Feb 19 2018
06:07 pm

What: 6th Dems Social & Candidate Speech Event
When: Friday, March 2, 2018 - 7:00pm
Where: Casual Pint Hardin Valley Rd

Hardin Valley Casual Pint

Come have a beer and listen to local Democratic candidates speak. Speakers include 2nd Congressional candidate Josh Williams, 89th House District candidate Keifel Agostini and Knox Co. Commission At-Large Seat 10 candidate Tori Griffin.


Center for American Progress - Election Security in All 50 States
Tennessee receives D/F pg. 168 -

Tennessee’s use of paperless DRE machines and insufficient post-election audit procedures leave the state open to undetected hacking and other Election Day problems. Tennessee should immediately transition to a statewide paper ballot voting system and update its post-election audit requirements. In doing so, the state should look to risk-limiting audits like those in Colorado as a potential model. Tennessee should also strengthen its ballot accounting and reconcilia- tion procedures by requiring that precincts fully account for all ballots—used, unused, and spoiled—at the end of Election Day, and reconcile any discrepancies between the number of ballots and the number of voters who entered the polling place. Finally, pre-election logic and accuracy testing should be conducted on all machines that will be used in an upcoming election.

Paper ballots making a comeback...

THE NATION’S SECRETARIES OF state gathered for a multi-day National Association of Secretaries of State (NASS) conference in Washington, D.C., this weekend, with cybersecurity on the mind.

Panels and lectures centered around the integrity of America’s election process, with the federal probe into alleged Russian government attempts to penetrate voting systems a frequent topic of discussion.


One way to allay concerns about the integrity of electronic voting machine infrastructure, however, is to simply not use it. Over the past year, a number of states are moving back towards the use of paper ballots or at least requiring a paper trail of votes cast.

Did you know that Tennessee passed bipartisan legislation ten years ago requiring voter verifiable optical scan ballots for all elections in the state? There was federal funding available through the Help America Vote Act to pay for it, too.

Then Republicans took control of the legislature and governor's office and repealed the law.

Note that the company that makes the eSlate voting machines used in 30 counties, including Knox and Blount, makes optical scanning machines that are compatible with the back end tabulating systems already in place. The existing eSlate electronic voting machines can also be retrofitted with printers to provide a voter verifiable printed audit trail.

The DRE (direct recording electronic) system currently in use provides no possible way to perform a manual recount. All you can do is run the same report again and get the same result again. Optical paper ballots would provide a human readable way to perform a recount independent of the electronic system.

Why don't Tennessee Republicans want assurances that all votes are being counted and counted accurately? They sure went to a lot of trouble to "protect the integrity" of the vote with photo ID.


Tennessee Republicans do not want voter verifiable voting in 2010

TN House votes to continue unverifiable black box voting

Feb 16 2018
07:25 pm

In other news: Fincher was running for Senate?

Veteran DTV Host Dr. Mark Harmon moderates a panel discussion with East Tennessee Permaculture Research Institue Chairman David Bolt and ETPRI VISTA Volunteer Mark Carper on Democratic TV at 7:30 PM on Friday, Feb 16th. This discussion will inform you about the sustainability research underway at the East Tennessee Permaculture Research Institute in South Knoxville.

Tune in on the following cable channels or stream it live from your computer (here!)
Comcast Channel 12
Charter Channel 193
Wow! Channel 6
ATT U-verse Channel 99

Feb 16 2018
02:36 pm

Tennessee mentioned as target of misinformation campaign:

"The indictment points to one account titled Tennessee GOP (@TEN_GOP), which gained over 100,000 followers yet had no affiliation with the actual state political party."

Grand Jury Indicts Russians Linked To Interference In 2016 Election


"In an indictment announced Friday in Washington, Mueller describes a years-long, multimillion-dollar conspiracy by hundreds of Russians aimed at criticizing Hillary Clinton and supporting Senator Bernie Sanders and Trump."

Mueller Accuses Russians of Pro-Trump, Anti-Clinton Meddling

If you sometimes look for "greatest hits" collections because you don't want to buy six or seven albums of filler to get a few songs you like, you can't go wrong with the "20th Century Masters, the Millennium Collection" series. I have a few of these, some on CDs ripped to my library and others downloaded. Sound quality is reliably pretty good to excellent.

Lately I've gotten them as downloads from 7 Digital. They have both MP3 and CD quality FLAC for most titles and they're reasonably priced. They have hundreds of titles from the series covering everything from James Brown to Iggy Pop. Bonus: many of the albums have songs available as individual downloads if that's all you want. Download delivery is instant and there's no DRM or goofy software involved.

Here's a link...


The NYT reports Diane Black took $225,000 from a Crossville trucking company to successfully influence Pruit's EPA not to close a loophole on diesel engines emissions controls. Tennessee Tech's role in questionable research paid for by the same trucking company is also being internally investigated, thanks to an outcry from concerned faculty.

The E.P.A. estimates that over the life of every 10,000 trucks without modern emissions systems, up to 1,600 Americans would die prematurely, and thousands more would suffer a variety of ailments including bronchitis and heart attacks

Thanks Diane.

I'm sure we'll be hearing more about this from Karl Dean and Craig Fitzhugh.


Feb 15 2018
08:10 pm

Marsha Blackburn says anyone who doubts her qualifications for U.S. Senate is a "sexist pig."

Uh, sorry to break it to you, but no, you're just a clown, and even Republicans know it.

Feb 15 2018
04:34 pm

Oh, wait. He was never charged. The other defendants, except Karen Mann, convicted of various charges. Sentencing is set for June 27th. KNS, WBIR...

Feb 15 2018
11:08 am

Candidates for governor:

Diane Black: 93% NRA rating, 90% Gun Owners of America rating, 0% Brady Campaign rating.

Beth Harwell: NRA A rating, Tennessee Firearms Association A rating.

Craig Fitzhugh: 0% Tennessee Firearms Association rating, 0% NRA lifetime score, NRA A rating in 2008.

Randy Boyd: No info.

Karl Dean: No info.

Candidates for U.S. Senate:

Marsha Blackburn: 93% NRA rating, 90% Gun Owners of America rating, NRA A rating, Gun Owners of America A rating, 0% Brady Campaign rating.

Stephen Fincher: No current info, received NRA endorsement for U.S. House in 2012.

Phil Bredesen: Received NRA endorsement in 2006 for governor. Vetoed guns in bars bill as governor.

Candidates for U.S. House, Tennessee 2nd District:

Tim Burchett: 100% Tennessee Gun Owner's Association score, 0% NRA lifetime score.

Jimmy Matlock: 93% NRA rating, NRA A rating, 71% Tennessee Firearms Association rating.

Jason Emert: No info.

Renee Hoyos: No info.

Joshua Williams: No info.

Feb 15 2018
10:26 am

House Speaker Paul Ryan on the Florida school shooting: "There's more questions than answers at this stage. I don’t think that means you then roll that conversation into taking away citizens' rights - taking away a law-abiding citizen's rights. Obviously this conversation typically goes there. Right now, I think we need to take a breath and collect the facts."

Does that include the inalienable right to slaughter innocent school children using military grade weapons?

What an insufferable asshole.

Oh, and Paul Ryan received more than $230,000 from gun lobby groups such as the NRA in the last two election cycles.

People should just stop voting for any local, state, or federal candidate who receives money from the NRA or other gun lobby group or who receives a favorable NRA rating. Unfortunately, that appears to be the minority opinion.

Feb 14 2018
06:41 pm

Senseless tragedy at Broward Co. school claims 17 lives. Shooter in custody. Reports say he used an AR-15 with a high capacity magazine. Congress does nothing. State legislators do nothing. Law enforcement hands are tied until after the fact in most cases. This is not normal. It is unacceptable.


According to White House Press Secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders, Secretary of Transportation Elaine Chao was at the press conference to accept a check from the president, one quarter of his annual salary ($100,000). The money is "to support their programs to rebuild and modernize our crumbling infrastructure."

Quotes from Sec. Chao

  • there’s a separate title that is addressed to rural America
  • states and localities, communities understand best what their infrastructure needs are
  • looking for creative ways for financing

As mentioned by WhitesCreek yesterday, Trump Budget Destroys America as We Know It.

I listened to this press conference in my car yesterday. It did not seem like a good idea for the administration to have Sec. Chao speaking except to receive the $100,000 check.

Sec. Chao's statememts, not necessarily in order:

Sec. Chao: As many of you have heard yesterday, 12 federal agencies have been working with the White House on the comprehensive infrastructure proposal that the President announced yesterday. Transportation is one component. The proposal also includes energy, drinking and waste water, broadband, and veterans hospitals, as well.
Sec. Chao: Well, I come from the state of Kentucky. I’m a proud Kentuckian, and I come from a rural state. So I am especially concerned about the needs of rural America, and we recognize that the needs of rural America are special. And that is why, in the President’s proposal, there is actually a provision which addresses the unique needs of rural America.

Sec. Chao: So it will be separate from the - there’s a separate title that is addressed to rural America.

From the Huffington Post, Eastern Kentucky’s Struggle With Water Symbolizes America’s Crumbling Infrastructure.


Feb 13 2018
02:31 pm

Environmental, ratepayer groups call for TVA CEO to resign after discovering lavish company assets

Two jets, a helicopter with "Mercedes Benz styling," and a $6.5 million salary prompt complaints.

A complaint filed with the Federal Election Commission alleges that TN2 Republican candidate Tim Burchett improperly accepted donations from local corporations.

(According to Brian Hornback. No media reports yet.)

Feb 13 2018
09:34 am

Press release

Jamie Ballinger To Run For Tennessee Senate District 7

Healthcare Attorney and Emerge Tennessee Graduate Jamie Ballinger is running to advocate for working families, better public schools, and to ensure women get the representation they deserve in Nashville...


A complaint filed with the Federal Election Commission alleges that TN2 Republican candidate Jimmy Matlock improperly accepted donations from local corporations.

The complaint...

Feb 12 2018
04:37 pm

What: Community conversation: Race Relations in America
When: Monday, February 19, 2018 - 6:30pm
Where: Lawson Auditorium, basement of Fayerweather Hall, Maryville College campus

Maryville College Black Student Alliance and Blount County SURJ (Showing Up for Racial Justice) invite community members to join us for a conversation.
Monday, February 19th, 6:30-8:00 pm in Lawson Auditorium (basement of Fayerweather Hall) on the Maryville College campus.

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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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