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Hoppy’s Commentary Archives

ThursdayJanuary 21, 2021

Coal, Utilities Hit With Double Whammy

Two important events have happened in the last few days that will have a direct impact on West Virginia’s energy-based economy and our state’s residents: Joe Biden was sworn in as President of the United States and a federal appeals court struck down a Trump administration rule that took a more reasonable approach to the

WednesdayJanuary 20, 2021

Biden’s Inaugural Speech Challenge

President-elect Joe Biden delivers his inaugural address later today, and it is an immense challenge. The country is divided, and polls show anywhere from one-half to three-fourths of Republicans who voted for Trump do not believe Biden won the election legitimately. Regardless of what he says today, it will be difficult for Biden to convince

TuesdayJanuary 19, 2021

Marshall Hires a Football Coach; Is His Race Part of the Story?

Marshall University has hired Charles Huff as the next head football coach, replacing Doc Holliday who was fired after 11 seasons. Some of the news stories about Huff included the fact that he will be the first African-American head coach in the program’s history.  Others did not reference Huff’s race. And thus, another example of

MondayJanuary 18, 2021

Republicans Close In On Democrats in WV Party Registration

The West Virginia Republican Party will overtake the Democratic Party in registration within a matter of months.  That will be a milestone in the dramatic shift in the state’s political makeup for nearly a century. Numbers from the West Virginia Secretary of State’s Office at the end of December show the state has 467,438 Democrats

FridayJanuary 15, 2021

Teachers Union Challenges Back-to-School Order

For West Virginia school children to receive the best education available they need to be back in the classroom with a trained, dedicated teacher in front of them. But as our state continues to struggle with containing the virus, there are lingering questions about when and how school should resume. The State Board of Education

ThursdayJanuary 14, 2021

So, When is it a Good Time for Impeachment?

We heard plenty of arguments for and against impeachment of President Trump during debate in the House of Representatives Wednesday. The most substantive one focused on whether Trump was responsible for inciting an insurrection at the United States Capitol while Congress was codifying the presidential election results. Rational people can disagree about Trump’s role, and

WednesdayJanuary 13, 2021

The Perplexing Problem of Public Education During a Pandemic

West Virginia’s approach to public education during the pandemic has been confusing, to say the least. Last semester, counties followed a weekly map from the state Department of Health and Human Resources to determine whether they could have in-person instruction. The map changed often as the number of Covid-19 cases ebbed and flowed, leaving many

TuesdayJanuary 12, 2021

Impeach Trump Now

I caused quite a kerfuffle on MetroNews Talkline Monday when I said that President Donald Trump should be impeached, removed from office and barred from holding office again. Sixty-nine percent of West Virginians who voted in the 2020 election supported Trump, so I knew there would be hell to pay. There was, and there will

MondayJanuary 11, 2021

Georgia Election Elevates Joe Manchin’s Influence

Joe Manchin was not on the ballot in Georgia’s hotly-contested Senate runoff election last Tuesday, but he emerged a clear winner anyway. The victories by Democrats Raphael Warnock and Jon Ossoff splits the U.S. Senate evenly—50 Democrats and 50 Republicans. The Vice President votes in the case of ties—Kamala Harris for at least the next

FridayJanuary 8, 2021

Delegate Derrick Evans… You’re out!

“We’re in!  We’re in!  Derrick Evans is in the Capitol.” And with that, West Virginia House of Delegates member Derrick Evans announced to the world via cell phone livestream video on social media that he was part of the mob that broke in to the United States Capitol Wednesday. Two days later, the Justice Department

WednesdayJanuary 6, 2021

A Sad Day For America: Trump’s Stain

We lost something in America Wednesday. Did we really see angry hooligans swarm the United States Capitol, inspired by the President of the United States? We did. We are a republic, one that (supposedly) cherishes democracy, the rule of law, the peaceful transfer of power. But that is not what we witnessed Wednesday, not even

Bring on High School Sports

(Today’s commentary is by Joe Brocato, Metronews Sports) No one will dispute the fact that the top priorities of state officials at this time should be protecting vulnerable populations from COVID, distributing vaccines in the most efficient ways possible and creating safe environments for students to return to classrooms for in-person instruction. High school sports

TuesdayJanuary 5, 2021

If Only Trump Could Channel His Political Hero

In Jon Meacham’s best-selling book The Soul of America, the Pulitzer-prize winning author writes about President Andrew Jackson’s commitment to maintaining the union. Meacham points out Jackson’s considerable failings—he was a slave holder and oppressor of Native Americans—but writes that Jackson “believed in the union with all his heart.” And so, when South Carolina threatened

MondayJanuary 4, 2021

Justice’s Own Resort Ignores Safety Warnings With New Year’s Gala

On December 23, Governor Jim Justice pleaded with West Virginians to follow safety protocols during the holidays. “Listen to me: You’ve got to be super careful with your family right now.  Super careful. And, absolutely, as sad and as terrible as it may be, you may need to really not bring your family together, and,

ThursdayDecember 31, 2020

Bring On The Murder Hornets

While searching for inspiration for an end-of-the-year commentary, I came across a piece by humorist Dave Barry.  He wrote: “We’re trying to think of something nice to say about 2020.  Okay, here goes: Nobody got killed by the murder hornets. As far as we know. That’s pretty much it.” It is therapeutic to try to

WednesdayDecember 30, 2020

West Virginia’s Fast Start to Covid-19 Vaccinations

Monday, Governor Jim Justice announced, with appropriate pride, that by the end of the day the first round of Covid-19 vaccinations at the state’s nursing homes would be completed. That means shots-in-arms of residents and staff at approximately 200 long-term care facilities, all done in two weeks and over the Christmas holiday. That is truly

TuesdayDecember 29, 2020

Changes Do Not Answer All Questions About Clarksburg VA Hospital Murders

The rule of thumb in public relations is, if you have bad news, release the information on Friday afternoon.  If you have really bad news, release it just before a holiday weekend. That must have been what the United States Veterans Administration had in mind when, on Christmas Eve last week, it revealed changes at

MondayDecember 28, 2020

Less ‘Pluribus’, More ‘Unum’

Our coverage of politics typically focuses on what politicians say they are going to do, the ongoing attempts at governing and never-ending opining of what one side says the other side is doing wrong, often with hostile language. I suspect that is why the retirement floor speech of Senator Lamar Alexander did not receive much

ThursdayDecember 24, 2020

The Christmas Truce

(This is a commentary I post every Christmas Eve.  Merry Christmas everyone! HK)  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

WednesdayDecember 23, 2020

While Trump Is In Denial, Republican Leaders Are Moving On

Senator Shelley Moore Capito was among the first congressional Republicans to publicly begin to accept the outcome of the presidential election. The West Virginia Republican issued a statement November 23 saying that while she was disappointed along with tens of thousands of her constituents who backed Trump, and while she supported ongoing legal challenges, the