Sat
Mar 28 2015
10:47 am

Senator Yager is a very good friend to big coal. anybody who thinks the state will do an adequate job of enforcing regulations needs to think about what a great job TDEC did preventing the TVA Coal Ash disaster.

From Tom Humphrey:

A renewed push to have state government take over regulation of Tennessee coal mining after 31 years of federal oversight has won approval in state House and Senate committees where similar legislation died last year.

The bill sponsored by Republicans with coal mines operating in their district, Rep. Dennis Powers of Jacksboro and Sen. Ken Yager of Harriman, advanced last week with the sponsors assuring colleagues that the transition from federal to state oversight can be accomplished with no new cost to Tennessee taxpayers.

Environmentalists are skeptical of that contention and many oppose the bill in general, arguing the Tennessee Department of Environment and Conservation (TDEC) is not prepared to replace the federal Office of Surface Mining (OSM) and the change will lead to less effective protection from coal mine pollution.

(link...)

Fri
Mar 27 2015
09:19 am

We had no doubts about real governor Ramsey's tendency toward blantant crocodile grin political falsehoods, but come on. Who believes Ramsey didn't tank Insure Tennessee as a shot through the bow of Haslam's governorship?

That jewel and more at Crockett:

(link...)

Fri
Mar 27 2015
08:49 am

Pastafarians have already made a laughing stock out of Cumberland County when its pandering monuments went up. As the "In God We Trust" plaques get mounted on the Roane County Courthouse, we have to wonder if this will be one more black eye on Roane County's much battered but recovering face? Regardless of anyone's feelings bout religion and its place, acts like this do not bring us together. At best, this is patently unnecessary.

(link...)

Fri
Mar 27 2015
07:41 am

Joseph Lemay has cancelled his show tonight due to a family emergency. Please let others know.

I've been critical of Roane County's efforts at encouraging high speed internet into rural and less densely populated areas. Why, for instance, has Morgan County run fiber optic lines to most of their county while we sit and watch? And I don't want to hear this bull about it costing too much. If water lines can be run all over the county, there is no excuse for there not being broadband in at least those areas. Projects much like rural co-ops for electrification and telephone service provide ample models for how this can be done, but that was so last century.

Apparently we aren't supposed to work together to make everyone's lives better these days. We apparently are supposed to suffer in order to guarantee the massive profits of AT&T, Comcast, Verizon and other corporate behemoths. Even our public officials have abandoned us in order to protect corporate profits. Haslam's Attorney General is a prime example of how we have lost our state government to corporate lobbyista:

Attorney General Herb Slatery has asked the Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals to reverse the FCC's decision to allow municipalities to expand broadband service outside their jurisdictions:

(link...)

From the press release:

EQUAL PAY FOR WOMEN IS A $7 BILLION PROBLEM

Rep. John Ray Clemmons, Sen. Sara Kyle to meet with press on the issue

NASHVILLE – State Rep. John Ray Clemmons and State Sen. Sara Kyle will join other Democrats to address legislation guaranteeing Tennessee women earn pay equal to men.

Women in Tennessee lose $7 billion each year in lost wages, because they earn anywhere from 77 to 83 cents for every dollar paid to men in similar jobs.

As someone who has employed men and women in the same job, there is absolutely no reason for this disparity. Frankly, from my experience, there might be a better case for paying men less than women based on productivity.

Our public school system is under heavy attack by interests that want to get their hands on the money we spend on our children's education. Voucher proponents and Interests from outside our state didn't spend a quarter of a million dollars lobbying our elected officials just because they care about Roane County children getting a good education.

The lawsuit, filed in Davidson County Chancery Court, alleges that the state has "breached its duty under the Tennessee Constitution to provide a system of free public education for the children of this state."

The suit further alleges that Tennessee's Board of Education "has instead created a system that impermissibly shifts the cost of education to local boards of education, schools, teachers and students, resulting in substantially unequal education opportunities across the state."

The local school systems name Gov. Bill Haslam, Senate Speaker Ron Ramsey, House Speaker Beth Harwell, and a handful of other officials who serve on the Tennessee Board of Education as defendants.

(link...)

Tue
Mar 24 2015
09:55 am
By: WhitesCreek
Tue
Mar 24 2015
09:03 am

And more news from Crockett:

(link...)

Mon
Mar 23 2015
12:50 pm

Just as I was thinking things were getting better...

(link...)

Sun
Mar 22 2015
08:25 pm
Sun
Mar 22 2015
12:06 pm

I really detest political statements like this:

Corker Press release: The job of the U.S. attorney general is to enforce federal laws as written, not as the administration wishes they were written, said Corker. While I believe Ms. Lynch is an impressive attorney and a committed public servant, nothing revealed during our personal meeting or at her confirmation hearing has assured me that she will be an independent attorney general and refrain from selective enforcement of the law, and therefore I will not be supporting her confirmation.

That's like saying I will filibuster the President's nominee because Obama is the President, even though she is rather spectacularly competent, and nothing revealed during our personal meeting leads me to believe she has never been abducted by aliens.

Sun
Mar 22 2015
08:59 am

...maybe it’s a good thing that legislators are having secret pre-meeting sessions. Better secret consideration than no consideration at all, right? And we can surely trust the legislators to decide what “ought to be kept secret.”

I personally see no reason for the business of the people to be conducted where the people can't see what is being done in their name.

Tom Humphrey's Sunday Column

Sun
Mar 22 2015
08:17 am

The TVA charter morphed from good to evil sometime in the Bush administration. TVA was chartered to serve the economic needs of the Tennessee Valley. Now it has become a for profit entity and the economic welfare of the Ocoee River basin be damned. I suggest TVA begin paying a fair property tax to the communities it occupies first and then let's talk about fair compensation for something it controls unfairly in the first place.

If TVA were to fore go all compensation from the "lost water" on the Ocoee is would reduce TVA gross profits by 0.0435%. That's $1.8 million on $4.13 Billion. That's about a third of the TVA CEO's bonus. This is typically short sighted even for TVA. If you look at the economic oasis the whitewater community has created in Benton Tennessee and the surrounding area, I suspect TVA profits benefit by many times the amount of lost generating capacity. This is absurd.

The TVA Board of Directors need to take a hard look at where they are headed, because this is just a symptom of a far larger systemic problem at TVA.

(link...)

Authorities identified the suspect as Alex Gambriel, a former police officer for Lenoir City and TVA.

(link...)

Sat
Mar 21 2015
06:23 pm

I have no problem thinking that if there's a cop there should be a camera. It protects the cop and the citizen.

Video surveillance cameras are outside the Roane County Sheriff’s Office and each patrol car is fitted with in-car cameras...

Currently at the Roane County Sheriff’s Office, body cameras are not part of the standard uniform.

“We’ve had some deputies take it upon themselves to purchase body-worn cameras,” said Chief Deputy Tim Phillips.Because of so many unknowns and questions, these deputies are not wearing those cameras just yet.

(link...)

It's a really mean person who would even suggest defunding the Public Defender office. So far Sen Randy McNally Bill is going nowhere, but who knows in this crazy time...

(link...)

Mike Hicks
As a gesture of mercy, 5 time Nashville Independent Music Award Winner, Mike Hicks, will NOT be bringing his full 18 piece band tonight. We thank him for offering to leave enough room in our hall for us.

Continued...

Thu
Mar 19 2015
09:34 am

Rep. Darren Jernigan (D-Nashville) and Sen. Sara Kyle (D-Memphis) have introduced legislation that would limit the interest charged by payday and title lenders to 28% annually. Many Tennesseans have become trapped in a cycle of debt with these companies, who often charge over 200% interest a year.

While the TNGOP has blocking the Governor's Insure TN as its crowning achievement for this year. State Dems have introduced a number of bills that would actually improve the lives of every citizen:

Continued...

Thu
Mar 19 2015
09:28 am

TVA wants to charge homeowners with solar panels a huge fee for accessing the grid. Beside the fact that you pay for the grid in every kilowatt you buy, distributed power generation such as neighborhood solar doesn't even use the grid. Power generated in excess of a homeowner's needs only flows next door.

Large centralized generation should be phased back starting now!

A Stanford University study published earlier this week found that utility-scale solar development built alongside existing infrastructure, on rooftops or in backyards, may be more than enough to power whole communities

(link...)

Wed
Mar 18 2015
07:45 pm

Robert M. Todd, an environmentalist with the Tennessee Wildlife Resources Agency, referenced the Senate and House bills in a March 9 letter to the Tennessee Department of Environment and Conservation.

“To be clear, in high quality, biologically diverse streams, mechanical dredging is a straight-forward destruction of habitat for fish and aquatic life,” Todd wrote. “This degradation of acquatic resources is wholly contrary to both the intent and letter of the Tennessee Water Quality Control Act and the Tennessee Wildlife Code.”

This is straight forward idiocy. Thank you TWRA!

(link...)

Wed
Mar 18 2015
04:48 pm

Now THIS interests me:

Rep. Craig Fitzhugh (D-Ripley) notes that not even the candidates on the ballot have to show up on Election Day.

"We have a good system to keep up with absentees," he says. "Let’s open it up not just for legislators and jurors, but for others as well."

Voters still would need to request an absentee ballot in advance of each election. They’d also have to scan and mail in a copy of their ID to meet the state's voter identification requirements.

(link...)

Wed
Mar 18 2015
09:41 am
By: WhitesCreek

Lt. Gov Ron Ramsey seems to hate everything good about Tennessee. This is just the latest...

Now that Ron Ramsey's putting Eric Crafton on the Board of the Tennessee Human Rights Commission, I fully expect a call from the Lieutenant Governor appointing my dog to the Vehicle Services section of the Tennessee Department of Revenue. He's pretty obsessed with car rides and has definite opinions on loud trucks and has an agenda that makes no sense to most people and is terrible about following the rules.

(link...)

Wed
Mar 18 2015
09:36 am

One thing that I repeatedly hear from elected officials is that sunshine laws are a pain in the rear. Personally, I think that is just wonderful! Sunshine is a wonderful disinfectant for all sorts of underhanded government diseases at every level.

(link...)

Tue
Mar 17 2015
07:13 am

I see a somewhat different alignment, as in Senators Corker and Haslam, but this is an interesting take.

(link...)

Tennesseans favor expanding Medicaid by a twp to one margin but Republicans refuse to do so. (Sen. Ken Yager voted the people's will in this case but he was in the minority)

And the big House GOP cat fight over padding expenses and social hour.

(link...)

From the RCN:

(Russell Johnson) said the offenses that could draw a citation instead of an arrest include driving on a suspended or revoked license, simple possession and possession of drug paraphernalia.

“Those are some of the things we’re trying to do to avoid having so many people in jail,”

I think this is a decent idea, but at this time it is only in effect where jail overcrowding is a problem. Why shouldn't everyone be treated the same through out the District, or State of TN, for that matter. Why send someone to jail for driving on a suspended license unless there are aggravating circumstances, for instance?

Lost Medicaid Funding

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