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


Text Only
  • If something seems too good to be true, then assume that it is

    Scam. noun. A confidence game or other fraudulent scheme, especially for making a quick profit; swindle.
    This is a word that Marion Countians have heard a lot about in the past few years. And the problem appears to be one that is getting worse every day.

    July 31, 2014

  • State must convince parents, schools about benefits of Common Core

    It’s always nice to have a little bit of background information before diving into something new.
    So we have to agree with West Virginia Board of Education president Gayle Manchin when she says the state should have done a better job of explaining Common Core standards when they were first introduced.
    Those standards, part of a national educational initiative that sets learning goals designed to prepare students in kindergarten through 12th grade for college and career, will be fully implemented in every West Virginia school district next month.

    July 30, 2014

  • Time is now for Tomblin to support King Coal Highway

    U.S. Rep. Nick Rahall, D-W.Va., is asking Gov. Earl Ray Tomblin to add the King Coal Highway project to West Virginia’s six-year highway improvement plan. It is a logical request, and one that Tomblin should act promptly on.

    July 29, 2014

  • United effort to keep NASA in Fairmont is essential project

    The high-technology sector is obviously vital to the economy of North Central West Virginia.
    That’s why a strong, united effort to keep the NASA Independent Verification and Validation Program in Fairmont is absolutely essential.

    July 27, 2014

  • COLUMN: Calling all readers: Be heard

    I love to talk to readers.
    I love to hear concerns they have about stories we’ve written, things they think should be included in the newspaper and things they think shouldn’t be.

    July 27, 2014

  • Korean War veterans are deserving of a memorial

    NEEDED: A total of $10,000 for the Korean War Memorial this year.
    And a good man has been placed in charge of the funding. Charlie Reese, former president of the Marion County Chamber of Commerce, is now director of the Marion County Development Office. His task was to make a recommendation as to what steps are necessary to keep the project moving.

    July 25, 2014

  • Roll up your sleeves, give blood and you can save lives

    It takes up to 100 units of blood to save the life of someone who sustains life-threatening injuries in a vehicle accident.
    We’re hoping that the number of people who come to Fairmont Senior High School on Friday for and American Red Cross blood drive will exceed that amount.

    July 24, 2014

  • Vehicles and motorcycles must share the road safely

    The days are long. The weather is superb. There’s plenty of leisure time in these lazy days of summer.
    It’s the perfect time to take a long motorcycle ride.
    It’s also the perfect opportunity for us to take the time to remind not only riders but drivers of the need to share the road. And we feel compelled to mention it because just within the month of July, there have been two motorcycle-versus-car accidents within the City of Fairmont alone — one with severe injuries sustained by the motorcyclist and the other with less serious injury.

    July 23, 2014

  • Too many taking too few steps to protect selves from skin cancer

    July 22, 2014

  • Distracted driving: It isn’t worth fine or a life

    Today marks the day that police agencies from six states are joining forces to crack down on one thing — distracted driving.
    And they will focus on that traffic violation for a solid week, with the stepped-up effort to curb distracted driving wrapping up on Saturday, July 26.

    July 20, 2014

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