The Al Franken Podcast

By District Productive

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Subscribers: 1133
Reviews: 7

Bobby
 Jan 27, 2020
Love Al's no nonsense style decorated with humor.

H
 Nov 26, 2019
fun and informative I live al's rye style


 Nov 24, 2019

jspad
 Oct 20, 2019
This is a great podcast! Al is funny and intelligent and has a great rapport with his guests. This is very informative and interesting. Al, keep up the good work!!👍👍

ninehundredt
 Oct 4, 2019

Description

A five-time Emmy winning SNL comedy writer/producer, joins a four-time #1 NYT bestselling author, a three-time highest-rated national progressive radio host, a two-time Grammy winning artist, and a former US Senator. So, it gets a little crowded in the booth when Al talks public policy and sometimes political comedy with notable guests. Think “The Daily” without the resources of the NYTimes.


Episode Date
Austan Goolsbee on Virus Economics
01:12:06

The former Chair of the Council of Economic Advisers under President Obama speaks with clarity and common sense about how virus economics are different than normal economics.

Mar 29, 2020
Andy Slavitt, Former Medicare/Medicaid Head Discusses the Pandemic
00:53:00

One of the earliest and most outspoken critics of Trump's mishandling of the pandemic, Slavitt reviews its tragic consequences and where we go from here.

Mar 22, 2020
MSNBC's Andrew Zimmern Talks About Food, Immigration, Climate and Addiction
00:57:35

Turns out food is important. Andrew Zimmern, host and producer of MSNBC’s new series, “What’s Eating America” talks about the intersection of food and health, immigration, climate, and addiction – including his own harrowing journey to sobriety and grace. 

Mar 15, 2020
Documentarian Alex Gibney Tells the Cautionary Tale of the Oligarch Who Defied Putin
00:54:55

Russia’s transition from a brutal dictatorship to a fledgling capitalist democracy and back to a brutal dictatorship. 

Mar 08, 2020
Pulitzer Prize Winner Dave Fahrenthold Catches Us Up on Trump’s Corruption
00:55:17

In a time of an international health and economic crises, it’s good to have a POTUS who can be trusted by the world community. Instead, we have a grifter with an entire family of money-grubbing, lying grifters.

Mar 01, 2020
Is Democracy in Danger? Legal Experts Dahlia Lithwick and Ian Bassin On Trump, Barr and The Abuse of the Criminal Justice System
00:58:22

Dahlia Lithwick of Slate and Ian Bassin of Protect Democracy discuss Trump's sickening lurch toward autocracy post-impeachment with the cooperation of Bill Barr.

Feb 23, 2020
Intelligence Expert Malcolm Nance Makes the Convincing Case that Trump is a Russian Asset
01:04:02

The author, commentator, and career intelligence officer lays out Donald Trump's decades-long relationship with Putin, the KGB, and Rusky Oligarchs. With a cast of unsavory characters like convicted Russian stooges Paul Manafort and Roger Stone, Nance leaves little doubt that the President of the United States has been and continues to be in cahoots with corrupt money-launderers and murderers. A fun show!

Feb 16, 2020
A Conversation with Jimmy Kimmel
00:53:21

Al and Jimmy discuss his radio days, Jimmy Kimmel Live’s rough start, then success, bad guests, his emotional appearance after his son’s birth, and his passionate support of universal health care.

Feb 09, 2020
John Mayer on Playing Guitar and Singing at the Same Time
00:52:32

John Mayer talks about how he transitioned from pop star/tabloid fodder (recurrent Sexiest Man Alive) to the impossible challenge of filling Jerry Garcia’s gigantic shoes with Dead and Company, the current iteration of the Grateful Dead. (If you guessed Al is a big Dead Head, you might be right).


Plus, an angry Al vents about the week's impeachment news.

Feb 02, 2020
How We Got Here. Norm Ornstein on the Erosion of Norms from Gingrich to McConnell to Trump
00:52:19

Veteran Washington observer Norm Ornstein tracks the erosion of norms that once allowed Washington to work. From Newt Gingrich instructing Republicans to demonize Democrats as “sick, corrupt, traitors” to Mitch McConnell denying Merrick Garland a hearing.  The abandonment of fact-based evidence, shutting down the government, using the filibuster to grind the Senate to a halt, to a pathological President attacking the media as “enemies of the people.”

Jan 26, 2020
Paul Tough on How the College Admissions System Preserves Our Nation’s Economic and Social Disparities
00:51:43

The Felicity Huffman/Lori Loughlin scandal pales in comparison to the scandal of our higher education admissions system, which protects the privileged and leaves everyone else behind. 

Jan 19, 2020
MSNBC's Second Most Popular Host, Lawrence O'Donnell, Is Guest
00:55:52

Lawrence O’Donnell - Son of Dorchester, West Wing writer, Moynihan Senate Staff director - tears Trump and CNN a new one. 

Jan 12, 2020
Al and Conan O’Brien
00:50:07

Al and Conan discuss their time together at SNL, including Tina Fey’s shameless theft of Al’s Fart Doctor sketch and the time Al scared the bejeezus out of George Harrison. Very little public policy discussed. 

Jan 05, 2020
Sara Silverman and Al Talk About Comedy and Politics
00:53:17

A replay of one of our favorite shows from early in 2019. Al and Sara discuss the risky comedy, politics and much more.

Dec 29, 2019
Al Solo! - Al Rants on Impeachment, Trump, McConnell, and GOP Bad Faith.
00:52:50

I rant about the dishonesty (and/or stupidity) of House Republicans during the impeachment debate. Also, about the shameless bad faith exhibited by Mitch McConnell. And the unraveling of Donald Trump’s mind – to the extent it was ever raveled. Plus, my frustration with the Democratic presidential debate our candidates failing to lay a glove on Trump. And with the Democratic candidates, who beat up each other, but failed to lay a glove on Trump.  

Dec 22, 2019
Guilty! Al Discusses Impeachment with Harvard Law Professor, Nancy Gertner and Max Bergmann, Not a Harvard Law Professor
00:56:26

Al concludes that Trump is guilty, yes,guilty!, of high crimes and misdemeanors and so is AG Bill Barr after discussing facts with Harvard Law Professor Nancy Gertner and Max Bergman, director of the Moscow Project. They make the case that assuming Trump will be acquitted in the Senate is a mistake. Al concludes that "When you assume, you 'Make an Ass out of Uma Thurman.'" Uma discusses Pulp Fiction.

Dec 15, 2019
Obama National Security Advisor Susan Rice Talks Foreign Policy Successes and Failures
00:55:03

Al and Rice discuss how immensely consequential decisions are made in real time. Sometimes you get it right. Sometimes you don't. And how you deal with tragic mistakes but have to keep on going.

Dec 08, 2019
Immigration, Child Separation and Voter Suppression with Maria Teresa Kumar
00:36:53

A repeat of our first show with the President of Voto Latino, Maria Teresa Kumar with a new timely intro. Al finally took a week off. Okay?!

Dec 01, 2019
Al talks to Ambassador Peter Galbraith About Trump's Tragic Betrayal of the Kurds, and Al weighs in on the Impeachment Hearings.
00:54:42

Foreign service veteran Peter Galbraith talks about his 35 year history with the Kurds and how Trump's rash decision to sell them out in Syria will undermine America's standing and security in the world for years to come.

Nov 24, 2019
Al Talks To Executive Director of Foster America Sherry Lachman About The State of Foster Care And Al Gets Verklempt
00:51:24

Al talks to his former senior education counsel Sherry Lachman about her great organization, Foster America. She helped with a piece of legislation that is one of Al's greatest achievements as Senator. In the process of getting it passed, Sherry broke a cardinal rule of the Senate and got in a heated conversation with a sitting Senator, much to Al's delight. 


Plus, Al has some thoughts on the first day of the impeachment hearings. It turns out that the Republicans are acting as protectors for Donald Trump!


Learn more about Foster America at www.foster-america.org

Nov 17, 2019
Whoever Wins the Popular Vote Should Be President. The New Yorker's Hendrik Hertzberg and Al Discuss Why
00:49:57

The National Popular Vote Interstate Compact is a compact to award member states' electors to the candidate who receives the most votes nationwide It will take effect when states with 270 electors adopt it.So far, 14 states and DC (representing 187 electoral votes) have compact. Colorado's legislature and governor have approved it (9 more electors) and nervous Conservatives have put it on the ballot as a Referendum in 2020. Hertzberg explains it all and why it's good for every American except Donald Trump.

Nov 10, 2019
Where There's Fire, There's Fire." Jeffrey Toobin and Dahlia Lithwick Discuss The Legal Issues Ahead in the Impeachment of Donald Trump
00:54:57

Jeffrey Toobin and Dahlia Lithwick examine the potential legal issues that may take center stage between now and the day the Senate decides whether Trump is guilty or not guilty of high crimes and misdemeanors. 

Nov 03, 2019
Judd Apatow Discusses Comedy, Mental Health and Politics
00:50:25

Writer, director, producer Judd Apatow (Knocked Up, The Larry Sanders Show, The 40-Year-Old Virgin, Girls, Anchorman, Trainwreck) discusses comedy, mental health and politics. Al laughs and gets depressed. 

Oct 27, 2019
Al Talks with one of his Heroes, Harlem Children's Zone Founder Geoffrey Canada
00:53:02

One of Al's heroes, Geoffrey Canada, founder of the Harlem Children's Zone, talks about transforming the lives of some of our poorest, most disadvantaged kids and how we can replicate that across the country.

Oct 20, 2019
Journalist Elizabeth Drew Explains Impeachment to Al
00:51:11

Al talks impeachment with Elizabeth Drew, veteran journalist and author of Washington Journal: Reporting Watergate and Richard Nixon's Downfall. Her heralded dissection of the Nixon and Clinton sagas makes her the go-to on the pending Trump impeachment.

Oct 13, 2019
A Conversation with Former Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid
01:00:12

Al travels to Leader Reid’s home in Henderson, Nevada, to discuss his life and career, with a special focus on their relationship during the years he and Al overlapped in Senate. 

Oct 06, 2019
A Conversation with Chris Rock
00:49:18

Mr. Rock is a well-regarded comedian, writer, and actor who is a friend of the host. They discuss a whole bunch of stuff.

Sep 29, 2019
Rising Democratic Star and Afghanistan Vet Jason Kander Discusses Putting The Brakes On His Political Career To Treat His PTSD
00:45:52

Afghan vet and Dem Rising Star Jason Kander discusses his decision to put aside politics to treat his PTSD and his work meeting the housing and treatment needs of vets suffering from the psychological wounds of war.

Learn more at VeteransCommunityProject.org

Sep 24, 2019
Renaissance Man Bob Kerrey Talks to Man Al Franken
00:47:09

A great show for a change with Bob Kerrey, Medal of Honor recipient, Governor of Nebraska, two-term US Senator, 9/11 Commissioner, and University President, on why he can’t keep a job.  Also, China, trade, Trump and 2020.

Sep 17, 2019
How Corrupt is Trump? Veteran DC Watchdog Melanie Sloan Discusses the Trump Culture of Corruption in Washington
00:41:18

The least surprising episode of The Al Franken Podcast.  Veteran DC watchdog Melanie Sloan tells us Trump is very corrupt. Also Ivanka and Jared. And Don Jr. and Eric. Plus the EPA, Interior, and Commerce.  And, finally this week, the National Weather Service!

Sep 10, 2019
Obama Chief Economist Austan Goolsbee Explains the Unexplainable: What The Hell Trump is Doing On Trade
00:45:35

Austan Goolsbee, former Obama chief economist, explains that "in a crisis, the president's credibility is all he has." So, someday soon, The New York Times headline may read, "World in Crisis, Turns Its Eyes to Donald Trump." And other scary stuff.



Sep 03, 2019
A Conversation with Vice President Walter Mondale
00:50:55

Vice President Walter Mondale explains to Al why things have gotten so bad. And Trump is only part of it.

Aug 27, 2019
A Conversation with Joe Cirincione
00:53:44

Nuke expert and President of the Ploughshares Fund Joe Cirincione explains why we’re now in a nuclear arms race with Russia and China. A very dark, but hilarious episode of The Al Franken Podcast.

Aug 20, 2019
A Conversation with Heidi Heitkamp
00:54:37

The Founding Members of the Senate’s now defunct “Oh Ya! Caucus,” Former ND Sen. Heidi Heitkamp and Al discuss Heidi’s new organization, One Country. How do Democrats get more votes in rural America? 1 – show up. 2 – listen. 3 – keep coming back. 4- listen to the podcast. Heidi lost her re-elect in a state that has turned solidly red over the past ten years. Al won both of his races in a purplish-blue state by winning big in the Twin Cities and Duluth.  But he did better all-around and in rural Minnesota in his second race (2014, a bad year for Dems) because he showed up, listened, and kept coming back. Turns out rural Americans care about what other Americans care about: health care; their kids’ education; keeping their kids close to them. Which means jobs.

Aug 13, 2019
A Conversation with Andy Slavitt
00:54:02

Andy Slavitt returns to discuss the health care proposals of the Democratic candidates for POTUS.  Al and Andy agree that it’s important for every contender to lay out their plans to get to universal coverage, but exhort them not to squander the enormous advantage we have over Trump and Republicans on an issue of such importance to every American.

Aug 06, 2019
A Conversation With Howard Fineman
00:56:32

How awful do you think Mitch McConnell is? Well. He’s worse than that. Howard Fineman, who began his career at the Louisville Courier Journal, has been covering McConnell for decades. Fineman’s McConnell relishes being a big prick. When coal miners with black lung disease travel from KY to ask Congress to restore the tiny tax on coal that funds their treatment, McConnell gives them all of 30 seconds. Fineman explains. Hell – the miners aren’t going to vote for him; the coal companies have always supported him with tons of campaign funds; and these black lung miners came to D.C. just to embarrass him. Well, screw you, coal miners with black lung disease – you’re all going to die soon anyway. Al tells a lighter story about presiding over the Senate during the debate over Elena Kagan’s confirmation to SCOTUS. Mitch gave the most condescending, sexist speech, typified by the following: “No one has any doubt that Ms. Kagan is bright and personable and easy to get along with. But the Supreme Court is not a social club. If getting along in polite society were enough reason to put someone on the Supreme Court, then we wouldn’t need a confirmation process at all.” Al breaks up and gets a nasty case of church laughter, as McConnell grows more and more infuriated. Find out how it ends in this fun, if somewhat dark episode.  

Jul 30, 2019
A Conversation with Secretary Ernest Moniz
01:09:39

Former Sec. of Energy Ernest Moniz and Al discuss putting pragmatic meat on the bones of the Green New Deal. Al coins a new Kennedy-esque slogan, “We choose to go to zero-carbon not because it is easy, but because otherwise WE’RE ALL GOING TO DIE!!!” Moniz, who was the chairman of MIT’s physics department, negotiated the technical nuclear parts of the Iran Deal with his Iranian counterpart. Because Trump has repeatedly called the US negotiators of the Iran Nuclear Deal “very stupid people,” Al tries to determine throughout just how stupid Moniz is. Not very, it turns out. And Al opens with a monologue about a high school commencement in Willmar, Minnesota, explaining that Trump has no understanding of what America is. The valedictorian was a girl born in Ecuador, the class-speaker, a Somali-American girl, and the class president, a boy of Minnesota Norwegian/German stock. They’re all Americans.

Jul 23, 2019
A Conversation With Franklin Foer
01:05:18

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? 


Jul 16, 2019
A Conversation with Dana Carvey
01:04:30

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.

Jul 09, 2019
A Conversation with David Mandel
00:48:23

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.


Jul 02, 2019
A Conversation with Michael Mann
00:48:04

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.

Jun 25, 2019
A Conversation with Andy Slavitt
01:14:40

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.)  

Jun 18, 2019
A Conversation with Jeffrey Toobin and Nancy Gertner
00:43:17

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.”

Jun 11, 2019
A Conversation with Michael Lewis
00:48:34

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.


Jun 04, 2019
A Conversation With Sarah Silverman
00:51:42

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. 

May 28, 2019
A Conversation with Dahlia Lithwick and Matt Miller
00:44:51

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.

May 21, 2019
A Conversation With Maria Teresa Kumar
00:34:08

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

May 14, 2019
Al Franken Has A Podcast
00:06:30

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.

May 01, 2019