Sunday, December 27, 2015

From Our "Why Didn't Somebody Go to Jail?" Dept.: Worst Corporate Crimes of 2015

There oughta be a law! Why do shareholders pay the fines while corporate managers get bonuses for committing crimes?

Tuesday, December 22, 2015

Tennessee and Mississipi To Fight Over Water...TN Tries to Cut Overtime Pay for Guards...More from Crockett

Survey: Tennessee Prison Officers Dislike Overtime Plan

Expensive lawyers line up in TN vs. MS lawsuit

Both the state of Tennessee and the city of Memphis have retained expensive private law firms to fight a $615 million lawsuit filed by the state of Mississippi over underground water rights, reports the Commercial Appeal. Mississippi has a famous law firm that won’t be paid anything – unless it wins.
The 22 percent rate increase that will add an average of $3.31 a month to the water bills of Memphis Light, Gas and Water Division customers beginning in January was needed in part to pay for rising legal costs associated with the lawsuit filed against MLGW, the city of Memphis and state of Tennessee, officials say.
…The mounting legal expenses reflect the high-stakes nature of the water lawsuit, in which Mississippi claims MLGW, the city and Tennessee have “forcibly” taken its water through excessive pumping from an aquifer underlying both states. The Supreme Court in June granted Mississippi’s request to file the suit, and since then it has appointed a Special Master, Eugene Siler Jr., a former judge on the U.S. Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals, to oversee the case.
The utility and city have hired Memphis’ largest law firm, Baker, Donelson, Bearman, Caldwell & Berkowitz, to defend against the suit. “It’s a serious case. It’s dangerous, and we’re certainly going to treat it that way,” said David Bearman, one of the attorneys handling the case for the firm. Humphrey on the Hill

Enjoy reading CPI Buzz? Please consider supporting our work - click here to make a charitable, tax-deductible contribution.

Tennessee Reduces Backlog Of Untested Rape Kits, Sets New Rules For Police

Tennessee police departments have dramatically reduced their numbers of untested rape kits since a new state requirement took effect this year. Now a set of new written standards, finalized this week, will also govern how police take care of sexual assault survivors.
A backlog of more than 9,000 untested rape kits counted in 2014 — mostly in Memphis — prompted the new state law. It requires forensic sex assault evidence to be sent for testing within 60 days.
Along with grant money, the law has helped get more than 75 percent of the old kits tested, down to about 2,100 as of September, according to the Tennessee Bureau of Investigation (TBI). Some departments had reduced or eliminated backlogs since then, according to The Tennessean. WPLN

Tennessee Football Star Dies Shielding Teen Girls from Bullets During Knoxville Gang Shooting

Two teenage girls owe their lives to the chivalrous actions of a 15-year-old Tennessee football star, who shielded them when bullets began flying last Thursday evening in Knoxville.

This weekend, President Barack Obama took to Twitter to recognize the heroism of Zaevion Dobson, who was killed in last week's random gang-related shooting. "Zaevion Dobson died saving...friends from getting shot. He was a hero at 15. What's our excuse for not acting?" he wrote.

"I think that was appropriate," Knoxville Police Chief David Rausch tells PEOPLE of Obama's tribute. "Zaevion was a young man that was doing exactly what he should be doing, and he saved those two young ladies. It is amazing that he did that. But, that's what good guys and men of character do." (Initial reports stated that Dobson shielded three girls.)  People Magazine

Survey: Tennessee Prison Officers Dislike Overtime Plan

Amid ongoing scrutiny of how correctional officers are paid and scheduled in Tennessee, a new survey shows that the officers overwhelmingly dislike the state's recently changed overtime policies.
More than 80 percent of officers surveyed said they were negatively affected by the state's decision not to pay overtime until they worked more than 171 hours in a month, The Tennessean reported.
Previously, the officers received overtime working the 160 hours compiled through a traditional 40-hour work week.
The survey was conducted by the Tennessee State Employees Association, with the help of the Tennessee Department of Correction.
Officers were generally split on whether they'd like to work slightly shorter shifts six days in a row, or a longer shift with rotating days off: 55 percent preferred 8.5- or 9-hour shifts where they'd work six days and then have three off, while 45 percent preferred the 12-hour shifts with rotating days off.
In a statement, association president Bryan Merritt said he believes there would have been large support for a return to the department's traditional 40-hour work week if it had been included as a survey option.
"The results of this survey show that the Department of Correction has much work to do with regard to employee overtime pay and work schedules," Merritt said. Memphis Daily News

Bill would bring back Lady Vols nickname

A state lawmaker filed a bill Monday that would bring back the Lady Vols nickname for all University of Tennessee women's sports teams.
On July 1, the university got rid of the Lady Vols nickname for all sports besides women's basketball. The university said last year it would switch to the power T logo and Volunteers nickname for branding reasons in conjunction with its new licensing agreement with Nike.
Opponents rallied against the decision, saying the Lady Vols name brought a sense of pride for women's athletics. A petition to bring back the Lady Vols name garnered over 28,000 signatures, and opponents also held a rally at the state Capitol last year. The opposition came after the university was hit with two lawsuits alleging sexual discrimination from former women's athletics department administrators.
State Rep. Roger Kane, R-Knoxville, said he decided to introduce the legislation after opponents didn't get an appropriate response from the university or the board of trustees. Kane said he has a letter of support for saving the nickname that has been signed by 45 lawmakers. Tennessean (Subscription)

Knox County Commission did not take up the anti-marriage equality resolution tonight


The Knox County Commission did not take up an anti-marriage equality resolution tonight.  Commissioners had been urged to do so by a man identified as Mark Rivera.  But when he was called on speak on Monday night, he failed to show up.
In contrast, many in red were in the chamber to show their opposition to any anti-marriage equality resolution.  6 people spoke against such a measure including Gwen Schablik, David Payne, and former State Rep. Gloria Johnson.  TEP

T. Boone Pickens Calls For Bipartisan Panel To Screen Candidates For Presidential

According to the Library of Congress, the only stipulations for running for president include being a natural born citizen, a resident of 14 years and at least 35 years old. Such limited standards allow political outsiders like Republican front-runner Donald Trump to run for president — and Pickens thinks they're not stringent enough.

“My big idea for 2016 is to put together a bipartisan screening committee that vets presidential candidates like we do anyone else applying for a job and recommends the best candidates possible,” Pickens wrote in a recent LinkedIn post. “We have people running for president now who don’t even have experience running a lemonade stand.”
Pickens, who donated to Jeb Bush early on before flirting with Ben Carson, said the committee should factor in leadership experience, team-building skills and plans for prospective candidates’ administration.
“Right now we have a process that emphasizes accusation and innuendo,” Pickens said, alluding to the incessant brawls among Republican primary contenders. “Fact-checking is done … after the fact. And just like reality TV, there is too much of an emphasis on the inconsequential and the irrelevant. Such a vetting process could alleviate much of that.” Politico

Rep. Faison proposes to legalize medical marijuana, but only for military veterans

While most Tennessee Republican leaders have indicated opposition to any steps toward legalization of marijuana, state Rep. Jeremy Faison says he is hopeful they will make an exception for military veterans suffering from post-traumatic stress disorder.
Faison, R-Cosby, said he is drafting legislation that would “decriminalize” possession of marijuana by veterans diagnosed with PTSD, motivated by conversations with several veterans who believe that the medicinal properties of marijuana would help them far more than prescription medications.
“Pills have side effects. … The No. 1 side effect is suicide,” said Faison in an interview last week. “Twenty-eight veterans a day in America are committing suicide.”
“For most ailments man has, God has a remedy,” Faison said, quoting his wife, who has a master’s degree in nutrition. In many cases, the legislator said he believes that is marijuana. Humphrey on the Hill

Crockett Policy Institute

Monday, December 21, 2015

State Rep Proposes Legalization of Marijuana...But Only for Veterans...Crockett Buzz

Crockett Buzz for 12-21-15

Tennesseans stand to benefit from trade with Cuba

Tennessee Reduces Backlog Of Untested Rape Kits, Sets New Rules For Police

Rep. Faison proposes to legalize medical marijuana, but only for military veterans

Sunday column: On Santa Bill and the surplus

Jeremy Durham should resign House leadership position

Friday, December 18, 2015

TN Republican Whip Has Prescription and Child Porn Friend Problem...More From Crockett

Vote scheduled on ousting Durham as GOP whip

State Rep. Claims God Is Talking To Him

Political correctness slur bogus, allows for rudeness

Wednesday, December 16, 2015

GOP Debate: The Crazy...It Hurts!..More from Crockett

Ramsey Sees Cruz as Most Likely GOP Nominee

Carly Fiorina And Ted Cruz May Have Revealed Classified Information During GOP Debate (Wait...What is Carly Fiorina doing with classified information?)

Documents: Corker had more income than previously reported

Monday, December 14, 2015

Beware: State Lawmakers Back in Session January...More from Crockett

Haslam administration wades into broadband debate

Tennessee woman nearly dies trying coat hanger abortion — and then gets jailed for attempted murder

Beware: State lawmakers return to work in January

Thursday, December 10, 2015

From Our "Don't Say Anything" Dept: "TN Officials Confirm Cougar Sighting" ...Much More from Crockett

Lawmakers wrong to bloviate on UT diversity posts

Tennessee Officials Confirm First Cougar Sighting in 100 Years

Civil asset forfeiture: 'It's a state license to steal’

Disappointed Lawmakers Hear Message of Inclusiveness at Hearings to Whip Up Refugee Hysteria

Wednesday, December 9, 2015

Marsha Blackburn Stands with Loan Sharks..Alexander Wants Greater Filibuster Power to "Fix" Senate...More from Crockett

Marsha’s Choice

Lamar Alexander Seeks Path to Change in Senate

Ramsey Boldly Stops Just Shy of Trump

Haslam sounds off on Trump comments on Muslims

Tuesday, December 8, 2015

TN GOP Supermajority...Whacky or Just Plain Mean?... Crockett Buzz

Who Needs Health Insurance? Haslam Says Do Your Jumping Jacks

Marsha Blackburn bashes Vanderbilt on Planned Parenthood question

Lawmaker's bill would defund UT office; Faculty Senate preps for meeting in support of chancellor

Saturday, December 5, 2015

When Religions Predict the End of the World I Laugh...When Scientists Predict the End of the World...

I am aware that the overwhelming majority of scientists are scared to death of global warming and have been sounding the alarm for nearly 50 years. I am also aware that very few thoughtful people believe we are doing enough to deal with it. We are past the tipping point.
For years now, we have heard that we are at a tipping point. Al Gore warned us in An Inconvenient Truth that immediate action was required if we were to prevent global warming. In 2007, Sir David King, former chief scientific advisor to the British government, declared, “Avoiding dangerous climate change is impossible – dangerous climate change is already here. The question is, can we avoid catastrophic climate change?”
There are all sorts of proposals for saving Planet Earth from the highly unlikely asteroid impact but essentially nothing on the inevitable destruction of our ability to live on Planet Earth due to our own stupidity.

The human race seems to have a death wish.

Achieving a carbon-neutral society is a necessary long-term goal regardless of other technological fixes. Technology could buy us the time to get there without our planet burning up. Ultimately, we need a Cold War-level of investment in research into new technologies to mitigate the coming effects of global warming. Without it, the United Nations’ work is a nice gesture, but hardly a meaningful one.

Read this!