Federal authorites released details of the arrest of now-fired Lamar Alexander chief of staff Ryan Loskarn.
From the KNS (the details are disturbing):
According to the court records, federal agents targeted Loskarn as part of a broader investigation into a movie production company that operated a website offering DVDs for delivery by mail and for sale via online streaming.
Last Oct. 5 and Oct. 6, postal inspectors identified Loskarn’s computer IP address on the Gnutella peer-to-peer network offering files with names that are consistent with child pornography available for downloading, the records say.
On Nov. 18, law enforcement officers obtained a partial file download of a video that was downloaded from Loskarn’s IP address on Oct. 5. The video showed an adult male partially undressing a prepubescent girl, roughly 8 to 9 years old, and then performing sexual acts on her, the court records say.
Loskarn was observed by officers placing something outside a second-story window as they entered the house. A Toshiba hard drive — which Loskarn admitted to owning, but not putting on the window — was retrieved.
Lamar Alexander has filed a bill to ban cell phone conversations on planes:
U.S. Senator Lamar Alexander (R-Tenn.) today introduced legislation to prohibit cell phone conversations on commercial airline flights, a possibility the Federal Communications Commission is scheduled to consider today.
“Keeping phone conversations private on commercial flights may not be enshrined in the Constitution, but it is certainly enshrined in common sense,” Alexander said. “This legislation is about avoiding something nobody wants: nearly 2 million passengers a day, hurtling through space, trapped in 17-inch-wide seats, yapping their innermost thoughts.”
U.S. Senator Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.), an original cosponsor of the legislation, said: “Flying on a commercial airline—in a confined space, often for many hours—is a unique travel experience that is, candidly, not conducive to numerous passengers talking on cell phones. This bill recognizes the use of cell phones to make calls during flights can be disruptive and irritating to other passengers and would prevent such communications during domestic flights. The bill, however, would not affect the ability to communicate via text and email during a flight.”
The legislation, the Commercial Flight Courtesy Act, would prohibit the use of voice communication through cell phones on regularly scheduled commercial flights, after the Federal Communications Commission announced it is exploring what type of cell phone use is safe on airplanes. It would allow the use of cell phones for texting and other electronic communication, if the FCC were to approve such communications. It would also allow the use of personal electronic devices such as Kindles and iPads during flight, which the Federal Aviation Administration recently approved.
The FCC is scheduled to hold a public meeting this afternoon on a possible rule change approving the use of such technology on airplanes, a step it has acknowledged would “open the door” to approved cell phone conversations on flights. Alexander’s legislation mirrors current regulation. It only applies to commercial airlines, not private charter flights or foreign carriers, unless the latter is flying between U.S. airports. It exempts federal air marshals and flight crews for official business.
Alexander continued, “When you stop and think about what we hear now in airport lobbies – babbling about last night’s love life, next week’s schedule, arguments with spouses – it’s not hard to see why the FCC shouldn’t allow cell phone conversations on airplanes. The solution is simple: text messages, yes; conversations, no.”
Tennesseans support expanding Medicaid (to the tune of 63 percent). On the other hand, the abortion constitutional amendment — up for a statewide vote next year — has only 29 percent support. More from the AP and WTVF.
Is there bidrigging at the fair?
Fairgrounds advocates began sounding the alarm last month about what they saw as a rigged game. They alleged that the state's request for proposals from groups looking to operate the fair for the next five years was designed in such a way that only the TSFA — which has run the fair for the past three years — would have a chance of securing the contract. With a deadline for proposals set for Dec. 13, members of the often vocal Save Our Fairgrounds group said the quick turnaround during the holiday season all but ruled out competing proposals.
From Steven Hale at Pith, Democratic Senate hopeful Terry Adams is huzzahing a poll that shows a surprisingly vulnerable Lamar Alexander:
Conducted by Public Policy Polling — a left-leaning operation that has drawn criticism for its methodology — the poll showed Alexander at 46 percent in the GOP primary, with Carr trailing closely at 40 percent (margin of error: +/- 5 percent).
The poll's general election figures seemed particularly curious. Amongst "uninformed" general election voters, the polls shows Alexander at 45 percent with Adams at 32 percent. But "after voters learn about Adams experiences as a veteran, and small business owner, middle class background, and statewide roots" Adams leads the incumbent by 4 points, coming in at 41 percent to Alexander's 37 percent.
But the Vandy poll, on the other hand, has Alexander with a hefty lead.