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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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A scene from "Squid Game" on Netflix

Reprinted with permission from Responsible Statecraft

The Treasury Department's nine-page "2021 Sanctions Review" released on Monday makes vague recommendations for "calibrating sanctions to mitigate unintended economic, political, and humanitarian impact." Unfortunately, it offers few tangible policy suggestions on how to end the high humanitarian
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Mt.Rushmore

Reprinted with permission from Creators

In New York City, a statue of Thomas Jefferson has graced the City Council chamber for 100 years. This week, the Public Design Commission voted unanimously to remove it. "Jefferson embodies some of the most shameful parts of our country's history," explained Adrienne Adams, a councilwoman from Queens. Assemblyman Charles Barron went even further. Responding to a question about where the statue should go next, he was contemptuous: "I don't think it should go anywhere. I don't think it should exist."

When iconoclasts topple Jefferson, they seem to validate the argument advanced by defenders of Confederate monuments that there is no escape from the slippery slope. "First, they come for Nathan Bedford Forrest and then for Robert E. Lee. Where does it end? Is Jefferson next? Is George Washington?"

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