Wednesday, April 13, 2005

Franken 2

On the N.C. death penalty moratorium effort. Franken: The pope was against the death penalty. I have no problem killing people who have done something really horrible. I have a problem with killing people who are innocent. Also it's just not fairly implemented. It's by race, by poverty, if you're rich you're not going to get executed. But it's not about drawing the line. There is no line. You just can't execute people.

Guest Jerry Meek, new chair of N.C. Democratic Party. The grassroots winner. This is interesting to Franken, obviously. Meek: We are not going to people directly, door to door, in a personal way. We've got to talk in different terms. Repeatedly we are playing on their court. It's fine that we are fighting the presiden'ts cuts in Medicaid but we should be talking about universal health care. We are fighting the ANWR but we should be talking about ridding our dependency on oil.

Franken: After 9/11 how could the president not have called for energy independence. Meek: He's from Texas. Franken: I know the answer, but the point is that it would have been good for our country. Why not raise CAFE standards at least. During 2004 we raised enough money but they did out-organize us locally. Meek: Many parallels between me and Howard Dean, about empowering people at the local level. That is how the Republicans beat us.

Lanpher: What about the Democratic party's problem with hierarchy? Meek: I think it's changed somewhat since my election. We've got to be a bottom-up organization. This is the first time we've had a state chair who doesn't ow anything to the powers that be. Lanpher: what do you mean about emplowerment? Meek: I'm talking about giving people the resources they need at the local level. Franken: I would hear that the Kerry touch was out of touch. I think that'll change with Howard Dean and state leaders like you.

Franken: I'm Jewish, I don't now much about the New Testament, but I've heard that if you cut out everything Jesus said about helping the poor and such like that, you'd have a perfect box for smuggling Rush Lumbaugh's drugs. Why are the Republicans against so many things that, even in Schiavo, she was bulemic, that is a mental health issue. Paul Wellstone co-authored a bill to give parity to mental health care. Bill Frist will not let that on the floor.

Meek: The Republicans have hijacked God. The God I believe in created the earth for every generation to enjoy, not for one generation to destroy. The majority of these folks are going to hell, I know that.

Lanpher: How nice that you know where people are going? Can we get a memo?

Franken: The Republicans accuse of us not having certainty; so we are certain they are going to hell. Remember the end of days are coming very soon, so there's no reason not to exploit everything in the ten or fifteen minutes we have left.

Meek: Good point.

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