nuclear defense systems

Superhero Al Franken Uses Literacy To Prove Homophobes Are Idiots

Here is Senator Al Franken questioning Thomas Minnery of gay-bashing church club Focus on the Family about the group’s assertion that children fare better in households with heterosexual parents. Team Homophobia knows this is an obvious conclusion, so obvious actually that they did not need to “read” the words in the report. It’s a report about nuclear families, families are nuclear, they do better when they are nuclear, NUKULAR POWERS WIN WARS, THEY ARE THE BEST DEFENSE (against same-sex marriage)!!!! But Franken throws them what is for a wingnut a fairly esoteric curveball, and he asks Minnery if he understands the meaning of “nukular.” HUNHH?!

It turns out the report includes same-sex couples in the definition of “nukular family” rather than classifying them as vampire perverts as Minnery does, a wonderful fact that Franken ascertained by actually perusing the contents of the document. Behold the superpowers of literacy!

Is this a huge waste of time, to talk to people who do not bother to read the evidence they submit to Congress? Yes, probably. But Franken got the laugh! So no, it was not a total waste of time. Hooray! [TPM]

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257 comments

    1. Biel_ze_Bubba

      His training as a comedian gives him perfect timing:
      "[pause for 1.75 seconds] It doesn't."

      Audience cracks up, witness wonders why his instestines are suddenly lying on the floor.

      1. Dashboard_Jesus

        gotta admit the Franken is the most awesome US Senator, he takes these douchebags apart like a surgeon

    2. Dashboard_Jesus

      I love Al Franken, and one of the few times I've seen an awesome video like this BEFORE I saw it on Wonkette (watched it last night and made some awesome comments on the YouTubes if I do say so myself!)

        1. finallyhappy

          I got to meet him once here in DC – he was quite nice even though I was obviously not one of the big givers at the event(the designer clothing and big jewels give them away)

        2. Dashboard_Jesus

          I fucking LOVE him, and I'd gay marry him too, if he was gay (and if I was, also…too)

        1. James Michael Curley

          When they don't a bilious sphere of arrogant, misogynistic lard becomes Governor of New Jersey.

      1. Dashboard_Jesus

        LOL, made me spew wine out my nose, AGAIN! (and the bottles almost empty dammit!)

    1. FNMA

      Well, it is Minnesota and it's not like the voters in that state would elect a lunatic or …
      Wait a minute…

      1. ChuckieJesus

        For every Jesse Ventura, there's a Paul Wellstone. For every Michelle Bachmann, there's a Keith Ellison. For every Norm Coleman, there's an Al Franken.

    2. petehammer

      In the alternate Earth, Norm Coleman said to the bigot: "Why is there not more about buttsex in this report? It is hard to fully understand gays depraved, depraved behavior without more description."

    1. Serolf_Divad

      Exactly… an appeal to facts is the lazy pol's preferred method of advancing an argument.

        1. weejee

          Not in Lynden, WA, Mrs. weejee's hometown. They even banned having sex while standing up 'cause it could lead to the dreaded dancing.

          1. hollywooddood

            They have a point. Sometimes after having standing up sex, I break into a dance.

      1. BaldarTFlagass

        "Facts are simple and facts are straight
        Facts are lazy and facts are late
        Facts all come with points of view
        Facts don't do what I want them to
        Facts just twist the truth around
        Facts are living turned inside out
        Facts are getting the best of them
        Facts are nothing on the face of things
        Facts don't stain the furniture
        Facts go out and slam the door
        Facts are written all over your face
        Facts continue to change their shape"

        –D. Byrne

        1. Jukesgrrl

          Every time I see Boehner and Cantor, I sing Burnin Down the House.

          There. Has. Got. To. Be. A. Way.

  1. BornInATrailer

    Given that most of Mr. Minnery's "reading" is fapping over dog-eared copies of Blue Boy in his tool shed, this shouldn't be a surprise.

  2. DaSandman

    Why isn't Jeebus shooting thunderbolts at these pigs? The Man hung out with whores and thieves and by all accounts enjoyed their company.

    1. Dashboard_Jesus

      awww fuck, it just ain't worth it anymore…smite one o' these asshole with lightning and five more pop up in their place…it's like those goddam orcs, sometimes ya just get tired of killin' the little bastards and ya just stand back and watch 'em self-immolate (and hey, I LUVS them whore, after all I gay married one!)

  3. freakishlywrong

    Yay! NOT starting the day with some horrendous, rabid, fascist blathering. It's you. You, Al Franken.

  4. Allmighty_Manos

    Typical of snotty inside-the-beltway liberals to use 'facts' and 'dictionaries' to mock traditional values.

    1. Reagan Still Dead

      And he seems to be staring at that thin white sheet in his hand and deciphering words from the black marks…like some sort of code. What are those Dumbocrats up to with this witchcraftery? It's evil, pure EVIL, I tells you!

    2. Preferred Customer

      I bet if you look that study up on Conservapedia you'll find that Mr. Minnery's definition is correct. Or you will pretty soon.

  5. FakaktaSouth

    Focus on the Family has gone to hell. When Dr James Dobson ran the joint, they would've had THEIR OWN study that said what all horrors they imagine it is like to be loved by two (gay) adults in a family instead of (n)one.

    1. Mahousu

      The problem with them running their own study is that they'd probably have to actually talk to some gay people at some point and, as you know, the gays are really good at recruiting, so who knows what might happen if they start down that path.

      1. LesPaultard

        It could be a mistake to assume they talk to anyone at all before releasing a "study."

    2. Bonzos_Bed_Time

      They're going to go to their own special hell, preferably shared with the Phelps clan.

  6. Mumbletypeg

    Our BEST DEFENSE against offensive stupidity is a professional comedian / elected office-holder who turns lemons into lemonade every time. I couldn't view the video but I hope some juice got in the Minnery's eye and it stung, because Franken's point is probably lost on him and he needs a more salient clue he's been pwned.

    1. Sue4466

      Rough transcript:

      Al: "You cite this report that says nuclear families are best and say that means same-sex parents are evil. Did you even bother to read the study's definition of nuclear family or did you just go with your own narrowminded assumptions?"

      Minery: "(B)"

      Al: "Ok, well, I checked the study out."

      Minery (in head): "Of fuck, does that mean he actually read this? who does that?"

      Minery (outloud): "I assume it confirms my narrowminded world view."

      Al: "It doesn't" (derisive laughter from audience) "It says a nuclear family is two parents and some kids. Not shit about the gender of the parents."

      Minery: "uh."

      Al: "So, given your apparent inability to read or your ability to lie and distort what you read (your pick) how can we trust anyfuckingthing you say?"

      Of course, Al said all this in Minnesota nice.

    2. Geminisunmars

      Actually he (Minnery) looked like he understood that he was very pwned, in a deer-in-the-headlights kind of way. That was very satisfying for me. I'm sure, though, when he has a chance to "think" about it, he will be outraged.

      1. GOPCrusher

        Sadly though, the Focus On The Family freaks will now put a surveyor's mark on Al Franken for being part of the vast Athiest Muslim Sharia Movement to destroy America from within.

  7. Serolf_Divad

    Quick, someone run to Conservapedia and put up a page defining "nuclear" as "not gay."

    1. MildMidwesterner

      But the nuclear missles are so long… and powerful… and heat seeking… and long… and powerful…

      1. BaldarTFlagass

        I did some work up at Malmstrom AFB in Montana a few years ago, where they maintain the missiles and the missile silos. Just had to get the souvenir T-shirt, with the big phallic Minuteman III on the front. I don't think the T-shirt designers intended it to be tucked in, but when it is, the effect is quite striking.

        Another cool thing they had there at the time was Ted Kaczynski's shack stored out on the flightline.

      2. Dashboard_Jesus

        damn, beat me to it (by about 16 fucking hours…hey I'm slow after a bottle of Chardonnay)

  8. Goonemeritus

    I like his style, calm reasoned and confident, I’m sure it helps that he’s smart and he is well informed but still style does count

      1. PristineODummy

        Oh, is that what the teagaggers mean when they keep accusing President Obama of "shoving (X) down their throats"?

    1. James Michael Curley

      "This is my weapon, this is my gun. The first is for fighting. The other's for fun."

      Whoa – flashback time!

    1. freakishlywrong

      We need to clone him, Bernie and Sherrod. And have zombie Kennedy bite the 'tards heads off.

    2. Boredw/Gravitas

      He can be — just move to Minnesota. Of course, Michele Bachmann will have to be your representative.

      1. DashboardBuddha

        Ugh…no thanks. Although, I wonder how much longer she'll be a rep. Be that as it may, I think I'll stick with what I got. While I might disagree with them, at least all of our reps and senators are sane.

          1. Dudleydidwrong

            Not quite. You need to check out the wingnut governor. Most people in Maine would trade Paul LePage, aka Pepe LePew, for a player to be named later or most any governor they've had in the last 15 or so years. Bring back Angus King!

            The two Republican senators are thinking people, however.

          2. DashboardBuddha

            Agreed – LePage is a headcase, but he's local. Snowe, Collins (somewhat), Pingree, and Michaud are all ok.

          3. DashboardBuddha

            Well, I didn't say that the MEGOP were ok. In fact, they're morons in the sharpest sense of the word.

          4. GunToting[Redacted]

            Except for, maybe, painting over murals in the Department of Labor because they are too, uh, pro-LABORER.

          5. Geminisunmars

            Well, Dashboard Buddha did say the senators and reps. I blithely ignored that and tarred all the politicians in Maine with the sanity brush. My apologies.

  9. JoshuaNorton

    Wingnuts desperately count on the fact that being a pathologic liar isn’t a felony and the only way to honestly deal with one is.

    Errors do not detract from wingnut arguments, they are proof of their correctness.

    1. Reagan Still Dead

      They're black holes of intelligence who need to bend the facts to suit their twisted inner thoughts. The more bent an idea the more likely it is to get lodged in the head cave.

  10. Beowoof

    Literacy, that is Un-American. No wonder he is Democrat, elitist with all his fancy book learning and stuff.

    1. Jukesgrrl

      And humor. That's something that REALLY needs to be repressed. It could influence the youth.

  11. SorosBot

    Shouldn't the majority of spineless wimp Democratic Senators who've been there for years be embarrassed that a newcomer former comedian keeps doing their job so much better than them? And the other spine-possessing liberal in the Senate is a registered Socialist, not a Democrat.

    1. freakishlywrong

      Shouldn't "journalists" be embarrassed that two snarky comedians are considered the most trusted names in news?

      1. poorgradstudent

        To be fair I don't recall either Stewart or Franken keeping me posted about the critical details surrounding Casey Anthony's diet in prison and how her enjoying sex proves she not only killed her daughter but is possibly the real 9/11 mastermind.

    2. HistoriCat

      If only those spineless wimp Democratic Senators were capable of being embarrassed by anything besides their own party platform.

    3. i_AM_ready

      Zackly. I live in Maryland, where CrabCake Mikulski has been my Senator for about 40 or 50 years. The state is very Democratic, so every six years she gets reelected about 65-35%. Totally safe seat.

      Quick, someone name a tough issue she took the lead on…..

      [crickets]

    4. Dashboard_Jesus

      took the words right outta my mouth…and thankfully that now leaves more room for wine, DRINK!

  12. James Michael Curley

    Franken was the only news reporter I believed in the post Watergate years; and Jane Curtin, especially when she would rip open her blouse on live TV.

      1. James Michael Curley

        That was Springsteen. Scandalous! Had his shirt open all the way down to the waist.

  13. elviouslyqueer

    Words! They are HARD.

    Also, eat a large passel of santorum-slathered rat dicks, Ms. Minnery.

  14. BaldarTFlagass

    I think the appropriate, outdated internet meme (the only kind I know) for this is "pwned." Love the low key delivery.

  15. freakishlywrong

    Many moons ago, in NYC, I worked in a recording studio and Al Franken was doing some work with some band, hell, I can't remember. I DO remember him being delightful. Every time he'd call for something he'd say; "Hey, it's me. I'm Al Franken. Can you get me a ____________". Sometimes he'd just call to say the "Hey it's me" part. Very playful and cool.

    1. not that Dewey

      Great Franken story.

      Which studio? I am veteran of the small-to-medium NYC studio industry (12-15) years ago. Worked for some dudes from Juilliard who thought the in-house studio sucked and opened their own.

      1. freakishlywrong

        Quad. Right on Times Square. Drama CENTRAL. If it happened in a studio, it happened there.

        1. not that Dewey

          I had a coworker who had trained at Quad. He left for the chill atmosphere of the small, no-future jazz/classical studio. Good times.

  16. weejee

    Saw lotsa menz couples holding hands last night. Lotsa womenz couplez too. But hey, Mrs. weejee and I were at an Indigo Girls concert, so…

  17. Arken

    Franken didn't just spend some time talking to an idiot to get a laugh, he made sure it said in the congressional record that a nuclear family is NOT restricted to heterosexual couples and the study being cited is used by a lot of anti-gay groups.

    1. ChuckieJesus

      He did the important thing in getting it down in congressional record; you are absolutely right. This will forever be linked to their erroneous citation, and is a general win for the good guys.

  18. Callyson

    *Love* seeing the bigot gulp a sip of water when Franken says "I've read the study." Scumball knew what was coming…

    1. Biel_ze_Bubba

      I think the scumball had no clue what was coming … but he knew for certain that it wasn't going to be good. (Damn those libruls and their abuse of gotcha! facts.)

    1. NorthStarSpanx

      That's why providing low-protein gruel and education to followers and their children is so important, it keeps the interest in learning down.

    2. GOPCrusher

      That's why the Republiklans have had a all out war on education for the last 30 years.
      Educated people ask questions.

    3. PristineODummy

      Amazing that one of our overpaid Congresscritters actually does his job. Remember when the Republicans were crying all over Washington about how they hadn't read the fucking ACA? I swear, I still want to go to Washington just to grab each of those mingy bastards by the hair and rub their faces into the bill. Or maybe into some dog poo.

  19. Barb

    Now that I've had time to think about it…………….
    If the gays wind up getting their basic human rights as people then everyone is going to want them. Maybe we should form a few more committees and write some more reports first.

  20. Come here a minute

    All the Focus on the Family supporters will sure feel foolish when they read about this in their newspapers, and when it is reported on their cable channel.

    1. Sheesko

      You're assuming it will appear in those heavenly resources. If it does, I'm sure it will be scrubbed clean of .any offending truths

  21. franco_pinyon

    Al Franken is one smart sumbitch. It is a good thing to have one or two of those in the Senate.

  22. Swampgas_Man

    The people only skim their bibles, why do you want them to bother w/ a study? Both serve the same purpose: a thick heavy manuscript w/ which to thump their enemies. Not necessarily something to understand and follow.

  23. weejee

    Problem with those who suffer from FocusontheFamilyitus is that what they know in their knower trumps facts. Kinda like fifteen-two, fifteen-four, and a pair for eight. So what if cribbage don't have trump and they can't count, in their knower they know it's right.

  24. Sue4466

    You keep using that word "nuclear family," I don't believe it means what you think it means.

    1. NorthStarSpanx

      It sounds militarized or weaponized, much like Palin's children. So, obviously the Right feels entitled to this classification as well as defining marriage.

  25. prommie

    You know who else used words, and the power of speech, to argue with his enemies? You know who else walked upright on his two legs? The similarities just keep adding up.

      1. prommie

        Bingo! And they both lived in the declining days of a republic that was about to become a dictatorship.

    1. anniegetyerfun

      There's a prequel to Planet of the Apes coming out soon, right? Was it that one ape, who leads all the other apes to victory of some kind?

      1. finallyhappy

        James Franco gives an ape some drug and it becomes increasingly intelligent and aware- and gives the drug to other apes. Now if only that drug worked for humans.

        1. Biel_ze_Bubba

          If there's one drug the teabaggers would outlaw in an instant, that would be it.

  26. Monsieur_Grumpe

    I know from reading a few of Franken’s books that he puts together a team of serious researchers, usually college students, and has them verify what he writes. Check out Rush Limbaugh is a Big Fat Idiot for a whole book of wingnut fact checking.

    1. Doktor Zoom

      A couple years ago, I was listening in the car to the audiobook of Lies and the Lying Liars Who Tell Them, and was pleasantly surprised when my kiddo, then 12, preferred listening to that on a long trip instead of the Lemony Snickett audiobook I'd also checked out. We got to the end and he insisted we listen to it again.

          1. Sheesko

            Would LexisNexis® still be a good graduation gift? I'm sure he would remember, and there would be mutual throat lumping 'n' stuff.

    1. BaldarTFlagass

      To steal and paraphrase the slogan from the Kinky Friedman for Governor campaign, "Why The Fuck Not?"

      1. anniegetyerfun

        The opposition arguments will be fun-filled and hypocritical. A FORMER COMEDIAN? HAHAHA. That's a terrible idea! How can you vote for a FORMER COMEDIAN FOR PREZNIT?

        Ronald Reagan was a former actor.

        YES BUT THEN HE WAS GUVNOR SHUT UP I CAN'T HEAR YOU LALALALALA.

    2. BerkeleyBear

      Aft er listening to him on NPR today, I'm thinking Mayor Corey Booker of Newark is in the mix somewhere. Al would be an excellent addition to the field, but given how long it took him to decide to run for Senate, I'm guessing he only does it if no one he respects is running in 2016 2020 would work better for him, timing wise, too – since by then hed' have 2 full Senate terms under his belt.

    3. jakegittes

      Why not 2012? The O Man looks like he's tracking even to the right of Dubbya. Hope and Change? What he really meant by that slogan was he was going to rule like the original man from Hope, Arkansas who sold us down the Triangulation River and the change part was the spare change he was going to leave the American middle class with jingling in their pockets once Wall Street got in one last round of thievery.

  27. mrblifil

    There's a famous story from SNL lore about Janeane Garofalo, during her brief stint as a cast member, rehearsing a scene with Franken. She was trying her dedicated best to be scrupulous and work from memory, instead of cue cards. Apparently in the middle of rehearsal he leaned over and stated quite plainly "READ THE FUCKING CARDS!"

    That Al Franken sounds a lot like the Al Franken we're talking about today.

    1. BaldarTFlagass

      Maybe they'll have a parade for him, meet him to show their support at the airport at 3AM, like we do here in San Antonio whenever the Spurs suffer a humiliating defeat out of town and get run out of the playoffs.

      1. CrunchyKnee

        No, that would cost tax monies, and they can't even keep street lights on in COS due to the wingnut ant-tax zealotry.

        1. Jukesgrrl

          That place really is a thoughtless vacuum, isn't it? (Said the grrl who lives in Arizona.)

  28. Dürers Rhino

    Oooh, I loved the look on Minnery's face and his body language when Franken got rolling. He was literally squirming.

    1. Preferred Customer

      Yes, the little nod at the end there, when Franken says "frankly I don't know how we can credit the rest of your testimony…" That was just gold. Gold. I'm sure it was involuntary, but, seriously, public speaking 101: When someone calls you a liar and wonders aloud whether you are lying all the time about everything, DON'T NOD IN AGREEMENT.

    1. Dudleydidwrong

      Nothing wrong with that. W thought he was walking with some sexy chick in a long dress and head scarf. His Secret Service detail had to warn him not to ask his partner for any sexy time.

  29. MozakiBlocks

    "It doesn't"

    And with two simple words, Al Franken doth smite the homophobes and it was good.

    1. notreelyhelping

      That was sweet. And delivered with just the right combination of down home honesty and fast-moving razor.

          1. Jukesgrrl

            Consider it done. I become romantic and tender in the face of justice and righteousness.

  30. mavenmaven

    What the Republicans should realize is that they need a smart comedian of their own. Except that they don't have any.

      1. anniegetyerfun

        OK, so there's Craig T. Nelson.. oh. Right, that thing with the welfare comment. Um. Hey, that one guy who played the smarmy manager in Pretty Woman and the dad and 10 Things I Hate About You really hates Arabs, he might also hate homosexuals. Um… who else? I know I'm forgetting someone.

        1. SorosBot

          Drew Carey? But I think he's more of a Randroid than a traditional conservative.

          I think they have the likes of Larry the Cable Guy, and Jeff Dunham the racist puppet guy; but then neither of them have ever been funny.

          1. anniegetyerfun

            Sorry – the smarmy store manager, not the hotel manager. That was Héctor Elizondo. The guy I was thinking of is Larry Miller, and if I'm not mistaken, he has written a few "Palestine? It doesn't even exist, am I right?!" articles over the years.

  31. smitallica

    Said it before, sayin' it again:

    If your organization has "Family" in the name, your membership is made up entirely of batshit lunatics.

      1. PristineODummy

        Well, y'all know Sly had some real serious problems, right? Sad.

        And the Partridge Family are totally cuckoo.

        So, no.

  32. GregComlish

    Wow, that aging homophobe sure turns into a simpering bitch when confronted with facts.

  33. Doktor Zoom

    Speaking of really cool brainy people who belong in the Senate, I'm just 95 kinds of delighted that Elizabeth Warren is seriously considering running against Scott Brown. Charismatic Nerd vs. Prettyboy Model!

  34. GortRay

    I think that there Franken fella spent some time in Massachusetts where they do a lot of that readin' and thinkin'. It's blasphemy, I tell you what!

  35. notreelyhelping

    There was a delicious instant there, just before the victim expired, where the head, severed from the body but still sitting atop the neck, realized what had just happend. That's style, baby.

  36. ThundercatHo

    I love that man, SO MUCH. He is one of the few men in the universe that I might have to ask for a 24 hr. pass from my awesome husband should the opportunity ever present itself.

  37. ttommyunger

    I'm beginning to think maybe more professional comedians would be a good thing in our public service sector. Andy Borowitz for instance, or Robin Williams. The late great George Carlin would make an excellent representative; but then, one would have to put up with the bullshit, the meetings, the loyal opposition. I don't know how you do it, Al, but I love you for it.

  38. fuflans

    well it's obvious that – in spite of what the teatards say – congress needs more COMEDIANS and fewer job creatin business owners.

  39. Tundra Grifter

    Isn't it interesting that Boss BlunderRush, Sheer uh "Am i uh An Idiot?" uh InSannity, Off-the-Mark and the rest of that ilk flirt with pretending to run for public office but none of them have the guts to actually haul off and do it?

    Here's Al Franken who did have the guts to run. And win.

    And our nation is all the better for it!

    And, while I think he is a better writer than performer, his delivery here was first-rate!

    Well played, sir, well played!

  40. ragnarok4msm

    FK FRANKIN(but not in a gay way) is my bumper sticker i made. ITS SELLING LIKE HOT CAKES.

  41. Negropolis

    To hear genuine laughter in the halls of Congress warms my heart. Remember when Al was running the "very serious people" in the media and in politics complaining that even his very campaign was making a mockery of Congress? And, now look at the guy, one of the sanest, smartest Senator in that whole swamp.

  42. lulzmonger

    Literacy? What uncanny devil magic is this?!

    Coming Soon (In My Dreams) – Democrats use Grade Two math to show that the GOP is a pack of nihilist rat-bastards for playing Chicken with the debt ceiling.

  43. fivespot

    The women who wrote this ad over a long, get drunk/pass out/wake up/cry, laugh, trade underwear, drink more, Xanax-fueled pillow-fight-and-stretch-marks weekend at the nearest Christian retreat are obviously fiscal hawks who know a thing or two about trade imbalance and capitol management. The weird thing is that, being such incredible economy wonks, when they let their hair down, damn, they're also foot stompin' hilarious!! Spenditol!! OMG!!

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