Taken in its entirety, the new waiver guidance appears to lay out a path for state officials to pursue, via waivers, changes to the ACA that Congress has not been able to achieve through legislation. Whether and how states respond to the new waiver guidance remains to be seen.

New rules

Stealth attack preexisting conditions

Dec 12 2018
06:34 am

Did you feel it? Two earthquakes hit East Tennessee minutes apart:

There was a 4.4 earthquake around 4:15 a.m. and a 3.3 earthquake around 4:30 a.m.

I felt it. It felt like a tractor trailer had hit a building close by.

Dec 11 2018
05:24 pm

Individual 1 says he will shut down the Federal government if Congress doesn't give him money to build his stupid wall that Mexico was supposed to pay for.

OK, then. Whatever.

But what is a Federal government shutdown? Best I can tell from previous shutdowns is that National Parks are closed. VA paperwork might get slowed down or something, too, not sure. Mostly it causes aggravation for a lot of innocent bystanders. Congress still gets paid, though. Soldiers don't.

If the crybaby in chief wants a real government shutdown he should go all in. Otherwise he's weak.

If he were an authentic tough guy, he would shut off power at the White House, Congress and the Supreme Court. He would furlough all Secret Service and Capitol Police. Ground Air Force One and Marine One. Shut down the Pentagon, order all military to stand down and recall all troops from overseas posts. Ground all military aircraft and order all ships to port. Turn off all government computers. Shutdown the DOJ, FBI, ATF, DEA, Border Patrol, federal marshals, federal courts, etc. Suspend food and drug inspections. Shut down all federal health and scientific research programs. Suspend all federal road building funds. Furlough air traffic controllers and TSA. Turn off all GPS satellites. Recall all NASA astronauts back to Earth from the ISS. Suspend VA, Social Security, Medicare and Medicaid payment processing. Etc.

But that would be silly. And people would be pretty pissed off and vote all these doofuses out at the next opportunity.

Which is why threatening a government shutdown is a stupid, idle threat.

Dec 11 2018
05:19 pm

This place seemed to have some odd business hours from my observation.

What is an average commercial rent per square foot for Market Square?

I Love Juice Bar, another Market Square business, has closed

Dec 11 2018
06:33 am

The Tennessean reports that "Gov.-elect Bill Lee said Monday he is open to promoting a school voucher program as part of his upcoming legislative agenda and committed himself to being an advocate for school choice in Tennessee."

Lee cites his own anecdotal evidence of mentoring an at-risk youth and getting him placed in a charter school. The kid's grades improved and now he's going to college, which is proof that school choice works according to Lee. Is it possible that Lee provided a positive influence in the kid's home life and that was the difference?

Anyway, with a new boss more open to the idea and new leadership in the legislature, school vouchers have a better chance than ever of advancing in the next session.

Dec 10 2018
09:49 am
By: Treehouse  shortURL

The News Sentinel, in its review of the downtown Christmas parade, noted, "A man portraying Santa..."

I can only hope the children didn't read that. It was Santa!!

Possibly the most common trigger of profane language in America

But there was a time when cities were signal-free and traffic was directed by police officers — or not at all. That changed 150 years ago on Monday when the world’s first traffic light was installed in London. Towering 20 feet above the street, the gas-powered signal was placed at the busy intersection outside the Houses of Parliament.

150 years of seeing red: The traffic light marks a milestone

Dec 10 2018
07:22 am

Do you care?

From a New York Times report, in about four months of data they found a woman's location was tracked 8,600 times, on average, once every 21 minutes. The apps tracked her to work, to the doctor's office (and how long she was there), to the gym, to Weight Watchers, while walking her dog, to her ex-boyfriend's home, to name a few locations.

"At least 75 companies receive anonymous, precise location data from apps whose users enable location services to get local news and weather or other information, The Times found. Several of those businesses claim to track up to 200 million mobile devices in the United States — about half those in use last year. The database reviewed by The Times — a sample of information gathered in 2017 and held by one company — reveals people’s travels in startling detail, accurate to within a few yards and in some cases updated more than 14,000 times a day."

"These companies sell, use or analyze the data to cater to advertisers, retail outlets and even hedge funds seeking insights into consumer behavior. "

“We look to understand who a person is, based on where they’ve been and where they’re going, in order to influence what they’re going to do next,” Ms. Greenstein [an executive at the location company GroundTruth] said.

“The book ‘1984,’ we’re kind of living it in a lot of ways,” said Bill Kakis, a managing partner at Tell All [Digital, a Long Island advertising firm that is a client of a location company]."

"More than 1,000 popular apps contain location-sharing code from such companies, according to 2018 data from MightySignal, a mobile analysis firm. Google’s Android system was found to have about 1,200 apps with such code, compared with about 200 on Apple’s iOS."

Are we letting too much intrusion into our private lives? All those discount/loyalty cards, Amazon's facial recognition technology, and more.

I always say no when an app requests my location. However, if I use my Android phone GPS feature it pretty much has to know my location. Also, if I do a Google search for a particular store "near me", then obviously Google has to know my location. Many times I try to do searches by city and not "near me". That's a little hard when your in a bigger city.

The New York Times has another article on "How to Stop Apps From Tracking Your Location" for both Android and iOS.

"All of us should use every breath we have to make sure the lies stop on January 20, 2021," Comey told an audience at the 92nd Street Y on New York City's Upper East Side. He all but begged Democrats to set aside their ideological differences and nominate the person best suited to defeating Trump in an election.

"I understand the Democrats have important debates now over who their candidate should be," Comey told MSNBC's Nicolle Wallace, "but they have to win. They have to win."

Comey calls on Americans to 'use every breath we have' to oust Trump in 2020

Dec 9 2018
07:17 pm

The #9 Lady Vols persevered over #12 Texas to remain undefeated.

The #7 men's team knocked off #1 Gonzaga. Schofield played lights out. Williams was big too.

A good day for Tennessee sports.

Dec 8 2018
07:07 am


Widespread precipitation will move into the area today as a strong low pressure system approaches the area. Temperatures will be cold enough across northeast Tennessee, northern Plateau, southwest Virginia, and southwest North Carolina for precipitation to begin as a mixture of rain, snow, and sleet in lower elevations, with mainly snow in the mountains. The best lift and moisture will arrive late tonight and continue through Sunday morning, with significant snow accumulations possible, especially across the far east Tennessee Mountains. Snow will begin to taper off on Monday.

Total snow accumulations of up to 15 inches expected in higher elevations, with mainly 3 to 6 inches expected in the foothills.

* WHERE...Southeast Greene, Cocke Smoky Mountains, Sevier Smoky Mountains and Blount Smoky Mountains Counties.

* WHEN...From noon today to noon EST Monday.

Dec 7 2018
04:41 pm

Dec 7 2018
04:17 pm

From Trump's new Ambassador to the United Nations:

“When you talk about Germany, we have a very strong relationship with the government of Germany,” Heather Nauert, the State Department’s spokeswoman, said in June. She added: “Tomorrow is the anniversary of the D-Day invasion. We obviously have a very long history with the government of Germany, and we have a strong relationship with the government.”

Her qualifications include being a former Fox News anchor.

Dec 7 2018
03:10 pm
By: R. Neal  shortURL

"My favorite fiction of 2018 was anything from Tesla Inc."

From David Moon's otherwise (mostly) serious book recommendations.

Dec 7 2018
07:08 am

New laws for the State of Tennessee effective January 1, 2019.

Retail grocery stores will be able to sell wine on Sundays starting January 1, 2019, between 10 a.m. and 11 p.m.

Local boards of education will have to develop a policy and implement a program to reduce potential sources of lead contamination in drinking water at public schools.

Women seeking an abortion in the state to get an ultrasound as part of their examination prior to the abortion. The person who performs the ultrasound will also need to offer the woman the "opportunity to learn the results of the ultrasound." Also, the report of abortion must indicate if a heartbeat was detected or not during the ultrasound.

Tennessee Department of Health must establish and maintain a public toll-free telephone line and web-based hotline for citizens to report potential opioid abuse or diversion.

Require public schools and public charter schools used as polling places for regular November election to be closed for instruction on election day.

Handgun permits - exempts from the firing range and classroom hours requirements to obtain a handgun carry permit anyone who in the five years preceding the date of application has successfully completed a department of correction firearms

Here is a summary of the laws enacted for January 1, 2019.

Dec 7 2018
06:56 am

California officially became the first state in the nation on Wednesday to require homes built in 2020 and later be solar powered.

The solar mandate "applies to all new residential buildings up to three stories high, including apartments. The code allows some exceptions, such as when the structures are in shady areas or when electricity rates already are lower than the cost of generating solar power."

Energy officials estimated the provisions will add $10,000 to the cost of building a single-family home, about $8,400 from adding solar and about $1,500 for making homes more energy-efficient. But those costs would be offset by lower utility bills over the 30-year lifespan of the solar panels.

It would be nice if there were some sort of tax break for installing solar panels, but alas no more. In the article there is a comment that solar panels will cost $25,000 to install, a lot more than the $8,400 estimate.

In what could signal a new era in aviation, the Chattanooga Metropolitan Airport is about to be the first airfield in the U.S. run on 100-percent solar power.

The First Solar-Powered U.S. Airport Is in City Once Called ‘Dirtiest’

Dec 6 2018
07:48 am

Nashville Scene: Maribel Wadsworth, president of USA Today Network and publisher of USA Today, told employees during a company-wide conference call Tuesday that digital revenue is not replacing declining print revenues, and some belt-tightening will be coming in the new year.

The article also said that employees who turned down a recent early retirement deal could be laid off.


Waymo is starting to let the public take rides in its self-driving vans. This is the first commercial self-driving ride service to launch publicly, according to Waymo.

For now, Waymo's definition of "the public" is a couple hundred pre-selected individuals in the Phoenix area. ..

Waymo starts giving public rides in self-driving vans

Ridingin WAYMO ONE, the Google spinoffs first self-driving taxi service

Dec 5 2018
09:13 am
By: bizgrrl  shortURL

It's been snowing lightly for 20 minutes. Small patches have accumulated. So pretty. The sun should be out shortly.


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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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