion was the perfect issue for Republicans: one that they could use to energize "pro-life" voters, and one that would be around forever. What's more, they ran little risk of alienating "pro-choice" voters, who had little concern that the GOP would ever be able to repeal abortion rights.

Key to this strategy was the assumption that the Supreme Court would preserve Roe v. Wade. GOP candidates and legislators could champion the anti-abortion cause secure in the knowledge that they would not have to follow through in any major way. They could nibble away at abortion rights with waiting periods and clinic regulations, but the fundamental right endured. And their efforts were rewarded with the steadfast support of a bloc of single-issue voters.

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