from MSNBC ...

The head of the Democratic Party and one of its most popular figures are at odds over the Obama administration’s plans to regulate the payday lending industry.

But consumer groups say the Florida model has failed. Nick Bourke of the Pew Charitable Trusts said the CFPB should instead follow the approach of Colorado, which ensures that borrowers face affordable payments and a reasonable time frame to pay back the loan.

The numbers appear to make clear that Colorado has gotten far better results. In Florida, it costs $345 on average to borrow $300 for five months. In Colorado, it costs $172. And to make their next loan payment, Floridians on average must pay 35 percent of their next paycheck. For Coloradans, that figure is just 4 percent.

Warren and Wasserman Schultz clash over payday lenders

The pending crackdown on payday lending is causing the exact Washington argument you’d expect

The payday industry’s money-making model is coming to an end

Apr 6 2016
10:29 am

RoaneViews explains...

"The public welfare requiring it."

Surely this won't pass muster in court?

Apr 6 2016
06:59 am

Bernie Sanders wins the Wisconsin Democratic primary.

Delegate counts based on adding and subtracting. I am the operator of my pocket calculator. By pressing down a special key, It plays a little melody.

The following are rough estimates based on info from various sources available at the time of this post.

Wisconsin: Sanders 56% 45 Clinton 43% 31

Pledged delegates: Clinton 31 Sanders 45
Pledged total: Clinton 1274 Sanders 1020
Total Delegates: Clinton 1743 Sanders 1049

Apr 5 2016
10:14 pm

Any insight on any of these? I have never heard of Burkhardt or Thomas.

From Shopper News ...

All the candidates listed are Republicans. Democratic Party chair Cameron Brooks says so far no Democrats have expressed interest in the office..

Prospects for county mayor


From nbc news ...

The 332-page report issued Monday by the Obama administration said global warming will make the air dirtier, water more contaminated and food more tainted. It warned of diseases such as those spread by ticks and mosquitoes, longer allergy seasons, and thousands of heat wave deaths.

Environmental Protection Agency chief Gina McCarthy said if that's not enough, climate change affects people's mental health, too.

Federal Report Says Global Warming Is Making Us Sick


from …

Downtown workers, residents and hotel guests now have a walk-in medical clinic available to treat their minor ailments six days a week.

Covenant Health has opened Convenient Care Downtown in a suite of rooms at the rear of the first floor of The Phoenix Building at 418 S. Gay St., just behind the new Phoenix Pharmacy, which opened in February.

Covenant opens downtown medical clinic in Phoenix Building

Apr 4 2016
10:39 pm
By: R. Neal  shortURL

Tennessee is poised to make history as the first state in the nation to recognize the Holy Bible as its official book.

King James or nothin'!

Apr 4 2016
06:03 pm
By: Mike Knapp  shortURL

Incredible investigative reporting done by ICIJ and others based upon a massive leak by Panamanian law firm Mossack Fonseca. Big story, fascinating. Here's Glen Greenwald on the subject:

Some of these documents undoubtedly reveal criminality: either monies that were illegally obtained (and are being hidden for that reason) or assets being concealed in order to criminally evade tax debts. But the crux of this activity — placing assets offshore in order to avoid incurring tax liability — has been legalized. That’s because Western democracies, along with overt tyrannies, are typically controlled by societies’ wealthiest, and laws are enacted to serve their interests.

American names evidently forthcoming...

Further Reading
Süddeutsche Zeitung - Panama Papers
The International Consortium of Investigative Journalists - The Panama Papers
BBC - Panama Papers
NPR - Here's What You Need To Know (So Far) About Panama Papers
Wired UK - How the 11.5 million Panama Papers were analysed
Matthew Yglesias at Vox- Panama Papers: a massive document leak reveals a global web of corruption and tax avoidance


The court has been busy

from Reuters ..

In declining to hear Wal-Mart's appeal, the court left intact a 2014 ruling by the Pennsylvania Supreme Court that largely upheld a lower court judgment awarding the $187 million to the plaintiffs.

The case affects about 187,000 Wal-Mart employees who worked in Pennsylvania between 1998 and 2006.

The Pennsylvania court mostly upheld a 2007 lower court ruling in favor of the employees, who said the company failed to pay them for all hours worked and prevented them from taking full meal and rest breaks. The appeals court threw out a $37 million attorneys' fee award and ordered the trial court to recalculate that portion of the judgment.

U.S. top court rejects Wal-Mart, Wells Fargo class action appeals

Apr 4 2016
02:26 pm

Hi everyone. There is a great project under way in East Knoxville, and we could really use your support.

Chad and I started the Knoxville Permaculture Guild (KPG) in 2008. You may remember the guild's big project of the Urban Hen Coalition where we all pulled together to make chickens legal in the city of Knoxville.

Now, the KPG is collaborating with SEEED in East Knoxville to expand their community garden into a perennial edible food forest using permaculture design. SEEED is a well established non-profit in Morningside that focuses on creating and sustaining jobs for Knoxville’s urban young people, as well as ensuring that clean energy technologies are available for low income residents. Some years back, SEEED's students created a community garden, complete with fruit trees and raised garden beds, as an answer to the food desert in inner-city Knoxville.

KPG has redesigned the garden space to be more resilient and to mimic the natural ecosystem without disturbing the surviving trees. The new landscape includes berry bushes and native ground covers, as well as berms and swales because it is on hillside. It is a very large area.

In March, KPG held a fundraiser at SEEED to pay for phase 1 of the project, which we completed on Saturday on April 2, and I am working on uploading the photos to our website. I'll post a link when that's ready so you can see what we did.

KPG has applied for a Seeds of Change Grant to pay for the remainder of the project. The 50 entries with the most votes will move on to the final judging phase. After that, the pool is narrowed to 24 awards. (4) $20,000 and (20) $10,000. The Seeds of Change grant could pay for the entire project and make a significant impact for the community who utilizes the garden and the East side.

Here is the link to vote. SEEED Community Garden

You can vote once a day until April 18th.

Together, Knoxville won a grant from Fat Tire for the downhill course, and I know that Knoxville can do it again!

If you have any questions, feel free to email me (Tracie) at

Thanks for your time.



Historic Farragut Hotel to Become Hyatt Place Hotel

KNOXVILLE, Tenn. (April 4, 2016) – The Hyatt brand is returning to Knoxville.

Chief Executive Officer Rick Dover of Dover Development announced today that the former Farragut Hotel on Gay Street in the heart of downtown Knoxville will be a Hyatt Place hotel when it opens in Spring 2017.

Dover celebrated the Hyatt Place brand unveiling with a ceremony attended by Knoxville Mayor Madeline Rogero, Knox County Mayor Tim Burchett and Congressman John J. Duncan, Jr. as well as Hyatt’s Director of Real Estate and Development Ryan McNamara and Senior Vice President of Operation Dave Montrose from White Lodging, which Dover Development has chosen to operate the hotel.

Press release continues after the break...



from CNN …

Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg wrote the opinion.

"The rule appellants urge has no mooring in the Equal Protection Clause. The Texas Senate map, we therefore conclude, complies with the requirements of the one-person, one-vote principle," Ginsburg wrote. "Because history, precedent, and practice suffice to reveal the infirmity of appellants' claims, we need not and do not resolve whether, as Texas now argues, States may draw districts to equalize voter-eligible population rather than total population."

Conservatives lose key Supreme Court voting rights case


Sydney Rogers has announced her candidacy for State House of Representatives District 56, Nashville Green Hills area. This seat is currently held by Beth Harwell, Tennessee Republican House Speaker.

Rogers is the outgoing executive director of Alignment Nashville and longtime administrator at Nashville State Community College.

Rogers said her career experiences “fill the bill” for what she said is much-needed new leadership at the state legislature.

“For the last years, there’s been a lot frustration with our legislature, and what’s happening in the leadership and the representation of the people who live in the district,” Rogers said. “And it seems like nothing is happening — nothing that we need substantial to happen to move the state forward.

It's nice to see more Democrats willing to run for office.

Apr 4 2016
02:48 am

Nice resource

Scroll down the page linked for more

from Congressional Budget Office ...
The Federal Budget in 2015: An Infographic

Apr 3 2016
11:40 am

Yesterday I bought a couple of relatively new release CDs, "The Story of Sonny Boy Slim" by Gary Clark Jr. and "Dig in Deep" by Bonnie Raitt.

Both albums are great in terms of songwriting, arrangements, playing and musicianship and the like. But I put "The Story of Sonny Boy Slim" on the car CD player on the way home and knew instantly that the CD sound quality was lacking. When I got home, I put on Bonnie Raitt's album and was surprised that it was almost as bad.

The culprit? Dynamic range compression.


Apr 3 2016
11:21 am

Tennessee gets a mention

A dig at the impact lack of interest in local politics at the end

Rape Kit Backlog | Full Frontal with Samantha Bee | TBS

Apr 3 2016
09:13 am

Financial experts have been saying for a while that there is a looming crisis with student loan delinquencies. David Moon takes a look at the $1 trillion bubble that is about to burst and the possibility of another massive taxpayer bailout:

David Moon: Is a student loan bailout brewing?


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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)