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    • VP Debate Recap: Whipping Out That Mexican Thing

      Bruce Barry posted a blog post

      VP Debate Recap: Whipping Out That Mexican Thing

      If last week’s first Trump-Clinton clash was expected to draw a Super Bowl-sized TV audience approaching 100 million, Monday’s vice presidential debate was more like an NBA Final (30+ million for this year’s Cavs-Warriors game 7) or perhaps a World Series (50+ million for Giants-Royals game 7 in...

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      April 19, 2017

    • Presidential Debate #2 Recap: Making America Not Unproud Again

      Bruce Barry posted a blog post

      Presidential Debate #2 Recap: Making America Not Unproud Again

      “I never said I’m a perfect person,” began Donald Trump’s hostage video on the matter of his Access Hollywood hot mic proud-to-be-a-celebrity-licensed-to-commit-sexual-assault pickle. Actually he has made such a claim, in the form of a relentless 16-month rodomontade of unadulterated greatness (...

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      April 19, 2017

    • Presidential Debate #3 Recap: Bad Hombres in Vegas

      Bruce Barry posted a blog post

      Presidential Debate #3 Recap: Bad Hombres in Vegas

      A failing candidacy, like a rotting corpse, emits an unmistakable odor of putrefaction and decay. For the traveling carnival of hucksterism that is the Trump-Pence campaign, it was quite a pungent whiff of desperation that greeted those arriving at UNLV’s Thomas & Mack Center for Wednesday’s...

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      April 19, 2017

    • On Health Care: C’mon Democrats, Get in the Game

      Bruce Barry posted a blog post

      On Health Care: C’mon Democrats, Get in the Game

      No need to write here about how terrible the Trump/Ryan GOP health care bill is; everyone else is doing a fine job of that. And not just from the left: look instead to Avik Roy, “the most influential conservative analyst of health care” according to talk radio’s Hugh Hewitt. Writing in Forbes la...

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      April 19, 2017

    • Presidential Debate Recap: I’m Underleveraged and Loving It

      Bruce Barry posted a blog post

      Presidential Debate Recap: I’m Underleveraged and Loving It

      The best thing about finally reaching the start of Monday’s titanically anticipated debate is that we won’t have to see Gerald Ford’s stupefying 1976 debate gaffe (the Soviets-don’t-dominate-Eastern-Europe thing) replayed another hundred times. Isn’t it grand to have your reputation for all time...

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      September 30, 2016

    • The Dean of a Law School, For Crying Out Loud

      Bruce Barry posted a blog post

      The Dean of a Law School, For Crying Out Loud

      For several days a cringing nation has been trying to avert its gaze from the rank bigotry of Donald Trump’s insane “he’s a Mexican” tantrum regrading the federal judge, Gonzalo Curiel, who is presiding over the class action case of The People v. Donald Trump’s Real Estate Get-Rich-Quick Hotel B...

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      July 11, 2016

    • What’s Worse Than Cancer? Taxes!

      Bruce Barry posted a blog post

      What’s Worse Than Cancer? Taxes!

      Two different op-eds applauding the legislature’s phased repeal of the Hall income tax popped up on The Tennessean‘s website over the weekend, overtaxing (semi-intended) the ability of headline writers to find different ways to say the same thing. One piece (“Repeal of Hall Tax Will Bolster Tenn...

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      May 20, 2016

    • Dem Debate Recap: Artful Smear Edition

      Bruce Barry posted a blog post

      Dem Debate Recap: Artful Smear Edition

      Going into last nights Dem tilt in New Hampshire the imperative for Bernie Sanders was maintaining his copious lead in the polls so that he doesn’t find himself falling short of expectations in next Tuesday’s primary. For Hillary Clinton the goal was partly to erode his lead a bit, but mainly ju...

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      April 12, 2016

    • GOP Debate Recap: Leadership vs. Truancy Edition

      Bruce Barry posted a blog post

      GOP Debate Recap: Leadership vs. Truancy Edition

      While the Republican presidential candidates were taking the debate stage in New Hampshire Saturday night, Nashville’s Long Players were on stage down at 3rd and Lindsley covering the Rolling Stones album “Some Girls.” It was a fitting choice by Bill Lloyd and crew for a gig alongside the GOP de...

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      April 12, 2016

    • On the Presidential Race as it Turns Southward

      Bruce Barry posted a blog post

      On the Presidential Race as it Turns Southward

      For months the presidential race was endlessly and excruciatingly geared toward Iowa and New Hampshire, Iowa and New Hampshire, Iowa and New Hampshire, Iowa and New Hampshire. Now, as we leave those two states behind forever (by which of course I mean three and a half years), it’s a propitious m...

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      April 12, 2016

    • Dem Debate Recap: Madame Secretary That’s a Low Blow

      Bruce Barry posted a blog post

      Dem Debate Recap: Madame Secretary That’s a Low Blow

      With Iowa and New Hampshire behind us, and all eyes now on Nevada and South Carolina, of course the logical place to hold a presidential candidate debate is … Wisconsin! Makes perfect sense, like everything else happening in this campaign cycle. And so it was last night: another round of Hillary...

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      April 12, 2016

    • GOP Debate Recap: Take Your Pants Off and Moon

      Bruce Barry posted a blog post

      GOP Debate Recap: Take Your Pants Off and Moon

      With the departures of Chris Christie, Carly Fiorina, and Jim Gilmore (for those who pay attention, yes, he was still in until the other day; for the rest of you he’s a guy you never heard of who for some unknown reason was still in until the other day) and the GOP field now whittled […]

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      April 12, 2016

    • The Democratic Primary Dilemma, Jefferson Style: Head vs. Heart

      Bruce Barry posted a blog post

      The Democratic Primary Dilemma, Jefferson Style: Head vs. Heart

      With just days until the primary here in Tennessee, count me among many on the left struggling to decide how to vote. As one who has spent much of his adult voting life pulling levers for a rogues gallery of progressive underdogs, longshots and gadflies with little chance of winning election, I’...

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      April 12, 2016

    • Dem Debate Recap: Daniel Ortega Redux Edition

      Bruce Barry posted a blog post

      Dem Debate Recap: Daniel Ortega Redux Edition

      Since the last debate three days ago the main thing that’s happened is Bernie Sanders’ surprise win over Hillary Clinton in the Michigan primary, which clearly signals that this isn’t going to wrap up any time soon. But at the same time, it’s just another debate, and too soon after the last one ...

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      April 12, 2016

    • GOP Debate Recap: The Beta Release of Trump 2.0

      Bruce Barry posted a blog post

      GOP Debate Recap: The Beta Release of Trump 2.0

      Thursday night’s gathering in Miami was the final debate before next Tuesday’s key winner-take-all primaries in Florida and Ohio, otherwise known as The Day of the Death March for Marco Rubio and John Kasich. After last week’s raucous encounter in Detroit – you know, the one with Donald Trump’s ...

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      April 12, 2016

    • GOP Debate Recap: Lost in the Exoatmosphere

      Bruce Barry posted a blog post

      GOP Debate Recap: Lost in the Exoatmosphere

      Live from South Carolina last Thursday it was a whopping three and a half hours of Republican fun and frolic on the national stage (assuming the Fox Business Network which almost nobody ever watches qualifies as “national”). What, you forgot to tivo it? No problem … We watch the GOP debates so y...

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      January 29, 2016

    • Dem Debate Recap: Fascism, Fusion, and Bed Bugs

      Bruce Barry posted a blog post

      Dem Debate Recap: Fascism, Fusion, and Bed Bugs

      There were some marked similarities between Sunday’s Democratic presidential debate (which you can watch here but why bother when we did it for you?) and last week’s GOP dustup. Both took place on shiny red, white and blue festooned stages in South Carolina with enthusiastic live audiences; both...

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      January 29, 2016

    • Don’t Validate Trump by Spreading His BS

      Bruce Barry posted a blog post

      Don’t Validate Trump by Spreading His BS

      It was surprising to see the usually reasonable and moderate Tennessean columnist Saritha Prabhu’s Sunday op-ed lending legitimacy to Donald Trump’s nativism, and rather disappointing to find her doing so with assertions about immigration that are factually false. Allowing that Trump is traffick...

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      December 31, 2015

    • Beacon Center v. Reality

      Bruce Barry posted a blog post

      Beacon Center v. Reality

      In the wake of this morning’s King v. Burwell ruling, in this corner we have those health care denialists at the Beacon Center of Tennessee, quoted by The Tennessean: “Obamacare has been proven to be unaffordable, unworkable, and unfair. We should not invite further consequences of this already ...

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      June 29, 2015

    • Is Academic Freedom a License to Provoke Without Consequences?

      Bruce Barry posted a blog post

      Is Academic Freedom a License to Provoke Without Consequences?

      Does academic freedom entitle university professors to be as provocative as they wish when expressing their views on issues of the day? This question has come alive with three recent cases involving professors making politically charged – some would say incendiary – statements on controversial i...

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      June 2, 2015

    • Death, Distinctively

      Bruce Barry posted a blog post

      Death, Distinctively

      The good folks at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention have rounded up some nifty state-by-state statistics on “distinct” causes of death in each state, defined as “the cause of death in each state that stands out most relative to its national average.” So what do you imagine is Tennes...

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      May 18, 2015

    • Right Track? Nation’s Worst? What’s the Diff?

      Bruce Barry posted a blog post

      Right Track? Nation’s Worst? What’s the Diff?

      Tennessee state house speaker Beth Harwell picked an odd week to write an op-ed (in this morning’s Tennessean) declaring that “Tennessee is on the right track” — unless she equates “on the right track” with “among the nation’s worst.” Because “among the nation’s worst” is precisely and appropria...

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      March 6, 2015

    • The Ring of Neurofire

      Bruce Barry posted a blog post

      The Ring of Neurofire

      From the world of medicine, and specifically the academic journal Frontiers in Behavioral Neuroscience, comes news that a successful neurological treatment for severe obsessive-compulsive disorder can trigger a curious side effect of the Nashville kind. From the published paper’s abstract: Recen...

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      March 6, 2015

    • Who Are These Folks Moving Here?

      Bruce Barry posted a blog post

      Who Are These Folks Moving Here?

      We know that Nashville’s hot, and that as a result people want to move here. And we know from Census Bureau data that they are moving here, the numbers putting Nashville among the fastest growing large metro areas both in the last few years and since 2000. That’s great … we love newcomers, right...

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      March 6, 2015

    • Can It Happen Here?

      Bruce Barry posted a blog post

      Can It Happen Here?

      It — Ferguson — can theoretically happen anywhere, obviously. But there are some structural differences between metro St. Louis and metro Nashville in the way local and satellite governments are configured that are important to understand. An insightful New York Times op-ed today by political sc...

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      March 6, 2015

    • Hero or Traitor? Or Something in Between?

      Bruce Barry posted a blog post

      Hero or Traitor? Or Something in Between?

      The sensational new documentary on Edward Snowden, CITIZENFOUR, opens here in Nashville at the Belcourt Theater next week. I reviewed the film for the Nashville Scene in this week’s issue. A snippet: The film’s center, dramatically and chronologically, is the middle hour focusing on the fateful ...

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      March 6, 2015

    • And I Mean the Left

      Bruce Barry posted a blog post

      And I Mean the Left

      This post appears at the Nashville Scene’s Pith in the Wind blog along with those of others who appeared on “The Round Table,” the long-time radio enterprise hosted by the great Teddy Bart, who passed away a few days ago. Growing up in New York I fed an early nerdy talk-radio addiction using a b...

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      March 6, 2015

    • A Shopworn Lie

      Bruce Barry posted a blog post

      A Shopworn Lie

      One of the louder voices opposing Gov. Haslam’s Medicaid expansion plan is the libertarian Beacon Center of Tennessee, which has just launched a new radio ad running in the Knoxville media market. The ad, framed as a conversation between a senior citizen and her daughter, resurrects one of the r...

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      March 6, 2015

    • Can Alarmist Propaganda Derail Insure Tennessee?

      Bruce Barry posted a blog post

      Can Alarmist Propaganda Derail Insure Tennessee?

      On the eve of the Tennessee legislature’s special session on Medicaid expansion, The Wall Street Journal over the weekend gave the Beacon Center of Tennessee an opportunity to expand its alarmist anti-Insure-Tennessee propaganda to a national audience. In a piece coauthored with Christie Herrera...

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      March 6, 2015

    • Baldfaced Lies at the Legislature

      Bruce Barry posted a blog post

      Baldfaced Lies at the Legislature

      I realize I’m becoming a bit of a broken record documenting the shameless lies and propaganda that dominate the Beacon Center of Tennessee’s messaging on “Insure Tennessee.” But since our state lawmakers insist on giving Beacon a platform to spread their nonsense, someone has to call bullshit. C...

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      March 6, 2015

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