Welcome to the Al Franken Decade

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Al Franken, formerly of Saturday Night Live and the author of Rush Limbaugh is a Big Fat Idiot and Other Observations, will be sworn in as a US Senator from the state of Minnesota later this morning. It’s been a long journey for Al from late night comedian to CSPAN celebrity, and Mother Jones has been watching all the way.

Franken sat down for an interview with us way back in 1996, right after Big Fat Idiot soared to the top of best-seller lists. In 2004, he wrote an article for us about his USO tours. We reviewed a movie about Franken in 2006. In 2007, as Franken was gearing up for the Senate campaign, Jonathan Stein profiled him for the magazine. And we’ve covered the election and the recount battle exhaustively: we covered the initial vote count, noted his Mick Jagger stylings after the results came out, and watched as public opinion turned against Norm Coleman’s court fight. Later, I predicted (correctly) when Franken would be seated and reminded you what to call him when he won. And then Norm Coleman conceded, clearing the way for Al to get sworn in today.

You can safely assume that we’ll keep you posted.

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TIME IS RUNNING OUT!

We have an ambitious $350,000 online fundraising goal this month and it's truly crunch time: About 15 percent of our yearly online giving usually comes in during the final week of the year, and in "No Cute Headlines or Manipulative BS," we explain why we simply can't afford to come up short right now.

The bottom line: Corporations and powerful people with deep pockets will never sustain the type of journalism Mother Jones exists to do. And advertising or profit-driven ownership groups will never make time-intensive, in-depth reporting viable.

That's why donations big and small make up 74 percent of our budget this year. There is no backup to keep us going, no alternate revenue source, no secret benefactor. If readers don’t donate, we won’t be here. It's that simple.

And if you can help us out with a donation right now, all online gifts will be matched thanks to an incredibly generous matching gift pledge.

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