We’ll Meet Again…

Liberadio Logo… Don’t Know Where, Don’t Know When.

A new decade can bring with it many changes as people take stock, revaluate, and re-focus. We have not been left out of this phenomenon, and as we move into the summer of 2010, after long and deliberative thinking and discussions, we have decided to end Liberadio(!) with Mary Mancini and Freddie O’Connell.

As of Monday, June 7, Mary will be the new Executive Director of Tennessee Citizen Action, a public interest advocacy organization, and Freddie’s new inbound marketing agency, SearchViz, is growing at the same time as some of his other civic interests and responsibilities. We both feel that now is the time to focus all our energy and productivity towards these endeavors.

Before we go, however, we have a few final words. Most of which are “thank you!”

For the last 6 years you, our faithful listeners, have turned your dial to WRVU-FM on Monday mornings or pointed your browser to liberadio.com to allow us do our best to entertain and inform you. You’ve listened, called in, shared your thoughts and ideas, and heeded many calls to action. You are the embodiment of a deliberative and participatory democracy and for that, we can’t thank you enough.

We’d also like to wholeheartedly thank each one of our many talented, knowledgeable, and dedicated guests who took the time to share their expertise and passions with us. It’s not easy getting up at the crack of dawn and yet week after week our guests (especially the ones in time zones West of us) did just that. You are the spark that lights the fire beneath a participatory democracy, and for this we thank you.

A special guest acknowledgement goes out to Liberadio(!) team members, Elbert Ventura and Karl Frisch, purveyors of our weekly Media Matters for America Smackdown. Thank you for bringing your on-point media criticismand the funny!to the show week after week.

Behind the scenes, we also had tons of help. First and foremost, thank you to Teddy Bart and Karlen Evins, who reawakened Mary’s love for radio and taught us, by example, that words really do matter. And to Jim Ridley, an early and tireless Liberadio(!) cheerleader and Mary’s own personal guardian angel.

And because a show like ours can’t produce itself, big ups to Andy Finley, who shared his audio recording, editing, and podcasting expertise with us in the early days to make our recordings sound really, really good. Also, we’ve had two interns who became full-fledged producers over the years, and both were rock stars. A big “thank you” to Krystal Long and Nat Howry, who volunteered their time and skills to help us produce the show and the podcast each week. Again with the getting up early on cold, wintry mornings. Not easy but you guys were good at it and ever-hopeful that your humble hosts would actually make it to the studio with the equipment before you did!

To all our advertisers, but especially Barbara Moutenot with Village Real Estate, Bill Fletcher and FRR Media, Darek Bell, Pam Kidd & Keri Kidd Cannon, and the Bongo Java Roasting Company. You chipped in when the chips were down, and we thank you!

And though we give a nod to WRFN (Radio Free Nashville), WAMB-AM, and WNSG-AM, other stations that provided us a temporary home through the years, we have to say a huge thank you to our permanent residence: WRVU-FM. We met so many great radio neighbors—like occasional guest hosts Ashley Crownover and Lonnie Atkinson (who became much more than a fan and neighbor), Father Parthenios, and Angela Lin (may she rest in peace). We’d also like to thank the Vanderbilt Student Communications staff (especially Jim Hayes and Chris Carroll) and Board of Directors (especially Bruce Barry, Vanessa Beasley, and Kevin Leander), as well as all the members of the WRVU senior staff we’ve seen come and go through the years, all of whom have been have been more than accommodating to Liberadio(!). And a special shout out to Carl Pedersen of WPLN and long-time WRVU DJ John Brassil, neither of whom ever said “no” to one or another of our special requests for guidance or help. Thank you!

Also, to Sitemason, Nashville’s premier content management system and shared web hosting company (and our friends), who graciously provided us with gratis website and podcast hosting for 6 years without fail and without complaint, thank you!

Finally, to our dear family and friends, you can now all stop fighting over who is our “biggest fan.” With all the support and encouragement you have given us since we started the show, you absolutely must share the title. And for that, we thank you.

Once more with feeling, THANK YOU all so much!

And who knows. We might find that after a long summer on beaches all around the world (Wait. What? – Ed.) that we just can’t tear ourselves away from the microphones forever…

Our love, and till some sunny day,

Mary Mancini and Freddie O’Connell

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Summary: Featuring Federal Public Defender Kelley Henry, Center for American Progress Policy Analyst Ian Millhiser, and Karl Frisch and the Media Matters for America Smackdown.

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]

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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]

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Summary: Featuring guest Neal Darby, Jr., Senior Partnership Specialist Team Leader with the U.S. Census Bureau.

Don’t Confuse Your Census with Your 1040, Part 1 The Liberadio(!) “To Do” list is long this week and includes marijuana jokes, coveting the Seattle Center Monorail (and flume ride), and a historic march. Plus, love him or hate him, you know Barney Frank would never try to bite the head off a baby bunny – or would he? And we are disgusted with Sarah Palin’s unchallenged and unrelenting display of disrespect for the highest office in the land and chagrined – again – at what Tennessee Republicans and, therefore, Tennessee Democrats have decided is going to be the issue to talk about in this campaign. Then, we begin the breakdown of what’s going on with voter roll purges in Benton County. [28.14MB Click on the arrow below to listen or download mp3]

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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]

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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.

UPDATE: Additional reporting from Kumari:

“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.

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TN Governor Phil Bredesen was interviewed on NPR’s On Point this morning.

Delaware and Tennessee win the first round of Obama’s 4.35 billion dollar “Race to the Top” in education. We’ll look at how they won — and where the race goes from here.

Audio will be available at 2 P.M. CT. Listen here.

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Summary: Featuring guests Reagan Farr, Commissioner of the Tennessee Department of Revenue and Andrew Hysell, director of the Campaign for Healthy Kids for Save the Children and Joan Randall, chair of the Tennessee Obesity Task Force..

Part 1: March 29, 2010 Bits and bobs of news from health care to buses, Mumpower to Haslam. Plus Al Gore gets it right, how much racism is part of the Anti-health insurance reform protests, and an interview with Commissioner Reagan Farr (he lets us call him “Commish”), of the Tennessee Department of Revenue [30.61MB download mp3]

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Part 2: March 29, 2010 In this hour we interview Andrew Hysell, director of the Campaign for Healthy Kids for Save the Children and Joan Randall, chair of the Tennessee Obesity Task Force. We also hear two long-time news reporters hold national Republicans leaders to account for their ridiculous posturing and rampant hypocrisy – finally! – and we hear two Democratic state legislators hold state Republican leaders to account for the same. Plus, what should government do? Rep. Glen Casada (R-Franklin) thinks it should abandon it’s most precious resource. But Rep Sherry Jones (D-Nashville) disagrees. [18.8MB download mp3]

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Lend a handThe argument at the center of almost every debate in the Tennessee legislature right now is the same argument happening all over America – do we want a government that does something or don’t we?

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.

T/F/B: Tennessee Democratic Party

More from Aunt B., Southern Beale, Left Wing Cracker, KnoxViews, and Speak to Power.

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The individual health insurance mandate was constitutional before, you know, it wasn’t.

Just where was Senator Mae Beavers in 1993?

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.

Visit msnbc.com for breaking news, world news, and news about the economy

UPDATE: More video of the “breathtaking cynicism” coming from Republicans in Washington:

Sen. Hatch (R-UT) says he once supported an individual mandate without knowing he did — simply as a tactic to stop the Clinton plan.

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Plans to Misbehave

Since you “plan to misbehave,” I just thought you should know that civil disobedience does not, nor has it ever, included “tossing a few bricks through windows.”

UPDATE: Aunt B (did she “bless her heart” me?!) looks forward to seeing Mr. Blue Collar Republican on the TeeVee (while making me spit-take my coffee with a joke about one of music city’s finest):

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.

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Tea Party at Tn Capitol 3Here are some pictures from the Tennessee Tea Party visit to the Capitol this morning. They were taken during the right wing extremist red-meat speeches given by Lt. Governor Ron Ramsey (R-Blountville) and Senator Mae Beavers (R-Mt. Juliet), two of the Co-Prime Sponsors of the Tennessee Health Freedom Act.

Did Sen. Beavers really say to the “crowd” that this bill would allow them to choose to keep their private health insurance? Can’t they do that now?

I will try to remember more of what was said but mostly all I heard was “blah blah blah.”

We at Liberadio(!) hope the TNGOP continues to follow the leadership of Lt. Governor Ramsey and Sen. Mae Beavers. Please, oh please, oh please. Because while you’re doing that we’ve be over here explaining that affordable health care coverage for your kids without having to worry about pre-existing conditions is right around the corner.

Tea Party at Tn Capitol 1

Tea Party at Tn Capitol 2

This poor guy was confused. He thought they said “Pirate Party”
Pirate Party

UPDATE: More from Woods – Under Siege at the Legislature: Tea Partiers Howl Over Health Care Reform

UPDATE II: Another eye witness account – this picture and a quote:

I just took this picture this morning with my phone. It was about 10:45 AM and the guy at the podium was speaking to “everyone”- at one point he said, “And it won’t stop with healthcare…next we’ll get immigration, cap and trade, education!”

Tea Party in Nashville

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