Wed
Feb 11 2015
05:34 pm

Who needs Stacey Campfield, anyway? Bean Station freshman state Rep. Jerry Sexton has introduced House Bill 615, to insert into the Tennessee Code that "The Holy Bible is hereby designated as the official state book."

When these knuckle draggers first roll into Nashville, do they not take some time to sit them down and familiarize them just a little bit with the state and federal constitutions? Both are pretty clear on the fact that you can't do what Sexton has proposed.

In any normally functioning world, I'd laugh it off, assuming the bill will go nowhere, because, even though Jerry Sexton is a willfully ignorant fool, there would be enough others who would have the sense keep the bill from getting out of committee. Unfortunately, we don't live in a normally functioning world, and there are probably enough yokels running around the Capitol who would never, ever, ever be willing to go on record voting agin' the Bible.

50
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Wed
Feb 11 2015
05:06 pm

Most of the numbers look pretty good.

I assume they aren't polling a lot of people that have first hand experience of the benefits.

from NBC News …

Checkup: Obamacare Then and Now

39
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Wed
Feb 11 2015
02:00 pm
By: R. Neal  shortURL

Pilot, an affiliate company and employees were seeking to dismiss lawsuits by five separate companies in relation to a contract dispute and alleged rebate fraud scheme. A U.S. District Court judge in Kentucky dismissed some of the claims, but ruled that others "state sufficient facts that allow them to move past the motions to dismiss."

According to court documents, the various claims going forward against the company and individuals (including James Haslam, John Freemen and Mark Hazlewood) include fraud, conspiracy, breach of contract, misrepresentation, and violation of state and federal RICO statutes, among other things.

Here's the ruling with lots of detail...

Topics:
41
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Wed
Feb 11 2015
10:41 am

Sen. Mike Bell (R-Riceville) has filed a bill (SB0475) declaring that franchise employees are not employees of the franchisor chain.

Presumably this is in response to last year's NLRB decision that McDonald's and its franchisees are "joint employers" in relation to a discrimination complaint by workers who protested for better wages.

More recently, McDonald's was named as a defendant in a racial discrimination lawsuit against a franchisee, a lawsuit that tests the NLRB ruling.

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41
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Wed
Feb 11 2015
09:58 am
By: R. Neal  shortURL

Jeb Bush is having a bad week.

His splash tech guru hire had to resign after one day when unfortunate tweets from his past came back to haunt him.

Jeb's quest for transparency backfired when his gubernatorial email dump was found to contain too much personal info about constituents, including Social Security numbers.

Jeb, the Smart Bush!

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37
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Wed
Feb 11 2015
09:31 am

What: South of the River Democrats Meeting
When: Monday, February 16, 2015 - 6:30pm
Where: South Knoxville Community Center, 522 Maryville Pike, Knoxville 37920

Guest speaker will be Tennessee State Democratic Party Executive Committee member Sylvia Woods, who will discuss Tennessee state party organization and plans for 2015 and 2016.

for info: Jim Sessions (573-0655)

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33
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Tue
Feb 10 2015
04:06 pm

What: Presentation on "East Tennessee's Blueways"
When: Monday, February 23, 2015 - 6:00pm
Where: Blount County Public Library

Come hear local author and educator Kim Trevathan talk about
his adventures paddling East Tennessee’s waterways and working on the new blueways map!

A native of Murray, Kentucky, Kim Trevathan has been teaching journalism, creative nonfiction, and fiction writing at Maryville College for 15 years.

His books are “Paddling the Tennessee River: A Voyage on Easy Water” (2001), “Coldhearted River: A Canoe Odyssey down the Cumberland (2006), and “Liminal Zones: Where Lakes End and Rivers Begin (2013).”

All three books were published by the University of Tennessee Press. His outdoor columns have appeared in the Daily Times and the Metro Pulse. Kim serves on the board of the Little River Watershed Association.

Refreshments at 6pm, presentation at 6:30pm.

Kim Trevathan’s presentation is a free community education event open to the public. The presentation is hosted by CAPPE, Inc. as part of our 2015 Annual Meeting. CAPPE’s 2015 Annual Meeting will convene after the public program concludes.

(link...)
cappe@saveitdontpaveit.org

36
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Tue
Feb 10 2015
03:24 pm

With internet now available to just about everyone, why do we even need universities? Our government; state or federal, could easily provide a website of free online courses, with tests, that could be self graded... no professors!

Continued...

27
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Tue
Feb 10 2015
02:56 pm

from Yahoo …

Job openings rose 3.7 percent to a seasonally adjusted 5 million, the Labor Department said Tuesday. That is the most since January 2001. Total hires also increased 1.9 percent to 5.1 million, the most in more than seven years.

The number of quits rose 2.1 percent to 2.7 million. More quits are a sign of confidence in the economy, because people typically quit when they have another job lined up, usually at higher pay, or are optimistic that they can find a new position.

US job openings rise to 14-year high; job quits, hiring up

29
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Tue
Feb 10 2015
01:45 pm

Verizon has lowered the price of data plans by $10 per month on their shared "more everything" plans. You can get the same amount of data for $10 less or 1GB more data for the same price.

BUT, you have to update your plan. It apparently doesn't happen automatically. You can do it online. Took me about five minutes.

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AP11_LM_COAS_DSC06948sm.jpg
Crewman Optical Alignment Sight (COAS) used on Apollo 11, photo by Ulli Lotzmann at the Smithsonian National Air and Space Museum Paul E. Garber Preservation, Restoration, and Storage Facility

Following his death in 2012, Neil Armstrong's widow Carol discovered a white bag in a closet containing what appeared to be artifacts from the Apollo 11 trip to the Moon. She contacted the Apollo curator at the Smithsonian, and the items have been cataloged and placed on loan to the National Air and Space Museum for "preservation, research and eventual public display."

Follow this link for the story, including a detailed inventory and photographs of the artifacts along with the research behind identifying them:

Lunar Surface Flown Apollo 11 Artifacts From the Neil Armstrong Estate

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31
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Mon
Feb 9 2015
11:24 pm

My question to the governor:

"As a small business owner in TN, I'm very concerned about the perception of TN education, as it affects how I am viewed by my customers in the US and internationally, as well as my ability to recruit talent from outside of the state.

Southern states have historically not been highly rated in education throughout history. By TN rejecting a national standard and writing their own, it will be viewed as TN trying to do less than the minimum standards. In other words, we may CREATE better standards, and HAVE better standards, but if it will unlikely to be perceived as such, aren't we risking economic development in the state by rejecting Common Core?"

27
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Mon
Feb 9 2015
02:13 pm
By: R. Neal  shortURL

Some of my favorite performances were AC/DC, Brandy Clark with Dwight Yoakam, Tom Jones with Jessie L, Tony Bennett with Lady Gaga, Miranda Lambert (OK, sue me), Annie Lennox (the Spell on You part), Ed Sheeran (minus John Mayer), Jeff Lynne et. al., Usher, and Beck. Some videos that might play in your browser after the break...

Continued...

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21
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How about some putt putt golf, go carts and an outlet mall.

from NBC News ...

Developers Confluence Partners want to provide the more than 5 million annual visitors to the Grand Canyon National Park with a new 420-acre attraction. Their plans for the canyon's rim include a multimedia complex with an IMAX theater, retail shops, hotels, an RV park and a gondola tram that would take visitors 1.6 miles to the canyon floor in ten minutes. Confluence Partners has also drawn up plans for a "Riverwalk" on the canyon floor that would include elevated connected walkways, a food pavilion, a tramway station, a terraced seating area and a wastewater package plant.

Grand Canyon Development Plan Sparks Dispute Among Navajo

21
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Mon
Feb 9 2015
11:03 am

20150207-P2070464.jpg
Click for bigger

The Baptist Hospital demolition was supposed to be completed in September. Then it was delayed until October. Then December. It's February and it's still not gone, but the city says it should be done by the end of the month. There's only one partial building left, and a huge pile of debris. Maybe they don't have any place to put the debris and that's the holdup?

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21
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Mon
Feb 9 2015
10:36 am

The Knoxville News Sentinel wants you to take this columnist survey. Instead of rating each columnist, they want you to rank them from first to last in each category. Seems odd. What's the point? Is it like an instant runoff election? Will they publish the results?

24
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Mon
Feb 9 2015
09:55 am

What: Books Sandwiched In welcomes Michelle Commander
When: Wednesday, February 18, 2015 - 12:00pm
Where: East Tennessee History Center auditorium, 601 South Gay Street

michelle-commander-web_0.pngA slave is a stranger, says author Saidiya Hartman, torn "from kin and community, exiled from one's country, dishonored and violated." Hartman went to Ghana in search of strangers and tells about her journey in Lose Your Mother: A Journey Along the Atlantic Slave Route. In recognition of Black History Month and the important and profound contribution African Americans have made to the American story, Knox County Public Library invites you to join Michelle Commander, UT Assistant Professor of English and Africana, for a close look at Hartman's journey, Wednesday, February 18, noon–1:00 p.m in the East Tennessee History Center auditorium, at this month’s Books Sandwiched In, a program series of Knox County Public Library.

Continued...

32
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Mon
Feb 9 2015
09:53 am
By: R. Neal  shortURL

Betty Bean has a profile of Mary Mancini for folks in East Tennessee who may not know much about her:

Mancini hits the ground listening

On the Knoxville leg of her statewide listening tour, Mary Mancini arrived early, stayed late, answered questions and refused to be deterred from her mission as the new chair of Tennessee’s Democratic Party...

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25
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Sun
Feb 8 2015
07:30 pm

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
CONTACT: JOHN RAY CLEMMONS
(615) 415-4086
FEBRUARY 8, 2015

DEATH OF INSURE TENNESSEE PREMEDITATED
Like Tennessee’s Working Poor, the Governor’s Proposal Never Had a Chance
Nashville, TN – State Representative John Ray Clemmons issued the following statement this morning:
While the defeat of Insure Tennessee was disheartening to those of us who worked so hard for its passage, it was a severe blow to the 280,000 hard-working Tennesseans whose lives and well-being depends on access to quality, affordable healthcare. Tennessee families from the mountains to the Mississippi River are rightfully upset that their families will continue to needlessly suffer, because the state legislature failed to do what it was elected to do – represent their best interests.

But what Tennesseans should really be angry about is that the outcome of the recent special session was rigged from the outset. While many expressed shock and embarrassment after Insure Tennessee’s premature demise, including Governor Haslam, the radical right in the state legislature knew how the process would end before it ever started. Like the working poor in our state, Insure Tennessee never had a chance.

(link...)

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Just when you think that Tennessee couldn't get any more dumb with regard to educational policy, there this tidbit.

Ashley Croft's teaching resume reads something like this: Bachelor's in education from Vanderbilt University's Peabody College. Master's in educational leadership from Harvard Graduate School of Education. Six years of teaching experience, including being recognized as a Distinguished Educator of the Year in 2013 by the Tennessee Education Association.

Despite the credentials and experience, Ashley Croft can't become a principal in Tennessee — not under the state's licensure process.

Continued...

25
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