Following the presidential election on Nov. 6, we hope there is a clear winner.
The American people.
The Times West Virginian editorial board failed to reach a consensus on offering our full support to President Barack Obama or his Republican challenger, former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney, finding obvious strengths and glaring weaknesses with each candidate.
Obama, for example, has a record on energy — coal, in particular — that is not good for West Virginia and the country in general.
Remember the 2008 campaign ad against Obama: “If somebody wants to build a coal-powered plant, they can,” he said. “It’s just that it will bankrupt them because they are going to be charged a huge sum for all that greenhouse gas that’s being emitted.”
The president was absolutely right in his policy of looking toward the possibilities of “green” or renewable energy. A huge windfall awaits the country that best develops this technology. However, we don’t move decades into the future in one giant step. Fossil fuels will be a huge part of the American economy for years to come, and federal policy to ensure their adequate supply and promote their extraction and use in a safe, environmentally friendly way is essential.
Obama has said he’s for an “all-of-the-above” energy policy. The president, though, has certainly fallen short.
On the other hand, Obama deserves some credit.
The economy was shedding about 800,000 jobs a month when he took office amid the Great Recession in 2009. It’s not back to where Americans need it to be, but there has been progress. Obama supported assistance to the U.S. auto industry, which figures to be a major factor in the swing state of Ohio. Health-care reform passed, and though it remains controversial, provisions such as coverage for pre-existing conditions and the end to lifetime limits have broad support. The U.S. is no longer involved in combat in Iraq, and there is a timetable in getting out of Afghanistan. Osama bin Laden was killed on Obama’s watch, although the terror threat has obviously not vanished.
Romney, with numerous successes through his life, offers the president a strong challenge.
Working with a Democrat-controlled Legislature, he did well as Massachusetts governor. Among Romney’s accomplishments was legislation to give many more residents of the state health insurance, although he opposes this concept on the national level.
He made millions of dollars in business and saved the Salt Lake City Olympics. Romney, indeed, has a track record of accomplishments, and insists the United States will fare better with him as president.
There are questions, though, about who the “real” Romney is. Once considered a moderate, he insisted during the Republican primary elections that he is now “severely conservative.”
Then there is this quote Romney made to supporters:
“There are 47 percent of the people who will vote for the president no matter what. All right, there are 47 percent who are with him, who are dependent upon government, who believe that they are victims, who believe the government has a responsibility to care for them, who believe that they are entitled to health care, to food, to housing, to you-name-it — that that’s an entitlement. And the government should give it to them. And they will vote for this president no matter what. ... These are people who pay no income tax. ... My job is not to worry about those people. I’ll never convince them they should take personal responsibility and care for their lives.”
We know Romney later said he was “just completely wrong” in making such a statement, but it’s an attitude of a potential president that bothers us greatly.
No matter who wins the presidency next month, we hope he enjoys a better climate for getting things done.
Remember this 2010 quote from Senate minority leader, Mitch McConnell, R-Ky.:
“The single most important thing we want to achieve is for President Obama to be a one-term president.”
Debate in Washington, D.C., is one thing. Open hope for failure is another.
That’s the most important thing to cleanse this election if the American people, as must happen, are to emerge as winners.
The Times West Virginian has elected to not endorse a presidential candidate for the 2012 election. We do, however, encourage each and every voter to give the matter deep thought and express their opinion at the polls Nov. 6.
Following the presidential election on Nov. 6, we hope there is a clear winner.
Unsung heroes handling calls in emergencies are appreciated
Thankfully, we live in a community where help is available 24 hours a day, seven days a week, just by dialing three numbers — 9-1-1.
During this week, which is recognized as National Public Safety Tele-Communicator’s Week nationwide, we need to remember that on the other end of that line are the men and women here in this county who are always there in case of accident, crimes, medical emergencies and any other catastrophic event.
Message to ‘buckle up and park the phone’ is saving lives
A figure that we haven’t seen that much in recent years is the highway death toll for a given period.
Is the death toll up, down or just about the same as it was?
The West Virginia Southern Regional Highway Safety Program has announced there were 325 highway fatalities in 2013, the second-lowest number on record.
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.
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.
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!
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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- Unsung heroes handling calls in emergencies are appreciated