Wed
Feb 21 2007
12:14 pm
By: Sven  shortURL

Here's an interesting chart (below the fold), the result of a survey of Republican state legislators. Can you guess what it measures?

Continued...

50
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Wed
Feb 21 2007
11:54 am

For all you geezers and young pups alike, here's a pretty good retirement calculator from the AARP.

Note to geezers: We'd better stick together to protect Social Security and Medicare. Let these young whippersnappers "reform" it however they want as long as they leave ours alone.

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89
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Wed
Feb 21 2007
10:19 am
By: paulsteven  shortURL

“Last night we had three small zucchini for dinner that were grown within fifty feet of our back door. I estimate the cost somewhere in the neighborhood of $371.49 each.”
-Andy Rooney

Planted our first garden last year. My farmer neighbor was kind enough to plow up the soil with his John Deere tractor. As I was instructed, I went to the feed store and bought some seeds and fertilizer. I don’t know much about gardening but if you’re willing to ask, virtually everyone I meet is a card-carrying expert. These people know their vegetables. They’ll spend as much time with you as you like and dispense their wisdom with a smile. Good people. One of the things I like so much, here in the South. Homegrown friendly folk. Folks down here take their gardening seriously. Not just the farmers either. Every home has its finely manicured patch. Groomed and perfect as any PGA golf course. There may be an old sofa and defunct washing machine sitting on the front porch but their gardens are a different matter. They are meticulous. Rows of corn stand like soldiers in perfect columns at attention, robust tomatoes and impressive beans, melons and squash decorate the landscape. I’ve got a lot of catching up to do. I don’t want to disappoint my friends.

Read more after the jump...

Continued...

58
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Wed
Feb 21 2007
10:15 am

Alan Smithee - a pseudonym used by directors who don't want their name associated with a movie that has been altered beyond their control.

From Ask Cecil Adams:

Alan Smithee (along with several variant spellings) was an official pseudonym of the Directors Guild of America, for use by members who believed (and succeeded in persuading the Guild) that their work on a particular film had been so damaged or altered by others that it no longer resembled the director's vision. Permission to use the pseudonym was not granted casually, and was not intended simply to disown poor work. The practice began in 1968 when Robert Totten and his replacement Don Siegel both believed their work on the film Death of a Gunfighter had been so distorted by those controlling the film that neither wanted credit for the result. The Directors Guild agreed and decided to create a standard pseudonym. Naturally, such a pseudonym needed to be unique so that it would never be confused with the name of an actual director. The name Smithee was chosen, the thinking being that no one actually named Smithee was likely to surface. In 1999, a film called An Alan Smithee Film: Burn, Hollywood, Burn was released, telling the fictional story of a director who wanted to remove his name from the credits of his film, but couldn't because his name actually was Alan Smithee. (Coincidentally, director Arthur Hiller removed his name from the credits of Alan Smithee and thus it actually is an Alan Smithee film.) The Directors Guild determined that the name had gotten too familiar to the public as a result of this movie, and ceased using it as an official pseudonym. Now pseudonyms are determined on a case-by-case basis, and different names applied to the films in question.

Previous WOTD - Portmanteau

Topics:
54
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Tue
Feb 20 2007
11:44 pm

If I can beg your indulgence for a moment:

The Friends of the Knox County Public Library (FOL) will open the doors on 14,000 square feet of books on Sunday, March 4, as the FOL annual Used Book Sale gets underway. The sale will run through March 10 in the Old Knoxville Convention Center, officially known as the Knoxville Convention and Exposition Center (KCEC). The KCEC is located underneath the Holiday Inn Select, on the World’s Fair Park level. This is a new location for the book sale, and offers three times the space of previous years.

Continued...

45
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Tue
Feb 20 2007
07:32 pm

From KNS Editor Jack McElroy's blog:

As I've mentioned here before, the News Sentinel felt obligated to sue because of the impunity with which the commissioners ignored the Sunshine Law when they picked 12 replacements for term-limited office-holders. This law is one that has no real provision for enforcement other than citizens going to court. Based on the way the Commission behaved on Jan. 31, we figured we either had to sue or acknowledge that, in Knox County, the Open Meetings Act was meaningless.

Read the whole thing, including threats by Moore to go after KNS phone records and reporter's notes when Knox County Law Director John Owings suggested that County Commissioner's phone records and e-mails could come out in discovery.

Say what you will about the KNS, and I've said plenty and had plenty of differences of opinion on their editorial policy (from a political and unfortunately personal standpoint), but the KNS and McElroy are fighting the good fight here, for whatever it's worth.

Maybe it's all for show to sell papers. Or maybe it's symbolic and won't amount to anything in the end. But I'm sensing it's for real, at least on some level. Some stuff is so outrageous that it transcends KNOXGOB business as usual, and there's no more ignoring it or going along because even the most casually informed citizen can tell something is wrong.

OK, then.

247
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Tue
Feb 20 2007
07:12 pm

The BBC is reporting Tony Blair's expected Wednesday announcement.

Mr. Blair is expected to say hundreds of troops will return from Basra within weeks with more to follow later.

Some 7,000 UK troops are currently serving in Iraq and about 1,500 are expected to return within weeks.

I suppose now the Bush administration will be forced to tar and feather them for bailing on him.

Topics:
67
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Tue
Feb 20 2007
05:10 pm

Direct deposit:

One oddity Corker learned while there: Iraqi troops are paid in cash and then hand deliver the money to their families at home. While they are away on each money delivery, they are not helping their unit.

65
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Tue
Feb 20 2007
04:43 pm

Couple of new posts at Facing South on the South's role in next year's primaries, and of course Mardi Gras.

42
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Tue
Feb 20 2007
03:52 pm

Happy Mardi Gras, y'all.

Get ready for Lent tomorrow, but party it up today!

I'm celebrating this year with a King Cake that I bought at Bro's Restaurant, and a small donation to Common Ground Collective.

46
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Tue
Feb 20 2007
02:59 pm
By: talidapali  shortURL

Not to mention frustrating and maddening.

The Future of Food

Kind of makes me not want to eat...ever again.

51
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Tue
Feb 20 2007
02:57 pm
By: Malcolm Tent  shortURL

County Mayor Ragsdale's actions in today's commission seem like the actions of a desperate man. First Ragsdale apparently calls the governor to see if Bredesen can get this thing taken care of. Bredesen offers this in reply: “I regret to report that there is apparently little we can do." The phrasing of this reply obviously implies that Ragsdale was in desperate search to circumvent the commission on the appointment process.
Next Ragsdale calls for the commission to lobby the state legislature, with dog and pony show included, to change the political process to entail a special election. They even tried a little hoodwink action for the commission by offering that the ability to hold special elections would be a good tool to have for future use.
Lastly, Ragsdale tries to slide through a ramshackle ethics committee who's task it would be to handle ethical complaints about county officials. Ragsdale was obviously counciled that the Tyler Harber issue may be able to be killed in this Ethics Committee thus absolving him from future scrutiny.
Hooray for commission for seeing through this ruse. Ragsdale's actions imply more about his guilt than the Sherriff's office findings do. This thing is starting to look a little like the political version of a police chase. Ragsdale knows his days are numbered and is making a last ditch effort to keep his control, if not to keep his keester out of jail.

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Biden
2% (4 votes)
Clark
5% (11 votes)
Clinton
8% (19 votes)
Dodd
0% (1 vote)
Edwards
38% (84 votes)
Gravel
0% (0 votes)
Kucinich
2% (4 votes)
Obama
22% (49 votes)
Richardson
10% (22 votes)
Vilsack
2% (4 votes)
Other/Undecided
12% (26 votes)
Total votes: 224

Knoxville News Sentinel Editor Jack McElroy has instructed his attorney Rick Hollow to offer a settlement to Knox County Commissioners to drop its Sunshine Law lawsuit if the County Commissioners have a do-over of the January 31 appointment meeting which brought eight replacement Commissioners into office.

At what point should the citizens of Knox County question Mr. McElroy’s judgment and conduct? E.W. Scripps Company has a very specific Ethics Code. In this code are very specific guidelines regulating participation in political and governmental affairs. Today’s settlement offer is troubling and disturbing.

There is no provision in either the Knox County Charter or the Tennessee State Constitution for a do-over for the January 31st appointment process. Time and time again Mr. McElroy has shown a preference to defend the County Mayor and attack his opposition. There is not much that can be done in areas of Editorial judgment. However, this is a different matter. I hope County Commission chooses to fight Mr. McElroy in court and that they draw a line in the sand. This kind of heavy handed interference in the administration of local government cannot be condoned. It is outrageous and Mr. McElroy should be sanctioned by the E.W. Scripps Company corporation.

Is this a matter of principle, or is it a matter of intimidation? The section of the E.W. Scripps Company Ethics Code is listed below.

Update

Clarification:

There are at least three actions in play in this whole mess:

Mayor Ragsdale: Special Election September 2007.

Herb Moncier: Sunshine Law violation jury verdict.

Jack McElroy: Sunshine Law violation do-over.

Continued...

160
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Tue
Feb 20 2007
01:49 pm

(link...)

What will this accomplish? Can they just simply reappoint the same 12 folks and rub everyone's face in it?

149
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Tue
Feb 20 2007
12:18 pm
By: Andy Axel  shortURL

Fresh from his Sunday editorial entitled Victory Is Not An Option, former Reagan NSA chief William Odom gets in a tussle with Hugh Hewitt.

The outcome doesn't make Hewitt look good at all. Hewitt throws every defense of the Iraq strategy at him, and General Odom parries every point. General Odom destroys every historical analogy that Hewitt offers in defense by providing much-needed (and continuously ignored) context.

I normally don't advocate going to Townhall, but this is a must read.

A sample:

WO: Look, I mean, I…this a kind of a pointless argument. I mean, the issues…all of your things can be true. They don’t make it any better for us. We are on a path to suffer every month we stay. The defeat we face will be larger, and we will put off the time at which…and where we will have even less resources to recover. If you remember the Second World War, Hitler had 600,000 troops thrown into Stalingrad, refused over four, five months to withdraw them, at the plea by, from his generals, and he ends up losing them all. If he had withdrawn them as they said, asked him to do, and let Stalingrad go, he could have shortened his lines by seven or eight hundred kilometers, and had nearly, had over 600,000 troops survive. Now that’s…a military commander that doesn’t know when to retire from one area so he can approach the conflict from another area, is not a smart commander. And it seems to you’re advocating a kind of policy where you have a president who jumps off the Empire State Building, and he goes by the 50th floor, and he says I’m on course. Well, I want a president who knows how to change course.

(More after the jump…)

Continued...

Topics:
49
like
Tue
Feb 20 2007
11:53 am

Empowering Veterans, Inc. Unveils its "Worst 10" list of incumbent Senators up for reelection in 2008. These people are very pious in the "Support the Troops" rhetoric, but most hypocritical when it comes to voting to support members of the Armed Forces and their families and veterans and their families.

Well, he made the top spot because his name starts with an A, I guess, so it isn't fair to say Alexander is the MOST hypocritical Senator, but he does have some explaining to do and he is up for reelection in '08.

This could be interesting. Could Lamar get swept out with the rest of the republicans?

63
like
Tue
Feb 20 2007
09:51 am
By: WhitesCreek  shortURL

"A plausible scenario for a military collision with Iran involves Iraqi failure to meet the benchmarks; followed by accusations of Iranian responsibility for the failure; then by some provocation in Iraq or a terrorist act in the U.S. blamed on Iran..."

This piece has way too many solid links for me to shorten it for you. Suffice it to say that Bush appears hellbent on World War Three, only this time, George W. Bush plays the part of Hitler.

Must Read

Will Bob Corker step up and stop him?

58
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Tue
Feb 20 2007
09:50 am

You can watch on Knox County Community Television on Comcast Cable Channel 12 and Charter Cable Channel 6. YouTube Nine coverage later.

This meeting will discuss a special election to replace County Commissioners, the vote on Mayor Ragsdale's appointments to the ethics committee, and as quoted in the News Sentinel, "will consider Commission Chairman Scott Moore's request that commission give a public airing to Sheriff's Office employees who investigated allegations of dirty political tricks performed by former Ragsdale aide Tyler Harber."

48
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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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