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Employer insurance premiums stable

By R. Neal, Wed, 2017/09/20 - 6:34am

NYT: While Premiums Soar Under Obamacare, Costs of Employer-Based Plans Are Stable

Surprise, surprise. For one thing, most people get their insurance through their employer, so group plans encompass larger risk pools. Allowing insurance companies to carve out individual markets into their own, smaller pools guarantees higher individual premiums.

Also, employees covered by the plans are healthy enough to work, so the medical costs are generally lower. But some companies, especially the "self-insured," will find ways to fire employees who develop conditions requiring expensive treatment. I've seen it happen.

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Kimmel: The senator lied to my face

By jbr, Wed, 2017/09/20 - 2:24am

Comedian Jimmy Kimmel argued the Sen. Bill Cassidy's new health care bill fails the "Kimmel Test" -- a reference to the comedian's emotional late-night monologue about how the Affordable Care Act carried protections that helped save his son from a congenital heart defect.

Kimmel: The senator lied to my face

Stop using my name

Jimmy Kimmel on Bill Cassidy’s Health “Care” Bill

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KNS laid off more long-time reporters?

By R. Neal, Tue, 2017/09/19 - 3:28pm

CWG says in a comment below that the KNS has laid off Don Jacobs and Wayne Bledsoe. This just after reports of a 41% subscription price increase.

UPDATE: Gannett Cuts One Percent of Workforce, Lays Off Tennessee Journalists

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Books Sandwiched In With Dr. Oleg Manaev

By nbarajas, Tue, 2017/09/19 - 1:22pm


What: Books Sandwiched In With Dr. Oleg Manaev
When: Wednesday, September 27, 2017 - 12:00pm
Where: East Tennessee History Center- Auditorium

Join Professor Oleg Manaev for a discussion of The Man without a Face: The Unlikely Rise of Vladmir Putin by Masha Gessen on Wednesday, September 27 at noon in the East Tennessee History Center auditorium.

"I’m really impressed by how Gessen's book flows on multiple tracks, tracing Putin’s life back to boyhood, the story of his hometown of St. Petersburg, his KGB experience, and finally the last quarter-century of Russian history," Manaev said. "Even though many interpretations remain controversial, this book helps to understand modern Russia."

Manaev, Global Security Fellow at the University of Tennessee Institute for Nuclear Security, has an insider's perspective of Eastern European politics. When in 2010 the leadership of the Belarusian State University—on order from the KGB—pressured Manaev to resign, 130 well-known scholars from 30 countries sent a letter of protest to the Belarus President Alexander Lukashenko, preserving his position. Manaev was arrested the following year by the Minsk Riot Police and called “a pawn of the West” by President Lukashenko. Finally, Manaev's contract with the University was cancelled, ending his 40 year tenure. Manaev has held visiting professorships at universities in the United States, Canada, Brazil, Europe and Japan. He has authored 200 scholarly articles and 20 books on media, political process, and democracy.

Find more information at the Books Sandwiched In page.
manwithoutaface_0.jpgoleg-manaev_cropped_0.jpg

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Bitcoin, but worse

By Moon, Mon, 2017/09/18 - 7:15pm

Garrett Arms has a nice piece on Bitcoin and other digital currencies. Calling Bitcoin "Monopoly money" is an insult to Monopoly.

Bitcoin and other funny money

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KNS price increase

By rht, Mon, 2017/09/18 - 10:55am

Price of old-fashioned 7 day hard copy subscription to KNS jumping from $29.72/month to $42/month??!! Spouse likes to read it and cat likes to sit on it.

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Rolling Stone up for sale

By R. Neal, Mon, 2017/09/18 - 7:52am

NYT: Rolling Stone, Once a Counterculture Bible, Will Be Put Up for Sale

"And so, after a half-century reign that propelled him into the realm of the rock stars and celebrities who graced his covers, Mr. Wenner is putting his company’s controlling stake in Rolling Stone up for sale, relinquishing his hold on a publication he has led since its founding."

Accorging to the article, Wenner started the magazine from his San Francisco loft in 1967 using $7500 in borrowed money.

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Senate GOP spat: Alexander versus Hatch

By jbr, Mon, 2017/09/18 - 1:42am

Tom Humphrey ...

Sen. Lamar Alexander’s efforts to craft a bipartisan bill to shore up Obamacare are drawing “hostile fire” from a fellow Republican Senate committee chairman, reports Politico.

Alexander is “stealing our jurisdiction,” Senate Finance Chairman Sen. Orrin Hatch told POLITICO, referring to the turf split between his panel and Alexander’s HELP Committee. “It’s pretty hard to get excited about what he’s doing.”

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What Do Taxpayers Get for Tennessee Business Subsidies

By jbr, Sun, 2017/09/17 - 9:33pm

It seems that Knoxville/Knox County are keeping track.

Knox County
24 - Number of Grants
$7,920,720 - Total
3,242 - Jobs Committed

More than $2.5 billion in subsidies such as grants, tax breaks and tax credits are given to businesses in the state each year, according to an analysis by the W.E. Upjohn Institute for Employment Research.

An investigation by the largest four media organizations in Tennessee — The Tennessean, The Commercial Appeal, Knoxville News Sentinel and (Chattanooga) Times Free Press — found statewide that many officials and agencies do not track or disclose the number of jobs created by subsidy deals.

THE COST OF JOBS WHAT DO TAXPAYERS GET FOR TENNESSEE’S BUSINESS SUBSIDIES?

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Olli will make its Knoxville debut this September during Innov865 Week

By jbr, Sat, 2017/09/16 - 9:35pm

Will we see the Olli self-driving vehicle in action this week?

Visit Knoxville plans to make Olli available for conventions and paid tours of the city in late 2018. Olli will make its Knoxville debut this September during Innov865 Week, which celebrates Knoxville’s entrepreneurial spirit by bringing together startups, entrepreneurs and the East Tennessee community for a week of educational panels, pitch competitions, investor roundtables, and social events.

Self-driving shuttle to debut this fall in Knoxville

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UT football - in Gainesville, FL

By bizgrrl, Sat, 2017/09/16 - 1:58pm

Will TN win or will FL be tanked up and ready to play after surviving Hurricane Irma? Did TN fans attending the game remember to bring extra supplies for hurricane survivors?

Should be a good game.

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James Mackler at Guy Friday Breakfast

By cafkia, Fri, 2017/09/15 - 2:25pm

For the first time in forever, I made my way to the Guy Friday Breakfast. There was always the chance that some one new and interesting would show up and that was the case today.

The Democratic candidate for the Senate seat currently being ineffectively held by Bob Corker, James Mackler and his campaign assistant (whose name I have embarrassingly forgotten) were the two unknowns at this morning's breakfast.

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Mnuchin is from New York

By bizgrrl, Fri, 2017/09/15 - 11:44am

From the Washington Post -

Last month, Mnuchin and Linton took a government aircraft to Kentucky on a trip that involved viewing the solar eclipse, drawing wide condemnation and accusations that the former Goldman Sachs banker and Hollywood producer was using public funds for potentially voluntary travel as Trump seeks to rein in government waste.

The Kentucky trip ended within miles of the path of totality, the narrow band across the United States where the moon totally blotted out the sun during the solar eclipse. Mnuchin viewed it from one of the most restricted sites in the world: Fort Knox.

On Thursday, Mnuchin also addressed this controversy, saying the trip was to see Fort Knox and not the eclipse.

People in Kentucky took this stuff very seriously. Being a New Yorker, I don’t have any interest in watching the eclipse,” he said.

Emphasis is mine.

Well, being a New Yorker, is there anything of interest to him besides being a New Yorker and making lots of money?

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Alcoa West Plan Redevelopment Master/Vision Plan Open House

By Janus, Thu, 2017/09/14 - 10:50pm

Thursday, September 28, 2017
The City of Alcoa, TN announced today that a public open house will be held on Thursday, September 28, 2017 from 5:00-7:00 PM at the Alcoa Service Center located at 725 Universal Street, Alcoa, TN 37701. City Officials, along with the Consultant Team of Kiser + Vogrin Design and Volkert, Inc. of Franklin, TN, will be available to discuss a master/vision plan being developed to guide redevelopment of approximately 265 acres on the former Alcoa West Plant site.

More details here: (link...)

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UT AD restores Lady Vols brand

By R. Neal, Thu, 2017/09/14 - 2:41pm

UT Sports: "We will not allow for the Lady Vol brand to disappear from our athletics department or university. And today, Chancellor Davenport and I reaffirm our commitment to restore the official visibility of the Lady Vol name, logo and brand."

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Corker draws first primary challenger

By R. Neal, Thu, 2017/09/14 - 10:50am

The Hill: "Andy Ogles, the head of the Tennessee chapter of the Koch brothers-funded conservative group Americans for Prosperity, kicked off his campaign Thursday."

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Today: Bernie Sanders Announces Single-Payer Bill With Major Support In Senate

By Tamara Shepherd, Wed, 2017/09/13 - 9:01pm

Per HuffPo, Sanders' 16 co-sponsors are as follows:

That roster of co-sponsors includes a who’s-who list of potential Democratic presidential candidates for 2020, including Cory Booker of New Jersey, Kirsten Gillibrand of New York, Kamala Harris of California and Elizabeth Warren of Massachusetts. Also backing the bill are Patrick Leahy of Vermont, Sheldon Whitehouse of Rhode Island, Al Franken of Minnesota, Jeff Merkley of Oregon, Ed Markey of Massachusetts, Martin Heinrich and Tom Udall of New Mexico, Brian Schatz and Mazie Hirono of Hawaii, Richard Blumenthal of Connecticut, Jeanne Shaheen of New Hampshire and Tammy Baldwin of Wisconsin.

Specifics on the bill and conjecture as to the political fight necessary to pass it are at the above link.

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Oh, no! Roundup busted!

By R. Neal, Wed, 2017/09/13 - 5:00pm

WATE: Roundup restaurant owner arrested for buying shoplifted meat from drug addicts. South Knoxville, keeping it real.

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Renee Hoyos running for Congress

By R. Neal, Tue, 2017/09/12 - 7:32pm

Tom Humphrey:

"Renee Hoyos, executive director of the Tennessee Clean Water Network, has filed papers with the Federal Election as a candidate for election in the 2nd Congressional District, reports the Nashville Post. She becomes the second Democrat to enter the contest to succeed Republican U.S. Rep. John J. “Jimmy” Duncan."

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Bipartisan health care bill by Sept 17?

By jbr, Tue, 2017/09/12 - 7:24pm

Alaska Sen. Lisa Murkowski, one of three Republican senators who ultimately voted "no" in July on a Senate bill to repeal Obamacare, expressed relief that there was finally an across-the-aisle dialogue about Obamacare.

"We can do a lot up here in the Capitol here in Washington, DC, but you all have to translate it on the ground and the fact that we haven't had this open dialogue, to this point in time, on this particular issue area, is I think part of what's taken us so long to get here," Murkowski said.

Bipartisan health care bill by Sept 17?

Members, Senate Committee on Health, Education, and Pension

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