Jan 16 2019
07:04 pm
By: R. Neal  shortURL

Me: (ordering an unhealthy fast food meal)

The Mrs.: What are you doing? You're not following my rules!

Me: Your rules? You don't follow MY rules!

The Mrs.: Oh, yeah? What are your rules?

Me: Um... uh... let me think a minute.


The Supreme Court appeared ready Wednesday to strike down a Tennessee provision that requires people to live in the state for two years before obtaining a license to sell alcohol.

Supreme Court appears ready to void Tennessee alcohol law in Memphis case

Some history about Tennessee and liquor licenses ..

Jan 16 2019
03:47 pm


I interviewed Eddie Mannis for my newsletter last year, and wanted to share it with y'all here. Eddie is the founder of Prestige Cleaners, HonorAir, and was Mayor Rogero's first chief operating officer. He is an announced candidate for Knoxville city mayor.

An Interview with Eddie Mannis

Jan 15 2019
08:36 am

Starting Jan. 1, a new federal rule requires the nation’s hospitals to post all their full-price charges on their websites. The idea is to introduce transparency into the world of hospital charges. But these newly-published price lists may end up leaving consumers even more confused than ever before.

Hospitals use a chargemaster list of prices for all services, goods, and procedures. The chargemaster price is usually the highest price a hospital would charge for services, goods, or procedures. Most people with insurance do not pay the chargemaster price. Insurance companies negotiate with hospitals to bring down the prices. If you don't have insurance or if a service, goods, or procedure is not covered, I would guess you will have to try and negotiate a lesser price or pay the high price.

Each of the hospital's standard charges sites has a disclaimer to which you have to agree with the understanding that the "information provided on these sites are estimates of the charges for a medical service or procedure. The information does not represent the actual amount you will be charged as many variables are involved in providing the amount."

Locally, UT Hospital uses the CDM code, charge description master. Tennova Turkey Creek uses a SVCCD code (don't know what that is). Fort Sanders (Covenant) uses a CPT code (current procedural terminology) as well as a CDM code.

I found it very hard if not impossible to use the price lists provided by the local hospitals to compare prices for services, goods, or procedures. It was my understanding that CPT codes were the standard for how medical providers identify services, goods, and procedures. However, using Fort Sanders Hospital downloaded file, it appears that there are over 4,000 items without a CPT code.

Besides that it is hard to navigate the price lists to compare prices, many people are covered by insurance and the prices are completely different and you are still unable to compare them.

Ft. Sanders (Covenant) has the best web site for looking up prices. UT Hospital and Tennova have you download a csv file, which can be opened in MS Excel or MS Word or similar software. Ft. Sanders also has an option to download a csv file.

I have yet to find the standard charges information when going directly to the local hospital web sites. I've had to Google hospital name standard charges to get links with access to this information.

Ft. Sanders Hospital Price Transparency

UT Hospital Price Transparency

Tennova Turkey Creek price Transparency FAQs RE Price Transparency

Frequently Asked Questions Regarding Requirements for Hospitals To Make Public a List of Their Standard Charges via the Internet

Jan 14 2019
10:30 am

What: Books Sandwiched In welcomes Dr. Zach McKenney
When: Wednesday, January 23, 2019 - 12:00pm
Where: East Tennessee History Center, 601 South Gay Street

Janesville.jpgBooks Sandwiched In starts the new year welcoming Dr. Zach McKenney for a consideration of Janesville: An American Story by Amy Goldstein, Wednesday, January 23, noon–1:00 in the East Tennessee History Center auditorium at 601 South Gay Street.

"Amy Goldstein provides a harrowing account of the human consequences of plant shutdowns and the rippling effects that they have throughout affected communities," McKenney said.


Jan 13 2019
09:09 pm

MarketWatch: A hedge-fund-backed media group known for buying up struggling local papers and cutting costs is planning to make an offer for USA Today publisher Gannett Co., according to people familiar with the matter.

Not sure what's left to cut.

The Tennessee Wine and Spirits Retailers Association has a case before the Supreme Court. They say that Total Wine & More should not be able to have stores in Tennessee, arguing that Tennessee law requires retail owners to be residents of the state.

The issue:
Does the Twenty-first Amendment permit states to require that alcohol retail license applicants reside in-state for a specified length of time prior to obtaining a license?

The National Association of Wine Retailers has gotten involved, arguing that the right of wine producers to sell and ship bottles to out-of-state consumers should be extended to retailers. Currently 36 states (including Tennessee) prohibit interstate shipping from retail wine shops.

Oh, my. States rights! States rights!

Jan 13 2019
05:38 am

HANNITY: What are the options, though, if you declare a national emergency? The Pentagon also has the funds available that they would be able to help support the building of the wall.

TRUMP: If we don’t make a deal with Congress, which we should be able to. Really just common sense, and there is some compromise needed, and, look, they know that the wall is working. Do you know what works? A wheel. And a wall. They call it a medieval thing.

Well, you know, I’m looking at all these very expensive cars all over here loaded up with machine guns and every single one of them has wheels. A wheel is an old thing. There are two things that they work. A wall would be so effective. It would solve so many killings and so much death and drugs and human trafficking. Where they tape up women on their face. They tape them up and put them in the back of a car or a van and they drive right through our border.

(I am not making this up.)

Jan 12 2019
07:13 am

From VBINC (Memphis), The Tennessee Democratic Party’s State Executive [committee] will elect a new Chair tomorrow, Saturday. The race features three candidates: Current Chair, Mary Mancini, Williamson Co. native Holly McCall, and Murfreesboro native Chris Hale.
Democrats, who used to be solid with rural communities, have been squeezed out as rural America. Rural communities have lost jobs, opportunity, and hospitals. These are issues that Democrats should OWN.

From LeftWingCracker, "If I remember correct, the number of voters will be 72, which means that the winner needs 37 at a minimum. 66 of these voters were elected by their State Senate Districts to the Executive Committee in last August's primary elections. So, even if you got each of those groups to give you their vote, you would still need 32 members of the Executive Committee to vote for you."
... the Blue Dog days are dead forever, and despite what people from those days would tell you, that is NOT the only way for the Democrats to prosper in this state.

Tune into Democratic TV on Friday evening, January 11 at 7:30 PM for a lively discussion with Democratic Assistant Caucus Leader Rick Staples (D-15) and Gloria Johnson (D 13) about their projections for the 2019 General Assembly. Their discussion will be moderated by DTV's Host John Stewart.

DTV can be seen on the following cable channels:

Comcast Channel 12
Charter Channel 193
Wow! Channel 6
ATT U-verse Channel 99

DTV streams live (here!)

Jan 10 2019
07:25 am

Knox Co. Mayor Glenn Jacobs took time out from his busy schedule to participate in a reddit "ask me anything." Hilarity ensues. Who thought this was a good idea? Here's a sampling:


Trump has an unhealthy fixation on making bad campaign performance art into stupid national policy. He's holding government employees and their families hostage to implement an ineffective 15th century solution to an exaggerated 21st century problem.

Congress, well, actually Mitch McConnell, says they can't pass a budget because Trump won't let them without funding for whatever he wants. Wrong. It says right there in the Constitution that Congress is responsible for funding the government. It also says they can override a presidential veto of said funding.

Trump is now suggesting that he can bypass Congress and unilaterally appropriate taxpayer funds for his symbolic wall by making up a "national emergency." Some otherwise rational people are starting to suggest this may be a way out for both sides.

It is time for Congress to act. They can send Trump a message that he does not have the power to shutdown the government. That he does not have the power to appropriate funds. That he does not have the power to dictate policy.

There are Constitutional checks and balances for a reason. Trump is the perfect example. Congress must do its job to rein him in. Pass a budget. Override the veto. End the charade.

Jan 9 2019
11:44 am

What: CAPPE's 17th Annual ChiliFest (and bake sale)
When: Saturday, February 9, 2019 - 4:00pm
Where: Smith Life Event Center, 1404 Tuckaleechee Pike, Maryville

New contestants and previous winners will meet at CAPPE’s 17th annual ChiliFest on Saturday, February 9. Door opens at 4pm and we serve until 7pm. Contestants welcome at 3pm to set up your table.

Enter your special chili and you could win a ribbon and a cash prize!
Four ribbons and cash prizes will be awarded as three categories of chili – beef, other meats and vegetarian – compete for the judges’ decisions. The tasting public will vote for the fourth category - People’s Choice.

Entry form is here: (link...)

This is a family friendly event. Admission is $7 at the door (free for children ten years of age and under). With admission comes a taste of all entries and, if you are still hungry, a bowl of your favorite chili – and opportunity to vote for the People’s Choice winner. Beverages, quesadillas and home-baked goodies will be available for purchase.

For more information contact Susan Keller at 982 4267.

Jan 8 2019
10:49 pm

A new resort, "Ancient Lore Village at Boyd Hollow," is slated to open in South Knoxville in 2020.

The new 40-acre resort will feature more than 150 period homes and treehouses, a restaurant, a 500-person event center and a 1,000-seat outdoor amphitheater.

$40 million resort coming to South Knoxville in 2020

Jan 8 2019
11:48 am

In nine days there have been three shootings at the Knox Ridge student housing complex off of Cherokee Trail, behind UT Hospital.

Two of the shootings were during parties. The third incident involved a gun owner with a gun permit. The person was unloading his gun in his apartment and then gun went off.

The current owners of the property only acquired the property just over a month ago.

Is it safe to have college students in your community? :)

Jan 7 2019
09:46 am

The State of Tennessee sent out a letter dated 12/19/2018 informing employers that they must file the Tennessee Premium and Wage Reports electronically effective 1/1/2019.

I went to the site to file these reports and received this message:


Oh, well. Change of schedule.

Jan 6 2019
08:35 am

Knox Co. Mayor Glenn Jacobs, a/k/a "Kane," has a lot of side hustles. He's a famous WWE wrestler who travels to wrestling events in Saudi Arabia and Australia. He also owns an insurance company. And, he recently opened a wrestling school and training facility.

Jacobs also makes $180K working for the County. (The county's charter says he must be paid more than any other elected official.) It's hard to imagine how he finds the time for what is ostensibly a full time job. On the other hand, he has a lot of help. He added two new administrative staff positions and recently promoted his finance director to "deputy chief of staff." (The finance director now does both jobs with no raise in pay.)

Even with all those people working for him, the Mayor's office still doesn't seem to have much to do. There's no police department. Law enforcement and the jails are the domain of an independently elected sheriff. There aren't any schools to run. That's handled by an independently elected school board and a superintendent hired by them. There's no fire department or ambulance service. Those are outsourced. Waste collection? Outsourced. Independently elected officials handle tax collections and property records.

That leaves parks and recreation, road maintenance, a health department, the library, and accounting. All of them have directors who run the day to day operations and report to the mayor.

So maybe Knox County doesn't even need a full time mayor, or the $180K salary that goes with it. And Jacobs would be free to pursue his professional wrestling career and other side hustles.


The "see no evil, hear no evil, speak no evil" approach ....

And this overflow is "having a really destructive effect on health care delivery in general," he added. "There are ERs now that are repeatedly on diversion -- which means they can't see any more patients -- because there are so many patients with mental illness or behavioral problems that are populating the ER."

ERs 'flooded' with mentally ill patients with no place else to turn

TN Progressive

TN Politics

Knox TN Today

Local TV News

News Sentinel

State News

Local .GOV

Wire Reports

Lost Medicaid Funding

To date, the failure to expand Medicaid/TennCare has cost the State of Tennessee ? in lost federal funding. (Source)

Search and Archives