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: Our children will bear the brunt of state’s mishandling of COVID-19 crisis

BY: - August 9, 2021

As a teacher, I can pinpoint distinct feelings associated with each part of the year.  The obvious excitement of the end of the school year in late spring with students wrapping up exams and desks being pushed to the perimeter of the room for the annual waxing of the floor over the summer.  The tired, […]

Gov. Bill Lee at Ag Day on the Hill, March 12, 2019. (Photo: Theresa Montgomery/State of Tennessee)

Editor’s Column: Welcome to Absurdistan!

BY: - August 7, 2021

Christopher Buckley is known for writing novels of absurdist political fiction, with titles like “No Way to Treat a First Lady,” in which the First Lady is accused of killing her husband, the president, and “Thank You for Smoking,” which was turned into a 2005 film.  Buckley’s 2007 book “Boomsday,” revolves around a public relations […]

(Photo: Adam Glanzman/Bloomberg)

Stockard on the Stump: Sen. Robinson finds support in Memphis billboards

BY: - August 6, 2021

Dogged by federal fraud and theft charges, state Sen. Katrina Robinson is finding friends in unlikely places – Memphis billboards. The roadway signs contain a picture of the Memphis Democrat with the words, “I love me some Katrina Robinson,” where a Gofundme site is set up to raise money for her legal fight. Go […]

WASHINGTON, DC - OCTOBER 21: Deputy U.S. Attorney General Jeffrey Rosen announces that Purdue Pharma LP has agreed to plead guilty to criminal charges over the handling of its addictive prescription opioid OxyContin during a news conference at the Justice Department on October 21, 2020 in Washington, DC. (Photo by Yuri Gripas-Pool/Getty Images)

Commentary: Tennessee plunges deeper into the opioid crisis 

BY: - August 3, 2021

Alarming statistics indicate a sharp uptick in opioid-related deaths in 2020. About 90,000 people across the country died from drug overdoses in 2020, up nearly 30% from 2019, when overdose deaths were the leading cause of death in Americans under 50. Tennessee is far above the national average, with overdose deaths jumping 45% in 2020. […]

Tennessee State Capitol (Photo: John Partipilo)

Stockard on the Stump: Senator predicts Delta variant will spur vaccinations

BY: - July 30, 2021

State Sen. Ferrell Haile, a pharmacist by trade, is not on the fence when it comes to vaccines. He was writing an opinion piece on the importance of vaccinations when other senators found out and wanted to join the push. Seventeen Republican senators signed the letter and sent it out this week hoping to bolster […]

(Photo: Getty Images)

Commentary: Four ways Tennessee’s new trust regulations benefit individuals and families

BY: and - July 30, 2021

Tennessee’s national reputation as a leading state to establish and administer a trust took another step forward with the passage of several new regulations on May 12. The new laws – when combined with the repeal of Tennessee’s tax on passive investment income (the Hall Income Tax) on January 1 – further solidifies the Volunteer […]

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

Commentary: State leaders own responsibility for low vaccination rates

BY: - July 26, 2021

Working in the hospital on the front lines of the pandemic caused by the SARS-Cov-2 (COVID-19) virus last winter was the hardest thing I’d ever had to do as a physician. We were experiencing a massive surge of sick COVID-19 positive patients in the emergency department, many of whom were so ill they required high […]

Dr. Michelle Fiscus prepares for an interview in her Williamson County home. (Photo: John Partipilo)

Stockard on the Stump: Republican lawmakers split over Fiscus firing

BY: - July 23, 2021

The group of anti-vax legislators whose complaints about the Department of Health vaccine campaign led to the firing of Dr. Michelle Fiscus won’t say much about her termination. But there is a clear break between that group and others who think the state made the wrong move. The topic is so sensitive that most lawmakers […]

Odessa Kelly works on the porch of her East Nashville. (Photo: John Partipilo)

Editor’s column: The hottest ticket in town

BY: - July 23, 2021

Political tongues have been flapping all over Nashville since community organizer and activist Odessa Kelly announced her candidacy for the Democratic nomination in the 5th Congressional District in early April.  Kelly is taking on incumbent Jim Cooper, who has served in the 5th District seat since his election in 2002 (and in the 4th Congressional […]

(Photo: Drew Angerer/Getty Images)

Commentary: The For the People Act of 2021 and election integrity

BY: - July 20, 2021

Election integrity comprises more than just ensuring the person who votes is who he says he is.  The For the People Act is a comprehensive bill that would, among other things, prevent states from making it harder for people to vote and drawing congressional districts to the benefit of one or the other party. It […]

Dr. Michelle Fiscus (Photo: John Partipilo)

Commentary: The curious case of Dr. Fiscus

BY: - July 16, 2021

We began the week in the soap opera that is Tennessee with the firing of the Tennessee Department of Health’s chief immunization director.  Dr. Michelle “Shelley” Fiscus, a pediatrician by training, was unceremoniously sacked on Monday after four years of service with the state. Fiscus said her termination letter gave no reason for her firing […]

Tennessee State Capitol (Photo: John Partipilo)

Stockard on the Stump: State spent millions on vaccine campaign that helped cost Fiscus her job

BY: - July 16, 2021

Tennessee spent $11.4 million on public service campaigns designed to battle COVID-19. The only thing it cost the state to fire its chief immunologist was a lot of embarrassment. Using coronavirus relief funds, the state paid Designsensory $8.9 million for messaging to encourage mask wearing and social distancing early in the pandemic. Once vaccines were […]