Hoppy’s Commentary Archives

FridayJanuary 21, 2022

House Bill Prevents Mask Mandates in Schools

House Republicans are advancing a bill in the West Virginia Legislature that would prevent schools from imposing certain restrictions and requirements to deal with Covid. HB 4071, the Parent and Student Health Rights Act, prohibits school systems from requiring masks for students or school employees.  The legislation also says schools cannot impose mandatory Covid testing

ThursdayJanuary 20, 2022

Insurrection Equals Seditious Conspiracy on January 6

I have had an ongoing debate with some MetroNews Talkline listeners during the last year over how to identify the events at the U.S. Capitol on January 6, 2021.  I quickly settled on the term “insurrection.” The Merriam-Webster definition of the word is, “An act or instance of revolting against civil authority or an established

TuesdayJanuary 18, 2022

Biden Floats Straw Man Arguments on Voting Rights Bill

Senate Democrats this week will try to pass legislation they argue is designed to protect the right to vote. It will likely fail, since 60 votes are needed for passage and no Republicans support the bill. Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer may try to carve out an exception to the filibuster so it can pass

MondayJanuary 17, 2022

Martin Luther King’s Timeless Message

The story often told about Dr. Martin Luther King’s “I Have a Dream” speech is that the enthusiasm of the crowd of  250,000 people only began to build after King went off script at the urging of gospel singer Mahalia Jackson. “Tell them about the dream, Martin! Tell them about the dream!,” she urged him

FridayJanuary 14, 2022

Legislative Session Begins with 15-Week Abortion Bill

Well, that didn’t take long. The West Virginia House of Delegates started moving an abortion bill on just the second day of the regular session.  The House Health Committee Thursday passed out HB 4004 prohibiting abortions after 15 weeks of pregnancy. The Republican majority rejected a series of Democratic amendments and passed the bill on

ThursdayJanuary 13, 2022

Get Well Soon, Governor

The news that Governor Jim Justice has contracted Covid is cause for concern. He started feeling poorly earlier in the week and by Tuesday night he was down with the virus. Brian Abraham, Justice’s chief of staff, has been in frequent phone contact with the Governor. During an appearance on Talkline Wednesday, Abraham was candid

WednesdayJanuary 12, 2022

Keep the Filibuster

President Biden went to Georgia Tuesday to try to drum up enthusiasm for federal “voting rights” legislation.  The dark symbolism cannot be avoided—the President making his case for a “lost cause” in the heart of the south. The Freedom to Vote Act, or whatever incarnation the President and Democrats are pushing now, will fail in

TuesdayJanuary 11, 2022

WV Lays Groundwork for Big Steel Deal

It is understandable if West Virginians are skeptical of big economic development announcements. In recent years, several have come with great fanfare, but with nothing to show for it. The much ballyhooed announcement in 2013 of a proposed petrochemical ethane cracker plant planned for Wood County never materialized. In 2017, Governor Jim Justice announced an

MondayJanuary 10, 2022

How MetroNews Will (and Will Not) Cover the WV Legislature This Year

The regular session of the West Virginia Legislature begins Wednesday at the State Capitol and, unfortunately, I will not be broadcasting on location this year.  This will make the second year in a row that I’ve not been present. For many years, I have broadcast Talkline from underneath the Capitol dome, initially from the upper

FridayJanuary 7, 2022

ERs, Hospitals in West Virginia are Straining to Keep Up

I went to the emergency room of WVU Medicine in Morgantown Wednesday night.  The expansive waiting room was filled with sick people. The wait was going to be hours. This is not a criticism of the hospital; it is a first-hand account of what is happening at hospitals across the state and in many parts

ThursdayJanuary 6, 2022

Trump’s Words Mattered on January 6

One year ago today, the peaceful transfer of power, a hallmark of our democracy, was thrown into chaos by a riotous mob fueled by the angry, misleading and inciting rhetoric of a defeated president. The House of Representatives impeached President Donald Trump (232-197) on a charge of “incitement of insurrection.”  He was tried and acquitted

WednesdayJanuary 5, 2022

We Know What We Saw on January 6

It cannot be assumed that every picture, especially images used in the news media, tells the whole story.  In fact, an image taken out of context can mislead the viewer. However, there are also images that are, as they say, worth 1,000 words. They encapsulate an event and trigger an emotional response in the viewer

TuesdayJanuary 4, 2022

A Silver Lining to West Virginia’s Dark Census Cloud

The steady population decline has been an ongoing challenge for West Virginia. The number of residents has dropped from a peak of just over 2-million in 1950 to 1,782,959 as of July 1, 2021, according to the latest numbers from the U.S. Census. The drop in population is the result of more deaths than births

MondayJanuary 3, 2022

Jarret Doege’s Complicated Legacy

The decision by WVU quarterback Jarret Doege to enter the transfer portal ends what has been an unsettling period for Mountaineer football. Doege was never fully embraced by Mountaineer Nation.  For many, he was simply the guy who was playing the position in lieu of somebody else.  This season the fan club of back-up quarterback

FridayDecember 31, 2021

My Top 5 West Virginia Stories of 2021

It’s the end of the year, so it is time for my top five West Virginia stories of 2021. 5) Census figures released: The counting of individuals in the country that takes place every ten years showed that West Virginia’s population continues to decline. The number of residents dropped by 60,000 over the last decade

ThursdayDecember 30, 2021

So, You Want to Run for Governor of WV?

Comedian Steve Martin used to tell a joke where he pretended to be financial wizard giving people advice on how to become a millionaire.  His tip: “First, get a million dollars.” Veteran West Virginia Republican political strategist Greg Thomas is no Steve Martin, but his candid and serious advice to anyone considering running for Governor

WednesdayDecember 29, 2021

Intermediate Court Will Provide Another Level of Justice

West Virginia has taken another step toward improving its legal climate. Governor Jim Justice on Tuesday appointed the three members of the new Intermediate Court of Appeals–attorneys Dan Greear of South Charleston, Donald Nickerson, Jr. of Wheeling and Thomas Scarr of Barboursville. The West Virginia Legislature created the Intermediate Court earlier this year after several

TuesdayDecember 28, 2021

Biden and Trump Agree on the Importance of Covid-19 Vaccinations.

There have been some encouraging developments lately from our country’s leaders—current and past—as they present a more unified front on the importance of vaccines and boosters for Covid-19. President Biden, in a speech last week, praised former President Trump and his administration for their work in speeding up the development of vaccines. “Let me be

MondayDecember 27, 2021

The Nursing Profession is in Critical Condition

The country has a nursing shortage, and West Virginia is among the states where the situation is especially acute. Hospitals and health care facilities are constantly trying to fill vacancies created when nurses quit or retire. Plus, there are vacancies due to natural growth because of the increased demand for health care at medical facilities

FridayDecember 24, 2021

The Christmas When the Fighting Stopped

(Editor’s note: This is a commentary I post at Christmas every year.) Has there ever been a Christmas when there was no war, no fighting in any corner of our planet?   It’s difficult to imagine since the world’s history has been a series of conquests and defenses. But there was once a Christmas when