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GOP Leaders Face Difficult Battle to Avert Federal Shutdown

The Gilmer Free Press

WASHINGTON, D.C. — No government shutdown this year, Republican congressional leaders say. But with Congress, it’s never easy.

A band of conservatives say they won’t back legislation financing government agencies unless the bill blocks federal payments to Planned Parenthood. A partial shutdown will occur Oct. 1 unless lawmakers provide money to keep government functioning.

With time running out, GOP leaders haven’t said how they will handle conservatives’ demands while also rounding up enough votes to prevent a shutdown.

A look at the undercurrents they face as they work to figure it out:


THE GOP CAN’T IGNORE CONSERVATIVES ...

Conservative and Republican revulsion for Planned Parenthood and abortion has been reignited this summer by secretly recorded videos showing organization officials offhandedly discussing how they sometimes provide tissue from aborted fetuses for medical researchers.

Keeping conservatives happy and prompting large numbers of them to vote in next year’s presidential and congressional elections is good for the GOP. Conservatives are among the party’s most loyal and numerous voters.

Advancing a bill that finances government agencies but blocks Planned Parenthood’s money is one way to do that.


... BUT REPUBLICANS CAN’T GO TOO FAR

Such a bill probably would pass the GOP-run House. But Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., acknowledges that he lacks the votes to prevail in his chamber and says President Barack Obama would veto it anyway.

That makes GOP leaders reluctant to force a doomed standoff with Obama that could result in a shutdown and alienate pivotal independent voters. The public mostly blamed Republicans in 2013 when a partial shutdown lasted 16 days after they tried dismantling Obama’s health care law in exchange for keeping agencies open.

“Having charged up the hill once and been shot down, why would you want to do that again?“ said Rep. Tom Cole, R-Okla., an ally of House Speaker John Boehner, R-Ohio. “I’m pretty convinced we’re not going to shut down the government.“

The Planned Parenthood group gets over $500 million in federal and state funds annually, virtually none of which can be used for abortions, and says it’s done nothing wrong.


CONSERVATIVES AREN’T MONOLITHIC

Rep. Mick Mulvaney, R-S.C., has collected 31 signatures from conservative lawmakers pledging to oppose any bill funding government if it includes money for Planned Parenthood.

Sen. Ted Cruz, R-Texas, a presidential contender, is circulating a comparable letter. Many of the other GOP presidential contenders are also urging Congress to slash Planned Parenthood’s funds.

But GOP aides say Cruz has won little support among Senate Republicans. Underscoring tactical differences, abortion foe Sen. James Lankford, R-Okla., told Tulsa radio station KFAQ that blocking Planned Parenthood’s funds is “a sideshow” to legislation to directly “protect children.“

Congressional leaders’ immediate problem is Mulvaney. If his group of 31 holds and Boehner wants to pass a bill preventing a shutdown and funding Planned Parenthood, he’d need Democratic votes.


SO WHAT?

Boehner needed, and got, Democratic backing to end the 2013 shutdown and a brief closure this year of the Homeland Security Department in an immigration fight with Obama.

But no leader likes to battle his own party’s members and rely on the other’s to pass crucial legislation. Besides, the deep partisan schism over Obama’s nuclear weapons deal with Iran — which garnered zero Republican votes — spotlights bitter divisions that could hinder Boehner from winning Democratic support.


A COUP AGAINST BOEHNER?

Boehner has clashed often with some of the House’s most rebellious conservatives. This summer, Rep. Mark Meadows, R-N.C., introduced a symbolic motion to remove Boehner from the speakership. It went nowhere but conservatives might force a binding vote on deposing Boehner and think that threat could pressure him to avoid working with Democrats.

“The last thing we need is more weak leadership from John Boehner” with a possible vote to oust him “always stalking out there,“ said conservative Rep. Tim Huelskamp, R-Kan.

Spokesman Kevin Smith said Boehner “is focused on ensuring that our team is exposing Planned Parenthood’s barbaric methods to the world, saving more babies” and said the speaker “is not going anywhere.“

It’s unclear if an effort to remove Boehner would succeed, but it would be embarrassing.

Boehner retains support from most House Republicans. They respect his leadership skills and close links with the GOP establishment that let him raise an enormous $28 million in the first half of 2015, aides say. He even wins affection from ardent abortion foes like Rep. Trent Franks, R-Ariz., who said: “His heart is very open, he’s very pro-life and I’m convinced he’s trying to do the right thing.“


THE PATH FORWARD

It’s unclear. GOP leaders will likely seek to temporarily finance government, perhaps setting up a Christmas showdown over 2016 spending and Planned Parenthood.

Meanwhile, the House plans votes this week on bills by Rep. Diane Black, R-Tenn., halting Planned Parenthood’s federal funds for a year and by Franks, protecting infants born alive during abortions. Both would likely pass the House but face long Senate odds.

The Senate is expected to vote this month on a measure by Sen. Lindsey Graham, R-S.C., a presidential hopeful, barring most late-term abortions. It faces likely defeat.

A vote on another bill cutting off Planned Parenthood’s money could come later this year.

WV Legislative Update: Delegate Brent Boggs - Minority House Finance Chairman

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Each year on the third Friday of September (September 18 this year), our nation observes the United States’ National POW/MIA Recognition Day.  We take time that day to reflect and remember those who are missing in action and those that were held as prisoners of war.  While it is not a national holiday, it is set aside as a day of national observance.  I respectfully ask that everyone take time to give thanks for those that sacrificed so much for our nation, including their families.  As the motto on the POW/MIA Flag states:  “You Are Not Forgotten”

Two weeks ago, shortly after writing last week’s column, I found some memorabilia from an early 1990’s work-related trip to Albany, NY.  On the return, we changed our plans, taking the train to New York City and spent the day checking out the sights, as it was only a few days before Christmas.  Part of that day’s activities included a visit to the observation deck located in the south tower of the World Trade Center.

When I found the old airline ticket stub, it evoked memories of a great trip with my buddies, Jimmy Keener and John McDonald.  This trip was the first time I’d flown on a commercial airliner; first time I’d gone over 100 mph on a train (between Albany and NYC); first time riding a subway; first time I’d been to NYC.  We ended up there on the recommendation of a friend, suggesting we take the day trip and fly home from New York’s LaGuardia Airport instead of Albany.  Lots of memories, but as it was the pre-cell phone days, there are few pictures.  But in my mind’s eye, I still remember the high speed elevator ride up to the top of the trade center and the view of the Statue of Liberty and other landmarks I’d only seen in pictures.  Looking out – and down at the streets below – I remember marveling that something of that size and height could be built.  It was a memorable day.

Until I found that ticket stub in an old briefcase, I hadn’t thought about that trip since last year in the days immediately prior to September 11.  What really bothered me was that in the last few years, the horrific events of 9/11/01 seem to be recalled less often, having slipped from the forefront of our national memory.  We, as a nation, cannot afford to let 9/11 fade from our memory any more than those events of December 07, 1941 at Pearl Harbor.  These events can never –and should never – be forgotten.

This year, there was little mention of 9/11/01 by the national media, aside from the remembrance ceremonies were held across our nation and at Ground Zero, the Pentagon and in rural Pennsylvania.  However, the shock and outrage seems to be tempered by the passage of time.  With terrorism on the rise around the world; the purveyors of that terrorism spreading their poisonous message; and, by those terrorists killing innocent men, women and children in the Middle East and around the globe, we seem to have become somewhat numb to horrifying events.

Meanwhile, we’re busy listening to political parties and candidates boast and then bash and ridicule one another.  Many have become too distracted from where our focus should be: working together to defeat the real enemy that seeks to destroy America and all freedom-loving people around the world, while also taking care of the needs of our nation and citizens. 

Sometimes it’s therapeutic to get up on the soapbox and vent.  It may make you feel better for a few moments, but it changes nothing.  While some leaders in DC are being led by polling, special interests and fundraising, we have a free world that is looking to the United States of America for leadership, just like it has for nearly 240 years.

It’s time to get our national priorities in order.  Remember the past and learn from it.  Make certain we remain “One Nation under God”.

In the interim, send your inquiries to my home office at:  151 Park Street, Gassaway, WV 26624; call 304.364.8411; or fax 304.364.8711.  If you have an interest in any particular bill or issue, please let me know.  For those with Internet access, my legislative e-mail address is:

You may also obtain additional legislative information, including the copies of bills, conference reports, daily summaries, interim highlights, and leave me a message on the Legislature’s web site at www.legis.state.wv.us/.  When leaving a message, please remember to include your phone number with your inquiry and any details you can provide. Additional information, including agency links and the state government phone directory, may be found at www.wv.gov. Also, you may follow me on Facebook at “Brent Boggs”, Twitter at “@DelBrentBoggs” , as well as the WV Legislature’s Facebook page at “West Virginia Legislature” or on Twitter at twitter.com/wvlegislature.

Continue to remember our troops - at home and abroad - and keep them and their families in your thoughts and prayers.  Until next week – take care.

‘What’s The Deal?‘

Watch the 1991 documentary Donald Trump didn’t want anyone to see

In 1988, business mogul Leonard Stern commissioned a television documentary to be made about Donald Trump, but the film was never aired because Trump managed to prevent its circulation.

“He did everything he could to suppress this documentary,” producer Libby Handros said. “And back in the day when we made the film, there were only a handful of networks. You had a few independent entities, but everything was controlled by big corporations, the three networks. And Donald was threatening lawsuits and stuff and they just didn’t need to take that on, even if the lawsuit would have no merit in the end.”
The documentary, Trump: What’s the Deal? is now available to be streamed online here.

“Now that Trump is running for president, it is time for the American people to meet the real Donald and learn how he does business. The old Trump and the new Trump? They’re the same Trump,” notes the film’s website.

Trump: What’s the Deal? chronicles the real-estate developer and presidential hopeful’s rise to power. His self-described “addiction” to acquiring cash and real estate drove him to build developments in Manhattan, Atlantic City, Palm Beach, and Los Angeles. He skirted the law on multiple occasions throughout his career, underpaying his workers, associating with mob bosses, committing union fraud, harassing tenants, and ignoring environmental regulations, yet managed to evade legal retribution.

“It’s the American dream gone berserk,” actor Christopher Reeves jokes in the film.

Often Trump’s developments were unprofitable, but he kept acquiring new properties anyway, continuing his construction projects with a Sarah Winchester-like delusion. His perpetual publicity stunts and position as the “poster child for 1980s greed” kept his image as “the people’s billionaire” afloat for a while, but he eventually began facing criticism for his antics from the media. The film delves into his tumultuous personal affairs, stubborn business behavior and descent into bankruptcy, ending with the introduction of his Monopoly-esque board game, Trump: The Game, which parodies his attitude toward life with the motto: “It’s not whether you win or lose, but whether you win!”

~~  Sola Agustsson ~~

Is Senator Joe Manchin of WV a Hero or a Hypocrite in the Prescription Opioid Epidemic?

The line between Heroism and Hypocrisy should not be so thin.
The Gilmer Free Press

MYRTLE BEACH, SC—Last week I received an email from a mother who lost her child to the prescription opioid/heroin health crisis crippling every state in the country.  The email read “I hope to get an appointment to see Senator Joe Manchin of West Virginia when I visit Washington, DC—I think he gets it.“

But, does Manchin “get it” in the sense this mother thinks?

Hero or Hypocrite? West Virginia has the highest rate of overdose deaths in the country and has had 3,000 drug overdose deaths in the past five years — or 600 deaths per year.

Hero or Hypocrite?  A documentary was made in 2014 about the prescription opioid problem in a town named Oceana in West Virginia.  The film was titled “Oxyana” nicknamed for “Oceana” and their epidemic of OxyContin.  It’s director was a man named Sean Dunne.

When the film was to be released, Dunne received a telephone call from Senator Manchin basically saying ‘What can we do to have this movie from not seeing the light of day?’  Curious since Oceana had a rate of fatal overdoses to prescription opioids more than twice the national average.

The Tribeca Film Festival in New York named Sean Dunne ‘Best New Documentary Director’ for his film Oxyana.  The comment made by the film festival jury about “Oxyana” was: “Sean Dunne’s Oxyana is a major accomplishment, deeply sad without being sentimental, fearless, unblinking and deft in the filmmaker’s ability to coax harrowing stories from his subjects. It is not an easy film to watch.

“It could be read as hopeless, but by the end, something of the light of each person shone through. It presents an acute awareness of the severity of their situation mixed with an inner battle to not let this film be the final story of them or their once-proud town. We will never forget the faces of these people, their stories and their struggles.“

Hero or Hypocrite?  If West Virginia leads the country in deaths to prescription opioids why not call attention to the crisis in Senator Manchin’s state with a film not depicting Oceana as “the final story of a once proud town”—but offering hope to Oceana, West Virginia and 49 other states?

Hero or Hypocrite?  In 2014, Senator Manchin took the lead in sponsoring a bill to ban a hydrocodone opioid with a nickname of “heroin in a pill” to be prescribed throughout the country.  The drug was called Zohydro manufactured by Zogenix and Manchin was hailed a hero by families devastated by the prescription opioid epidemic.  Here is a link to Manchin’s sponsoring the bill Act to Ban Zohydro.

Hero or Hypocrite?  Senator Manchin has a hydrocodone plant in West Virginia.  It’s name is Mylan Pharmaceutical and they are a competitor to the maker of Zohydro.  One of Mylan’s top-selling drugs is a hydrocodone opioid product.

Hero or Hypocrite?  Senator Manchin’s daughter Heather Manchin Bresch is the CEO of Mylan. The generic drug company Mylan makes a lot of money by contracting with the federal government to sell drugs to Medicare/Medicaid.

Hero or Hypocrite?  Mylan Pharmaceutical is a major contributor to Senator Manchin’s political campaign.

Hero or Hypocrite? Joe Manchin’s daughter, the CEO of Mylan was involved in a scandal with the University of West Virginia when she professed to having an MBA from the prestigious university—only the university claimed she did not have an MBA and they had no record of her attending UWV.  The scandal resulted in the university’s reputation becoming tainted.

Hero or Hypocrite?  The president of the University of West Virginia, Mike Garrison resigned after serving only one year in his position as a result of the scandal involving Manchin’s daughter. Several other WVU officials, including Garrison’s legal counsel, Provost, and Business School Dean also resigned. 

Mike Garrison had allegedly consulted to Mylan Pharmaceuticals and was a personal friend to the Manchin family.  Garrison was also Heather Manchin’s date to her prom in high school—tight friendship.

Hero or Hypocrite?  The senator’s daughter, Heather Manchin Bresch was named “Patriot of the Year” in 2011 by Esquire magazine.  In 2014, Bresch announced plans to renounce Mylan’s U.S. citizenship to become incorporated in the Netherlands, where the tax rates are lower. Senator Manchin has maintained that drug companies selling to Medicare/Medicaid should be U.S. citizens.

Hero or Hypocrite? Below is a letter written in 2013 by Senator Manchin to Commissioner Margaret Hamburg, MD looking for answers to a “Pay to Play” between pharmaceutical companies and the FDA to “gain favor” in drug approvals.

Dr. Hamburg resigned from the FDA last year and Bob Rappaport, MD, Division Director of Anesthesia, Analgesia and Addiction Products retired last year. 

Many individuals and groups have taken responsibility for turning the “heat on Hamburg and Rappaport” leading to their departure from the FDA, but will Senator Manchin release his findings seeking “answers to a ‘Pay to Play’—or is it now a moot issue with Hamburg and Rappaport off the playing field?

Yes, it appears Senator Manchin does “get it”. 

Since Manchin serves on the U.S. Senate Veteran Administration Committee, I wonder if he may be positioning a family member to head the Veterans Administration.  Hero or hypocrite?

 

Senator Manchin’s 2013 letter to then Commissioner Margaret Hamburg, Commissioner of the FDA:

Dear Commissioner Hamburg:

I write regarding recent reports describing the improper relationship between the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and the pharmaceutical industry. Specifically, private companies have paid thousands of dollars to participate in FDA advisory panel discussions concerning federal regulations for prescription painkillers.

These allegations clearly demonstrate a conflict of interest by allowing pharmaceutical companies to have undue influence over the FDA’s decision making process.

I plan to call for a full congressional investigation into this issue to determine whether these relationships have impacted the FDA’s rescheduling of hydrocodone combination drugs.

According to reports, two medical professors organized a panel in consultation with the FDA on how to test the safety and effectiveness of painkillers. According to e-mails between these two professors, pharmaceutical companies paid as much as $25,000 each to have a seat at the table with FDA officials.

When challenged by the companies on the cost, one of the professors responded that “20k is small change, and they can justify it easily if they want to be at the table.“

The professor continued to justify the high cost of admission to these closed-door meetings by pointing out that the pharmaceutical companies are “impact[ing] FDA thinking…for very little money.“

The FDA is responsible for protecting and promoting public health through the regulation and supervision of various products, including painkillers. This task requires the FDA to evaluate scientific data and put the public first.

These recent reports raise serious doubts about the FDA’s ability to make objective and scientifically based decisions regarding the proper treatment of prescription painkillers.  Even worse, when challenged by another federal agency, the National Institutes of Health, on the stigma of this “pay to play process,” the FDA balked and continued with the arrangement.

The painkiller industry is a booming business, with profits growing to $9 billion in the United States. As the painkiller market grows, so does the “epidemic” of addiction and abuse.

Recent data from the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) demonstrates the role that opioid pain relievers play in overdose deaths.  The CDC study showed that drug overdose deaths increased for eleven straight years since 1999.  Sixty percent of the drug overdose deaths (22,134) involved pharmaceutical drug products, and prescription drug products containing oxycodone, hydrocodone, methadone and others represented three-quarters of those deaths (16,651). 

This is a problem that the FDA must address.

As we have discussed on many occasions, I have been urging the FDA to reschedule hydrocodone combination drugs from Schedule III to Schedule II.  In spite of these conversations, I continue to be frustrated with the amount of time the FDA has taken to properly schedule these drugs.

It has been 4 years since the second petition requesting that the FDA and the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) evaluate the proper scheduling of hydrocodone combination drugs. Even more concerning, it has been over 8 months since I testified at the Drug Safety and Risk Management Advisory Committee (DSaRM) where the FDA’s own advisory panel, consisting of leading scientists and researchers in the field, overwhelmingly voted to recommend rescheduling hydrocodone combination drugs.

These press reports raise troubling questions about the FDA’s delay in issuing a recommendation regarding this petition. I truly hope that the FDA is not allowing their relationship with the pharmaceutical industry to influence their duty to protect the American public.

Mr. Douglas Throckmorton, a deputy director of the agency, said that because the panel was not initiated by the FDA, the rules prohibiting “pay to play” did not apply. I find that claim questionable and truly hope that the FDA will rethink their extremely misguided policy on this matter.

If the FDA is seriously alleging that its conduct is proper and that payments by the pharmaceutical industry to participate in closed-door advisory panels is not impacting its decisions, then the FDA should have no problem disclosing the following information to my office in a prompt manner:

  • The location, date and time of all meetings, discussion panels and conferences attended by FDA personnel where private companies, individuals and/or interest groups were able to attend if payments over $1,000 were made to the FDA or the organizing entity. Examples of these meetings, discussion panels and conferences were described in the Washington Post article “Pharmaceutical Firms Paid to Attend Meetings of Panel that Advises FDA,” Peter Whoriskey, Oct. 6, 2013;

 

The location, date and time of all meetings, discussion panels and conferences organized by Professors Robert Dworkin and/or Dennis Turk that involved the FDA;

  • A list of all companies that paid to attend the meetings, discussion panels and conferences described in the first bullet and the amounts that they paid;
  • The topics of discussion at these meetings, discussion panels and conferences described in the first bullet;
  • All recommendations arising from these meetings, discussion panels and conferences;
  • All e-mails written by Professors Robert Dworkin, Dennis Turk, and Mr. Douglas Throckmorton or anyone else at the FDA regarding these meetings, discussion panels and conferences described in the first bullet;
  • The total cost of each of these meetings, discussion panels and conferences described in the first bullet broken down by category of disbursements (e.g., food costs, venue costs, etc.);
  • Any funds related to these meetings, discussion panels and conferences described in the first bullet that directly went to the FDA or any individuals at the FDA;
  • All individuals who attended these meetings, discussion panels and conferences described in the first bullet;
  • A list of all former FDA employees who left the FDA for employment at any company that paid funds to attend these meetings, discussion panels and conferences described in the first bullet.

 

I respectfully request responses to these requests in a prompt and timely manner. I look forward to your answers.

LP - Remind me again—you lead to where—and I lead to where?  Love you for being who you are to me even when I get sprinkled on.


~~  Salem-News.com Investigative Reporter Marianne Skolek, is an Activist for Victims of OxyContin and Purdue Pharma throughout the United States and Canada. In July 2007, she testified against Purdue Pharma in Federal Court in Virginia at the sentencing of their three CEO’s - Michael Friedman, Howard Udell and Paul Goldenheim - who pleaded guilty to charges of marketing OxyContin as less likely to be addictive or abused to physicians and patients. She also testified against Purdue Pharma at a Judiciary Hearing of the U.S. Senate in July 2007. Marianne works with government agencies and private attorneys in having a voice for her daughter Jill, who died in 2002 after being prescribed OxyContin, as well as the voice for scores of victims of OxyContin. She has been involved in her work for the past 8-1/2 years and is currently working on a book that exposes Purdue Pharma for their continued criminal marketing of OxyContin. Marianne is a nurse having graduated in 1991 as president of her graduating class. She also has a Paralegal certification. Marianne served on a Community Service Board for the Courier News, a Gannet newspaper in NJ writing articles predominantly regarding AIDS patients and their emotional issues. She was awarded a Community Service Award in 1993 by the Hunterdon County, NJ HIV/AIDS Task Force in recognition of and appreciation for the donated time, energy and love in facilitating a Support Group for persons with HIV/AIDS.  ~~

The McKinley Capitol Report

The Gilmer Free Press

House Rejects Iran Deal

Today the House voted to reject President Obama’s disastrous Iran deal. The entire premise of this agreement is wrong – Iran does not wish to pursue a peaceful nuclear program. If they were, they would not need 6,000 centrifuges, an underground nuclear facility, and access to ballistic missiles. The President should reject Iran’s hollow promises and return to the negotiating table.

On Thursday, I discussed the details of the House votes with Hoppy Kercheval on Talkline, you may listen here. Unsurprisingly for this President, he did not follow the law in reporting the details of his Iran deal to Congress. The President’s allies in the Senate broke their word and won’t even allow an up-or-down vote. Their actions are an outrage.

This deal will empower Iran, weaken our allies in the Middle East, and endanger our security in the long-run.


Recognizing Our Heroes

On August 25th, a teacher, a sheriff, and a pastor in Phillippi proved themselves heroes when a student brought a gun into Phillip Barbour High School and held his classmates hostage. They defused the situation and convinced the young man to voluntarily turn over his weapon.

Heroes are around us everyday. I was honored to recognize these three on the House floor this week.


One Rule for Us, Another For Iran

On Wednesday, the subcommittee on Energy and Power held a hearing on “Oversight of the Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC).” Since 1975, the NRC has licensed and regulated our nation’s nuclear reactors and nuclear materials. The NRC ensures that our domestic power plants are in compliance with existing laws and safety standards.

This hearing comes at an auspicious time, as Congress debates the Iran deal and further ways to discuss this disastrous agreement. During the hearing, I had the chance to question members of the NRC about their capabilities to inspect U.S. sites and facilities and how this compares to the inspection requirements of the Iran deal. While we have a full commission dedicated to reporting on our own sites we will have to rely upon the credibility of the Iranian regime when receiving reports about their nuclear capabilities.

Certainly, relying on the trust of a radical regime to inspect their own facilities is unwise.


Preventing Drug Abuse and Overdose

This week the House passed H.R. 1725, the National All Schedules Prescription Electronic Reporting (NASPER) Reauthorization Act to help states combat prescription drug abuse by monitoring the prescription of controlled substances through an electronic database. These vital grant programs will encourage information sharing and improve law enforcement efforts to cut down on drug abuse.

West Virginia is currently in the grips of a drug abuse epidemic. We have the highest rate of drug overdose deaths in the country. Over the past year I have met with law enforcement, health care providers, local officials, and concerned citizens to hear their stories on this crisis. One of the strongest ways we can combat this threat is from the source – the over-prescription of opioid painkillers.

This legislation will allow doctors to continue treating patients while limiting trafficking and “doctor shopping” across state lines by those addicted to drugs. Bills like this offer a step toward a brighter, drug-free future for many West Virginians. By encouraging information sharing and funding drug monitoring programs we will keep people from falling into drugs and help those stuck in a vicious cycle to receive treatment.


Labor Day Weekend

It was a big kick off weekend with two wins for West Virginia teams. On Saturday, WVU started their season by shutting out Georgia Southern 41-0. Let’s see if the Mountaineers can keep up those numbers for the rest of the season! The wins continued on Sunday as Marshall took on my alma mater Purdue in Huntington. I was honored to participate in the opening coin toss as the Thundering Herd cinched a 41-31 victory.

Mary and I closed out the weekend with wonderful trips to the Clarksburg Italian Festiva Parade and the Paden City Labor Day Parade. We appreciate all the hard work put into these events and events throughout West Virginia for this great holiday. We hope you enjoyed your Labor Day weekend as well!

Have a great week,

David McKinley
The Gilmer Free Press

Now Trump’s Looks Get Insulted on the Trail

The Gilmer Free Press

Bobby Jindal sounds like he’s spoiling for a fight with Donald Trump: “I think it’s pretty outrageous for him to be attacking anybody’s appearance when he looks like he’s got a squirrel sitting on his head,“ the Louisiana governor tells CBS in an interview that aired last night. And that follows a string of insults yesterday before the National Press Club, including the assertion that Trump has never read the Bible because “he’s not in the Bible.“ Politico catalogs some others in the speech: “narcissist,“ “egomaniac,“ “substance-free,“ “insecure,“ “weak,“ “shallow,“ and “unstable.“

Trump, though, isn’t engaging: “I only respond to people that register more than 1% in the polls.“ Jindal’s squirrel comment was in response to Trump’s dig at Carly Fiorina’s face, a slam that Trump was grilled about by Fox’s Greta Van Susteren last night, notes Mediaite. She cast doubt on his explanation that he was talking about her “persona,“ not her looks, and Trump further deflected: “Many of those comments are made as an entertainer because I did The Apprentice and it was one of the top shows on television,” he said, per Politico. “Some comments are made as an entertainer and as everybody said, as an entertainer is a much different ball game.”

In Case You Were Sleeping…

Joe Biden did not sound like a presidential candidate during his appearance on Stephen Colbert’s Late Show last night. “I’d be lying if I said that I knew I was there,” the vice president said. “I’m being completely honest. Nobody has a right in my view to seek that office unless they are willing to give it 110 percent of who they are.” He added: “I don’t think any man or woman should run for president unless, number one, they know exactly why they would want to be president and two, they can look at folks out there and say I promise you have my whole heart, my whole soul, my energy, and my passion.”

  • Biden revealed that he has at times felt self-conscious about the outpouring of sympathy from the public about the loss of his son. “It’s a little embarrassing. So many people who have losses as severe or maybe worse than mine and don’t have the support I have,”  Biden said.  Later, he added: “The loss is serious and it’s consequential, but there are so many other people going through this.” The appearance coincided with a trip to New York for events pushing a raise in the minimum wage and a White House push to increase awareness for testing for rapes,” David Nakamura explains.

  • Meanwhile, more support built for the Draft Biden movement. Iowa state Senator Chaz Allen said he’d back the VP if he ran, which the Des Moines Register calls significant because he hasn’t backed him previously and has been courted heavily by other Democrats already running.

Biden nabs a not insignificant 20 percent in a new national CNN/ORC poll, which finds Clinton with a shrinking lead over Sanders. Hillary is only ahead of Bernie by 10 points, 37 to 27 percent, among Democratic and Democratic-leaning voters. Sanders’ support remained the same since August, so it’s Biden who has posted the gains. In general election matchups, Clinton trails Ben Carson by 5 points but runs evenly with Jeb and Trump among registered voters. CNN reports the tightening general election matchups reflect a weakening of support among women for Clinton.

 



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