Friday, August 26, 2011
Washington, D.C. –Rep. David B. McKinley, P.E. (R-WV) issued the following statement after Rep. John Conyers (D-MI) claimed from his limited understanding that “there is no such thing as clean coal,” during an Environmental Protection Agency conference. Conyers went a step further to disgrace West Virginians by calling for a shutdown of the coal industry.
"The comments made by Rep. Conyers are very disappointing,” said McKinley. “As lawmakers we should be encouraging job creation and expansion, not fighting to end American industries. West Virginia's lifeblood is coal, which means jobs for many hard working people throughout our state. As Americans are struggling to make ends meet and our nation is facing record high unemployment, I would encourage Rep. Conyers to focus his efforts on job creation and less on tearing down our industries in West Virginia."
Rep. McKinley is on the Energy and Commerce Committee as well as a member of the Congressional Coal Caucus. McKinley has also introduced and championed many pieces of pro-coal legislation in his short time in Congress.
Kudos also to Senator Joe Manchin for firing back int he strongest possible terms.
Thursday, August 25, 2011
Monday, Earth gave us its version of the Emergency Broadcast System test. Washington D. C. failed. Trains ran at a snail's pace, commuters waited for hours on subway platforms and in traffic jams. The city's transport system groaned under the weight of hundreds of thousands of folks trying to exit at the same time.
Watching the jam packed expressways and train stations worries me. Do we have a better evacuation plan for the nation's capital in case of something like a dirty bomb, chemical, or biological weapon? It seems that terrorists could orchestrate a multi-part plan that causes the panicked evacuation, then preys upon people waiting helplessly to leave. I am sure that something does exist that they would not haul out for a moderate earthquake. Then again, New Orleans had nothing in place to adequately prepare for a disaster that would inevitably occur and the heavy loss of life after Katrina was the result.
I don't need to know every detail of the plan. But I hope there is one.
Tuesday, August 23, 2011
A strong defense essential for America
Cutting defense spending is a bad idea. Period.
As Congress looks for ways to trim the federal budget and get the deficit under control, everything seems to be on the table. However, one area where America cannot afford to make sweeping cuts is defense and national security.
Legislators, political columnists and regular citizens have debated what programs need trimmed and even eliminated.
A recent opinion piece by Robert Samuelson in The Washington Post entitled “10 Ways to Fix The Budget” addressed the issue. Here is an excerpt:
“Evaluate defense needs independently — and pay for them. National security is the government’s first job. When America’s military is put in harm’s way, it should not become a victim of a rich nation’s cheapness.”
That quote says it all. Defending our nation is our government’s first job. Congress should not be swayed by political pressures to do something that would endanger our nation or reduce our military superiority. It is what separates us from so many other nations.
One military project that has been scrutinized inside and out is the F-35 Joint Strike Fighter aircraft, currently being developed for our military. This aircraft is undergoing testing, and once operational it will save our nation money in the long run by allowing us to retire aging aircraft. This stealth fighter is exactly what we must retain to keep America’s military superiority intact at a time when the world poses so many grave threats.
Monday, August 22, 2011
Dowd in the New York Times explained that the president did not call lawmakers back into session this month during alarming economic news, in part, because it would ruin his vacation and anger his wife.
Can you imagine the response to this little tidbit from Harry Truman? I bet he would love nothing more than to come out of his grave and throttle this guy. Would Franklin Roosevelt put off addressing great national issues so he could spend more time on vacation? Only a few presidents would have acted in such a way as to create this perception, none since World War II. But Obama's chronic vacationing has created the impression that he regards this gig as part time.
On a personal note, my new job requested my presence in the middle of my vacation. While I was disappointed, I rushed to work and my family completely understood. Any reasonable spouse understands that when their loved one has an important job that it sometimes comes first.
Which brings me back to my original point. I don't think that he is all that fired up to keep his job. Being ex-president is prestigious and fun, even for Jimmy Carter. Being president is work. In my opinion, Obama wanted to enjoy the celebrity and prestige of the presidency, but underestimated his capacity to actually do the job. He could resign, but Obama picked an even worse guy for the job as his running mate. If any other legitimate Democratic possibilities pop up in the next few months, I could see Obama "Lyndon Johnsoning" himself and declining to run for re-election. Declining to run again is a dignified way out, if he can muster the courage to make the decision. As far as being president is concerned, Obama does not seem to like the job, or be very good at it.
And he and the Democratic Party are well aware of that problem. The Republicans' worst nightmare is a conservative to moderate nominee from the opposing party for the presidency in 2012. I am sure that Democrats realize that, as well.