In the nearly five years since Al Franken resigned from the Senate in disgrace following several allegations of groping and other inappropriate sexual behavior, he has slowly mounted a comeback. But instead of trying to work his way back into the political sphere, he has returned to his original love: comedy. There have been late-night guest appearances with old friends like Conan O’Brien and Bill Maher , a weekly podcast where he interviews former colleagues like Senator Amy Klobuchar and former SNL cast member Chris Rock, and even a stand-up tour of theaters and comedy clubs across the country. On Tuesday night, Franken made what may have been his highest-profile move yet when he joined comedians like Chelsea Handler and Dana Carvey in guest-hosting for Jimmy Kimmel. He introduced himself as “the only former U.S. senator to guest-host Jimmy Kimmel Live! ,” before insisting, “Tonight is not about politics, it’s about comedy and having fun.” … [Read more...] about Al Franken Sounds Off on ‘Huge Dick’ Ted Cruz in ‘Jimmy Kimmel Live!’ Guest-Hosting Gig
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WASHINGTON — The Senate overwhelmingly approved on Thursday a $40 billion emergency military and humanitarian aid package for Ukraine, moving quickly and with little debate to deepen the United States’ support for an increasingly costly and protracted fight against a brutal Russian invasion. The measure, paired with an initial emergency infusion of aid to Kyiv that was approved in March, amounts to the largest package of foreign aid passed by Congress in at least two decades, bringing to roughly $54 billion the total American investment in the war in just over two months. The lopsided vote, with just 11 senators in opposition — all Republicans — reflected the remarkable bipartisan support on Capitol Hill for a massive investment in Ukraine’s war effort, which propelled the bill through the House last week. And the speed with which it moved through Congress, where the leaders of both parties raised few questions about how much money was being spent or what it would be used for, was … [Read more...] about The Senate overwhelmingly approves $40 billion in aid to Ukraine, sending it to Biden.
THE LETTERS OF THOM GUNN Thom Gunn bought his first motorcycle, a secondhand Harley, in Texas during the spring of 1955. He was teaching in San Antonio before going to study writing at Stanford. Gunn had been raised in Kent, England, where his parents were journalists. He arrived in America fresh from Cambridge, and his first book of poems, “Fighting Terms,” had been published to lively notice. When he got a look at San Francisco, he knew he’d found his place. Not only was it beautiful, in league with the “best European cities,” he wrote to a friend, but it was “incidentally the queerest city I’ve ever been in.” Gunn remained there for the rest of his life, living in the Haight and teaching at the University of California, Berkeley, eventually six months on and six off. That letter is among the hundreds collected in “The Letters of Thom Gunn,” an appealing selection of his rowdy, funny, filthy, intensely literate letters. He basked in the city’s gay scene, and he grew … [Read more...] about In ‘The Letters of Thom Gunn,’ an Unusual Mix of Pleasures