Feb 28 2007
09:20 am

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Candidates and supporters who believe we can win the presidency on a wave of apologies should learn the lessons of history.

Cross posted at the Francis L. Holland Blog.

John Edwards said Tuesday that honesty and openness were essential qualities for a president, and that he was proud to acknowledge his 2002 vote authorizing the invasion of Iraq was a mistake . . .


But, with John Edwards at 17% in the polls to Hillary Clinton's 43%, the public seems already to be punishing Edwards for his habit of apologizing.

In the September 30, 2004 debate between George W. Bush and John Kerry, the word "mistake" arose 13 times in the context of Iraq, offering Bush ample opportunity to admit that he had made at least one mistake.  Kerry admitted to having made significant mistakes while George Bush admitted to none.

Feb 28 2007
09:03 am

Blount County Mayor Jerry Cunningham wants County Commission to override the will of the voters and pass a wheel tax. He says the extra $1 million from a wheel tax will give the county access to $4 million in matching Free Federal Funding™.

Rant after the jump...


Feb 28 2007
12:26 am

My, my...

Look away for a day and what happens? Down 416!

Feb 28 2007
12:17 am

Many thanks to Knoxville City Council Members.

A Maloney road developer's appeal to rezone property for apartment-style condo development was denied. The MPC had already denied the request. The developer also withdrew his site plan change that would have allowed more apartment-style condos on the property. The neighborhood really came together to fight this, and the neighborhood won.

Extra bonus: Approved! SoKno Waterfront Zoning Regulations. Another win for the neighborhood.

Feb 28 2007
12:15 am

Just wanted to say that.
Dane is Rudy and Jimmy Chitwood rolled into one.
that is one inspirational kid.

Feb 27 2007
11:20 pm
By: Factchecker  shortURL

I'm sure no KnoxViews contributors would engage in this:

The echo chamber is engaging. Instapundit, Hot Air, Free Republic, WorldNetDaily, TownHall and several others are echoing and amplifying the $mear. RedState, Captain's Quarters. More here and here, here, here, here, here, here, here. Wizbang.

OK, now of course ABC News is picking it up.

A comment at DailyKos: "Hannity got the memo as well and he and Annthrax Coulter are hammering Gore for the same thing tonight."

Tennessee Center's President Drew Johnson comes straight out of the right's network, coming from Exxon-funded American Enterprise Institute and the right-wing-funded National Taxpayers Foundation. ...

I wonder what the utility bills are for the homes of Rush, Coulter, and the other fabulously wealthy GOP elite who keep the far right's flame burning.

Feb 27 2007
05:34 pm

We are happy to announce some exciting news: Award winning columnist Don Williams has agreed to a special limited engagement with KnoxViews to publish his popular and thought-provoking weekly column for the next several weeks.

Don's first column is scheduled to appear this Thursday afternoon, so tell your friends and neighbors to be on the lookout for Don's column, "The Last Word," at

About Don Williams:

Don Williams is a prize-winning columnist, blogger, short story writer, and the founding editor and publisher of New Millennium Writings, an annual anthology of literary writings. His awards include a National Endowment for the Humanities Michigan Journalism Fellowship, a Golden Presscard Award, the Malcolm Law Journalism Prize (Tennessee's Top Associated Press Managing Editors Award), Six Writer of the Month Awards in the Scripps Howard Chain and twice Runner-up for Writer of the Year. He is finishing a novel, "Red State Blues," set in his native Tennessee and Iraq. He is also the author of "Heroes, Sheroes and Zeroes, the Best Writings About People by Don Williams" (New Millennium Writings, 2005, sold out) and "100 Columns Strong, the Best Commentary by Don Williams," due out this fall and available now for pre-ordering at a discount. For more information, email him at Or visit the NMW website at

Feb 27 2007
04:43 pm

What: DFA Training Academy
Date: Saturday, April 28 & Sunday, April 29
Time: 9:00am - 6:00pm
Location: Karns Middle School
Cost: $60 in advance, $30 for students
Notes: Lunch will be provided both days.

Democracy for America is bringing their Training Academy to Knoxville. For those that don't know what DFA is:

Democracy for America finds, trains, and supports fiscally responsible and socially progressive candidates at all levels of office across the country. We harness the power of our enormous grassroots network to get these candidates elected and to work towards positive change from the bottom up. We provide organizational support and training opportunities to the hundreds of local DFA groups nationwide.

For anyone that's always wanted to get involved but didn't know how. For anyone that complains to their friends, complains on their blog, yells at their TV, wants to run that SUV with the W sticker off the road or is just plain fed up, this is your chance to learn how to put your energy to productive use.

For more information on their program and trainers, click here. To RSVP, click here.

Please spread the word. Thanks!

Feb 27 2007
03:36 pm
By: StaceyDiamond  shortURL

By my count gas went up 6 cents in 3 hours Saturday evening and it went up 6 more cents overnight last night. To some its supply and demand to others its the last straw in a financial crisis. In hard times you can switch from Starbucks to Pilot coffee but most gas stations are in a couple of cents of each other and if you aren't on the buslines there is little choice. Stacey

Feb 27 2007
09:20 am
By: Johnny Ringo  shortURL

Kinda suprised no one has commented on this one yet:

Senator calls for answer on creation of universe
February 27, 2007

NASHVILLE - Sen. Raymond Finney proposes to use the legislative process to get an answer to the question of whether the universe was created by a "Supreme Being."
Under Senate Resolution 17, introduced by the Maryville Republican, the answer would come from state Education Commissioner Lana Seivers "in report form" no later than Jan. 15, 2008.

Finney, a retired physician, said Monday that his objective is to formally prod the Department of Education into a dialogue about the teaching of evolution in school science classes without also teaching the alternative of "creationism," or "intelligent design."

The move would thus renew a debate that has raged off and on in the Tennessee Legislature since at least 1925, when the 64th General Assembly enacted a law forbidding the teaching of evolution - setting the stage for the famous John Scopes "monkey trial" in Dayton, Tenn., later that year.

Scientists, ethicists, theologians and philosophers have pondered this question for centuries. Who knew it would be the Tennessee State Education Commissioner who would finally give us the definitive answer?

Hack away...

Feb 27 2007
08:00 am

Bubbas's post on the subject

I should let this pass but, here goes. Do Burchett and The Moron really believe that I, a tax paying, fully employed, honorably discharged, active, voting citizen, should not be able to purchase a lottery ticket and give it to whomever I choose? Really? Do they believe that it is the moral duty of anyperson on welfare who sees a lottery ticket laying on the sidewalk to cover their eyes and walk on by?

There are several ways to get a lottery ticket that don't involve the holder paying any money. If my car stalls and a welfare recipient should help me with it, why could I not say, "yo dude thanks! Here is a fiver and a lottery ticket. Good Luck!"

These guys seem to have totally abandoned that whole party-of-less-government thing. I know Burchett and really can't understand why he didn't think this through. I only know The Moron by his words and deeds and as a result, I do not expect him to think through anything (or really, think at all) but, Tim really ought to know better.

This is simple willful and needless infringment of the rights of all citizens. If you want to stop public assistance recipients from purchasing lottery tickets, fine but, find another way. And while you are at it, include anyone who owns or works for a company that receives corporate welfare or tax breaks. Why not include anyone who is delinquent on any taxes, tickets, or fines. Obviously, anyone who's kids are going to school using lottery scholarship assistance should be inelgible cause that is public assistance. And of course, include anyone who spoke out against the lottery should not be allowed to profit from it so, politicians and churches may have some money they need to give back.

Yea, like that's gonna happen. Immoral Morons!


Feb 26 2007
09:32 pm

The KNS's suit against the County Commissioners is as straightforward and provable as any lawsuit can be.

As a citizen, it seems simply arrogant for the Commission to not settle. As a lawyer, I assumed the Open Meetings Act had a provision (as does the Civil Rights Act) for attorneys fees for successful litigants. In reading McElroy's blog, I was shocked to learn that the Open Meetings Act ONLY would allow for a revote, ie, no fees. Thus, Commission has nothing to lose by refusing settlement.

Could we get our State Senators and Legislators to a provision for attorneys fees to the Open Meetings Act? Such a provision would give the OMA some teeth, and would further the purpose of the OMA.

Feb 26 2007
08:47 pm

County Commission deferred action on Mark Harmon's KNS lawsuit settlement proposal and on hearing any Tyler Harber debate. But according to Scott Barker at the KNS, there was this interesting development:

Commissioners voted unanimously to approve an expanded ethics committee to handle conflict of interest complaints.

Moore and Knox County Mayor Mike Ragsdale worked out the structure of the committee over the weekend.

Committee members will be Hammond, Pinkston, Kim Waller, Knox County Sheriff’s Office Mike Duncan, Frank Shanklin Sr., former County Executive Tommy Schumpert, the Rev. Ron Stewart, the Rev. Clarence Sexton and Criminal Court Clerk Martha Phillips.

Ragsdale's original nominees (rejected by the first County Commission vote) were Phil Ballard, Mike Hammond, Mark Harmon, R. Larry Smith, and Martha Phillips.

Feb 26 2007
07:45 pm

Get your free copy at one of these fine establishments. (Not sure how up to date that list is, but add Atlanta Bread Co. in Blount County.)

Feb 26 2007
03:52 pm

Commissioner Harmon tried to add a resolution to consider the Jack McElroy lawsuit. I had to step away and do not know the result of that vote. R. Larry Smith chided the Commission about discussing the Tyler Harber issue.

It has been all love and kisses so far giving recognition to Sheriff Hutchison, Mike Lowe, and Steve Hall.

Now the gloves have come off and they are discussing the Sheriff's Pension.


Feb 26 2007
03:47 pm

Here is the item I have added to the agenda today for Knox County Commission

Knox County Commission agrees to the following
proposal for the County Law Director to present to
Jack McElroy (Knoxville News Sentinel) and his

1) This agreement takes the form of a consent
agreement where Knox County Commission admits no
violation of Tennessee Open Meetings law, but in the
interests of public confidence, quick resolution of
disputes, and reduced legal costs agrees to a voiding
of the appointments that took place on January 31,
2) The appointees chosen for office that day will be
considered de facto office holders, just as those who
had to replaced pursuant to the Tennessee Supreme
Court decision were considered part of a de facto
government. Their official acts will be respected
under that de facto status.
3) To avoid the great difficulties associated with
commissioner voting privileges under this agreement,
Knox County Commission will interpret the Charter
passage "by the remaining commissioners" to mean that
neither those eight commissioners who had to be
replaced pursuant to the Tennessee Supreme Court
ruling nor the replacements selected January 31st,
2007, will be eligible to vote in this second
appointment process. Thus, only the remaining eleven
commissioners may vote in this second appointment
4) This second appointment process will begin with the
successful completion of the law director's
negotiations with McElroy and his attorneys. No
sooner than two weeks after the law director informs
commission that these terms have been agreed upon, and
no later than four weeks after such notification, a
special called meeting of the commission will occur to
make the needed appointments.
5) The meeting to make the appointments will include
the following steps:
a. prior to the meeting, the voluntary submission
to the Knox County Commission office of resumes and
other deocuments by those seeking appointment to the
positions; this may take the form of candidates for
these positions simply indicating their desire that
previously submitted items should be considered.
b. The appointments meeting will begin with a
candidate statement period where persons seeking
appointments will have no more than three minutes to
make statements in support of their candidacies.
c. The candidate statement period will be followed
by a workshop-style discussion where the voting
commissioners will be free to discuss individual
candidacies or what combination of appointees would
best serve the overall interests of the county and/or
individual districts.
d. The workshop-style meeting will be followed by
votes on the countywide offices (sheriff, trustee,
register of deeds, and county clerk), then the
individual commission districts.
e. This agreement further recognizes the reality
that a voting group of eleven commissioners with a
majority set at ten quite likely could lead to several
deadlocked votes. These deadlocked appointments then
will be moved to the end of the agenda. Then by
unanimous consent, and only by unanimous consent, will
commissioners be able to vote on compromise slates of
candidates comprising two or more of the positions for
which a majority of ten could not be reached.
f. All these steps (candidate documents, candidate
statements, workshop-style discussions, and all votes)
shall be open, public, and in full compliance with
Tennessee's Open Meetings law.
6) The Commission further pledges in all future
business to be faithful to the spirit and letter of
Tennessee's Open Meetings Act.

Feb 26 2007
02:55 pm

Betty Bean has a report on yet another KFD controversy that will likely make your blood boil. (I'm told that the firefighter in question had been out on two calls the day he got his pink slip.) Be sure to check out the accompanying photos on the front page.

(And while you're there on the front page, check out the latest new feature, "That's the way I heard it" podcasts by Emily Shane. Here's a pretty funny one.)


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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