Friday, November 20, 2009

Republicans Stand Up For Taxpayers : Democrats Stand Up For Tax-Hikes

Republican Delegates Block Democrat Speaker Thompson's Attempt to Ram Through 15 Million Dollar Tax Increase on Working West Virginians

Yesterday evening Republicans in the House of Delegates successfully used a parliamentary maneuver to fend off, for at least one more day, a proposed Democrat gas-tax bill that if passed will cost West Virginians more than 15 million dollars over the next decade.

"They may call the gas tax bill a stabilization bill, but we know a tax-hike when we see a tax-hike," said WVGOP Executive Director Troy Berman. "Any bill which proposes to steal out of the pockets of everyday West Virginians and deliver the proceeds to Charleston is a bad bill."

The Democrats proposal would make permanent a 20.5 cents per gallon tax on gasoline, prevent the tax from dropping 2 cents this year and also prevent the tax from dropping by 5 cents as it is supposed to in 2013.

"We should be cutting wasteful spending, lowering taxes and encouraging business investment in our state," said Berman. "Instead the Democrat majority's one and only default position seems to be to tax and keep on taxing until West Virginians have nothing left. Well, it's working. Is it any wonder that West Virginia is last among our neighbors in jobs, opportunity, education and health? In fact the only metrics in which we seem to be excelling as a state are unemployment and the invention of new taxes."

"Democrats are playing politics with peoples livelihoods," said WVGOP Chairman Doug McKinney. "West Virginians need to drive to get to work, to pick up our kids from school and to buy groceries. This is not some luxury tax. This is a stab at the heart of every working West Virginian. Though I should say every West Virginian left with a job after the failure of the Democrats' economic policies. The very next thing you know they'll be attempting to tax the air."Bookmark and Share

Capito Opposes House Effort to Blow Another $210 Billion Hole in Budget

Congresswoman Criticizes Democrat’s ‘Doc Fix’ as Latest Example of Budget-Busting Policies

WASHINGTON – Rep. Shelley Moore Capito, R-W.Va., released the following statement today as the House of Representatives considered the so-called ‘doc-fix’ which will add yet another $210 billion to the deficit:

“In what’s becoming an incredibly troubling pattern, the House today again voted to add hundreds of billions of dollars to the deficit,” said Capito. “I suppose after spending $1.3 trillion on a health plan, $700 billion to bailout Wall Street and $787 billion on a failed stimulus package, that $210 billion may not seem like much – but I don’t think that’s how the American people see it.

“I firmly believe that we need to reform the Medicare payment structure, but we should be paying for it up front rather than shouldering our children with billions of dollars in debt.”

What Others Are Saying…

Washington Post: A $300 Billion Deception: “…the House of Representatives is poised this week to blow a quarter-trillion-dollar hole in the federal budget involving, you guessed it, health care…. By the way, don't be fooled by the incredible shrinking "cost" of the fix. The official Congressional Budget Office estimate used to be $245 billion over 10 years. Now it's $210 billion. In fact, the real hit to the budget will be closer to $300 billion…. All of this is, to some degree, Medicare kabuki to placate the American Medical Association… Finding the money to pay for the fix and, more to the point, cobbling together the political coalition to support it, is difficult. Which is why Congress and the administration have joined hands in the pretense that the doc fix has nothing whatsoever to do with health reform.” (Washington Post Editorial, November 15, 2009).

WSJ: The $1.9 Trillion Gimmick: “The "doc fix" was originally part of ObamaCare, until Mrs. Pelosi realized that adding a quarter-trillion dollars to the total tab made it difficult to pretend the bill would reduce the deficit. In the "Fiscal Responsibility" section of the press release announcing the separate SGR package, Democrats insist that it will be subject to "the 'pay as you go' principle of budget discipline," which "requires Congress to find a way to pay for any new spending" with new taxes or cuts. The Comedy Central punchline: "A previous Congress established the policy for paying Medicare doctors, so the update for 2010 is not a new policy to be paid for. . . . The Medicare Physician Payment Reform Act would not increase total payments to physicians above what they are today and therefore, would not be subject to the paygo requirement." In other words, under the Madoff school of accounting, Democrats rely on straight deficit spending.” (Wall Street Journal Editorial, November 18, 2009).

Capito Statement on Meeting With EPA Administrator Jackson

Congresswoman: “The bottom line from today’s meeting is that Administrator Jackson and the EPA believe they have no obligation to take economic factors or jobs into account when it comes to mine permits.

WASHINGTON – Rep. Shelley Moore, R-W.Va., released the following statement today after meeting with U.S. Environmental Protection Agency Administrator Lisa Jackson regarding ongoing delays in the mine permitting process throughout Appalachia:

“I appreciated the opportunity to meet with Administrator Jackson to share my concerns about EPA’s role in approving mine permits in the Appalachian region. Though broad disagreements remain, we had a cordial and substantive discussion.

I reiterated my concerns that the delay of these permits has real-world consequences on the economy and on West Virginia jobs. EPA decisions do not exist in a vacuum.

I also expressed my beliefs that continued uncertainty will only serve to hamstring miners and mining communities as they seek to plan and seek future investment in their local economies which depend on mining.

Finally, I presented Administrator Jackson with hundreds of letters from my constituents who have written to me with their views that EPA-driven uncertainty could cost them their jobs and their livelihood. These are real people and real families who deserve to have their voices heard. They live and work in these communities and they simply want to play by the rules, but they’re waiting for the EPA to give them the tools to do so.

I fully appreciate and agree with the Administrator’s goals of promoting clean water, but doing so demands a degree of regulatory clarity that doesn’t yet exist.

The bottom line from today’s meeting is that Administrator Jackson and the EPA believe they have no obligation to take economic factors or jobs into account when it comes to mine permits. I find that incredibly troubling, particularly at a time of record-unemployment and economic insecurity.

It is quite clear now more than ever that we must have a united front to stand up for miners across the state. We have a lot of work to do.”

Another Stupid Attack on Property Rights: Now You Cannot Even Hang Your Laundry Outside

This link may or may not take you to an AP story about various local governments either using social pressure or legislation to prevent people from hanging up their laundry putside to dry.

What's the problem? Neighbors complain that they don't like the sight of it. Some say the whole practice makes the neighborhood look like (their words here) "trailer trash." Others simply object to seeing underwear in public.

A southern radio conservative named Robert D. Raeford coined the phrase many years ago "The United States of the Offended." He objected to the growing tendency of Americans to conjure up a "right" that they do not have to see or hear anything that might offend, bother, or irritate them. Apparently this now extends to the old American tradition of hanging up laundry.

Some just like the smell of sun dried laundry. Others see this as a way to conserve energy. Certainly it reduces one's electric bills. Regardless of the reason, the message by the city to "concerned neighbors" ought to be "if you don't like it, go inside." Even if nine out of ten neighbors oppose the hanging of laundry, American traditions of freedom and property rights mean that you can keep hanging those old underwear over your yard if you darn well please.

Freedom is important and the basis of that is the recognition of individual rights. Also we also have to accept (and this used to happen before people became adults in this country) that we will not always like everything we see. Sometimes we have to simply ignore it and walk away. As for me, I think every freedom loving American in such a snotty neighborhood ought to continue to hang up their mentionables and unmentionables. Take a stand for freedom.

Thursday, November 19, 2009

Mammogram Study Highlights Perils of Government-Run Care, Capito Says

As Most Push for Early Detection, Government Panel Considers Saving Lives to be Inconvenient

WASHINGTON – A government panel’s recommendation would turn back the clock in the fight against breast cancer and cast a troubling shadow over the prospect of government-run health care. That was Rep. Shelley Moore Capito’s, R-W.Va., message today in light of suggestions from the U.S. Preventive Services Task Force that call for a drastic scaling back of breast cancer prevention methods for women under 50.

“This recommendation amounts to a government panel putting a price on the life of our citizens,” said Capito. “When we know that early detection saves lives, I’m troubled by the prospect of a government entity now suggesting that it’s not worth doing. This should be a decision for patients and doctors, not bureaucrats and unelected panelists.”

Recounting her family’s personal story with breast cancer, the congresswoman called early detection a life-saver that shouldn’t be rationed based on government recommendations.

“My mother-in-law passed away from breast cancer in her early 50s at a time when there was almost no focus on early detection or prevention,” said the congresswoman.

“If she’d had access to the care given to younger women today, I still wonder if she could have beaten the cancer and might still be with us today. We can’t bring her back, but we can stand up and stop a government panel that included no oncologists or radiologists from pushing us back in time.”

Capito is the sponsor of the EARLY Act, legislation to promote early breast cancer detection efforts among younger women. The bill has well over 300 bipartisan co-sponsors.

The American Cancer Society reports that the five year survival rate for breast cancer is as high as 98 percent if detected early.


What Others Are Saying…

WSJ: A Breast Cancer Preview: “This episode is an all-too-instructive preview of the coming political decisions about cost-control and medical treatment that are at the heart of ObamaCare…. The effects of this new breast cancer cost-consciousness are likely to be large. Medicare generally adopts the panel's recommendations when it makes coverage decisions for seniors, and its judgments also play a large role in the private insurance markets… every Democratic version of ObamaCare makes this task force an arbiter of the benefits that private insurers will be required to cover as they are converted into government contractors. What are now merely recommendations will become de facto rules, and under national health care these kinds of cost analyses will inevitably become more common as government decides where finite tax dollars are allowed to go. (Wall Street Journal Editorial, November 19, 2009.)

US News: Mammogram Recommendations Could Reverse Years of Progress: “No one wants to be the one woman—the one mom, sister, daughter, or friend—whose death was preventable. Who wants to take that chance? Two years is a long time to wait and wonder. I bet most women will pay for a yearly mammogram out of pocket just for the peace of mind. Many paid out of pocket a few years back when the new improved Pap smears came out and insurance wouldn't cover the difference. I know I did. The task force also recommended that doctors stop teaching patients how to do a self-exam for breast cancer on a regular basis. What? We all know women who have survived breast cancer in their 40s who either found a lump by self-exam or had a bad mammogram. So if you're cutting back on mammograms and telling women to stop the self-exams, what other way is there to find breast cancer?” (US News and World Report, Mary Kate Cary, November 19, 2009.)Bookmark and Share

Bill Stewart and Sarah Palin

Republicans in West Virginia have found that Governor Joe Manchin is a much more difficult target than Democrats at the national level. His competence and common sense in office have far outstripped anything seen from Obama, Pelosi, and Reid. Manchin gives us details to criticize, not a completely flawed vision. He also increasingly is criticizing Democrats at the national level for turning their back on West Virginia workers,particularly miners.

One decision that he is suspected of having a hand in is the hiring of West Virginia University head football coach Bill Stewart. Everything in West Virginia is political. Even aspirant Terry Bowden found it prudent to approach the governor to discuss his interest in the job. After the big Fiesta Bowl win, interim coach Stewart got the job.

To me, criticism of this hire is valid in terms of the governor's possible involvement. No, he should not be part of the hiring process for a football coach. However Bill Stewart has done a good job despite the heavy criticism.

WVU football has two glaring problems this year. It has a very young offensive line and a set of cornerbacks that have had some difficulties this year containing passing offenses. Rodriguez lost Preston County native Rick Trickett as the o line coach a few years ago and hired a coach who did not recruit as well. Once Stewart took the job, strong offensive line recruits like Josh Jenkins of Parkersburg once again started coming to WVU. These young men have a lot of talent, but little experience. They are also not yet as powerful as the senior defensive linemen that they play against.

The cornerbacks have a hard time covering receivers. Some of them date back to the Rodriguez philosophy that one can take any athlete and make them a cornerback. That position takes years of practice to develop a true instinct. Their problems were covered up by using a passive defense for many years. Bill Stewart wants to get back to the WVU defenses of the mid 1990s that led the nation in sacks and gave up the fewest yards. That means more aggressive playcalling on defense, which leaves the cornerbacks in more vulnerable situations. The vision is there, it will just take a season of stepping back one pace to move two forward next year.

Stewart has a vision, if WVU fans are willing to be patient. He is one of the best recruiters in the nation and has a staff willing to adapt as the game changes. Meanwhile Rodriguez is suffering his second losing season at Michigan, his systems already considered old fashioned by experts.


Sarah Palin has an axe to grind against Newsweek. Would any respectable magazine pair an important political analysis of a national figure with a cover photo of them in workout clothes? Only Sarah Palin gets this treatment from a liberal magazine with no interest in portraying her as a serious figure. You do not have to like or agree with her to appreciate the fact that this magazine is using subtle sexism. Their defense is that they found the most interesting photo out there to use. I remember that Ronald Reagan was often photographed while swimming in the ocean. No one ever used a topless picture of a seventy five year old man to illustrate a political analysis of him. It is another cheap shot against a powerful, popular, and worthy Republican figure.Bookmark and Share

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Taylor County Republican Executive Committee will host their annual Christmas dinner

The Taylor County Republican Executive Committee will host their annual Christmas dinner on December 22, 2009, beginning at 5:00 p.m. for our gathering. We will eat at 6:00 p.m. The menu will be Chicken or ham, Mashed Potatoes/Gravy, Green beans, Salad, Drinks of Coffee or tea. Desert and gratuity will be on the participant. The cost for non members of the committee will be $9.00 plus tax and what ever else you may order. If you would like to attend, please let the chairman know the following: How many will be attending from your group, and whether you desire to have Chicken or Ham.

The speaker will be Senator Dave Sypolt, senator of our district. The event will be at Jerry's Restaurant at 242 Barrett Street, Grafton, WV. 26354. The registration may be made by contacting Rev. Davidson as listed below. We will be able to have up to 45 persons. The deadline for registration is December 18, 2009. Thank you for your participation.

Capito Applauds Passage of Fire Grant Reauthorization

Program Benefits Dozens of West Virginia Fire Departments Each Year

WASHINGTON – A federal program designed to provide support for community fire departments got a lift today with passage of the HR 3791, the Fire Grants Reauthorization Act of 2009. Rep. Shelley Moore Capito, R-W.Va., praised House passage of the measure, calling it a much-needed resource for fire departments across West Virginia.

“Fire departments across our state do exceptional work in their local communities,” said the congresswoman, who joined the bipartisan majority in supporting today’s legislation.

“But there is also a critical role for federal funds to play in supporting their efforts. From equipment upgrades to vehicle acquisition or safety programs, fire grants are a vital source of funding that helps provide the tools and resources that help our firefighters do their jobs.”

The Fire Grant Reauthorization officially authorizes $1 billion annually for the Assistance to Firefighters Grant (AFG) program, and $1.3 billion annually for the Staffing for Adequate Fire and Emergency Response (SAFER) program.

AFG and SAFER provide funds to enhance the preparedness capabilities of local fire departments and emergency medical service (EMS) organizations. Officials at the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), a division of the Department of Homeland Security, coordinate both programs.

“These programs have long-garnered broad bipartisan support and I applaud the passage of today’s legislation,” added Capito. “I look forward to seeing our colleagues in the Senate follow suit.”

Capito has been a long-time supporter of the program, with nearly $20 million in aid coming to 2nd District fire departments since the congresswoman took office.

The legislation approved today is backed by the International Association of Fire Chiefs, the International Association of Fire Fighters and the National Volunteer Fire Council.

Wednesday, November 18, 2009 - Help Stop Obamacare Now!

Today in Charleston, Joe Manchin, Democrat members of the Legislature, Democrat staffers and Democrat congressional aides will gather to celebrate Senator Byrd becoming the longest serving Congressional member in U.S. history. It is also widely rumored that Senator Byrd himself is planning on attending. But while Democrats party under the dome at the state capitol a defining moment is coming to Washington in this year's health care debate.

Yesterday, Democrat leaders announced they will bring Harry Reid's new health care bill to the Senate floor in an effort to grant the President's Christmas wish for a government takeover of our nation's health care before the end of the year. This is in spite of the fact that no Senator has ever even seen Reid's new bill. It was written in secret behind locked doors by Harry Reid's personal staffers. Reid even hinted he may rush to a vote before the bill's been public for 72 hours, as even some Democrats have demanded.

To begin debate on this new version of Obamacare, Reid will play a shell game. He needs 60 senators to "vote to proceed" to an unrelated piece of legislation, and once he clears that hurdle he will strike that bill's text and insert his new health care bill. But don't be fooled by Democrat senators that say they oppose a government takeover but just wanted to allow debate on health care, they are not being honest.

The simple fact is this: Any senator that votes to proceed to the Reid-Obama bill is voting for a government takeover of your health care.

Call Senators Rockefeller and Byrd's offices right now and demand that they vote against the motion to proceed.

Senator Jay Rockefeller - (202) 224-6472
Senator Robert Byrd - (202) 224-3954

Or show up today at 3 p.m. in front of the Senator Byrd's statue on the second floor Rotunda of the State Capitol and ask Byrd in person not to support Harry Reid's undemocratic parliamentary maneuver "to proceed"

Don't allow Democrats to stick together on the vote to prceed and then allow some vulnerable Democrats to vote against final passage of the bill and claim they tried to stop it. Senators who say they just want to allow for debate are trying to deceive their voters while giving President Obama the crucial votes he needs to pass a government takeover of health care.

Voters should be watching and remember who stands up for their freedom and who stands with the special interests who want to ram through this takeover.

Democrats have now offered 5 different versions of Obamacare (the first House bill, the second House bill, the Senate Finance bill, the Senate HELP bill, and now Reid's bill). And despite the nuances, every Democrat bill we've seen puts Washington in control of health care, slashes Medicare coverage for seniors, raises premiums for families, raises taxes, places bureaucrats between patients and doctors, punishes young adults who choose not to buy coverage, and opens the door to government rationing of care.

We know the Reid plan will be more of the same and cannot be fixed by a few amendments on the Senate floor. The attempt to give Washington control over one-sixth of our economy is rotten to its core. And any improvements made to the bill will be a mirage that will vanish as soon as the bill goes behind closed doors in conference with the Pelosi bill.

Americans have loudly and repeatedly rejected the President's government takeover of health care. It's time to for the Democrats to listen, stop the shell games, and start over with real solutions that will provide every American the opportunity to afford, own and keep a health care plan that best meets their needs. We can have a real debate about common sense solutions, but only if we first stop this government takeover. And we can stop this bill if we let Democrats know they'll be held accountable for their vote next November.

Don't let them vote for a government takeover of health care before they vote against it. The "vote to proceed" to Obamacare may be one of the most important votes any Senator takes.

Make sure that Senator Byrd and Rockefeller both know that we are watching and that we'll remember them partying in Charleston while their colleagues in Washington were enslaving generations of West Virginians in a government run health care system with long lines, rationing and sub-standard care.

(The Preceding is an Action Alert from the WVGOP)

Reporting In From the GPSA Conference.

Last week I had the honor of chairing a panel on gender and politics at the Georgia Political Science Association's annual conference. If some folks' ears were burning last Friday in West Virginia, it is because I spent some time informally and on my panel discussing some of the efforts made by many West Virginia Republicans to get women more involved in changing their state for the better.

The presenters put together thoughtful and thorough research about the participation of women in state legislative elections and also the level of ambition to work towards the House of Representatives. One study demonstrated that the presence of women in positions of power at the state or congressional level helped to spur the ambitioon of others. If a role model exists, it helps other women gain the confidence to run. Fortunately the West Virginia Republican Party has multiple models of female leadership that have inspired a lot of women to push ahead in elected office.

Most importantly our women leaders ran on experience, competence, and leadership. No one ever ran on the fact that they were women. They paid their dues, showing the same resilience and ability as anyone else, earning respect through success and/or setbacks. More are on their way up.

After treating the room with the shock that the chair for the Gender and Politics Panel had actively worked for Republican candidates and party groups for the past six years (this was after a couple of remarks on Sarah Palin and really, the look of surprise on some faces was hilarious) I was able to tell them that their research basically reflected what I had seen in the real political world. They claimed that there is little or no actual gender discrimination across the board for either party. Women tend to participate less often than men for a variety of reasons, mostly stemming from the choices they themselves make. In other words, men do not try to shut women out.

Nationally the Republican Party and conservatives in general have tremendously successful models in different fields of active and aggressive women. The panel did not even mention Michelle Bachman of Minnesota or the columnists Michelle Malkin and Ann Coulter. Many women in politics embrace a different kind of feminism based on expanding opportunity and choice rather than forcing all women to conform to a certain image.

Women will continue to play an expanding role in politics at every level. West Virginia Republicans have jumped ahead of peers in many other states. Already some are calling 2012 "the year of Shelley Moore Capito." Betty Ireland also has a wide variety of options open after a very successful tenure as Secretary of State. These women and others are poised to play a major role in the coming party shift in the Mountain State.Bookmark and Share

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Congratulations Anti-Smoking Crusaders. You Made Smoking Cool Again.

All the laws you had passed by non elected boards, all the millions in taxpayer dollars spent in education programs, posters and commercials have led to one result. For the first time in fifteen years Americans smoked more than they had the year before.

Smoking received a huge boost in the 1950s because it was seen as a "bad boy" habit. James Dean and Humphrey Bogart dangled them from their mouths. "Greasers" rolled packs in their T shirt sleeves in the movies. It was easy to look a little dangerous, just light up a cigarette.

Two percent more Americans smoked in 2008 than in 2007 according to the Center of Disease Control.

The experts call for more funding for anti-tobacco campaigns. Perhaps we need the opposite. Stop making this habit so appealing. Dancing is so much more fun in a Puritan town because it violates the mainstream "rules" of decent behavior. Stop trying to marginalize smokers through laws imposed by boards that should not have such broad powers. Let's try something else.

Stop wasting taxpayer time and money trying to make decisions for adults. Leave smoking alone and let people make their own choices and live with the consequences.Bookmark and Share

Monday, November 16, 2009

The Changing Political Map of West Virginia

This is the current political look of the of the state by county. Between 1996 and 2006 the Democratic Party in West Virginia went down from having 63.48% to 57.05% of registered voters, while Republican gained from 29.69% to 30.15% in the same time frame.
If current trends continue, next election cycle Wood county will move into the Red County column, they only need 45 more Republicans. Jackson County will switch to a red county in 2011, and Putnam in 2013. By 2017 the Democrats in WV will drop below the 50% level state wide.

The question is why is this switch occurring? The Democrats have held power in West Virginia since the 1930 election, and the state peaked in the 1950's when the population exceeded 2 million. While the rest of the nation has grown we have now declined to 1.8 million. We are last in all the good categories, first in all the bad categories, and the voter registration shift is a sign the people want change. Bookmark and Share

Lone American distrupts a major Obamacare Rally