In Salem, heads never roll

Fresh off alienating the state's senior citizens, the Oregon Health Authority has now turned off the state's commercial fishing community with a grossly insensitive television ad about social distancing.

Sawyer goes on to say that a crew member of a ship going overboard "should not be joked about by the Oregon Health Authority," and that the commercial "brings back terrible memories" to Newport families that have lost a loved one to sea.

Meamwhille, it was another day of frustration for Portland-area seniors trying to get a ticket for their shot of The Precious.

Gorjean Armen, a Portland resident who is 70 and became eligible to book an appointment starting this week, experienced the system’s failures firsthand. She said once she made it to the scheduling site for the Convention Center Thursday, she saw a bank of appointments available. Ten times she unsuccessfully tried to book one of those appointments, with the site sometimes indicating someone else had taken the time slot before she could complete the checking out process, she said. Once, the site simply told her an error had been made.

That was among various other problems Armen encountered before all the appointments were gone. She estimates that she’s spent about 12 hours this week searching for appointments – Monday and Thursday at the Portland area’s mass vaccination clinics and in the days in between at local pharmacies.

If this were any real-world organization, you'd be seeing some roster changes by now. But this is Oregon government, where nothing succeeds like failure.

Why isn't the governor getting on the phone with execs from Google and Amazon and hiring some of their experts to take over design and implementation of the scheduling of vaccinations? Why wasn't that done a year ago, when the need for such a system was so obvious? We have $540 an hour to pay outsiders to do the attorney general's job. Why not seven figures to have an actual tech company do the health bureaucrats' and IT people's jobs, when human lives are at stake?

You can blame Trump only so much. He's been a private citizen for more than a month now. Over that period of time, the state's Covid response has not gotten better.


  1. Hell, just get some kid from the local middle school. I'm sure they could do the job better that the IT folks at the state.

  2. When it comes to governance, this state is a joke. We have gross incompetence from the top down. Set aside the age-old PERS issue (that's slowly exsanguinating our coffers) and the more recent Covid issue (that's become a death sentence for REAL people), we also have a ridiculous, inequitable comprehensive tax plan (property, income, NO sales, etc.), the more-government-for-government's sake that is Metro, and the constant erosion of homeowner and landlord rights. Those are just a few Oregon "wonders" we've swallowed like horse pills. We need a shake-up from the governer's office to local government.

  3. Why should heads roll? When your party has the governorship and a super-majority in the legislature, with almost no chance of that being overturned at the next election, and when the opposition party is not fit for purpose -- something you've pointed out any number of times here, Jack -- where is the incentive to be efficient? Or even to try harder to avoid colossal mistakes? You're going to win no matter what, so why bother?


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