Obama must be the most powerful president ever and is apparently a formidable opponent. Every Republican candidate in the U.S. is running against him and he isn't even on the ballot.

Because of Obama's superpowers, this is the most expensive mid-term election in U.S. history. Spending is approaching $4 billion so far, including nearly $900 million in outside (PAC, 527) spending.

More than $95 million has been spent so far for a single North Carolina U.S. Senate seat, including $67.5 million in outside money. Ohio's 8th U.S. House district race has cost more than $17 million so far. Arizona's 2nd U.S. House district seat is apparently the most coveted by outside special interests, racking up nearly $10 million.

Wall Street has spent over $126 million so far, with 62% going to Republicans. Lawyers have spent more than $91 million, 70% of it going to Democrats. Environmental groups have spent $47.5 million, with 90% going to Democrats, while the oil and gas lobby has spent $37 million with 87% going to Republicans.

Here in Tennessee, Lamar Alexander has raised more than $7 million to fend off Democratic challenger Gordon Ball, who is mostly self financing. Gov. Haslam has $3 million on hand and has loaned his campaign $3.5 million and he doesn't even have a credible challenger.

Closer to home, Republican Eddie Smith has raised more than $51,000 in his bid to unseat Gloria Johnson for State House 13, who has more than $121,000 on hand. In the State Senate 7th district, Cheri Siler has raised more than $58,000 to take on Republican Richard Briggs, who loaned his campaign $132,000 and has raised another $320,000 from special interest groups and wealthy Republicans. (Is this the most expensive State Senate race ever?)

The Supreme Court says money is speech, because money talks.

38
like
Sun
Oct 26 2014
09:31 am

Thanks to Becky for being the voice of this fun little video, and to John Oliver's "Last Week Tonight" for making the footage available. Enjoy and share.

Link to video, too

32
like
Sat
Oct 25 2014
11:39 am

Nashville Scene: High-profile exits leave The Tennessean even thinner-staffed than planned

From conversations with nearly a dozen current and former Tennessean staffers -- none of whom would speak on the record for fear of retribution -- a portrait emerges of an almost epically mismanaged situation.

32
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Tennessee needs at least $38.8 billion of public infrastructure improvements during the five-year period of 2012-2017 according to a new report by the Tennessee Advisory Commission on Intergovernmental Relations (TACIR).

According to the report, "Local officials are confident in obtaining funding for only $11.6 billion of the $31 billion identified as local needs," leaving $19.3 billion of improvements for which funding is not yet available.

TACIR found that Knox County has $2.6 billion in infrastructure needs, including $710.7 million for transportation, $95.8 million for school renovation and replacement, and $55.7 million for water and wastewater treatment.

Source: TACIR: Building Tennessee's Tomorrow: Anticipating the State's Infrastructure Needs

Topics:
34
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Sat
Oct 25 2014
10:03 am

This piece about a teacher who shadows a couple of students is the most edifying thing you will read today. In all the bickering about education, so often the kids are forgotten and:

Students sit all day, and sitting is exhausting.

I could not believe how tired I was after the first day. I literally sat down the entire day, except for walking to and from classes. We forget as teachers, because we are on our feet a lot – in front of the board, pacing as we speak, circling around the room to check on student work, sitting, standing, kneeling down to chat with a student as she works through a difficult problem…we move a lot.

Continued...

40
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Sat
Oct 25 2014
09:59 am

1. You aren't likely to get it.

2. OBAMACARE!

3. BENGHAZI!

32
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Knox Co. Mayor Tim Burchett, a long time supporter of veterans' causes, will again this year lead an effort to place holiday wreaths on graves at the three veterans cemeteries in the Knoxville area. The Wreaths Across America program helps families know that their loved one's service and sacrifice are not forgotten. More info in the press release after the break.

Go here to sponsor a wreath.

Continued...

Topics:
33
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Fri
Oct 24 2014
12:37 pm

People need to get out and early vote now! We cannot allow the voucher people and the Koch Brothers to buy our state representative. Here's how to explain it to others in an amusing way. Please share widely.

Dark Money Guys

36
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Fri
Oct 24 2014
11:03 am

Voters report issues at Maury County polls - WSMV Channel 4

COLUMBIA, TN (WSMV) - Early voting is well underway, but several people in the same county said they cast "no" votes that were changed to "yes."

34
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Interesting. Reminded me of Chattanooga's "Geek Move" program.

from CNN …

The non-profit project is buying up and renovating foreclosed homes using crowd-sourced funds in the city's Banglatown district. It then gives them to promising literary prospects in the fields of fiction, non-fiction, screen writing, poetry and journalism among others.

Literary artists in the house! Homes given to writers for free in Detroit

30
like
Thu
Oct 23 2014
07:10 pm
By: Mark Harmon  shortURL

Becky and I had the pleasure of attending tonight's town hall forum at West High School. Thanks to Commissioners Jeff Ownby and Amy Broyles for organizing it. Gloria Johnson, Cheri Kay Siler, and Jamie Rowe offered compelling points on the value of community school programs (instead of voucher/skimming plans). Cheri and Gloria also spoke to the value of Medicaid expansion and a higher minimum wage. It's a shame none of the opposing candidates made this act of civic service a higher priority and showed up.

large_WestForum_0.png

49
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Thu
Oct 23 2014
06:43 am

A rebuttal to an Amendment One ad:

Click here

47
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Thu
Oct 23 2014
06:03 am

7.8 million U.S. vehicles are included in a National Highway Traffic Safety Administration recall for defective airbags.

Investigators are concerned that hot, humid air causes the inflating device in Takata airbags to explode, sending metal shrapnel flying. Safety advocates said at least four people have died from the problem.

Multiple auto manufacturers are included in the airbag recall. So far, year of manufacture includes 2000 through 2008, depending on the manufacturer and model. Various models from BMW, Chrysler, Ford, GM, Honda, Mazda, Mitsubishi, Nissan, Subaru, and Toyota are included in the recall.

No matter where you live this recall should be taken seriously. Auto manufacturer websites should have links to safety recalls where you can put in your vehicle identification number to determine if it is included in the recall. However, you might want to keep checking in case additional cars are added to the airbag recall.

30
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Wed
Oct 22 2014
12:21 pm
By: michael kaplan  shortURL

The Burlington flea market on MLK Jr. is back on a daily basis. The merchants claim they are paying about $5 to set up. Everything in the basket was $1. Stuffed peppers are on the way ...

burlington_flea.JPG

34
like
Wed
Oct 22 2014
12:16 pm

For Immediate Release
October 22, 2014

Knox County Excluded from Pre-K Expansion
Johnson, Fitzhugh call for more inclusion

NASHVILLE – State Democratic leaders said Wednesday they were troubled by Gov. Haslam's plan to expand pre-K programs in only two major cities, instead of serving children around the state.

"We had an important opportunity to use our own federal tax dollars so more children can have a seat in a pre-K classroom," State Rep. Gloria Johnson said. "I am extremely troubled that Gov. Haslam has ignored Knox County - despite the district's interest - and only offered this opportunity to Memphis and Nashville."

The U.S. Department of Education made an offer to states of federal matching dollars to expand pre-K programs.Tennessee was eligible to receive nearly $70 million of its own federal tax dollars. Instead of a fair plan to add pre-K classrooms around the state, Gov. Haslam applied for funds to be used only in Memphis and Nashville.

Continued...

35
like
Wed
Oct 22 2014
07:19 am

BeauSoleil with Michael Doucet will be playing at the Relix Variety Theatre on Friday the 24th for a WDVX benefit concert. More info...

Trigger Hippy featuring Joan Osborne will be playing Sunday night, Oct. 26th at the Bijou. More info...

36
like
Tue
Oct 21 2014
09:40 pm

When South Doyle Middle School teachers showed up for parent-teacher conferences this evening at 5, supper was waiting for them in the break room.

So was 13th House district candidate Eddie Smith, in what was pretty clearly a violation of KCS policy:

Continued...

Topics:
55
like
Tue
Oct 21 2014
06:18 pm

Wow, what a great message and video.

29
like

Lost Medicaid Funding

To date, the failure to expand Medicaid/TennCare has cost the State of Tennessee ? in lost federal funding.

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