June 20, 2012

Happy birthday, West Virginia, warts and all

Today is the 149th birthday of El Cabrero's beloved state of West Virginia.  We've probably seen worse days here, but we sure has hell have seen better ones. By chance, two state related items caught my eye today that deal with some ugly aspects of the current scene here.

These days, it seems that some of the state's leading politicians are given to cowardly pandering to the coal industry and, however indirectly, to racist elements. The song they are dancing to goes something like this: the Obama administration, which happens to be led by a black man with a strange name, is waging an unprovoked and all out war on coal through its diabolical Environmental Protection Agency.

West Virginia native Michael Tomasky has a great piece in The Daily Beast that confronts the racism factor head on.

And it was really refreshing to see that our senior senator Jay Rockefeller was channeling a bit of the late great Robert C. Byrd and calling on the coal industry to tone down its war rhetoric. Here's a link to his speech on the Senate floor.

I can't imagine either Senator Manchin or Governor Tomblin ever having the guts to say anything remotely resembling that. Besides, Tomblin is too busy cutting child care benefits for working families anyway.

So happy 149, West Virginia. And may 150 be a bit less cowardly and ugly.

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