From Kaiser Family Foundation ...

State: Tennessee
District: 2, Knoxville
Party of Representative: Republican

Estimated Marketplace enrollees in 2016: 26,300

Number of People Enrolled in ACA Marketplaces in 2016, by Congressional District

The Affordable Care Act likely extended the lives of thousands of seniors who took advantage of free screening exams and were diagnosed with treatable, early-stage colorectal cancer, a new study suggests.

Before the Affordable Care Act, often called Obamacare, took effect, people ages 65 and older who were insured under Medicare had to pay $275 for colonoscopies, the report in Health Affairs says.

The Affordable Care Act (ACA) directed that colonoscopies be offered for free.

From 2011, when the law took effect, until 2013, an additional 8,400 seniors, or 8 percent more than before, were diagnosed with early-stage colorectal cancer, researchers estimated.

Obamacare Saved Thousands From Colon Cancer Death, Report Finds


Thank you fundraising total.png

Thank you, Knoxville. We all needed the laugh, apparently.

On Inauguration weekend, Knoxville joined with 33 other cities across the United States (and Oxford, England) to produce 84 comedy shows with performances from more than 500 comedians as a fundraiser for the ACLU.

Knoxville's efforts included shows at 7 venues with 44 comedians from 6 different states taking the stage. We generated a little more than $3,000 in ticket sales and additional donations ($3,070.62 to be exact). The combined effort of the 34 cities is currently past $49,000 and quickly approaching $50,000 raised with final tallies from some of the cities still to arrive.

I was honored to a part of it and hope you had the opportunity to come out and laugh with us.

Jan 23 2017
12:01 pm

Washington Post: Democrats reject her, but they helped pave the road to education nominee DeVos

...the record shows that Democrats can't just blame Republicans for her ascension. It was actually Democrats who helped pave the road for DeVos to take the helm of the Education Department. Democrats have in recent years sounded -- and acted -- a lot like Republicans in advancing corporate education reform, which seeks to operate public schools as if they were businesses, not civic institutions. ... By embracing many of the tenets of corporate reform -- including the notion of “school choice” and the targeting of teachers and their unions as being blind to the needs of children -- they helped make DeVos’s education views, once seen as extreme, seem less so.

I have never understood why establishment Democrats bought in to the idea of vouchers, charter schools, and other public education privatization schemes, not to mention teacher union bashing. This column explains a lot of the history, but it still doesn't explain why Democrats didn't stand up for public education.

Jan 23 2017
08:59 am

Alcoa Hwy northbound lanes are closed due to a sinkhole. According to Bount Co. officials, the affected area is just past Pellissippi Parkway/I-140 near RJ's restaurant and Airway Dr. TDOT says the closure will last until at least 3PM.

UPDATE: 11:30 AM, TDOT says northbound lanes now reopened.

Jan 22 2017
05:42 pm
By: R. Neal  shortURL


(Click image for bigger...)

Jan 22 2017
02:11 pm

HR 482

H.R.482 - To nullify certain regulations and notices of the Department of Housing and Urban Development, and for other purposes.

We have "alternative facts" and then the dissolution of fact gathering. Without the ability to gather data on a program then arguments to kill it are supported because there is a lack of data. Check out this bill. Section 3 calls for ceasing funding for maintaining current databases that collect data on

"community racial disparities or disparities in access to affordable housing"

Also see section 4302 of ACA.

TN cosponsors:

Jan 22 2017
06:50 am

...but the first thing he does in office is to roll back a pending mortgage payment reduction for millions and make it harder for lower income families to buy a home. Trump voters are about to get a rude awakening.

Jan 22 2017
04:24 am

After giving what even George Will called "the most dreadful inaugural address in history" on Friday, Trump doubled down yesterday with a bizarre, rambling address to CIA employees in which he attacked his perceived enemies in the media and bragged about how smart he is and how many times he'd been on the cover of Time Magazine.

Then, as millions of women around the world and as far away as Antarctica marched in protest, he dispatched White House press secretary Sean "Baghdad Bob" Spicer to issue a statement riddled with actual lies attacking the media for their inauguration coverage.

One might have hoped that Trump would take his job seriously and conduct himself with a little dignity and respect for the office. Apparently that's not going to happen.

We are through the looking glass.

George Will: A most dreadful inaugural address

NYT: With False Claims, Trump Attacks Media on Turnout and Intelligence Rift

Former CIA chief Brennan: Trump "should be ashamed of himself"

CNN: White House press secretary attacks media for accurately reporting inauguration crowds

USA Today: There's even a Women's March in Antarctica

Jan 21 2017
11:59 pm

From Ari Berman author of the must-read Give Us the Ballot we get the following from UConn professor Jeremy Pressman - Between 3.3 million to 4.2 million people marched today google docs file

Jan 21 2017
03:52 pm

march ms.jpg.

One cannot help but be impressed with the organization and spirit of the march today. The crowd was resolute in message, respectful and overall very positive in tone. Thousands took time from their rainy Saturdays to gather peacefully with their friends and neighbors. I know this day, following yesterday, gave many of us a chance to reflect.

Many among us were first hand witnesses to the conflicts of the sixties. 1968 was a year we thought would never end - LBJ deciding not to run, MLK assassination, RFK assassination, The Chicago Democratic Convention chaos and so much more. I wondered if we could resolve all the conflicts. Our institutions strained but we managed to get through it mostly intact.

Now about a half century later we again look to our local, state, and especially our national institutions to make decisions amidst intense conflict and disagreement. Many distrust the very fabric of our governing model. I have always had a strong bias toward finding and building upon points of agreement - finding common ground rather than staking out intractable positions, seeing glasses more filled than empty. Yes, reasonable people can disagree and can do so with minimal rancor. Yes, people with strong principles and beliefs can hold to those beliefs and respect the fact that others do see the world differently. We do have to be realistic and recognize that some decisions are zero sum games but try to avoid a "winners and losers" mentality whenever possible.

Here in Knoxville we have gotten pretty darn good about making decisions with a bias toward finding common ground while reaching out to include a myriad of interests. We look for the sweet spot between bogging down in dysfunction and indecision vs. using the force of majority support to push things through by brute political force. We are always looking for ways to improve.

As my colleagues at the City know, I am always a bit frustrated when the civic narrative ignores the importance of how we do things and concentrates only on the outcomes. Expansion of the tax base, development of our city core, saving buildings, the urban wilderness, new parks, are absolutely critical. But as we learned a while back, most of these good things simply do not occur without our ability to make public decisions, Functional institutions and processes are not some necessary evils at which to roll our collective eyes. It is essential that we get things right or we fail.

We are not doing so well at this at the national level. Like so many I am increasingly troubled by the rifts among us as a country. I do retain optimism that we will find a way to do better, to talk more openly and effectively with each other, to process our disagreements with competence, in a spirit of compassion,respect and fairness for all.


What: Come learn about SURJ (Showing Up for Racial Justice)
When: Wednesday, January 25, 2017 - 5:00pm
Where: Blount County Public Library Cafe

Join two members of Blount County SURJ (Showing Up for Racial Justice) to learn what SURJ is and does, our values and accountability commitments, and tell us what kinds of programs would help you show up for racial justice. We will be in the cafe at the library from 5-7pm on Wednesday, January 25.

Jan 20 2017
09:37 am

Democratic TV Tonight with Rev Harold Middlebrook, Representative Rick Staples & John Stewart on the Community TV Channel of Knoxville tonight at 7:39PM @ (link...)

Reverend Middlebrook will be the guest of DTV tonight in conversation with Rick Staples and John Stewart about Dr. Martin Luther King Jr life and contributions to the Civil Rights Act of 1964 and Voting Rights Act of 1965. Both Rev Middlebrook and John Stewart worked with Dr King on those bills and will share some of their experiences with Dr King. You can Tweet to the show tonight at @DTVKnox1.

Today (Friday) @ 7:30 on these channels--
Provider Channel
Comcast 12
WOW! (Knology) 6
Charter 193
AT&T U-verse 99
Or Streaming on your computer at (link...)

Jan 20 2017
09:30 am
By: R. Neal  shortURL

Today we celebrate the peaceful transfer of power that is the foundation of American democracy.

We get the government we deserve, for good or ill.

P.S. Our heartfelt thanks to President Obama and Vice President Biden for their leadership and service.

Jan 19 2017
06:48 pm

Heather Hansman in the Guardian - Congress moves to give away national lands, discounting billions in revenue

The Congressional devaluation of national property is the most far-reaching legislative change in a recent push to transfer federal lands to the states. Because of the Republican majority in Congress, bills proposing land transfers could now swiftly diminish Forest Service and BLM lands across the country. “We didn’t see it coming. I think it was sneaky and underhanded. It exemplifies an effort to not play by the rules,” said Alan Rowsome, senior director of government relations at The Wilderness Society. “This is the worst Congress for public lands ever.”

Rowsome said he’s not exactly sure how the rule will be used, but he thinks the first places to come under attack might include areas adjacent to the majestic Grand Canyon National Park in Arizona and Minnesota’s Boundary Waters Canoe Area Wilderness. Those areas hold uranium and copper, respectively.

Sen. Lamar Alexander 865-545-4253
Sen. Bob Corker 865-637-4180
Rep. John Duncan 865-523-3772

Jan 19 2017
01:31 pm
By: nbarajas  shortURL

What: Books Sandwiched In
When: Wednesday, January 25, 2017 - 12:00pm
Where: East Tennessee History Center- Auditorium

hillbillyelegy_0.jpg Knox County Public Library is pleased to welcome Sam Venable, Knoxville News Sentinel columnist, to discuss Hillbilly Elegy: A Memoir of Family and Culture in Crisis, by J. D. Vance, at 12 p.m. Wednesday, January 25, in the East Tennessee History Center auditorium, 601 South Gay Street as part of its monthly Books Sandwiched In lecture series. A light lunch will be available for the first 30 attendees.



from ...

“We do have plans on moving into that space. As far as a timeline goes, there’s a lot of work to be done,” he said. In a “general sense” he wants to move by year’s end, but it’s hard to be specific since the space still needs lots of renovation, Palmer said.

Saw Works Brewing Co. may move to Standard Knitting Mill


NASA and NOAA, which separately analyze global temperature data, have both found that global temperatures surpassed records for the past three years. Schmidt described the trend as remarkable.

The planet's average temperature has risen about 2.0 degrees Fahrenheit, or 1.1 degrees Celsius, since the late 19th century, a change "driven largely by increased carbon dioxide and other human-made emissions into the atmosphere," NASA said.

Most of the Earth's warming has occurred in the past 35 years NASA said, and 16 of the last 17 warmest years have taken place since the year 2001, NASA said.

Earth Sets Record Temperature in 2016 — for Third Year in a Row

Jan 18 2017
08:50 am

"We stand together in solidarity with our partners and children for the protection of our rights, our safety, our health, and our families - recognizing that our vibrant and diverse communities are the strength of our country."

The Women's March on Washington takes place on Saturday, January 21st at 10 AM near the U.S. Capitol. There are "Sister Marches" in cities around the U.S., including Knoxville.

The Knoxville event will take begin on Market Square in Downtown Knoxville on Saturday, January 21st at 12:30 pm.

Another event is scheduled at the UT campus, January 20th at 12:30.

The Knoxville Mercury has more...


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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. (Source)

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