A state senate seat in Delaware

Folks are passionate ...

An army of volunteers, many from out of state, flooded the state Senate district for Stephanie Hansen.

While Hansen’s campaign was focused on local issues, she saw a huge swell of support after nationwide Women’s March protests on Jan. 21. Protesters, many of them out in the streets for the first time, have been turning their energy toward local and state politics. The first major election since the uprising was Delaware’s.

Hansen’s campaign received huge support. More than 1,000 volunteers worked during the course of the campaign, and about 500 ― many from nearby states ― showed up Saturday for Election Day. Hansen received more than 14,000 contributions of less than $100 from small donors spread all over the country.

Buoyed By Anti-Trump Activism, Democrat Wins Delaware Special Election

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Then, with White House counsel Don McGahn standing by, Spicer asked his staff to provide him with their cell phones so he could ensure they were not using those apps or corresponding privately with reporters.

Spicer asked to review both his staff's government-issued and personal cell phones, the sources said. He also specifically asked his staff not to leak information about the meeting or his efforts to crack down on leaks to the media, one source said.

Spicer cracks down on White House leaks

The push includes random phone checks overseen by White House lawyers

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What: Come learn about SURJ (Showing Up for Racial Justice)
When: Tuesday, March 14, 2017 - 7:30pm
Where: Library in Thaw Hall, Maryville College

Here's an opportunity to learn about SURJ (Showing Up for Racial Justice) from two people active in the Blount County Chapter. Stop by to learn about SURJ's shared values, hear what we have been doing to encourage white people to show up against racism, and tell us how we can help you show up. There will be snacks!

WHEN: Tuesday, March 14, from 7:30-9pm
WHERE: The library in Thaw Hall on the Maryville College campus.

(link...)
blountcountysurj@gmail.com

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Dean, 61, is the first Democrat to enter the governor’s race and he would be the first viable candidate the party has fielded for either governor or U.S. Senate since 2010. And yet he’s not guaranteed to be the party’s nominee. Tennessee House Minority Leader Craig Fitzhugh and Nashville businessman Bill Freeman, a top Democratic donor, are weighing runs as well, leaving open the possibility of a contested Democratic primary in August 2018.

Former Nashville Mayor Karl Dean to run for governor of Tennessee

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Sun
Feb 26 2017
11:40 am

The Justice Department's plan to phase out its use of private prisons — the result of declining inmate populations and concerns about safety and security — ended this week without ever really taking effect.

Private prisons mostly benefit two publicly traded companies
Those companies are CoreCivic (which until recently was known as Corrections Corporation of America), and The Geo Group. The two companies, both generous contributors to President Trump, run the majority of the BOP's contracted prisons, as well as dozens of other facilities used to detain immigrants who are in the country illegally.

Private Prisons: Here’s Why Sessions’ Memo Matters

Continued...

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Sun
Feb 26 2017
06:40 am

Is this how it works?

In 2009 Fulton High School was a failing school. Additional staff were put in the school to correct the problem.

Once 43 percent, the school's graduation rate is now over 80 percent and there is no longer the need for additional support staff that were put in place, [Chief Academic Officer] Rysewyk said Friday.

Now they want to remove the additional staff. All is good. No more problems. Is this true? Is it possible the additional staff are needed to keep the school graduation rate high? I'm not sure removing the staff is a good idea. Time will tell.

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Sat
Feb 25 2017
08:09 pm
Former Labor Secretary Tom Perez was elected chair of the Democratic National Committee on Saturday after a contentious race that highlighted divisions within the party.
...

Perez immediately moved to appoint Ellison deputy DNC chair and accepted a hug from his rival on the conference room stage. “I’m asking you to give everything you’ve got to support Chairman Perez,” Ellison told his supporters.

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Sat
Feb 25 2017
07:56 am
By: R. Neal  shortURL
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Sat
Feb 25 2017
07:16 am
By: bizgrrl  shortURL

What: Mardi Growl 2017
When: Saturday, March 4, 2017 - 11:00am
Where: Downtown Knoxville

Young-Williams Animal Center’s 10th annual Mardi Growl dog parade and pet party Presented by the Old City Wine Bar.

The pet parade steps off at 11 a.m. in the Old City from Willow Avenue, Then winds through the Old City and down Gay Street before ending on Market Square with a festival from noon-2 p.m. hosting more than 60 vendors.

According to the Mardi Growl 2017 website, the parade:
will start on Willow Avenue, which is off of Central Street in the Old City, a block north of Summit Hill Drive,
it will then go north on Central Street, take a left on Jackson Avenue, then a left (south) on Gay Street.
The parade will proceed down Gay Street to Krutch Park (or Union Avenue), across from the Regal Cinema and go west to Market Square.
My Google distance measurements indicate the parade route is approx. 2/3 of a mile, depending on where it starts on Willow Street.

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Entous and Miller again in the WaPo. Sen. Burr admits he helped WH in its attempts to discredit reports of WH/Putin connection. This probe must be moved out of his committee and an independent probe needs to be convened.
Trump administration sought to enlist intelligence officials, key lawmakers to counter Russia stories

The effort also involved senior lawmakers with access to classified intelligence about Russia, including Sen. Richard Burr (R-N.C.) and Rep. Devin Nunes (R-Calif.), the chairmen of the Senate and House intelligence committees. Through a spokesman, Nunes confirmed that he had spoken to at least one reporter “at the request of a White House communications aide.”

In an interview, Burr acknowledged that he “had conversations about” Russia-related news reports with the White House and engaged with news organizations to dispute articles by the New York Times and CNN that alleged “repeated” or “constant” contact between Trump campaign members and Russian intelligence operatives.

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The New York Times, the Los Angeles Times, Politico and BuzzFeed were also among those excluded from the meeting, which was held in White House press secretary Sean Spicer's office. The meeting, which is known as a gaggle, was held in lieu of the daily televised Q-and-A session in the White House briefing room.

When reporters from these news organizations tried to enter Spicer's office for the gaggle, they were told they could not attend because they were not on the list of attendees.

White House blocks news organizations from press briefing

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Fri
Feb 24 2017
12:21 pm

I am not a big shopper but JCPenny at West Town is one of my regular places for certain items.

I didn't find a list of stores.

JCPenney plans to shutter as many as 140 stores in the coming months, the latest traditional retailer to announce closings.

The department store chain did not disclose how many jobs would be cut, but it said it is also offering early retirement to 6,000 full-time employees.

Because it will hire to fill those buyout positions, the company said it expects a net increase in hiring, even counting the job cuts from closed stores.

JCPenney to close up to 140 stores

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Fri
Feb 24 2017
05:51 am

At Louisville Point Park again yesterday. There were at least 10 herons nesting on a small island, and at least 5 more on the point across the cove. We didn't see the eagles this time. Click image for a larger view of this heron carrying a stick for its nest. See also the last photo of est. 500+ gulls on a sand bar.

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Thu
Feb 23 2017
06:51 pm
By: cafkia  shortURL

On the 18:00 news, Scott Pelley just reported that a claim that 45 had made was easily proven false. What he did NOT do was describe what the Cheeto-in-Chief had done as lying. He proved the claim was a lie but he would not call it a lie.

Why?? Trumplethinskin has made it clear that he hates the media and that is not going to change. Why are they still protecting him? Why not say clearly and unequivocally to the American people (those that still watch the news) that he cannot be trusted to speak or otherwise communicate the truth?

You want to know how the United States ended up with an amoral idiot in the Oval Office? Read the first paragraph.

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Thu
Feb 23 2017
02:49 pm

In the time that I have been incorporated in physical form on this planet, Dr. Martin Luther King, Gandhi, the Dalai Lama, Thich Nhat Hanh, Eloise Dupree and many others have also existed physically for all or part of that time. I feel strongly confident that all of them were/are significantly and demonstrably less racist and anti-semitic than DJT. It would appear that he is congenitally incapable of forming or expressing any thought that does not contain some significant element of falsehood(s). He lies like I breathe.

The Cheeto-in-Chief is IMNSHO, a terrible speaker. He would not know a complete sentence if you wrapped one around a brick and hit him with it.

Continued...

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Bill Gates: "Right now, the human worker who does, say, $50,000 worth of work in a factory, that income is taxed and you get income tax, social security tax, all those things. If a robot comes in to do the same thing, you'd think that we'd tax the robot at a similar level."

Bill Gates interview...

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from NBC ...

Nearly two-thirds of Americans, divided sharply along party lines, are worried that the United States will become engaged in a major war in the next four years, according to results from the latest NBC News|SurveyMonkey poll.

Poll: Majority of Americans Worried About War, Feel Favorably Toward NATO

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What: Film Screening and Discussion: Anne Braden, Southern Patriot
When: Tuesday, March 7, 2017 - 7:00pm
Where: Lawson Auditorium, Fayerweather Hall, Maryville College

Come learn about Anne Braden, a courageous and legendary white anti-racist activist from Louisville, Kentucky. After watching a documentary film about her life, work and legacy, stay for the discussion about what's happening in Blount County and how we can work together to ensure respect and equity for all.

Continued...

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Wed
Feb 22 2017
01:56 pm
By: CE Petro  shortURL

I was checking in on some news and blogs and noticed Kevin Drum at Mojo posted the Washington Post had a message for Donald Trump.

So, I went to WaPo myself, and sure enough, there it was. Here's my snipping of today's front page:
WAPO Message.PNG

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