Dana Milbank has an excellent opinion piece in today’s WaPo about WV, coal and trump’s utter failure to “save coal”.

Last August, President Trump went to Charleston, W.Va., for a “mission accomplished” moment.

He had already boasted to his Fox News fan base that “I’ve turned West Virginia around, because [of] what I’ve done environmentally with coal.” In Charleston, he said that “we are putting our great coal miners back to work” by ending what he had dubbed the Obama administration’s “war on coal” and that, under his leadership, West Virginia had “on a per capita basis one of the most successful GDP states in our union.”

“The coal industry is back,” Trump declared.

Alas, it was an illusion — or, as Trump might put it, a hoax.

Last week, the Commerce Department reported that during the third quarter of 2018 — the period during which Trump took his Charleston victory lap — West Virginia’s gross domestic product grew exactly 0.0 percent. As in, zilch. As in, the worst in the nation.

Quarterly figures are volatile, but clearly, two years into the Trump presidency, both West Virginia and the coal industry remain in bad shape. Coal-plant closures nationwide reached a near-record in 2018, production was off sharply, and U.S. coal consumption hit a 40-year low. Jobs in coal have barely budged, from 51,000 at the end of 2016 to 52,700 today.

West Virginia’s poverty rate, meanwhile, rose to 19.1 percent, among the nation’s highest, in 2017, the most recent year of reported data. The state is being propped up by temporary jobs (often held by out-of-state workers) to construct pipelines for natural gas. And the national economy, though humming along, isn’t near the level of growth Trump promised his debt-expanding tax cuts would deliver.


And yet the by gawders will vote for him again because while they and their neighbors wallow in poverty he’s telling them he’s saved them.  Why, you ask – thinking they have some semblance of rational thought?  They do not.  After all who they gonna believe – SFB or their own eyes?  SFB every time.  (And yes, because I live in WV I see the bone deep stupid buy-in constantly).  NEVER make the mistake of believing WV voters (or KY or OH for that matter) engage in rational thought when it comes to trump, coal and jobs.  When belief clashes with experience, belief wins out every time.


30 thoughts on “Duh.”

  1. jack, re hummer, have a couple of *distant* relatives who have two – a his & a hers –  one has a “HUM U” displayed on it. 


    *beyond the gene pool, thank the glue-that-holds-us-together as one of our mixers use to day.

  2. abcnews:  Lawyers claiming ties to Rudy Giuliani approached Michael Cohen after FBI raids; investigators looking at contacts

    In the weeks following the federal raids on former Michael Cohen’s law office and residences last April, President Donald Trump‘s former lawyer and confidant was contacted by two New York attorneys who claimed to be in close contact with Rudy Giuliani, the current personal attorney to Trump, according to sources with direct knowledge of the discussions.

    The outreach came just as Cohen, who spent more than a decade advocating for Trump, was wrangling with the most consequential decision of his life; whether to remain in a joint defense agreement with the president and others, or to flip on the man to whom he had pledged immutable loyalty. The sources described the lawyers’ contact with Cohen as an effort to keep him in the tent.


    The sources familiar with the contacts said the two lawyers first reached out to Cohen late in April of last year and that the discussions continued for about two months. The attorneys, who have no known formal ties to the White House, urged Cohen not to leave the joint defense agreement, the sources told ABC News, and also offered a Plan B. In the event Cohen opted to exit the agreement, they could join his legal team and act as a conduit between Cohen and the president’s lawyers.

    At one point in the discussions, one of the attorneys sent Cohen a phone screenshot to prove they were in touch with Giuliani, the sources said.

    During the time of the conversations, Cohen and attorneys for the president and the Trump Organization were engaged in a cooperative, court-supervised effort to examine millions of files seized from the Cohen raids looking for items potentially covered by attorney-client privilege.

    With that process ongoing, the New York attorneys talked up to Cohen the value of working with them because of their good relationship with Giuliani.

    Reached Wednesday by ABC News, Giuliani declined to comment, citing attorney-client privilege.

    “I can’t say anything about it. If I had any conversations with any of his lawyers it would be privileged because it was all under the joint defense agreement,” Giuliani said.

    The nature and the propriety of the contacts were a subject of interest when Cohen spoke last year to prosecutors in the office of special counsel Robert Mueller and, more recently, in the Southern District of New York, according to people familiar with the events.

    nvestigators have been looking into whether these communications were intended to influence Cohen, a potential witness against the president, or to implicitly dangle a potential pardon in front of Cohen, the sources said. It’s unclear if prosecutors regard the contacts as illegal or improper.

    A spokesman for the U.S. Attorney’s Office in the Southern District of New York declined to comment.


  3. McConnell won’t allow vote on election reform bill

    Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell hasn’t shied away from publicly criticizing House Democrats’ electoral reform bill and the Green New Deal. But he’ll only allow the Green New Deal to get a Senate vote on the floor.


    Republicans ripped into the House Democrats’ electoral reform bill, H.R. 1, at a press conference Wednesday, arguing that the legislation was merely a tactic to tilt elections in favor of Democrats. McConnell, who has dubbed the bill the “Democrat Politician Protection Act,” said that the bill is “offensive to average voters” and will not get any floor time in the Senate.

    When asked at a press conference why he wasn’t bringing the House electoral reform bill to the Senate floor, McConnell responded, with a grin: “Because I get to decide what we vote on.”



  4. This just in from WaPo:

    Wilbur Ross broke law, violated Constitution in census decision, judge rules
    Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross acted in “bad faith,” broke several laws and violated the constitutional underpinning of representative democracy when he added a citizenship question to the 2020 Census, a federal judge ruled Wednesday.
    In finding a breach of the Constitution’s enumeration clause, which requires a census every 10 years to determine each state’s representation in Congress, the 126-page ruling by U.S. District Judge Richard Seeborg in San Francisco went further than a similar decision on Jan. 15 by Judge Jesse Furman in New York.
    The Supreme Court has already agreed to review Furman’s narrower decision, with arguments set for April 23, but may now need to expand its inquiry to constitutional dimensions.
    The Commerce Department did not respond to requests for comment.


    Unable to find any expert in the Census Bureau who approved of his plan to add the citizenship question, Seeborg wrote, Ross engaged in a “cynical search to find some reason, any reason” to justify the decision.

    He was fully aware that the question would produce a census undercount, particularly among Latinos, the judge said.

    That would have probably reduced the representation in Congress — and thus in the electoral college that decides the presidency — of states with significant immigrant populations, notably California.

    Because census data is used to apportion distribution of federal funds, an undercount would also have cheated these same jurisdictions, the judge said.

    Seeborg, like Furman, found after a trial that Ross misrepresented both to the public and Congress his reasons for adding the citizenship question last March. Ross claimed he was acting at the request of the Justice Department in the interest of enforcing the Voting Rights Act.

    Imagine that.

  5. kudos to Nancy.  in her honor, let’s revisit and sympathize how hard it is to lead democats

  6. wapo:

    Sen. Sherrod Brown, Democrat from Ohio, won’t run for president

    Sen. Sherrod Brown of Ohio announced Thursday that he will not seek the presidency, a decision he said came after a tour of early primary states left him more confident that his party was focusing more on labor and workers than it had in 2016.
    “I will do everything I can to elect a Democratic President and a Democratic Senate in 2020,” Brown said in a statement. “The best place for me to make that fight is in the United States Senate.”
    Brown, 66, is the second Democratic senator to pass on a White House bid this week; Oregon’s Jeff Merkley had released a similar statement Monday. Both senators had hired staff in some early states and had begun to sketch out the argument that a populist Democrat with a record of winning white, working-class voters could break the coalition that narrowly elected Donald Trump.

  7. Ah, crap. Brown could win in OH, PA and MI. Maybe even in WI, KY and WV, too. 
    Come on, Corey !

  8. If I were to vote for an Ohioan, it would be for Kasich. He’s more of a Dem than Bernie will ever be.

  9. Too bad about Sherrod Brown he would have made the primaries more interesting and more fun — he has a great sense of humor.   
    I’m sticking with Amy

  10. Booker, Klobuchar, or Castro for the nomination ! YAY ! ! ! 
    In the general, almost any body but a reptilican, even Mr Coffee.*
    *Of the two, I’d prefer Joe DiMaggio 

  11. Too bad about Brown I was so looking forward to him getting in. He has all the right qualifications.

  12. Did trump, epstein, and dershowitz all rape the same girl ? Won’t they blame bill ?

  13. If (BIG IF !) trump is the nominee and there is a debate (not on fakes noise, thank you) the first Q to the usurper should be, “mr trump, no woman in the country wants to reward with her vote any man who cheats on his wife. Tell us how you know that Hope Hicks is a great piece of ass.”

  14. mr trump, the first bill you signed in the Oval Office allowed raving madmen to get guns and ammo absolutely free. Tell America why you want crazed lunatics to have assault weapons.

  15. Know ye not losers?  Degenerates?  Scum?  They like trump because he is them.  They ain’t trying to hold themselves to a higher standard, and know he won’t, either.  This ain’t the America you learned about in 1962- this is “fuck you, i ain’t changin’ for nobody America”.  It’s rough- i ain’t gotta clue.

    Apathy.  It’s the order of the day.

  16. HOLY SHIT ! They got to judge ellis. HOLY SHIT ! The damn fool even claimed that manafort had been kept in solitary confinement instead of protective custody because manafort claimed he was getting death threats. I mean, HOLY SHIT ! ! ! I hope someone finds judge ellis’ secret off$hore account tomorrow, and the $$$Z!LL!ON check $igned manafort. 
    Thank goodness that Judge Jackson can still wallop the creep with 10 years on top of the first 47 months (minus time served in PROFUCKINGTECTIVE CUSTODY). 

  17. Yes, Mr Bink. And, judge ellis is a mere drop in that scum. This sentence doesn’t rise to the level of Dred Scott or Plessy v Ferguson, but still, HOLY SHIT ! ! !

  18. I’m going to seek out Sweetie. Maybe, she can kiss it like mommy, and make it all well again. Maybe she can swab my fevered brow. Or, just shoot me.
    I could use a double tequila martini with a couple 325/5 oxycodone tablets for olives, that’s for sure. And maybe some Trader Joe’s chocolate cherry dairy-free ice cream and another viewing of Tootsie.

  19. Hey, i have some of those.  I’d give you them, too, but i’d probably get 48 months for it.

  20. Thanks for the thought, Mr Bink. I know that if we were in the same town, we could make the drop-&-pick up without getting caught. You’re a friend. Fortunately I have my own, so I won’t have to go to wherever you are.  
    Btw, where is that-ish ? More or less-ish.

    g’night for real. zzzzzZZZZZzzzzzZZZZZzzzzzZZZZ

  21. So SFB is taking his hurricane roadshow to AL. Today. I hope he’s been practicing his paper towel free throws. 

  22. I think if the primaries were being right now it wouldn’t be Biden it would be Bernie.   Right now he is ahead in California and they are busy organizing and registering people to vote all over– that 50 state strategery

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