Politics

As Goes The Suburbs, So Goes The Nation?

NH-Rockstars-Featured-Photo-790x500.jpg

The sound-bite version of American politics tends to come from our dominant media centers on the coasts, while the right-wing counter-culture snarls back from the smaller cities and towns of the heartland. Yet the real future of America, including that of its politics, lies in a place with little voice in the political debates — suburbia (which includes the more far-flung exurbs).  read more »

Looking Beyond One-Party Rule In California

RonaldReaganGov.jpg

It’s been a half century since Ronald Reagan shocked California, and the nation, by beating the late Pat Brown for governor by a million votes. Yet although the Republican Party is a shadow of its mid-20th century form, there are some clear signs that growing discontent — including among independents and many Democrats today — with the regime forged by Brown’s son Jerry, with which so many progressives are deeply enamored.  read more »

Subjects:

California Not The Model For America It Thinks It Is

homeless_Los_Angeles_BCB_4587.jpg

In the past, wrote historian Kevin Starr, California “was a final frontier: of geography and of expectation.” Today in the Trump era, California remains a frontier, but increasingly one that appeals largely to progressives. “California,” recently suggested progressive journalists Peter Leyden and Ruy Teixeira, “today provides a model for America as a whole.”  read more »

New Localism and Old Institutions

Indianapolis-1888215.jpg

Last week I posted an article talking about the maturity curve, or the lifecycle arc from incubation to growth to maturity to decline that applies to so many things. And this weekend my review of Bruce Katz and Jeremy Nowak’s book The New Localism was published in the New York Times Book Review. These two items are related.  read more »

Giving Common Sense a Chance in California

top_suburban_housing_neighborhoods.jpg

In California, where Governor Jerry Brown celebrates “the coercive power of the state” and advocates “brainwashing” for the unanointed, victories against Leviathan are rare. Yet last week brought just such a triumph, as a legislative committee rejected an attempt by San Francisco state senator Scott Wiener to take zoning power away from localities in areas within a half-mile of a bus or train stop.  read more »

The End Of The ‘Libertarian Moment’

Paul_Ryan_(7827254406).jpg

The decision by Speaker Paul Ryan to leave the House reflects the failings of our current flawed political configuration. Ryan may have been personally a cut above his critics on the right and left, but he ended up the victim of his own ideology.  read more »

Subjects:

Shovel Ready

screen-shot-2018-03-18-at-11-57-48-pm.jpg

Many years ago I remember a television commentator saying more Americans have outhouses than computer connections. This was in the early days of dial up modems. He seemed to suggest that household computers were little more than Japanese video games, which was actually true at the time. Well, thirty years have passed and this afternoon I received a package for one of my neighbors. Evidently he ordered a shovel on the interwebs.  read more »

Nashville’s Hopeless Rail Transit Proposal

nashville.png

Nashville is the 36th largest metropolitan area in the nation, having long since passed historic Tennessee leader Memphis. Nashville was the 10th fastest growing major metropolitan area in 2017. At the current growth rate Nashville will reach 2 million residents by the 2020 census and seems likely to pass slower growing San Jose soon after.  read more »

The High Speed Rail 2018 Business Plan – A Classic Model Of Deception

img_0113_24298840701_o_ENRready.png

The California High Speed Rail Authority has released its 2018 Business Plan. It portends to finally reveal the true cost for construction of Phase I of the project. The new cost estimate is at a base of $77.3 billion to a possible $98.1 billion dollars. Completion of Phase I is now projected for year 2032. Please remember the old promise to the voters was the project would be running by 2020 and the cost to California voters would be $10 billion (the rest of the $32 billions needed to build Phase I would come from Federal and private sources).  read more »

Constitutional Localism Will Heal American Democracy

photo 2.jpg

America is amid a period of intense stress on its political and governmental values and institutions. Two of the leading candidates for President in the last election said our politics was “rigged,” and one of them won.

A recent poll by the Democracy Fund Voter Study Group found that nearly 30% of Americans would prefer government “with a strong leader who doesn’t have to bother with Congress and elections” or even “army rule” to our current constitutional democracy. For those of us who regard freedom and democracy as the cornerstones of American identity this is alarming.  read more »

Subjects: