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Hoppy’s Commentary Archives


FridayDecember 11, 2020

Morrisey Misfires by Joining Texas AG’s Attempt to Overturn Election

The Trump campaign is nearing the end of its options to try to overturn the results of the election, and now a legal Hail Mary has been launched. The long-shot attempt is an appeal to the U.S. Supreme Court to hear claims that the battleground states of Georgia, Michigan, Pennsylvania and Wisconsin exploited the Covid-19

ThursdayDecember 10, 2020

West Virginia Election Results Finalized—Big Turnout, Clean Election

West Virginia voters turned out in record numbers for the November General Election. Final figures released by Secretary of State Mac Warner’s office show there were 802,726 ballots cast. That is the second highest in the state’s history.  Only in the 1960 election did more West Virginians vote, when 837,782 votes were cast in the

WednesdayDecember 9, 2020

The Right Stuff

The story goes that Chuck Yeager was not impressed with the term “the right stuff.” Author Tom Wolfe, in his book The Right Stuff, used the phrase to describe the qualities of Yeager and other pilots whose skill and bravery opened the avenue of supersonic flight and space exploration. Wolfe singled out Yeager in his

TuesdayDecember 8, 2020

West Virginia’s Business Tax Ranking Better Than Most

The Tax Foundation has released its annual State Business Tax Climate Index, and it shows West Virginia firmly in the middle of the pack of states. The conservative-leaning think tank gives West Virginia an overall ranking of 22nd, with one being the best and 50 the worst. The Foundation rated states on property taxes, unemployment

MondayDecember 7, 2020

Not Even Donald Trump Could Reverse Coal’s Decline

Donald Trump embraced coal during his 2016 campaign.  The crowd at a Charleston rally four years ago broke into wild applause when he told them, “I’m thinking about miners all over this country.  We’re gonna put the miners back to work. We’re gonna get those mines opened.” It has not worked out that way. In

FridayDecember 4, 2020

The High Risk Along The Thin Blue Line

Tuesday afternoon, Charleston Police Department patrolman Officer Cassie Johnson responded to a parking complaint on Garrison Avenue. That sounds mundane.  Somebody is illegally parked.  There is a complaint. An officer shows up and asks the person to move their car, maybe issues them a ticket. How many times does that happen every day in Charleston,

ThursdayDecember 3, 2020

Moderate Members of Congress Pitch Compromise Covid-19 Relief Bill

A funny thing happened in Washington this week. A bipartisan group of moderate United States Senators and members of the House of Representatives came together to endorse a compromise plan for another round of Covid-19 relief. Imagine that.  Democrats and Republicans, House and Senate members, agreeing on a “give-a-little/get-a-little” framework to help the country during

WednesdayDecember 2, 2020

School Boards’ Rejection of Charter Application Riles Advocates

The Monongalia and Preston County Boards of Education this week rejected an application for what would have been the first charter school in West Virginia. The decisions have renewed the debate over charter schools, and motivated Republican lawmakers who want to expand charter school opportunities. The Legislature passed a comprehensive education reform bill in 2019

TuesdayDecember 1, 2020

Altruism Needed to Fight Pandemic in WV

The pandemic is getting worse in West Virginia. The number of daily cases is rising more rapidly than any other time during the pandemic.  The total number of active positive cases reached 16,787 Sunday night, seventeen percent higher than a week ago. Hospitalizations are surging.   The latest DHHR figures show 597 Covid-19 patients in state

MondayNovember 30, 2020

Study: Failing Grades Spike With Remote Learning

Tens of thousands of West Virginia school children have been getting their instruction remotely all or part of the time since last March.  The hope is that, by connecting teachers with students using technology, instruction could continue. However, early research in a neighboring state suggests that online learning is leaving an alarming number of students

WednesdayNovember 25, 2020

Capito Signals It’s Time To Move On

Senator Shelley Moore Capito tossed in the towel on the presidential election this week. Her statement was carefully phrased, and it included a hint of ambiguity, but the meaning was clear.  Consider this line in the prepared statement: “While some irregularities and fraud have been found and should be punished, there is no indication that

TuesdayNovember 24, 2020

So, Where Does the Governor of WV Reside?

It turns out that where the Governor of the State of West Virginia lays his head at night is a constitutional question. The State Supreme Court has ruled that a state lawmaker’s lawsuit to force Governor Jim Justice to live in Charleston should proceed in Kanawha County Circuit Court. Delegate Isaac Sponaugle (D-Pendleton) brought the

MondayNovember 23, 2020

Manchin in the Middle

Joe Manchin is in the cat bird’s seat. The wily Democratic Senator from West Virginia was all the rage in the Washington political media after the election, bouncing from show to show, interview to interview. Why? The election left the U.S. Senate narrowly split. The balance of power hinges on what happens in the Georgia

FridayNovember 20, 2020

WVU Basketball Team Heading to Covid-19 Hot Zone. Why?

The West Virginia University basketball team travels to Sioux Falls, South Dakota Monday, where it will stay for five days while participating in the Bad Boy Mowers Crossover Classic basketball tournament. There might be a worse place to hold a basketball tournament right now, but you would be hard pressed to find it. Covid-19 is

ThursdayNovember 19, 2020

Capito, Justice Not Yet Ready to Accept Outcome of Presidential Race

West Virginia’s top two Republicans have yet to acknowledge that Joe Biden has won the 2020 presidential election. Senator Shelley Moore Capito has been mum, while Governor Jim Justice has continued to express support for President Trump and to call for patience while challenges to some of the results are being sorted out. Obviously neither

TuesdayNovember 17, 2020

Off For a Few Days

I’m off for a couple of days.  The commentary will return Thursday.

FridayNovember 13, 2020

The Politics of Grievances

Political campaigns today produce not only winners and losers, but also grievances.   For many, to be defeated is to be wronged in some way, an injustice that must be rectified. Grievances are personal.  They are wounds that can fester. They also inhibit our ability to change and grow. Lao Tzu, the founder of Taoism, said,

ThursdayNovember 12, 2020

Covid-19 Cases Trending Upward in WV

The number of Covid-19 cases across the country is rising, and they are going up in West Virginia as well. Nationally, the seven-day rolling average is over 100,000 new cases a day. That is pushing hospitalizations higher.  The number of Covid-19 patients in hospitals reached nearly 62,000 Tuesday, passing the previous high from April. Hospitalizations

WednesdayNovember 11, 2020

Our Debt to Veterans

(Editor’s note: This is a copy of a commentary I have posted on Veterans Day for the last several years.) One-hundred and two years ago, at the 11th hour of the 11th day of the 11th month, the fighting stopped along the battle lines in Europe, bringing an end to the hostilities of World War

TuesdayNovember 10, 2020

Richard Neely; Brilliant, Controversial Provocateur

Former West Virginia Supreme Court Justice Richard Neely died quietly at his Charleston home Sunday, surrounded by family and friends.  Neely was diagnosed with liver cancer just a few weeks ago, and the disease took him quickly. He was 79. The first thing that must be said about Neely is that he was brilliant. He