What a letdown this must be for the most transparent administration in the history of the country. It seems like every time Obama's administration ends up in federal court, they lose. Isn't that amazing?
Taking a page from the Obama administration, which talks a good game on openness but actually suppresses the free flow of information, Gov. Kate Brown takes the position that a majority of the Oregon Transportation Commission can meet privately as part of a planning committee without any notice.
Our open meetings law states: “The Oregon form of government requires an informed public aware of the deliberations and decisions of governing bodies and the information upon which such decisions were made.”
It does not bode well for Gov. Brown’s views of transparency that she sees no contradiction in her rhetoric and actions on this matter.
Well, our accidental governor is not an Oregonian; she's a fiercely partisan Democratic from Minnesota, and she needs to go back home. Transplants like her are ruining our once great state, as we've seen time and again from easterners. Jeff Cogen, who headed up the Multnomah County board of commissioners until he was run out on a rail, came to us from Miami. Vera Katz, who used to be mayor of Portland and mentored pedophile Sam Adams, came here from New York City.
We need to shake these people off like a dog with a bad case of fleas.
Here’s a quick reminder: For reasons we won’t rehash now, local governments, school districts and other public employers statewide will need to come up with an additional $800 million for PERS beginning with the two-year budget cycle starting in July 2017, another $860 million for the biennium starting in July 2019 and an additional $930 million for the 2021-22 biennium.
Mike Tyson: “Everybody has a plan until they get punched in the mouth.” Portland Public Schools plans to put another multimillion-dollar bond measure on the ballot in November, and they've already hired a marketing firm to make that happen.
It's For The Children™!
No, it's for their PERS retirement plans, health insurance benefits, and pay increases.
Here’s how the field stacks up on price for 2017, so far. All proposed individual rates are for a 40-year-old, single non-tobacco user in Portland in a standard “silver” plan:
Health Net Health Plan of Oregon: $296
Kaiser Foundation Health Plan: $312
Regence BlueCross BlueShield of Oregon: $333.60
Providence Health Plan: $355
Zoom+ Performance Health Insurance: $355.68
Moda Health: $404
Oregon’s Health CO-OP: $438
PacificSource Health Plans: $442.
It's worth noting that if you qualify for a federal subsidy, you won't pay full price for the various plans that you purchase. The stats are a bit misleading, however, since most folks aren't 40 and single. We expect that insurance through Kaiser for my Bride and I will run about $12,000 next year.
This has to stick in the craw of Metro and Tri-Met "planners" who want to ram through yet another light-rail line: after what they did in Clackamas County, southwest voters passed measures requiring a vote before any "transit" projects can be built.
Therefore, Metro has come up with an end-run:
Metro Councilor, and Southwest Corridor Plan Steering Committee Co-chair Bob Stacey said voters across the three-county area may be asked to approve the funding required for such an expensive project.
They know that their multi-billion-dollar light rail plan won't fly in the southwest Portland area, so they're going to try to get voters from the entire tri-county area to overwhelm the wishes of the locals who would be affected.
Oh, and by the way - this wouldn't be "spending". They hate that term. So they call it "investment".
The deeper we get into the Affordable Care Act, the less affordable health care becomes in Alaska.
Last year nationally, we saw a dozen co-ops fail that were created by the ACA, throwing people into turmoil and leaving them questioning if they had insurance. UnitedHealth, one of the largest providers in the country, has been forced off the exchanges in numerous states. And this month, Moda Health announced its withdrawal from the Alaska market in 2017.
The federal government generally used to break up monopolies and foster competition in order to benefit consumers. Now, through bad law and failed policies, we see that same government creating de facto monopolies in the individual insurance market.
Next year, Alaskans will have one health insurance provider. That's it. Premiums may well rise to $3,000 per month, and of course, there's the $12,000 out-of-pocket expense. "Affordable Health Care"? Right. More and more, people are choosing to just pay the 2.5% penalty and hope that nobody gets sick.
There's little question that between his failed domestic and foreign policy exploits, Obama will go down in history as the worst president in the history of the country. He's impoverishing Americans with his "Affordable Care Act", and his foreign policy is nonexistent.
People rant about Trump's lack of qualifications - but they elected a guy (twice) with absolutely nothing other than occasionally voting "present". I'm not big on Trump, but compared to Obama, the guy's a rocket scientist.
So much for "the most transparent administration in the history of the country":
The White House showed “bad faith” in how it handled an open-records request for global warming data, a federal court ruled Monday, issuing yet another stinging rebuke to the administration for showing a lack of transparency.
For President Obama, who vowed to run the most transparent government in U.S. history, Judge Amit P. Mehta’s ruling granting legal “discovery” in an open-records case — the third time this year a judge has ordered discovery — is an embarrassing black eye.
Well, hey - third time's the charm, right? Both of the previous cases, of course, involved the State Department's general screw-ups regarding Granny's handling of classified and top-secret emails; discovery was ordered in both of those cases. In the latest one, the Obama administration flat-out lied to the court. That's just how arrogant these guys are.
In the OSTP case, conservative activists were trying to get a look at how the agency director, John P. Holdren came to the conclusion that global warming was causing more severe winters — a finding that scientists generally dispute.
“All three of those impressions also turned out to be mistaken,” Judge Mehta wrote, adding in a footnote that he was “troubled” by the government’s statements that misled the court.
Not only does the administration refuse to disclose information requested under the FOIA, which results in lawsuits to obtain that information, they have repeatedly demonstrated that they have absolutely no compunction when it comes to lying to the courts during the litigative process in order to prevent disclosure of requested information. They may not be, as Barry promised, the most transparent administration in the history of the country - but they're certainly in the running for the title of "most corrupt".
Governor Kate Brown opposes a plan by the Coquille Indian Tribe to build a casino in Medford.
In her public statement, the Governor said, “even a single additional casino is likely to lead to significant efforts to expand gaming across Oregon to the detriment of the public welfare.”
What she actually means is she’s opposed to more gambling if it’s not run by state government.
It's the way of transplanted Democratics, here: gambling, like driving, is Very Bad - unless government gets a cut. Then it's still Very Bad, just not as bad as it otherwise would be. The state expects to get nearly $1.25 billion from Oregon Lottery over the next two years, and in fact got $36 million from Powerball sales in one week. Auto registration in Multnomah County sets drivers back around $125 every time they have to re-up. And of course, the collect taxes at the pump as well.
Smokers are reviled, but the state collects a nice tax on every tobacco product sold; same for alcohol, which is why we have state-run liquor stores in addition to paying taxes on the beer and wine purchased at stores.
Yes, all of this stuff is Very Bad if the state doesn't get a cut. And that's why our accidental governor opposes Tribal plans for a casino in Medford: the state won't get a cut from Tribal-owned operations.
-150 DISPLACED - Sears Armory Women's Shelter (Domestic Abuse) CLOSING May 31. (By the way, the former armory, located in Multnomah Village, had no relationship to the retailer - it was named after a military guy). -100 DISPLACED - Menashe Men's Shelter (Senior/Disabled) CLOSING May 31. -90 DISPLACED - Joyce Hotel (Vulnerable/Homeless) CLOSED
As part of their noble battle against homelessness, the city of Portland has dumped 90 people back onto the streets, and by the end of the month, they'll dump another 250 into the wild. It's not because they don't have the cash; they have a $26 million surplus this year.
No, it's just the way "progressives" work: they talk a great game, but when it comes to actually doing things, um, well, they have their own pet projects where money's better spent. Like bicycle stuff and street planters.
Evidently not content with having rammed through a so-called "clean fuels" bill on a straight party-line vote and proudly signed by our accidental governor, Democratics in Oregon are already talking about raising "new money". That's because their shiny new "clean fuels" thing - although expected to raise fuel costs by around 20 cents per gallon - doesn't actually raise any money for stuff like, say, road repair; oh heavens no - that extra 20 cents a gallon goes to the folks who manufacture biofool. So ahead of the upcoming "legislative" session, Democratics are looking to get their mitts on some of that there "new money".
Brown declined to say how much new money she supports raising for transportation, likely through a mix of a higher state gas tax, registration fees and license fees.
But she said the new money should be used to make roads and bridges more earthquake resistant, to ease congestion, and to provide “more choices to Oregonians” with mass transit and other alternative forms of transportation.
In other words, our accidental governor wants to steal more of our money so that she can do more "mass transit". Don't look for anything like roads being maintained when they ram their newest theft through on a straight party-line basis.