February 19, 2016


This week's Front Porch is about the controversy surrounding who will succeed the late justice Scalia on the US Supreme Court.

Good times...not

The WV legislative session is more than half over...which is good...but the Republican leadership has spent most of its time cutting workers' wages, bashing poor people and gays, and pandering to pistol packers...which is not.

Meanwhile, their answer to the state's budget and revenue problems is draconian budget cuts to everything from public safety to K-12 to higher ed. So far, they've shown little interest in common sense solutions that would raise revenues.

Other bad ideas involve spending millions of dollars to tighten benefits and rules for programs that effect low income families and test them for drugs, an expensive policy that has basically turned up next to nothing in other states.

The fun never ends. Once again I say hitting bottom would be nice.

February 16, 2016

It's not all bad (although it mostly is)

So, in my effort to focus on the positive in the diminishing number of cases where that is possible, there is still progress in WV on school child nutrition-especially breakfast participation rates. In fact, this is one instance where we once again lead the country.

THIS MAY MAKE TOO MUCH SENSE TO HAVE A CHANCE,but the WV senate is considering a tobacco tax hike--the first in about 13 years.

ALMOST LEVEL, WEST VIRGINIA. Here's a NY Times editorial on mountaintop removal in WV. Short version: we don't come off terribly well.

February 15, 2016

Another day

On the bright side, a major conservative broadcaster in WV came out in opposition to the bogus "Religious Freedom Restoration Act."

Another voice of reason comes from the Beckley Register Herald, which criticizes legislative interference in the public education system.

Meanwhile, food pantries and charities are bracing themselves for increased demand if SNAP and TANF changes are pushed into law.

Finally, if you want to know just how Whack Whack is in WV these days, check out this video in which a legislator from Fayette County discusses our Muslim president and his use of secret hand signs.

February 14, 2016

Religious freedom, rabies, Uber and such

Karl Marx famously said that religion was the opiate of the people. At the WV legislature these days, I'd say it's more like the crystal meth. You can sample a little of the elevated level of discourse here.
And you can explore the farther reaches of homophobia here. Who knew that Uber was a gay plot to take over the world?

We tried to bring a little sanity to the discussion at this week's Front Porch podcast from WV Public Broadcasting.