Mar 8 2007
09:26 pm

Which of the following singers would have made it to the American Idol finals?

John Lennon, Mick Jagger, Bob Dylan, Leon Russell, Rod Stewart, Joe Cocker, Grace Slick, Neil Young, Janis Joplin, Tom Petty, Wilson Pickett, Chrissie Hynde, Lucinda Williams, Johnny Cash, Bonnie Raitt, Van Morrison, Muddy Waters, David Bowie, Paul Simon, Michael Bolton...

OK, maybe Michael Bolton.

Mark it down: I predict Lakisha Jones will win it, because I still believe in talent and stuff. Which means she probably won't make the final cut.

Mar 8 2007
05:52 pm

PETA is now after Al Gore. Why, you might ask?

According to PETA, "animals raised for food generate more greenhouse gases than all cars and trucks combined, and that (according to a recent University of Chicago study), switching to a vegan diet is more effective in countering global warming than switching from a standard American car to a Prius."

I had some braised spinach and a glass of Shiraz Cabernet with my pork chop. By the way, the pork chop was delicious.


Scooter Libby and this not so sacred earth
By Don Williams

If Lincoln was right to suggest that the dead hallow the earth, then America and Iraq grow more sacred by the day. Take Tuesday, March 6, when Dick Cheney’s former chief of staff, I. Scooter Libby, was pronounced guilty of lying and obstructing. Media related another story that day, but in such a way that you would’ve thought it happened in a different universe. It was about how suicide bombers murdered at least 100 Shiites and injured more than 250 during a holy pilgrimage in Iraq.

Click here to continue reading...


Mar 8 2007
10:22 am

This week the Blount County Mayor has an interesting Letter to the Editor in The Daily Times.

Two big issues in this letter. First his attitude towards "Johnny Come Lately critics" which to me means transplants-HEY! we are Blount By Choice and that I will rant on in another post.

The other issue is the money coming from the housing of federal inmates.

The Mayor says "over $2 million in revenue is generated per year". This is payment for our jail housing and transporting federal inmates.

How much of this flow of funds will stop when the Department of Justice finishes it's audit of the IGA between the US Marshal's Service and the BCJC?

Straight from the DoJ's website

Intergovernmental Service Agreements for Detention Facilities

The USMS houses approximately 53,000 detainees throughout the nation and is responsible for their detention from the time they are brought into federal custody until they either are acquitted or incarcerated. To house the detainees, the USMS often executes Intergovernmental Service Agreements with state and local governments to rent jail space. According to the USMS, 75 percent of the detainees in USMS custody are detained in state, local, and private facilities.

During this reporting period, we completed an audit of an IGA that the USMS awarded to the Blount County, Tennessee, Sheriff's Office for the housing and transportation of federal detainees. The BOP also housed prisoners at the facility under the terms of the IGA between the USMS and the Sheriff's Office. Our audit determined that the Sheriff's Office's allowable costs did not support the jail daily rate paid by the USMS and the BOP for FYs 2003 and 2004 and the first 8 months of FY 2005. During this period, the USMS could have saved more than $1.2 million by paying the audit calculated rate instead of the rate it agreed to, while the BOP could have saved more than $36,000. In addition, the USMS could have saved more than $730,000 by paying the audit calculated rate for the period June 1, 2005, through September 30, 2005. The BOP could have saved over $17,000 by paying the audit determined rate for the same time period. Both the USMS and the BOP currently are preparing responses to the OIG.

I look forward to reading those responses from the USMS and the BOP. Don't you?

My questions are simple- this audit shows the IGA to be very favorable to the Blount County coffers but how much longer will we be getting this great deal? Or has the IGA already been re-written to reduce the cash flow to the county and if so do we really profit from housing these federal inmates?

We are at a time here in Blount County when every penny counts and well it should! As our Commission is looking at the budget for this next year don't they need to fully understand when part of our revenue may be at risk if it is in fact just that- at risk?

On a personal note, my favorite part of liberal leaning websites is that I know it's readers will go off and do their own research. We are not the kind of folks who blindly accept. We question all the answers. So as you go off to do your own research I have a tip for you. The way these federal websites are set up just clicking on the link provided via a search won't get you to the page you want. Don't forget to click on the cache.

I am- Blount By Choice!

Mar 8 2007
09:50 am

Sharing the Costs of Development and Growth:
The Experience with Impact Fees and Adequate Facilities Taxes in Tennessee

A workshop sponsored by the League of Women Voters of Knox County
Land Use Committee

Special Guests: Dr. Stanley Chervin, Senior Research Associate
Tennessee Advisory Commission on Intergovernmental Relations (TACIR)
Russ Newman, Director, Loudon County Planning Department

Tuesday, March 20
12:00 noon to 1:00 pm (brown bag lunch at 11:30)
Beck Cultural Center, 1927 Dandridge Avenue, Knoxville

With increasing concern for quality growth in Knox County, a fundamental question arises: How will we pay for the rising costs of infrastructure--new schools, parks, police and fire protection, roads, and off-site drainage? How can we ensure that commercial and residential developers bear an appropriate share of the costs incurred by new development?

To realize greater cost-sharing, one of our options is to pursue a local adequate facilities tax or impact fee on new development--- linked with incentives for sustainable development and affordable housing. The League of Women Voters invites you to our public workshop to explore this issue with Dr. Stan Chervin from TACIR, the state's own intergovernmental think tank. Recent legislation has enabled a school facility tax for high-growth counties. Russ Newman, Director of Loudon County's Planning Department will provide perspective on the implementation of this new law in Loudon County.

We welcome you to forward this invitation to your colleagues. To help us with planning, please RSVP to this email, or call Jamey Dobbs at 548-0818. Feel free to call or email for more information. For directions, call the Beck Center at 865/524-8461. Interstate 40/James White Parkway construction has changed the regular route to the Center. Parking is free.

Jamey Dobbs, Program Director
Our Community Schools - A legacy of Nine Counties.One Vision.
Phone: (865) 548-0818, (865) 691-6728

Mar 8 2007
08:03 am

The KNS reports that Tommy Schumpert was never asked if he wanted to be on the newly formed Knox County Ethics Committee and that he won't serve. Scooby has an entertaining explanation for the faux pas: It's all Jack McElroy's fault.

Mar 8 2007
02:26 am

Former labor secretary dishes on his date with Hillary Rodham.

Ok, this is a cheap plug for Reich's blog. The guy's effing brilliant, and in a just and sane world he'd have a wider audience than certain unnamed glibertarian law professors.

Mar 7 2007
08:44 pm

L...Y...I...N...G... to the feds.

Seems our own Fred Thompson 's convicted felon Scooter Libby.


Children's Hospital Rehab Center operates a summer day camp for children with special needs. It's held at the Kiwanis Fresh Air Camp on Prosser Road. This year children ages 5-11 will attend the week of July 9 and ages 12-18 the week of July 16.

We're looking for any groups of children (ages 8 and up), teens or adults who might be willing to present a "special performance" during those two weeks. It would be in the early afternoon, for 20 or 30 minutes between the hours of 1 and 2:30 p.m. Ideas include: putting on a simple puppet show; playing an instrument and singing songs; leading the children in singing songs; telling stories; or doing magic tricks, etc. Please let me know if you have questions or are involved with a group who might be interested.

We also can use volunteers - 8 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. - those days. Volunteers need to be at least 14 years old and go through Children's Hospital Volunteer Orientation. . The volunteers help with arts and crafts activities, storytime, lunch and snacks, outdoor activities (wheelchair basketball, pool play) and general support. Let me know if anyone's interested in that, too, and I can point you in the right direction to get signed up.

I know many of you are involved in groups in your neighborhoods, at school or at church that welcome different activities. Everyone who participates has a great experience. You can call me at work (690-8961) or home (633-9263) if you want to learn more.

Anne Woodle

Mar 7 2007
03:12 pm
By: rocketsquirrel  shortURL

So KAT is running buses with biodiesel, right? "Clean" fuels, right?

We were behind KAT bus 903 (orange bus) with a faded "clean fuel-biodiesel" sticker on it.

That bus was belching black smoke something awful.

How clean is that biodiesel? Sounds like buying a hybrid car that only gets 35 mpg.

My granddad would refer to that as a "pig in a poke."

Just saying.

Mar 7 2007
02:11 pm

The National Association of Recording Merchandisers and the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame have named the all-time 200 Definitive Albums. The top 10 are:


The Hall of Fame list is here. Here's the interactive Definitive 200 website.

Mar 7 2007
11:05 am

As Republican operatives furiously try to create an alternate reality in their friendly media, let me take you back to Patrick Fitzgerald's news conference in October of 2005. This may be one of the greatest statements from a Federal Prosecutor ever. In and of itself, this statement blows away nearly everything defenders of Cheney, Rove, and Libby will say.

And he proved every bit of it in court, just like he said he would.

Patrick Fitzgerald

(Yeah, you have to join up but it's free)

A excerpt after the break.


Mar 7 2007
09:33 am
By: WhitesCreek  shortURL

"Air America Radio has a new owner. Why?...

Because if progressive values were a stock, now is the time to buy. "

Air America offers to host the first Republican Primary debate in New Hampshire...Hey, if Fox News can host a Democratic Primary, why not AAR turning about?


Mar 7 2007
09:20 am

Mitt Romney made a whistle stop at the Airport Hilton yesterday. The local newspaper was not allowed to attend the event. They filed this report anyway, presumably from a First Amendment Zone setup for them in the lobby. Romney promised area Republicans he would destroy the federal government if elected.

Mar 7 2007
08:49 am

It makes no apparent sense that the Vols are not one of the top 30 teams...


Mar 7 2007
06:44 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...


Mar 6 2007
11:14 pm

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.


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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