Shady businessman with contract

Politics This Week: State Vulnerability to the Virtual Con

By Justin Katz | March 20, 2023 |

John DePetro and Justin Katz examine the ways an excessive purview and incompetence leave Rhode Island politicians and bureaucrats vulnerable to scams and other bad decisions.

Toll Verdict – RI Highway Spending Sixth Highest BEFORE Truck Tolls

By Monique Chartier | September 21, 2022 |

“Permanently enjoined” – in a methodical, 90+ page ruling, federal district court Judge William Smith has turned thumbs down on Rhode Island’s truck-only tolls, noting that they are discriminatory, that they do not “fairly approximate use of the facilities” and that they violate the Commerce Clause of the United States Constitution. Click here for an…

A water drop and ripples

It is a good reminder on Labor Day, though.

By Justin Katz | September 5, 2022 |

Today the most prominent themes among the flotsam on RI Twitter are hagiographic tweets about labor unions and reports about failing infrastructure in the Providence area with respect to water management.  Folks, thank the unions for the flooding, because the expense they’ve imposed on infrastructure in Rhode Island is largely to blame.  Ignoring this reality…

A water drop and ripples

Just to head off the inevitable commentary…

By Justin Katz | September 5, 2022 |

… if you see people citing the strange flash flooding in the Providence area and Rt. 95 as evidence of “climate change,” ask them whether the blame mightn’t more reasonably land on government officials’ poor management of the infrastructure under their authority.

RI State House over caution tape

As goes the state, so goes the State House.

By Justin Katz | April 4, 2022 |

One bit of trivia that marks a step on road to full assimilation into the Ocean State when one learns it is that the State House dome is the fourth largest self-supporting marble dome on the planet.  The list goes St. Peter’s Basilica in Rome, the Minnesota State Capitol, the Taj Mahal, then Rhode Island’s…

A water drop and ripples

Why is RI consistently one of the worst states for driving?

By Justin Katz | January 24, 2022 |

It doesn’t make much sense to me.  We’ve got a small state that isn’t terrible for traffic, despite being densely populated.  You’d think local authorities could keep the roads in order. But there it is:  According to WalletHub, the Ocean State is the second-worst state for drivers in the country, after Hawaii. Cost of Ownership &…

More than half of Rhode Island’s roads are unacceptable.

By Justin Katz | December 1, 2021 |

Writing for Uplift Legal Funding, Leesa Davis took data produced by the Biden administration as part of its infrastructure presentation and compared it with total miles of roadway in each state, creating a rank by the percentage of roads in “acceptable condition.  Take a bow, government of Rhode Island:  once again, you’re number 1 for…

A water drop and ripples

Reporters’ repeating PR language for government programs is a pet peeve of mine.

By Justin Katz | November 10, 2021 |

Note this closing paragraph, reported as fact, at the end of Melanie DaSivla’s WPRI report on Rhode Island officials’ glee at the anticipated influx of borrowed money for infrastructure from the federal government: The transformational legislation will also create millions of good-paying, union jobs across the country, reduce inflationary economic pressures, and ease supply chain…

A water drop and ripples

Doesn’t RI have more fundamental financial needs than high-speed rail and an aquarium?

By Justin Katz | November 1, 2021 |

Sometimes RI’s most essential problem (the failure of its insider class to recognize reality) comes at us from all directions.  One example is the call from Joseph Paolino to use the feds COVID gift to Rhode Island government  “to change our economy.”  How? Let’s look at what our state really needs and invest in them…

No Trucks sign at Exit 14 on 95

A questionable RIDOT road sign makes truckers go the long way.

By Justin Katz | October 29, 2021 |

Chris Maxwell of the Rhode Island Trucking Association (RITA) has put out a statement shining a spotlight on the road sign pictured in the featured image of this post: This sign presumably pertains to the weight restriction recently placed on a Route 37 bridge.  The restriction, posted without public notification on October 11, lowered the…