Politics

Getting METRONext 2040 from B- to a real A+

METRO_Bus_on_Cullen_Boulevard.jpg

METRO recently released a draft $7.5 billion 2040 transit plan they’ve labeled “A Plus” (the previous “A” plan plus some additions), but unfortunately it’s more like a B- when it comes to addressing Houston’s real transportation needs over the next two decades.  It has some wonderful, cost-effective local and express bus improvements – including bus-rapid transit (BRT) at less than one-third the cost per mile of light rail – but continues to throw mountains of good money after bad on wasteful new light rail extensions.  read more »

Subjects:

Will Canada Break Up Over Carbon Dioxide?

carbon-carbon-dioxide.jpg

Countries have broken up for very serious reasons like slavery, religious differences and ethnic tensions. But, so far, never in history has a country been at risk of breaking up because of a harmless gas – carbon-dioxide. Canada could, thanks to an ideologically-driven federal government.  read more »

The Middle Kingdom and the U.S. Economy

1200px-Turnbull_selfie_with_Xi_Trump_Quang.jpg

In the poker match between President Donald Trump and China’s new all-but-emperor, Xi Jinping, it’s widely assumed that Xi holds the best hand. Yet President Xi’s hand may not be as awesome as it appears, while the United States, even under this very flawed president, may hold some fine cards.  read more »

The Democrats Finally Won the Suburbs. Now Will They Destroy Them?

4135314862_fc70cc626a_b.jpg

The Democratic Party’s triumphal romp through suburbia was the big story of the midterms.

In 2016 the suburbs, home to the majority of American voters, voted 50 to 45 for Donald Trump; this year, 52 percent went Democratic.  read more »

Blaming Workers Again

lordstown.jpg

Working-class people often get blamed for their troubles. They should have planned better, been less demanding, or just been smarter. Those are just some of the judgments that surfaced again in the weeks after General Motors’ announcement late in November that it would close five plants in the U.S. and Canada, leaving thousands of workers without jobs.  read more »

Emmanuel Newsom?

8643968929_2625e277e1_k.jpg

A youthful and handsome appearance, the blessings of the autocrats and clerics of our times, and a fawning media — all these belonged to French President Emmanuel Macron just a year ago. He was praised as everything from the “new leader of the Free World” to Europe’s Reagan.

Today Macron’s presidency is adrift, paralyzed by grassroots opposition to his policies — mostly from the middle and working classes — and a popularity rating about half of that suffered by Donald Trump. Is this the fate that awaits our new governor, Gavin Newsom?  read more »

What Will Come After The Era Of Trumpism?

33099415596_dadecddd61_k.jpg

If this undisguised reality series played by Hollywood rules, it would have already been canceled. The President Trump show has failed to grow its audience, and the reviews, even from the mildly sympathetic, are consistently bad.  read more »

How to Sell Forced Densification to Libertarians

Columbia_River_At_Portland_Steel_Bridge_(180392359).jpeg

When cities pass zoning rules (as Missoula, Portland, and many Portland suburbs have done) mandating minimum-density zoning — so that people are forced to either build high-density housing in existing low-density neighborhoods or build nothing at all — libertarians lead the charge against such rules. But urban planners have managed to achieve the same result, and gain the support of some who consider themselves libertarian, by:  read more »

As the Old Faiths Collapse, the Greens, Social Justice Warriors, and Techno-Futurists Aim to Fill the Void

1200px-Interior_of_St_Andrew's_Catholic_Church_in_Roanoke,_Virginia.jpg

The pews are emptying virtually everywhere in the higher-income world. The Catholic Church is divided and enmeshed in scandal, unable to prevent even historically cleric-dominated Ireland from liberalizing abortion.  read more »

The Past and Future of Latino Politics

AbHcStkl_400x400.jpg

Perhaps nothing will define our future politics more than the dispensation of Latino voters. Once limited to a few states, Latino voters are now an important and growing factor in many parts of the country beyond the Southwest or New York.  read more »