Against Our Debate Obsession
October 16, 2012

The media's obsession with the presidential debates has reached the point of absurdity -- and threatens to damage our election process.

A Republican Reveals Too Much About Abortion
October 11, 2012

Rep. Scott DesJarlais exposed Republicans real interest in restricting abortion: controlling women.

How College Bookstores are Killing College Bookstores
August 21, 2012

Why we shouldn’t mourn the decline of the campus bookseller

Don’t Live in the Past! How 2012’s Electoral Map Could Differ From 2008
August 02, 2012

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From the Archives: William Faulkner’s First Published Work
July 06, 2012

Fifty years ago today, William Faulkner died in Byhalia, Mississippi. Before he became the writer of such acclaimed works as The Sound and the Fury, As I Lay Dying, and Light in August, Faulkner was a student at the University of Mississippi, where he studied for three semesters before dropping out.

Now Can We Start Talking About The Law?
June 28, 2012

As word of the Supreme Court ruling on the Affordable Care Act exploded across the Twittersphere, one thought came to my mind: would Robin Layman even hear about it?  Layman, some readers may recall, was a 38-year-old woman I met in rural southeastern Tennessee at a weekend health clinic where hundreds of people, most of them uninsured, came for free care a few weeks ago.

The Justices Should See ‘What It’s Like’
June 19, 2012

“They’re not in the real world. They’re up in Washington with their private insurance. They should come down in the sticks and the foxholes, and see what it’s like.” — Dr. Matthew Petrilla, primary care physician at a clinic in rural Tennessee. The quote above comes from an article written by my colleague Alec MacGillis and produced in conjunction with Kaiser Health News.

‘What New Law?’
June 18, 2012

SEWANEE, Tenn. — As Robin Layman, a mother of two who has major health troubles but no insurance, arrived at a free clinic here, she had a big personal stake in the Supreme Court’s imminent decision on the new national health care law.  Not that she realized that. “What new law?” she said. “I’ve not heard anything about that.” Layman was one of 600 people who on a recent weekend came from across southeastern Tennessee for the clinic held by Remote Area Medical, a Knoxville-based organization that for two decades has been providing free medical, dental and vision care in underserved areas.

A Pro-Life Law Flying Under the Banner of ‘Women’s Health’
June 13, 2012

The latest assault on abortion rights is taking place in Tennessee, where a new law that goes into effect on July 1 will require abortion providers to register at local hospitals. Though it seems mundane and bureaucratic, the law is actually part of an increasingly successful strategy for quietly destroying access to abortion. The Tennessee bill, called the Life Defense Act of 2012, would require every Tennessee practitioner who performs abortions to be a member of a local hospital.

Putting Manufacturing in Its Place(s)
May 10, 2012

American manufacturing is basically the same everywhere. It’s an albatross around the necks of places that depend on it, preventing them from attracting the “creative class,” which drives economic development today. Except in a few very high tech industries, such as pharmaceuticals, manufacturers are looking for lower costs above all else. That’s why, if they’re staying in the United States at all, they’re moving to low-wage locations.  Metropolitan areas, with their higher costs, offer manufacturers no special advantages. These beliefs about the geography of manufacturing in the United States