Tue
Jan 23 2007
04:19 pm

Knox County Commission Meeting from Monday January 22nd. The first four parts are the Resolution by John Griess for a Special Election to select replacements for the eight term limited Knox County Commissioners.

Part II

Part III

Part IV

205
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Tue
Jan 23 2007
04:16 pm

From the South Knox Seymour Times:

"Ninth District County Commissioners Paul Pinkston and Larry Clark have formed a special committee to seek individuals interested in replacing Clark for his seat on the Commission.

The seven-member body will examine the qualifications and interest of those who wish to replace Clark, who will be forced to resign his seat under a term-limits referendum passed by voters in 1994."

More on the story here: (link...)

221
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Tue
Jan 23 2007
02:33 pm

I have arranged a candidate forum for those who seek appointments to vacant positions in Knox County, especially the commission seat in District Two. Commissioner Billy Tindell is cooperating in this and plans to attend. The event is set for Monday, January 29th, starting at 6pm in the Fulton High School Auditorium. Public, candidates, commissioners, and all interested parties are invited.

The schedule will work as follows:
6 pm Brief Welcome and Introduction
6:05 to approximately 6:50pm, Brief statements by those seeking appointment to the District Two Commission seat (3-4 minutes each) followed by questions from the audience.

6:50 to approx. 7:30, Brief statements by those seeking appointment to any of the countywide offices (sheriff, register of deeds, trustee, county clerk) followed by questions from the audience.

7:30 to close, Brief statements by those seeking other commission seats followed by questions from the audience.

I hope to wrap up by about 8pm; it could go longer or shorter based on the number of candidates who show up, and the number of questions.

--Mark Harmon

Topics:
282
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Tue
Jan 23 2007
11:13 am

WEll, sure, that one for Best Documentary Film...But Best Song Written for a Movie?

By Melissa Etheridge, no less. I'm sure that will get some FundXtians rattling this morning.

An Inconvenient Truth

I'll have to plug in the DVD for another listen.

Steve

13
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Tue
Jan 23 2007
10:27 am

I am guessing that Cohen did not get the memo about the Stacey Campfield fracas.

Black Caucus: Whites Not Allowed

Freshman Rep. Stephen I. Cohen, D-Tenn., is not joining the Congressional Black Caucus after several current and former members made it clear that a white lawmaker was not welcome.

"I think they're real happy I'm not going to join," said Cohen, who succeeded Rep. Harold Ford, D-Tenn., in a majority-black Memphis district. "It's their caucus and they do things their way. You don't force your way in. You need to be invited."

Cohen said he became convinced that joining the caucus would be "a social faux pas" after seeing news reports that former Rep. William Lacy Clay Sr., D-Mo., a co-founder of the caucus, had circulated a memo telling members it was "critical" that the group remain "exclusively African- American."

Other members, including the new chairwoman, Rep. Carolyn Cheeks Kilpatrick, D-Mich., and Clay's son, Rep. William Lacy Clay, D-Mo., agreed.

"Mr. Cohen asked for admission, and he got his answer. ... It's time to move on," the younger Clay said. "It's an unwritten rule. It's understood. It's clear."

The bylaws of the caucus do not make race a prerequisite for membership, a House aide said, but no non-black member has ever joined.

21
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Tue
Jan 23 2007
08:48 am

They warned you in November.

They are warning you again.

THE DAM MIGHT BREAK! Are you listening? I think they are out of disaster assistance funds.

23
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Tue
Jan 23 2007
12:41 am
By: Sandra Clark  shortURL

Scott Moore and R. Larry Smith are holding a "commissioners' night out" Tuesday, Jan. 23, from 6 to 7:30 p.m. at the Halls Senior Center on Crippen Road. Going north on Hwy. 33, turn right at Wendy's.

This is a great chance to talk one-on-one with these two commissioners. -- s.

Topics:
199
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Mon
Jan 22 2007
11:17 pm
By: Brian A.  shortURL

I think R. Neal was onto something here. Tuesday night, for the Democratic response to the State of the Union speech, Senator Webb should do the following:

(1) Step up to the podium.
(2) Say: "Everything that guy just said is bullshit... Thank you."
(3) Turn and walk out the door.

It would be an instant classic in American speech-making history.

21
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Mon
Jan 22 2007
10:22 pm
By: Rich Hailey  shortURL

OK folks, time for another blog fest. I'm thinking of holding it February 10th to avoid Super Bowl conflicts.

I've been requested to move the bash out to the west for a change, and someplace a little more family friendly.

Any suggestions?

87
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Mon
Jan 22 2007
05:33 pm

Tennessee Guerilla Women has a post by Paul Krugman on the health insurance proposal Bush has been discussing lately.

While proposing this high-end tax break, Mr. Bush is also proposing a tax increase - not on the wealthy, but on workers who, he thinks, have too much health insurance. The tax code, he said, "unwisely encourages workers to choose overly expensive, gold-plated plans. The result is that insurance premiums rise, and many Americans cannot afford the coverage they need."

I'm always afraid when people with no clue try to come up with solutions to important issues. I heard part of this proposal discussed on the radio today, i.e. tax people paying more for health insurance. I wonder if they realize some people have to pay more just to get some basic coverage because they are identified as uninsurable by health insurance companies. Who will determine the definition of a "gold-plated plan"?

Oh, Thoughts of an Average Woman has the scoop on "gold-plated plans".

Bush wants to cap how much a family or individual can pay for a health insurance policy.

It would work like this: The administration would cap the amount of benefits that can remain tax free at $15,000 for a family and $7,500 for an individual. Anyone whose health insurance cost more than that would pay taxes on the difference. For example, a family with coverage costing $16,000 a year would pay taxes on $1,000.

76
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Mon
Jan 22 2007
05:23 pm
By: Rachel  shortURL

So tomorrow we have the State of the Union. How I long for the days of old when I could play a drinking game, chugging one down every time Bush said "terra" or "WMD" or "9/11." Or the last couple of years, when I simply stopped watching.

This year I feel compelled to watch. But no drinking games - there's not one single damn amusing things left about the state of our union.

Instead, I'll be trying not to cry, and holding my breath in the hopes that our President doesn't once again do something to make things even worse.

10
like
Mon
Jan 22 2007
04:02 pm

Last night I read this article from the BBC about the benefits of owning a dog. Great! Owning two has to be that much better, right?

I went to bed last night after forgetting to secure the dog door.

(more after the break)

Continued...

22
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Mon
Jan 22 2007
11:01 am

Today's Knoxville News Sentinel editorial says "Plan to bum-rush appointments is outrage":

Since the appointments run only until the 2008 elections, Moore and some other commissioners evidently don't want to be bothered with the niceties of public forums, open discussion and candidates making their cases before an open meeting.

Instead, what Moore and the others want is the same system they have had for too long - a political country club where the members say who can be admitted and who is excluded.

That would be a serious mistake, not only for the commission but as well for the credibility of county government.

Lots of folks are not going to have a chance to have their voices heard. Will it come back to haunt the sitting, non-term limited commissioners? Probably not. Most people just don't seem all that interested. But it will be interesting to see who goes on record in support of an open process at today's meeting.

I was talking to some folks at the News Sentinel and they said the controversy isn't generating much reader interest. There was speculation on why this is. One reporter noted that it's complicated, and it may be that people simply don't understand it. (Which may have prompted this primer in Sunday's paper.)

My theory is that most people see it as a lot of inside baseball they just don't care. As evidence, look at the 20% turnout in local elections. Or the fact that voters (and those who don't bother) keep electing the same people they voted to term limit twelve years ago.

In other term limit news, over at the Halls Shopper Sandra Clark has a farewell love letter to Sheriff Tim, and Betty Bean has this backgrounder on his presumed successor.

171
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Mon
Jan 22 2007
10:06 am

Tennessee is moving to a warmer climate:

NASHVILLE - A national arborist group has updated the U.S. Department of Agriculture's plant hardiness zone map, placing most of Tennessee in a warmer category because of recent climate patterns.

[..]

"Things are surviving further north than they did before," said Nashville plant enthusiast Mary Wilson. "The maps are good guidelines so you don't spend money on what absolutely won't work."

I guess it's nice that we will now be able to plant palm trees and whatnot, but what the article doesn't mention is how climate change affects the ecosystem:

After three decades of warming not seen in more than 1,000 years, spring arrives earlier around the world. As species shift their ranges toward the cooler poles or higher elevations, the season brings unexpected arrivals of migrating birds and mistimed hatchings of insects and flowerings of trees.

Some species on the move may flourish, but others may die. And the loss of just one kind of plant or animal, scientists say, can set off a cascade of biological events that can extinguish a whole ecosystem.

On the other hand, all this miserable, cold rain we've had for the past few days would have been a foot of snow thirty years ago. So there's that.

37
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Mon
Jan 22 2007
09:12 am

Airport cop attacked, returns fire:

"He (the officer) hadn't even gotten out of his vehicle yet when the suspect stepped out of his vehicle and started shooting rounds," O'Briant said.

The officer then opened fire on the suspect through his windshield, striking him twice in the torso, she said.

Amazingly, the story doesn't end (or begin) there.

12
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Sun
Jan 21 2007
11:26 pm
By: R. Neal  shortURL

What a great game! It's the only game we've watched from beginning to end all year. A real nail biter. The Patriots seemed to have Peyton figured out early on. Their secondary pass defense was awesome. The tables were turned in the second half, though.

So, what do you think for the Superbowl? Both teams struggled early against their opponents today. The Bears dominated in the end, but the Colts engineered an awesome comeback. Is Petyon due?

The one sure bet for the Superbowl is Prince as the halftime entertainment. Should be a lot of fun all around.

Topics:
13
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Sun
Jan 21 2007
09:28 pm

From HamDems:
(link...)

12
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Sun
Jan 21 2007
07:22 pm
By: knoxnative  shortURL

I know all the Knox County politicians and office holders are busy thinking about how they can benefit personally from the current situation. I wonder if they are thinking at all about the aftermath? Do they care at all about what people think of them as a person?

If they select their insiders and cronies in order to try to keep a hand in, they are going to do a lot of damage to whatever good name they have left. People are already disgusted with the whole process. It's a shame that greed and disregard for the people they are supposed to serve is going to erase any good these officeholders may have done in the past.

196
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Sun
Jan 21 2007
05:45 pm

Perhaps I have overlooked it, but are there any criteria for the mixture of members on the MPC?
It looks heavily weighted toward the development industry. At least 8 of the 15 members look like developers/contractors of some sort. I could see perhaps two members from those related industries, but the remainder more of a balanced cross-section of the community.

I would have more faith in MPC viewpoints with a more evenly distributed membership
more accurately representing the entire community.

(link...)

21
like

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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