Jan 22 2018
07:14 am

Not only is Bitcoin fake money made up out of thin air and sucking billions out of the economy without creating any value, "mining" it wastes massive amounts of energy that could be conserved or put to better use.

New York Times:

"...the computer power needed to create each digital token consumes at least as much electricity as the average American household burns through in two years, according to figures from Morgan Stanley and Alex de Vries, an economist who tracks energy use in the industry.

The total network of computers plugged into the Bitcoin network consumes as much energy each day as some medium-size countries — which country depends on whose estimates you believe. And the network supporting Ethereum, the second-most valuable virtual currency, gobbles up another country’s worth of electricity each day."

The cryptocurrency phenomenon is also affecting gamers, who find it increasingly difficult to procure high end graphic cards because miners are buying them all up for their mining rigs.

If all that isn't crazy enough, there's BananaCoin.

SEE ALSO: 90% of bitcoin's value could get wiped out

AND: David Moon: "To be a currency, an asset must be both a medium of exchange and a safe store of value. Bitcoin fails both tests."

Koch Bros. score $billions in tax cuts, give House Speaker Paul Ryan $500,000 tip.

SEE ALSO: Koch Brothers and N.R.A. Reach Timeshare Agreement Over Ownership of Paul Ryan

Jan 21 2018
09:13 am

Some of the ways the U.S. government is affected.

Congress still gets paid.

Non-essential Department of Defense civilian employees will be furloughed.

Lots of "non-essential" employees will be furloughed.

The US Postal Service will still deliver mail.

Air Traffice Controllers will continue to work.

Social Security checks will still be issued.

USDA inspections continue.

Customer service at Medicare and Medicaid could be impacted due to furloughed employees.

National Park roads, trails, and memorials will be open but parks will not collect entrance fees and will not be staffed for basic work like picking up trash, staffing visitors centers, or issuing permits. Campgrounds will be closed.

If the shutdown continues through Monday, The Smithsonian museums will close as will the National Zoo.

Senate Minority Leader Charles E. Schumer (D-N.Y.) offered President Trump funding for his wall in exchange for protecting immigrants who entered the country illegally as children? The most powerful Democrat in the Senate was willing to support one of his party’s most-hated proposals, just like that? The Times wrote simply that Schumer "discussed the possibility of fully funding the president’s wall on the southern border with Mexico" - which leaves some wiggle room.

"Negotiating with President Trump is like negotiating with Jell-O," Minority Leader Charles E. Schumer (D-N.Y.) complained on the Senate floor Saturday, some 12 hours into the shutdown. "It’s next to impossible."

Jan 20 2018
08:09 pm

Tom Humphrey with the summary of the health care forum...

Democrats Fitzhugh and Dean are for it. Republicans are against it.

Boyd wants block grants, which is like giving car keys and whiskey to teenage boys.

More than six months into his presidency, the number of bills Trump has signed stands at 53. Many have been passed through the Congressional Review Act, which allows Congress to roll back regulations imposed by the executive branch, and are aimed at dismantling former President Barack Obama's legislative legacy.

In all, two of the laws has created a new policy, 15 have rolled back rules and regulations issued under Obama's administration, 10 had to do with designating something or working to create a new initiative, 11 changed or expanded existing legislation, and 15 were related to government funding or operations.

President Trump has signed 53 bills into law. Here's what they do

Democrats hoping for a wave may be disappointed. I predict Republicans maintain or even strengthen control of the U.S. House and Senate.

The Trump voters and even Republican skeptics are happy that their 401Ks are a little fatter, they will get a few more bucks in their paychecks, Obamacare has been "repealed," and discrimination against urban, minority and ethnic people has been re-institutionalized. They are winning the propaganda wars, and Trump is the unlikely hero because of all he has "accomplished."

Our next governor will be a Republican, and could be a woman unless Randy Boyd gets busy. Democrats have fielded a couple of credible candidates, but they aren't well known outside Nashville or rural West Tennessee. It's also within the realm of possibility that they get beat out in the primary by somebody named Johnny Appleseed or Ace Bandage.

The Senate election should be closer, unless Democrats sit it out because Phil Bredesen is not Bernie Sanders or he loses the primary to Phat Albert. Bottom line, Republican in a close win and likely a woman.

Our next Congressman from the 2nd District will be a Republican, likely Burchett. He will carry Knox County, but needs to get out in the surrounding countryside where they don't know him and bale some hay or milk some cows or something. Matlock seems to be campaigning mostly outside Knox, so his strategy may be to win everywhere else and hope it's enough. Democrats have a couple of credible candidates who seem nice, but they don't have the political background and experience to compete with the East TN GOP juggernaut and Brian Hornback.

Johnson v. Smith round three will be a good matchup in State House District 13. Unfortunately for Democrats, incumbency and retrograde politics carry a lot of weight.

Over in Blount County we will have an assortment of usual suspects and yahoos with no adult supervision since Doug Overbey was appointed US Attorney for East Tennessee.

Beyond, Trump wins again because by 2020 the greatest leader in the history of the world myth will have grown to Biblical proportions, the Energy Dept. and EPA will report to Exxon Mobile, everybody at CNN and MSNBC will be in jail, Fox and Friends will occupy the Supreme Court, and the Grammys will be canceled.

Hope I'm wrong about all of this.

Jan 19 2018
08:22 am

Intel Committee Releases Glenn Simpson Testimony Transcripts

GOP Rep. Tom Rooney -
"If we knew that Donald Trump was working with the Russian mafia to fund Doonbeg in Ireland, then there's no way he would be President."

DTV's Michael Davis hosts Karen Pershing, Executive Director of the Metro Drug Coalition and Dr. Mark McGrail, Director, Addiction Medicine Services of the Cherokee Health System in a discussion of addiction and the opioid crises on Community TV tonight. Tune in to your Community TV channel at 7:30 PM, Friday, January 19th for this informative and timely discussion.

CTV streams live (here)!

Or watch on your cable channels at:
Comcast Channel 12
Charter Channel 193
Wow! Channel 6
ATT U-verse Channel 99

Jan 19 2018
12:19 am

Global surface temperatures last year were the second hottest since 1880, according to an analysis by scientists with NASA’s Goddard Institute for Space Studies.

2017 was one of the hottest years on record, NASA says

Jan 18 2018
04:24 pm

The go to, late night, early AM, after gig, after concert, after partying too much spot for grease and carbs on Cumberland Ave. that for decades served generations of wobbly, red-eyed patrons is closed for good.

Krystal on Cumberland Avenue won't reopen

Jan 18 2018
10:09 am

Amazon has narrowed the candidate cities for their second headquarters from 238 proposals to 20. Nashville made the cut. Other locations in the South are Atlanta, Raleigh, Miami, Dallas and Austin.

Cities are competing for a $5 billion investment and up to 50,000 jobs. In addition, "construction and ongoing operation of Amazon HQ2 is expected to create tens of thousands of additional jobs and tens of billions of dollars in additional investment in the surrounding community."

Amazon announces 20 HQ2 candidate locations

Jan 18 2018
08:23 am

A reminder for those interested in a Pat Summitt Foundation specialty license plate.

The Pat Summitt Foundation is working to have the State of Tennessee add a specialty license plate. They have been obtaining pre-orders since November, 2016. They need 1,000 pre-orders to get the State of Tennessee to start the production process of the new plate. Currently, the deadline for pre-orders is June 1, 2018. The pre-order price is $35.00, $15.375 of every plate purchased is given to The Pat Summitt Foundation.

As of July 5 2017, nearly 600 orders have been placed.

Jan 17 2018
07:23 pm

A Federal Reserve survey released Wednesday found labor shortages all over the country. And more businesses said they had no choice but to pay more to attract and keep the workers they want, a sign that wage growth may finally be picking up.

American businesses can't find workers

Federal Reserve survey

Anti Defamation League report - Murder and Extremism in the United States in 2017

White supremacists were responsible for 18 of the 34 murders documented in 2017. A right-wing anti-government extremist committed one murder (see below), while an adherent of the alt lite—an offshoot of the alt right that rejects explicit white supremacy while retaining the alt right’s other hateful views of Muslims, immigrants, LGBTQ individuals, the left, and especially women—committed another.

Thus 20 of the 34 extremist-related murders in the United States in 2017, or 59%, were related to right-wing extremism. This can be compared to 2016, in which only 20% of extremist murders were related to right-wing extremism—though, again, 2016 was an aberration. Over the past 10 years (2008-17), domestic extremists have been responsible for at least 387 murders; of these, 274 (71%) were committed by right-wing extremists of one type or another.

The National Park System Advisory Board, which was established in 1935, has typically included social and natural science academics as well as former elected officials from both parties. In recent years, it has advised Interior on how to address climate change, among other issues, and how to encourage younger visitors to frequent the parks.

Nearly all members of National Park Service advisory panel resign in frustration

"I have a profound concern that the mission of stewardship, protection, and advancement of our National Parks has been set aside," the letter said.

9 Park Service advisory board members quit

All area schools, courts and most government offices closed again today. KAT buses on snow schedules. Extreme cold this morning. Secondary roads will be icy, refreezing expected. Stay safe!

TDOT road conditions...

Jan 16 2018
03:21 am

All area schools (Knox, Blount, Alcoa, Maryville, Sevier, Anderson, Oak Ridge, Loudon, Lenoir City, Roane) are closed ahead of possible snow accumulation.

All Knox Co. offices closed, including Knox County courts, County Clerk, Trustee, Register of Deeds, Property Assessor, Mayor's Office, Health Department, Public Library, Senior Centers, Convenience & Recycling Centers, Veterans Service, Law Department, County Commission office, Internal Audit.

No word yet on City of Knoxville offices. Tuesday trash pickup will be early. City Rec Centers are open 10 to 6 but call to verify they are staffed.

National Weather Service: "A cold front sweeps through the area on Tuesday/Tuesday night, and at this point looks to bring light snow accumulations area-wide. Generally 1 to 3 inches are expected across the southern TN Valley. Higher amounts up to 4 inches are possible across the higher terrain of the northern Cumberland Plateau and southwest Virginia. Travel issues may arise during the day on Tuesday and persist Tuesday night into early Wednesday morning on untreated roadways. Bitterly cold temperatures on Wednesday will be in place with highs in the upper teens to lower 20s."

Jan 15 2018
10:36 pm

from WBIR ...

The 110th General Assembly is in session. This year, lawmakers are expected to tackle a wide range of issues - from medical marijuana to education reform.

We're helping you keep track of the bills that could have the biggest impact on East Tennessee. I've linked to each bill's page on the General Assembly's website, so you can keep track of the ones you're interested in or contact your lawmakers about the proposals.

Annie's Bill Blog: What we're watching in the state legislature

Jan 15 2018
09:10 am

Georgiana Vines reflects on covering Knoxville news and politics for fifty years. She's tough, smart, and has a huge Rolodex. Georgiana is one of Knoxville's few remaining actual journalists and reminds us of how it's supposed to be done.


TN Progressive

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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. (Source)

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