Dec 5 2016
07:30 am

How to cover presidential lies.

CNN's Brian Stelter "says journalists shouldn't just report and fact-check Trump's lies, they should try to examine where the claims come from and why Trump chooses to say them."

When President-elect Trump lies so casually, so cynically, the news isn't so much the false thing he said, it's that he felt like he could just go ahead and say it, go ahead and lie to you. That's the story.

Of the statements [made by Trump] checked by PolitiFact during the campaign, 70 percent were rated mostly false, false, or Pants on Fire.

Dec 5 2016
07:10 am

3rd-5th graders at Baldwin Hills Elementary School in Los Angeles, California pay tribute to The Jackson 5 during a school talent show.

They must have worked really hard to get those dance steps in sync.

So cute!

Dec 3 2016
12:31 pm

from Knox Mercury ...
Here’s Your Knoxville History-Themed Holiday Events Planner

Where to see Christmas lights in Knoxville

I did this last year and enjoyed it ...
10th annual Tour De Lights

Drive your car through Christmas lights at Chilhowee Park. free. Did this earlier this week.
Christmas in Chilhowee Park

Dec 3 2016
09:58 am
By: R. Neal  shortURL

Revolver by the Beatles was recorded and released 50 years ago.


from Kaiser Family Foundation ...

30% Expand what law does
26% Repeal entire law
19% Move forward with implementing law as is
17% Scale back what the law does
7% n/a

Kaiser Health Tracking Poll: November 2016

Most Americans Don't Want Obamacare Fully Repealed, Survey Finds

like ...

The U.S. economy added 178,000 jobs in November — slightly higher than Wall Street expectations — and the unemployment rate fell to 4.6 percent, the lowest in nine years, the Labor Department said on Friday.

Wages put a damper on the gains, with the annualized pace of average hourly earnings gains slumping to 2.5 percent.

Jobless Rate Hits Nine-Year Low; 178,000 Jobs Added

Unemployment drops to 4.6%, lowest since 2007

Employment Situation Summary

Dec 2 2016
06:19 am

Protesters have spent months rallying against plans to route the $3.8 billion Dakota Access Pipeline beneath a lake near the Standing Rock Sioux reservation, saying it poses a threat to water resources and sacred Native American sites.
[North Dakota Governor] Dalrymple said state officials never contemplated forcibly removing protesters and his evacuation order was mainly due to concerns about inclement weather endangering people.
The Standing Rock Sioux, in a statement on Wednesday, said that because "the Governor of North Dakota and Sheriff of Morton County are relative newcomers" to the land, "it is understandable they would be concerned about severe winter weather."

They said the camp has adequate shelter to handle the cold weather, adding that the Great Sioux Nation has survived "in this region for millennia without the concerns of state or county governments."

It drives me crazy when things like this are said, "probably not feasible" to reroute the pipeline." It is probably not feasible? I've heard that line locally and it was ridiculous. The right thing can probably be done but it is easier to inconvenience those with less power.

More power to the Standing Rock Sioux to stand up for their water resources and sacred Native American sites. Thanks to the U.S. veterans for their support.

Dec 1 2016
01:49 pm

and the Daily Times link is: (link...)
Listing is under "Recreation Center Director" - posted Dec 1 - 21.

The Maryville-Alcoa-Blount County Parks and Recreation Commission is currently accepting applications for the position of Center Director for the Martin Luther King, Jr. Community Recreation Center. Job responsibilities include, but are not limited to, supervision of part-time staff and volunteers, organizing and implementation of recreation programs and special events for all ages with an emphasis on elementary and middle school age youth programming. Responsibilities also include preparation and monitoring of budget and supervision of operations of the Center. A College degree is preferred.
$35k - $40k

Nov 30 2016
12:00 pm

Portland, Oregon has the best airport connectivity to it's downtown area that I have seen. The light rail that comes right into the airport and takes you right thru center of downtown for a very inexpensive price. Impressive. Also it has a multi-use (walk/bike) path to airport.

Nov 30 2016
09:21 am


Unemployment 9.5%
Employed persons 140,591,000
Wages $18.40/hr
GDP growth -2.8%
Dow Jones 6507
Consumer confidence 25.3
Deficit $1.4 trillion


Unemployment 4.9%
Employed persons 151,925,000
Wages $21.72/hr
GDP growth 3.2%
Dow Jones 19,121
Consumer confidence 93.8
Deficit $587 billion

Trump will take credit for it, though. Then he will blame Obama when he wrecks it.

Nov 30 2016
06:54 am

From Domestic Psychology:

When the unemployed who voted for Trump because they believed he would bring back jobs that technology made obsolete don’t regain their old jobs, I’m going to shrug. When the olds who voted for Trump because they think he’s a good businessman lose their healthcare, I will shrug. I’m not joking. Life’s too short for this garbage.

Life is too short. However, I'm worried that those of us who voted for the Democratic candidate will suffer as well. I just don't know which battle to pick yet.

Nov 30 2016
06:46 am

Rep. Steve Lynch, (D-MA), had this to say in an interview endorsing Rep. Tim Ryan (D-OH) for House Minority Leader.

"I think that we have long been, the Democrats have long been champions of oppressed people and I think we talk a lot about that. We talk a lot about trending issues but in this last election we talked more about free-range chicken than we talked about American workers, you know.

"...she would reach out to Latinos or immigrants that were trying to become citizens, or African American families, or the Black Lives Matter movement, transgender people, and she would call them out during her stops to identify with them and their struggle. But never mentioned white workers who might be 12 percent unemployed in that given location in Michigan or elsewhere. And when you call out to all these groups in your campaign stops and you leave other groups out, then they come to the belief that you don't care about them."


from NBC ....

The U.S. economy grew faster than initially thought in the third quarter, notching its best performance in two years, buoyed by strong consumer spending and a surge in soybean exports.

That, together with a labor market that is near full employment and steadily rising inflation, could leave the Fed comfortable to hike interest rates at its December 13-14 policy meeting.

Economy at Its Strongest in Two Years, Fueling Rate Hike Talk

Nov 29 2016
06:38 am

Fires all around Gatlinburg. A fire is threatening the Ripley Aquarium and the Park Vista Hotel. It is being reported that 30 structures (now 100 +) are burned. Gatlinburg has been evacuated and there are evacuations in Pigeon Forge as well.

There has been a report that a good portion of Chalet Village is gone, a lot of the buildings on Reagan Rd which runs parallel to the left of Airport Rd have burned. Much of what was built on the Spur between Gatlinburg and Pigeon Forge is gone. Much of what was along River Road has burned....

We'll have to wait for confirmations on these reports.

WBIR reports "Inferno forces evacuations in Gatlinburg and Pigeon Forge.

WBIR reports "Flames surround Ripley Aquarium

WBIR Reports "Fire threatens beloved Arrowmont School of Arts and Crafts." "All Arrowmont personnel are safe. When I [Bill May, executive director] left campus the fire was approaching from the hillside above campus. Two of our dorms are gone and Red Barn was surrounded by fire."

WVLT has a video of evacuees driving through the fire to escape. Very scary.

Nov 28 2016
04:16 pm
By: R. Neal  shortURL

"This is our historic moment to go on offense."
NRA CEO Wayne LaPierre

What have they been doing for the past 20 years? How much more offensive can they get? Guess we are about to find out.




Among the GOP-led states that expanded Medicaid, many officials are like Brewer, strong proponents of the program that has brought insurance to about 9 million low-income Americans who can't possibly afford to buy it themselves. Before the expansion, those people had little access to regular health care, and when they got sick, hospitals were forced to treat them without compensation.

Republican Governors Will Fight to Keep This Part of Obamacare

Nov 28 2016
10:30 am

As you are probably aware, Blue Cross Blue Shield no longer offers ACA subsidized insurance in the Knoxville or other major Tennessee metro areas, or any other individual (i.e. non-employee provided) plans off the exchange. Humana is now the only company offering Knoxville area plans on the exchange.

Looking at the estimator for the Humana bronze and silver plans (the only two offered), there are generous ACA subsidies for those who qualify resulting in low monthly premiums for basic coverage. (High deductibles still apply, like most insurance these days.) The Knoxvile PPO network has good coverage among area providers.

But, there's a huge catch. Neither Humana plan has an out-of-pocket limit on out-of-network coverage. There is an out-of-pocket limit of $6500 if you are in-network. but there is no limit for out-of-network. And, there is no out-of-state or national in-network coverage with these plans. We called Humana to verify if this was correct. It is.

This means that if you are traveling and have a serious accident or medical event and go to an out-of-network hospital, you are responsible for the entire cost (or possibly the 80% out-of-network co-insurance, not clear). So if you rack up $100,000 in medical bills, the out-of-pocket limit doesn't apply and you are responsible for the full $100,000 (or $80,000 of it, not clear), as opposed to $6500 if it happened in-network. It's like having no insurance at all. (It appears that ACA requires ER visits to be covered as in-network, but if you are admitted all bets are off.)

Blue Cross Blue Shield plans offered on the exchange for 2016 had an out-of-network, out-of-pocket limit. These plans are no longer available. BCBS group plans (i.e. employer provided plans) still have the limit.

It's unfortunate that plans with no out-of-pocket limits are the only ACA subsidized plans available in Knoxville. It's surprising that such plans are even legal. But they are.

MORE: PPO Plans Remove Out-Of-Network Cost Limits, A Costly Trap For Consumers


from ...

Groups working to improve the health of women around the world are nervous that the Trump presidency could mean an unraveling of what they consider to be eight years of progress in helping women get birth control, healthier babies and safer births.

The Guttmacher Institute, which studies reproductive health issues, says the U.S. spent $607 million last year on family planning assistance in other countries.

This cash helped prevent 6 million pregnancies and averted 2.3 million abortions, Guttmacher said.

What Will Trump Presidency Mean for Women's Health Abroad?



Be sure to check out the Q&A and reviews...

Q: Will this ornament keep all of it's pre-holiday promises?

A: Yes, Granny better not get run over this year by a reindeer, cuz Paul Ryan is taking her medicare.

Q: Do I have to pay tax on this item?

A: Only if you are stupid, according to the President elect

Nov 26 2016
06:38 am

for not filling out a survey.

Wow! That's a pretty steep price to pay.

Aaaahhh, I see now. Knox County is self-insured.

This year employees (and spouses, if applicable) are required to fill out a HumanaVitality survey, for a discount in insurance premiums. In the case of this employee, it is $3,360 for the year. Next year it may be participation in "coaching and other “health improvement” resources, Jones [Dir. Human Resources of Knox County] said, but policyholders weren’t required to use them this year."

According to Knox County Law Director Bud Armstrong, "Perhaps as many as 10 percent of around 2,400 county employees, or 3,300 people including spouses on insurance policies are facing the same penalty."



TN Progressive

TN Politics

Local Media Blogs

Shopper Columns

Local TV News

News Sentinel

Alt Weekly

State News

Local .GOV

State .GOV

Wire Reports

Lost Medicaid Funding

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

Monthly archive