Fri
Aug 31 2007
04:28 pm

I think a class where students spend the term monitoring/charting campaign finance payments, and voting records on related legislation would be an excellent exercise. We would have some savvy voters in the future.

Any high school teachers out there?

Tennessee Online Campaign Finance database

The students could visit the legislative session when their bill is discussed.

Maybe newspapers could fund the class for kids to go to legislative sessions and print the results.

43
like

Gimme a break. Like I care if “poor” John Doe is having trouble covering the sub-prime mortgage payment on the $417,000 home he bought, but can’t afford?

Dubya is touched (in more ways than one). He proposes that FHA, historically a New Deal agency charged with helping low- to moderate-income first-time homebuyers, should be “reformed” to allow refinancing of these loans. Scratch that pesky 3% down payment requirement and raise loan limits to $417,000 in pricier locales. They’re suffering in Gettysvue!

Oh yeah, and he thinks that a temporary change in tax law is in order, too. These homeowners should get to avoid taxes on forgiven debt.

Sez Peter Wallison of the American Enterprise Institute, “If we’re going to allow (lenders) to be refinanced out, what we’re doing is saving them from their own greed...It might be good politics, but it’s very bad policy.”

I couldn't agree more, Pete.

(Trouble with link, but see (link...), page A-1)

36
like
Fri
Aug 31 2007
03:07 pm

It's that time again for KnoxViews readers to recommend your favorite restaurants, shopping, entertainment, and more. Go here to view the categories and click the "Add Listing" button on each category page to add your own recommendations.

Topics:
30
like
Fri
Aug 31 2007
12:53 pm
By: Andy Axel  shortURL

What would the best way be for a non-candidate to enter the presidential race?

How about with a non-announcement?

Talk about your non-surprises.

So, let me get this straight. He sent out an announcement that he'd have an announcement on a conference call, during which he made the announcement that he'd have an announcement, um, later?

How declarative. How definitive. How... presidential?

Someone explain the appeal, please. I've seen downright swooning tributes written about the possibility of this guy getting into the race. Now that this is sorta-kinda-quasi-officially all but a certainty, what can we expect now? More mythology and props?

How about something substantial?

118
like
Fri
Aug 31 2007
12:25 pm

Mayoral candidate Isa Infante held a press conference at around 10:30 this morning at Mary Vestal Park.

Seh's not happy about parks funding, and says it's an example of the way our city government spends too much on the wrong kinds of development.

"The city cannot have it both ways," she asserted. "They cannot collect the citizen's tax money, and also expect them to bring out their own shovels and their own mowers."

More on the story, including an audio snippet of her remarks, at the South Knox · Seymour Times. (link...)

51
like

Kickbacks help screw little old ladies out of their pensions "Yield spread premiums" facilitate refinancing for economically disadvantaged. Yeah, that's the ticket.

Oh, and I hear der preznit has a solution for the mortgage crisis: giving tax breaks to rich real estate speculators to bailout Wall Street investors, in the name of helping poor families who won't see a dime. Real outside the box stuff. Whooda thunkit.

35
like
Fri
Aug 31 2007
09:12 am

Sodomy Is Breaking Up That Old Gang of Mine

Serious fun available on the YouTubes, including the old gang in happier times:

(link...)

37
like
Fri
Aug 31 2007
07:34 am

The lawmakers said their plane, a C-130, was under fire from three rocket-propelled grenades over the course of several minutes as they left for Amman, Jordan.

"It was a scary moment," said Sen. Mel Martinez, R-Fla., who said he had just taken off his body armor when he saw a bright flash outside the window. "Our pilots were terrific. ... They banked in one direction and then banked the other direction, and they set off the flares."
...
Despite the scare, Shelby, Martinez and Cramer said they believed the recent increase in troop levels has helped stabilize parts of the country.

"It was kind of dicey," Shelby said. "But it just shows you what our troops go through every day."

US troops stabilizing parts of the country where they are in greatest number. Except for Baghdad, apparently.

Do they need to experience what our troops go through while on the ground? No pilots to zip them away.

Topics:
35
like
Fri
Aug 31 2007
06:32 am

Knoxville Police Department officers shoot dog after attack. Dog's owners call the shooting needless. Story here (link...)

This matter seems to warrant some discussion. It involves pit bulls, which have been the subject in a number of cities. I sometimes feel sorry for responsible pit bull breeders and owners who treat their dogs with proper care. These dogs are more aggressive by nature, but so are other breeds.

I note the dog in question (as well as one other pit bull dog at the house) was 'tethered to a steel cable', which appears from the photos means tied up to a tree. I also note an igloo-style dog house, which is what these dogs appear to have for shelter. The owner says he raised the dog to be a watchdog. Seems to me there's a difference between a watchdog and an attack dog.

Read more...

Continued...

Topics:
249
like

Franklin Graham, son of evangelist Billy Graham, will hold a 3-day evangelical festival at Thompson-Boling Arena April 25-27, 2008. The event is sponsored by the Billy Graham Evangelistic Association. Franklin is president of the Association and also of the Samaritan's Purse relief organization. Story here (link...)

I was a small child when Billy Graham preached in Neyland Stadium. Given he's the greatest Christian evangelist of our time, I'm glad to say I heard him in person. I still have the program somewhere around here. I expect this event will draw people from all over East Tennessee and beyond. I look forward to more details as they develop.

60
like
Thu
Aug 30 2007
01:22 pm

A lot of money floating around. May explain some seemingly illogical decision-making.

(link...)

37
like
Thu
Aug 30 2007
01:04 pm
By: Factchecker  shortURL

The U.S. National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) has announced that the 2006 near-record "warmth was primarily due to human influences." El Nino actually had a slight cooling effect in the U.S.

What will the data show about 2007? What are we in for next winter/summer?

h/t Grist.

37
like
Thu
Aug 30 2007
12:49 pm



The trainwreck of a thread about the downtown cinema veered way off course into local politics, so we are moving the conversation here.

As you may be aware, early voting in the City of Knoxville elections gets underway on Sept. 5th. As you may also be aware, the election for mayor is one of only two contested races.

So what do you think? Who should be mayor and why? Vote in the poll and discuss in comments.

Thu
Aug 30 2007
08:13 am

This is pretty good. Watch the video, too.
Go Vols!

(link...)

40
like
Thu
Aug 30 2007
07:44 am

Maybe we all should just give up on fresh spinach. Luckily, I have. Not intentionally, just never started buying it again.

A California produce company recalled bagged fresh spinach Wednesday after it tested positive for salmonella.
...
The recalled spinach was distributed throughout the 48 states and Canada and sold in both retail and food service packages. It covers 8,118 cases of spinach, although the company said more than 90 percent of that was on hold and would not be released.
...
The recall covers 10- and 16-ounce bags, as well as 4-pound cartons and cartons that contain four 2.5-pound bags, with the following tracking codes: 12208114, 12208214 and 12208314.

Consumers with questions can contact Metz Fresh at 831-386-1018.

H/T Orlando Sentinel

49
like
Wed
Aug 29 2007
09:58 pm

I just wanted to cross-post something I wrote on The Moderate Voice about the motivations of Sunnis who turned against Al Qaeda in Iraq. It deals with what I think is one of the least discussed and most important elements of future US strategy in Iraq.

(link...)

Topics:
45
like
Wed
Aug 29 2007
12:15 pm
By: Sven  shortURL

According to my back-of-the-envelope calculations, President Numbnuts' war supplemental is equivalent to just under 25% of all personal income tax collected by the federal government annually.

$3.85 billion a week.* It's more than that, of course, because it won't be drawn out of the national checking account; it'll be rung up on the national credit card.

I might be able to swallow the largest single chunk of my tax dollars being blown on whiskey and sexy in one big eff-it-all Fall of the Republic bender. But no, the Magnificent Leader has decided to invest it in burning flesh, snake oil and training thousands in how to better kill my countrymen.

Matt Taibbi sums it up perfectly:

What the Bush administration has created in Iraq is a sort of paradise of perverted capitalism, where revenues are forcibly extracted from the customer by the state, and obscene profits are handed out not by the market but by an unaccountable government bureauc­racy.

This is the triumphant culmination of two centuries of flawed white-people thinking, a preposterous mix of authoritarian socialism and laissez-faire profit­eering, with all the worst aspects of both ideologies rolled up into one pointless, supremely idiotic military adventure -- American men and women dying by the thousands, so that Karl Marx and Adam Smith can blow each other in a Middle Eastern glory hole.

* Consider this: the Hoover Dam cost $2.4 billion to build (in 2006 dollars).

Topics:
92
like
Wed
Aug 29 2007
08:47 am

Tech2020 annoucement: Thirteen Knoxville-Oak Ridge area companies made the prestigious Inc. 5000 this year.

Visionary Solutions #310
Sword & Shield Enterprise Security #426
Environmental, Safety & Health #536
Rodefer Moss Technologies Group #1190
Rodefer Moss & Co. #1666
Echota Technologies #1564
Progression Electric #1883
Navarro Research and Engineering #2622
PIPS Technology #2960
R. M. Moore Real Estate Co. #3057
Information International Associates #4295
Personal Computer Systems #4311
The Tombras Group #4824

The Inc. 5,000 includes the Inc. 500, but digs deeper to offer the most comprehensive look ever at the entrepreneurial engine driving the U.S. economy.

It seems interesting that there is a local company that makes computers, and makes money. Personal Computer Systems builds and sells computers to businesses and local government agencies. Its product line includes desktops, notebooks, servers, and peripherals.

The annoucement was received via email. It could not be found on their web-site.

41
like
Tue
Aug 28 2007
07:48 pm

Here's a b-log I do:

1. Ramblin' Man

thanks,
Randall

51
like
Tue
Aug 28 2007
04:27 pm

The Institute for Southern Studies' Gulf Coast Reconstruction Watch continues doing the oversight work Congress either can't or won't do in calling the Bush Administration, and America, to account for what is still (not) happening in New Orleans.

Leading up to the second anniversary of Katrina, Facing South has the following must-reads:

Blueprint for Gulf Renewal

Katrina: Our defining moment?

Washington money not getting to those in need

Ten important lessons from Katrina

73
like

TN Progressive

TN Politics

Local Media Blogs

Shopper Columns

Local TV News

News Sentinel

Alt Weekly

State News

.GOV Updates

Wire Reports

Lost Medicaid Funding

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