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Maybe our government works after all

By R. Neal, Sat, 2017/03/25 - 11:10am

"And it [failure to repeal Obamacare] was the biggest defeat of Mr. Trump’s young presidency, which has suffered many. His travel ban has been blocked by the courts. Allegations of questionable ties to the Russian government forced out his national security adviser, Michael T. Flynn. Tensions with key allies such as Germany, Britain and Australia are high, and Mr. Trump’s approval ratings are at historic lows."

New York Times...

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How Republicans quietly sabotaged Obamacare long before Trump came into office

By jbr, Sat, 2017/03/25 - 3:04am

Trump’s assertion. He has identified, however, the wrong culprit as the person who poison-pilled Obamacare for 2017.

That distinction would go to Marco Rubio (and his Republican helpers in the Senate). Let’s step back to 2015 for the entire story, which is bizarre and fascinating.

As Robert Pear in the Times noted, Rubio’s “plan limiting how much the government can spend to protect insurance companies against financial losses has shown the effectiveness of quiet legislative sabotage.”

How Republicans quietly sabotaged Obamacare long before Trump came into office

Marco Rubio Quietly Undermines Affordable Care Act

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Friday Bird Blogging

By R. Neal, Fri, 2017/03/24 - 12:56pm

20170304-DSC_3505.jpg

Today we have a Dark-eyed Junco who came up on the porch to pose. We have a lot of these. The lighting is difficult, but he/she's still cute. Click image for bigger plus a bonus shot of an exotic species spotted near the feeders.

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Thousands of Would-Be Democratic Candidates Flood States in Trump Backlash

By jbr, Fri, 2017/03/24 - 2:51am

Candidates are already coming out of the woodwork across the country, thanks to a backlash against President Donald Trump and a newfound recognition on the left of the importance of state legislatures to counter GOP control in Washington, D.C.

Democratic officials have had to add extra candidate training sessions to keep up with demand and increase enrollment in existing ones. One major training group, Emerge America, reports an 87% surge in candidate applications over last year.

Thousands of Would-Be Democratic Candidates Flood States in Trump Backlash

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Senate Votes to Let ISPs Sell Your Data Without Consent

By jbr, Fri, 2017/03/24 - 2:29am

On a party-line vote of 50-48, the Senate passed a joint resolution that would bar the Federal Communications Commission from enforcing rules it approved last year — when it was under Democratic control — that sought to ban internet service providers like cable and cellphone companies from selling your data without your consent.

Senate Votes to Let ISPs Sell Your Data Without Consent

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Democratic TV for Friday, March 24th - Guns on Campus Safe or Sorry?

By Doug Veum, Thu, 2017/03/23 - 8:05pm

Democratic TV's Lisa Plawchan will host UT Faculty Senate President Dr. Bonnie H Ownley, College Democrats Vice President Caroline Cranford, and Moms Demand Action's University Outreach Lead Kimberly Peterson to discuss "Guns on Campus: Safe or Sorry?" on DTV Friday evening at 7:30 PM on Community TV.

This has been "gun week" in the Tennessee Legislature with a number of gun-related bills being debated and voted upon including proposals to allow guns to be carried on our college campuses. Join Lisa and her panel for an informative and lively discussion on this issue by leaders who have been working on the issue for the past couple of legislative sessions.

You can watch the program streamed at 7:30 PM on Friday, March 24 at:(here)

Or watch on these channels on Friday, March 24th @ 7:30 PM:

Provider Channel
Comcast 12
WOW! (Knology) 6
Charter 193
AT&T U-verse 99

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That parrot's not dead, he's pining for the fjords

By R. Neal, Thu, 2017/03/23 - 7:40pm

Alt-fact, from Trump administration lackey Spicer: "Obviously there’s been discussion of Paul Manafort, who played a very limited role for a very limited amount of time."

Actual fact: Manafort was Trump's campaign manager and chief strategist in the spring and summer of 2016, until he was fired when his ties to Russia came to light.

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ACA repeal vote canceled, effort falling apart

By R. Neal, Thu, 2017/03/23 - 4:05pm

Apparently, the changes negotiated with moderates aren't cruel enough for Trump and conservative Republicans in Congress.

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The "Daily Show" was at Trump Nashville rally

By jbr, Wed, 2017/03/22 - 5:43pm

Tennessee on national TV again

“They say Murfreesboro is about as Middle East as you can get.”

Other supporters suggest locking up "anyone that runs against (Trump)" in 2020, and explain their preference for "Trumpcare" over "Obamacare."

"As long as it says 'Trump,' you won't be thinking about how bad it is," a young supporter tells Klepper.

'The Daily Show' was at Trump's Nashville rally

Go Vols

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Study: Tennessee among the most federally dependent states

By jbr, Tue, 2017/03/21 - 11:05pm

Old news to Knoxviews ...

A new study suggests Tennessee isn't paying its way in America as the state's residents and government are taking more from the federal government than they're putting in.

The new report, released today, figures Tennessee’s state government is the third most-dependent state on federal funding, a figure derived from the proportion of state revenue that comes from the federal government in the form of intergovernmental aid. It also estimates Tennessee residents are the 20th most-dependent on federal aid, which was calculated by dividing federal funding to state’s residents by IRS collections from state residents.

Study: Tennessee among the most federally dependent states

USAspending.gov

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Trump Lays Plans to Reverse Obama’s Climate Change Legacy

By jbr, Tue, 2017/03/21 - 9:59pm

President Trump is poised in the coming days to announce his plans to dismantle the centerpiece of President Barack Obama’s climate change legacy, while also gutting several smaller but significant policies aimed at curbing global warming.

...

“As to climate change, I think the president was fairly straightforward: We’re not spending money on that anymore,” Mr. Mulvaney said at a White House briefing.

Trump Lays Plans to Reverse Obama’s Climate Change Legacy

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Why doesn't Rep. Eddie Smith want to test school drinking water for lead?

By R. Neal, Tue, 2017/03/21 - 3:49pm

Rep. Rick Staples is sponsoring a bill that would require testing school tap water for lead in schools built before 1986. For some reason, Rep. Eddie Smith opposes it.

In Knox County, it would cost about $20,000 per year. Wonder how much a class action lawsuit would cost if a parent or principal decided to test their school's water on their own and found lead and nobody had done anything about it?

Anyway, Betty Bean has the story...

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What's with the media?

By Treehouse, Tue, 2017/03/21 - 12:41pm

So USA TODAY NETWORK - Tennessee (which I assume is somebody in Nashville) writes about "What's behind the rise in protestors in Tennessee?" (link...)

Caleb Banks from Spring Hill says, "“A lot of people who were never involved before are getting involved now. And I think that’s where the shock and awe is coming from Republicans,” Banks said, “They haven’t seen anything like this since they’ve been in office."

“Most of these organizers don’t organize with either party,” Banks said, “These grassroots organizers are trying to hold every politician accountable.”

And then the article quotes mansplaining from Steve Gill, a right-wing talk radio expert: But that might be one of their downfalls, according to Gill. Unless they can rally around one pointed issue, they will continue to be written off, he said.

And the article notes how the local Democrats are clueless:But Democrats are struggling to bridge the gap between these self-organizing groups and the party. Bernie Ellis, one of the organizers of the Blackburn alternative town hall, posted a message to supporters on Facebook before the event expressing how surprised he was that the Williamson County Democrats had not heard about them yet.

Do they not yet get the fact this is not a two-party (or bipartisan!) effort and that there are multiple issues that citizens want to speak up about to our "representatives" because they don't feel heard? Even NPR is leaning very conservative with every comment about liberal or progressive policies followed by a "balancing" point of view. I'm tired of the media.

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Books Sandwiched In Addresses Feminism

By eellis, Tue, 2017/03/21 - 11:33am


What: Books Sandwiched In Addresses Feminism
When: Wednesday, March 29, 2017 - 12:00pm
Where: East Tennessee History Center

badfeminist.jpgKnox County Public Library invites the public to join Dr. Rebecca Klenk for a discussion of Bad Feminist: Essays by Roxane Gay. A light lunch will be available for the first 30 attendees.

This program is the third in the Books Sandwiched In series’ focus on diversity, in partnership with UT’s College of Arts and Sciences. Books Sandwiched In is sponsored by the Friends of Knox County Public Library.

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SoKno Taco Grand Opening Friday, March 31

By R. Neal, Tue, 2017/03/21 - 6:08am

From the City of Knoxville South Waterfront office...

Please join City Mayor Madeline Rogero and Knox County Mayor Tim Burchett, and the team that brought you SoKno Taco in celebrating South Knoxville's newest neighborhood restaurant!

What: SoKno Taco Grand Opening with Mayors Madeline Rogero and Tim Burchett

Where: 3701 Sevierville Pike (Limited parking on site). Walk-up parking at Baker Creek Bottoms (1 Block away at 3700 Lancanster Drive).

When: Friday, March 31st at 4:30pm

We hope you can make this celebration of the newest neighborhood bar/restaurant in the Urban Wilderness!

SEE ALSO: SoKno Taco | Facebook

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Pour one out for Ruby Tuesday

By R. Neal, Mon, 2017/03/20 - 8:11pm

Much has been said here about the decline of Ruby Tuesday. No need to rehash all that.

But tonight we were making homemade quiche and French onion soup (well, mostly homemade, with some assists).

It occurred to us that this used to be one of our favorite meals at the old Ruby Tuesday. We recalled how you could still order it off the menu for a while after they started expanding and messing with their winning formula.

It was a sad day the last time we asked for it, after the corporate suits had taken over, and their hipster servers talking on their iPhones while ignoring you didn't even know what it was, or anything about the restaurant's history or their first location off Cumberland Ave.

Anyway, things change, time marches on. Now Ruby Tuesday is circling the drain and looking for a buyer, who will likely run it even further into the ground. Very sad.

At least our quiche and French onion soup was pretty great tonight.

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Knoxville SOUP

By jlynn, Mon, 2017/03/20 - 11:42am


What: Knoxville SOUP
When: Thursday, April 27, 2017 - 6:00pm
Where: Dara's Gardens - 2637 Maryville Pike

Knoxville SOUP kicks off its 2017 season with a return to South Knoxville’s lovely Dara’s Garden for its April 27th dinner. Doors open at 6:00 p.m. and presentations start at 6:30 p.m.

Proposals are currently being sought to compete for funding. Knoxville SOUP is a dinner and micro-funding event designed to raise money for creative projects that are proposed, voted on and enacted by members of the community. Applications for a community project proposal can be completed online at KnoxvilleSOUP.org.

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Safety center advancing

By R. Neal, Mon, 2017/03/20 - 11:09am

Today's Knox County Commission workshop agenda has two resolutions that would pave the way for establishing a "Behavioral Health Urgent Care Center located at 3343 Dewine Road to provide an alternative to jail for qualified low risk offenders who in the opinion of the arresting officer or Judge, have exhibited signs of mental illness and/or substance abuse, and for whom treatment rather than incarceration will be beneficial."

One resolution is for a contract with Helen Ross McNabb to operate the facility. The other resolution is for a lease agreement for the facility.

Local officials have discussed the idea for years. The City and the County have both allocated funds. According to news reports, Gov. Haslam has set aside state funding in this year's budget.

Agenda item R-17-3-904: Defined Services Contract

Agenda item R-17-3-905: Lease Agreement

MORE:

KNS: Knox County Commission to consider safety center

WBIR: Burchett: Knox Co. safety center will open in 2017

WATE: Knoxville community concerned over proposed safety center

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Chuck Berry, rock 'n' roll pioneer, dead at 90

By jbr, Sun, 2017/03/19 - 12:24am

Chuck Berry, a music pioneer often called "the Father of Rock 'n' Roll," died Saturday at his home outside St. Louis, his verified Facebook page said. He was 90.

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Rep. Diane Black fishing around for info on Medicaid block grants

By R. Neal, Sat, 2017/03/18 - 6:46am

One health care "reform" idea being tossed around is Medicaid block grants. It appears Rep. Diane Black (R-TN) inquired to the CBO regarding how this might work. They responded, in part:

I understand from committee staff that there is interest in designing an option for a state to receive funding through a block grant with financial parameters comparable to the per-enrollee cap. The grant would be coupled with new flexibility, by which the federal government could cede more control to states for a range of program features. In CBO’s judgment, depending on the specifics of the proposal, such an option could be more attractive to some states than the AHCA’s per-enrollee cap, and its inclusion in the legislation would have budgetary effects relative to those under both current law and the AHCA.

The CBO also mentions that "The effects of various choices could interact in complicated ways."

Republican governors have advocated replacing Medicaid with a block grant program. Can you imagine the federal government giving the state of Tennessee billions of dollars for health care services with little or no oversight or regulation?

Also, can you imagine that Rep. Diane Black is chairman of the House Budget Committee?

SEE ALSO:

CBO Letter to the Honorable Diane Black regarding establishing a Medicaid block grant

Kaiser Health News: Everything You Need To Know About Block Grants — The Heart Of GOP’s Medicaid Plans

Forbes: Opposition Mounts To Trump's Medicaid Block Grant Idea
(money quote: "The less you know about Medicaid, the more block grants make sense.")

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