Friday, September 23, 2011

A Gingrich Role, the Ruin of Sarah Palin, and Approve the F 35 Already!

Conservatives love Herman Cain. He is a businessman, answers questions in regular talk and not politicianese. So why so little support for a guy who seems to have been preparing to be president at this point in history for much of his adult life?

Gingrich will probably not be nominated. But he is definitely a potential consigliere for anyone elected who may not bring a lot of experience to the job.

Is Bill Clinton prepping the country and the Democratic Party for another Hillary run? His criticism of Obama lately has been palpable. Sounds like he is almost begging someone to call for her to be a candidate.

The media has won. They have effectively destroyed Sarah Palin as a serious presidential contender. Not because she was dishonest in office, not because she is a criminal, but because she dared to be a pretty, successful, conservative woman from Middle America. Media figures have figuratively ravished her family, not even sparing her disabled son. Her name, without cause, has been tarnished and her ideas ignored. Shame is too minor a word for what they should feel.

Would you rely on a 22 year old car with hundreds of thousands of miles on the odometer to keep you safe on a long trip? Would you bet your life on it? That is what we do with our aging fighter fleet. It is time to start production on the F 35

Thursday, September 22, 2011

Earl Ray Tomblin Needs To Explain This Immediately

Earl Ray Tomblin wants to be governor, but he needs to explain or clarify some remarks that he wrote several years ago.

Tomblin wrote the foreword to the book West Virginia Tough Boys: Vote Buying, Fist Fighting, and a President Named JFK. The book, written by F. Keith Davis, details the career of several Southern West Virginia Democratic bosses, including Raymond Chafin. One scene in the book, originally described in Chafin's own autobiography, and later by former Gaston Caperton official Dr. Allen Loughry in his own book, portrays a $35,000 payoff from the Kennedy campaign. That money was meant to secure support of the bosses away from Humphreys. One of the bosses, Bus Perry, feared at the time that this act would put him back into state prison. Dr. Loughry, in Don't Buy Another Vote, I Won't Pay For a Landslide claims that the 1960 campaign started the era of big money political corruption in West Virginia.

Well, what does Tomblin say about this? Does he condemn the fixing of a presidential primary in the strongest possible terms? Does he call their actions disreputable and criminal, as Loughry does?

This is the response of the man who would be governor:

"As we reflect on our role in U. S. Presidential History and our own unique historical perspective, some might have legitimate reason to question the means, but no one can question the positive and outstanding contribution West Virginia has made in this venue of government and political development."

This was his one negative comment about the crimes detailed in this book. To him, this seems to be a matter of interpretation. Tomblin also seems to imply that the end of a Kennedy victory over Hubert Humphreys was worth subverting an honest vote. This shows an amazing lack of concern for democratic process and rule of law. So long as you get something good, it's O. K. to commit a slew of crimes to make it happen. And what of West Virginia's role? This travesty helped to cement our reputation for generations as a Hazzard County-like place where politics is shaped in back rooms with a wink, a nod, and an exchange of cash. Tomblin's foreward doesn't celebrate just one Boss Hogg, but a whole gaggle of them.

The man who would be governor needs to address this issue immediately. Perhaps he did not write this little piece with enough thought, or maybe he did not want to offend his friends and neighbors. In any event, West Virginia voters need to know where he stands on election corruption in the past, present, and future. If this foreword is any indication of where he truly stands, Tomblin cannot be trusted even with the office he has held for so long, much less that of governor.

This is not a hit piece. Lord knows that I have written enough over the years that if I ran for major office, my opponents would definitely ask me to defend some of the blogs and columns the I have produced over the years. Writings are a window into the mind of the author. Voters have grown aware of this passage in the past few weeks and have started talking all over the state. Tomblin should take the opportunity to explain why he wrote in this fashion and to clarify his position on the history of Southern West Virginia political fraud and corruption.

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Larry Puccio Does Not Want to Go Down the "Big Money" Road

According to "" in 2010:

Trade unions were the second largest contributors to state candidates besides self-financing. They contributed $867,000. After them came public sector unions and lawyers' associations. Only after them came business contributors, whose contributions are often divided. The West Virginia Coal Association contributed a little over $40,000.

The top six contributors to state candidates, except for individual candidates, were labor and one lawyers' group.

Mr. Puccio. Are you sure that you want to bring up big money in West Virginia elections?

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

The Democrats' Missed Opportunity

Remember 2009? When stimulus was supposed to save us all? When we believed that it was all going to "shovel ready projects, and not ACORN? Looking back, the Democratic Party had in its grasp the possibility of ensuring popularity and success for years to come. And the screwed it up (thankfully!)

I am not saying that the stimulus would have successfully turned around the economy. It would not have done that any more than the New Deal helped in the 1930s. But people in the 1930s could actually see work and effort going on around them. Franklin Roosevelt and his economic team, for all their lack of understanding, or even belief, in prosperity, understood that actual work that actually improved communities had to be done.

Imagine if Obama and Congress had taken half of what they spent and used it on actual infrastructure projects? What if they built a new water plant for Keyser and a new sewage plant for Westernport? What if they worked on roads, bridges, existing schools, sidewalks, and the like? What if they went into towns with century old sewer systems and rebuilt them? What if they emphasized long neglected rural development instead of dumping money into Obama's base and the federal bureaucracy?

The Democrats would have made substantial inroads into Republican country. Rural folks are grateful for recognition and help. They will vote for you if you deliver something helpful even if they do not share your ideology. Obama and his brand of Democratic Party never had any connection with Middle America. If they listened, they would know, but they barely speak our language, much less understand us. Obama approached the recession/depression with the idea of reforming America to fit his radical agenda. If he had just helped to rebuild it, without the radical leftism, thank you very much, he would have done a lot more good.

Sunday, September 18, 2011

The Death of Eastern Football

It's pretty much a done deal and in many ways the future looks bright for West Virginia athletics. The SEC is the king of football, just as the Big East was in basketball. What Bobby Huggins did to take West Virginia to the top echelon in that league can be mirrored by Dana Holgerson in football. If he is successful, this could mean that he remains here for a long time instead of looking for greener pastures as his teams do better and better. But we have lost something important along the way. Eastern football.

A long, long time ago, and not in a galaxy far away, and not when the music made me smile, Eastern football challenged the South and Midwest for supremacy among the college regions. Penn State, Syracuse, Pitt, and, sometimes, West Virginia made a lot of noise in the college football world. Eastern football gave us Joe Paterno, Jim Brown, Doug Flutie, Major Harris, and countless players and memories that resonate nationally.

Back then, eastern colleges played as independents. Penn State tried to organize an eastern conference, but could not get everyone to play along. Finally, in frustration, they accepted an invitation to join the Big Ten. This move started the slow seismic changes that erupted in the college football landscape and led us here.

As it turns out, the Big East conference only represented a temporary reprieve. It was too small, too dominated by Miami. too poor, too traditionless to succeed. Had it attracted Penn State and Notre Dame, it could have rated alongside of anyone, but such moves never happened. Over the past ten years, West Virginia has carried the banner. It has remained the most consistently successful and most interesting team of the bunch.

Had the ACC thought ahead and foreseen the advent of 16 team conferences, it might have saved Eastern football by bringing in all the remaining traditional eastern teams as a unit. This would have preserved rivalries such as Boston College and West Virginia that sustained the former team. BC lost to Duke last week; how far they have fallen. This move did not happen either.

And now Eastern football divides. West Virginia (I want to emphasize likely, since nothing has been confirmed) initiated the final death by entering into unreported discussions with the SEC that prompted the quick moves of Syracuse and Pitt to the ACC. At this point, with even venerable conferences, such as the Big 12, dying, WVU found its long term position in the Big East untenable and made the best move possible. The ACC and Big Ten will pick up the usable pieces of the shattered Big East football schools while the basketball only schools likely shrink into an Atlantic 10 calibre league.

This is ugly and to be regretted, but WVU AD Oliver Luck cannot be the only one to cling to a fading tradition while everyone else moves along.