Fri
Nov 25 2022
10:52 am
By: WhitesCreek

"Tonight, referring to the issue of the stolen documents, Trump’s attorney general William Barr told CNN, “I personally think they probably have the basis for legitimately indicting [Trump].... They have the case.”"

(link...)

Fri
Nov 18 2022
07:24 pm
By: WhitesCreek
Fri
Nov 18 2022
11:21 am

So, in summary, Eddie Mannis was too Republican to be mayor and not Republican enough (in the opinion of the party’s far-right wing), to be a state representative. But hardly anybody came right out and admitted the real reason they weren’t supporting this self-made, philanthropic, lifelong Republican model citizen who happens to be gay.

(link...)

NASHVILLE, Tenn. — Tennessee Attorney General Jonathan Skrmetti joined with 20 other states to ask the federal government to end a vaccine requirement for healthcare workers, and to withdraw guidance related to the requirement.

Sat
Nov 12 2022
07:59 am
By: WhitesCreek

It may have been the Republicans’ assault on abortion rights that made the difference in this election. Or perhaps it was the obvious, unmistakable threat that Republicans posed to our democracy by their enthusiastic embrace of Trump’s Big Lie. Or simply the fact that they fielded some really, really lousy candidates. Those are all good, plausible explanations for the complete absence of the much-anticipated ‘red wave’ that was supposed to have summarily swept Democrats out of power in 2022, paving the way for a brave new Republican Congress. And those are the reasons being cited -- more or less collectively — by the media, as they struggle to explain away the GOP’s abject, unprecedented failure here.

But those explanations, while certainly valid, all skate away from a more imposing elephant (no pun intended) in the room, one that’s been treated with curious diffidence by the beltway press: The reality that the Republican Party has at this point in time transformed itself into a soundboard for some of the ugliest, nastiest, most hate-driven people in the country. People who literally make your skin crawl with their performative cruelty and sheer meanness. People who no decent human being would want their children to emulate, let alone associate with — or vote for.

(link...)

Fri
Nov 11 2022
01:26 pm
By: WhitesCreek

There is too much to unpack in Dr. Richardson's "Letter From an American". She is scrupulously factual and boils it down from a soup to a stew.

White nationalist Nick Fuentes told his audience that the solution to the fact Republicans are in a minority and keep losing elections is to establish “a dictatorship.” "We need to take control of the media or take control of the government and force the people to believe what we believe or force them to play by our rules.”

Today the editorial board of the Wall Street Journal noted Trump’s perfect record of electoral defeat and said: “Trump is the Republican Party’s Biggest Loser.”

Trump claims to have rigged the Florida Governor's election for Ron DeSantis and is now hammering DeSantis for implying a Presidential run opposing Trump.

Josh Marshall at Talking Points Memo noted that even though Trump “is a pathological liar… this requires some explanation, if only a clear and definitive confirmation that this did not happen.”

Letter for Nov 10, 2022

Yesterday was a good day for democracy. Americans turned out to defend our principles from those who denied our right to choose our own leaders. There was little violence, the election appears to have gone smoothly, and there are few claims of “fraud.” As I write tonight, control of the House and Senate is still not clear, but some outlines are now visible.

Usually, the party in power loses a significant number of congressional seats and state seats in the first midterm after it takes the presidency. Today, President Joe Biden spoke to reporters and noted that the Democrats had the best midterm elections for governors since 1986 and lost fewer House seats than they have in any Democratic president’s first midterm in 40 years.

Dr. Richardson's letter

An analysis by the Economic Policy Institute, however, makes clear that corporate profits, not increased costs for labor or inputs, drove the majority of inflation from the start of the pandemic through the end of 2021.

Yet, a search of the same database of major U.S. newspapers over the last month reveals just eight articles that mention inflation in proximity to "corporate profits." Americans are hearing a lot about inflation, but very little about what is driving it.

From Judd at Popular Information

Sat
Nov 5 2022
12:40 pm

Connection Alert: WhitesCreek is on the Board of this awesome not for profit organization.

Bo Baxter takes helm of the crucial nonprofit Conservation Fisheries (link...)

Conservation Fisheries

fish

Fri
Nov 4 2022
11:21 am
By: WhitesCreek
Fri
Nov 4 2022
08:01 am

TVA a bad actor? Surely not!

“Quite simply, most coal plants are violating the law that requires toxic waste cleanup,” said Lisa Evans, a senior attorney with Earthjustice, during a Thursday media call. “Coal plants are polluting the nation’s water illegally and getting away with it.”

(link...)

Location: Kingston, Tennessee, United States
The following ISS sightings are possible from Friday Oct 28, 2022 through Saturday Nov 12, 2022

Date Visible Max Height Appears Disappears Share Event
Thu Nov 3, 7:12 AM 3 min 13° 10° above N 10° above NE

Sat Nov 5, 7:11 AM 6 min 27° 10° above NNW 10° above E

Sun Nov 6, 6:25 AM 3 min 18° 16° above N 10° above

Mon Nov 7, 4:39 AM < 1 min 10° 10° above NE 10° above NE

Mon Nov 7, 6:12 AM 6 min 81° 16° above NW 10° above SE

Tue Nov 8, 5:27 AM 3 min 43° 42° above NNE 10° above

Wed Nov 9, 4:41 AM 1 min 14° 14° above E 10° above E

Wed Nov 9, 6:14 AM 4 min 28° 20° above W 10° above

Thu Nov 10, 5:28 AM 3 min 43° 43° above S 10° above

Fri Nov 11, 4:42 AM < 1 min 9° 9° above SE 10° above SE

Fri
Oct 28 2022
01:40 pm
By: WhitesCreek

Biden has cut the deficit by the largest amount in US history this year, $1.4 trillion. Trump exploded the deficit.

“The election is not a referendum,” Biden said, “it’s a choice.”

But it’s a choice people might not see because of the headline-grabbing drama coming from the MAGA Republicans.

Heather Richardson:

(link...)

On Thursday, The Federalist published an article by political editor John Daniel Davidson, a favorite on Fox News and other conservative programming, in which he argued that conservatives must stop calling themselves conservative, stop believing in small government (which they only ever did when it came to using the government to help people, anyway) and declare themselves "radicals, restorationists, and counterrevolutionaries."

(link...)

Fri
Oct 21 2022
08:29 am
Wed
Oct 19 2022
10:36 am

The Orionid meteor shower

Predicted peak: October 21, 2022, at 18 UTC.

When to watch: You might see an Orionid meteor any early morning this week. But, in the first part of the week, the moon will be up between midnight and dawn, obscuring the view on October 17, 18 and 19. By the morning of October 20, with a slimmer moon in the sky and the shower nearing its peak, you’ll likely spot more meteors. And – by the morning of the shower’s peak on October 21 – the moon will be a slim crescent. By then the moon will enhance, not obscure, your enjoyment of 2022’s Orionid meteor shower.

Earth and Sky

Mon
Oct 17 2022
01:24 pm
By: WhitesCreek

EARLY VOTING LOCATIONS: 9 am to 5 pm weekdays, 9 am to 1 pm Sat.

Harriman… Harriman Community Center 631 Clinch St.

Kingston…Kingston Community Center 201 Patton Ferry Rd.

Rockwood…Rockwood Community Center 710 N. Chamberlain Ave.

Oak Ridge… Milestone Church 100 Gum Hollow Rd.

Sat
Oct 15 2022
08:20 am
By: WhitesCreek

toon

The rest of the toons:
(link...)

Fri
Oct 14 2022
06:24 am

October 13, 2022
Heather Cox Richardson

Today began with news that New York attorney general Letitia James is seeking a preliminary injunction to stop former president Trump from continuing with the fraudulent practices she filed a $250 million lawsuit in September to end. Apparently, the day James filed the lawsuit, the Trump Organization registered the “Trump Organization II,” which James claims is acting in some of the same ways the old organization does. Investigators warn that Trump might shift his assets from the old entity to the new one to avoid liability. Trump lawyer Alina Habba said in a statement: "We have repeatedly provided assurance, in writing, that the Trump Organization has no intention of doing anything improper.”

Just an hour or so later, the House Select Committee to Investigate the January 6th Attack on the U.S. Capitol held what was widely perceived to be its ninth public hearing but, as chair Bennie Thompson (D-MS) made clear at the start, was in fact a meeting to conduct business.

Each member of the committee spoke today, reiterating for those who have not been paying close attention the themes of the previous eight hearings. As Thompson pointed out, the committee has gathered an unusually large amount of evidence and has built its case almost entirely from the testimony of Republicans, not Democrats, undercutting the accusations of Trump loyalists that the committee has been partisan. Their evidence has come from Trump aides and Republican lawmakers, lawyers, political professionals, appointees, staff, and advisors and even from Trump’s family members.

The evidence the committee has presented to the American people establishes without doubt that Trump was the central cause of the events of January 6. As Representative Liz Cheney (R-WY), vice-chair of the committee, said: “None of this would have happened without him.”

The committee established that Trump knew that he had lost the election. His campaign advisors and his lawyers repeatedly told him that any suggestion that the election had been stolen was a lie. He even admitted that he had lost and, crucially, just days after he lost the election, abruptly ordered the withdrawal of all U.S. troops from Somalia and Afghanistan by January 15, clearly intending to set up his successor, Democrat Joe Biden, for a global crisis the minute he took office. (Defense Department officials successfully stopped the order.)

Even though he knew he had lost, Trump had no intention of actually leaving office. He and his team decided as early as July 2020 that he wouldn’t leave: he would simply declare that he had won the election, even if he lost. By October 31, 2020—before the election took place—Tom Fitton of the right-wing organization Judicial Watch drafted a memo for Trump to read on November 3, saying, “We had an election today—and I won.” On that same day, Trump ally Stephen Bannon told a private group that Trump was just going to “declare victory…, but that doesn’t mean he is the winner. He’s just going to say he is the winner.”

Everyone knew that in the early hours of November 3, it might look as if Trump was winning, but that would change as later votes came in because after Trump had spent months attacking mail-in voting, the mail-in votes that did come in would favor Democrats. Those votes would be counted after the votes cast in person on Election Day. That “red mirage” was precisely what happened. But, as planned, as soon as the mail-in ballots began to be counted and numbers started to swing toward Biden, Trump went on television to announce that he had won and that the counting of votes should end.

Trump’s advisors all told the January 6th committee either that it was too early to declare victory when Trump did, or that there was no way he could win at that point. And yet, Trump told his supporters he had won and that the election was being stolen from him.

In the weeks that followed, the Trump campaign launched 62 lawsuits over the outcome and lost 61, winning only a technical victory that had no effect on the vote count. The committee established that when the Supreme Court refused to turn over the electoral counts of four states to state legislatures, rather than the states’ voters, Trump was livid. Cassidy Hutchinson, who was the top aide to Trump’s chief of staff Mark Meadows, testified that Trump was “raging.” He said: “I don’t want people to know that we lost. This is embarrassing….”

So Trump launched a pressure campaign against state officials to get them to assign their states’ electoral votes to him rather than to Biden. He pressured Georgia secretary of state Brad Raffensperger, telling him “I just want to find 11,780 votes” to put him over the top to take the state’s electoral votes. Trump pressured officials in other states. He also pressured Department of Justice officials: “Just say the election was corrupt and leave the rest to me and to the Republican congressmen.” When that effort failed, Trump tried to replace acting attorney general Jeff Rosen with loyalist Jeff Clark, stopping only when the leadership of the Department of Justice threatened a mass resignation.

Thwarted, Trump turned to the idea of false electoral slates from the states, working with loyalists in the states to send to Washington a fake set of electoral votes in favor of him rather than the Biden electors voters had chosen. Even lawyer John Eastman, who pushed the plan, admitted it was illegal, violating the 1887 Electoral Count Act.

When that plan, too, failed, Trump fell back on his last resort: a violent attack on the U.S. Capitol as lawmakers were counting the electoral votes. Trump had primed a mob by repeating the lie that the election had been stolen, and today the committee revealed that Jason Miller, senior advisor to the Trump campaign, forwarded a link from a pro-Trump website to Trump’s chief of staff Mark Meadows less than a week before January 6, saying, “I GOT THE BASE FIRED UP.” The linked web page was about the upcoming session of Congress to count electoral votes, and it had comments like “Gallows don't require electricity.” “If the filthy commie maggots try to push their fraud through, there will be hell to pay.” “Our lawmakers in Congress can leave one of two ways; one, in a body bag, two, after rightfully certifying Trump the winner.”

The committee today released new information gleaned from Secret Service communications, showing that the service had extensive information that there was an attack on the Capitol planned for January 6 and that testimony suggesting otherwise was “not credible.” The committee said its investigation of the Secret Service is ongoing.

On January 6, members of the crowd at the Ellipse rally were armed, and Trump knew it. Nonetheless, he urged them to march on the Capitol. When his handlers refused to let him join them, he retreated to the private dining room in the White House and watched the violence unfold on television, ignoring pleas from congressional leaders, advisors, staff, and family to call off the rioters. Instead, at the very moment Vice President Mike Pence’s life was most in danger from the mob, Trump tweeted that Pence had let him down, energizing the rioters.

Meanwhile, other lawmakers stepped into the breach left by Trump’s refusal to act. Today’s hearing had previously unseen footage captured by Alexandra Pelosi, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s (D-CA) daughter, of congressional leaders working the phones to get law enforcement officers to clear the Capitol. The footage is chilling, as our elected leaders beg for help that is not coming. Pelosi took over the functions of the president, calm in the chaos as she worked to restore order and demonstrate that our government could still function.

Finally, proving that he could have called them off at any time, the rioters left when Trump told them to, after which he doubled down on the lie that he had been cheated of the presidency.

The recounting of Trump’s behavior established his assault on our democracy. The committee noted that although such an assault must not be allowed to stand unchallenged, its role is not to bring criminal charges—that is the role of the Justice Department—but to recommend changes to our laws to make sure such an assault never happens again.

And, Cheney made it crystal clear, Trump’s coup attempt failed in 2021 only because of those who stood against him, but there is no reason to believe that such people will always stand in the breach. Indeed, more than half the Republicans running for office in 2022 have signed on to Trump’s lies about the election. Urging all Americans to come together to hold Trump accountable, Cheney noted that if he is not held to account, we will lose our democracy, if not to him, then to some other wannabe dictator who sees our laws don’t matter. “Some principles must be beyond politics,” she said.

At the end of the committee’s presentation, it became clear why Thompson had specified that today’s meeting was not a hearing. The committee voted on a resolution, presented by Representative Cheney, to subpoena Trump for documents and testimony under oath. Cheney pointed out that more than 30 witnesses had invoked their Fifth Amendment right against self-incrimination, many in response to questions about their dealings with Trump, and said that “we are obligated to seek answers directly from the man who set this all in motion.”

The committee then voted unanimously in favor of the resolution. Tonight the Wall Street Journal editorial board wrote, “The Jan[uary] 6 committee probably won’t get Mr. Trump under oath, but the evidence of his bad behavior is now so convincing that political accountability hardly requires it.”

The bad news for Trump was not over. Just before the committee’s vote, in what New York Times Supreme Court correspondent Adam Liptak called “a stinging rebuke,” the U.S. Supreme Court refused to step into the case of Trump’s theft of classified documents to give him access to the classified documents taken from Mar-a-Lago by FBI agents on August 8. The decision was a single sentence.

Still, after all today’s news, the final word belonged to Pelosi. On a video from January 6 released tonight, she is seen reacting to the news that Trump was intending to go to the Capitol, the seat of our elected government, where presidents traditionally must not go without an invitation. Told he might arrive, she responded to her chief of staff:

“I hope he comes, I’m gonna punch him out… I’ve been waiting for this. For trespassing on the Capitol grounds. I’m gonna punch him out, I’m gonna go to jail, and I’m gonna be happy.”

“Tennesseans should have the right to make personal health care decisions with the assistance of their doctors and healthcare team – without the intrusion of politicians,” the letter says.

“This law puts the government in charge of deciding which healthcare options are available to patients, setting a dangerous precedent that violates the sacred physician-patient relationship.”

(link...)

The multi-federal agency-funded battery charger can recharge a standard electric vehicle battery in just 10 minutes, setting a record and showing incredible advancements in charging technology.

“The smaller, faster-charging batteries will dramatically cut down battery cost and usage of critical raw materials such as cobalt, graphite and lithium, enabling mass adoption of affordable electric cars,” lead study author Chao-Yang Wang added. Wang, who serves as the William E. Diefenderfer Professor of Mechanical Engineering at Penn State, is one of a handful of Penn State researchers who worked on the project.

In addition to the more recent battery-charging project, Wang was also part of a team that last year worked on an innovative self-heating lithium iron phosphate battery with a range of 250 miles that could also quickly recharge in 10 minutes. Wang’s research team believes the battery’s lifetime would be able to span up to 2 million miles—considerably more distance than a standard combustible engine.

In addition to the more recent battery-charging project, Wang was also part of a team that last year worked on an innovative self-heating lithium iron phosphate battery with a range of 250 miles that could also quickly recharge in 10 minutes. Wang’s research team believes the battery’s lifetime would be able to span up to 2 million miles—considerably more distance than a standard combustible engine.

Thu
Oct 13 2022
07:19 am

Heather Cox Richardson pens a must read that nails Trump, Fox, and any Trump supporter that believes anything Trump says:

...the $1.6 billion lawsuit in which Dominion Voting Systems is suing the Fox News Corporation for its lies about Dominion’s voting machines in the 2020 election is moving forward. The FNC is apparently planning to argue that FNC personalities were simply expressing opinions when they said the machines were rigged, much as FNC has argued to defend host Tucker Carlson from lawsuits, saying that he was not reporting facts and that no “reasonable viewer” would take him seriously.

Read the full piece HERE

Wed
Oct 12 2022
09:02 am

Tennessee Gov. Bill Lee took to Twitter to trash a decision by Nashville Metro Council to allocate $500,000 in funds to Planned Parenthood for sex education and birth control. Call us naive, but these seem like important topics on which to focus if one wants to prevent unplanned pregnancies in a state whose legislature has made abortions illegal.

"As cities across the country face surging crime, politicians in Nashville have chosen to defund local police to fuel an extreme political agenda. This is an affront to Tennessee families & taxpayers," Lee tweeted.

A few hours later, T.J. Ducklo, salty press secretary to Nashville Mayor John Cooper and Biden communications shop alumnus, administered a bit of subtle shade in a tweet of his own. Ducklo pointed out Cooper has increased Metro's cop shop budget by 20%, added 98 new positions and increased pay.

Read the whole newsletter HERE

Vanderbilt destroys TNGOF's political stunt with knowledge and information, but then caves and pauses transgender program.

VUMC approaches its responsibility to care for patients by following the most widely recognized national and international standards of care, while at all times doing so in accordance with state and federal laws. Our clinical teams provide transgender care that is informed by the professional practice standards and guidance established by leading medical specialty societies, such as the Endocrine Society and the World Professional Association of Transgender Health (WPATH).

(link...)

It took a coordinated effort across many agencies and some dedicated people to save this species. These are the canaries in the mine for humanity. If the Earth cannot support them, it will one day be incapable of supporting humanity.

(link...)

Wed
Oct 5 2022
08:12 am
By: WhitesCreek

It should be titled "The Right to Work for Less" Amendment:

"Right to Work states have more workers who lack insurance and the laws undermine unions, and unions already have a small presence in Tennessee, with only 4.6% of workers belonging to a union or trade association, according to the brief published by the NCSL.

There is a great deal of money involved in the campaign for Amendment 1. Unions, including the Tennessee AFL-CIO, oppose it. Advocates include Haslam and Lee, both of whom are affiliated with family businesses that employ thousands of workers. The pair launched the ‘Vote Yes on 1’ campaign in August with a joint video.

The leadership council for ‘Vote Yes on 1’ includes U.S. Sens. Marsha Blackburn and Bill Hagerty, Lt. Gov. Randy McNally, Speaker of the House Cameron Sexton, and the leaders of two large trade groups. "

(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.