Commentary: McNally must do the right thing
Lt. Gov. Randy McNally once risked his political career to do the right thing. It’s time for him to take that risk again. In the late 1980s, McNally, an Oak Ridge Republican, helped the FBI, as part of Operation Rocky Top, expose political corruption in state government by wearing a wire and recording efforts to […]
Commentary: Cancel standardized testing during pandemic
Three weeks ago, I watched Governor Bill Lee and Tennessee education commissioner Penny Schwinn stand in front of a room full of reporters and say that among third graders reading proficiency rates were down 50 percent and math proficiency rates were down 65 percent. The Governor implied that this staggering result was caused, in part, by […]
Commentary: As Trump ponders his legacy, what will his library look like?
As a COVID-19 infectious President Trump stumbles about the White House and ‘roid rage tweets, you have to think someone in the eerily quiet corridors must be pondering the very near future. Once you’ve bleached your resume of being associated with the Trump-tanic, what to do next? One task would be planning where the Trump […]
Commentary: Same sex marriage is a civil right
I didn’t realize Sunday was “National Coming Out Day” until I logged into Facebook and began reading my friends’ stories of how they confronted their sexuality and told their family and friends they weren’t straight. A few, from people who always knew their sexual orientation and were comfortable with it, were triumphant. Most had more […]
Commentary: Republicans Are Freaking Out about Voting
Record numbers of Americans have been requesting absentee ballots, telling pollsters about their determination to vote, and showing up in states that have started early voting. These facts scare Republicans, and some are taking desperate steps to thwart voting. Four case studies show a bit about the Trump-ian desperation. Let’s start here in Tennessee. This […]
Commentary: Survey says?
This is where I reassure panicky Democrats and assorted anti-Trumpers that it’s all going to be okay. With under a month to go, the polls paint a reasonably optimistic picture of 2020’s electoral landscape. At this point in the column, readers are urged to refrain from having a glance at my then-seemingly-spot-on August 2004 piece […]
Commentary: COVID Cowboy is Lousy Mayor
Perhaps we should have seen it coming two years ago when Knox County voters opted to make Glenn Jacobs our county mayor. The (mostly former) TV wrestler had no previous government experience. His libertarian inclinations, revealed through blog posts, did not prepare him for the job of actually using government for public good, especially needed […]
Editor’s column: Assessing John Cooper
One year after John Cooper was inaugurated Nashville mayor, he’s facing the possibility of seeing his signature tax increase rolled back by referendum and talk of a recall campaign. Cooper knocked off incumbent Mayor David Briley, first besting him in the August 2019 general election by 10% and then clinching the seat by a whopping […]
Commentary: Et tu, Lamar?
Perhaps, it’s only fitting that Sen. Lamar Alexander be the one to bury the Sen. Howard H. Baker Jr. tradition of statesmanship, a tradition more reviled than remembered by today’s Tennessee Republican Party. Less than 24 hours after praising the “decency” of the late Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg, Alexander jumped on the Mitch McConnell bandwagon, […]
Commentary: Let’s Get Debates Right in Tennessee
You might be surprised to learn that I’m a veteran of the NFL and lettered at Penn State. Lest you think I was a linebacker, let me explain the letter was for the debate team and the NFL stood for National Forensic League (established in 1925). The name was changed in 2014 to the National […]
Marsha Blackburn is getaway driver for Russian meddling
The U.S. Senate’s Intelligence Committee in mid-August released the fifth and final volume of its bipartisan and hair-raising report on Russian active measures to interfere with the 2016 election. This volume focused on counterintelligence vulnerabilities and threats. It should have been a huge story raising alarms about both President Trump and the forthcoming election, but […]
Commentary: Workers must vote for candidates who will strengthen rights
It goes without saying: this Labor Day is unlike any other that we’ve experienced in our lifetimes. Even though parades are postponed and large gatherings are not realistic options this year, the importance of this day cannot be emphasized enough. For nearly 130 years, Americans have celebrated the many victories and contributions that working families […]