September 25, 2015

Of popes and bears

Two of the most common rhetorical questions one is likely to encounter are:

1. Is the pope Catholic?


2. Does a bear relieve him- or herself in the woods?

(Sometimes the questions are combined, although I don't believe the evidence is as clear about the religious affiliations of our ursine friends or the sylvan habits of the papacy.)

Still, what a coincidence is this: on the same day that Pope Francis gave his historic speech to Congress, the Spousal Unit and I saw a black bear while walking in the woods.

Holy Jungian synchronicity, Batman!

September 24, 2015

An idea that makes sense

Like it or not, natural gas production has taken off in WV over the last few years. The question now is, are we going to get anything out of it? My pals at the WV Center on Budget and Policy have an interesting idea: increase severance taxes on the production of natural gas liquids BUT create credits for companies that use the product for manufacturing purposes in West Virginia. You can read more here.

PREDICTABLY SAD: WV's congressional leaders on Pope Francis and climate change.

September 22, 2015

Some good news, with an example of misinterpretation of the obvious

Let's start with some good news: last week, the Charleston Gazette-Mail reported that the number of uninsured West Virginians has fallen below 10 percent, thanks largely to Gov. Tomblin's decision to expand Medicaid back in the year of grace 2013. That decision alone has brought coverage to 165,000 West Virginians.

The Daily Mail side of the editorial pages thinks this is a bad thing because it presumably disincentives work. That might be the case if employer-provided health insurance was the norm. Apparently the editorial writer didn't get the memo that employer-provided health insurance is declining and never was an option for millions of US workers. Another memo that was apparently lost would have explained that you have to work to qualify for the expanded Medicaid program.