In late September we were treated to a show by the performance artists in the far-right Chaos Caucus of the Republican Party, led by Matt Gaetz and Marjorie Taylor Greene. This nearly devolved into an actual government shutdown. It seems like any positive legislative proposal these days must endure a gauntlet filled with warlords and highwaymen ready to exact a ransom. We can all agree that obstructionist grandstanding and political extortion is not governing. Good governance is building, not destroying. It is about persuasion and coalition building, not extortion.
About Neal Barkus
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Meanwhile lets just say that we are proud Neal Barkus contributed a whooping 112 entries.
Donald Trump might singlehandedly ensure Democratic victories up and down the ballot in 2024. But the biggest threat to the long-term viability of the Republican Party is not Trump – it is demographics. Each year the electorate becomes more Democratic. Republican strategists know this. Their solution is to suppress voting and hide behind the made-up justification of election integrity. Voters aren’t fooled.
Immigration has been so important to the development of the United States that our national motto — E Pluribus Unum — refers to it. Out of many, one. But these days right wing fear-mongers led by Donald Trump have caused many of us to oppose robust immigration. Immigrants have become Americans, embracing American identity and citizenship, serving in the military, working hard in jobs up and down the economic spectrum, and enriching American art, music, and cuisine. Immigrants are home owners, taxpayers, college students, and contributors to American society across the board. Right-wing tropes about immigrant crime are just plain false. And while we dither on immigration, other countries are taking advantage.
Thank goodness for Jennifer Krouse. While we thought we were only electing her to the Jefferson County Commission, she has grown into so much more. She has become the protector of our children at this critical time when we have so miserably failed in our own responsibilities. We must now recognize her with a new title – Leader of the Jefferson County Morality Squad. We have so needed her firm hand on our shoulders. She has helped parents identify the moral corruption that threatens our children even though, in our own weakness, we could not see it on our own. We are so fortunate!
It started immediately after Donald Trump’s indictment. First there was the “whataboutism” and false equivalencies. What about Hiliary’s emails? What about the classified documents Joe Biden had? Then the claim that the communist, Democrat deep state has weaponized the Justice Department to take down the leading candidate to oppose Joe Biden in 2024. This is all deflection. Just like Trump himself, his supporters are grasping at shiny, manufactured grievances but don’t want to talk about the big issue — he is guilty of the serious crimes charged in the indictment.
Recent legal events have caused me to recall St. Helena, one of the most remote places in the world. St. Helena is a small volcanic island in the Atlantic, about 1,200 miles off the coast of Africa and 4,000 miles from the coast of Brazil. The island was, of course, the final place of penal exile for Napoleon Bonaparte, the self-crowned Emperor of France. St. Helena is now a British Overseas Territory, and I’m sure the Brits would welcome a new revenue stream from an old business — a small but very special penal colony.
Many on the right are peddling fear about immigration. To hear them tell it, we are in jeopardy of being overrun by benefit-stealing, swarthy criminals from south of the border. But this is a false narrative. The fact is that our population is dwindling and the American economy of the future needs new workers that only greater immigration can supply. Instead of a flood of immigrants, we should be worried about a drought. We need more immigration, not less.
Jim Justice reminds us of Sir John Falstaff. Falstaff, you will recall, made appearances in several of
Shakespeare’s plays. He was a comic character — fat, buffoonish and untrustworthy. West Virginia’s own Falstaff has announced he is running for the U.S. Senate. This presents season ticket-holders for the theater of West Virginia politics with a hard choice: is this comedy or tragedy?
When the curtain rose on the most recent legislative redistricting map in 2021, a new District 100 had been created for the House of Delegates here in the Eastern Panhandle. Many were surprised to find that reliably liberal Shepherdstown had been joined to reliably conservative Shannondale. I wouldn’t want to guess which neighborhood is less comfortable with this shotgun marriage.
As West Virginia Treasurer, Riley Moore has turned the office into a conservative weapon. He has advanced two policies prohibiting investing state funds so as to take into account environmental and social factors in assessing a company’s health. This is irresponsible and is all part of a political crusade against “woke” liberal elites, much like Ron DeSantis. But Moore’s political stunt has undermined the stability of West Virginia’s investments and will cost our citizens money.