Friday, November 6, 2009

Capito Asks W.Va. Health and Human Resources for Estimate of How Speaker’s Medicaid Changes Will Impact State Budgets

WASHINGTON – Rep. Shelley Moore Capito, R-W.Va., released the following statement this afternoon regarding her letter to West Virginia’s Department of Health and Human Resources seeking clarification on the impact Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s health bill will have on the state budget:

“States across our nation are facing the prospect of budget cuts and difficult financial choices,” said Capito. “West Virginia is no different, and I remain concerned that the health bill under consideration in the House may make these financial challenges even more difficult with an unfunded Medicaid mandate.”

“While we all support the goal of covering uninsured Americans, the Speaker’s move to expand Medicaid stands to shift hundreds of millions of dollars in costs to financially-strapped states. I believe it’s critical that we understand the additional price tag West Virginia taxpayers may face as a result of this legislation.”

*** Full text of the congresswoman’s letter can be found below. ***


November 6, 2009

Ms. Patsy A. Hardy

West Virginia Department of Health & Human Resources
State Capitol Complex, Building 3 Room 206
Charleston, West Virginia 25305

Dear Secretary Hardy:

As Congress prepares to conclude debate on House Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s plan to reform our nation’s health care system, I believe it is critical that we understand how her plan could impact budgets at the state level, including in West Virginia.

As currently written, H.R. 3962 – the Affordable Health Care for America Act – demands that each state increase Medicaid enrollment levels to 150% of the federal poverty level. In turn, H.R. 3962 proposes that the federal government cover this cost for the first two years, but beginning in 2015 the state of West Virginia would be required to cover nearly 10% of this increase. This could lead to a troubling unfunded mandate for state governments.

The National Conference of State Legislatures estimates that increasing Medicaid eligibility to 133% of the federal poverty level, while capping the FMAP at 95% would add $178 million to West Virginia’s state budget in 2014-2019. Given these numbers, it appears that a further expansion of eligibility to 150% of the federal poverty level, along with a lower federal compensation rate could lead to a significant burden on our state budget. For this reason, I write seeking your estimate of how these projected obligations would impact the state of West Virginia.

Thank you for your commitment to the people of West Virginia, and I look forward to hearing from you on this matter.


Shelley Moore Capito, M.C.

Fort Hood Shooter Served on President Transition Team

In a report from George Washington University, Thinking Anew—Security Priorities for the Next Administration, on page 32, Nidal Hasan (the accused Fort Hood Shooter) is listed as one of the participants in the Presidential Transition.

Capito: Rising Unemployment Demands Real Focus on Jobs

Capito: Rising Unemployment Demands Real Focus on Jobs, As Congress Prepares to Vote on a Trillion Dollar Health Bill, West Virginians Ask How Exploding Spending and Tax Hikes Will Create Jobs

WASHINGTON – Rep. Shelley Moore Capito, R-W.Va., made the following statement today after the U.S. Labor Department reported that another 190,000 Americans lost their job last month, sending the national unemployment rate to 10.2 percent, the highest level in a generation:

“The economy remains the primary concern for families across our state, but instead of a clear economic agenda, this Congress remains committed to misguided policies that will burden our children and grandchildren with debt while saddling West Virginia businesses with job-killing tax hikes and regulations.

“This morning’s job report provides another sobering reminder for anyone concerned about the well-being of West Virginia families. Yet, instead of a focused effort to spur growth and get our economy moving, this Congress and this Speaker seem intent on spending yet another trillion dollars on a health care plan that will raise taxes, increase premiums and cut billions of dollars from Medicare.

“And for West Virginians who’ve seen hundreds of billions of dollars spent on a financial bailout, nearly $800 billion for a so-called stimulus package and $3.6 trillion on a budget – all sold as economic drivers – these aren’t the results they were looking for. The Washington economic agenda simply isn’t working for the American people.”

Potomac Highlands Conservative interviews Mike Huckabee

I had a short interview with Mike Huckabee last night as he traveled from Harrisburg, PA to Allentown, PA. Here are a few of his thoughts on recent events, his new book and West Virginia.

On the New York 23rd District race, Huckabee confirms he was asked not to endorse any candidate at the Conservative awards dinner. He believes that a 3rd party candidate is not the way to go and would like to see more conservatives get involved in the Republican Party and not work out side it, but he could never support a candidate liberal candidate like Dede Scozzafava.

On the push for a Saturday Health Care Bill vote. He believes that the Saturday vote on health care will cost a lot of Blue Dog Democrats their jobs in the upcoming election. They forget they are working for the people of their district and not Nancy Pelosi.

On his new book, Mike says the new book not a political book and he invited people to visit him on the Simple Christmas Book Tour. The book is an unapologetic book about Christmas and the first Christmas was more Jerry Springer than Oprah. It was an unwed teenage mother in a barn and the lord had humble beginnings. You will laugh and you will cry when you read his personal stories about Christmas.

I asked Governor Huckabee about West Virginian's being registered 2/3rds Democrats, but being conservative and voting for Republicans for President, but supporting Democrats in statewide offices. He said, West Virginia and Arkansas are view similar in people and topography. The people need to ask themselves do the views of Nancy Pelosi, Harry Ried, Chris Dodd and Charlie Rangle reflect their views because West Virginia elected officials are supporting their liberal views and not those of the people of West Virginia. Once the people realize that, then they need to vote accordingly to take the state down the right path.
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Alan Mollohan's last term in Congress?

As Congressman Alan Mollohan’s problems continue to mount many are speculating that this me be his last term as West Virginia’s Congressman from the 1st Congressional District. Last week the U.S. Justice Department told the US House ethics panel to stop its investigation of Congressman Mollohan. Federal investigators had also asked the House ethics committee to suspend its investigation of former Louisiana Rep. William Jefferson shortly before his arrest. Last month the Congressman’s Bald Head Island property was sold at a foreclosure sale according to the Daily Mail and the Politico reported Mollohan was one of the Democrat incumbents having trouble raising campaign money.

Smelling blood in the water, five Republicans have announced they will be seeking the GOP nomination for the 1st Congressional seat, but Mollohan might just not be facing a General Election opponent. Rumors are they he may have a strong primary challenge from 46 year old State Senator Michael Oliverio II of Monongalia County.

Oliverio would set well as a choice with West Virginia’s conservative Democrat voters. He is a favorite among many in the business community and would likely pull a lot of primary support away from Mollohan. It would also give state Democrats a better chance of holding the seat should Mollohan be forced to resign should allegations prove true. But with voters looking for change as referenced by this weeks strong wins by the GOP in neighboring Virginia and New Jersey, the only way for the WV Democratic Party to hold the 1st Congressional seat maybe to pick a new candidate like Oliverio no matter what happens with Mollohan.Bookmark and Share

Thursday, November 5, 2009

WV First Congressional District on French TV 24

French TV 24's English language broadcast covers West Virginia's First Congressional District race and interviews GOP candidate Tom Stark, that seat is currently held by Alan Mollohan. They also interview several West Virginia residents on their feelings of Obama and his qualifications for President. They also cover the New Jersey and Virginia race results as well as NY-23.

Government-Run Healthcare at Your Fingertips?

Government Claims That Stimulus Created 2,500 Jobs, Mostly in Government

This article from the Herald Dispatch in Huntington describes a federal claim that stimulus spending created or saved over 2500 jobs. It admits, however, that most of those jobs lay in education.

So all those millions spent and almost zero private sector growth. That is not stimulus. Private sector growth comes from activity along the lines of, say, coal mining. Obama's EPA has all but outlawed new mining operations and has started shutting down existing operations. They claim to have created 2,500 jobs, but what about the thousands lost through the de facto mining ban? What about the stimulus that could have created in countless businesses in small West Virginia communitites that Obama's army of elitists will never see. What about all the house payments not made, all the electric bills not paid, and all the families that will see less on their tables because of Obama?

No wonder West Virginia miners have started changing their registration. The Democratic president has zero feeling for them and their families.

Real stimulus comes when the private sector wakes up and produces on its own. Growth in government jobs stimulates nothing except more taxes.Bookmark and Share

Wednesday, November 4, 2009

Harry Reid Doesn't Like Smelly Tourists

Don't you love the fact that Harry Reid doesn't like to smell the American people like me and you when we come to visit the capital. Imagine that, he doesn't like the smell of his bosses.

GOP Storms to Victory in Two of Three Key Races

Yesterday New Jersey and Virginia held their gubernatorial races.

Both states saw Obama post major victories in 2008 and had liberal tax and spend governors. Obama put a great deal of face time into both races towards the end, staking his personal popularity. At the end of the day the voters spoke.

Virginia saw all elected state officials go into Republican hands by very large margins. That is not unexpected in a time where people have growing anxieties about the cost, size and scope of government. Virginia typically votes Republican in presidential races, but went blue last time.

New Jersey represented the biggest win for the GOP. It has an overwhelmingly Democratic population of registered voters, but still returned a five point victory for a Republican candidate against a Democratic incumbent. Even more significant was the fact that a conservative third party candidate got 5% of the vote. Much of that would have ended up in the GOP column otherwise.

This should put the brakes on the health care deform and cap and trade legislation not so secretly meandering through the House and Senate. At a time when the Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid faces disastrous poll numbers leading up to his own re-election effort next year, moderates and conservative Democrats should feel strong in resisting his efforts to strongarm them. Nancy Pelosi increasingly represents political poison to many Democratic incumbents.

New York's 23rd congressional district special election provoked a great deal of interest. In the days before the vote, a liberal Republican nominee withdrew and cast her support for the Democrat as opposed to the third party Conservative candidate who was belatedly backed by the Republican National Committee. The Democrat squeaked by. Yahoo headlines trumpeted a Democratic victory in a GOP majority district, but anyone with a brain that paid attention knows that almost losing to the nominee of a party almost no one has ever heard of should not make Democratic congressional incumbents feel warm and safe.

Fact is that voters understand that left wing Democrats only promise higher energy bills, more taxes, and doubtful delivery of more government services. Cash for clunkers turned out to have benefited American auto manufacturers only slightly. If the government cannot run something like that properly, what chance does it have to run health care? Americans know that you cannot keep spending when you lack the money. The Democrats will either learn the same lesson or find themselves in the private sector within a year or so.

New Keyser Bridge Traffic Patterns

If your coming from the Fountain area on Rt 46 and want to go North on US 220, then your going to see some major changes in the traffic patterns. The blue lines are where the new roads and bridge will be.

You will no longer be able to turn onto the bridge from Center Street. So you will have to go all the way to Piedmont St and then make a right at the light to access the new bridge. You will also not be able to just drive to the end of Armstrong street and make a left crossing traffic to go to Cumberland. That will now be a one way off ramp for the new bridge. If you stay on Armstrong St. to the end, then it will bring you to Piedmont Street across from Orchard Street. There will be major changes in traffic patterns.
On the McCool side of the river you will no longer be able to turn left to go to Westernport from Keyser. You will now have to turn right and circle under the new bridge to go to Westernport.

Looks like we are going to have major changes in the traffic patterns. Many on the West Virginia side may not be for the best. Davis Street is going to become much more busy than it already is. Looks like we will need a new traffic light at Orchard and Piedmont to handle all the truck traffic that will be routed that way.Bookmark and Share

Tuesday, November 3, 2009

GOP Takes New Jersey

Chris Christie (R) takes New Jersey from incumbant Democrat

GOP Sweeps Virginia Elections

GOP Sweeps Virginia. Governor, Lt. Governor and Attorney General all taken by GOP with heavy margin of 2 to 1!

Job Numbers Contradict Claims of Stimulus Success: Where are the jobs?

WASHINGTON – As the Administration pats itself on the back for supposedly “creating or saving” 2,400 jobs in West Virginia at the hand of economic stimulus legislation, count Rep. Shelley Moore Capito, R-W.Va., among those who are a bit more skeptical.

“For the 35,000 West Virginians who’ve lost their job since the beginning of the year, I’m not sure claims of 2,400 ‘created or saved’ amounts to anything worthy of applause,” said Capito. “Particularly when even the 2,400 is widely viewed by experts as likely inflated.”

Last week the Associated Press reported that stimulus jobs were likely over-stated by thousands, while commentary in outlets like the Wall Street Journal noted that even if taken at face value, the “created or saved” jobs miss the real issue: net jobs and the unemployment rate which have continued to rise in recent months.

“The stimulus plan was billed as a jobs bill, a private sector jobs bill,” Capito added. “Yet what we’ve seen is a $787 billion spending bill that’s falling well short of expectations. Now we’re stuck with paying for something that we didn’t order in the first place. We ordered a jobs bill, but got more unemployment and a mountain of debt instead.”

In another report penned earlier this week, the Associated Press reported that a vast majority of West Virginia’s “created or saved” jobs were centered in the government sector – contradicting the President’s previous claim that 90 percent of the stimulus jobs would be in the private sector.

In a state already feeling the heat from potential cap-and-trade legislation and continued economic uncertainty in the coal industry due to delays from Environmental Protection Agency regulators, Capito says West Virginians are anxious and concerned that they’re not getting their money’s worth when it comes to Congress’s big ticket items.

“The constituents I’m hearing from have one primary question,” she says. “Where are the jobs?”Bookmark and Share

"If they give you ruled paper, write the other way."

Thank you Mrs.Thornton, wherever you are. In eighth grade you assigned Fahrenheit 451 and changed my life.

The little line that serves as the title of this piece was used by Ray Bradbury to introduce this book, written by him in a college typing lab. I thought of it today while in a Facebook conversation about snacks sent to an elementary school.

One mother expressed exasperation because she made homemade snacks for some school function, only to find out that the school required all snacks to be storebought. Another parent said they made brownies, found out the same thing, and brought them anyway. The first parent said she was tempted to do the same, but was afraid that her daughter might learn that it was OK to break the rules.

That bothered me a little. Our country's entire history has been shaped by people breaking the rules. Some saw it as unfair to pay taxes when not represented in government. Others rebelled against Jim Crow laws and the earlier Fugitive Slave Acts. Tomorrow we may need a rebellion against confiscatory taxation, gun confiscations, or some other example of authority abused. One of our shining moments earned us the condemnation of the world; we deliberately ignored Hitler's instructions to all Olympic teams in Berlin in 1936. Our athletes refused to perform a Nazi style salute or dip our flag to the swastika. Hermann Goering told his furher "Americans dip their flag to nobody."

Perhaps elementary school snacks is a battle worth fighting, perhaps it is not. I strongly disagree with teaching children that rules ought always be followed. Sometimes you have to think about the rules, about who made them, where they come from, and why they are there. You may come up with the idea that the rules are unjust or foolish. At that point you must decide what, if anything, you have to do about them. What you should not teach, unless you are in the military, is that rules must always be blindly obeyed without question or thought.Bookmark and Share

Monday, November 2, 2009

WVGOP Launches New Underwood Institute Initiative

Republican Party Program Seeks to Circumvent Democrat Majority's Stranglehold on West Virginia Government

Today the West Virginia Republican Party is announcing the launch of a new initiative by the Underwood Institute. The Cecil Underwood Fellows Program is designed to honor our former governor, as well as encourage participation in the political process by younger West Virginians.

"Fundamentally, this initiative should be unnecessary," said WVGOP Executive Director Troy Berman. "If the levers of power weren't so egregiously and willfully manipulated by Speaker Thompson and Senate President Tomblin to undermine the legislative proposals of West Virginian Republicans than there wouldn't be a need for the party to step in. Compared to neighboring states the allocation of staff to the minority in West Virginia isn't just unfair it's downright undemocratic."

"Of course the Democrat party has long since passed the point where they've been able to compete on the merit of their ideas so they're willing to do whatever it takes to win. With that kind of leadership at the capital, is it any wonder that the people of West Virginia are the ones that keep getting shafted?"

The Underwood Fellows will provide logistical support and ground presence for the Republican Legislative Caucus and the West Virginia Republican Party, grow new ideas, future Republican leaders and publicly demonstrate an active, growing, and civic minded party. Fellows will develop leadership skills, and gain valuable work experience and an opportunity to interact with party leaders on an individualized basis. Fellows will be paired with Republican senators and delegates for the purpose of aiding them with research, community outreach, special projects, and other duties. Legislators will mentor fellows by teaching them about the legislative process, giving them substantive responsibilities, and encouraging them to become engaged with the mechanics of governing.

"Our hope is that by helping to bridge the gap created by the partisan and disproportionate allocation of taxpayer resources we can aide our elected Republicans in communicating the vision of a conservative and prosperous West Virginia free of the negligence and mismanagement of generations of Democrat rule."Bookmark and Share

Time For a Political Sit Down

I have said it before and I will repeat it until it happens. The Republican Party at the state and national level needs to sit down with at least some sectors of organized labor and corporate America to save our industrial sector.

Left wing Democrats are the enemy of business and industrial labor. Nothing makes this more clear than this year's "war on coal." Seventy-nine revoked permits that were pending and one of a mine operating for two years show West Virginia that Obama hates this state and teh coal industry in general. I doubt that other traditional industrial workers are seeing any love from the federal government until they are laid off.

Cap and trade and regulatory warfare will kill off this country's industrial sector. Labor and corporate America both lose in this struggle to deindustrialize the United States. It is time for the Republican Party to address this issue with everyone concerned.

At least sit down and talk with unions like the UMWA whose rank and file have started changing their registrations anyway. Find out how the two sides can work to bring back American industry. labor needs to open itself up to the realities of competitive advantage while we need to examine the fact that this country can no longer look the other way when competing nations do not adhere to accepted fair trade practices.

The very notion of a GOP/labor reconciliation will terrify the left. They take labor for granted in the same way as they ignore minorities. It's time to make this happen.Bookmark and Share