"Whatchamacolumn" by Jeb Bladine

The News-Register publisher writes about the community; people; local, state and national affairs; and sometimes whimsey.

Jeb Bladine: Where was outcry against BOLI rules?

Why didn’t the Oregon business community show up this week to oppose one of the most ludicrous regulatory suggestions in memory? Does their balance mean people simply accept the nonsense proposed ...

Jeb Bladine: If only the two sides talked to each other

Let’s break from discussing Evergreen-related legal entanglements long enough to take a peek behind the curtain. We see well-intentioned people trying to stabilize an important nonprofit institution; ...

Jeb Bladine: Americans have short memories

I thought I knew a lot about the 2007-09 recession — housing costs driven up by fraudulent loans, Wall Street greed and a financial crash triggered by reckless derivatives of mortgage-backed bonds. Then, ...

Jeb Bladine: GOP has history of convention dramas

For all the spectacle and angst of the 2016 Republican presidential primary campaign, we may be headed to an even more gripping turn of political events: a brokered GOP convention July 18-21 in Cleveland, ...

Jeb Bladine: Intrigue continues in Evergreen cases

It’s been 27 months since the bankruptcy of Evergreen International Airlines launched a cottage industry of legal actions that have confounded not only observers, but participants. When a monarchy ...

Jeb Bladine: 2014 NIMBY caution just as relevant today

Two weeks ago, without warning, a contingent of farm owners appeared to present county commissioners with an array of concerns about the Yamhelas Westsider Trail project. We could ask what kind of organizing ...

Jeb Bladine: Threatened tragedy draws slow reaction

Here at the newspaper, we like to think we understand the nuances of “public interest.” I have to confess to being fooled this week by relatively limited public reaction to a bloodcurdling ...

Jeb Bladine: Election reality show conceals tax debate

Can you think of one good result from this year’s presidential campaign? Don’t think too hard. Instead, imagine what might be happening while the media diverts our attention with its TV reality ...

Jeb Bladine: Oregon a leader in abuse of drugs

Abuse of drugs and alcohol disrupts and frequently destroys people’s lives — locally, across Oregon and throughout the nation. We don’t recognize the full effect of substance abuse because ...

Oregonians tricked into annual sessions

We were bamboozled when we supported the 2010 statewide ballot measure to allow annual sessions of the Oregon Legislature … and we had lots of company. More on that below, but first, the 2016 fallout: Super-majority ...

Jeb Bladine: Abuses spawned in permissive times

We can’t be absolutely sure about the allegations of sexual relations between a McMinnville teacher and a 15-16-year-old student back in 1994-95. But we can be certain about the following: Boundaries ...

Jeb Bladine: The PERS question: Asked and answered

Seventeen years ago in this space, I posed a question: “How long will Oregonians accept the excessive cost of the Public Employees Retirement System, which produces benefits that far outstrip those ...

Jeb Bladine: Congress dives into drug-cost scandals

Nationwide scandals about rising drug costs are unfolding in two congressional hearings this week. Wednesday, the House Committee on Veterans’ Affairs began inquiry into profiteering charges involving ...

Jeb Bladine: Minimum wage? How about reducing COL?

Liberal politicians, union interests and many well-intended citizens want Oregon’s minimum wage raised by 50-60 percent. Like so much political noise, however, it’s a proposal made behind blinders ...

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