High School Football

Hoppy’s Commentary Archives

TodaySeptember 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

ThursdaySeptember 9, 2021

Men Are Giving Up on College

Men have fallen behind women in the pursuit of a college education in West Virginia and across the country. The Wall Street Journal reported this week that statistics from the National Student Clearinghouse show that at the end of the 2020-21 academic year, “women made up 59.5 percent of college students, an all-time high, and

WednesdaySeptember 8, 2021

The Acceleration of Covid in West Virginia

The number of Covid-19 cases is accelerating faster in West Virginia than any other state. That is according to an analysis by Emory Parker, data project manager at STAT, a national media company that investigates and reports on health, medicine and life sciences. “Cases in West Virginia are speeding up faster than they ever have,

TuesdaySeptember 7, 2021

Election Results Denial Damages Democracy

The claim that Donald Trump won the 2020 election is demonstrably false, but in politics the “facts” are malleable. Trump and many of his supporters have continued to perpetuate the falsity by clinging to allegations that have been disproven or dismissed by credible sources—both Republican and Democrat.  In a few instances, they have latched on to

FridaySeptember 3, 2021

West Virginians Weigh In On Pandemic Response

West Virginia Governor Jim Justice gets better marks for his handling of the Covid-19 pandemic than President Joe Biden. The MetroNews West Virginia Poll finds that 71 percent of registered voters are either “very satisfied” or “somewhat satisfied” with Justice’s leadership during the pandemic. A survey by FiveThirtyEight released Wednesday showed that 53 percent of

ThursdaySeptember 2, 2021

Justice Lands On His Financial Feet

West Virginia Governor Jim Justice sounded relieved when I spoke with him.  He had just learned that his companies had reached a settlement with Carter Bank & Trust restructuring loans of more than $360 million. The legal sparring between the Justice family businesses and its long-time financial partner was resolved.  The two sides agreed to

WednesdaySeptember 1, 2021

We Missed You, Maryland

I have looked forward to the West Virginia University football season with varying degrees of anticipation all my adult life, dating back to when I was a student at WVU in the mid 1970s.  The level of interest was typically a nexus of my love of college football, the level of expectations for the team,

TuesdayAugust 31, 2021

How West Virginia Let Early Covid Success Slip Away

Just two months ago, it seemed West Virginia had the Covid-19 virus licked.  The number of current active cases dropped below 1,000.  Hospitalizations for the virus were down to a couple dozen. Unfortunately, the good news was temporary. The rate of vaccinations dried up just as the new Delta variant was moving into West Virginia. 

MondayAugust 30, 2021

The Afghan Failure

John F. Kennedy said, “Victory has a thousand fathers, but defeat is an orphan.” In the long view, military historians will study the United States’ 20 year commitment in Afghanistan and analyze whether it was a success or a failure. The fog of war is still dense, so that determination is still elusive. However, in

FridayAugust 27, 2021

West Virginia’s Population Decline Hits Cities Hard

The 2020 U.S. Census data released earlier this month showed that West Virginia’s population declined by 3.3 percent in the last decade, dropping to 1,792,147.  All but eight counties lost population.  (See the Census Data here.) The data also show that the majority of our cities suffered population declines. —Charleston remains the state’s largest city,

ThursdayAugust 26, 2021

Ethics Panel Charges Rep. Mooney Used Campaign Funds for Personal Expenses

West Virginia 2nd District Congressman Alex Mooney has run afoul of the Office of Congressional Ethics (OCE). As CQ Roll Call reports, the OCE has determined that the four-term Republican has spent campaign money on personal expenses and failed to properly disclose campaign expenditures. “Overall, according to the OCE, ‘there is reason to believe’ lack

WednesdayAugust 25, 2021

WV Hospitals Take the Lead With Mandatory Covid Vaccinations

West Virginia hospitals are beginning to adopt policies requiring employees to be vaccinated against Covid-19.  WVU Medicine and Mon Health, both based in Morgantown, were among the first. They announced the decision to their employees Monday.  (Read more here.)  WVU Medicine is the largest private employer in the state.  It operates 21 hospitals, most in

TuesdayAugust 24, 2021

Greenbrier County Says ‘No’ to Justice as Boys Coach

West Virginia Governor Jim Justice believes he can expertly carry out the responsibilities of the state’s chief executive, navigate his family businesses through a financial crisis and coach the Greenbrier East girls and boys high school basketball teams—simultaneously. How to put this politely:  Justice does not lack for confidence. But that confidence is not shared

MondayAugust 23, 2021

Coal is Back… For Now

Coal is hot. Even as the United States and many countries around the world pledge to reduce carbon emissions to slow climate change, the demand for coal has increased significantly. The Wall Street Journal reported recently, “Coal use is surging in some of the world’s largest economies as electricity demand rebounds from the pandemic, illustrating