Al Franken, the Freshman Senator from Minnesota, has proven once again that he has courage, unlike so many of his counterparts who have proven time and again that they have none. Tired of the dithering Democrats and obstructionist Republicans, Franken and his supporters are demanding action on health care reform now. The time for bi-partisanship has long since passed and America needs to light a fire under a confused Congress and an ineffective Administration. Here is the full story from Workday Minnesota:

More than 500 people, armed with banners, signs, and stories of health insurance industry abuse rallied at the Minneapolis Labor Center Sunday afternoon to demand Congress to deliver on health care reform.

U.S. Senator Al Franken delivered the keynote. Earlier in the week, he signed onto a letter asking Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid to use the budget reconciliation process to pass the public option as an alternative to private health insurance. Reconciliation would require only 50 Senate votes, plus the Vice President, and has given many people hope that passage of a public option may still be possible.

In opening remarks, Bill McCarthy, President of the Minneapolis Regional Labor Federation, praised Franken for his leadership on federal health care reform and called the Senator “a fighter and champion of Minnesota’s working families.”

McCarthy said “workers across the country are at the mercy of insurance companies’ soaring premiums, denied claims and inflated profits. It’s time Washington listened to those that elected them, not corporate insurers.”

Franken took the stage to thunderous applause midway through the rally. Citing insurance industry profits which continue to rise despite a weak economy, Franken told the packed hall “I think you know why they’re fighting us.”

He warned that people “can’t let the perfect be the enemy of the very, very good” referencing tea party protesters who picketed outside the hall. Promising to fight to make sure health care costs are lowered and quality goes up for all Americans, Franken concluded saying “All I can tell you is we’re going to get this done.”

Rally attendees included members of the Minnesota Health Care for America NOW coalition, Organizing for America, MoveOn, ISAIAH, labor and progressive organizations. Sunday’s attendees were united in the need for Congress to rein in corporate greed, create more jobs, protect workers’ rights and achieve comprehensive, affordable health care for all Americans.

The rally was part of a week-long nationwide push insisting Congress act now on health care reform and listen to everyday Americans, and not insurance industry lobbyists who have spent record amounts to block health care reform and protect their profits. Sharon Sund of MoveOn told the crowd “enough is enough. Congress has been debating health care reform for over a year. We voted for change and we want results now.”

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  1. teeluck

    February 22, 2010 at 12:22 pm

    Al Franken is no idiot…I have followed him for about eight years before he got elected…he has balls. He is a good man and we are lucky to have him…and Rachel Maddow…my first love…ahhh

  2. Sue

    February 22, 2010 at 12:57 pm

    I heart Franken along with the other progressive Senators with BIG BALLS! YAY!!!!
    I’m not hearing very good news about the Obama plan, it has no public option, is that right? I guess we have to wait til Thursdays meeting for more details.
    It’s great to hear there are rallies from the left finally, we need more of them!

  3. Holte Ender

    February 22, 2010 at 1:04 pm

    Wake up time, and about time too. Al Franken is leading and he is a new boy, where are his more experienced colleagues? That worries me.

  4. fourdinners

    February 22, 2010 at 1:14 pm

    Don’t cheer too soon. He is a politician. As an old fart first class I am fully aware of how terrific politicians can sound. Then reality kicks in….

    Sooner or later anything to do with politicians goes tits up.

    Speaking of which. Is he about to grope a boob here?

  5. Gwedolyn H. Barry

    February 22, 2010 at 5:29 pm

    I really really like this guy. Yeah, much courage. And just not taking any conforming guff! He and Grayson make the best two steppin couple in DC. Holte, his experienced colleagues are conforming to some unspoken protocols that serve none outside of the senate. I really like this guy.

  6. MadMike

    February 22, 2010 at 6:36 pm

    I like him too Gwen.

  7. MadMike

    February 22, 2010 at 6:37 pm

    Tee I am with you on both Al and Rachel….Ahhhhh..Rachel 🙂

  8. MadMike

    February 22, 2010 at 6:38 pm

    Sue and Holte: I agree Sue. Big balls are a good thing, used properly of course, and Holte you make a good point. Where are his experienced colleagues? Running scared as always.

  9. osori

    February 22, 2010 at 6:55 pm

    Franken’s big balls also enabled him to support the Iraq War.Aligning himself with House Republicans his big balls favored vaporizing tens of thousands of Iraqi women and children.
    So his big balls allow sympathy for American health care, that sympathy obviously never extended to Iraq.

    Fuck Franken.

  10. Infidel753

    February 22, 2010 at 7:38 pm

    Any chance of a Franken/Maddow ticket in 2016? People with experience as gadflies seem to do a better job of cutting through the garbage and keeping in touch with reality than career politicians do. They can make Jon Stewart the Wall Street czar or something.

    Impossible, I know, but I guy can dream…..

  11. Vigilante

    February 22, 2010 at 10:02 pm

    It wasn’t so long ago that Mike was dissing Franken, and not a little, as I recall.

  12. osori

    February 23, 2010 at 12:43 am

    An ever more stirring line would be Al ” I oppose a US withdrawal…the US has to win in Iraq (4/6/2004 CNN)” Franken telling the crowd he’d fight for health care reform the way he fought for Iraqis to get their limbs blown off.

  13. osori

    February 23, 2010 at 12:44 am

    Not to belabor the point, but Fuck Al Franken.

  14. Vigilante

    February 23, 2010 at 2:30 am

    I am definitely not belaboring any point, here. (I’m not even going to suggest anything about your sexual fantasies, Oso.)

  15. Holte Ender

    February 23, 2010 at 8:08 am

    Al Franken wasn’t elected to the Senate until 2008, and it took them a year to count the votes, so I am not sure he has been a sworn member for a year yet. So any alignments or statements made in support of House Republicans would have been made as a Radio America commentator. Am I right?

  16. osori

    February 23, 2010 at 4:04 pm

    Absolutely right. He supported the war as a private citizen.

  17. Hill

    February 23, 2010 at 4:32 pm

    What Osori said.

    …all four times.

  18. osori

    February 23, 2010 at 6:57 pm

    LOL Hill! I’m so old I’m starting to repeat myself. I say, I’m so old I’m starting to repeat myself.