Wed
Mar 7 2007
07:44 am

Celebrity Juror #9's random thoughts and notes on the testimony and the jury deliberations. I believe this is the first half. Fascinating stuff. My guess is the guy has already signed a book deal.

Everyone's favorite liberal blogging lawyer Jeralyn Merritt, who covered the trial, has Scooter Libby's sentencing guidelines and her predictions. Her complete beginning to end coverage is indexed here.

Digby: Where's Rove? Bonus: Russert testimony pivotal.

Think Progress: Fox News calls for pardon. Joe Wilson reacts to verdict.

Bill Scher: Blogs kept story from being swept under the rug.

Media Matters: Watch for the spin.

New York Times: Libby guilty

New York Times: Cheney questions remain

Washington Post: Moment of accountability

Washington Post: Libby was the fall guy

Investor's Business Daily: Travesty of justice

In the Fair and Balanced equal time department, Free Republic weighs in after the jump...

Continued...

47
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Wed
Mar 7 2007
12:14 am

An informal get-together to celebrate the passage of the South Waterfront form-based code is scheduled for tomorrow, Wed. March 7, from 5:30 p.m until we're ready to go home at Calhoun's on the River. Stop by, have a drink, buy Dave Hill a drink, eat a bite if you want, and say howdy. We'll be in the Banquet Room.

53
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Tue
Mar 6 2007
11:31 pm

The Knox County Democrats published a new newsletter today. You can see the newsletter here:

You can subscribe/unsubscribe to the newsletter from our website, (link...)

50
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Tue
Mar 6 2007
09:50 pm
By: StaceyDiamond  shortURL

Why could UT not rent the coliseum (?) for graduation? Thousands gather there for concerts. As a grad I would have been upset to not have been able to have graduation. Stacey

52
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Tue
Mar 6 2007
09:23 pm

On another thread, I noted Stacey Diamond's comment on the much-higher rents recently charged in the Fort Sanders area, presumably to UT-Knoxville students. It wasn't the first time I'd heard this observation over the last few months.

In November, 2006, Frank Cagle noted the same trend. His cover story for Knoxville magazine, entitled "The Best and the Brightest: Lottery scholarships have changed the culture at UT" cited this phenomenon of quarter-million dollar condos usurping "scruffy Fort Sanders apartments" and the News-Sentinel has documented average family income of today's incoming UT-Knoxville freshmen at over $100,000 annually.

Of course, the most obvious consequence of lottery scholarships to UT-Knoxville's freshman demographic is that the newer crops are academically superior to classes in years past. Admissions staff reports carried in the News-Sentinel indicate that the average ACT score of incoming freshmen is approaching a 27, and that fully 1/3 of all applicants--about the volume that may expect to be accepted among 12,000 applicants each year--offer a 4.0 grade point average. Cagle even reported "horrified whispers about some 18 graduates of a prestigious Knoxville private school not being admitted to UT - a first" and repeated the story of "a big donor outraged that his son didn't get admitted."

That lottery scholarships are enabling highly-qualified students to attend college in Tennesse is great, of course. I wonder, though, at the fate of Knoxville's very good students who had planned to attend college locally, but can't quite meet UT-Knoxville's skyrocketing admissions standard. Is it appropriate that the state's land grant university might shut out the local teen who offers only, say, a 24 on his ACT and a 3.7 GPA? In particular, is it appropriate that such a student might be shut out not because he is incapable of performing college-level work, but only because Tennessee made no preparation to erect the buildings and hire the staff necessary to accomodate his arrival? The influx of students standing ready to pay thier tuition with lottery scholarships has been a large one.

I'm told that before Georgia launched their state lottery, their legislature had the foresight to boost higher education spending by ten percent for two years running, solely to plan for such an influx of students. You'll recall that Tennessee, in contrast, failed to offer *any* increase in funding to higher education in 2000 and 2001, even as tuition rates increased by nearly 15%.

So, do you suppose these Knoxville-area students who don't quite qualify to attend UT-Knoxville will attend another local college, or might they, if they lack the means to pay board, just not attend? Cagle boasted that lottery scholarships are "keeping the best and brightest in Tennessee," but do you suppose that's just the case until they graduate? If these best and brightest should leave us on graduating, what might be the future educational demographic among those of us Knoxvillians they leave behind?

Topics:
54
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Tue
Mar 6 2007
06:33 pm

Phil Kunselman,legendary Fort Sanders landlord,has passed away.Phil was a "when in Rome"kinda fellow.He looked the part of a Fort rat but was smart as a whip,Phi Beta Kappa in physics @ U.T.& had more money than most folks in Brooks Brothers suits.I ate with him many times @Ramseys & when Phil spoke those old guys listened because his stock tips were gold.His work crew were the down & out & he gave folks a break if they couldn't pay rent.Phil Kunselman was one of the good guys.

54
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Tue
Mar 6 2007
06:32 pm

Just thought I'd interrupt the usual discussion to congratulate Chris Lofton for being named the AP's SEC Player of the Year. At least the sportswriters have some sense (how can the Vols not be ranked in the top 25 coaches poll this week? Morons.)

Topics:
49
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Tue
Mar 6 2007
05:48 pm

Since moving to our new house near Downtown Knoxville last September, my children have not had the chance to meet very many other kids/parents in our neighborhood. My kids attend schools in West Knoxville, so they also haven't met friends through the neighborhood schools.

I would really like for my kids to have some similar-age friends within walking distance. I'd also like to get to know other parents in the neighborhoods in and near Downtown Knoxville.

For this reason, I am starting an informal group for parents and kids in Old North Knoxville, 4th and Gill, Parkridge, and the other neighborhoods in and near Downtown Knoxville. I am envisioning get-togethers every month or so, as well as networking on the best neighborhood parks, babysitters, pediatricians, activities, etc.

If you would like to join the group, you can subscribe to our e-mail list here:

(link...)

No one can subscribe without my approval, and I hope this will keep the e-mail discussion list spam-free and family-focused. When you subscribe, please share your name (first name only if you are more comfortable that way) and the first names and ages of your children.

Let me know if you have any questions, and feel free to forward this message to other parents whom you think might be interested in our group.

Thanks-

Katie

68
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Tue
Mar 6 2007
02:34 pm

Jack McElroy has an update on the KNS lawsuit. He says he hears through informal channels that County Commission might like to settle. McElroy says the KNS is pressing on and discovery will commence any day now.

199
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Tue
Mar 6 2007
02:31 pm

Jenna Bush has written a book that she is touting as a call to action regarding HIV/AIDS.

She hopes it will have some of the impact of "The Diary of Anne Frank."

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47
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Tue
Mar 6 2007
01:30 pm

From KnoxNews.com:

Knoxville Mayor Bill Haslam today announced his candidacy for a second term.

Haslam who was elected in 2003 cited among his accomplishments a revitalized downtown and the recent focus on redeveloping the South Waterfront.

Mayor Haslam does a great job, especially if you put him along side Scott Moore.

Update: N-S has an article in Wednesday's paper, read it here.

57
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Tue
Mar 6 2007
12:42 pm
By: R. Neal  shortURL

expected any minute now...

UPDATE: Former White House aide I. Lewis "Scooter" Libby was convicted Tuesday of obstruction, perjury and lying to the FBI.

Will there be a pardon?

83
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Tue
Mar 6 2007
10:10 am
By: R. Neal  shortURL

From Steve at WhitesCreek:

Ann Coulter IS the Republican party. Foul mouthed, hateful, bigoted, prejudiced, and willing to say anything and do anything in order to get her way, no matter how cruel.

There's more. Go read it.

UPDATE: Coulter's getting Dixie Chick-ed. In other news, Karma's a bitch.

Topics:
120
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Tue
Mar 6 2007
09:37 am

Blount County Mayor Jerry Cunningham is apparently trying to push through some creative mixed-use zoning for one parcel of property for one developer for one project:

The Planning Commission proposal for the new Sports Complex District included provisions for athletic fields, retail sales, rental of goods and merchandise, gas stations, laundry mat, restaurants, medical offices and clinics, hotels and motels, and multifamily developments.

What about bowling alleys and tattoo parlors? According to the article, none of the proposed uses comply with current zoning for the property. There is also a National Registry of Historic Places home and farm at the proposed site, and maybe a cemetery.

The article says this and other similar zoning requests are coming from a planning commissioner newly appointed by Mayor Cunningham, who promised "to streamline government procedures, cut through red tape and eliminate government bureaucracy."

Another commissioner says "We didn't have discussions or work groups or anything about this before Helton brought it to the commission. It was just thrown out there, approved and sent on to the commissioners."

The investors involved in the project are secret. A local banker is promoting it on their behalf. He says the investors are mostly local although there is an "out-of-state element," but he's "not working with some investment group from Atlanta." Apparently those Atlanta investment groups are a undesirable bunch? He also says "These are not regular Blount County developers I'm working with because this isn't a regular Blount County development." Well, the circumstances surrounding this deal certainly sound irregular.

And finally, this quote from our illustrious County Mayor:

When asked if anyone with a development background was involved in the project, Cunningham said, "It's not my job to ferret out Simmerly's investors."

OK, then.

59
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Tue
Mar 6 2007
08:53 am

This is insane.

Also, can someone explain to me why outsourcing government operations such as prisons to a company like CCA or management of Walter Reed to some Halliburton crony is good policy? Is it supposed to save money? How does that work, when you have to add in profits over and above operating costs?

48
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Tue
Mar 6 2007
07:24 am
By: DavidLeeHiker  shortURL

You just have to love some clean Mormon fun (from CNN).

The article talked first about how Reagan was the only divorced president, and discussed Guiliani's two prior marriages, it ends with:

"Among the other Republican presidential front-runners, Sen. John McCain of Arizona has also been divorced. But former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney has been married for 37 years to his wife, Ann, whom he met in elementary school and began dating in high school.

"Ann Romney raised some eyebrows in February when she joked in front of an audience in Missouri that the biggest difference between her husband and his rivals was that he has had "only one wife."

48
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Mon
Mar 5 2007
06:25 pm

He is not a woman, doesn't live in Fountain City, has no kids at Webb (or 'Web', as he spelled it).

He is convinced of his own superiority (despite mounting evidence to the contrary), and has a deep belief in his own cleverness (e.g. his silly faux-Hillary schtick -- how tired did THAT get?).

He is obsessively interested in the superficialities of local media (who here really cares about substitute sports guys?).

He is (for a woman who lives in Fountain City) proud to show off his acquaintance with Blount County politics.

In fact, he makes lots of references to Blount County in his posts.

He's just another in the obviously endless parade of right-wing dimwits who entertain themselves by posting gibberish on Knox Views. In his case, it's probably because he's dying for some sort of attention, since nobody visits his blogs.

I'm done responding to him.

Bless his heart.

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56
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Mon
Mar 5 2007
04:57 pm

That's my cousin Will climbing a hemlock on the cover of today's Sentinel. Not only has Will discovered the tallest and most voluminous hemlocks, but also several dozen other species. He has revolutionized the way trees are measured, devising a ground-based method that has proven accurate within a foot or so, vastly superior to traditional forestry methods.

He and a couple other big tree enthusiasts also devised a way to calculate wood volume, a laborious task requiring lots of measurements. It's not so bad with a hemlock since they are mostly trunk, but Will and a crew of six or seven spent two days in a live oak in South Carolina measuring its many limbs to come up with a volume estimate.

Friends of the Smokies is now funding Will's hemlock documentation project, but he got started before he had any funding and has been hunting champion trees as a weekend hobby for over a decade.

48
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Mon
Mar 5 2007
01:52 pm

"I'm personally humbled by this. It's a huge responsibility," said Goodwin. "I look forward to serving the Navy and getting their weapon out for them."

Bush orders new H-Bomb

44
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Mon
Mar 5 2007
12:42 pm

We even let them hold office here in Tennessee:

Ohio moves to let Idiots vote.

49
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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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