Reading the weekend Wheeling News-Register
More Ogden contributions to Capito’s and McKinley’s reelection campaign, another evidence-free column by the editor, and guess who is the target of the paper’s political cartoon
A 1400 word article (1/3 of which are direct quotes) toward Senator Capito’s re-election campaign
Ogden Newspaper political reporter, Steven Allen Adams, has written another article in Ogden's continuing efforts to re-elect West Virginia's incumbent Republican senator, Shelley Moore Capito. (See here for my discussion of the previous one.) In addition to numerous quotes from the senator, the article highlights two infrastructure bills for which Capito is a co-sponsor.
As Adams describes:
One way Capito is working to keep highway funding flowing and work with the Democratic majority in the House is a new infrastructure bill. The America’s Transportation Infrastructure Act would spend $287 billion over five years for road and bridge repairs nationally. For West Virginia, it would increase federal highway formula dollars by $50 million annually.
A quick search reveals that the bill isn’t “new” – it was introduced a year ago and it is yet to move out of committee:
Let’s not let that get in the way of some good PR. What are the bill’s prospects? Even if the bill finally gets out of committee, it appears that its likelihood of passage are not good. Ironically, it is the Republican senate that would kill it. As The Hill reported last month:
President Trump’s election-year push for a $1 trillion infrastructure spending bill to boost the struggling economy faces strong opposition from Senate Republicans.
GOP senators are warning that Trump’s expected proposal is too “rich” and would be a “heavy lift” in Congress, especially considering significant policy differences between Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) and Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.).
Senator Capito has been actively working to bring greater broadband access to West Virginia. The article points out that she is a co-sponsor of S.4021, the Accelerating Broadband Connectivity Act. The partisan bill was introduced last month, but I could find nothing on its future beyond its introduction.
1400 words of praise and self-praise for the Republican senator which, by the way, surpasses Adams' 1300 words last month. Just a thought: would it be expecting too much to see an article before election day on what Capito’s opponent,Paula Jean Swearengin, stands for?
McKinley and Myer go after clean energy
In his Saturday/Sunday op-ed our local congressman, David McKinley, flashes his research skills and technical expertise in order to discuss the critical materials that go into alternative energy sources. McKinley advises us to
Avoid Shortsighted Mistakes Regarding Energy
(Given his busy congressional schedule, I wondered how McKinley found the time to put this article together?) I will admit that I have neither the time nor the technical expertise to refute the congressman’s points. (By the way, if you’re not an Ogden subscriber, you can also find McKinley’s article here at The Washington Examiner which published the article a week ago.)
That said, I would take issue with the article’s premise as McKinley begins and ends his op-ed by suggesting that the potential problem for clean energy (a shortage of critical materials) would be analogous to the shortage problem faced by our country on coronavirus supplies. He begins:
Over the past few months, people have become acutely aware of the problems with relying on foreign countries for vital products. The global pandemic has demonstrated that America depends on foreign suppliers far too much for products vital to our health, from masks to testing swabs to pharmaceuticals.
But as any number of sources have pointed out, the Trump administration was thoroughly unprepared for the coronavirus pandemic. Among other things, they ignored the preparation playbook left by the Obama administration and, most importantly, they did nothing to replenish supplies during the first three years of Trump’s presidency. Nor did the Trump administration invoke the Defense Production Act to get the needed supplies. If that is your analogy, Congressman, I do not think your case is all that strong.
Our local editor, Mike Myer, also attacks alternatives in a defense of fossil fuels. Unlike the congressman, he used no evidence for assertions like this one:
Solar arrays and wind power simply won’t meet our energy needs.
And like McKinley, Myer also wants to compare energy to the coronavirus:
Unless we start using our heads, the economic devastation wrought by COVID-19 will, in a few short years, seem like a picnic.
Myer doesn’t explain why – it’s just another evidence-free attack on energy alternatives.
Finally, it wouldn't be the Sunday News-Register (on Saturday) without a political cartoon attacking Michigan's governor
Yes, it's found on page B2 and it's #7 in the series. I will confess that I don't understand the point of the cartoon -- it apparently has something to do with Governor Whitmer requiring masks indoors. And how is that is different from West Virginia's requirement? For that matter, what does Michigan's governor have to do with readers in Wheeling, West Virginia?