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Muller Report & Impeachment - Points & Counterpoints

By Mike Knapp, Sat, 2019/04/20 - 12:42pm

Susan Hennessey, Quinta Jurecic at Lawfare 4/20/19
The Mueller Report Demands an Impeachment Inquiry

Though hard questions remain about whether President Trump should be impeached and whether the evidence would be sufficient for the Senate to convict him, these are not questions that need to be answered at this stage. Congress’s responsibility at this point is to begin an impeachment inquiry as a means of finding an answer to them. And Mueller has provided more than enough information to justify initiating an inquiry: the report sets out evidence of possible criminal wrongdoing by the president during his time in office related to abuse of power, which is at the dead center of the “high crimes and misdemeanors” impeachment is designed to check. Though most scholars agree that violating the law is not necessary for impeachment, Congress included allegations of such conduct in articles of impeachment against Andrew Johnson, Richard Nixon and Bill Clinton—all three times the legislature seriously contemplated impeaching the president. In Nixon and Clinton’s case, the articles specifically concerned criminal behavior, including obstruction of justice. What’s more, the Mueller report itself suggests a possible hook for impeachment in indicating that the “corrupt intent” necessary for an obstruction offense would also violate the president’s obligation to “faithfully execute” the laws under the Take Care Clause.

In the face of this evidence, for Congress to not even consider impeachment as a matter of serious inquiry is to declare that the legislature is not interested in its carrying out its institutional obligations as a coordinate branch of government.

Ezra Klein at Vox 4/19/19
The problem with impeachment

Absent public support for impeachment, and amid a strong economy, it would give the White House an opportunity to run the playbook Bill Clinton ran so successfully in the 1990s: Here’s Trump, focusing on economic growth, and there are the Democrats, focusing on their doomed vendetta against the president.

This is a strategy that would unite Republicans and split Democrats, and if Trump won using it, then the harm to American democracy would be incalculable. I think it’s a mistake for liberals to wave that prospect away.

This brings us back to the question of elections, the frontline mechanism of democratic accountability. Behind some of these arguments is a fear, I think, that the American public doesn’t care enough about the rule of law to protect it themselves in the next election. After all, Democrats didn’t run on Mueller in 2018, and there’s no evidence they want to run on his findings in 2020, either. Will all this really go unpunished? What if Trump then wins reelection?

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High levels of arsenic in your bottled water?

By bizgrrl, Sat, 2019/04/20 - 8:04am

According to a Consumer Reports investigation they "identified 11 brands out of more than 130 that either self-reported or, based on tests we commissioned, had detectable amounts of arsenic. Of those, six had levels of 3 ppb or higher. These brands are Starkey (owned by Whole Foods), Peñafiel (owned by Keurig Dr Pepper), Crystal Geyser Alpine Spring Water, Volvic (owned by Danone), and two regional brands, Crystal Creamery and EartH2O."

Consumer Reports "also was able to purchase two brands of imported water—Jermuk from Armenia and Peñafiel (owned by Keurig Dr Pepper) from Mexico—that are on an import alert issued by the federal government for previously having arsenic levels above the federal limit of 10 ppb."

Keurig Dr Pepper "said this week that it had conducted new testing, because of Consumer Report’s questions, and confirmed levels above the federal limit, at an average of 17 ppb."

The article includes a list of "Leading Bottled Waters With Lower Arsenic Levels" including Aquafina, Dasani, Deer Park, Evian, Kirkland (Costco) Nestle Pure Life, Poland Spring, etc.

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St. Mary's site

By michael kaplan, Fri, 2019/04/19 - 8:40pm

The St. Mary's site in North Knoxville should be used for affordable, small houses on small lots, restoring the residential quality of this neighborhood. I'm thinking shotgun or box 'starter' houses, around 800 s.f. each, on 25' x 100' lots. North Knoxville is still dotted with houses like these, and the project could be a model for the redevelopment of older neighborhoods.

preview_twin_shotguns copy.jpg

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DTV Introduces the new Knox County Democratic Party Leadership tonight at 7:30 PM

By Doug Veum, Fri, 2019/04/19 - 2:43pm

Tune in on Knoxville's Community TV channel at 7:30 PM tonight and meet the new officers of the Knox County Democratic Party: Chair LaKenya Middlebrook, Vice Chair Eddie Nelson, and Treasurer Caroline Cranford.

The Community TV channel airs at:
Comcast Channel 12
Charter Channel 193
Wow! Channel 6
ATT U-verse Channel 99

or can be live streamed at: (CTV)

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Voucher bill fails in House

By R. Neal, Thu, 2019/04/18 - 8:33pm

Will try again next week...

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The Dogwood Arts Festival...

By R. Neal, Thu, 2019/04/18 - 7:06pm

...should adjust its future dates to allow for climate change.

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Arrowmont Seeking Development Support Manager

By R. Neal, Thu, 2019/04/18 - 12:35pm

Requirements of the position include: Knowledge of Raiser’s Edge is essential, bachelor’s degree, prior experience in a nonprofit organization.

This is a full-time position and is open until filled. The position description is available at

If you or someone you know is interested in applying for the position, email a letter detailing how your skills and abilities meet the requirements of the position, your resume, and four professional references to No phone calls please. Arrowmont is an equal opportunity

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Mueller Report

By bizgrrl, Thu, 2019/04/18 - 11:51am

From NPR,

Access to the full Mueller Report, redacted.

138 MG, 448 pages.

UPDATE: Regarding the investigation into obstruction of justice...


Because we determined not to make a traditional prosecutorial judgment, we did not draw ultimate conclusions about the President’s conduct. The evidence we obtained about the President’s actions and intent presents difficult issues that would need to be resolved if we were making a traditional prosecutorial judgement. At the same time, if we had confidence after a thorough investigation of the facts that the President clearly did not commit obstruction of justice, we would so state. Based on the facts and the applicable legal standards, we are unable to reach that judgment. Accordingly, while this report does not conclude that the President committed a crime, it also does not exonerate him."

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Feds charge pain clinic owners/workers

By bizgrrl, Thu, 2019/04/18 - 7:02am

A followup to the March 4, 2019, report of "FBI, TBI target South Knox "pain clinic".

U.S. attorneys from Ohio, Kentucky, West Virginia and Alabama along with FBI, DEA and other officials announced charges Wednesday against 60 people, 53 of whom are medical professionals, in a massive law enforcement action involving opioids across 11 federal districts in five states, including Tennessee.

Eight of the people charged are from East Tennessee. At least two doctors from East TN Valley Pain Specialists on John Sevier Highway were charged with conspiracy to distribute Schedule II controlled drugs and/or distribution of Schedule II drugs. Four of them were affiliated with LaFollette Wellness Center. According to the LaFollette Press, "LaFollette Wellness Center notified the Tennessee Department of Health it would be closing its doors on Jan. 2."

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Meet Mr. Trash Wheel: Baltimore Harbor's Googly Eyed Garbage Gobbler

By jbr, Wed, 2019/04/17 - 7:25pm

Mr. Trash Wheel — and his cousins Professor Trash Wheel and Captain Trash Wheel — have scooped up a million Styrofoam containers since the first one was installed on a tributary leading to the Baltimore Harbor in 2014.

Meet Mr. Trash Wheel: Baltimore Harbor's Googly Eyed Garbage Gobbler

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Family Pet Portrait Day

By cameronjbrooks, Tue, 2019/04/16 - 1:58pm

Wanted to share information about this cool event coming up!


Come get your picture taken professionally with your furry friend, and get a free 5x7 and digital file!

For more information:

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Books Sandwiched In welcomes Dr. Maria Fernanda Campa

By eellis, Tue, 2019/04/16 - 9:49am

What: Books Sandwiched In welcomes Dr. Maria Fernanda Campa
When: Wednesday, April 24, 2019 - 12:00pm
Where: East Tennessee History Center

SaudiAmerica.jpgKnox County Public Library invites the public to join Dr. Maria Fernanda Campa for a consideration of Saudi America: The Truth about Fracking and How It's Changing the World by Bethany McLean, Wednesday, April 24, noon–1:00 in the East Tennessee History Center auditorium at 601 South Gay Street.

According to the author, most opposition to hydraulic fracking has focused on its potential environmental impacts. In Saudi America. McLean presents instead a surprising exposé of the shaky financial foundation of the fracking industry. "The biggest reason to doubt the most breathless predictions about America's future as an oil and gas colossus has more to do with Wall Street than with geopolitics or geology," McLean wrote.

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TNGOP House votes to criminalize voter registration activities

By R. Neal, Tue, 2019/04/16 - 5:56am

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP)Tennessee could penalize some paid voter registration groups with fines for too many faulty signups and criminal charges for violating new requirements under a proposal passed by the House on Monday.

Several groups of protesters swarmed the Capitol. Some were removed from chambers by armed state troopers.

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Knoxville Science Museum considering alternate locations

By jbr, Tue, 2019/04/16 - 1:05am

Seems like the sort of thing that should be close or on the south waterfront. Instead of apartments.

The Clayton Foundation is exploring other locations for its proposed $150 million dollar science museum.

Knoxville Science Museum considering alternate location

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Technology - progressive or creepy?

By bizgrrl, Mon, 2019/04/15 - 10:16am

Is it creepy how when you order from some web sites or you ask a question on a web site and then they persist in bothering you about the product or question? It's almost creepy. It's like the company bot will not give up. You must keep in touch with them. It is imperative.

Why is it some companies have such horrible voice phone systems and others know how to do it right? Some companies want you to speak to the system with you request others allow you to speak or press a number. A couple of recent encounters were kind of tough. One required a voice response and my response was to be "something else". The voice system could not understand what I was saying. Three times! I finally had to give up and use one of the other options. Yes, I did try pressing 0 (zero) to no avail. With so many accents, dialects, etc. I would think its a little tough for a lot of people. Yes, I did go to their web site to try to get the task accomplished, but it was not possible.

Then there are all these web sites that look great but do not want us to know where they are and who they really are, Every company on the Internets should have an easy way to find out their address. With an address we can more easy look up professional licensing information, corporate registrations, BBB reports, etc.

Secure identifications are getting a little out of hand. I know, it is hard to keep track of passwords, especially when you have 22 different secure web sites to use. Then they want you to change your login password frequently. However, I'm not condfident I'm willing to provide a fingerprint, face recognition, retina recognition, etc. to stay secure. I don't even want to provide a phone number. Have the companies proven their sites are secure? No.

Then, there are the companies moving to texts instead of emails to contact us. Sure, a lot of people now use phones and tablets to communicate. However, it should not be that hard to include an email option. Our phones are beeping at us too much as it is. IMO, emails are easier to manage, e.g. file, print, transfer, sort, etc.

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Forget politics

By R. Neal, Sat, 2019/04/13 - 4:42pm

If you want to start a real fight on Twitter, just mention BBQ. Hilarity ensues!:

Sorry, Memphis, but Nashville does have the best barbecue

— Tennessean (@Tennessean) April 12, 2019

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Tennessee wants to make it harder to hold voter registration drives

By jbr, Sat, 2019/04/13 - 7:17am

A bill currently making its way through the Tennessee legislature would impose new restrictions on groups that hold voter registration drives and subject them to potential jail time and massive fines.

Tennessee wants to make it harder to hold voter registration drives

HB 1079 and SB 971

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WE DO HAVE A SUPER Democrat running for U.S. Senate !

By Mary the prez, Thu, 2019/04/11 - 10:55am

After reading the columns about our Democratic PARTY, I do not agree with Victor Ashe or Georgianna Vines. We most certainly have a wonderful Candidate for United State Senate and he is more than qualified...and DETERMINED to win a seat in the U.S. Senate.

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Democrats on social media do not represent the majority of Democrats?

By bizgrrl, Thu, 2019/04/11 - 10:53am

Today’s Democratic Party is increasingly perceived as dominated by its “woke” left wing. But the views of Democrats on social media often bear little resemblance to those of the wider Democratic electorate.

The outspoken group of Democratic-leaning voters on social media is outnumbered, roughly 2 to 1, by the more moderate, more diverse and less educated group of Democrats who typically don’t post political content online, according to data from the Hidden Tribes Project.

Also, the same would go for what is being reported on CNN and MSNBC. The media is doing a bit of a disservice in reporting on the current Democratic presidential hopefuls. It should get interesting as the presidential contest heats up.

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Dogwoods, Redbuds in full bloom!

By bizgrrl, Thu, 2019/04/11 - 7:09am

The Dogwood trails and gardens are open, the pink lines are painted. In many areas the Dogwood trees are in full bloom as have been the Redbud trees. The Azaleas are emerging, some in full bloom. It has been a beautiful Spring.

Check out events at the Dogwood Arts site.

The Rossini Festival is Saturday.

The Dogwood Arts Festival art show is April 26-28 in downtown Market Square. The event features a fine art market, live music, artist demonstrations, and hands-on activities for kids and adults.

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