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Hoppy’s Commentary Archives


TodayOctober 21, 2021

The Republican’s Pointless Vaccination Exemption Bill

The West Virginia Legislature should have as a credo its own version of the Hippocratic Oath: Primum non nocere.  “First, do no harm.” The Legislature, meeting in special session primarily to redraw political districts based on new Census figures, was drawn into a debate over mandatory vaccinations.  Governor Justice, under pressure from conservative Republicans, had

YesterdayOctober 20, 2021

Sanders Whiffs Trying to Pressure Manchin

Vermont Senator Bernie Sanders went after West Virginia Senator Joe Manchin recently in an opinion piece published in the Charleston Gazette-Mail. Sanders, employing his predictable “greedy rich vs. the helpless poor” rhetoric, tried to shame Manchin into backing the $3.5 trillion budget reconciliation bill. The legislation would dramatically expand the social welfare system in this

TuesdayOctober 19, 2021

17 Covid-related Deaths at Ruby Hospital in One Weekend

The number of new daily Covid-19 cases in West Virginia continues to slowly decline.  DHHR reported 9,033 active cases as of yesterday, down from over 25,000 a month ago. Hospitalizations are also beginning to drop, down to 746 yesterday, compared with over one-thousand last month. However, we are not out of the woods yet.  Consider

MondayOctober 18, 2021

PSC Makes Right Decision on Coal-Fired Power Plants

The West Virginia Public Service Commission is taking considerable heat from various groups over its decision to allow for environmental upgrades to three major coal-fired power plants in the state. Some of the opposition is rooted in the higher customer costs to pay for the improvements.  Others believe the upgrades will artificially prolong the life

FridayOctober 15, 2021

Redistricting Pits McKinley vs. Mooney

It’s on!  McKinley versus Mooney. The West Virginia Legislature was still putting the finishing touches on the Congressional redistricting plan when current First District Representative David McKinley and Second District Representative Alex Mooney each announced their re-election plans for 2022. West Virginia is losing one of its three congressional districts because of population growth in

ThursdayOctober 14, 2021

Justice’s Vaccine Exemption Bill Triggers Backlash

The special session of the West Virginia Legislature to redraw the legislative and congressional boundaries was moving along relatively smoothly, at least as lawmaking goes.  But then a curve ball—albeit unintended—came flying through the halls of the Capitol. That curve ball is a bill submitted by Governor Justice Tuesday night stating that employers requiring employees

WednesdayOctober 13, 2021

West Virginia Moves to All Single Member Delegate Districts… Finally

The West Virginia Legislature this week will likely complete the protracted effort to create single-member districts for all 100 seats in the state House of Delegates. This has been a long time coming. For decades, West Virginia has been an outlier among states by having multi-member districts.  Over the years, the number of delegates from

TuesdaySeptember 28, 2021

New Commentaries Coming Soon

Folks, my daily commentaries will return soon. Hop

MondaySeptember 27, 2021

Does This Stress Make Me Look Fat?

This may be a bad time to bring this up but… we have put on a few extra pounds during the pandemic.  Not everybody, of course, but data from the annual report from the Trust for America’s Health show weight gain was common across the country. The Trust citied a survey conducted by the Harris

FridaySeptember 24, 2021

Why America Fails on Immigration

America has an immigration problem, and the definition of that problem depends on an individual’s political views. Those views have been hardened by Republicans and Democrats who see immigration as the perfect wedge issue. Democrats accuse Republicans of being anti-immigrant and racist, while sprinkling their arguments with anecdotes and images of migrant children separated from

ThursdaySeptember 23, 2021

‘He’s Got the Whole World in His Hands’

We have heard over and over how West Virginia Senator Joe Manchin occupies a strategically powerful position.  The 50-50 tie in the Senate means President Joe Biden and the Democrats need every vote, plus a tie-breaking vote from Vice President Kamala Harris, to move their agenda. Manchin also holds a key to what the Biden

WednesdaySeptember 22, 2021

Rounding the Corner (Hopefully) on Covid

We may be rounding the corner on Covid-19 in West Virginia… again. The latest figures from the state Department of Health and Human Resources show the number of active cases in the state has fallen from nearly 30,000 last Thursday to just over 17,000 on Monday. “Plus or minus a couple of days, we are

TuesdaySeptember 21, 2021

A Climb-Trusting Win for Neal Brown

Mountaineer football coach Neal Brown’s mantra is Trust the Climb.  The adage serves two purposes; it buys him some time as he tries to rebuild the program and it establishes the basis of the relationship between his staff and his players, as well as Brown and the fans. The climb also states clearly that Mountaineer

MondaySeptember 20, 2021

Every Day Should Be Constitution Day

I missed Constitution Day.  It was last Friday, September 17, the anniversary of the final meeting of the delegates to the Constitutional Convention in Philadelphia in 1787, when they signed the document they had debated and created. It is too bad that Senator Robert Byrd of West Virginia, the conscience of the Senate and a

FridaySeptember 17, 2021

West Virginia’s Solid Financial Footing

A state’s financial well-being is measured to a large degree on its ability to meet its financial obligations to its retirees, while also putting aside a sizable amount of money in case of emergency. By those measurements, West Virginia is in good standing. The state’s Rainy Day Fund is now over $1 billion for the

ThursdaySeptember 16, 2021

Justice Won’t Give Up His Hoop Dreams

Governor Jim Justice has filed a grievance over the decision by the Greenbrier County Board of Education not to hire him as the Greenbrier East boys high school basketball coach.  Justice already coaches the girls team. As our Brad McElhinny reported, “A level one grievance would go the chief administrator, in this case the superintendent. 

WednesdaySeptember 15, 2021

West Virginia, the Virus, and Me

After covering the pandemic in West Virginia for the last 18 months and talking about it nearly every day on my radio show, I have had an epiphany. The moment of clarity comes from my growing frustration with those who won’t get vaccinated or take the virus seriously, and their anger toward me for continuing

TuesdaySeptember 14, 2021

The Social Security and Medicare ‘Bust’ Funds

The  Trustees of the Social Security and Medicare trust funds recently released their annual report.  It received scant attention because who in Washington wants to be the bearer of bad news? And the news is bad.  Social Security and Medicare are both in deep financial trouble, and they are heading toward shortfalls within a few

MondaySeptember 13, 2021

Biden Fails on Vaccine Requirement

I am all in on Covid-19 vaccinations, and I have been since they were rolled out last December.  It was encouraging to see rapidly set-up clinics move our state’s residents through professionally and efficiently, putting life-saving shots in arms in those early months. For a while it appeared as though we were going to quickly

FridaySeptember 10, 2021

Honoring the Heroes of 9/11

Fear is an invaluable human instinct that perpetuates our survival. Without fear, we would make any number of potentially fatal decisions each day—walk into traffic, pick up a poisonous snake, stand too close to the edge of a cliff. Fear tells us to run away from danger.  But there are individuals who overcome those powerful