Photo illustration by John Partipilo.

Legislative takeover looks like fascism

BY: - March 11, 2023

What do you call it when a group of legislators pass legislation that is designed to intentionally make a place worse?  As far as I know, there isn’t a specific term for this, but it could be described as “malicious legislation” or “destructive legislation.” The idea that a group of legislators would intentionally create laws […]

Rep. Todd Warner, R-Lewisburg (Photo: John Partipilo)

Stockard on the Stump: Embattled Warner weary of getting hammered

BY: - March 10, 2023

State Rep. Todd Warner hadn’t even been sworn into office when federal agents raided his home and office. More than two years later, he hasn’t been charged with any crimes, but he’s still feeling the pain, some of which could stem from guilt by association. “It’s terrible that I keep getting attacked by members of […]

Metro Nashville Courthouse. (Photo: John Partipilo)

Let’s get this party started

BY: - March 9, 2023

John Cooper’s choice to forgo a second term as Nashville’s mayor is among the better things that have happened in this city in quite a while. At his 2019 inauguration he declared that “what our fellow citizens want from us is very clear: a focus on neighborhoods, a Nashville where tourism benefits residents, not the […]

The Big Drag Bus, a Nashville transpotainment vehicle, offers tours of Nashville and crowd singalongs. (Photo: John Partipilo)

Drag queen bill sets the goal posts on obscenity around only LGBTQ folks

BY: - March 6, 2023

In 1964, U.S. Supreme Court Justice Potter Stewart was asked for his definition of obscenity during arguments in Jacobellis v. Ohio, the case in which a movie theater owner was charged with obscenity for showing a French film depicting the story of a woman who committed adultery. Potter famously said: “I know it when I […]

Tennessee State Capitol (Photograph: John Partipilo)

Stockard on the Stump: Black lawmakers push Sherrell sanctions for lynching statement

BY: - March 3, 2023

The Tennessee Black Caucus of State Legislators wants state Rep. Paul Sherrell to be punished for saying the state should return to “hanging from a tree” as a form of capital punishment. “The Republican Caucus should be ashamed and outraged. The silence of his members is deafening,” Black Caucus Chairman Sam McKenzie says. A half-baked […]

Members of the Tennessee House of Representatives greeting each other on opening day of session. Jan. 9, 2023.(Photo: John Partipilo)

The angry grandmother: When Tennessee’s lawmakers act worse than toddlers

BY: - February 27, 2023

Have you ever dealt with a grandchild who throws a tantrum when things do not go their way? If they don’t get their favorite food, if it rains during the time scheduled for the playground, or if they have to share their toys? We all have a way of cajoling young ones to be a […]

Tennessee State Capitol (Photo: John Partipilo)

Stockard on the Stump: Fomentation is my name, discord is my game

BY: - February 24, 2023

Once upon a time in a galaxy not so far away, lawmakers frequently asked the state attorney general for legal opinions. It was a critical part of the job, so with that in mind, I thought I’d follow suit in regard to a kerfuffle in the House Civil Justice Subcommittee this week. The inquiry came […]

Sen. Ted Cruz, R-Texas, campaigned for now U.S. Rep. Andy Ogles in Franklin, Tenn. in October 2022. (Photo: Holly McCall)

When Republican moderates run to the right, voters end up with extremists

BY: - February 23, 2023

An old country saying states that when you lie down with pigs, you’re going to get up with mud on you.  Or, if you are a moderate Tennessee Republican who lies down with the far right wing of your party, you’re going to get up with a loss. Recently, media reports have shone a spotlight […]

COVID-19 deaths in Tennessee have surpassed 29,000 since the pandemic began. (Source: Centers for Disease Control and Prevention)

The state of healthcare in Tennessee: not good

BY: - February 20, 2023

It is becoming increasingly hard to be a healthcare provider in Tennessee.  From the COVID-19 pandemic, gun violence, the opioid epidemic, dismal maternal mortality rates, a mental health crisis, rural hospital closures and the failure to accept Medicaid expansion, there are so many ways Tennessee leaders have failed — and continue to fail — their […]