7:00am: West Virginia Outdoors with Chris Lawrence

Hoppy’s Commentary Archives

YesterdayMay 7, 2021

So That’s Where Hoppy Gets His News

As a talk show host, I am frequently asked by listeners—usually ones who disagree with me—where I get my information? Conservative listeners sometimes chide me: “You should watch something other than CNN.”  A liberal listener might say, “You’re just repeating what Fox News said.” For the record, here is what I typically read, watch and

ThursdayMay 6, 2021

Shot = $100

As the pace of Covid-19 vaccinations has slowed across the country, states and communities are trying creative incentives to encourage individuals to get their shots. New Jersey and Connecticut are buying beers for the newly vaccinated. “This is the place to be, and the drinks are on us. What more could you ask for?” Connecticut

WednesdayMay 5, 2021

Republican Purity Test Threatens Rep. Cheney

Republicans, who have created a cottage industry fomenting outrage over the “cancel culture,” now want to “cancel” Congresswoman Liz Cheney. The crime committed by the Republican Congresswoman and number three Republican in the House of Representatives is that she continues to speak truth to power.  Rather than perpetuate The Big Lie as many of her

TuesdayMay 4, 2021

Bellwether Drug Trial Under Way in West Virginia

A landmark civil trial, where Huntington and Cabell County are attempting to hold prescription drug distributors AmerisourceBergen Corp., McKesson Corp. and Cardinal Health Inc. responsible for the drug epidemic in West Virginia, has begun in federal court in Charleston. For years now, West Virginia has had to deal with the drug crisis. The cost has

MondayMay 3, 2021

Capito, Manchin, in Key Positions to Seek Compromise

Compromise has gone the way of political comity in Washington. Many in Congress are reluctant to seek common ground with the other side for fear of being labeled by their base as a traitor. Still others in Washington believe those on the other side really are evil, so compromise is antithetical to their being. But

FridayApril 30, 2021

Joe Biden Goes BIG, While Republicans Remember When

Conservative commentator Chris Stirewalt cites January 1996 as a high point for modern conservativism. Two years earlier, the Republican Revolution gave the GOP control of both the House and Senate for the first time since 1952.  Stunned by the outcome of the midterm elections, Democratic President Bill Clinton pivoted and embraced key conservative principles. In

ThursdayApril 29, 2021

West Virginia’s Congressional Musical Chairs

The new U.S. Census figures have set the stage for congressional musical chairs in West Virginia. The decline in population here and the growth in other states translates into the loss of one of the state’s three congressional seats. The three seats are currently occupied by Republicans: David McKinley in the first, Alex Mooney in

WednesdayApril 28, 2021

West Virginia: “Almost Heaven” or “Already Gone”

New U.S. Census data released this week show that West Virginia’s population dropped by 65,000 over the last decade.  That represents a 3.2 percent drop, more than any other state that also saw declining population from 2010 to 2020. This is not a new trend. West Virginia’s population peaked in the middle of the last

TuesdayApril 27, 2021

The Vaccine Bribe

Just a few weeks ago, West Virginian’s demand for a Covid-19 vaccine far exceeded supply.  The vaccine, along with protecting individuals from the virus, also marked a critical turning point in getting out in front of the pandemic. West Virginia jumped out ahead of the rest of the country by partnering with pharmacies to get

MondayApril 26, 2021

West Virginia, We Should Be Worried

I am not a climate change denier, but I am a worried West Virginian. I adhere to the science; the planet is warming, and carbon emissions must be reduced.  Last week’s virtual global climate summit demonstrated, once again, that world leaders all the way down to young school children are concerned about the planet and

FridayApril 23, 2021

Drug Overdose Deaths Spike in West Virginia

Drug overdose deaths have risen dramatically in West Virginia. Lauren Peace writing for Mountain State Spotlight reports, “New data shows at least 1,275 West Virginians died from an overdose in 2020—a 45 percent increase from 2019.” The state’s death toll had been leveling off from a previous high of 1,019 in 2017.  The number was

ThursdayApril 22, 2021

Derek Chauvin Verdict Equals Accountability

The trial and convictions of former Minneapolis police officer Derek Chauvin for the murder of George Floyd mean different things to different people. For me, the ordeal, the trial, and the verdict were about accountability. The story did not start out that way.  The initial statement by Minneapolis police nearly one year ago said Floyd’s

WednesdayApril 21, 2021

UMWA Leader Pitches a Way Forward for Coal

Do not try to lecture United Mine Workers President Cecil Roberts about how the migration away from coal and other carbon-based fuels will be a “just transition,” one that promises that the green economy will provide job opportunities and economic growth in the ravaged coal fields. Roberts, 74, has heard it all before, and he

TuesdayApril 20, 2021

Losing Momentum on Vaccinations

West Virginia has made admirable progress delivering Covid-19 vaccinations to the state’s residents, but now the number of individuals getting shots has slowed significantly. The number of daily doses administered dropped to just over 4,000 last week, down from nearly 10,000 earlier this month and a peak of just under 17,000 a day at the

MondayApril 19, 2021

Mark Bowden: How Special Ops Became a Solution to Everything

President Biden plans to end the U.S. fight in Afghanistan, bringing home the last of the roughly 2,500 American soldiers by September 11th.  The 20-year-long war begun following the terrorist attacks of 2001 will be over. What will not end, however, are the less well publicized wars the United States is fighting all over the

FridayApril 16, 2021

The Transgender Athlete Learning Curve in West Virginia

There is an intense debate over legislation in West Virginia concerning transgender athletes. At issue is whether school students whose biological sex is male but whose gender identity is female (transgender) should be allowed or prevented from participating in girls’ sports at their schools. Female transgender sports participation is happening more across the country, but

ThursdayApril 15, 2021

Note to Governor: Be Careful What You Wish For

Governor Justice is fond of spicing up his speeches with old adages and bits of folksy wisdom. One of my favorites that he used during the tax debate was, “We need to quit counting the egg-sucking legs on the cows and count the cows and just move.” In other words, do not get bogged down

WednesdayApril 7, 2021

He’s Out!

I’m out for a few days. Dave Wilson will be filling in for me on Talkline.  Meanwhile, feel free to speculate wildly about what I’m doing during my time off. Best, Hop

TuesdayApril 6, 2021

Manchin Balks at Biden Corporate Tax Hike

Senator Joe Manchin again holds a pivotal vote in determining the fate of another one of President Joe Biden’s big initiatives. Biden has proposed a $2.3 trillion infrastructure bill, and often Democrats and Republicans can agree on big spending on roads and bridges. But this time it is different. Biden’s plan goes well beyond brick

MondayApril 5, 2021

WV Will Get an Intermediate Appellate Court—Finally

The West Virginia Legislature, after years of trying, has finally passed a bill creating an intermediate court of appeals.  Governor Justice has the bill, and he is expected to sign it into law. As our Brad McElhinny reported, “The West Virginia Appellate Reorganization Act would establish an intermediate court to review civil cases between the