Feb 18 2020
12:33 pm

The Knox County primary for Public Defender has two Republicans, an independent, and no Democrats so the election will likely be decided in the primary. It appears this special election is a heated contest with questions about who is most qualified. Compass has a profile of the candidates here. Here's KnoxTNToday's profile.

Gov. Bill Lee appointed incumbent Eric Lutton to the Public Defender post on an interim basis in October when Mark Stephens retired. Lutton is now seeking election to the office. Prior to that, Lutton was Stephens' top deputy. He has been with the office since 2013, and now oversees its staff of 71 employees. Lutton has been practicing law since 2007.

Challenger Rhonda Lee, who also applied for the interim post, has been practicing since 2013. Before that she was a law clerk and paralegal for approx. 11 years, and also worked in real estate.

On her website, Lee says she has "over 19 years of experience in the legal field" and "has defended over twenty jury trials in Knox County." It appears she's including her work as a law clerk and paralegal in her "19 years of experience in the legal field" which is technically correct but not all of it was as a lawyer as one might infer.

Her website also says she "has litigated over one thousand cases from the initial appearance of a criminal prosecution, through trial, and through the appellate proceedings." As for litigating cases "through the appellate proceedings," in 2018 she moved to withdraw from a case in Knox County Criminal Court. One reason given was "counsel has no experience doing appeals which would make the defendant prejudiced by counsel lack of experience." (Her client was convicted in the Zaevion Dobson murder case.) Perhaps she has gained appellate court experience over the past couple of years, but it's doubtful it could be much more than a fraction of "over one thousand cases."

Anyway, Ms. Lee seems to be a determined, accomplished person and an experienced criminal defense attorney. It's not clear why she needs any vague or embellished claims on her resume.

Feb 17 2020
04:21 pm

What: Parkridge community meeting
When: Tuesday, February 18, 2020 - 6:30pm
Where: O’Connor Senior Center, 611 Winona St

Public notice from City Council:

This is a public notice that multiple Members of the Knoxville City Council may attend a Parkridge community meeting tomorrow, February 18, 2020 at 6:30pm at the John T. O’Connor Senior Center, 611 Winona St Knoxville, TN 37917. The meeting will be for the purposes of discussing the proposed closure of a portion of Myrtle Street between the northern right-of-way line of East Fifth Avenue and terminus and dead-end. Members of the public and media are welcome to attend.

NOTE: The city is proposing this as an alternative to the controversial Caswell Park plan which was abandoned. Previous discussion here...

How new technologies and techniques pioneered by dictators will shape the 2020 election

Tony Willnow, a 34-year-old maintenance worker who had an American flag wrapped around his head, observed that Trump had won because he said things no other politician would say. When I asked him if it mattered whether those things were true, he thought for a moment before answering. “He tells you what you want to hear,” Willnow said. “And I don’t know if it’s true or not—but it sounds good, so **** it.”

The Billion-Dollar Disinformation Campaign to Reelect the President

It was the 44th consecutive January, and the 421st consecutive month, with temperatures above the 20th century average, according to NOAA.

Earth just had its hottest January in recorded history

Feb 13 2020
04:57 pm
By: R. Neal
Feb 13 2020
10:50 am

Compass has a comprehensive overview of local candidates. (Not paywalled.)

Feb 13 2020
06:06 am

The Republican National Committee is mailing a survey/fundraising package disguised as a "2020 Congressional District Census" to Tennessee residents. They also demand a $15 fee for "processing" the "census document." The Maryville Daily Times reports...

Feb 13 2020
01:56 am
By: michael kaplan



Feb 12 2020
05:56 pm

If you feel like you have to crossover vote, who do you recommend?

Feb 11 2020
07:09 pm

Keeping my fingers crossed for Amy in New Hampshire tonight. I long ago narrowed my top two candidates to Klobuchar and Michael Bennet and have been sending both small but regular donations. I’ve considered other candidates along the way, but keep coming back to these two. I think Bennet is out of the running, but Amy is rising.

Feb 11 2020
06:31 am

Early voting starts tomorrow. I was going to check the schedule and the sample ballot, but the election office website is down. It appears that all of knoxcounty.org is down.

Update: Appears to be working now.

Washington Post: The budget would cut Medicaid and the Children’s Health Insurance Program and also wring savings from Medicare despite Trump’s repeated promises to safeguard Medicare and Social Security.

I'm out of snarky analysis so you'll have to make up your own.

The developers want to host large wedding and other events with overnight accommodations in a rural storybook setting

Ancient Lore Village now proposed as a wedding & event venue


Cities that say they are renegotiating their sewage agreements with the agency include Cleveland; Seattle; Kansas City, Mo.; South Bend, Ind.; and Chattanooga, Tenn. Other cities, including Pittsburgh and St. Louis, have already concluded talks for new terms.

E.P.A. Is Letting Cities Dump More Raw Sewage Into Rivers for Years to Come

Feb 6 2020
03:07 pm
By: R. Neal

Sad news to report. Michael Silence has passed away at the age of 62. During his 30 years at the News Sentinel he was an early pioneer of blogging and engagement with readers. He also supported and helped promote bloggers and "citizen journalism" around the state, including this site. Moreover, he was a truly decent man of the highest ethical standards. Obituary...

Feb 6 2020
10:58 am
By: bizgrrl

Heh. Just getting started. One of the first forms made me laugh out loud.

11. Subtract line 10 from line 9
12. Enter the smaller of line 9 or line 10
13. Enter one-half of line 12
14. Enter the smaller of line 2 or line 13
15. Multiply line 11 by 85% (0.85). If line 11 is zero, enter -0-
16. Add lines 14 and 15
17. Multiply line 1 by 85% (0.85)

They work really hard to make this ridiculous.

Feb 5 2020
07:45 am
By: R. Neal

Feb 3 2020
05:04 pm

The budget deficit is projected to top $1 trillion in 2020

The US government is set to spend at least a trillion dollars more than it takes in for the next decade.

Don't look now, but the US deficit is skyrocketing

CBO: The Budget and Economic Outlook: 2020 to 2030

Trump and the GOP are fueling the explosion of our national debt

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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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