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.
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.
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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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
COLUMN: Who would leave animal in sweltering car?
I was standing and debating between two brands of a product in a big box store when I heard a call over the intercom:
“Will the owner of a green Cavalier with a dog inside please report to the lawn and garden center.”
I shook my head. I hate seeing dogs in cars waiting while their owners shop. About five minutes later, there was another announcement over the intercom.
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- Vehicles and motorcycles must share the road safely