Monday Smackdown: Why Would You Think Niall Ferguson Was a Trustworthy Information Source?

Should-Read: [I apologize: I was wrong. I got my SW VA newspapers confused...]

Grifters gotta grift...

The Roanoke Times cannot say "we told you so" because they were enthusiastic Trump supporters. And, for some reason, The Roanoke Times does not yet dare tell its readers: we—and you—got grifted; we are sorry; we and you need to apologize to the rest of the country; we need to apologize to you, our readers, because if we had done our job you would have known that Trump was a grifter when you went into the voting booth:

The Roanoke Times: Editorial: Trump Breaks a Promise to Coal Country: "Donald Trump... invariably talked up his support for coal... investing in the “clean coal” technology...

...We’re going to bring the coal industry back 100 percent. If I win, we’re going to go clean coal, and that technology is working. I hear it works....

If Barack Obama–famous for waging a “war on coal”–could see fit to include more than $3 billion for clean coal research in his stimulus package, surely Trump would do even better, right?Wrong.... Trump’s proposed budget cuts funding for energy research by almost 18 percent—$2 billion... with few details attached, [so] it’s unclear just how much, if any, money would remain for the Office of Fossil Energy to spend on clean coal.... [The] Heritage Foundation, whose ideas formed the basis for Trump’s budget... proposed eliminating the office entirely. The CEOs of the nation’s three largest coal companies were so alarmed that they recently joined with the United Mine Workers to send a letter to Trump, pleading with him to preserve funding for clean coal research, something they never had to worry about under Obama.

Something is not right with this picture: Obama did more for clean coal research than Trump is, yet it was Trump who ran on a platform of “we’re going to go clean coal.” The question has to be asked: Did coal voters get conned? Let’s step back a bit further: Appalachia was more enthusiastic for Trump than almost any other part of the country. In many counties, Trump ran stronger than any Republican presidential candidate ever. Yet the budget that Trump has proposed undercuts the region’s ability to develop a new economy at almost every turn:

  • Trump wants to eliminate the Appalachian Regional Commission....

  • Trump wants to eliminate the Economic Development Administration.... Want to know something else curious? Obama directed the EDA to pay special attention to coal communities; now Trump wants to get rid of the program entirely.

  • Trump wants to eliminate the Abandoned Mine Land program....

Appalachia gave Trump its love–and its votes. In return, Trump backhands some of his strongest supporters. Under Trump’s proposed budget, the coalfields would not get federal help to turn old mines into economic development sites... or lay in infrastructure to make them marketable... or retrain workers for new jobs in growing technology-related fields... or do any significant research that might save coal.... Is that really what people in the coalfields voted for?

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