Hoppy’s Commentary Archives


WednesdayAugust 31, 2022

The Backyard Brawl is Back

West Virginia’s entry into the Big 12 Conference has been a blessing, primarily because without the affiliation WVU would have been left adrift in the shifting winds of conference affiliation.   But as Mountaineer Nation has often lamented, the conference reshuffling left West Virginia estranged from their traditional rivals.   Tomorrow night, however, the most significant rivalry

TuesdayAugust 30, 2022

Feeling Sick? It Could be the News

The news can make you sick. No, I’m not talking specifically about news stories that are sickening—although that is part of it; this is about the mental, and even physical, effects of becoming addicted to the news. Texas Tech researchers questioned 1,100 U.S. adults online and found that 17 percent report what can be considered

MondayAugust 29, 2022

Manchin’s Side Deal Faces Attacks From the Left

Senator Joe Manchin’s support of the controversial Inflation Reduction Act hinged on a critical side deal.  President Biden, Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer and House Speaker Nancy Pelosi have all agreed to support Manchin’s proposed streamlining of the permitting process for fossil fuel and alternative fuel energy projects. The overhaul of the bureaucracy is integral

FridayAugust 26, 2022

Capital Sports Center is a Positive Step Forward

Officials from Kanawha County and Charleston announced this week a joint venture to turn a portion of the Charleston Town Center mall into an indoor sports complex. The plans call for the former Macy’s store location and Lee Street parking garage to be converted into an aquatic center, basketball, volleyball and pickleball courts, an indoor

ThursdayAugust 25, 2022

College Debt Reduction Dumps on Those Who Paid

President Biden has announced a plan to forgive up to $10,000 in college student loan debt for individuals earning up to $125,000 a year and households that make up to $250,000.   Individuals who received federal Pell Grants, which are awarded to more financially needy students, can have up to $20,000 in loans forgiven.   All told,

WednesdayAugust 24, 2022

The Shift Away From Gear Shifts

My attitude toward vehicles most of my life has been ambivalence. Yes, I want something that is dependable, does well in the snow and is big enough to haul bags of yard mulch. Beyond that, I have no particular brand loyalty or color preference. But there have been two exceptions. The first was a 1968

TuesdayAugust 23, 2022

Teachers Deserve our Respect and Support

Recently, I wrote a commentary about how our public education system in West Virginia is failing to achieve the state constitutional requirement of providing a “thorough and efficient” system of free schools. If that were so, the recently released test scores would be much better. The test scores are important, however, they do not tell

MondayAugust 22, 2022

How ‘Quiet Quitting’ is Discouraging Work

The hot new trend in work is to, uh, not work, or at least not work very hard. It is called “quiet quitting,” and advocates, who are mostly from Generation Z, say it means just doing the minimum at work to avoid the stress of “hustle” that often exists in the workplace. TikTok has plenty

WednesdayAugust 17, 2022

I’m Off!

I’m taking a few days off.  Dave Wilson is filling in.  Meanwhile, how about giving me a grade for the job I’m doing?  A, B, C, D, F, and please explain your evaluation. Thanks, Hop

TuesdayAugust 16, 2022

GOP Candidates Find Success in The Big Lie

The Wyoming Primary Election is today and, if the polls are correct, incumbent Republican Congresswoman Liz Cheney will lose. Attorney Harriet Hageman, who has the backing of former President Donald Trump, is leading Cheney by as much as 29 points. Cheney’s political downfall is directly attributable to her bulldogged determination to hold Trump accountable for

MondayAugust 15, 2022

The WV Democratic Pitch on Abortion is Strong, But Wrong.

Democratic leaders of the West Virginia Legislature want a statewide vote on abortion. They have called on Governor Justice and Republican lawmakers to “reconvene and place upon the agenda a resolution to let people vote on a constitutional amendment for reproductive freedom.” “The Legislature had its chance to clarify the laws and failed,” said Senate

FridayAugust 12, 2022

West Virginia’s ‘Not Proficient’ Public School Students

The latest standardized test results show that the vast majority of West Virginia high school students who are about to graduate are considered not proficient in math or science. Just 21 percent of 11th graders are proficient in math and only 27 percent are proficient in science. Those are just two of the data points

ThursdayAugust 11, 2022

New School Superintendent Faces Big Challenges

The state Board of Education wasted no time hiring a new state Superintendent of Schools. Clayton Burch’s transfer from the job of superintendent to take over at the state School for the Deaf and Blind in Romney came at the same meeting Wednesday as the hiring of his replacement. The Board, after an executive session,

WednesdayAugust 10, 2022

House Speaker Hanshaw Faces Challenge From His Right

The in-house races for leadership positions in the two chambers of the West Virginia Legislature are typically affairs kept behind closed doors. The lobbying for votes within the party is usually in hushed tones that produce promises of support that may or may not materialize. However, this year’s race for Speaker of the West Virginia

TuesdayAugust 9, 2022

Mooney Throws Down the Gauntlet at Manchin’s Feet

West Virginia 2nd District Republican Congressman Alex Mooney is leapfrogging his campaign for re-election in November and going right after Senator Joe Manchin in 2024. As Josh Kraushaar of Axios first reported, Mooney is running a television ad on cable in the 2nd District that specifically targets the Democratic Senator over the Manchin-Schumer climate, energy

MondayAugust 8, 2022

Speech is Free, But Lies You Pay For

The truth matters. As the late businessman and philanthropist W. Clement Stone said, “Truth will always be truth, regardless of lack of understanding, disbelief or ignorance.” That may sound like a quaint concept in these times of wild conspiracy theories spread by profiteering provocateurs and opportunistic politicians who prefer “alternative facts,” but occasionally we are

FridayAugust 5, 2022

Why West Virginia is Not Like Kansas on Abortion

The surprising outcome of the abortion vote in the Kansas Primary Election earlier this week has pro-choice advocates everywhere wondering the same thing: Do the results provide a “yellow-brick-road” pathway to wins for choice in other states, including West Virginia? There are some notable parallels between Kansas and West Virginia. Kansas, like West Virginia, is

ThursdayAugust 4, 2022

West Virginia’s Severance Tax Boom

Coal and natural gas are on fire, and the state of West Virginia is a major beneficiary. Prices for the commodities have skyrocketed, in some instances to record levels, generating previously unimaginable severance tax collections for the Capitol treasury. For example, the price for Central Appalachian thermal coal is close to $180 a ton, three

WednesdayAugust 3, 2022

Manchin’s Deal Clears a Path to Finish the MVP

Senator Joe Manchin, ever the deal maker, managed to cut a side arrangement with Democratic leaders when crafting a compromise on the climate, energy and Medicare prescription drug bill. The agreed-to separate deal includes multiple provisions aimed at streamlining energy project permitting processes. This adjacent understanding also has a specific provision for “the relevant agencies

TuesdayAugust 2, 2022

West Virginia: Wild, Wonderful and White

Over the years, I have occasionally mocked the phrase “diversity is our strength.”  It always sounded like something people, especially White people, are supposed to say when they want to sound inclusive. But, as with many things at this stage in my life, I am re-evaluating. West Virginia is one of the whitest places in