The trains aren’t running on time.

References to the timeliness of trains are a classic proxy for good governance. The operational vulnerabilities that have come with TriMet’s three-decade strategy to increasingly rely on rail are more than metaphorical. MAX, an already frustratingly slow mode of transportation … Continue reading

Posted by at 05:00 | Posted in Public Transportation, TriMet | Tagged | 3 Comments

The Unskinny Bop Bill

So it’s come to this. Senate Republicans voted last night on a bill they hoped would not become law. It failed because House Republicans could not convince John McCain they would not pass it. Called the “skinny” bill for only … Continue reading

Posted by at 05:00 | Posted in Obamacare | Tagged | 2 Comments

The Game Theory of Light Rail Platforms

In the tri-county area of TriMet’s service district, the proven reliability of buses is being slowly replaced by light rail, one capital project at a time. How this transformation might change passenger fare compliance is something TriMet needs to carefully … Continue reading

Posted by at 05:00 | Posted in Public Transportation, TriMet | Tagged | 4 Comments

Coos County is a key to victory

When I was asked by the Coos County Republican Women to speak at their monthly meeting tomorrow, I was happy to oblige, increasingly hearing how up for grabs the voters are in that part of the state. A strong showing … Continue reading

Posted by at 05:00 | Posted in Oregon House, Oregon Republican Party | Tagged | Leave a comment

When to and not to tax bicycles

The Oregon Senate passed HB2017 yesterday. Some of the most important projects like the widening of Highway 217 didn’t make it into the final bill, but for the most part, this was a good piece of legislation. Unless you’re an … Continue reading

Posted by at 05:00 | Posted in Progressivism, Public Employee Unions, State Taxes | Tagged | Leave a comment

Governor signs HB2777 and my fare gets inspected

Something remarkable happened this week. For the first time ever, a conductor on the WES asked to see my TriMet fare. I rode this commuter rail line for the first time five years ago and wrote about it for the … Continue reading

Posted by at 05:00 | Posted in Gov. Kate Brown, Oregon House, Public Transportation, TriMet | Tagged | 3 Comments

The Man Behind the Tree

Over the past year, Oregon Democrats have perfected a technique of unprincipled politics that was poetically captured in a March 1932 Collier’s Weekly article titled “Tax Everyone But Me” which included an astute observation of American progressive politics: At the … Continue reading

Posted by at 05:00 | Posted in Oregon House, Oregon Senate, State Budget, State Taxes | Tagged | 1 Comment

What I learned at PSU

When I first started writing for the Oregon Catalyst in 2011, I managed a hedge fund that had weathered the storm of 2008 well; indeed we profited from it since my fund was actually hedged. But things were not looking … Continue reading

Posted by at 05:00 | Posted in Education, Unions | Tagged | 4 Comments

Randal O’Toole Pioneers the Future of Tolling

With his signature colonel ties and a home address in Camp Sherman, Randal O’Toole certainly projects the image of a pioneer, but in the case of testing out the future of transportation financing, he’s as much substance as style. The Beaver … Continue reading

Posted by at 05:00 | Posted in Transportation | Tagged | 4 Comments

HB 2004: Moderation is Winning

There is something worse than growing housing rents: a permanent housing shortage. That’s what rent control gives a city. Rental prices go up as demand growth begins to outpace supply growth, but markets adjust when those higher prices signal profits … Continue reading

Posted by at 05:00 | Posted in Housing, Portland | Tagged | 4 Comments

Join With Me on Memorial Day

I’ve been asked to speak at the Oregon Vietnam Veterans Memorial for its annual Memorial Day ceremony to tell the story of Corporal Lyle Tate. He was killed in action 50 years ago this month in the Republic of Vietnam. 

Posted by at 05:00 | Posted in Military, U.S. Marine Corps, Veterans | Tagged | Leave a comment

A Shaky Assumption?

Earlier this week Nigel Jaquiss wrote that the proposition a “growing population means more traffic” is a shaky assumption. I admire his making a contrarian point, and I’ve long been an admirer of his writing for Willamette Week, but let’s subject that … Continue reading

Posted by at 05:00 | Posted in Employment, ODOT, Public Transportation, Transportation, TriMet | Tagged | 3 Comments

Is the Governor Serious About Transportation?

The legislature is going big on transportation infrastructure improvements, hopefully before it goes home. The Joint Committee On Transportation Preservation and Modernization has released the broad outline of a ten-year plan to relieve congestion across the Beaver State, which is … Continue reading

Posted by at 05:00 | Posted in ODOT, Transportation | Tagged | 5 Comments

The Other Form of Climate Denial

There are few political epithets that are as marginalizing as being called a “denier,” because that word naturally evokes in our minds the crackpots that deny the Holocaust. It can be inappropriate in a scientific context to marginalize doubters, because true … Continue reading

Posted by at 05:00 | Posted in Energy, Environment, Global Warming, Green Energy, Taxes, Uncategorized | Tagged | 27 Comments

Why a Progressive Supports Redistricting Reform

We live in a time of highly partisan redistricting. Secretary of State Dennis Richardson has developed a plan to lead us in a new, less partisan, less biased direction. Many Democrats have been lining up to call this a power … Continue reading

Posted by at 05:00 | Posted in Redistricting | Tagged | 2 Comments

The Poor Aren’t Getting Poorer

Bruce Sacerdote, Professor of Economics at Dartmouth College, has submitted a new paper to the National Bureau of Economic Research tackling a vexing measurement error problem in tracking the growth of income over the past fifty years. Despite popular perceptions … Continue reading

Posted by at 05:00 | Posted in Economy, Housing, inequality, Poverty, Uncategorized | Tagged , | Leave a comment

Transportation Bait and Switch

Democrats love to promise “infrastructure spending,” a phrase ripe with the logical fallacy of equivocation where a loaded term means different things. For many businesses across our state, infrastructure most readily means expanding freeway capacity in the Portland area so that our … Continue reading

Posted by at 05:00 | Posted in Columbia River Crossing, Oregon House, Portland, Transportation, Westside Bypass | 2 Comments

The Game Theory of the Filibuster’s Demise

There’s little reason to expect the filibuster for legislation to hold now that it’s been removed from all judicial nominations. What’s remarkable is that this procedural rule has lasted this long.

Posted by at 05:00 | Posted in Filibuster, U.S. Supreme Court | 4 Comments

Soraya Deen: meet a real American Muslim

The City Club of Salem hosted Soraya Deen last Wednesday to talk about what it’s like being a Muslim in America. You can hear the story of her faith in Islam and her optimistic faith in America at the City … Continue reading

Posted by at 05:00 | Posted in Islam | Leave a comment

The Marine that Secured our Beer’s Quality

As something that could have been simple like an Obamacare repeal instead goes down in flames because a President with an R next to his name campaigned on universal coverage and promised to keep intact the ACA’s core regulations, it’s … Continue reading

Posted by at 08:21 | Posted in Uncategorized | 4 Comments

Stay Tuned...

Stay up to date with the latest political news and commentary from Oregon Catalyst through daily email updates:

Prefer another subscription option? Subscribe to our RSS Feed, become a fan on Facebook, or follow us on Twitter.

Twitter Facebook

No Thanks (close this box)