Mon
Jul 16 2007
10:19 am

State Sen. Ward Crutchfield, who pled guilty to a felony last week, will resign in "due time" according to his lawyer.

It has to be before Nov. 4th in order to trigger a special election instead of an appointment by Hamilton County Commission. I guess the question is, why hasn't he resigned already?

UPDATE: Joe Lance has a roundup of possible successors. (By way of ACK.)

23
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Mon
Jul 16 2007
10:06 am

That's what this KNS article suggests. The salary increase doesn't sound out of line considering Leuthold's qualifications and experience and new job duties.

The job description isn't made very clear, though, and the fact that it's a newly created position is interesting. "Reorganizations" frequently eliminate positions by consolidating duties instead of creating new positions.

At any rate, the situation highlights a couple of major problems in Knox County Government. One, County Commissioners and their family members who are also county employees create too many potential conflicts of interest. Even if everything is on the up and up, there will always be questions like this. Second, with very few exceptions, County Commission has little credibility regarding any ethics related issues after Jan. 31st, which compounds the first problem.

17
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Sun
Jul 15 2007
02:04 pm

Never forget King George's Mission Accomplished in reaching across the aisle to bring people together. Seems a former Republican who served as Secretary of the Navy under Ronald Reagan and a fellow Senator from the south must have momentarily forgot that this morning on "Meet the Press." Wow!

Cas Walker would be jealous of this exchange, especially the performance by the guy on the right.

17
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Sun
Jul 15 2007
09:24 am

The Blount County Democrats are having a hot dog picnic Saturday, July 21st, 3PM to 6PM at the pavilion at Pearson Springs Park (off Montvale Station Road).

The event is free and the public is invited. Tennessee Democratic Party Chairman Gray Sasser is scheduled to attend, along with local Democratic Commissioners and Party officials.

Here's a map to Pearson Springs Park...

16
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Sun
Jul 15 2007
07:41 am

We were over at the park walking pupster yesterday evening and were happy to see that the dog waste stations donated by the Mrs. have finally been installed.

Read more about the project and the history of Springbrook Park...

Continued...

40
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Sun
Jul 15 2007
07:09 am

Robots at your hospital bedside instead of your doctor? Gee, maybe that will solve our healthcare crisis? Not. Of course, this is from a doctor that performs weight-loss surgery. His is on the robot manufacturer's board and has stock options. Maybe the patients' hospital stays are shorter because they are scared to death.

Do you know where your food comes from?

Apparently not and some government officials along with the National Cattlemen's Beef Association don't want you to know. "But Regina Hildwine, director of food labeling and standards for the Grocery Manufacturers Association, says the labels will be "additional noise" on crowded packaging. ..."There's a lot more information on a label that's more important for a consumer to understand, like nutrition facts," she said."

I don't think she gives the consumer enough credit.

"video game addiction as a mental disorder" ? The AMA will have to study it further.

The President wants more payroll taxes, now on your health insurance premiums. "president's recommendation to tax employees on the health insurance premiums paid by their employers. The president would offset the increased taxes by giving taxpayers a deduction or credit. The result would be a tax cut for most families, but not for those with the highest-priced insurance plans." ... "We believe that these proposals would mean that as many as 20 million others who have no health insurance would purchase basic coverage," Fratto said."

Gack... Too hard to understand.

82
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Sun
Jul 15 2007
07:06 am

You kind folks have already given me ample opportunity to opine on this and related subjects, so I won't rattle on any further.

Still, you may want to vote in this KNS poll on the subject of the recent U. S. Supreme Court decision eliminating race as a factor in school assignments.

(link...)

Topics:
15
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Sun
Jul 15 2007
01:42 am
By: MartyD  shortURL

My husband and I have long been concerned about the issue of campaign finance (aka, bribery). He is 75 and I am 70. We have seen a lot of changes in our time but nothing to compare with the last 7 years. Even with all the crookedness of this administration we still are shocked by the blatant arrogance and total disregard for law! The thing that really hurts me the most is the fact that people from both parties are snugly nestled in the lobbyists pockets. I think that we need to make some demands on the people who are elected to represent us. If they continue to pander too the likes of Murdock, et al, then start another party. Sometimes there doesn't seem to be a penny's worth of difference in the two parties.

21
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Sat
Jul 14 2007
07:25 pm
By: StaceyDiamond  shortURL

Beyond all the hype, I'd like to know when the purchase card use started, with Ragsdale or before, and if there has ever been any monitoring at all. Another thing I found curious was the Ragsdale assistant who took folks out for the lobster lunch had special duties to cultivate relationships with Mary Lou Horner and Diane Jordan. This stuff is interesting but the more important stuff , I think, is the nepotism and especially giving building projects to campaign donors.

83
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Sat
Jul 14 2007
06:59 pm
By: Mark Harmon  shortURL

I hope Knoxviews readers and many others heard the fascinating discussion of impeachment last night on Bill Moyers' Journal. The discussion was preceded by the results of a public opinion poll from the American Research Group; 45 percent of Americans favor impeachment hearings for President Bush and more than half -54 percent — favor putting Vice President Cheney in the dock.

The interviewees were Constitutional Scholar Bruce Fein and associate editor of Capitol Times John Nichols.

Fein certainly will avoid the labels and personal attacks often heaped on liberals by the radical right. He served in the Justice Department during the Reagan administration and as general counsel of the Federal Communications Commission. Bruce Fein has been affiliated with conservative think tanks such as the American Enterprise Institute and the Heritage Foundation and now writes a weekly column for THE WASHINGTON TIMES and Politico.com.

John Nichols is Washington correspondent for THE NATION. His latest book is THE GENIUS OF IMPEACHMENT: THE FOUNDERS' CURE FOR ROYALISM.

Transcript here

I'll put a couple quotes after the break.

Continued...

132
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Sat
Jul 14 2007
10:45 am

Got a pleasant surprise in the mailbox yesterday. It's the Rolling Stone Fortieth Anniversary special double edition, with a cool metallic cover and everything.

Read more...

Continued...

Topics:
18
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Sat
Jul 14 2007
09:59 am

Gov. Bredesen is apparently required by state law to proclaim an annual Nathan Bedford Forrest Day in the State of Tennessee.

According to AC Kleinheider, the Governor issued a proclamation designating "Sunday, July 13, 2007" as the day.

Klenheider, who apparently has a hobby of asking for a copy of the proclamation each year, said Bredesen did the same thing last year. Pretty funny. Seems like a law the state legislature needs to remove from the books. Maybe Stacey X can sponsor a bill?

32
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As China prepares for the Olympic Games, a flurry of concern over snack food being tainted with cardboard initiates beefed up (no pun intended) food security.

(link...)
In the report aired Wednesday night, China Central Television showed a shirtless, shorts-clad bun maker in Beijing using cardboard picked up off the street to stuff his steamed buns.

A hidden camera followed the man into a ramshackle building where steamers were filled with the fluffy white buns, called baozi, traditionally stuffed with minced pork.

It showed how cardboard was first soaked to a pulp in a plastic basin of caustic soda — a chemical base commonly used in manufacturing paper and soap — then chopped into tiny morsels with a cleaver. Fatty pork and powdered seasoning were stirred in as flavoring and the concoction was stuffed into the buns.

"It fools the average person," says the bun maker, whose face was not shown. "I don't eat them myself."

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27
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Fri
Jul 13 2007
05:48 pm
By: michael kaplan  shortURL
Topics:
Fri
Jul 13 2007
03:59 pm
By: R. Neal  shortURL

Alert reader MP was curious about the jail consultant who was paid a flat fee of $50K by Knox County to recommmend a new downtown intake center, and wondered if this was the same guy.

19
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Fri
Jul 13 2007
03:15 pm

In this day of government's increasingly imposing limits to free speech, this KNS story (prominent on the "hardcopy" page B-1, but difficult to find on-line) was very affirming. It also caused me to think even *more* highly of Criminal Court Judge Mary Beth Leibowitz.

From the text:

The judge lamented the fact that real terrorists have fostered a culture of fear in America, a culture that demonizes dissidence that once was honored and puts protesters like Johnson on Homeland Security lists.

“That doesn’t make you evil,” she told Johnson. “It doesn’t make you terrible. It makes you a dissident.”

Johnson told the judge he was offended at Walker’s labeling of his involvement in environmental protests as akin to street gangs and hate groups.

“The fact the state needs to classify legitimate political dissidence as gang activity I think is pathetic and ridiculous,” he said.

It appears that Jamie Satterfield had to leave the courtroom before Liebowitz rendered her verdict/sentence, as we aren't told how the defendent fared. Well, I hope. See (link...).

(Edit: Ah, I see it now, early in the text: Six months probation.)

Topics:
24
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Fri
Jul 13 2007
01:47 pm
By: bizgrrl  shortURL

The endangered flower made famous in the nonfiction book "The Orchid Thief" and the fictional movie spinoff "Adaptation" is about 45 feet off the ground in a tree at Corkscrew Swamp Sanctuary in Naples.

"It's got a big, old root mass on it," he said. "We've just never seen it before. I'm sure it's been blooming, but they bloom in June and July, and that's when cypress are leafed out.

Bird watching can be very rewarding!

Topics:
20
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Fri
Jul 13 2007
01:28 pm

Rich has announced the next Blogfest! And hopes that everyone will show up as does Cathy Cathy Cathy.

Read more...

Continued...

151
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