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Tue
Apr 3 2007
09:49 am
By: R. Neal  shortURL

Lamar Alexander announces that he will announce he is running in 2008 at the appropriate time. Will Kurita and/or Ford make another run at it? It will be a much tougher row to hoe for any Democrat this time around, I imagine.

89
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Tue
Apr 3 2007
09:16 am

An idea that has been kicked around for a while is back in the news. The Maryland State Senate has passed a bill that would commit the state's electoral votes to the winner of the national popular vote. It is expected to be passed in the House and the Governor says he will sign it.

The bill would only take effect if enough states to make up a 270 vote Electoral College majority pass similar bills.

According to Wikipedia, similar bills have passed both houses in only two states (Maryland and California). California's bill was vetoed by the Governor. All but 13 states have introduced a bill in one or both houses. If Maryland's bill is passed and signed into law by the Governor, they will be the first state officially on board.

In Tennessee, HB841/SB811 would enact Tennessee's participation in the plan.

It's probably a hard sell to folks who want their vote to count at the state level. On the other hand, it would make their vote count at the national level. As the Washington Post column notes:

Remember, states get one electoral vote for each member of the House of Representatives plus both senators. No matter how small, every state has at least three electoral votes. The three electors from Wyoming, with an estimated 2006 population of 515,004, represent 171,668 people each. California, with a population of 36,457,549, gets 55 electors, each representing 662,865 people. A presidential vote cast in Wyoming thus has nearly four times the value of a vote in California.

So you could argue that not only has the Electoral College outlived its usefulness now that we've moved beyond travel by horse into the jet age, it's also not very democratic, either.

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159
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Tue
Apr 3 2007
08:19 am

Couldn't happen to a nicer guy. Perhaps Reynolds will start distancing himself from the Mighty Wurlitzer that is the right wing noise machine. Nah.

Glenn didn't get "burned to a lesser degree." Seems the law perfesser libeled Michael Ware. Is there such a thing as "lesser libeling?"

49
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Tue
Apr 3 2007
08:05 am
Tue
Apr 3 2007
07:26 am

David Sirota has this must-read, thought-provoking look at "personality politics" that explains a lot about why we have Democratic candidates who are all over the map on issues (and why the GOP would take Fred Thompson seriously as a candidate):

Obviously, the Democratic Party did not engineer the original rise of personality politics. That happened as part of a broader political evolution that took place in the era of infotainment. But a political party's active efforts to prioritize personality politics over any core ideology unifying the party is something very new, and something that changes the definition of political party in fundamental ways. If one of the objectives of a political party is to shun any core agenda, then the political party ceases to become a political party, and becomes something akin to a gang: an entity that is concerned exclusively with power and money and that sees anything like convictions, conscience or ideology that might get in the way of those assets as a mortal threat.

His prescription: Populist campaigns built around issues instead of personalities. I could not agree more wholeheartedly.

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44
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This article has it all. It's about the Townsend tubing controversy.

Here's the ethics lesson:

At the same meeting, Townsend Mayor Shannon Skidmore, who owns and operates River Rat Tubing and Kayak, held up his arms and said he can't be involved in anything involving tubing.

Note to Scooby and Lumpy: it's not all that complicated. It's just that simple.

67
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Tue
Apr 3 2007
05:29 am

Saw this headline in the Maryville Daily Times and was a little disappointed.

The good news, though, is that they are negotiating with Ruth's Chris Steak House. So at least it won't be a Ruby's on the River or something. Ruth's Chris is pretty nice and that would be a fabulous location for them.

Sandy Beall is quoted in the Maryville Daily Times article: "It's a high-quality restaurant chain and they treat each location like a locally owned and operated restaurant. They have a solid management team, and it would be fantastic for Knoxville."

77
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Mon
Apr 2 2007
07:01 pm
By: StaceyDiamond  shortURL

I enjoyed Scott Moore on WATE yesterday. He said that it's the fault of the process and the "Democrats on the Supreme Court" for what happened on Jan. 31. I'm sure the Supreme Court said they had to appoint kinfolks and county employees. Also, Moore said that when they were in the backroom that they were talking about getting a drink of water and "family." He's tied with Finney and the "beastiality bill" as the most embarrasing thing out of East Tennessee this week.

45
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Mon
Apr 2 2007
06:57 pm
By: StaceyDiamond  shortURL

ABC News said tonight that they had "been told" that Iran has a just discovered underground lab and they should have a nuclear weapon in two years. They didn't say who told them, maybe it was a bird.

47
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Mon
Apr 2 2007
04:49 pm

Oh, my god! That was sooo scary! It wasn't so much the idea of it. It was the unfolding of the more than bizzarro event that took it on a downhill slide. First of all why in God's green earth would anyone who is considered to be a person of intelligence say they spend their time," tearing the heads off little animals"? Was it a metaphor for the way that idiot has treated people? Oh, Sigmund, where are you now?

It was of course to some extent racist. Kind of like a black face minstrel show with fat little Rove trying hard to get loose enough to do some moves. By the time he really let loose, I was snorting and muffling my laughter in the couch pillow. That guy is so obviously nuts.

The previous "act" was at least funny, but then I realized the reason it was funny is because those poor people are so uptight anything would tintilate them. I could just imagine some giggling woman leaning over to her husband saying," Oh, my, imagine that, George! Isn't Karl such a fun guy! I can't believe he is actually dancing!"

The President's act, him joking about himself, seemed a bit pathetic, but then the man is pathetic. Every now and then I feel sorry for these guys, but then I remember how lethal they are and the way they have plans to destroy democracy as we know it, and I have to stop myself.

White man rapping very badly--now there's a sight that must have made the homeboys wince. I found it a bit painful myself. Surely there were other national icons they could have chosen. A Donald Trump skit or a Miss America pageant maybe?

Who ARE these people anyway? How could they have grown up so ignorant and yet full of themselves?

I'm hoping it was visiting spacemen that spawned them.

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51
like
Mon
Apr 2 2007
11:28 am

May be some dramatic changes are afoot addressing emissions in USA

first high court decision in a case involving global warming

59
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Mon
Apr 2 2007
06:26 am

Read this and be amazed at how efficient Knox County government has become under the new streamlined procedures adopted on Jan. 31st.

52
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Mon
Apr 2 2007
06:18 am

A reader forwarded a link to an interesting article (PDF format) in the Spring 1998 edition of the State and Local Government Review by Bill Lyons and John Scheb regarding the failed 1996 Knoxville-Knox County consolidation effort.

The paper, which includes survey data, considers two questions:

Why have community leaders been so persistent in maintaining the city-county consolidation issue on the public agenda?

and...

Why have voters outside the City of Knoxville consistently rejected metro government?

The paper explains the genesis of metro government movements, who's usually for it and why, and who typically opposes it and why. Then it looks closer at the Knoxville-Knox County effort and why it failed. Interesting stuff. Especially this regarding the political climate typically associated with a successful metro movement:

1. A crisis climate, a situation in which the existing local governments are beset with problems stemming from dramatic changes in the urban environment.

2. Power deflation, a prevailing loss of public confidence in the ability of local governments to deal with said problems.

3. An accelerator, a scandal or emergency that serves as the catalyst for change.

It seems that these elements are currently aligned in some ways, although they are more related to county government than "dramatic changes in the urban environment" (unless you are talking about the environment in the downtown City County building, I suppose).

An interesting footnote in all of this is the actual vote itself. According to the paper, early voting machines were not setup to properly identify county residents v. city residents. If I understand the requirements described in the paper, there must be separate majorities of both city and county voters to approve a metro charter. The paper doesn't go in to the details of how this was resolved to certify the results. I'm curious if anyone remembers anything about that.

51
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Sun
Apr 1 2007
11:20 pm

I don't know how many of you all watched the UNC-UT women's basketball game but it was a real barnburner. The first half was downright brutal, with Ivory Latta of UNC and Candace Parker getting into early foul trouble. The defense on both sides was stifling, but UNC missed a lot of easy chances to pull away early. In the second half, UNC did, in fact, pull away and built up a 12 point lead. But just as the UNC men did, the Tar Heel women simply collapsed with 8 minutes left. Foul trouble hurt, as two players fouled out (though Latta stayed out of further foul trouble until the very end). I think UNC just ran out of gas. As for the Lady Vols, I was really impressed with Nicky Anosike and Shannon Bobbitt, who kept the team composed even when they fell behind big. The Lady Vols won without the usual help from Candace Parker, who missed the first half because of foul trouble and didn't contribute a whole lot from the floor in the second half either.

Rutgers pulled off a stunner over LSU and it's hard to imagine them taking out the Lady Vols in the final. In many ways the Lady Vols had a charmed tournament schedule with Ole Miss and Marist taking out potentially tougher opponents. UNC was the only really tough opponent the Lady Vols had to face.

I'm a lukewarm women's basketball fan to be honest. I love watching two great teams, like UT, UNC, LSU or UConn. But when you get to non-elite teams the game can be downright painful to watch. That said, there's a lot more talent spread throughout Division I now so you don't get as many embarrassing missed layoffs and botched passes as in the past. I'm not sure if this is because of the WNBA, Title IX, ESPN or what but this women's hoops tournament has been a real joy to watch - much more so than the men's tournament this year. Go Lady Vols!

54
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Sun
Apr 1 2007
09:13 pm
By: FtnCity HAPPY  shortURL

I sure wish I could find last weeks county commission meeting video posted somewhere, anywhere..... It is quite crazy the county is over two month behind on posting the minuets for meetings... I guess you can’t be involved in local politics if your schedule does coincide with CTV's. ANYONE HAVE ANY SUGGESTIONS????

I guess as an April Fools joke CTV has not posted their April schedule yet either... Anyone know when they re-run the meeting? I hope it is before I leave town again.

51
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Sun
Apr 1 2007
05:07 pm
By: gttim  shortURL

I came over to Knoxviews to see Bubba's,... er, Randy's April Fools post. There was not one. WTF?

So here is one I saw on my Gmail today. It took me a second to register, but I loved it. I thought you might enjoy it.

Gmail Paper Archive

(I don't think I am breaking any copyright laws by posting this screen shot. If I am, please contact me directly- Bill Hobbs, Knoxville.)

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49
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Every time I get gas at the gas station down the street, I've noticed it is virtually impossible to stop the pump exactly on the dollar amount you want. It is sometimes 3 cents or as much as eleven cents over. This could add up to extra profit for the gas stations. It only happens when I pay with a debit card. If you pay in cash, you get exactly what you pay for. Kind of strange. Has anyone else noticed this?

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51
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Sun
Apr 1 2007
11:56 am

If you're planning on driving a Dogwood Trail or two, might want to do it this afternoon. We drove the Sequoyah Hills Dogwood Trail yesterday, and it was absolutely beautiful. The Dogwoods and Redbuds appear to be at their peak and will probably be on the decline or gone by next weekend.

UPDATE: As Stick Thrower notes in comments, the Lakemoor Hills trail is beautiful, too. But better hurry. Some photos after the jump...

Continued...

47
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Sun
Apr 1 2007
10:17 am
By: R. Neal  shortURL

Took delivery of a 2007 Prius yesterday, just in time before the tax credit (assuming we qualify) gets cut in half (again) as of today.

We got a fairly basic model, with option package #2 (upgraded AM/FM CD with six speakers, auxiliary audio jack and MP3/WMA playback capability, Smart Key System, backup camera and Vehicle Stability Control). Sticker price with the option package was $23,970. Here it is:

Read about the deal, etc. after the jump...

Continued...

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52
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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.

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