Commentary

Commentary: Decades-long promise of citizenship needs to become reality

BY: - September 27, 2021

For decades, the Tennessee Immigration and Refugee Rights Coalition (TIRRC) has organized for a pathway to citizenship for millions of undocumented Americans. Now, the Biden-Harris administration has the opportunity to take bold action and uphold their promise to bring much needed relief for 11 million undocumented families who call the United States home. Right now, […]

Rep. Terri Lynn Weaver, R-Lancaster, left, with Sen. Mark Pody, R-Lebanon. (Photo: John Partipilo)

Stockard on the Stump: Schwinn denies piloting materials in book adoption, but LIFT did

BY: - September 24, 2021

Tennessee Education Commissioner Penny Schwinn told lawmakers this week the state didn’t pilot any materials during the English Language Arts adoption two years ago, nor is it in the upcoming math adoption process. She made the statement just two weeks after state textbook commission members made it clear the 18-month book and material selection lies […]

Attorney General Herbert Slatery at the 100th anniversary of the Tennessee Farm Bureau in Jan. 2021. (Photo: Tennessee Attorney General's office)

Editor’s column: Slatery’s tenure as AG shows mixed legal bag

BY: - September 23, 2021

A week or so ago, a tweet about Tennessee government caught my eye: “We don’t legislate by law, we legislate by lawsuit,” wrote someone in response to another story about Gov. Bill Lee’s legal woes.  I don’t remember which one of the Lee administration’s suits to which the Twitter wag referred, and that’s the problem: […]

Dr. Katrina Green of Nashville. (Photo: John Partipilo)

Commentary: Overcome by pandemic fatigue, a physician begs for masks

BY: - September 21, 2021

As an emergency physician, I understand pandemic fatigue as much as anybody. I have worked hard since the beginning of the pandemic to treat sick patients with severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-Cov2), otherwise known as COVID-19. It has been a very long year and a half, the most emotionally draining time of my […]

(Photo: John Partipilo)

Stockard on the Stump: Tennessee joins fight against John Lewis Voting Rights Act

BY: - September 17, 2021

Tennessee Attorney General Herb Slatery is formally opposing passage of the John Lewis Voting Rights Advancement Act, signing on to a letter with Republican AGs saying it would allow the feds to “usurp” states’ authority over elections. “If these provisions are enacted, rest assured that the undersigned will aggressively defend our citizens’ rights to participate […]

American president Woodrow Wilson (1856 - 1924) gives a speech to Congress, Washington DC, 4th December 1917. (Photo by FPG/Hulton Archive/Getty Images)

Editor’s column: Presidential precedent exists for drastic action in times of crisis

BY: - September 12, 2021

On Thursday, President Joe Biden announced a six-prong strategy to try to get the current surge of COVID-19 under control. His platform includes fairly non-controversial steps that include making home COVID testing kits more readily available and extending the mask mandate in commercial air travel.  But the leading piece of Biden’s plan is one that […]

Department of Education Commissioner Penny Schwinn, pictured at right with Health Commissioner Dr. Lisa Piercey, defends herself against questions about possible "Schwinnanigans."(Photo: John Partipilo)

Stockard on the Stump: Textbook commission sends ‘hands off’ message to Schwinn

BY: - September 10, 2021

Tennessee Textbook Commission Chairman Linda Cash sent a message to the state Department of Education Thursday, declaring the group’s independence and letting officials know that no vendors should get an advantage in the coming math book selection process. Under state law, “there are no pilots of anything to be pushed out during the 18 months […]

Memphis residents are pushing back against the Byhalia Pipeline project. The proposed pipeline, has been the subject of controversy since 2019. The joint venture project would build a 49-mile pipeline between Memphis and Mississippi and would run through several Black communities in Memphis. VALERO Memphis Refinery (PICTURED) is located on along the Mississippi River's Lake McKellar in South Memphis. (Photo by Karen Pulfer Focht)

Commentary: Everyone deserves clean air and water, no matter their zip code

BY: - September 8, 2021

I grew up in a loving family — financially poor, but spiritually rich. My family was blessed with the abundance of having my two strong grandmothers who helped us make it out of poverty. But when they both died from pollution-related illnesses, I learned that simply having a good, strong family isn’t enough. You also […]

A Sept. 3 photo Gov. Bill Lee posted on his official Instagram page showed him enjoying dove hunting season in Humphreys County. (Photo: Gov. Bill Lee Instagram)

Commentary: ‘Unapologetic American exceptionalism’ exists in a whitewashed world

BY: - September 7, 2021

I follow Gov. Bill Lee on Instagram.  He’s probably not the first person that comes to mind when one thinks of cutting edge, visual social media.  I don’t follow him because I’m a fan of his policies or his plaid shirts or even his folksy, staged pictures in Anytown, Tennessee.  I definitely don’t follow him […]

Commentary: Right to Work means less freedom for workers, not more

BY: - September 6, 2021

“The only effective answer to organized greed is organized labor.”  In the weeks leading up to Labor Day, I’ve found myself reflecting on this quote by Thomas Donahue, former secretary-treasurer and president of the AFL-CIO.  Working people across the country, including right here in the South, have been taking this sentence and transforming it into […]

Gov. Bill Lee. (Photo: John Partipilo)

Stockard on the Stump: Governor won’t take the blame for lawsuits or school closings

BY: - September 3, 2021

Under a federal civil rights investigation, facing two lawsuits out of Shelby County over his mask opt-out order and now seeing school districts closing, Gov. Bill Lee refuses to let the buck stop with him. “My responsibility is to work together to make the best decisions in our state that we believe will benefit Tennesseans […]

See nothing, hear nothing, say nothing: children will bear the brunt of the state's mishandling of the COVID crisis. (Photo illustration: John Partipilo)

Commentary: Adults throwing Knox County kids under a school bus

BY: - September 2, 2021

Three weeks of school are in the books, and it is now clear that the kids in our schools are bearing the brunt of the latest surge in COVID-19 cases. How bad is it? Simply, this is the worst point in the pandemic for Knox County’s kids, by far. And while case counts among children […]