Fri
Aug 24 2007
12:49 pm

The "Institute for Legal Reform" has launched an attack on the Tennessee Trial Lawyer's Association, claiming that they are trying to hide who they are by changing their name to the Tennessee Association for Justice.

The ILR submitted an attack ad to run on this site, but it was rejected. Now they are sending Tennessee bloggers a press release, and for some reason think I might be sympathetic to their cause.

What's funny is that the Institute for Legal "Reform" is a tool of the ultra-conservative U.S. Chamber of Commerce, a fact they fail to mention in their press release and that you might not know if you didn't follow the link to their website.

The U.S. Chamber of Commerce is a "powerful business lobbying group" active in tort "reform", privatizing Social Security, and other right-wing extremist agendas. According to Source Watch, the group spent $53.38 million lobbying executive and legislative branches in 2004, which another watchdog group said was "the largest twelve-month amount reported spent by any group."

43
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Fri
Aug 24 2007
12:01 pm

New York Times: Report Offers Grim View of Iraqi Leaders

WASHINGTON, Aug. 23 — A stark assessment released Thursday by the nation’s intelligence agencies depicts a paralyzed Iraqi government unable to take advantage of the security gains achieved by the thousands of extra American troops dispatched to the country this year.

The assessment, known as a National Intelligence Estimate, casts strong doubts on the viability of the Bush administration strategy in Iraq.

Front page of today's Knoxville News Sentinel: Analysts find Iraq still in need of outside help

Intelligence report warns against scaling back mission of U.S. forces

The Iraqi government will become more precarious over the next six to 12 months and its security forces have not improved enough to operate without outside help, U.S. spy agencies conclude in a new assessment of the country’s political and military fortunes.

Despite some uneven improvements, the analysts concluded that the level of overall violence is high, Iraq’s sectarian groups remain unreconciled, and al-Qaida in Iraq is still able to conduct highly visible attacks.

On a related topic, there's also some buzz about Bush's support for Iraqi PM "heckuva job" Maliki. One talking head said Maliki had no political power because right now power in Iraq boils down to who has the biggest militia, leaving me to wonder who has a bigger militia than Maliki's U.S. Armed Forces?

Also, is anyone else sick of hearing about "military commanders on the ground" (why are they on the ground? should someone help them get up?) and the hype surrounding the highly anticipated Petraeus report? This is an Iraqi political problem, not a U.S. military problem. Where is Condi Rice? Out shopping for shoes?

34
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Fri
Aug 24 2007
10:35 am

WBIR: Knox Criminal Court Judge Ray Lee Jenkins has died.

KNS: Attorney and friend Doug Trant said Jenkins died about 2:40 a.m.

Topics:
182
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Fri
Aug 24 2007
10:29 am
By: bill young  shortURL

The DNC Rules committee meets Sat. to talk about stripping delegates from FLA for moving primary in violation of rules.Mich is real close to moving its primary..also in violation.Plus,the effect of these primaries could push Iowa back to '07(per state law)& the DNC rules say delegates must be elected in '08.

Topics:
44
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Thu
Aug 23 2007
11:23 pm

You think it's hot in East Tennessee? Check out how our friends on the other side of the state are doing. Pay special attention to the "low" numbers at night...

(link...)

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Breaking news on the KNS website about a retired accountant who will make a report to County Commission on spending in the Knox County Mayor's office.

According to the KNS report, the retired accountant has also "built a website." Here it is (we guess, no web site address is given in the article).

We were hoping for a blockbuster report. All we were able to find was a somewhat goofy letter to County Commission with a summary of the "findings".

We're glad that citizens are digging and demanding answers. We're a little surprised, though, that the KNS would give this particular citizen this much credibility.

The KNS was doing some good digging on all this lately (like they just recently discovered there was a county government to report on). But if this is the best they can come up with on the P-Card scandal, it sounds like it's "game over -- insert another quarter." There's always the Black Wednesday lawsuit...

UPDATE: From a letter to Ragsdale: "it appears that some documents were attached to the credit card disbursements records at one point in time as there are multiple staples holes but now there are no documents attached." There it is, the smoking gun!

45
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Thu
Aug 23 2007
08:11 pm

There is not one positive thing that can be used to describe this.

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Thu
Aug 23 2007
03:47 pm

Had lunch with our blog pal GTTim and his friend who were passing through on their way to compete in the Louisville Ironman triathlon this weekend.

2.4 mile swim + 112 mile bike race + 26.2 mile marathon run + 90 to 100 degree heat = crazy. But I think we already knew that. Good luck to GTTim and Warren! Tim said he will try to blog some about it, will keep you posted.

(It was great meeting Tim in person after all these blog years. And to GTTim, thanks for looking us up and thanks for lunch!)

31
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Thu
Aug 23 2007
11:21 am

We've had this discussion before,

National median home prices have increased by more than 45 percent in the last decade (when adjusted for inflation). Average wages per worker, on the other hand, have only increased by 10 percent in the same period.

As a result, for almost the first time ever, individuals who are making the median household income cannot afford to buy a median priced home...

Continued...

Topics:
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It sure is hard to believe the person delivering that speech with such fire-and-brimstone zeal is the same guy who all this week has looked like a depressed old loser with a foggy mind. What do they do? Wind him up? Give him some sort of rejuvenating drug that allows him to all of a sudden feel strong and speak clearly again.

Read more...

Continued...

38
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Thu
Aug 23 2007
06:24 am

Here's the sample ballot for the City of Knoxville Sept. 25th primary election.

Knox County Administrator of Elections Greg Mackay notes that everyone will have the same ballot except in the 5th district, which has a City Council primary.

Early voting begins Sept. 5th and continues through the 20th at these locations.

44
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Wed
Aug 22 2007
11:02 pm

If you're looking for some fun and good, cheap eats this Saturday night (and want to support a great cause), come to the Family Promise Annual Spaghetti Cookoff contest and Dessert Auction.

Family Promise is a local non-profit group which provides housing for homeless families. Families with children who are homeless present special needs. Family Promise is based on similar programs accross the country. Church buildings have space which isn't used during the week. Family Promise partners with about 15-20 local churches who allow us to use that space. Our volunteers provide transportation, set up cots (often using Sunday School rooms) and prepare supper each night. Church of the Ascension allows us to use one of their buildings as a day center. Most of our parents are employed and many of the children are in school. We work with our families to get them in permanent housing.

Family Promise has been very successful. We exist only through the help of local churches and donations from businesses and individuals. The Spaghetti Cookoff is our big fundraiser of the year. It's only $5.00 for an individual ticket and $12 buys supper for a family. We have some great cooks and celebrity judges lined up (Doctor Bob, KNS Columnist Leslie Snow, among others).

What: See above and here (link...)

Where: First Farragut United Methodist Church (Watt Road)

When: Saturday, August 25, 2007, 5:30 - 8:00 p.m.

Please come if you can. Let me know if you need more information.

Topics:
36
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Wed
Aug 22 2007
05:49 pm
American Revolutionary War
0% (0 votes)
War of 1812
1% (1 vote)
American Civil War
1% (2 votes)
Spanish-American War
10% (14 votes)
World War I
0% (0 votes)
World War II
1% (1 vote)
Korean War
1% (1 vote)
Vietnam War
34% (48 votes)
Hundred Years' War
4% (6 votes)
The Crusades
21% (30 votes)
World War III
2% (3 votes)
All of the above
6% (8 votes)
None of the above
20% (29 votes)
Total votes: 143
Topics:

Some of y'all might be interested in this report on a presentation we attended this afternoon. There's lots of good stuff to think about.

(The distinguished speaker mentioned the "shell game" of closing one big-box strip center and relocating it somewhere else. He mentioned that strip malls are overbuilt, and that far too many of them are sitting vacant as we keep opening new ones. I didn't address this in my report, but it sounded familiar.)

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(link...)
Today it was announced the FDA has approved the use of Risperdal in children. Autistic children who are irritable will surely be given this powerful drug. The big PHARMA companies are always busy extending treatment areas. Though this drug can help people, giving it to children could eventually cause potential problems.

This link reveals some of the problems with Risperdal
(link...)

57
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Wed
Aug 22 2007
12:29 pm

Gee, now that my president has deemed me not just a defeatist and friend to terrorists, but an enabler of genocide, I'm much more apt to see the wisdom in his strategy and grant him my support.

28
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Wed
Aug 22 2007
11:21 am
By: R. Neal  shortURL

From the recent North American summit, regarding the Northwest Passage:

Prime Minister Harper: "Canada's position is that we intend to strengthen our sovereignty in the Arctic area ... Canada and the U.S. do have differences on certain aspects of the Northwest Passage."

President Bush: "We believe it's an international passageway."

Why does anybody care? Because Global Warming is yielding unexpected benefits.

29
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Wed
Aug 22 2007
08:13 am

Under the Maryville ordinance, “when the flow downstream of the withdrawal operations is 40 CFS (cubic feet per second) or less, water supplied to customers of the system shall not be used for nonessential purposes.”

The CFS is the amount of water flowing past the plants. Currently water is running past the Maryville plant at 41 CFS, down from 43 on Monday.

Pay attention. We're running low.

143
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Wed
Aug 22 2007
06:07 am

Geez, I just can't believe this.

Tennessee Lottery Cash 3 and Cash 4 games have been flawed for nearly a month. They are just now catching it. FYI, The Tennessee Lottery began using computerized drawings, instead of manual drawings with numbered balls, last month.

problem was discovered because lottery officials realized no duplicate numbers had been drawn between July 28 and Aug. 20, an indicator something could have been wrong with the drawings.

Uh, duh...

3rd party programmer error, "a programmer for the vendor, New Jersey-based Smartplay International Inc., made a keystroke error in the parameters set for Cash 3 and Cash 4 - typing a "u" for "unique" instead of an "r" for "repeat."

Isn't that what they are paying these guys for? A second third-party vendor, New Jersey-based Gaming Laboratories Inc., also erred by certifying that the drawings were random and complied with the rules of the games, Hargrove said.

Uh, gee, just a little slow down here. We just buy the lottery tickets, we don't really expect to win. And now we definitely don't have any winning expectations. Save your money for Lotto 5, it wasn't affected (or so they say), and the Powerball, it's managed elsewhere.

H/T Maryville Daily Times

41
like
Wed
Aug 22 2007
02:55 am

Campfield has an alternative to dog fighting:

(link...)

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