Fri
Mar 20 2015
12:40 pm

Via Ed Kilgore this morning we note that the Brookings Institute has a pretty fascinating report entitled "Support for Redistribution in an Age of Rising Inequality: New Stylized Facts and Some Tentative Explanations" about how Medicare is perceived. Is it an earned benefit? Nope but some think it is.

Continued...

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Fri
Mar 20 2015
11:14 am

from CNN …

Less than 37% of eligible voters actually voted in the 2014 midterm elections, according to The Pew Charitable Trusts. That means about 144 million Americans -- more than the population of Russia -- skipped out.

"Turning the vote out might not be a problem, but wooing disengaged citizens now requires banal sloganeering and crass misleading negative advertising," Manning wrote. "To me, this can diminish the democratic experience for those who take the time to think through the issues."

Obama: Maybe it's time for mandatory voting

Statistical analysis voting turnout in Tennessee

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Fri
Mar 20 2015
08:12 am

What: Democratic TV
When: Friday, March 20, 2015 @ 7:30PM
Where: Knoxville's Community TV Channel

Cheri Siler and Doug Veum will discuss school vouchers on DTV this evening. The main bill that will be discussed is the bill sponsored by Bill Dunn to create a voucher program in Tennessee that could affect the public school systems of the four largest counties in its first year. Tune in to hear this discussion at 7:30PM.

DTV streams live at (link...) or on cable/satellite at:
Comcast Channel 12
Charter Channel 6
Wow! Channel 6
ATT U-verse Channel 99

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Fri
Mar 20 2015
07:25 am

I just heard that Brackins Blues Club in Maryville closed its doors. Just wondering if anybody knows anything about this? Also, heard Irish Times is closing. What is happening?

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In early March Elizabeth Warren, Democratic state legislators and some policy folks from the Center for American Progress gathered at the White House to hold discussions about an emergent organization that they hope will counter ALEC. Although it has been in the works for a while it appears this meeting put the cherry on top. Organizers hope Obama's formal support of the group - the State Innovation Exchange - (SiX) will mimic Reagan's similar endorsement of ALEC in the 1980's. SiX will operate partially as an electronic clearinghouse of progressive legislation. This so-called 'legislative library' space would allow for "cross-pollination among states, providing a platform for the best ideas to spread and grow". One can set up an account to follow issues and track legislators.

Continued...

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Thu
Mar 19 2015
08:51 am

The TN Senate Bill 0314 and House Bill 0274 are quickly jumping through hoops to get bills passed allowing guns in parks without the okay from local government. The bills "authorize handgun carry permit holders to possess a handgun in or on the grounds of any public park, playground, civic center or other building facility, area or property owned, used or operated by any municipal, county or state government, or instrumentality thereof, for recreational purposes; and removes authorization for local governments to prohibit a handgun carry permit holder from possessing a handgun in certain parks".

They are hoping these bills will take effect on April 1, 2015. That would be just one week before the NRA brings its annual meeting to Nashville.

At the same time, TN Legislators are trying to pass TN Senate Bill(s) 1239, 0784, 0780, 0700, 0207 and House Bill(s) 1112, 0684, 0535, 0745, 0240 to reduce handgun carry requirements. For example, proposed bills allow a gun dealer to sell a firearm to a handgun carry permit holder without conducting a background check or entering the TBI unique approval number on the transaction record, eliminate the requirement for a permit for the open carrying of a handgun, permit a person who is not otherwise prohibited from possessing a firearm to possess a firearm, openly or concealed, regardless of whether the person has a handgun permit, create a lifetime handgun carry permit which entitles the permit holder to carry any handgun that the permit holder legally owns or possesses without expiration, and allow a gun dealer to complete a firearms transaction with a handgun carry permit holder without requiring a criminal history record check, if the permit was issued or renewed within five years of the date of transaction.

Why do our legislators think it's important to allow a near free-for-all on carrying handguns? Why can't the legislators let me go to the park or work without a concern that some idiot is carrying a gun?

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Thu
Mar 19 2015
06:24 am

It's no wonder the University of Tennessee elected to keep "Lady Vols" as the brand for U.T women's basketball.

"Our Lady Vols are the only team in the nation to appear in every NCAA tournament since its beginning in 1982. "

It's just too bad Chancellor Jimmy Cheek couldn't agree that the "Lady Vols" brand for all women's sports at U.T was more important than NIKE brand consistency.

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Wed
Mar 18 2015
02:08 pm

FRB: Press Release--Federal Reserve issues FOMC statement--March 18, 2015

To support continued progress toward maximum employment and price stability, the Committee today reaffirmed its view that the current 0 to 1/4 percent target range for the federal funds rate remains appropriate. In determining how long to maintain this target range, the Committee will assess progress--both realized and expected--toward its objectives of maximum employment and 2 percent inflation. ... This change in the forward guidance does not indicate that the Committee has decided on the timing of the initial increase in the target range.

... The Committee currently anticipates that, even after employment and inflation are near mandate-consistent levels, economic conditions may, for some time, warrant keeping the target federal funds rate below levels the Committee views as normal in the longer run.

Financial pundits, however, note that the omission of the word "patient" is a signal that rate increases are imminent. Whatever.

Topics:
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Tue
Mar 17 2015
09:42 pm

Looks like a good move by the guys ...

From Knoxnews.com ...

U.S. Sens. Lamar Alexander and Bob Corker will try again to designate nearly 20,000 acres of the Cherokee National Forest as wilderness areas.

Alexander, Corker refile Tennessee Wilderness Act

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Tue
Mar 17 2015
05:12 pm

Looks nifty.

from MSNBC …

The $1.5 million system uses 300 sensors to first triangulate the location of a gunshot to within 25 meters of where the bullet was fired. Within seconds, it sends a notification to an operator who reviews the audio file to determine if the sound actually was a gunshot or a different activity, such as fireworks or an engine backfiring. The system then forwards an alert to the NYPD with relevant information about the number of shots fired, a map of the location, and if the shooter was moving at the time of the incident.

The real-time technology allows the NYPD to dispatch units to the exact location of the shooting instead of general areas, thus saving time and increasing the chance of catching the suspect and recovering the weapon. Officers can receive alerts directly on their smartphones or tablet devices.

NYPD to detect gunshots in real time

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Tue
Mar 17 2015
03:12 pm

May those who love us, love us
And those who do not love us, may God turn their hearts
And if He cannot turn their hearts
May He turn their ankles
So we may know them by their limping

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Tue
Mar 17 2015
10:43 am

What: Madeline Rogero reelection campaign kickoff
When: Tuesday, March 24, 2015 - 6:00pm
Where: The Standard, 416 W. Jackson Ave.

From the Madeline Rogero for Mayor campaign...

Please join us in support of Mayor Madeline Rogero at a Campaign Kick-Off Reception, Tuesday, March 24, 2015, 6pm – 7:30pm (program at 6:30) at The Standard – 416 W. Jackson Ave.

Free parking available after 6pm at the W. Jackson Ave. lot across from The Standard.

Your contribution to support Mayor Rogero’s re-election is appreciated. Contributions can be made online at Madeline for Mayor, by check at the reception, or by mail to: Madeline Rogero for Mayor, P.O. Box 9426, Knoxville, TN 37940.

Like the re-election campaign on Facebook: Madeline Rogero for Mayor

Primary Election – September 29, 2015

List of supporters after the break...

Continued...

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from NBC News ...

More than 14 million adults have health insurance either from the new exchanges or through expanded access to Medicaid, the Health and Human Services Department said.

Another 2 million young adults aged under 26 got health insurance because of a provision that allows their parents to keep them on their health insurance plans, HHS said.

Obamacare Gets Health Insurance to 16 Million New People, Feds Say

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Mon
Mar 16 2015
07:47 pm
By: Tamara Shepherd  shortURL

Audibly groaning, now...

Presidential hopeful Mike Huckabee is already renowned for using his name and his e-mail list to make money in some dubious ways. You likely heard, too, of his recent paid pitch for Barton Publishing’s Diabetes Solution Kit, in which he's claimed "simple lifestyle changes and healthier food choices" are a viable substitute for insulin, provided customers buy into the company's "structure." That claim was immediately debunked by both the American Diabetes Association and the Canadian Diabetes Association.

So today comes word that Huckabee is again selling questionable ads on the email commentaries he's sending to thousands of his supporters.

Continued...

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Mon
Mar 16 2015
03:51 pm
By: R. Neal  shortURL

The Maryville Daily Times published this ridiculous article about some tea partiers from Blount Co. who traveled to Nashville to protest the proposed Insure Tennessee Medicaid/Tenncare expansion.

The Mrs. and I responded. Her letter was published on March 4th. Mine was published on March 11th. Full text of both letters after the break...

Continued...

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Mon
Mar 16 2015
03:37 pm

KNS Letter: Vouchers not about money

Cagle hammers home that we should be funding school systems, not children. I respectfully disagree. We should take the dollars we spend on each child and use them to give him or her the best education possible, whether it's at a public, private, charter or other school. The legal status of the school itself should not be the deciding factor. Whether it can provide a quality education should be.

Doug Harris, Knox County Board of Education, 3rd District, Knoxville

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Next month, on April 28, the Supreme Court of the United States (SCOTUS) is to hear opening arguments from Tennessee and three other states urging the Court to allow gay marriages nationwide.

The high court's ruling, which will decide whether same-sex marriage bans are prohibited by the U.S. Constitution's equal protection clause, could remedy a hodgepodge of laws and lower court rulings that presently allow gay marriage in 37 states and the District of Columbia--and support for lifting the remaining bans appears massive.

Continued...

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Mon
Mar 16 2015
08:28 am

from CNN ...

Ozone, or smog, is the next candidate for addition to the list of air pollutants known to be harmful to fetal health. Over the past several years, a number of studies have indicated a likely link between higher levels of maternal ozone exposure and poor health outcomes in infants, including changes in lung structure and function, low birth weight and neuro-behavioral abnormalities.

Invisible threat to maternal and child health

Knoxville's ozone forecast at moment is "Moderate"

Unusually sensitive people should consider limiting prolonged outdoor exertion.

AirNow - Knoxville, Tn Air Quality

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