Fri
Apr 20 2018
12:41 pm
By: WhitesCreek

The DNC has filed a lawsuit against the Trump Campaign, et al, for conspiring with Russian agents to affect the outcome of the 2016 presidential campaign:

The Democratic National Committee on Friday sued the Trump campaign, the Russian government, WikiLeaks, Julian Assange, Roger Stone, Donald Trump Jr., Jared Kushner, Paul Manafort, Rick Gates, George Papadopoulos and Russian oligarch Aras Agalarov, his son Emin and others, alleging they conspired to disrupt the 2016 election.

In today's Roane County News Flo Charles says it was God that did it:

...we may not understand all of President Trump’s decisions, nor agree with them, but he is still our president that God saw fit to give us, knowing his imperfections.

My question is why does my subscription have to support such obvious political advertising? Shouldn't the RNC have to pay for Flo's column inches?

This is a scandal. Lobbyists win, taxpayers lose! Teflon Haslam walks away unscathed.

The decision means Tennessee will take a breath as it seeks to fix its broken testing system, which has been snakebit from the outset. In 2016, Education Commissioner Candice McQueen canceled most testing after TNReady’s new online platform collapsed under the weight of statewide testing on newly minted digital devices. The next year, Tennessee reverted to mostly paper-and-pencil tests, but there were scoring and score delivery issues under new vendor Questar.

(link...)

List for appointment as new TBI director narrowed to ten
Published April 19, 2018 | By Tom Humphrey

About 45 people submitted applications to become the next director of the Tennessee Bureau of Investigation after current Director Mark Gwyn retires, reports WTVF. The TBI Nominating Commission cut the list down to ten persons on Wednesday. The ten will all be interviewed at a public meeting by the panel May 15 before it submits three final nominees to Gov. Bill Haslam, who will then appoint one.

(link...)

TN GOP apparently thinks bigotry is a winning issue in Tennessee.

During Tuesday’s floor session, Democrats argued the amendment was vindictive. Rep. Antonio Parkinson, D-Memphis, called it the most “vile, racist” effort he had seen and said Republicans viewed Forrest “as if he was God.”

Rep. Raumesh Akbari, D-Memphis, called the amendment “un-Christian.”

“This amendment and the explanation is hateful, it is unkind, it is un-Christian and it is unfair,” she said. “Memphis is a city in this state, and I am sick of people in this House acting like it’s not.”

(link...)

Democrats introduced a Bill to let readers know who paid for political ads on social media. This is required for print and broadcast media.

The bill would have required the disclosure on the ad itself, at another linked site or on the profile page of the social media platform.

The failure of the bill in Tennessee comes a week after Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg faced a two-day grilling by members of Congress about a range of controversies, including how Russians used the platform to meddle in the U.S. presidential election.

(Rep)Yarbro has pointed to a federal indictment charging 13 Russians with running a social media campaign engineered in part to help get Donald Trump elected president. The indictment mentions a Twitter account made to resemble the Tennessee Republican Party that attracted more than 100,000 followers.

(link...)

Tue
Apr 17 2018
06:46 am

1. 26-foot Lego replica of Titanic built by boy with autism finds home in Pigeon Forge

2. UT police: Talk of 'adult cartoon' led to false rumors about a shooting on campus

3. Former Cocke County magistrate who stripped baby of name Messiah vying for judgeship

4.TNReady testing problems reported but a fix is in place, state officials say

5. Tennessee farmers brace for financial impact from China trade war

See! A 26 foot Lego Titanic model is much more important news than the effect of Trump's trade war with China. That's what happens when we let mega-corporations from foreign states own our local newspapers. They turn to the National Enquirer financial model of printing sensation first and information last. The Roane County News is owned by a corporation from Kentucky.

There are many top flight journalists still hanging on in today's corporate bean counter driven newspaper arena, doing what they can with shrinking budgets and squeezed resources managed for the bottom line from afar. Unfortunately many others have given up on print. news.

I understand the fear of reptiles due in great part to ignorance. They are almost all beautiful, especially the venomous ones. That's is most likely to warn you to leave them alone. They really don't want to bite you. If they strike it is only because they are in fear of their lives.

Now, I understand not wanting to have a copperhead living under your garbage can and that most people don;t have the wherewithal to remove it safely. At the same time, thousands of harmless snakes will be murdered out of fear and ignorance. Here is a great web page to go to for identification of the venomous snakes in Tennessee. There are only two that you are at all likely to see in East Tennessee. Learn what they look like.

(link...)

Here is a copperhead. They all look almost exactly like this. If you see one the way to deal with it is to back up and go somewhere else. It's easy.

c

What does this mean to us?

First, the reporter shortage means residents don’t have the information to make decisions for their families or hold institutions accountable. They don’t know if their schools are underperforming or their mayor is corrupt or their courts are fair.

Residents walk into the voting booth carrying only small shards of information about the local candidates. That is, if they bother to vote. Several studies have shown that voting turnout declines as reporting does.

(link...)

We experienced Taylor Kropp and his band at WDVX and twisted his arm to come out and play a show for us. He tours with Tanya Tucker as her guitar player but don't let that fool you into thinking he's just country. He is one of those special musicians and who happens to have a beautiful voice to go along with his songwriting. Come join us in beautiful downtown Rockwood.

The museum will be lit up and we have chairs and tables for folks who want to bring a spread. We have way too much fun and then there's some music, too.

Tonight $15 BYOB Doors 7 PM

Music for grownups in a listening atmosphere.

tk

www.RoaneSong.org

Email stevescarb@aol.com if you have questions.

Fri
Apr 13 2018
12:01 pm
By: WhitesCreek

A University of California Study showed Tennesseans were the second most likely behind Texans to share fake Russian posts on social media.

KnoxViews has the story

Wed
Apr 11 2018
05:47 am
By: WhitesCreek

Our good friend and County Commissioner, Steve Kelley, passed away recently, leaving a vacancy on the Commission. Steve's wife, Renee Kelley, asked to fill his seat until the August election that will install the next round of Commissioners for Roane County. One of the candidates for that position representing Oliver Springs and Oak Ridge is Jerry White, who is also a courthouse bailiff. Renee, who is a friend and rather intelligent lady, was not elected due to a 7-6 vote with the abstention of Commissioner David Bell. The failure to honor Commissioner Steve Kelley in this way is very unusual and disappointing.

Wed
Apr 11 2018
05:34 am
Republican congresswoman Marsha Blackburn said on Sunday that women “don’t want” equal pay laws.

During a roundtable discussion on NBC’s Meet The Press, former White House advisor David Axelrod asked if the Tennessee lawmaker would support a law promoting workplace gender equality. Blackburn responded:

“I think that more important than that is making certain that women are recognized by those companies. You know, I’ve always said that I didn’t want to be given a job because I was a female, I wanted it because I was the most well-qualified person for the job. And making certain that companies are going to move forward in that vein, that is what women want. They don’t want the decisions made in Washington. They want to be able to have the power and the control and the ability to make those decisions for themselves.”

So does anyone think Marsha's statement is the least bit coherent? I'm going with "pretty much nonsense".

(link...)

Tue
Apr 10 2018
09:18 am

cohen

The lead attorney for the Justice Department in this search warrant action is a Trump appointee and donated money to the Trump campaign.

Tue
Apr 10 2018
07:52 am

I talked to Governor Bredesen at a non profit gala recently. Glad I did because I won't spend the money it takes to attend these things:

(link...)

The Watts Bar Lake Association trash pickup day was held Saturday, April 7th 2018. Thanks to the thirty volunteers, 140 bags of trash plus tires and large items were pulled from the lakeshore and boat ramps.

The lake cleanup day was part of the 29th annual IJAMS River Rescue event held annually on the first Saturday of April. If you are interested in being informed of future Watts Bar Lake clean up events, please email Peter Giroux: pgiroux@comcast.net.

Thanks to the tremendous efforts of our volunteers, a more beautiful and scenic Watts Bar Lake can be enjoyed by everyone.

Sat
Apr 7 2018
08:24 am

Citing ineffective oversight and the lack of transparency, SACE has been the People's advocate in TVA relations. Proud to know them.

Representatives of the Southern Alliance for Clean Energy, or SACE, can be seen speaking regularly at TVA and KUB board meetings. In just the last four months, the group has published eight blistering reports directed at TVA's spending, fixed-rate change proposal, and calling unfair the agency's economic practices.

(link...)

Fri
Apr 6 2018
07:30 am

From Esquire:

Blackburn is what the national Republican party has left. It’s what the national Republican party has left after 35 or 40 years of entertaining irrationality for political advantage. It did not have to happen this way, but the reason that it happened this way is that the Republican Party, at every level of government, committed itself to positions that guaranteed that, one day, someone like Donald Trump would be president*. It also guaranteed that, one day, in a place like Tennessee, there would nobody to run for Senate except someone like Marsha Blackburn.

(link...)

Thu
Apr 5 2018
08:07 am

This is an excellent example of TN legislators voting against their own self interests for the good of Tennessee's victims of human trafficking...Really?

The Fiscal Review Committee staff estimates enactment will produce $372,300 for the sex trafficking victims fund annually – based on a belief there will be 7,160 visits to 26 Tennessee strip clubs each year. The “fiscal note” also says Texas enacted a similar tax at $5 per customer in 2008 in a state that has 192 “adult performance businesses.”

Tue
Apr 3 2018
05:00 pm
By: WhitesCreek

Does this worry anybody besides me?

House Republicans won't be pursuing their own resolution to denounce neo-Nazis after they previously helped kill a Democratic measure to do so.

(link...)

Tue
Apr 3 2018
07:09 am

One of them flows through Roane County. While the Tennessee River is in fair shape here, everything that goes into our streams adds up as they flow downstream.

The Tennessee Valley Authority (TVA) has greatly altered the river for the purposes of navigation, flood damage reduction, power production, water quality and supply, and recreation. As a result, the river is home to the highest number of imperiled species of any river basin in North America. The Tennessee River is home to 57 at-risk fish species, 47 at-risk mussel species, and two endangered terrestrial species—the Gray/Indiana bat and Red-Cockaded woodpecker. It is also home to the largest nesting populations of bald eagles in the lower 48 states.

Four TVA coal power plants are located on the Tennessee River, and altogether they contain almost thirteen billion gallons of coal ash. In 2008 at the Kingston Plant, a coal ash impoundment dam broke causing a 1.1 billion gallon coal ash spill.

(link...)

Roane County participants on the east side of the lake should contact Peter Giroux at (404) 304-1115 and will gather at Blue Springs Marina Boat Ramp.

Folks in the Kingston area are asked to Contact Andy Holmbeck at (865) 801-6112 and will meet at The Gravel Pit Park.

The whole news release after the break...

Continued...

Fri
Mar 30 2018
07:43 am

Roane County

Greater detail is available in the attached PDF file

$10 BYOB Family Friendly House concert style music venue

Doors at 7 PM Music 7:30 ish

Grammy Nominee Daniel Kimbro will be in the house for all to see and hear. Join us won't you?

(link...)

dk

Wed
Mar 28 2018
04:00 pm
By: WhitesCreek

I am always amazed at the election season bull crap that TN GOP will pass in the attempt to drive their base to the polls.

What do you think a statue honoring aborted fetuses would look like? There's so much wrong here that I can't even get started.

(link...)

Thu
Mar 22 2018
09:02 am

Turns out that even Republicans thought it smelled bad for Haslam to make money off of destroying public schools...

Many legislators were sympathetic to working-class constituents who could have their jobs privatized by a company in which the billionaire governor had invested.

“It turns out that class is a big issue inside the Republican Party,” says Jeffrey Lichtenstein, UCW secretary and part-time worker at the UT Health Science Center. “Even Republicans saw the governor as misusing his office to strip away jobs and personally enrich himself.”

Here's the whole story about how public sector unions beat Bill Haslam at this sorry game... (link...)

From Lincoln Davis:

Steve,

I wanted to let you know Matt is in!

Matt Reel worked as one of my field representatives back when I proudly served the people of Tennessee in Congress. He spent years helping his neighbors resolve issues with federal agencies and working to improve national security policy and veterans issues.

Today, Matt is running for Congress in Tennessee's 7th district -- and I could not be more proud to endorse his campaign to serve the community he grew up in and loves.

More dedicated to his country than ever, Matt accepted his third deployment as a Green Beret in the U.S. Army Special Forces and is currently serving abroad. But he'll be back to the family farm in a couple months and begin traveling the district to campaign for your vote.

In the meantime, Matt's family and campaign staff are stepping up in a big way to move this campaign forward. You'll be hearing more from them in the coming weeks and months ahead!

Matt has built a life of service to his country, his community, and his family. And I'm so excited to support this next chapter in his journey.

Sincerely,

Lincoln

Congressman Lincoln Davis

FaceBook

Sat
Mar 17 2018
07:48 am

Our legislature continues voting to use our tax money to subsidize AT$T, Comcast, Charter in providing us with lousy internet service at ridiculous prices.

America, alone among developed nations, never thought of basic telecommunications services as a public service, to be built and controlled by the government. Instead, we have traditionally relied on private companies to serve all Americans at a reasonable cost. In the past, in order to keep the price of local telephone services low and to ensure that everyone in rural areas had communications service, the federal government imposed fees on long-distance telephone service, to subsidize service for low-income and rural customers.

Now, following an astounding wave of consolidation and deregulation, we have the worst of both worlds: mostly unregulated private monopolists, selling expensive, mostly second-class data services to the rich and looking to the state to pay them to provide internet access services to everyone else.

(link...)

Guess who was the deciding vote in committee this week!

Fri
Mar 16 2018
01:18 pm

Here is the wording of the resolution TN Republicans refused to consider:

A RESOLUTION to denounce and oppose white nationalist and neo-Nazi groups and their actions.

WHEREAS, recent tragic events have proven that white nationalism and neo-Nazism remain very real threats to social and racial progress; and

WHEREAS, throughout the course of our nation's history, white nationalism has promoted intimidation and violent repression of individuals solely on the basis of their race, ethnicity, religion, and immigration status; and

WHEREAS, today, white nationalism has attempted to reinvent itself, self-identifying as the "Alt-Right," yet their present-day rhetoric and terrorism conjure painful memories of ournation's past; and

WHEREAS, while free speech and assembly are bedrock values for Americans, whitenationalist and neo-Nazi groups promote agendas that are in irreconcilable conflict with our nation's foundational principles of liberty and justice for all; and

WHEREAS, white nationalism and neo-Nazism are continuing to grow as menaces to societal order that seek to reignite social animosities, reverse improvements in race relations, divide the nation, and foment hatred, classism, anti-Semitism, and ethnic eradication; and
WHEREAS, the white nationalist and neo-Nazi message of racial and social intolerance has led to senseless acts of violence that continue to terrorize members of ethnic, racial, and religious minority communities; now, therefore,

Continued...

I'm very pleased to note that Roane County does not have a policy allowing corporal punishment.

The report also found that for the schools that used corporal punishment for students with and without disabilities, about 80 percent used corporal punishment at a higher rate for students with disabilities in all three reporting years.

Update: Greenbrier, Arkansas administers beatings to two students who participated in the walkout!

My kid and two other students walked out of their rural, very conservative, public school for 17 minutes today. They were given two punishment options. They chose corporal punishment. This generation is not playing around. #walkout

1:06 PM - 14 Mar 2018

(link...)

Eco Warriors and Politics

Science and Stuff

Lost Medicaid Funding

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