Tue
Feb 6 2007
12:32 am

Tell us again, Mr. Bush, about how this new government will be the salvation of Iraq. Or is this more faulty intelligence?

BAGHDAD, Iraq (CNN) - - A man sentenced to death in Kuwait for the 1983 bombings of the U.S. and French embassies now sits in Iraq's parliament as a member of Prime Minister Nuri al-Maliki's ruling coalition, according to U.S. military intelligence.

Jamal Jafaar Mohammed's seat in parliament gives him immunity from prosecution. Washington says he supports Shiite insurgents and acts as an Iranian agent in Iraq.

I guess Knox County is lucky in a way; our new "parliament" doesn't have quite so checkered a past.

98
like
Mon
Feb 5 2007
07:24 pm

As mentioned in comments and elsewhere, Knox Co. Mayor Ragsdale has called for a special election to coincide with the citywide elections slated for September and November of this year.

At the same press conference, he announced nominations for the new ethics committee. He also made this interesting remark:

"it has become evident to me that more needs to be done to examine these issues throughout Knox County Government, including in my own office. I will be asking the Ethics Committee to evaluate the hiring practices of the executive branch first, and I will fully support their efforts."

245
like
Mon
Feb 5 2007
05:25 pm

Not computer literate enough to post link directly, so go to (link...)

ED. NOTE: Story here.

ED. UPDATES:

From the article: "The News Sentinel is seeking to void all the appointments made by commissioners, have a permanent injunction laid down by the court requiring that all future deliberations be made in public, and that the case be expedited."

The lawsuit posted at the KNS website (PDF format).

Jack McElroy has more at his blog.

189
like
Mon
Feb 5 2007
04:10 pm
By: michael kaplan  shortURL

A meeting will be held next week to plan a local action that will mark the 4th anniversary of the Iraq war and occupation.

When: Tuesday, February 13 at 6 pm

Where: Tennessee Valley Unitarian Universalist Church, Kingston Pike

Contact: Bob Grimac (link...)

All groups interested in planning and participating in this action are urged to send a representative to this meeting.

53
like
Mon
Feb 5 2007
01:15 pm

According to the KNS, Ragsdale will discuss ethics panel nominations, and "steps that can be taken to restore public confidence in the government" at a 2:00 PM news conference.

In related news, Sandra Clark looks for the pony, Betty Bean has perspective from a guy who has been around a while, Cawood says "no hanky-panky", and Mayor Ragsdale says "move on."

212
like
Mon
Feb 5 2007
01:15 pm

matchcomp1.jpg

In matchbook-collecting circles, front-strikers have the striking surface on the front next to the exposed matches. Back-strikers have the striking surface on the back, away from the matches. The front-to-back migration is to comply with a 1973 federal safety regulation.

Via Eric Scheie, who tested old and new matches to confirm his suspicion that newer matches don't burn as well as the old ones. In his test they didn't. That's also likely due to a federal regulation, this time from 1976, that requires "the flame must self-extinguish within 12.7 mm (0.5 inches) down from the top of the match and within a 15-second period."

Topics:
53
like
Mon
Feb 5 2007
01:06 pm

"The president's budget is filled with debt and deception, disconnected from reality and continues to move America in the wrong direction," said Senate Budget Committee Chairman Kent Conrad, D-N.D.

53
like
Mon
Feb 5 2007
11:06 am

Apple Computer and Apple Corps have again settled what must be one of the longest running trademark disputes in U.S. history. Here's some interesting background on it.

43
like
Sun
Feb 4 2007
11:05 pm
By: Tamara Shepherd  shortURL

Q: What's the difference between a fanatic and a bore?

A: A fanatic is someone who can't change their mind and won't change the subject. A bore is someone whose chosen subject is football.

--Winston Churchill

(All in good fun. I'm afraid I'm not capable of replying to any comments. This space is for you.)

51
like
Sun
Feb 4 2007
05:59 pm
By: Conservterian  shortURL

I thought I would share a couple of web browsing enhancements I've come across the last few weeks. The first is NetVibes. It is a website that allows you to have all your rss blog and news feeds gathered on one page along with sticky note features, calendar, weather, image & video searches. You can add any rss feed you want as long as you have the url. I've since customized it and made it my home page. Reminds me of the ol' news clipping services. Remember those?

The other is a FireFox extension, CoolIris. It allows you to place your cursor on a link and it will pop up the page in a window to allow you to preview the page without clicking on the link. Major cool as the program implies.

Enjoy!

Topics:
46
like
Sun
Feb 4 2007
10:18 am
By: R. Neal  shortURL

I hate to pile on, and it's not as if Josh Jordan doesn't already have enough troubles, but here's another curiosity.

In his resume submitted to County Commission, Jordan lists his occupation as Owner/Licensed Contractor, M&M TN 1 CONSTRUCTION, LLC. August 2005 – present. Among his duties, he lists "Working with KCDC, Knoxville Urban League, City of Knoxville Community Development and other local companies and programs to find tenants for new and rehabilitated units."

According to the Tennessee Secretary of State, the Department of Revenue revoked the company's charter in November, 2006. There is no reason given, but it could be an indication of tax issues.

52
like
Sun
Feb 4 2007
12:22 am

Hutchison to be on Sound off Sunday 100.3 FM 8 a.m.

52
like
Sun
Feb 4 2007
12:02 am
By: RedDog  shortURL

I've been out of town and didn't hear what was happening. I'll be glad to join with any K-county movement to kick 'em all out of office.

If my support is wanted, contact me at XXXXXXX

RedDog!

If you don't want my support, I request that you bury all knowledge of this e-mail address.

EDIT -

E-mail addressed deleted - there are some real childish jerks on this board

48
like
Sat
Feb 3 2007
10:35 pm
By: Conservterian  shortURL

I know all of this appointment brouhaha seems reprehensible now but in the grand scheme of things this will be a small blip on the road to a better county commission. The elections in 2008 will assure a fresh start and last week's recent events will be but a comedic affair right up there with Cas's haymaker back in the day.

I guarantee that most of the commissioners knew of Josh Jordan's previous drug history. I did and I don't have anything to do with county commission. I thought he must have had a brother because I couldn't believe that Diane Jordan's son that was arrested for drug dealing could be up for county commissioner but, I digress. And as for Cate, that is the one that stands out to me as the most egregious.

That being said, I had no problem with the commissioners selecting their replacement. Were these commissioners not voted in by the majority of the people? Amy Broyles received a minority of the vote. Why should the majority be disenfranchised by her appointment just because she ran and lost? I don't understand the logic of appointing those who lost with a minority of the vote. If the people trusted the elected commissioners to make decisions for them in county commission then they should trust them to pick their successor if an election is not an option. If those commissioners make shady selections then they obviously weren't the candidate the voters thought they were.

I know there is also a lot of controversy about the sheriff's pay raises to his top level staff. While it looks suspicious, you have to consider if this was the normal period for raises before drawing conclusions.

Everybody should just be glad that Ragsdale didn't stuff the board with all his cronies.

50
like
Sat
Feb 3 2007
08:14 pm

I have been overwhelmed with kind words and expressions of support since Monday’s forum and Wednesday’s county commission meeting. Please let me take this opportunity to thank all of those persons for being active citizens and demanding better government, one that is accountable and responsible, as well as open and honest. We all may come up short on some occasions, but it is nice to be recognized for trying to move in the proper direction.

The hundreds of posts on the commission’s actions, expressed in several threads, almost always have been informed and polite. I have learned from them and thank the authors, though I do want to address certain points:

1) The Forum. I called all eight candidates for the second district position. Seven showed up, and all did well. Regrettably, the commission chose the one candidate who did not show or participate in much public process. Charles Bolus was co-treasurer of Chairman Scott Moore’s campaign and has a rather thin resume beyond his assistant principal duties at Gresham Middle.

2) Operation of the Forum. The thirteen commissioners who attended were invited to sit on the stage and take notes. Several did. Some chose to remain in the audience or the back of the room. I followed the same procedure for all contests, one I announced in advance on several listserves and this blog: three-minute speeches from candidates followed by audience questions. For the second district and county-wide seats we went in alphabetical order. When I called the other districts to the stage, they sorted themselves out as to who went first, etc. The timekeeper was a volunteer with the League of Women Voters. Generally candidates kept to the time; I recall only three incidents when I asked them to wrap up—and in each case the Stop card had been up and swinging. Two volunteers from the mayor’s office helped me identify raised hands during the early Q&A periods. This became unnecessary as the forum progressed. The questions were few, but generally direct and revealing. We shortened the time to minute-and-a-half speeches for the other districts, and still just barely kept the forum under three hours in length.

3) The Preference Poll at the Forum. No one had advance notice of my intent to do this. The only clue to anyone was my very open advocacy for a non-binding referendum as a way to squeeze greater public input into commission’s process. A commission secretary helped me photocopy it, sometime between 3:30 and 3:45 the day of the forum. I still wasn’t certain I’d use it, but when the forum began it looked like I had just enough volunteers to distribute it so I decided to do so. Two volunteers with LWV tallied the results at the end of the forum. I sent those results to this blog, several listservs, and news organizations—all with stated cautions about the reliability and value of the measure, and noting that other factors such as candidate qualifications and quality of responses should play a role in decision making. Most respondents were from the second district and most followed the directions to indicate a preference only in their own district and the county-wide offices. Some did mark in more than one commission district, accounting for an overall number that initially seems larger than the attendance (if one were to add all votes cast for commission candidates together, as one sharp-eyed blogger apparently did).

4) The Votes on Wednesday. I followed a pattern of nominating and sticking with the candidate of my choice until that candidate was eliminated. Then I’d go to my highest-rated choice left in the field. In the clash in the Fourth District, my choice was Elaine Davis, but the options narrowed down to a less-than-appealing choice between developer Scott Davis and sheriff-envoy Lee Tramel. I opted for Scott Davis only because of his public vow only to serve the interim period until the election. The 9-9 deadlock on this set off waves of re-votes and recesses. I thought of passing because I did not like the choices, but could not in good conscience switch one candidate to the other. During one break I met Bolus for the first time and was underwhelmed. Our district’s reward for the noble behavior of not dealing to swing another district (also see the newspaper article on Jonathan Wimmer’s refusal to deal) was the Bolus ascendance--which succeeded after likely arm-twisting and the selective swearing-in plan later used. It should be noted that my first choice, Amy Broyles, was still on the table when the pressured switches to Bolus began. Even if I’d abandoned past practice and cast a vote for Wimmer (and somehow Schmid’s vote followed me) that would not have gotten him to ten; and by then both those choices were verboten because they didn’t advance the apparent “you’re in, but you must be sworn in early and break the tie in our favor” plan.

5) The Days to Come. The past few days have seen many more disturbing revelations about some of the commission’s choices and practices. I hope we can keep the conversations focused not on personal attacks on the people, but the repugnant procedures and poor policy choices made. I encourage people to contact the County Commission office (commission@knoxcounty.org, 215-2534), to sign up for the public comments section, and to show up at the next meeting (Feb. 26th, 2pm). Find and support good candidates. Point out when commission violates the spirit and possibly the letter of any law or our newly approved ethics code.

Sorry for the long post, but there was a lot to cover. –Mark Harmon

151
like

The Blount Co. Mayor knows how to deal with annoying citizens who think they ought to have a say in public affairs.

This is the same guy who wanted to ban the public from addressing county commission meetings and now wants cameras removed, and who wouldn't debate his opponent in the last election.

He's a real statesman.

UPDATE: SayUncle has a different term for "statesman." He's also ready to head down there with his "red Sharpie."

90
like

I was looking through the paper this morning and I saw that the owner of American Accessories had a statement published addressing this issue.

The article is in response to a previous News Sentinel article regarding the city workshop in which this issue was discussed. Also, noticed he published an email address in which to be contacted about this issue.

FROM: The Knoxville News Sentinel:

Company standing firm on bus transfer site
By ERIC ZEANAH, AAI-KAT@aai-tenn.com
February 3, 2007

Writing on the building process of the new bus center in the Jan. 26 story, "Council unenthused about bus center site," the News Sentinel states, "That delay is Eric Zeanah," in reference to the desire of Jeff Galyon to expedite the approval process.

If I may, I would like to clarify the reasons for my persistent stand.

[Ed. note: read the rest at the link above.]

54
like

Lost Medicaid Funding

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

TN Progressive

TN Politics

Local Media Blogs

Local News

News Sentinel

State News

Wire Reports

Site Statistics

Last 7 days:
  • Posts: 32
  • Comments: 315
  • Visits: 11,019
  • Pageviews: 27,867
Last 30 days:
  • Posts: 116
  • Comments: 1038
  • Visits: 38,190
  • Pageviews: 91,575

TN Progressive

Nearby:

Beyond:

At large: