A must-read *wink, wink, nudge, nudge* to all the candidates in Tennessee: “…a good candidate running a good local campaign can trump even a very bad national attitude.” (a.k.a., “…riding the wave of voter discontent might not be enough for Republicans this fall” and “what last Tuesday’s elections can really teach us.”)
A Conversation with Justin Bieber, Part 1 We apologize, but by the time our show aired, Justin Bieber had to cancel. We’re sad but we forge ahead with the Liberadio(!) “To Do” list, Freddie as a bicycle valet, the Davidson County Democratic Party straw poll debrief, and a rundown of the news. Plus, Federal Public Defender Kelley Henry joins us live to tell us the story of her client Gaile Owens, one of two women on Tennessee’s death row, and Tennessee Attorney General Bob Cooper issues an opinion[pdf] on the constitutionality of yet another vanity license plates. Beep, beep, who got the keys to the…ZOMG! Jesus is Lord! [25.4MB Click on the arrow below to listen or download mp3]
A Conversation with Justin Bieber, Part 2 In the second hour we tell you all the fun facts that weren’t reported about self-described “Tea Partiers,” and we speak to Ian Millhiser, Policy Analyst for Center for American Progress about the upcoming Supreme Court nomination – what it means to a court primarily made up of conservatives “nuts” and what the confirmation process will look like. Then, it’s once again time for Karl Frisch(!) and the Media Matters for America Smackdown – this week Karl takes Maureen Dowd and the Sunday morning talk shows to the mat – and a quick but important word about a bill that would outlaw some forms of birth control in Tennessee (which has passed in both the House and Senate and is on its way to the Governor to be signed). [23.4MB Click on the arrow below to listen or download mp3]
Here are the links for some of the things Mary & Freddie talked about on the show this morning:
Tennessee Bill Could Deny Contraceptives
Watch the discussion in the TN General Assembly on HB 2681, the bill presented by Rep. Matthew Hill (R-Jonesborough), in which Rep. Karen Camper (D-Memphis) tries to add an amendment regulating vasectomies, Rep. Jeanne Richardson (D-Memphis) tries to educate her colleagues on the unintended consequences, and Rep. Hill admits he is unfamiliar with what an “IUD” is.
For those of you who don’t ride bikes ’round these parts because of all the hills, electric bikes are here for you.
Beep, beep, who got the keys to the…ZOMG! Jesus is Lord!
TN ATTY GEN Bob Cooper has ruled (pdf) on the establishment of yet another new specialty earmarked license plate asserting that “Jesus is Lord!”
First hour guest Kelley Henry, the supervising attorney of the Capital Habeas Unit at the Nashville Federal Public Defender’s Office, tells us the story of Tennessee death row inmate Gaile Owens. More info at FriendsofGaile.com.
Don’t Confuse Your Census with Your 1040, Part 2 We talk to Neal Darby, Jr., Senior Partnership Specialist Team Leader with the U.S. Census Bureau and he answers all our questions about the 10 questions. Then, we continue our discussion about the controversial Benton County voter roll purges – who was affected, why, and why can’t we locate the laws that the election administrator said were followed during the purge process? [19.82MB Click on the arrow below to listen or download mp3]
Here’s the link to the full video from WSMV we talked about on the show this morning (sorry, no embed available). A must watch, here’s how it starts:
“I voted every election since 1962,” said Benton County resident Charles Hubbs, 69.
Hubbs registered to vote when John F. Kennedy was president. He said he was shocked when he received a letter in the mail from the Benton County Election Commission letting him know his voter registration was invalid.
He was even more shocked when he found out why.
Unanswered follow up question to the report: just which law is Benton County election admin Mark Ward following? We have a request in to the State Election Commission for clarification and specifics and will update when we get a reply. So far we are unable to find reference to his inorthodox approach in the Tennessee Code, the Help America Vote Act, or the National Voter Registration Act 0f 1993.
“According to state law, this is the only way to do it,” Ward said. “I don’t know any other way to do it.”
But some said Ward went too far by throwing out voter registrations from decades ago.
They said it’s especially difficult for those where the birthplace is on the registration but the citizenship box isn’t checked.
Ward said even if their birth date is on the form, he had to throw out registrations if they didn’t check the box for being over 18.
“It’s not good enough to me because the question isn’t answered on the form,” said Ward.
“Yeah, he followed the law,” said Mark Goins, Tennessee election administrator. “He did exactly what the law said.”
The state acknowledged there’s a mess in Benton County, and while it said Ward followed the law, the state doubts a judge would have invalidated the voter registrations of these longtime voters if there had ever been a challenge.
If this is happening in Benton County, it’s happening in other Tennessee counties as well. Protect your vote – confirm your registration.
“It appears to me that they are going far beyond the legal, the proper reasons for purging a voter record,” said Rep. Gary Odom, D-Nashville.
Odom said he’s upset that these people are in danger of being thrown off the rolls. He said the way he reads state law, once a person is declared a registered voter, he or she can be purged only for specific reasons, such as committing a felony or dying.
He’s proposing a change to state law that says registered voters can’t be purged if their form is found to be deficient years later, and it would take effect immediately.
One absolute is that government is for the people. Another is that government is in place to protect resources. The most obvious are our natural resources – potential, actual, renewable, or non-renewable – like land, ground water, drinking water, mineral fuels, mountains, forests, wildlife, etc..
A less obvious resource – but the state’s most valuable – is its people. Happy, healthy, productive people make a happy, healthy, and productive state. And a happy, healthy, and productive state always lands in the top ten when statistically ranking important areas like education, health, wealth, and employability.
Investing in its people when they need it most is the smartest thing a government can do.
Right now, Tennesseans are suffering record unemployment and are finding it difficult to feed their families. If we – represented by our government – don’t do something during this difficult time it sends a signal to our most precious resource that they are expendable.
In the video of a legislative debate on HB3206 that would have ended unemployment benefits for Tennessee families with dependent children, Rep. Glen Casada (R-Franklin) sends that signal.
Rep. Sherry Jones (D-Nashville ) pushes back though, because she understands that giving Tennesseans a hand up right now is the best investment we can make.
Thank you, Rep. Jones, for realizing the worth of our people.
Watch this if only to see Iowa Senator Chuck Grassley, who conceived the idea of the individual health insurance mandate, tap dance for Andrea Mitchell (at 4:06).
And let us not forget that the health insurance reform is not universal health care nor does it include a public option, it is an expansion of the private health insurance system we have now. Combine this with the mandate thing and Republican opposition seems even more absurd.
I would just like to offer two bits of advice. In the future, you might want to refrain from premeditating your ‘civil disobedience’ on the internet. It’s going to make it harder for your lawyer to argue that you’re a good person who was just caught up in the emotions of the moment. Instead, you’re going to look like the kind of dude who planned and calculated whatever it is you’re going to do.
Premeditation usually means a longer sentence.
I mean, you didn’t forget about that part, did you? Where the cops come and they arrest you and you stand before a judge who doesn’t have much sympathy for brick throwing being “civil” and you go to jail? And, hell, if you’re an interesting enough target and this is y’all’s 60s, they audit you for the next decade?
And you forget the worst part. John Rich is the music of your movement. And, don’t get me wrong, he’s a talented song-writer, but he’s not the best singer in Nashville. Is that really the voice you want over the montage of your exploits in your biopic?
Anyway, I look forward to watching your perp walk on the news.