"Whatchamacolumn" by Jeb Bladine

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

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 ...

Jeb Bladine: Palin re-emerges as a newsmaker

Regrettably, Sarah Palin’s endorsement of Donald Trump was big news this week. New York Times reporters Alan Rappeport and Maggie Haberman, dripping with etiquette, portrayed Palin as a political ...

Jeb Bladine: By all means, don't tamper with the 2nd

Although I prefer congressional legislation to unilateral executive decree, I understand President Obama’s frustration. Despite the ongoing slaughter, Congress refuses any common sense action seeking ...

Jeb Bladine: Smallest stories can be the biggest

It’s time again to look back on the year’s news and remember some high profile stories. Sometimes, however, the biggest stories are the smallest. It’s hard to argue with various selections ...

Jeb Bladine: Growing MacHub, one donor at a time

The MacHub project has been growing, one donor at a time, since Dec. 1. You can join that donor list the hard way: Go through the hundreds of items accumulated on your shelves and tabletops, in cabinets ...

Jeb Bladine: Marijuana 'horse' may be out the door

The state of Oregon is going to operate separate, complex regulatory systems for medical and recreational marijuana. There are justifications for a dual system, but pitfalls if it reduces safety for recreational ...

Jeb Bladine: Trump's campaign uncovers deep pool

Donald Trump may have lost to Angela Merkel as Time’s Person of the Year, but in American politics he definitely was Person of the Week. For Trump, that oft-received award carries a strong dose of ...

Jeb Bladine: Here's a number we can remember

Even if you have trouble remembering numbers, try to memorize this one: $2.6 billion. Yes, that would be two-point-six-billion-dollars. If this is too many dollars to contemplate all at once, here are ...

Jeb Bladine: Thankfulness has many perspectives

Feeling thankful can be a challenge, and this is a good time of year to confront and overcome nagging discontents. That done, we can watch life’s miracles float by while finding ways to help others. One ...

Jeb Bladine: Good time to take a look at your 'stuff'

Here’s a sneak preview about a new nonprofit fund-raising strategy. No names at this point. OK, I will drop one name: MacHub. And here are some tantalizing tidbits about a program we hope to unveil ...

Jeb Bladine: New developments have historic roots

In the midst of much excitement about new community projects in McMinnville, two longtime business groups are recalling their notable historic contributions to community growth and prosperity. And looking ...

Jeb Bladine: Saving history for another generation

The powerful allure of history plays an important role in our present, and our future. But handled poorly, history can become, well, just old, so it’s great to see some of McMinnville’s history ...

Jeb Bladine: Still one sure way to cut health costs

How are we doing on health care costs? We can count some of the evidence, but good luck finding clarity amid the morass of health insurance and health care costs. Look at premium costs rising by double-digit ...

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