GoLocalProv | A Mid-Winter Political Potluck – “The Sunday Political Brunch”

Sunday, January 22, 2023


GoLocalProv | A Mid-Winter Political Potluck – “The Sunday Political Brunch”View Larger +

President Joe Biden PHOTO: White House

There was no central theme this week in the world of politics. But there was a Supreme Court “Who Done It,” more found confidential documents, and a look-ahead to 2024. Let’s “bunch” on all that and more this week:



“A Supreme Bust” – The investigation is over, from the Marshal of the U.S. Supreme Court. He was looking into who inside the high court may have leaked a draft memo of the decision that overturned Roe v Wade, and again made abortion rights up to each individual state. In all, 97 court employees were interviewed but the report does not indicate if any of the nine justices were among those. The report further concludes that the high court was likely not hacked. The report said, “The Court’s IT department did not find any indications of a hack, but continues to monitor and audit the system for any indicators of compromise or intrusion into the Court’s IT infrastructure.” Sorry, I don’t buy it. In this age of cybersecurity and forensic computer technology, you can follow every single keystroke. This stinks to high heaven!


“Splitting Hairs Here” – The classified document caper that has ensnared both current President Joe Biden and former President Donald Trump is becoming more farce than comedy. Of the documents found at his home and office Biden said, “It’s not like they were sitting out on the street.” Well, maybe not in the street, but documents were found in the garage, right next to Biden’s prize Corvette. That won’t likely endear him to the average blue-collar worker schlepping two or three side jobs.  It makes him look like an elitist instead of the “everyman” he wants to portray. Politics is about images, and this one is not a good one.


“On the Other Hand” – Former President Trump is doing himself no favors by continuing to downplay the significance of classified documents found in his Mar-a-Lago estate. On his social media platform called, Truth Social, Trump said they were “just empty folders marked ‘classified’ or ‘confidential.’” He said documents in the folders were collected at the end of briefings, and that he just kept the folders because they were “a cool keepsake.” The is a problem because, photos released by the Justice Department clearly show papers labeled as classified. Despite all the controversy over both men, neither will be charged, in my opinion.


“Debt Ceiling Dealing” – “The sky is falling! The sky is falling!” No, that’s not “Chicken Little” clucking, it’s much of the U.S. Congress. If the debt limit is not raised, according to economists, interest rates will skyrocket, stocks will plummet (as they did 300 points Thursday), and a recession will be inevitable. Many in the new House Republican majority are not moved. They want a bigger guarantee of a paydown on the national debt. It’s a game of “chicken” but my bet is the debt limit will be raised, and we’ll just choke our kids and grandkids with more federal debt. The pattern has sadly lasted my entire lifetime. Why would it change now?


“The Race for Senate 2024!” – We are a year away from primary season, so people are declaring for U.S. Senate all over the nation. I will have a front-row seat to what may be the most watched race in the country. Sen. Joe Manchin (D) West Virginia remains a powerful, key swing vote in the U.S. Senate, although he does not have the same clout now that Democrats enjoy a 51-49 majority. Still, the moderate Manchin is a force. He has yet to declare his intentions for reelection. On the Republican side Rep. Alex Mooney (R) West Virginia is in, and popular. But term-limited Gov. Jim Justice (R) West Virginia is hinting at a primary run saying, “Absolutely, without any question, I’m really thinking really hard about it. I am very seriously considering running for Senate.” Attorney General Patrick Morrisey (R) West Virginia, who nearly beat Manchin in 2018, may also jump in. This is one to watch, on a national basis.


“The Big Senate Picture” – Given the slim one-vote majority Democrats now have, 2024 could swing the balance again. First of all, Democrats will be defending twice as many seats as Republicans in this election. Right now, there are eight races slated as the most competitive. They are in Ohio, West Virginia, Wisconsin, Arizona, Michigan, Montana, Nevada, and Pennsylvania. Three of those states are solid red, one is solid blue, and the other four are traditional battleground states in presidential election years. Right now, Republicans have a big advantage, but a lot can happen between now and then.


“Who Can Teach What?” – This week the Florida State Board of Education, at the behest of Gov. Ron DiSantis (R) Florida, decided not to allow an AP, or Advanced Placement course in African American Studies. AP courses are created and sanctioned by the College Board. It’s a way for high school students to earn early college credit. I know a state aims to have level standards, but I am a great believer in local control and decision-making. Shouldn’t local school boards, with the input of local parents and teachers be making these decisions? I’ll let others debate what they feel are the pros and cons of such things as Critical Race Theory. I’m just wondering why a guy in Tallahassee thinks he has a better grasp on what kids in Miami learn?


“One Person CAN Make a Difference” – My column has a national audience. I know few people outside of West Virginia will recognize the name of my friend Eddie Belcher who suddenly died this week. Eddie was sweet, friendly, humble, and a hard-working custodian in the WV House of Delegates. But he happened to live in a neighborhood deemed to have the most dangerous and deadly intersection in all of West Virginia. So, Eddie launched a petition drive with more than three thousand of his neighbors, and then lobbied lawmakers and media, even as he cleaned up their mess at the end of every day. He won. Two-and-a-half years ago, a four-way traffic light was installed at that most dangerous intersection, and no one has died since. Folks, you CAN beat city hall, if you fight! RIP Eddie! You are the exact example of how democracy should work!

Mark Curtis, Ed.D., is Chief Political Reporter for the seven Nexstar Media TV stations serving West Virginia, its five neighboring states and the entire Washington, DC media market. He is also a MINDSETTER™ contributing political writer and analyst for www.GoLocalProv.com and its affiliates.


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