Toni Morrison's "The Bluest Eye" was among more than two dozen books removed last month from a school library at Goddard, Kansas, following a challenge by a parent. The books have since been returned to the shelves. (Max McCoy/Kansas Reflector)

One weird trick for backsliding democracy: Read banned books

BY: - December 6, 2021

We’ve been buried by a blizzard of news lately. So much has happened ­­­­— special anti-mandate legislative session, Supreme Court poised to reverse Roe v. Wade, omicron variant popping up across the United States — it’s difficult to choose just one target in the shooting gallery of opinion. But let’s step back for a moment […]

(Getty Images)

Commentary: Four more children dead, and a nation shrugs. Is enough finally enough now?

BY: - December 3, 2021

Families in Michigan will set an empty place at the table this holiday season in the wake of the mass shooting at Oxford High School in southeast Michigan that left four children dead and seven more injured. The deaths at Oxford this week came a little more than two weeks before the ninth anniversary of […]

Tennessee State Capitol (Photo: John Partipilo)

Stockard on the Stump: Legislature could rescind much of COVID-19 law

BY: - December 3, 2021

Barely a month after the Legislature passed a COVID-19 omnibus bill cobbled together in a secret meeting, some lawmakers are ready to unwind it. Much of the legislation was nearly rendered moot by two federal court rulings that put a hold on President Joe Biden’s vaccine mandate, followed by Comptroller Jason Mumpower’s move to suspend […]

NEW YORK, NEW YORK - NOVEMBER 17: The new book by journalist Nikole Hannah-Jones, "The 1619 Project: A New Origin Story" is displayed at a New York City bookstore on November 17, 2021 in New York City. First published in The New York Times Magazine, "The 1619 Project: A New Origin Story" was written to center the effects of slavery and the achievements of Black people in the history of the United States. (Photo by Spencer Platt/Getty Images)

Editor’s column: 1619

BY: - December 1, 2021

You’d have to be completely out of the political loop—and I suspect you aren’t, if you are reading this—to not have heard of “The 1619 Project” and the brouhaha surrounding it.  A publication of journalist Nikole Hannah-Jones and The New York Times, “1619” first appeared in an August 2019 issue of the New York Times […]

Commentary: Partisan gerrymandering must end

BY: - November 22, 2021

In all that seems to divide us today, there are still a few core values Americans share across the political spectrum. Among those are democracy and fairness.  We believe strongly that the collective will of equal citizens should be reflected in public decisions, without unfair privileges or disadvantages. Whether our preferred candidate wins or loses, […]

Gov. Bill Lee with Republican legislative leadership after a recent press conference. (Photo: John Partipilo)

Statewide Power Poll: Majority strongly oppose recent special session COVID bills

BY: - November 19, 2021

The Tennessee General Assembly’s recent special session on COVID-19, which dramatically lowered the state’s COVID-19 response on everything from masks to vaccines, was met with big blowback in a statewide Power Poll. More than two-thirds of the voting Power Poll members in Knoxville, Memphis, Chattanooga, and Nashville, as well as the state’s rural and suburban […]

Tennessee State Capitol (Photo: John Partipilo)

Stockard on the Stump: Secretary of State backs future election audits

BY: - November 19, 2021

Secretary of State Tre Hargett confirmed this week he is supporting a move to audit Tennessee’s elections, but maybe not for the 2020 count, which has been much-maligned by Republicans nationally. In an abbreviated interview Wednesday with the Tennessee Lookout, Hargett said an audit bill will be forthcoming in the 2022 legislative session. Hargett referred […]

U.S. Capitol. Photo by Russ Rohde/Getty Images

Editor’s column: Grading congressional newsletters

BY: - November 17, 2021

I spend a lot of time thinking and talking and writing about the Tennessee General Assembly because too few news outlets in our state have the resources or capacity to do the same, and I figure, larger outlets than this one do have the means to check on our federal delegation.  But a few months […]

Rep. Glen Casada, R- Franklin, photographed by John Partipilo on Jan. 12, 2021.

Stockard on the Stump: Casada resigns without the funky chicken hanging around

BY: - November 12, 2021

Less than a year after the feds knocked on his front door, former House Speaker Glen Casada is set to leave the Legislature in 2022 holding the dubious distinction of the shortest speakership in state history. The only thing missing is a funky chicken. That odd creature was joined by a creepy penguin, a half-naked […]

WASHINGTON, DC - SEPTEMBER 21: Sen. Marsha Blackburn (R-TN) speaks during a Senate Judiciary Subcommittee hearing on September 21, 2021 in Washington, D.C. (Photo by Ting Shen-Pool/Getty Images)

Editor’s Column: Tennessee’s GOP representatives blew infrastructure vote

BY: - November 10, 2021

There’s no secret that Tennessee’s infrastructure is in woeful condition.   The most notable recent example came in May, when a routine inspection of the Hernando de Soto Bridge in Memphis prompted frantic calls to 911: Inspectors found a crack in the bridge so large the waters of the Mississippi River below were visible through it.  […]

(Photo: John Partipilo)

Commentary: Regressive discipline policy in Jackson-Madison County Schools is wrong direction

BY: - November 8, 2021

Up until about a month ago, my work days were spent in the presence of 20-25 adolescents who were navigating changing bodies, volatile emotions, teen angst, and the best way to learn the latest TikTok dances.  In other words, I was a middle school teacher – arguably the most challenging job in the world of […]

Gov. Bill Lee with Republican legislative leadership after a recent press conference. (Photo: John Partipilo)

Stockard on the Stump: ‘Send lawyers, guns and money dad, get me out of this’

BY: - November 5, 2021

Caught between a Ford truck and a Russian spy disguised as a waitress, when did Tennessee’s Republican leaders realize they needed dad to “get me out of this”? Truth be told, they probably had more than one awakening during last week’s “not so special” session. A hint came when the Tennessee Business Roundtable sent out […]