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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    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

  • COLUMN: Are we people watchers or people judgers?

    Let me tell you about my little friend Robby. Well, actually, it’s more about his family and especially his mom. I didn’t get her name. I heard Robby’s name quite a bit, though, during a trip home from Birmingham, Alabama.
    I noticed the family in the Birmingham airport immediately. They were just the kind of family you’d notice.

    July 20, 2014

  • Relish the rich bounty of state’s diverse, unique food traditions

    This week, a group of federal officials on a three-day culinary tour of the state visited the Greenbrier Valley to find out what most of us here already know — we have a rich food tradition in West Virginia.
    The group was made up of officials from the Appalachian Regional Commission, the Environmental Protection Agency and the U.S. Department of Agriculture.

    July 18, 2014

  • Soup Opera in need of your support again this time of year

    It’s happening again.
    It usually always happens about this time each year. Sometimes it’s a little earlier and sometimes a little later.
    But Soup Opera executive director Shelia Tennant knows it will come — usually in July. And she’s never that surprised about it.

    July 17, 2014

  • County honors men who gave all in helping their community

    The next time you’re driving in the Rivesville area, you might notice new signs on two of the area’s bridges.
    Those signs, which bear the names of Alex Angelino and Denzil O. Lockard, were unveiled Saturday in honor of the men whose names they display, two men who died while serving their communities.
    The bridge on U.S. 19 over Paw Paw Creek was named to honor Lockard, while the bridge on U.S. 19 over Pharaoh Run Creek was named to honor Angelino. Lockard, a former Rivesville police chief, died in 1958 at the age of 48 while directing traffic. Angelino, a Rivesville firefighter, died at the age of 43 of a heart attack while fighting a fire in 1966.

    July 16, 2014

  • State must learn to keep costs down and perform more efficiently on less

    The West Virginia state government began its budget year last Tuesday with a small surplus of $40 million — less than 1 percent of its annual tax revenues — thanks only to dipping into its savings.
    Let’s not do that again.

    July 15, 2014

  • Long-range vision with transportation has been made to be thing of proud past

    Last week’s closure of Fairmont’s Fourth Street Bridge is a symbol of a problem that must be fixed.
    The United States should be proud of the vision its leaders once displayed to address the country’s transportation needs.
    Back in 1954, for example, President Dwight D. Eisenhower announced his goal of an interstate highway system — something that transformed the country.

    July 13, 2014

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