Summary: Featuring guests Ben Tribbett, Executive Director of Accountability Now! PAC, Dr. Reginald Coopwood, CEO of the Nashville Hospital Authority, and Karl Frisch of Media Matters for America.

Part 1 Mary prepares to unleash (ha!) the congressman Barney Frank on Halloween households all across America and if you think that’s scary, what until you hear what Republican State Senator Ron Ramsey wants to do to fair elections in Tennessee. Plus, Mary and Freddie try to understand just what, exactly, Ben Trippett and Accountability Now PAC have uncovered about Coop. [22.62MB download mp3]

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Part 2 Reginald Coopwood, M.D., CEO of the Nashville Hospital Authority tells us about their health facilities, the best-kept secret in Nashville, and Karl Frisch does his best Elbert Ventura impression in the next generation of the Media Matters for America Smackdown. Plus, President Obama’s foreign policy has all but isolated Iran from the world community. So why is the right-wing still calling him a surrender monkey? [22.62MB download mp3]

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Guber Candidate Ron Ramsey takes aim at fair elections.

Guber Candidate Ron Ramsey takes aim at fair elections.

Last week, Lt. Governor and gubernatorial candidate Ron Ramsey appeared with Republican Secretary of State Tre Hargett and at an event in Kingsport and told business leaders that not only wouldn’t they follow the law and implement the Tennessee Voter Confidence Act (TVCA), but delaying it would be a legislative priority during the next session of the Tennessee General Assembly.

Clearly, GOP leadership does not want the voters in Tennessee to have confidence in their elections.

They also clearly want to suppress voter turnout.

I wrote earlier of all the ways in which the Tennessee GOP can suppress the vote (voter roll purging, creating partisan election administrations, baseless accusations of voter fraud, etc.) and why they feel it necessary to do so (“…our leverage in elections…goes up as the voting populace goes down…,” Moral Majority founder Paul Weyrich).

Keeping the 100% unverifiable touch-screen electronic voting machines in Tennessee is simply another tool in their arsenal of voter suppression tactics.

Using electronic voting machines as a tool of voter suppression can be accomplished in two ways:

1) It takes much longer to vote on a touch-screen electronic voting machine than on paper ballot, thereby creating long lines that discourage participation. Only one voter can vote on a machines at one time, but 10, 20, 30, etc. voters can all vote on paper ballots at the same time.

2) The allocation of voting machines, which is controlled by county election commissions (all 95 county election commissions are now controlled by a Republican majority), can be manipulated so that voting precincts in certain areas are allocated too few voting machines, thereby creating long lines which, you got it, discourages voter participation.

Don’t let Tre Hargett and Ron Ramsey tell you that “it’s about the money.” The state has over 35 million dollars in reserve from the federal government that can only be spent on the purchase of new voting equipment.

And don’t let them tell you that there are no machines available to purchase that could count the paper ballots required by the new law. 49 states and two Tennessee counties have already used these types of machines in election after election without incident.

Delaying the TVCA and keeping the touch-screen electronic voting machines we use now is undoubtedly another voter suppression tactic to add to their arsenal

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Below is a list of voter suppression tactics used by those in power to suppress voter turnout. There are two reasons why it is important to pay attention to voter suppression tactics now even though we do not have a statewide election until next year:

1) Some of these tactics are being used in Tennessee right now in anticipation of the statewide election next November.

2) Traditionally, Democrats do better when turnout is high. Republicans know it. Huckabee even called it “the Lord’s work.”

Frankly, the reality is that the Tennessee GOP is systematically looking for ways to prevent certain voters from casting a ballot next year. They started during last session with a plan to delay auditable and recountable paper ballots (Tennessee Voter Confidence Act or TVCA) and introduce photo ID laws. And last week Secretary of State Tre Hargett and GOP gubernatorial candidate Ron Ramsey tipped their hand for what’s next, in addition to continuing to push for the delay of the TVCA, on their voter suppression agenda.

Voter Suppression Tactics

Want more? Google “voter suppression,” “caging,” and “voter roll purging.” It’s ugly out there and it’s about to get ugly in Tennessee.

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On her Twitter feed, Rutherford County GOP chair, Lou Ann Zelenik, thanks Bobbie Patray and Tennessee Eagle Forum for their work in defending Tennessee values.

Last time I checked, lying and using fear to promote your radical agenda is not the way Tennesseans roll. Bobbie Patray and her Tennessee Eagle Forum do nothing to defend true Tennessee values – freedom, equality, opportunity, prosperity and security for everyone and not just for a select few.

More about the tactics Chairman Zelenik likes to use to further her agenda at the Scene’s Pith in the Wind

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Rachel Maddow exposes the corporate-funded Rick Berman-fueled astroturf underneath the ACORN demonization and how the media failed the American people again by forgetting about the fact-checking part of their job.

Visit msnbc.com for Breaking News, World News, and News about the Economy

Watch Rachel tie it all together and interview one of the authors of a study that shows, among other fun facts, that 80% of the news media failed to report “ACORN’S role in reporting irregularities.”

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He said it, I didn’t.

Stable Christian conservative Martin Kennedy on WWTN’s irresponsible lie and fear-spreading conservative talk show host Michael DelGiorno:

Been rather out-of-it regarding news and commentary but was driving around today and heard just the strangest snippet from local radio talker Michael Delgiorno. He was talking about what the polls would look like after the so-called “Rapture,” or during the “Rapture,” or however that loony theological concept is understood by dime-store theologians.

According to Delgiorno there would be like 100% approval for Obama and his policies. Everyone would hate Israel and want all Jews killed. I mean this was just crazy talk.

It is possible to favor limited-government, to believe that the family is the foundation of society, and that we ought to avoid entangling alliances without being a religious loon. In fact it is possible to be devout and god-fearing without being a loon. Michael Delgiorno is a loon and his ilk is hurting true conservatism.

It’s also possible to disagree with the President’s policies without stirring up fear and hatred in the minds and hearts of your listeners. Just sayin’.

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Organizing for America – the continuation of the Obama campaign – will be holding “listening tours” throughout Tennessee in the coming weeks to continue to engage their supporters in a dialogue about the issues most important to them – at a national level (healthcare, energy, education, etc.) as well as issues specific to their own communities.

Tonight they are in Nashville from 7 to 9 pm at Scarritt Bennett (1008 19th Ave S.).

Attendees, including supporters and volunteers from the general election, will be invited to offer ideas on how OFA should organize in their communities to make their voices heard in Washington and help bring about the long-term change voters asked for so overwhelmingly last November.

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On September 8th a ‘Care-A-Van’ of Oregon Doctors began a cross-country trip to Washington DC. Today the Mad as Hell physicians will be in Nashville to deliver their clear and simple message to our elected officials in Washington:

“HEALTH CARE FOR PEOPLE – NOT PROFIT!”


You can hear the doctors at 1:30pm on WVOL’s 1470AM “Open Forum” hosted by Rev. T.J. Graham. Listen online at wvol1470.com.

Then from 4:30 – 6 PM they will lead a rally at the headquarters of HCA (Healthcare Corporation of America) at One Park Plaza.

Dinner with the Doctors at 6:30 will be at the Shoney’s on White Bridge Road.

For more info contact Warren Duzak at wduzak@hotmail.com ot 615-292-5608

The Mad as Hell Doctors visit to Nashville is sponsored by Healthcare-NOW, Physicians for a National Healthcare Program, National Nurses Organizing Committee, Nashville Peace and Justice Center, Nashville Peace Coalition, Green Party of Middle Tennessee & others.

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Alexander the Not-So-Great

Alexander the Not-So-Great

Last week, Tennessee Senator Lamar Alexander claimed that cap-and-trade will cost consumer $1,761 a year – a little tidbit of info he got from Beck who got it from Drudge who got it from lyin’ right wing blogger who got it from a fuzzy-math fueled right-wing “think tank.”

Politifact took a look at the claim the Senator sent out in a press release and said, “you lie!”

His [Alexander's] statement that households will pay $1,761 in new taxes every year is based on a blogger’s incorrect assumptions and overly simple math. The estimate does not account for revenue that will be returned to consumers in the form of rebates and other efficiency measures. Furthermore, the number is based on old numbers; the Treasury estimate was written on the premise that all permits would be sold, which, ultimately, is not the form that the Waxman-Markey legislation has taken. Finally, both Alexander and McCullagh portray money raised by selling these permits as a tax. We rate Alexander’s claim False.

And while doing so, they also note that Alexander “is relying not on a study by an economist, but on an estimate from a blogger.”

Which makes me wonder, does Senator Alexander have staff that can fact-check his assertions before they are sent out in a press release or is he so caught up in taking his marching orders from radical right-wing cable news hosts and bloggers that he can’t be bothered with silly concepts like “truth?”

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Tomorrow and Saturday two of the Tea Party movement’s corporate shills, Eric Odom and Allen Fuller, will bring their unique brand of right-wing astroturf to their hometown of Nashville.

The two-day conference, RootsHQ2009, is being billed as a “center-right new media summit” and will cover “social media, new media technology, internet marketing, search engine optimization, collaborative information movements and NOW media.”

But the attention should be on the motivation of both Odom and Fuller and their willingness to misrepresent themselves in order to manipulate the people. The TNDP has the scoop:

Eric Odom and Alan Fuller founded two firms, Strategic Activism and Flat Creek Management, to provide strategic communications and on-line training for Tea Party activists.

“Tea Party demonstrators have been receiving how-to-disrupt packets from organizers like Odom and Fuller, who get paid to stop legislation opposed by their corporate benefactors,” Tennessee Democratic Party Chairman Chip Forrester said.

“People need to stop for a moment and consider who organizes these events and the origins of this movement. It’s beginning to look more and more like corporate interests are fueling the Tea Party movement.”

Last February, Eric Odom was exposed as having ties to Rick Santelli’s rant on CNBC that “spontaneously” launched the Tea Party movement. On the same day of the rant, a website called Officialchicagoteaparty.com and registered to Odom went live. The summer before, Odom had organized DontGo.com, a fake grassroots campaign meant to pressure Congress and Nancy Pelosi to pass an offshore oil drilling bill. And who would this kind of bill benefit? Meet Fred Koch and his family, “multibilllionaire owners of the largest private corporation in America,” “funders of scores of rightwing thinktanks and advocacy groups, from the Cato Institute and Reason Magazine to FreedomWorks,” and “co-founder of the notorious extremist-rightwing John Birch Society.”

Jane Hamsher of FireDogLake produced a Tea Bag movement timeline that prominently features Mr. Odom:

February 19 — Rick Santelli rant: “We’re thinking of having a Chicago Tea Party in July. All you capitalists that want to show up to Lake Michigan, I’m gonna start organizing.” First mention of the term “tea party.” Clip goes straight onto Drudge.

Within hours, a site called officialchicagoteaparty.com went up, with the domain name registered to Eric Odom. At the time he was working for a group called the Sam Adams Alliance, a 501 c(3) non-profit that legally can’t engage in political activity. Its chairman, Eric O’Keeffe, is on the board of the Club for Growth. He’s since been taken off the website, but it’s cached here.

Odom is one of the organizers of the Tax Day Tea Party group, and Matt Stoller accused him of astroturfing during the Drill Drill Drill campaign. Last year the Alliance started “an ambitious project … to encourage right-leaning activists and bloggers to get online and focus on local and state issues.”

February 20: A Facebook page goes up calling for Tea Party demonstrations across the country:

Rick Santelli is right, we need a Taxpayer (Chicago) Tea Party

Rick Santelli is dead right! Enough bailouts of everyone who acted recklessly! It’s time to stand up for all the regular people who played by the rules! Taxpayer Tea Party!

Listed admins include Odom and Brendan Steinhauser of Dick Armey’s Freedomworks. The creator is Phil Kerpen of Americans for Prosperity, and the Facebook Group leads back to a site called taxpayerteaparty.com, run by Americans for Prosperity.

February 27 — the first official “Tea Parties” are held in eight cities across the country. According to John Hendrix, who organized the Tampa Bay event, the original idea came from Tom Gaithens of Newt Gingrich’s Freedomworks.

The idea that the Tea Baggers are a “grassroots” movement that Right Wing infrastructure subsequently tried to exploit is not supported by the facts.

Supported by facts or not, Odom and Fuller will insist that they are grassroots activists and not paid corporate shills.

They’re delusional, writes Matt Stoller at Open Left, “I mean, according to their theory, Newt Gingrich and House Republicans did the messaging and organizing work on a campaign, which was funded by billionaires, and used essentially the same playbook the right has used since 1978, but it finally tipped because some GOP junior consultants with blogs signed up for Twitter. F**king morons.”

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