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`Read Kindle Í Lies and the Lying Liars Who Tell Them ì Al Franken, one of America s savviest satirists has been studying the rhetoric of the Right He has listened to their cries of slander , bias and even treason He has examined the Bush administration s policies of squandering our surplus, ravaging the environment, and alienating the rest of the world He s even watched Fox News A lot And in this fair and balanced report, Al bravely exposes them all for what they are liars Lying, lying, liars I hate to bring a heavy hand to a snowball fight, but this book is actually important to me You know how some books act as landmarks in your life, either as a reader or as an acutal liver of the world outside the window and the page This is one of mine.I bought it years ago with trembling glee, as the post 9 11 world of politics had become my insomniac obsession and I was in need of not only some rhetorical weaponry but an insightful, informed take on what I knew in my bones as so many of us I hate to bring a heavy hand to a snowball fight, but this book is actually important to me You know how some books act as landmarks in your life, either as a reader or as an acutal liver of the world outside the window and the page This is one of mine.I bought it years ago with trembling glee, as the post 9 11 world of politics had become my insomniac obsession and I was in need of not only some rhetorical weaponry but an insightful, informed take on what I knew in my bones as so many of us lefties, new or abiding, did know and were right about all along was a shitshownon pareilI trusted Al Franken then as now for his wit, his humor, his sense of the absurd and patently obvious He s not only a humorist but an educated, tasteful, sober observer of the scene It s beyond cliche to talk about how comedians are truth seekers in disguise as funny monkeys and so I won t or will at least try to avoid saying this about Mister Franken.No, Al s gotthe human touch, dignity, authenticity, and even a certain kind of silly nobility in his bones Not only does he know what he wants to say but how to say it, what the goons ll yammer about it, and why it might not only be truth to power but proper policy for an earnest statesman At this point, I d like to mention that, poetic minded as I am, I have never interpreted the phrase truth to power in the literal sense of bending the ear of the high and mighty so much as a mode of speech in which the truth is made active, illuminated, vivid in a word, irreducible That s part of what Al s got And so I was tickled all kinds of pink when he was FINALLY elected Senator of the great state of Minnesota He beat out a stuffy, affluent shmuck who tried to wear him down by constantly recalling and thereby prolonging a truly close election, probably tacitly hoping that an exhuasted Al would concede He didn t Good for him, and good for us.Anyway, there is a quality to this book which is dated Taking swipes at Bill O Reilly and Coulter and the bunch doesn t have the same oomph it did back when there were still relatively important Fox blowhards twisting the national discourse, smearing ostensibly interesting and complex kitchen table debates with, well, liesand damned liesand innuendoand green fog of self righteousness and persecuted self pity Luckily these yahoos burned out on their own gluey corruption and hypocrisy, which was of course bound to happen some day just not as far along as it took I still think you can divvy up the GOP field between the archetypes represented by Billo and Hannity Hannity is the purist, the innocent, the foot soldier, the ignorant true believer who would take a bullet for his master Hannity used to smoke cigars this is true, now and he enjoyed this lesiurely activity until one day his tiny son came up to him and asked him why daddy smokes those smelly things aren t they bad for you Ol Hannity couldn t take it He took one look at the stogie and the other at his lil tyke and chucked it forever As a longtime smoker, I can appreciate the gesture But you know what IN the grand scheme of things, an equally appropriate answer would be to say you know what kid Daddy s had a hard day of payin the bills Don t you have some homework to do or something and that would be that.Another case one day he had a couple of working girls from the Moonlight Bunny Ranch on with their portly patron Dennis Hoff The girls explained the general Heffner line about America being hung up about sex, it s just a job, yes we have relationships outside of work, etc Hannity couldn t believe it He quoted Psalms but what does it profit a man to gain the whole world but lose his SOUL The bunnies just looked at him, blinking It was an odd moment.Compare this with O Reilly s indiscretions calling up his employee and not only verbally fantasizing about her to her face, but remarking on how he happened to be following suit in the privacy of his bedroom, if you catch my drift Falafel the list goes on.Just look at this years race for the GOP nomination the point being that the GOP can be helpfully divided up between sleazy, oppotunistic hypocrites who preach family values and of course get caught with their 20 something campaign staffers becoming their third wives, blahblahblah and psychotic purists who buy the party line to the nervous system.Anyway it s this kind of stuff which reading Al has inspired in me, take it for what you will.I actually was able to meet someone who worked for him an auxiliary member of the grinning Team Franken in the back pages and he happily reported that Al has his down sides like anyone else, but was an essentially decent, hardworking, and conscientious boss Good to hear.Anyway, this book wouldn t really do muchthan further any interested parties in their desire to learn, get a bit of perspective, and enjoy the process while they re at it Not a bad accomplishment, all things considered Viva Al I ve been a registered Democrat since high school and many of my values are liberal, but this was awful This book is an example of atrocious holier than thou thinking, with humor that is meaner than it is funny, and blind where it should be practical It s propaganda for people who already believe the cause and contributes nothing to discussion It s every bit as spiteful and unreasonable to its opposition as the vilified super conservatives It makes me wonder if people like Franken and Ann Co I ve been a registered Democrat since high school and many of my values are liberal, but this was awful This book is an example of atrocious holier than thou thinking, with humor that is meaner than it is funny, and blind where it should be practical It s propaganda for people who already believe the cause and contributes nothing to discussion It s every bit as spiteful and unreasonable to its opposition as the vilified super conservatives It makes me wonder if people like Franken and Ann Coulter aren t in this for money, as championship of polar values gets them easy praise and tons of cash I found the epilogue, about the Democrats taking Congress and righting all the wrongs of the country to be the most amusing part of the book When we actually saw how little the Democratic Congress which I helped with my vote into office did, it was like one final nail, heavier than all the others, driven through this paperback Now that they control the presidency and both houses of Congress, with Franken in their company, maybe some of his righteous prophecy can come true Until then, do yourself a favor and pick up an informative book like Cobra II or All The Shah s Men instead, books intended to give you information so you can form your own opinions Mean spirited humor meant to demean those we disagree with only hurts national discourse, no matter which other is being attacked I would recommend this book to intellectual conservatives so that they simply haveammo to disassociate themselves from the neo cons I actually respect true conservative thought and this administration was not it At all And Franken gives a funny, sometimes enraging, flogging of the neo con media.It s a great book I think, however, it preaches to the choir since the person who would read this is a liberal to begin with in the first place.And he DESTROYS Ann Coulter and Bill O Reillyth I would recommend this book to intellectual conservatives so that they simply haveammo to disassociate themselves from the neo cons I actually respect true conservative thought and this administration was not it At all And Franken gives a funny, sometimes enraging, flogging of the neo con media.It s a great book I think, however, it preaches to the choir since the person who would read this is a liberal to begin with in the first place.And he DESTROYS Ann Coulter and Bill O Reillythis, in and of itself, are good things This very funny but extremely serious book goes after the deliberate falsehoods perpetrated by the right wing on liberals As you may know, the Fox Network went after Franken for trademark infringement because he used the phrase fair and balanced The judge threw out the suit as completely ludicrous and made several trenchant comments about the inability of the Fox executives to recognize satire when they saw it.Harvard University gave Franken a fellowship to basically do whatever he wanted, This very funny but extremely serious book goes after the deliberate falsehoods perpetrated by the right wing on liberals As you may know, the Fox Network went after Franken for trademark infringement because he used the phrase fair and balanced The judge threw out the suit as completely ludicrous and made several trenchant comments about the inability of the Fox executives to recognize satire when they saw it.Harvard University gave Franken a fellowship to basically do whatever he wanted, but demurred at his idea of having Harvard students write his son s college application Franken finally hit upon the idea of having a group of students do research for his book They bought the idea.His first target is Ann Coulter, author of Scandal Franken methodically picks apart her book, revealing it for the inaccurate, if not disingenuous, piece of nonsense it is He also shows how she has blatantly lied about things Her Connecticut driver s license shows her birth date as 1961 her Washington DL says 1963 She claims the Washington DL is correct, which means she voted as a sixteen year old On one of the applications she lied about her age Now, many people have done that, but since the US Patriot Act makes it a felony to put false information on a government ID, she could be whisked away and held without counsel for a long time I wish they would Simple charges she makes in her book were never checked For example, she complains that Evan Thomas, supposedly one of those heinous liberals, was the son of Norman Thomas, four time sic candidate for president on the Socialist party ticket Actually, he ran six times, and a simple phone call to Evan Thomas reveals that he is not the son of Norman Thomas Coulter s book is filled with such false details Either she is extremely lazy or a blatant liar Franken obviously suspects the latter.Francken has infuriated that scion of right wing Fox Bill O Reilly by publicly pointing out many untruths that O Reilly has put forth At Book Expo in Los Angeles, O Reilly was humiliated by Franken, who categorically listed all sorts of lies O Reilly had perpetrated on the public Now, Franken makes clear that occasionally making a mistake on a statistic is hardly a crime, but O Reilly s customary tactic, when challenged with the correct information from unimpeachable sources is to simply bully and yell at his challenger rather than correct the mistake The problem is also that he makes lots of mistakes More from the sewer of right wing dishonesty When he interviewed the son of a worker killed on 9 11 on February 4th, 2003, he became enraged at the son s opposition to the war in Iraq, had his engineer cut off the man s microphone, and sent him packing saying to him after the show s end, Get out of my studio before I tear you to f cking pieces O Reilly, who constantly rails at the lyrics of rap songs, wrote a murder mystery in 1998, Those who Trespass about a serial killer who murders everyone who interferes with his rising television career , that took explicit sex and violence to new heights and the English language to new lows In one murder, the victim is killed by having a spoon driven through the roof of her mouth into her brain stem Variants of the F word and B word are usedthan 51 times Case of the pot calling the kettle black O Reilly is not a nice man.Team Franken took a look at Hannity s of Hannity and Colmes, book to verify the factualness of his statements Examples of disingenuousness and dishonesty abound.Bush s initial indifference to al Qaeda prior to 9 11 is astonishing The Clinton administration had developed plans for eliminating Bin Laden, but those plans were ignored That the Bin Laden family were good friends with the Bush family is well known, and Franken speculates as to what might have happened to Clinton had he been so nice to the Bin Laden family, permitting a Saudi plane to fly around the country picking up family members for return to Saudi Arabia, while American airplanes were grounded In the meantime, President Bush has broken all presidential records for the number of days spent on vacation.The book is often uneven, some parts funnier and someserious Should one laugh or cry learning that many of our leaders today, Cheney, Wolfowitz, Perle, Bush, and other chickenhawks who are sending men off to die in war, did everything in their power, having their fathers pull strings and inventing flimsy excuses shouldn t pick on Limbaugh, I think he was just too fat to avoid service in Vietnam