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Franken goes to bat against forced arbitration again


Sen. Al Franken, the new patron saint of fair arbitration, tore into an arbitration apologist Wednesday, administering a beating that one would more expect to see in a boxing ring than a committee hearing room. If you don’t believe me, watch for yourself.

Poor Mark de Bernardo, a partner at corporate-side employment law firm Jackson Lewis LLP, was on the receiving end, Franken poked holes in everything from de Bernardo’s underlying argument, to his command of the “facts” he cited, to the accuracy of the footnotes in his written statement. Watch the video and count how many times the senator cuts off de Bernardo’s equivocation with variations on the theme of, “Please answer yes or no, sir.”

Franken didn’t spend the whole afternoon on the offensive, however. He began his time by thanking Jamie Leigh Jones for her “courage,” “persistence,” and “strength.” As we reported last week, Jones may finally get her day in court – for some of her claims – four years after she was raped and nearly two-and-a-half years after she first filed suit. We wish her best of luck with her case.

Meanwhile, there’s been more press coverage of the Franken Amendment we mentioned last week. In the mainstream press, ABC and the AP wrote on the bill, which passed the Senate by the comfy margin of 68-30. The blogosphere noticed it as well, with stories appearing in the Huffington Post, Think Progress, and Consumerist. The thirty “nay” votes triggered a fair amount of snark, with Kos headlining “GOP backs corporate rape” and Wonkette doing what they do best.