Summary: Featuring guests Dr. Joseph Romm, Senior Fellow for Center for American Progress and editor of and Karl Frish Senior Fellow for Media Matters for America. Listen to the full Weekly Radio Address from President Obama at

Part 1: Best. Invention. Ever. Make a simple hyperbolic statement and soon we’re discussing discussing politics, energy sources, and the existence of God with our listeners all in the context of just what is the Best. Invention. Ever. Remo, Mary’s dad, even calls in with his unique take. Plus the rich are getting richer and we call “shenanigans” on the guy making fun of the President for using a teleprompter while he was, you know, using a teleprompter. [20.59MB download mp3]

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Part 2: Best. Invention. Ever. The discussion continues and we conclude that the Best. Invention. Ever. just might be Tennessee State Senator Andy Berke. Plus, a debrief of a trip to our nation’s Capitol (and making plans for another), a listener calls in with a fantastic energy saving idea, an interview with Dr. Joseph Romm of on why now is the time to pay attention to the science of climate change and not the weather, and Karl Frisch, Senior Fellow for media watchdog organization Media Matters for America, covers Conservative Political Action Conference. [23.7MB download mp3]

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Vote for Lamar for Best HypocriteOK, so we know and have known for a while that Republicans are hypocrites. And, yes, Lamar Alexander does deserve to win the top prize in Keith’s “Hypocrisy Hall of Shame” (vote here!) for simultaneously voting “no” for the stimulus while applying to the federal government for stimulus dollars for a project that he crows would “create over 200 jobs in the first year and at least another 40 new jobs in the following years.”

So if Republicans are hypocrites, what are Democrats?

Democrats are right, of course.

We’re finding more and more evidence that Republicans – on both the state and federal level – are on the ground taking credit for all the good the stimulus dollars have done for their communities and constituents while at the same time pandering to their base with language that is strikingly opposite. (As an aside, if you don’t believe all politics is local then now would be a good time to take a second look.)

More important than the award-winning hypocrisy of the right (I mean, really, is anyone surprised?) is why Democrats aren’t on the ground talking to and engaging the constituents in their communities? Because the crazy thing is that Democrats can have one-on-one conversations or town hall meetings and take credit for the public structures that are meaningful to their constituents and that are strengthened by stimulus dollars, and then have the same conversations when they’re talking to larger groups – like the press or their brethren on the House and Senate floors – without even a trace of hypocrisy.

Why? Because their base and the people who Republicans are talking to when THEY are on the ground in their districts taking credit for creating jobs, etc. value the exact same things – good jobs, affordable health care, infrastructure development that creates good jobs. It’s a no brainer but for some reason Democrats refuse to go there. Instead, they go somewhere else to appeal to the people who would never vote for anyone with a “D” beside their name anyway.

Ironic, ain’t it?

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“Must See TV” is back on (MS)NBC with Rachel Maddow, who is doing amazing work. Her appearance on Meet the Press last Sunday was stunning when she held Rep. Aaron Schock (R-Ill.) accountable for “railing against a spending bill in public while touting its benefits in his home district:”

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And last night she continued shining her special brand of sunshine on the Republican legislators who simultaneously praise the good results of stimulus dollars with their hands out for more while tearing down the stimulus bill because…well, because of the good results and their willingness to destroy the country to take back even just a little bit of power:

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Health Care for America Now! is sponsoring a lunchtime rally for health care reform tomorrow from noon to 1 p.m. at 3322 West End Avenue (corner of Murphy Rd. and West End Ave.) in Nashville.

The rally location is right in front of the office of Senators Alexander and Corker. In light of yesterday’s events, I would have chosen State Senator Mae Beavers’ office but we can save that rally for another day.

If affordable health care is one of your priorities, show up at the rally and let everyone know.

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Lt. Gov. Ron Ramsey as John CalhounSo yesterday we posted about a bill sponsored by Senator Mae Beavers (R-Mt. Juliet) and supported by Lt. Gov. Ron Ramsey (R-Running for Governoe) – esp. in front of the news cameras -that will do absolutely nothing to protect Tennesseans and their families from losing everything they’ve worked for – home, savings, college funds, access to the American Dream – if they lose their health insurance or get hit with “you have a pre-existing condition so we’re won’t cover your ***insert horrible and life-threatening illness here*** treatment” response from their insurance company.

Last night Newschannel 5’s Scott Arnold reported that the bill wasn’t even Sen. Beavers’ idea but the brainchild of a Washington D.C.-based group (founded in 1973 by anti-good government conservative corporatist Paul Weyrich) who have spent a ton on political contributions and whose sole mission is to set the stage for a showdown between the states and the federal government.

Oh, the places we won’t go with the weird and self-serving priorities of the TNGOP!

In addition, according to a report in the New York Times, “five of the 24 members of its ‘free enterprise board’ are executives of drug companies and its health care ‘task force’ is overseen in part by a four-member panel composed of government-relations officials for the Blue Cross and Blue Shield Association of insurers, the medical company Johnson & Johnson and the drug makers Bayer and Hoffmann-La Roche.”

Beavers fiddles, while Tennesseans lose everything.

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Senator Andy BerkeIn these times of economic distress when people are losing their houses, savings, and any hope of access to the American Dream because of health care insecurity, which is more important, fighting for nullification – a battle already fought and lost in 1833 – or fighting for affordable health care for all?

The latter, of course and our intrepid Capitol Hill correspondent Dean (Hey Dean! You’re now our intrepid Capitol Hill correspondent!) posted a synopsis of Senator Andy Berke (D-Chattanooga) taking a stand today for what really matters most to Tennesseans:

In other HC news, the Tennessee Senate on Wednesday passed a bill to require the state attorney general to mount a legal challenge to any federal law to require participation in a health care system.

The “Tennessee Health Freedom Act” sponsored by Republican Sen. Mae Beavers (R-Mt. Juliet) passed without debate on a 26-1 vote, with five abstentions.

Beavers, showing her ignorance, said her proposal seeks to check congressional power. Otherwise the federal government “could mandate that each of us buy a Chevrolet every year so we could help pay of the loans that were made to the industry,” she foolishly said.

Only Democratic Sen. Andy Berke of Chattanooga had a clue. He said the bill “doesn’t do anything to help the citizens of Tennessee who either need insurance or need a break in what they’re paying for health care.”

Berke also questioned the constitutionality of the bill.

“This is telling the federal government that we’re not going to obey the laws that you pass,” Berke said. “My education tells me there is the supremacy clause in the Constitution which says that we can’t do that.”

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Health Care Reform Advocates DemonstratingFamilies USA, a national nonprofit, non-partisan organization who since 1982 has been working at the national, state, and community levels to promote high-quality and affordable health care for all Americans, is bringing its “National Health Care Reform: What’s In It For Me?” Road Show to Knoxville and Cookeville on February 20 as part of the Tennessee Health Care Campaign’s Regional Conferences.

The road show presentation is a grassroots effort geared towards explaining what the health care bill in Congress and health care reform will really do for people in Tennessee and across the nation while exposing and debunking the scare tactics and myths being used to derail reform. It’s a message delivery system for the truth. (Not quite as effective as having conservative mouth pieces on the radio and TV at your disposal 24/7 but still…)

Ron Pollack, executive director of Families USA will be the keynote speaker at two of the regional conferences – Cherokee Health Systems in Knoxville and the Cookeville Regional Medical Center in Cookeville.

Registration for the event is $10 in advance and $15 at the door. Scholarships available. Lunch included.

To register for Knoxville, contact Beth Uselton, 865-357-3151
To register for Cookeville, contact Christina Kretchik, 615-227-7500

There are 8 total THCC Regional Training Conferences. Deputy Director Kathleen Stoll of Families USA will be at the Memphis conference on Saturday, March 6.

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Happy President’s Day

Update from Newscoma: She sees my talk radio host smackdown and raises me a presidential debate shellacking.

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Weird Priorities Coming from the TNGOP Again

Spike from BuffyIf any branch of the United States Government wants to insert a chip into your unwilling head or forearm or wherever and then force you into a concentration camp, does State House Rep. Susan Lynn (R-Mt. Juliet) really believe a state law will stop them? Seriously? “We’re taking over and subjugating all our people! With tanks and machine guns! But before we do, let’s check the Tennessee Code Annotated to make sure it’s not illegal.”

Doesn’t this woman have anything better to do? What’s the unemployment situation up there in Mt. Juliet, anyway?

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The Main Stream Media’s Conservative Bias

Sarah Palin Taking Cues from her hand.NPR has really been pissing me off lately. You may have noticed it too – an overcompensation borne of decades of being accused by the conservative movement of being harbingers of a non-existent media bias. And it’s not just NPR – it’s every major mainstream media outlet.

Eric Boehlert of Media Matters nails it – using this past weekend’s tea party festivities as a example – in his essay on the “media double standard that favors Republicans over Democrats.”

And Karl Frisch, a Senior Fellow at Media Matters and Liberadio(!) media correspondent, said on our show on Monday that the responsibility for correcting this, er, “overcorrection,” rests solely in our hands:

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“For 40 years, the right has been pushing the idea of liberal media bias, and since Palin is one of the most popular people on the right, the press – because of the pressure they get from every level of the conservative movement from the lowliest volunteer to the presidential candidate – they get immense pressure to bend-over backwards and be “fair.” And by “fair” I mean not correct the public record. The left has only come into its own in terms of coming after the media to get things correct for about 5 or 6 years now in any kind of organized fashion. And even then it’s still not from the lowliest of campaign activists to the tip-tops of the presidential candidates.

It was surely something when the White House started becoming critical of Fox News because we had not seen that before from the left. But this is something that has to be ingrained in the psyche of the progressive movement that you must challenge the media when they get something wrong. Because then, at least, we can bring the press back to a natural center where they’re bending over backwards perhaps for both sides but in the end we’re getting a better news product.

As it stand right now, everybody on the Right complains about the media. Every day. On every issue. That doesn’t happen on the left. And that’s why Joe Biden ends up being charicatured in the way that he’s charicatured but since the campaign nobody has said – I hesitate to say nobody – but, by and large, for all the gaffes Sarah Palin has had, since exiting the campaign trail, she’s certainly not held to the standard that other politicians would be if they were quite as dumb as Palin on the stump.”

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