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July 16, 2019
A Conversation With Franklin Foer
In the monologue, Al talks about the appointment of Pat Pizzella as the acting Secretary of Labor. If you agree that the House should hold hearings on Pizzella’s past, check out Al’s petition here:  https://alfranken.com/read/petition This week, author and Atlantic Monthly staff writer, Franklin Foer joins me to discuss Big Tech. Are filter bubbles dividing us? Is Facebook deliberately keeping us angry and upset? Is everyone's attention span dwindling? Is Google selling records of all your searches? Is the Big One coming? You know - the day everyone who's ever watched pornography will be revealed to everyone else who's ever watched pornography?
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65 min
July 9, 2019
A Conversation with Dana Carvey
Al and Dana discuss political comedy and how some of the greatest moments in SNL’s political satire were created. Al promised Dana to blow smoke up his ass during this interview, and, indeed, smoke is blown. Al opens with a monologue in which he assesses the relative talents of Ronald Reagan and Donald Trump. Hint: Reagan could read a speech.
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64 min
July 2, 2019
A Conversation with David Mandel
Veep show runner, David Mandel discusses Veep and what the hell it is that a show runner does. Why Trump’s election made a dark, cynical show even darker and more cynical. Also, how David owes his entire career to Al – a career that includes writing and producing for Seinfeld, Curb Your Enthusiasm, and Veep, all shows that Al had nothing to do with. In his opening monologue Al calls the 2020 presidential election “the second most important election in our lifetime.”  The most important being last one.
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48 min
June 25, 2019
A Conversation with Michael Mann
Al talks to Michael Mann, Nobel Prize-winning climatologist for his work with the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC).  We cover a lot of ground. How to talk about climate change to your crazy right-wing climate-denying uncle. “Uncle Hal, sea level is rising. For two reasons. Ice is melting.  And water expands when it gets warmer.” If Uncle Hal insists sea level is rising because of all the rocks falling into the ocean, then just give up. We talk about how climate used to be a bipartisan issue, but since Citizens United, the Koch Brothers have threatened to primary any Republican who acknowledges the science.  Addressing climate change has become a victim of our tribal politics. The answer right now? Win.
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48 min
June 18, 2019
A Conversation with Andy Slavitt
The guy who pulled the HealthCare.Gov baby out of a burning building and then headed up Medicare and Medicaid in the Obama Administration discusses healthcare with Al. How Obamacare got so popular. (Republicans won, and their plan to repeal and replace sucked tail-pipe.)
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74 min
June 11, 2019
A Conversation with Jeffrey Toobin and Nancy Gertner
An in-depth, but somewhat snarky, look at the Trump administration’s success in packing the courts with right-wing, Federalist Society judges. Gertner, a Harvard Law professor, and Toobin, CNN chief legal analyst, discuss some of the most cynical, activist decisions by the Roberts Court. Al calls Justice Scalia’s dissent in marriage equality, “Very gay.”
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43 min
June 4, 2019
A Conversation with Michael Lewis
Al and Michael Lewis discuss his latest bestseller, The Fifth Risk, which Al calls the best book about the Trump Administration, in no small part because there’s very little focus on Trump himself. Instead, Lewis takes us inside of three Cabinet agencies – Agriculture, Commerce, and Energy – and the incompetent, venal, and/or corrupt appointees who find their way into crucial positions within the federal government. The head of science at the Agriculture Department is replaced by a right-wing talk radio host whose only qualification is that he endorsed Trump early in Iowa. Trump appoints the CEO of AccuWeather to head up the National Atmospheric and Oceanic Administration, which includes the Weather Service. The CEO’s mission? To stop making Weather Service data publicly available to force Americans to get their weather forecasts from … AccuWeather! And, of course, there’s Rick Perry. At turns hilarious, insane, and just plain sad, this is a fascinating look into what happens to our federal government when the President of the United States has absolutely no understanding or interest in what the government does.
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48 min
May 28, 2019
A Conversation With Sarah Silverman
Al and Sarah discuss her evolution as a comedian, the hazards of using irony in comedy (the viral death-threat against Sarah from a Florida preacher’s sermon), and the importance of growing as an artist and a person. Alternately edgy and warm and fuzzy, you’ll leave this one smiling.
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51 min
May 21, 2019
A Conversation with Dahlia Lithwick and Matt Miller
Dahlia Lithwick, brilliant writer for Slate on all things jurisprudential, and Matt Miller, former spokesman for Attorney General Eric Holder, have a lively discussion with an impassioned Al who argues that it’s time for the House to go to an impeachment inquiry or get off the pot.
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44 min
May 14, 2019
A Conversation With Maria Teresa Kumar
The president of Voto Latino, discusses voter suppression, the Wall, and immigration. At turns funny, then tragic, and angry. A fun and moving interview.  To help support the organizations mentioned in this episode, visit: https://annunciationhouse.org/ https://www.raicestexas.org/?rd=anp
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34 min
May 1, 2019
Al Franken Has A Podcast
In this trailer episode to The Al Franken Podcast, Al sits down with Amazon's Alexa (Siri had other commitments) to review highlights of the upcoming episodes featuring: Maria Theresa Kumar, president and CEO of Voto Latino, Nancy Gertner, Harvard Law School professor and former U.S federal judge, Jeffrey Toobin, legal analyst for CNN and The New Yorker, Michael Lewis, author of The Big Short and Moneyball, Andy Slavitt, former Acting Administrator of Medicare and Medicaid, Dana Carvey, actor, comedian, and Saturday Night Live alum, and David Frum, staff writer at The Atlantic and former speechwriter for George W. Bush.
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6 min
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