Fri
Feb 5 2016
03:07 pm

BONUS: Comfortably Numb

(Disclaimer: This apparently went viral five years ago. I'm a little behind. Fortunately they have a sense of humor about it.)

18
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And vouchers have no place in it...

"Dunn's bill recently passed out of a key committee on an 11 to 10 vote, and now teeters on the verge of passing our Legislature. These bills often go by the name of vouchers, but let's call them what they are — a massive defunding of our public schools, taxpayer subsidies of private and parochial schools, further segregation of America by class, and opportunities for scam operations to tap into taxpayer education dollars."

28
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from Tennessean ...

Nashville District Attorney Glenn Funk is suing a NewsChannel 5 investigative reporter and the station's parent company for $200 million because of a story that aired Wednesday evening.

Nashville DA sues TV reporter Phil Williams for $200M

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Knoxville-Bernie-Light-Brigade.jpg

Virginia Williams writes:

"I am a local volunteer with the Bernie Sanders presidential campaign here in Knoxville. I wanted to let you know about an upcoming event tomorrow, Friday, 02/05/16. We plan to have another Bernie Light Brigade event at the Liberty Street I-40 bridge. It is part of the 3rd National Event. These Light Brigade events are now in over 40 cities and 20 states. Volunteers hold our hand made LED signs to build local support and awareness of Bernie’s campaign."

29
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Thu
Feb 4 2016
01:58 pm

Mutual Loathing Society

What happens when a group of narcissists and sociopaths invite an even more narcissistic sociopath over for a showdown? Today, Republican members of Congress, who have voted dozens of times in recent years to deny affordable healthcare for poor and middle-class Americans, were infuriated at the smirking presence of Martin Shkreli, the former price-gouging pharmaceutical executive. Shkreli tweeted after his appearance in front of the U.S. House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform that the members of Congress were imbeciles. Was he wrong about that? Probably not.

One has to wonder if the majority members of the panel were so upset about the prices of life-saving drugs, or simply insane with jealousy at Shkreli's freedom to not even pretend to care about anyone other than himself.

Really, it's only Elijah Cummings' presence at the hearing that diluted the otherwise perfect irony of today's face off on Capitol Hill.

24
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Thu
Feb 4 2016
01:30 pm
By: R. Neal  shortURL

We are hearing there will be a major development this afternoon regarding the Pilot rebate scam investigation...

Topics:
28
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from NBC News ...

The company on Wednesday began rolling out a program that will provide free, super-fast Internet connections to people who live in public housing. The first recipients: residents of 100 apartments at the West Bluff housing complex in Kansas City, Missouri. They'll be able to connect to gigabit Internet service via Google Fiber, at no cost to them or to the Housing Authority of Kansas City.

Google Rolls Out Free Gigabit Internet Service to Public Housing

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Heather Hensley has announced her candidacy for State House of Representatives District 89. Her statement after the break...

Continued...

34
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Wed
Feb 3 2016
10:09 am
By: R. Neal  shortURL

New Jersey: A Mays Landing man was sentenced to eight years in prison on Friday for growing 17 marijuana plants in the Pinelands

Blount County: Maryville man gets 3.5 years in Blount heroin, cocaine distribution ring

Topics:
29
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The first of BOE candidates' campaign finance disclosures were due January 31 and are now posted to the Election Commission's site.

I'll recap just the two you're most interested to see in the contested races, namely Grant Standefer's (running in the Second District versus Jennifer Owen) and Buddy Pelot's (running in the Fifth District versus Susan Horn and Lori Boudreaux), as follows:

Continued...

23
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Tue
Feb 2 2016
09:37 am

This just in from Gloria Johnson:

Gloria Johnson to run for State Representative

Statement from Gloria Johnson, candidate for State Representative, District 13

Knoxville, Tenn. -- Today 280,000 Tennesseans woke up again without access to health insurance. Almost 1,000,000 Tennessee students woke up again as special interests try to cut funding from public education. More than three million Tennessee women woke up again knowing they will continue to earn about 20 cents less per dollar than a man makes. Day after day, Tennesseans are waking up just like Bill Murray in the movie Groundhog Day, knowing that their futures will not change because the Republican led legislature is focusing this day just like they did the last, on the wrong priorities for Tennessee. There are changes we can make, we don't have to make those mistakes over and over again.

Our neighbors deserve a Representative who will wake up every single day, committed with dogged determination to stand up and fight for Tennessee's working families who deserve better. Our children deserve fully funded public education where all kids have an opportunity to succeed, Tennessee's women deserve equal pay for equal work, and our 280,000 uninsured neighbors should not lose everything they have worked hard for just because they get sick.

We can and we must work together to improve this state for Tennesseans and find a solution to our current unenviable and seemingly unending situation. We can and we must pass Governor Haslam’s Insure Tennessee plan. We can and we must fully fund and support public education and find ways to ensure every child has equal opportunity for a world-class education. We can and we must fight to provide Tennesseans with good jobs with good wages, lower our unemployment rates, respect and maintain our great state employees, and grow new business.

This is why I am waking up today determined to spend my day just like I will tomorrow and the next - committed to fighting for a future that is in the best interest of all Tennesseans and not one that is being bought by billionaire special interests. It’s time to stop reliving the same day over and over and move forward. That is why I am announcing that I will be pulling my petition at 2 PM today to run again to represent the people of District 13 in the State Legislature.

42
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Tue
Feb 2 2016
07:30 am

Punxsutawney Phil's official forecast: Spring!

Wouldn't that be nice.

Topics:
25
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Mon
Feb 1 2016
01:45 pm

From knoxnews.com

Pavlis said that while he's concerned for customers who may get pulled into the cycle of payday loans, there's little government can do when it comes to legal businesses. Rather, he said, the goal of zoning changes is to keep property values increasing and continuing the development and revitalization momentum across the city.

"I think the impression," he said. "I think it sends the wrong impression as to what I envision and I think all of South Knoxville envisions itself to be."

Knoxville City Council tackles payday lenders

32
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Mon
Feb 1 2016
10:03 am

The long really bad reality show gets real today, as people start actually voting or whatever it is they do up there in Iowa. Because somebody has to go first. It appears the Iowa Caucus is better at thinning the herd than picking a winner:

ABC News: Iowa Caucus Track Record on Predicting Presidents

Who do you think will win Iowa? Does it matter?

The next primary will be in New Hampshire, where the voters of Dixville Notch will kick off voting at midnight on Feb. 9th.

Also, today is the last day to register to vote in the March 1st Tennessee presidential and county primaries. Early voting starts Feb. 10th.

SEE ALSO: NPR: How Exactly Do The Iowa Caucuses Work?

32
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Mon
Feb 1 2016
07:36 am

The German government decided to sell around 2000 WWII bunkers because they were either "indestructible or too difficult to demolish without putting other buildings in peril".

In most cases, the transformations are amazing. It's also amazing how many of these structures are still standing 70 years later.

One of the stuctures is "capable of withstanding a nuclear blast, a direct plane crash or biological attack, it is being transformed into a series of 34 five-star apartments, starting at 2,500 sq ft, that aim to protect the super-rich from any forthcoming apocalypse."

32
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Sun
Jan 31 2016
11:21 am
By: michael kaplan  shortURL

When concerts were affordable, and you didn't have to deal with ticket "middlemen." (The minimum wage was $1.15/hour. Unfortunately, I never got to go to this particular one ...)

dylan_1964.jpg

33
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from NY Times ...

“My question is, what are you going to replace it with?” he said.

“Your brother-in-law couldn’t afford it,” Mr. Cruz said.

“Right,” Mr. Valde said. “But he could afford it — he finally got it under Obama.”

Uncomfortable Question for Ted Cruz on Obamacare Silences the Room

34
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Federal food stamp (SNAP) rules changed January 1, 2016. As a result of the 2008 recession, some of the food stamp eligibility rules changed to allow more people to get food stamps for a longer period. Now that the job market and economic climate have gotten better, the food stamp program is removing the waivers for food stamp eligibility and putting the work requirements back into place.

"The program requires able-bodied adults ages 18 through 49 who have no children or other dependents at home to work, volunteer or attend education or job-training courses at least 80 hours a month. If they don't, their benefits are cut off after three months."

If a food stamp recipient within these guidelines does not meet the work, volunteer, or education/job-training requirements in three months, by April 1, 2016, they will no longer be able to get food stamps.

TN Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP)

34
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Sat
Jan 30 2016
11:23 am

The NY Times endorses Hillary Clinton.

(link...)

Way to go!

Topics:
46
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Looks familiar

from NY Times ...

“ ‘Obamacare’ is a cuss word in this state,” said former Gov. David Walters, a Democrat.

More than 133,000 Oklahomans have selected health plans or had coverage automatically renewed through HealthCare.gov since open enrollment began on Nov. 1. In this state of 3.9 million people, about 800,000 are enrolled in Medicaid. But nearly 600,000 were still uninsured in 2014, according to the latest data from the Census Bureau, and getting them covered will not be easy.

Oklahoma Resists Push for Enrollment in Affordable Care Act Coverage

We Mapped the Uninsured. You'll Notice a Pattern.

The same mentality has Tennessee coming up on $4.8 Billion in lost federal funding.

33
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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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