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Date: Tuesday, 07 Aug 2007 16:42
Democratic Women of Knoxville Invite you to the 5th Annual Women of Faith Luncheon

Saturday, August 25, 2007, 12 PM at the Foundry on the World's Fair site.

Cost $25.00 or $200 for a table of eight

Vicky Harwell, President of the TN Federation of Democratic Women will be the keynote speaker. Guest will be Senator Anna Belle Clement O'Brien.

Reservations required: Contact Betty Reddick, 525-5580 or Sylvia Woods 577-7460

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Date: Wednesday, 26 Jul 2006 22:57

I just received a letter that outlines the real record of Mike Moyers with regard to term-limits.

Knox County Law Director and would-be Chancellor Mike Moyers has recently complained to the News-Sentinel that a flier prepared by supporters of term limits and bearing his name as a "term-limited politician" is "outright misleading." Moyers understands perfectly well why his name is included on that list.

Voters will certainly recall that term limits were extended to all other county offices except judges by more than 70% of voters in 1994. What voters may not recall is that Moyers personally drafted a charter amendment to remove those term limits from his office of law director when he penned an indefensible slate of proposals for the county’s Charter Review Committee in 2004.

Two amendments Moyers proposed then, that commission and school board candidates should be allowed to run for these county offices on the day they move into Knox County, were debated in the media. When voters learned that the two proposals were completely without precedent in federal, state, and other county governments and were instead Moyers’ attempt to impact a county school board race, they defeated both amendments. Unfortunately, a third one of Moyers’ proposed amendments, that term limits should be lifted from his office of law director, received no such public airing and was enacted absent any debate.

How did Moyers affect this seeming reversal in voter support for term limits? He simply garbled the ballot text to propose that "the Knox County Law Director shall be subject to the term limits provisions of this Charter to the same extent as any Constitutional officer of Knox County Government."

As Moyers anticipated, a majority of voters did not realize that the extent to which Knox County’s constitutional officers were subject to term limits is that they were not subject to them at all, at least per the state Attorney General opinion then standing. As Moyers also anticipated, a majority of voters did not realize that the Knox County Law Director’s office is not a constitutional office, either. Had they realized it is not, voters would have questioned why we would want to treat it as such by exempting it from term limits.

In light of Knox County voters’ clear support for term limits in their vote of 1994, there is only one reasonable explanation for 70% of voters then lifting term limits from just the law director’s office in August of 2004. These voters were intentionally duped by Moyers, who did, indeed, act in the spirit of a "term-limited politician."

Now, in the matter of Mike Moyers’ bid for Division III Chancellor, chagrined voters will want to cast their votes for his more transparent opponent, Jim Andrews.

Tamara G. Shepherd

Emphasis mine.

It's also worth noting that Mike Moyers is misleading the voters in another way. He's claiming that he "led the defense of the charter while his opponent sat on the sideline". Two things occur to me: a) Weaver ruled against the defense so if you're not lying, then how exactly is this something positive and b) Where's the evidence that he did anything to help the defense? What evidence did he enter for the defense? Does anyone here have a copy of the court record?

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Date: Sunday, 09 Jul 2006 01:28

Over at KnoxViews we have this rant from Rikki. Brilliant!

How would Lincoln feel about George W. Bush being a Republican? How would Eisenhower feel about Donald Rumsfeld heading the military? Would Teddy Roosevelt waste two cents worth of lead on either of those snivelling fucks? Why are current-tense Americans cowards?

Partisanship is the only thing that keeps theives in power. Today's Democrat Party has less in common with Andrew Jackson than Star-bellied Sneetches have in common with Sneetches. Most of this country is too insipid to notice what rights they have and what rights they've sold to Dick Cheney for a dime on the dollar. Look at the Ann Coulter thread: more activity in a day than we've seen in who knows how long.

The original Andrew Jackson is dead. He thinks nothing. You who measure everything by membership in either of the two easiest clubs to join are the problem. Go fuck your cousins like men of that era were prone to do and see if the rapture comes. Leave the thinking to crows.

By the way, Ann Coulter is not a spokesman for the Republican party; he's a spokesman for the corporatist media that wants you fixated on whether there is a star on your belly. There is. They burned it in real slow. Do you see it?

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Date: Monday, 26 Jun 2006 02:39

Let me get this straight...

1) They're angry with Gore because he didn't fight it out in 2000.
2) They're angry because we went to war in Iraq and a Gore victory would've prevented that.
3) They support Hillary, even though she's been 100% supportive of this war.
4) They don't want Gore to run because it might get in Hillary's way.
5) They support Gore's message in his new movie.

So given all that, they show up and protest his movie and a book signing.

That's pretty stupid.

Yet another reason why I never participate in protests.

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Date: Monday, 22 May 2006 22:55

An Inconvenient Truth will be coming to Regal's Downtown West on June 23.

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Date: Friday, 19 May 2006 20:51

I just received this email:

The Miami University Alumni Association is sharing the sad news of Ken McDiffett's passing. Ken passed away Tuesday evening as the result of a cerebral hemorrhage related to Alzheimer's Disease. As further evidence of his commitment to others, Ken's body is being donated to science.

I think everyone has a pretty short list of those teachers or mentors that had a big influence their life. Dr. McDiffett was one of those people for me. I suspect he's on that list for hundreds of people. He was retired before I got to college so I never took a class from him. I don't even remember what his field of study was. He was an advisor for my fraternity, Alpha Phi Omega.

APO is a service fraternity. That's supposed to mean that we're more about performing community service than partying. Most every week, for 50 years, our actives and pledges would find Dr. McDiffett sitting in the back of the room during our meetings and offering advice to anyone that asked. We weren't his students. There were no lectures. Instead we saw a great example of how a person should act. How they should help.

He was a very generous man and he will be missed.

Rest in Peace

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Date: Friday, 19 May 2006 17:17

There's been a bit of a shakeup in the schedule for Truman Day. On Wednesday, Joe Biden backed out as the keynote speaker. Yesterday morning, Paul Hackett agreed to speak. That gives us the next U.S. Senator from Tennessee, Harold Ford, Jr. and a rising star in the Democratic Party, Major Hackett, as our two main speakers.

Tickets are still available!

Truman Day will be held tomorrow night, May 20, at the Knoxville Convention Center. A pre-dinner reception starts at 6pm on the Cumberland Concourse and dinner starts at 7pm. Tickets are $50 each or table for 10 is $450. There's also an optional, $100 per ticket, VIP reception at 6pm.

Tickets By Phone: Please call 540-4001. The message will direct those interested in tickets to press "0."

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Date: Thursday, 11 May 2006 19:57

Today's column from Betty Bean, while interesting as always, isn't exactly accurate (some would also say "as always"). Her column tends to be more political gossip than fact so I suppose it's not all that fair to criticize her, but I will anyway.

The latest in party wisdom is that county chair Jim Gray would like for these seats to be filled by a countywide vote of the party's executive committee. The majority (if there is such a thing among local Dems) seem to favor voting by district, however.

Actually, the default nomination process, as defined by our by-laws and Robert's Rules, is that the executive committee, as a whole, nominates and votes on every candidate. This isn't something that Jim Gray "would like", this is what he's required to do.

The vote itself will be a vote of the entire executive committee. The nomination process could be changed if someone, say for example... Bill Young, were to make a motion that nominations were to be made by the district in question, through a district caucus or something. This motion would have to be approved by the entire executive committee that are already facing a long meeting. Will we vote to put the main meeting on hold for however long it takes to break into district caucuses and pick our nominees? I highly doubt it.

The "majority" actually prefers to have the three nominees be Helen Diane Lewis, Amy Broyles and Sharon Cawood. Except for Sharon, that would give the nod to those people that decided to have the question answered by the voters. Anything else is a backroom deal. As far as I know, nobody other than Sharon has stepped forward for Mark Cawood's seat.

Sometimes I'd just love to know where Betty gets her information. I suspect that this "majority" she's talking about is the same "majority" that opposed Betty Reddick for 1st Vice Chair and lost the vote by about 5-to-1. The same "majority" that opposed Jim Gray's reelection as party chair and lost by about 30%.

This reminds me of her column from a few weeks ago where she said this:

"Dean Democrats" want to choose replacements for incumbents Mark Cawood, Tindell and Diane Jordan. The "Dean Democrats" are mad at "Haslam Democrats" (like Jordan and Tindell) who supported Bill Haslam in the (non-partisan) 2003 mayoral election.

I posted something about it at the time. She seems pretty obsessed by the various factions inside the local Democratic party. All I can speak about is the "Dean Democrats", or "elitist deaniacs" as Brian Hornback calls us.

The local organization that grew out of the local Dean Meetups from '03-'04 is now called Democracy for Knoxville. Of the 40 or so people in the group, 8 were around in the early days. Howard Dean and his politics are not the focus of our group. We're focused on one thing: Helping Democrats get elected. To do that we've filled as many positions on the executive committee as possible, we've held a campaign training course and have a candidate training course coming up in about a week. In short, we're trying to help the local party grow and help local candidates find trained volunteers. I don't know how successful we'll be, but we're trying and we're learning.

In doing this, we seem to have been taken as a threat by some of the older party people (older as in having been around for a long time, not necessarily meaning age). Maybe these people are the "Haslem Democrats" of legend. I've never had anyone pull me aside and point them out. The only part I care about is making sure that the people that have a say in the Democratic party, support Democrats when they're running for office. It would also be great if some people stopped thinking of the local party as some kind of social club and actually hit the streets to elect more Democrats.

If someone is threatened by that, I could care less.

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Date: Thursday, 04 May 2006 06:13

The election results are in. What follows is an analysis of those races where Democrats were trying to get write-in candidates on the ballot...

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Date: Thursday, 27 Apr 2006 16:11

Metro Pulse has released their Best of Knoxville. Selected as second best newspaper in Knoxville: Hellbender Press

Congratuations to Rikki Hall and the entire staff of the Hellbender.

On a related note, PF Chang is a lot better than Stir Fry Cafe. Combo Fried Rice made spicy. Yum!

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Date: Tuesday, 25 Apr 2006 19:50

I just heard that Joe Biden has confirmed for Truman Day! This is great news! He's a great speaker and should really draw people in. Apparently we've also confirmed with Jonathan Alter from Newsweek.

To attend:

Tickets are $50 each or a table of 10 for $450.

Tickets By Phone: Please call 540-4001. The message will direct those interested in tickets to press "0."

Tickets By Mail: Print out this form and mail to the address on the form.

Congratulations to Jim Gray and Emily Singer for the hard work they put into finding a speaker.

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Date: Tuesday, 18 Apr 2006 19:35

Via Instapundit we have this gem...

I'm no religious scholar but this is the most idiotic thing I've read in a long time.

Having risen through the echo chamber of "higher" education and survived the ruthless but quiet vetting process of their "profession," these editors knew full well that what they were putting out into the world was not a "gospel." They also knew that calling it a "gospel" would ensure greater attention and greater sales. Beyond that, the editors, secular cultists all, also got a quiet little tingle by having, in their minds, "stuck it" to the Christian church once again. As usual, such secularists love to stick it to Christianity. Addicts of auto-erotic spiritual asphyxiation, their onanistic pleasure in these deeds is only enhanced if they can be performed during the most holy days of the Christian calendar. Only then can maximum profit and pleasure be assured.

Google is your friend.

But beyond these considerations, the publication of the "Gospel" of Judas has another, deeper and more lasting benefit to our neophytes of nihilism. It puts one of the final elements of their anti-morality play at center stage. It seeks to sanctify treason.

Good lord. This is just plain sad.

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Date: Monday, 17 Apr 2006 01:22

The chummy little post-interview chat that was recorded on the original unedited podcast (available unedited here) left little doubt about who the paper would endorse. Today we have confirmation. The News Sentinel has endorsed H. Lee Martin for the School Board in the 6th District. Let me rephrase that... The News Sentinel has endorsed a candidate for School Board who sends his own kids to private schools.

Needless to say, it's my opinion that the paper got it wrong. Thomas Deakins has kids in public school and even Martin thinks he's a good candidate. But I suppose the pragmatic choice for a business like KNS is to endorse the personal friend, and hand-picked choice, of a popular county mayor that will most likely stay in power.

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Date: Sunday, 16 Apr 2006 00:52

The trailer for Al Gore's new movie is available here.

Edit: Review/commentary here.

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Date: Friday, 14 Apr 2006 20:28

Today's article in the News Sentinel seems to have confused some people. This wasn't a rules change at all. Here's a breakdown of the races:

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Date: Sunday, 09 Apr 2006 21:46
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Date: Friday, 07 Apr 2006 18:42

So the President authorized the declassification and leak of information from a document concerning Joe Wilson's trip to Niger. How exactly does his authority to declassify documents get him or someone in his administration off the hook for leaking Valerie Plame's identity? I'm working under the assumption that he doesn't have the authority to unilaterally "declassify" an intelligence operative.

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Date: Friday, 07 Apr 2006 16:08

Hmmm... I wonder which political party will get the most endorsements from the Knoxville News Sentinel.

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Date: Friday, 07 Apr 2006 15:55

From Betty Bean yesterday:

District 6 school board candidate Lee Martin is as smooth and polished as a tumbled stone, as borne out by the recording of his News Sentinel editorial board interview on the newspaper’s podcast site.

After the friendly grilling was over, however, Martin, who mentioned several times that he was recruited into the school board race "by a dear friend in county government" and that he has been endorsed by Mayor Mike Ragsdale, kept on talking.

Someone asked him about his opponents, and Martin, who is seeking the seat being vacated by Chuck James (who is running for County Commission), went on to deliver what amounted to a glowing endorsement - of one of his two opponents.

He blew off one of them - Freddie Dillon - as "Chuck James’ brother-in-law," but he heartily approved of his other opponent, Thomas Deakins:

"The other young man is very much on the ball - but you can’t put that on the podcast. I've got nothing but good stuff to say about this fellow, he’s young and he’s bright. ..." Martin said.

Deakins promptly proved Martin right by blasting out e-mails directing folks to the podcast so they could feast their ears on the unusual endorsement.

Alas, however, the jig was soon up, and by Tuesday morning, the last couple of minutes had been trimmed from the Martin interview.

Here's the unedited MP3 of the podcast with the original 12 minutes intact.

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