Sun
Jul 27 2014
02:10 pm

SL Tennessee announced 1,000 new auto parts manufacturing jobs as part of a $80.5 million expansion in the Clinton I-75 Industrial Park in Clinton. It could be the largest expansion of industrial employment in Anderson County since World War II.

Nice!

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"The Tennessee State democratic Executive Committee is the governing body of Tennessee Democratic Party (TNDP). As such, we are by definition a support group that helps elect Democrats throughout Tennessee. I am proud to have the opportunity to donate my time, energy and money to the TNDP. I have done so consistently for many years.

One of the responsibilities and expectations of Executive Committee Members is donating money. Sylvia and (the late) Harold Woods have been consistent donors. Committeewoman Gayle Alley has been a consistent donor. Contributing $ is part of the job of a Committee Member

Mr. Harmon's complaint reminds one of the story when someone shouted, "Give 'um Hell, Harry." at President Harry Truman. He replied, "I just tell the truth and they think it's Hell."

Mr. Harmon has spent the entire campaign bragging about bringing "resources" to candidates. But the reality is he has never given any money-or any other visible resource- to the Tennessee Democratic Party. Yes, I guess the truth hurts his campaign, but elections are about choices and to date Mr. Harmon had chosen to be "Missing in Action" when it comes to contributing to Tennessee Democratic Nominees except in rare instances.

In my campaign I have stressed the need to help elect Democrats at the County, State and National levels. I've talked about the need for Tennessee to expand Medicaid. I've promoted the entire Democratic ticket. It's the same thing I've done for many years. I will continue to do so."

12
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Sun
Jul 27 2014
11:35 am

20140726-P7260078.jpg

We went with some friends to see Leon Russell at the Shed again last night. Another outstanding performance. The show had been postponed from May along with a bunch of other scheduled appearances, not sure why. There was some kind of biker rally in the area and there were a lot more bikers and a much bigger crowd than last time. It was still a laid back fun vibe at the Shed and their staff is the best.

A couple of video clips that might render on your browser after the break...

Continued...

13
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Sat
Jul 26 2014
05:06 pm

I continue to run an upbeat and positive campaign for State Democratic Executive Committee. Recently, however, my opponent Bill Owen sent a negative mailing, dwelling on comparing campaign donations. Apparently he thinks that this party position is all about money. Here is a link to my video reply.

A Reply to Mud

PS It is a shame Bill has chosen to go negative, but because he chose to emphasize donations I went online and found the following at Open Secrets.org federal campaign finance records. These clearly raise items worthy of our attention:

OWEN, WILLIAM S, KNOXVILLE, TN ASSET & EQUITY LLC/Consultant

11/17/98 $750 McCain, John (R)
9/23/03 $2,000 National Republican Senatorial Cmte (R)
3/9/00 $1,000 Thomas, Bill (R)
2/24/99 $1,000 McCain, John (R)
10/17/95 $1,000 Quillen, James H (R)

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Sat
Jul 26 2014
09:19 am
                Contributions        Candidate       Total       Total        Cash  
            Individual  Candidate        Loans    Receipts    Spending     on hand
Adams          $80,758         $0       $8,100     $88,858     $78,454     $10,507
Ball           $38,100    $28,941     $209,161    $276,203    $268,023      $8,179
Alexander*  $4,095,873     $5,200     $665,000  $6,180,688  $5,173,937  $2,194,021
Carr        $1,055,365         $0           $0  $1,283,105    $799,900    $442,221
Flinn           $7,000         $0   $1,805,250  $1,812,250    $146,331  $1,665,918 

Notes: Total receipts include committee transfers (PACS, party, etc.) and "other" receipts in addition to individual and candidate contributions and candidate loans. Alexander's totals include his Pre-Primary report filed on 7/24. Click here for bigger...

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From Reuters via Yahoo …

The law, often called Obamacare, requires insurance companies to refund customers when they spend less than 80 percent or 85 percent of healthcare premiums they collect for medical care.

The rebates will go to about 6.8 million people and have a value of about $80 per family.

U.S. health insurers to pay $330 million in premium rebates

26
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Fri
Jul 25 2014
04:45 pm

The Federal Election Commission put U.S. Senate candidate Gordon Ball's campaign on notice Tuesday for not filing a campaign finance disclosure for the second quarter. The disclosure was due July 15th. In a letter to the campaign, the FEC said:

It has come to the attention of the Federal Election Commission that you may have failed to file the above referenced report of receipts and disbursements as required by the Federal Election Campaign Act, as amended.

[..]

In addition, the failure to timely file this report may result in civil money penalties, an audit or other legal enforcement action. The civil money penalty calculation for late reports does not include a grace period and begins on the day following the due date for the report.

As noted in comments earlier, Senate candidate reports are sent to the Secretary of the Senate. Olivia Farrow from the FEC Public Records Office said in an email that "Senate reports are usually sent to the FEC from the Secretary of the Senate within a day, and are posted on the FEC website within 48 hours." According to the notice, the campaign has four business days from the date of notification to comply.

SEE ALSO: FEC notice...

UPDATE: Ball's summary info was posted on the FEC website overnight. It shows $28,637 in individual contributions, $28,941 in candidate contributions, $209,161 in candidate loans, $268,023 in total disbursements and $8,179 cash on hand as of 6/30.

Detailed lists of contributors and disbursements have not yet been posted, nor have copies of documents received from the Senate secretary showing when they were received.

35
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Fri
Jul 25 2014
03:27 pm

I've talked about this before specifically in the Campfield race, but I look at it from a broader point of view in today's column. Along the way, I give a shout out to White's Creek.

Rumor has it the paywall is down because of the new website, so check it out.

26
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Fri
Jul 25 2014
12:04 pm

In order to "remain in full compliance with state law regarding access to Neyland Drive," Boomsday will now be a mostly free event with Neyland Drive viewing areas open to the public.

Organizers had previously announced that there would be a $20 admission fee, but that plan has been dropped.

There is still a $20 admission fee for the Rodney Atkins concert, which has been moved to the Thompson Boling Arena as an "after party." The Black Lillies have apparently canceled. All other previously announced concerts will now be free.

More in the press release after the break...

Continued...

15
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Fri
Jul 25 2014
11:41 am

From NBC News ...

A new study suggests that “Stop-Start” technology — which shuts an engine off, rather than idling — can reduce fuel consumption by 5 percent to 7 percent. And it achieves a similar reduction in the production of global-warming CO2 emissions, according to research by the AAA. “Up to 7 percent improved fuel economy can mean a $179 annual fuel savings for consumers,”

Stop-Start Vehicle Technology Saves Gas: Study

Topics:
16
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Fri
Jul 25 2014
09:11 am

Through the first six days of early voting, 13,273 votes have been cast. More than half of the early votes were at Downtown West (3987) and Farragut (2720).

In the party primaries, Republican votes (11,595) are nearly five to one v. Democrats (2394). Early voting for the Aug. 7th county general and state primary elections continues through Saturday, Aug. 2nd.

Early voting locations and schedules...

Sample ballot...

18
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Fri
Jul 25 2014
08:48 am
By: Mark Harmon  shortURL

Many of you may have missed last weekend's Front Page Follies. So here are some snippets of lyrics for your enjoyment.

From They Call the Wind Mariah;
Messiah! Messiah! They called the kid Messiah...

From O Danny Boy:
Go Donnie Ball. The fans, the fans are cheering. From nosebleed seats, to skyboxes so fine...

From Karma Chameleon, Bill Haslam done as Boy George:
Guv-a Guv-a Guv-a Guv-a Guv-a Chameleon. I come and go. I come and go. Wish that I was bolder like the colors in Pilot's logo, red, black, and gold. Red, black, and gold.

From American Pie
Bye-bye, UT band leader guy.
You can stay on as professor but you can't lead The Pride.
Sports gold old boys pushed band music aside
For more trendy tunes that are amplified, trendy tunes that are amplified...

From I Am Woman
I'm R. Larry hear me roar.
My gaffes just too big to ignore.
And I've kind of, sort of, half apologized...

We had a great crowd, really good singing, and many other great song parodies--and raised a good chunk of change for journalism scholarships.

24
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Thu
Jul 24 2014
11:32 pm

a.k.a. adaptive reuse of failed strip retail, tamarac, florida

preview_pivot_charter2.JPG

16
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Thu
Jul 24 2014
08:03 am

The latest round of wingnuttery comes by way of Sen. Mike Bell (R-Riceville) and Campfield's west end doppelganger Sen. Brian Kelsey (R-Germantown), who are asking the state's Attorney General to sue President Obama to stop him from giving away money to Tennessee residents for health insurance premium subsidies because FREEDOM!

Tom Humphrey has the particulars.

I really hope Tennessee Republicans keep this up until the November elections. Denying health care to hundreds of thousands of otherwise Medicaid eligible citizens and doubling down by taking money out of the pockets of hard working taxpayers trying to provide health insurance for their families will not be a winning strategy. If anyone's paying attention, that is.

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What a surprise: Despite its flotilla of high-dollar lobbyists, the support of the governor and practically all the usual "Private enterprise does it better" suspects, K-12 Inc is a failure.

(link...)

41
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Wed
Jul 23 2014
02:33 pm

Tennessee comes in 36th in the Annie E. Casey Foundation's recent Kids Count rankings of best states in which to raise a child. It didn't break the top twenty in any category.

The good news is that there has been steady improvement in the numbers of children attending preschool and a decline in the number of schoolchildren not proficient in reading and math.

There also is a positive trend in parental education that benefits kids: A smaller percentage of children live in families in which no parent has a high school diploma — from 22% in 1990 to 15% in 2012. In addition, the teen birth rate is at a historic low and the death rates for children and teens has fallen as a result of medical advances and increased usage of seat belts, car seats and bike helmets.

Worrisome trends include a rise in the official child poverty rate as defined by the federal government. Although the rate dropped from 18 to 16% from 1990 to 2000, the rate had reached 22% by 2010 and has remained at roughly that level. In 2012, nearly 16.4 million kids were living in poverty. The percentage of children living in single-parent families has risen significantly — in 1990, 25% of children lived in a single-parent household and by 2012 the figure had risen to 35%. Since 1990, the rate of children growing up in poor communities has also increased, with 13% of children living in a neighborhood where the poverty rate is 30% or more.

Massachusetts came in first. Guess who came in last? Yup, Mississippi. Southern and Southwestern states came out poorly in general.

Topics:
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Tennessee Justice Center, Southern Poverty Law Center, and National Health Law Program File Suit Against TennCare

The suit comes after almost a year of ongoing discussions with the State about enrollment issues. It also comes after a severe rebuke from the federal agency overseeing Tenncare. TJC's discussions have helped some, with the State instituting workarounds that have addressed enrollment for some vulnerable Tennesseans. Nonetheless, the State has failed to present a workable plan for ensuring all Tennesseans are afforded the coverage for which they are eligible. State officials have consistently delayed or rejected the ACA's enrollment and eligibility reforms. Further complicating the situation has been Tennessee's failure to develop a functional computer system capable of determining eligibility or accepting applications from the federal online Marketplace.

The Southern Poverty Law Center and the National Health Law Program have joined in the class action lawsuit, the first of its kind in the U.S.

SEE ALSO: The complaint...

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This looks good. Surprising it took this long to address.

Forty-year-old laws dictate that Wolff can have only $2,000 in savings and earn $700 a month – well below the poverty level – to qualify for the government services that often sustain those with long-term disabilities. A new bill, the ABLE Act, is trying to make it possible for Wolff and millions of others to get that raise and, most importantly, save for the future.

The ABLE Act expands on existing educational savings vehicles, known colloquially as 529 accounts, allowing those with disabilities to establish similar accounts to pay for education, housing, transportation costs, employment training and health services not covered by Medicaid, such as dental care. Account owners can save up to $100,000 before they are ineligible for certain government services, but they’ll never lose their Medicaid coverage because of an ABLE account.

Congress comes together to help the disabled save, tax-free

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Comcast’s worst nightmare: How Tennessee could save America’s Internet.
Chattanooga's public electric utility offers residents lightning-quick connections -- much to big telecoms' dismay

(link...)

33
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Wed
Jul 23 2014
09:54 am

The Knoxville News Sentinel launched their new website yesterday afternoon. It's faster and automagically adapts to desktop/smartphone/tablet layouts. The search function also seems to work a little better. The commenting functions look to be much improved.

To me, the overal design looks more up to date but also sort of generic and a little cluttered. I was able to find all the featured front page print stories on the front page of the website, so that's nice.

One curiosity is that there are no RSS news feed links to be found anywhere on the site. Jack Lail at the KNS had already reached out to me to provide at least one replacement before I even emailed to ask. He is looking around for others to restore our KNS headline feeds.

It appears the new design has been rolled out to all Scripps newspapers, including the Commercial Appeal.

UPDATE: Jack Lail at the KNS advises that they have created a page for all available RSS feeds. You can find it here.

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Lost Medicaid Funding

To date, the failure to expand Medicaid/TennCare has cost the State of Tennessee ? in lost federal funding.

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