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.
Some patience will be helpful as new school calendar is set
The forecast is calling for another few inches of snow this evening. We all know what that could mean — a messy morning commute, changes in plans, rescheduling and that call that will inevitably come. School will be cancelled.
‘Pothole blitz’ badly needed service coming in West Virginia
Hopefully, the heavy snow and extremely cold weather of January, February and early March are in the past.
Remnants of the harsh winter, though, remain. They’re faced each day by the state’s drivers.
Potholes have West Virginia’s roads in their worst condition in years, and the damaging freeze-thaw cycle is not over.
‘The issues are complicated’ with e-cigarettes
E-cigarettes have been around for about seven years.
But you’d be shocked at how long the idea for the the tobacco-less product has been around.
“A primitive, battery-operated ‘smokeless non-tobacco cigarette’ was patented as early as 1963 and described in Popular Mechanics in 1965,” Megan McArdle wrote for Business Week last monty.
Coal industry can’t afford to give this administration and EPA more ammunition
Coal already has a bad name in Washington, D.C.
The whole industry got another black eye this week when Alpha Natural Resources Inc., one of the country’s largest coal producers, agreed to pay a $27.5 million fine and invest $200 million to reduce illegal water pollution in five states, including West Virginia.
Being observant, reporting suspicions can make difference for hurting children
If a child is hurting, we wouldn’t hesitate to help.
Or would we?
In a five-year span, 22,830 children were victims of some type of neglect or abuse in West Virginia. That’s an overwhelming number to think about.
Gee makes major impact and earns another term as WVU president
Let’s imagine that a graduate from West Virginia University in the early 1980s, when E. Gordon Gee was president, came back to get an extra degree now and couldn’t believe that E. Gordon Gee is “still” the president of WVU.
Effort to encourage purchase of goods produced in U.S. deserves support
The concept of encouraging the purchase of American-made products is certainly not new.
On the federal level, the Buy American Act was passed in 1933 by Congress and signed by President Herbert Hoover. It required the United States government to prefer U.S.-made products in its purchases.
‘Stop Meth, Not Meds’ backed by readers
In West Virginia, there is something referred to as “stop-sale technology” that prevents a person from going to more than one pharmacy to purchase over-the-counter medication that contains the active ingredient pseudoephedrine, a nasal decongestant.
It’s not an issue of stuffy noses that lawmakers were worried about when they created the system.
Even small steps play part in critical mission to reduce childhood obesity
Just two years ago, more than one-third of children and adolescents were overweight or obese, meaning they had excess body weight based on their height.
It’s a troubling statistic, and one that health officials have worked diligently to reverse.
Cutting-edge heart procedure at Mon General is saving lives
“I used to think I wouldn’t live to be 50. Well, I made it to 50 and then some,” Pearl Walls said.
Walls is likely alive today and able to tell her story to the Times West Virginian because of a cutting-edge procedure performed at Monongalia General Hospital — a Transcatheter Aortic Valve Replacement (TAVR), which was only approved for use by the FDA in 2011.
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