In Politics….

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►  ‘Demagogue’ Trump Is Spewing Lies: Post, NYT

This may not displease Donald Trump, but he has most definitely drawn the ire of two media establishment heavyweights over recent comments on three issues in particular—his claim that big crowds were cheering the 9/11 attacks in New Jersey, that President Obama plans to bring in at least 200,000 Syrian refugees, and that African Americans are behind most white homicides. All are lies, say the newspapers, and both back up their use of that word. A sample of their scathing editorials:

  • Washington Post: “The growing ugliness of Donald Trump’s campaign poses a challenge to us all,“ write the editors. Trump is deliberately spreading lies and appealing “to the basest instincts in supporters,“ as “narcissistic bullies” always do. It’s time for the virtual silence from his fellow candidates and GOP leaders to end. “The only way to beat a bully is to stand up to him.“ Full editorial is H E R E.
  • New York Times: The editorial draws comparisons between Trump’s “racist lies” to statements uttered by the likes of Joseph McCarthy and George Wallace. “His right to spew nonsense is protected by the Constitution, but the public doesn’t need to swallow it,“ write the editors. “History teaches that failing to hold a demagogue to account is a dangerous act. It’s no easy task for journalists to interrupt Mr. Trump with the facts, but it’s an important one.“ Full editorial is H E R E.

►  Randolph County delegate announces intent to run for senate seat

CHARLESTON, WV — A state delegate from Randolph County has announced her intent to run for a seat in one of the state’s largest senatorial districts.

Denise Campbell (D- Randolph, 43) told Hoppy Kercheval on Wednesday’s edition of “Talkline” that the position in the 11th District would allow her to make more of an impact.

“I want to make a difference, and I want that difference to be positive for West Virginia,” she said. “I want to be the advocate for the individuals in West Virginia who don’t feel like they have a voice.”

Should Campbell be successful in her bid, she would go from representing Pocahontas County and a majority of Randolph County to representing Pocahontas, Randolph, Nicholas, Webster, Upshur and Pendleton Counties, as well as a portion of Grant County.

The choice to run was one that was thought over since the summer began, with a list of pros and cons made to help guide the decision.

Ultimately, Campbell believes serving in the Senate will allow her to tackle a set of specific issues.

“We have got to connect to broadband and we need to really to focus on services for mental health and substance abuse,” she said. “Those are some of the core issues that if we don’t attack those and come up with some solutions, it’s going to be very hard to get our state moving forward.”

Her time serving in Charleston as a lawmaker began in 2011 when she was elected to represent the 37th House District. After redistricting, she ran for the same position in the 43rd District in 2013 and was again successful.

Her candidacy comes at a time in which state Democrats are trying to regain control of the state capitol after both the House and Senate went Republican for the first time in decades.

No matter how the 2016 elections go, Campbell wants bipartisan politics to rule the day.

“We need to focus on the issues and come up with some positive solutions,” she said. “We all need to work together.”

The seat representing the 11th District is currently held by Nicholas County Republican Greg Boso, who was appointed to the position during the past legislative session after Clark Barnes was elected as the Senate Clerk.

►  Clinton Pledges to Stop Saying ‘Illegal Immigrants’

Hillary Clinton says the term “illegal immigrants” is no longer part of her vocabulary. In a Facebook chat hosted by Telemundo on Tuesday, she told #WordsMatter activist Jose Antonio Vargas that she will agree to his request to stop using the phrase to describe undocumented immigrants, the AP reports. It is “a poor choice of words,“ she agreed. “As I’ve said throughout this campaign, the people at the heart of this issue are children, parents, families, DREAMers. They have names and hopes and dreams that deserve to be respected.“

Vargas—a journalist who revealed his undocumented status in 2011—tells Yahoo News that he hopes Clinton will stick to the pledge and that other candidates will join her. He says the term is “offensive and hurtful,“ and the choice of words matters because “phrases like ‘illegals,‘ ‘illegal aliens,‘ and ‘illegal immigrants’ frame the conversation, how politicians talk about the issue, and inevitably how policies are created.“ Earlier in the Telemundo chat, Clinton accused Donald Trump of “trafficking in prejudice and paranoia” and said “if you look at their policies, most of the other Republican candidates are just Trump without the pizazz or the hair. They don’t support a real path to citizenship.“

►  Bad Idea: Trump Mocks Reporter With Disability

The New York Times is speaking out against Donald Trump for the second time this week after he appeared to mock a Times reporter’s disability. At a rally in South Carolina on Tuesday, Trump continued to defend his claim that “thousands” of people in New Jersey cheered the 9/11 attacks, citing a 2001 Washington Post article by Serge Kovaleski that mentioned “law enforcement authorities detained and questioned a number of people who were allegedly seen celebrating the attacks.“ Earlier Tuesday, Kovaleski—who has limited movement of his arms due to the congenital joint condition arthrogryposis—told CNN that “I do not recall anyone saying there were thousands, or even hundreds, of people celebrating. That was not the case, as best as I can remember.“

“Now the poor guy—you ought to see the guy: ‘Uhh I don’t know what I said. I don’t remember,‘“ Trump responded, while spinning his arms wildly and placing his hand at the particular angle at which Kovaleski’s typically rests, per Politico. “The sad part about it is, it didn’t in the slightest bit jar or surprise me that Donald Trump would do something this low-rent, given his track record,“ Kovaleski tells the Post. “We think it’s outrageous that he would ridicule the appearance of one of our reporters,“ a Times rep adds. Trump, who knows Kovaleski from the reporter’s days covering the businessman-turned-politician for the New York Daily News from 1987 to 1993, hasn’t commented. He did, however, attack the Times in a series of tweets on Wednesday.

►  140K Kentucky Felons Now Have the Right to Vote

Only three states have a lifetime voting ban for all felons who can’t get a gubernatorial exemption, and now that number’s been knocked down to two. As one of his last moves in office, outgoing Kentucky Governor Steven Beshear signed an executive order Tuesday that grants voting rights to nonviolent felons who’ve finished their sentences, the New York Times reports. “Once an individual has served his or her time and paid all restitution, society expects them to reintegrate into their communities and become law-abiding and productive citizens,“ the Democrat said at a news conference. “A key part of that transition is the right to vote.“ The Brennan Center estimates the number of immediately eligible felons at 140,000 (the Sentencing Project puts that figure closer to 100,000), with another 30,000 to come.

Still not permitted to vote: felons with new pending charges, as well as those with sex crimes, violent crimes, bribery, or treason to their names. One of the main reasons for the drive to restore felon voting rights is to address the racial disparity present in such a ban. The Sentencing Project estimates one in 13 black men nationwide can’t vote because of their felon status, the highest rate of any demographic, per the Times. The paper notes that Governor-elect Matt Bevin has the legal right to swoop in and change or dump the executive order, but one of his reps tells the paper that Bevin “has said many times that the restoration of voting rights for certain offenders is the right thing to do” and that he’ll check out the order over the next few weeks to make his final assessment.

How To Pardon A Turkey With Three Presidential Candidates

Marco Rubio, Ben Carson and Carly Fiorina show how they would pardon turkeys:

Sarah Palin Talks Syrian Refugees and Trump

Sarah Palin was in the hot seat with Seth Meyers on Monday evening’s “Late Night.” Just when you thought she was disappearing into the ether of political history, she’s poked her head up again. Why she chose Seth Meyers, who is known for actually knowing something and loves making fun of politicians, is anyone’s guess.

Meyers had specific questions about the Paris attacks and the new restrictions in preventing refugees into the country. Isn’t this a “decision being made out of fear,” Meyers asked, noting that Palin was sort of a governor after all.

Palin insisted that it wasn’t about pushing refugees away but rather questioned the vetting process. She said these governors want to ensure “these are the innocents coming over and actually needing aid and they’re not the bad guys infiltrating under the guise of refugee. And they want a vetting process because we don’t have that from the top, we don’t have that at the federal level.”

Meyers assured her that there is actually a process and a strict vetting procedure that the federal government follows. But, of course, Palin doesn’t trust the federal government because it’s run by that secret Muslim guy that stole her only shot at the White House.

“Truly, there is no way to filter out those who want to try and do this country harm with the process that we see in place today,” Palin said, doubling down.

“If we were to strive to reach ‘absolute safety,’ we would not have freedom,” Palin acknowledged, before negating that statement by saying she thinks we can have “both.”

Meyers also recalled the recent “SNL” 40th Anniversary where Palin stood up in the audience to ask a question and was mistaken for Tina Fey. She said that after the show, comedian Louis CK came up to her to apologize for a nasty tweet he once sent while he was drunk on an airplane and that he felt really bad about it. Palin said she was really surprised and thought he was a nice man for apologizing.

Meyers asked why Palin thought Trump has taken off in the last six months since Palin made a joke about how much Lorne Michaels would pay her to run for president again, particularly if Trump was her VP nom.

Her answer: “Because he’s not a politician, thank the Lord.”

Meyers was quick to remind Palin “you were a politician … not only were you mayor, you were governor. Yet, you don’t think experience is important?”

Palin said she thought it was important but “at this time with our economy with our national security issues that uh, kind of, uh, it’s been a culmination of a lot of problems with the professional politicians that have gotten us to where we are. And people are saying ‘Ya know, that status quo has gotta go. Let’s get some diversity in there. Let’s get some fresh blood in there.’ And that’s what you see with these candidates who are rising in the polls.”

Refugees piece:

Palin on why Trump is so successful:


Mooney: This Week in Congress

The Gilmer Free Press

This Week In Congress

Living in a turbulent world filled with many conflicts and struggles, it is important to remember how lucky we are to be Americans.

So this Thursday I urge you to enjoy Thanksgiving to the fullest and be thankful for living in the United States where we enjoy freedoms whom many have paid so dearly to protect.

This Week In The 2nd District

Congratulations to the Charleston Area Medical Center Health System for being named a 2015 recipient of the Malcolm Baldrige National Quality Award. This award given by the U.S. Commerce Secretary is the nation’s highest Presidential honor for performance excellence.

Thank you,
The Gilmer Free Press
Alex X. Mooney
Member of Congress

WV Congressman Evan Jenkins

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Last Friday, I joined 288 House Republicans and Democrats in voting to protect American citizens and strengthen our national security - legislation President Obama has threatened to veto.

H.R 4038, the American Security Against Foreign Enemies Act, would prevent admission of any proposed Syrian or Iraqi refugee until the nation’s top security officials - the Homeland Security secretary and the directors of the FBI and National Intelligence - certify that the refugee does not represent a security threat. I’m proud to be a cosponsor of this important bill.

This legislation will protect our nation and our citizens, but President Obama is putting his ideology ahead of the nation’s interests by threatening to veto this bill. The Obama administration has failed to craft and execute a clear strategy to defeat ISIS, and now we see that the president is failing to enact provisions to thoroughly screen refugees and certify that they pose no threat to our national security.

Democrats and Republicans alike have joined together to send a strong message to this president - the security of our nation must come first. Until we can address the dire security issues surrounding this refugee crisis, we must pause our acceptance of Syrian and Iraqi refugees. President Obama is again ignoring the will of Congress and the American people by issuing yet another veto threat.

NAS bill will soon be signed into law

A bill I championed that will improve care for neonatal abstinence syndrome babies is on its way to President Obama’s desk to be signed into law.

This bill will build on best practices from doctors and nurses in West Virginia and across the country in treating babies with NAS, exposure to drugs during pregnancy.

“Today, in a facility in my hometown that I helped start, Lily’s Place is caring for 10 babies suffering the ravages of withdrawal. It took years of working through the regulatory burdens and certification limitations just to do what is right for our most innocent,“ I said in a speech on the House floor before passage of the bill.

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Evan Jenkins
Member of Congress

Even The First Thanksgiving Was Political

The Free Press WV

Thanksgiving is a political holiday. It honors and mythologizes the comity – based on a formal treaty – between two peoples who needed what the other had to offer at a particular point in time.

Delighted not to be starving, the Puritans of what is now Massachusetts feasted for three days in 1621, and entertained the local Wampanoags as their guests. Neither group was “American” in any recognizable sense, because no such thing existed. What brought them together was not shared identity but shared interests: Trade. Protection from common enemies. Mutually valued exchanges of technology and skills.

Having sized up a hostile physical and political environment, from rocky soil to angry neighbors, the settlers found the Wampanoags worth cultivating, and opted to give the Indians a seat at the table.

Seats at the table, as anyone arrayed around a contemporary Thankgiving feast can attest, are not always comfortable – or secure. They’re subject to unforeseen events and unintended consequences, and to calibrations of power and diplomacy both delicate and blunt. As the Wampanoags lost power in the region, they ceded land, hunting grounds and sovereignty. Their precarious seat at the table was bound to slip away.

Their fate, obviously, was not unique. “As the colonial population grew,“ writes historian Roger L. Nichols, “white self-confidence replaced wariness, and by mid-decade” – Nichols is speaking of the 1630s here – “Puritan authorities became more aggressive.“

Once-solicitous settlers, eager to glean insights into the production of corn and pelts, consolidated their position. As power relations evolved in their favor, they exercised the traditional prerogatives of the strong, doling out contempt or condescension toward the weak.

Dutch preacher Jonas Michaelius wrote in 1628 of Indians as “uncivil and stupid as garden stakes.“ Two decades later, Puritan missionary John Eliot showered gentle paternalism on “our Indian people,“ who, he gamely surmised, may be “better soil for the gospel than we can think.“

By 1700, early slavery opponent Samuel Sewall had begun contemplating what later generations would recognize as a “reservation,“ a protected enclave well removed from any table of equals.

I should think it requisite that convenient tracts of land should be set out to them; and that by plain and natural boundaries, as much as may be – as lakes, rivers, mountains, rocks – upon which for any Englishman to encroach should be accounted a crime. Except this be done, I fear their own jealousies, and the French friars, will persuade them that the English, as they increase and think they want more room, will never leave till they have crowded them quite out of all their lands. And it will be a vain attempt for us to offer Heaven to them if they take up prejudices against us, as if we did grudge them a living upon their own earth.

Long before President Abraham Lincoln established the Thanksgiving holiday, the crowding and the grudging had uprooted millions. Funneled onto a trail of tears, or packed into slave cabins, the ranks of the dispossessed expanded across a bustling continent.

Distributions of power are a reliable source of human conflict, with incumbent groups determined to hold their seats and newcomers eager to claim seats of their own. If there’s anything unusual about the clash in our own time, it’s the effort to ease, even systematize, the struggle.

Groups and policies exist specifically for the purpose. The Council of Urban Professionals in the U.S., for example, has a “Seat at the Table” initiative to increase the representation of women and racial minorities on the boards of nonprofit and public-sector organizations.

Yet perhaps one lesson to be drawn from America’s first Thanksgiving is that the quality and duration of seats at the table are closely correlated to the amount of power held by those seated. Modern American culture informs us that relying on the kindness of strangers is a dubious proposition. And that God blesses the child that got his own. A long national history confirms the insights. The table is always short, the seats ever scarce.

~~  Francis Wilkinson ~~


The Free Press WV

“Todd Bosnich’s lies were incredibly painful, smeared my reputation, and ultimately derailed our congressional campaign. Although no length of sentence can ever undo the damage he has done, what matters is that Bosnich was unmasked as a liar and is now a convicted felon.”

                                                  — Failed GOP congressional candidate Carl DeMaio responding to a former aide being sentenced to five years of probation related to fabricating stories of sexual harassment

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