The Times West Virginian


November 18, 2012

Most believe nation is in for ‘more of the same’

It’s something we often have to convince ourselves of, but change is a good thing.

Of course, these days, we need to try to convince ourselves that even though things didn’t change with the 2012 general election, it can still be a good thing.

And I’m not saying that everything would have been better if there were a change in presidents. In the end, America re-elected Barack Obama to another four-year term. The nation also elected a majority of Republicans in the House and a Democratic Senate majority.

So nothing much has changed.

Here’s hoping for a more productive 2013.

You see, as of late summer, only 61 bills had become law out of 3,914 bills introduced. If you do the math, that’s less than 2 percent of all proposed laws. It’s the worst rate since World War II, though 2011 came close. Last year, Congress passed just 90 bills into law. Since 1947, Congress has at least passed 125 laws per year, with the rare exception of 1995.

What’s happening, it seems, is one chamber is passing bills and sending them to the next chamber, which won’t take up the bills at all because they are “marked” with the other party’s scent. So very little gets accomplished.

And it seems like a lot of it is grand posturing by both parties. Consider the fact that the House voted 33 times to repeal health-care reform law, and 33 times that bill was sent to the Senate, which wouldn’t touch it with a 10-foot pole. Yet neither side actually prepared a bill to address health care or some of the issues with the reform, which was upheld by the U.S. Supreme Court.

And President Obama didn’t have to buy a new box of pens this year. If I remember the “School House Rock” jingle, that bill on Capitol Hill needs to pass both chambers and get signed by the president to be a law. So, with nothing “changing” after the election, will we spin our wheels in the dust for two more years? Four?

We asked our readers, who log on each week to to vote in our online poll. Last week we asked, “The election has come and gone. How do you see the next few years going in Washington, D.C.?”

And here are your responses:

• More of the same. One chamber will pass bills the other will never touch and we’ll all suffer for it — 61.16 percent.

• We have a lame duck president, made even lamer by party politics that won’t allow his proposals to be considered — 23.97 percent.

• I believe leaders of this country will finally decide to put aside differences and work for a better America — 15 percent.

I have to say that with only 15 percent of our voters believing that the gloves are going to come off and everybody is going to place nice, it’s pretty reflective of some immediate change that needs to happen on both sides of the aisle. America has apparently lost its faith in Washington, D.C., and something needs to happen to change their minds.

This week, let’s talk about the rumbling in our own capital. State superintendent of schools Jorea Marple was fired last week in an apparent move to kick-start education reform statewide. Where do you think the reform needs to start?

Log on. Vote. Email me or respond directly online.

Misty Poe


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  • State native Burwell can ‘deliver results’ as Health and Human Services secretary

    Sylvia Mathews Burwell might not be a name with which most people are immediately familiar.
    For the past year, she has run the budget office under President Barack Obama.
    Prior to that, she served as president of the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation’s Global Development Program and later the Wal-Mart Foundation.

    April 16, 2014

  • Marion scores well in recent health report but could do better

    When it comes to area-wide studies, especially on health, there’s usually good news and bad news.
    So was the recent report on the health of America’s counties released by the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation recently. The nationwide county study evaluated health outcomes and health factors, and ranked counties accordingly.

    April 13, 2014

  • COLUMN: ‘Instant’ news not always reliable

    That little word has a pretty big meaning. With origins that date back to the 15th century, it means urgent, current, immediate.
    But think about how that word has developed over the past few decades.
    Instant pudding. Instead of slaving over a hot stove for a few minutes, you can now pour cold milk and with a bit of stirring, instant pudding!

    April 13, 2014

  • Decision to be an organ donor can save lives

    Chelsea Clair watched as her father died waiting for a bone marrow transplant.
    So when she met Kyle Froelich at a car show in 2009 and heard about his struggles to find a kidney that would match his unique needs, she never hesitated to offer hers to the man she just met.

    April 11, 2014

  • Volunteers continue to have priceless impact on community

    Chances are, you know someone who volunteers. Perhaps you’re a volunteer yourself.
    Marion County is full of volunteers.
    They read to our youth.
    They assist nonprofit agencies.
    They serve on boards and committees.
    And in 2013, they spent a day picking up nearly 10 tons of garbage that had been tossed out on public property around Marion County.

    April 10, 2014

  • Proposed school calendar lives up to letter and spirit of law

    West Virginia state law requires that students be in a classroom for 180 days.

    April 9, 2014

  • Strong Fairmont General Hospital badly needed to serve our region

    Mere minutes often matter when it comes to emergency health care.
    That’s why we need a strong Fairmont General Hospital.
    When patients need the services of health-care professionals, having family and friends close at hand is often essential, and their presence may even lead to a better outcome.

    April 6, 2014

  • COLUMN: Fairmont General Hospital vital part of community

    There’s nothing better than holding a newborn baby. It gives you a little feeling that not only is everything right in the world, but this perfect little human represents hope of a future where things will be better than they are today.
    I had that blessed opportunity to hold that hopeful future in my arms last week when I visited my dear friend Jen and her newborn son Tristan at Fairmont General Hospital.

    April 6, 2014

  • Putting a cost on safety issue has been culprit in 13 traffic deaths

    Would you believe that an item costing just 57 cents — less than the price of a can of pop — is being cited as the culprit in 13 traffic deaths?
    A simple 57-cent item.
    That’s how much fixing the fatal ignition switches that General Motors installed in new automobiles would have cost, and 13 lives would probably have been saved.

    April 4, 2014

  • TextLimit app one more step in cutting down distracted driving

    Every day in the United States, nine people are killed and more than 1,000 people are injured in vehicle accidents that involve distracted drivers.
    That statistic comes from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, which goes on to say that 69 percent of U.S. drivers between the ages of 18 and 64 reported that they had talked on their cellphone while driving within the 30 days before they were surveyed.

    April 3, 2014

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