Political Cartoon



Neither a chump nor a wimp



WASHINGTON It took less than three weeks for the real Barack Obama to come into view. He turns out to be both a conciliator and a fighter. These are not contradictions in his character. They represent different sides of a politician who sees some issues as more susceptible to compromise than others, and who wants his adversaries to know that […]

GOP on stimulus: First, do harm



Barack Obama never guaranteed he would end partisan rancor in Washington. He said he’d try. The assumption was that Republicans might want to work with Democrats to reach shared goals. Passing a stimulus plan to stop the economic freefall would seem an easy place to start. Wrong, wrong, wrong. Although Republicans surely understand the urgency of slapping paddles on the […]

Will natural gas ‘bonanza’ destroy our water supply?



To the Editor: As our nation attempts to move toward increased energy independence, interest in “unconventional sources” has soared. Natural gas extraction from shale formations is one such example. Letcher County lies within the Appalachian Shale Basin and most everyone in the county has by now noticed all the orange and pink flags along their roadsides. Extensive seismic surveys are […]

Media Beat

Journalists shouldn't avoid angering powerful people

Once in a while, I’ve been pleasantly surprised when an article I’ve written actually seems to achieve a key goal of independent journalism — what is sometimes called “comforting the afflicted and afflicting the comfortable.” The first time I can remember that happening came more than 40 years ago, when — just after getting out of junior high — I […]

Doctor Obama



The patient is in trouble. That much we know. About that everyone is certain. There are mounting job losses, record deficits, banks failing, mortgages underwater, layoffs looming. Last month, we lost as many jobs as there are in the state of Maine. One down, 49 to go. No, you won’t find too many people disagreeing with the diagnosis. Crisis. Dire. […]

Moments in Time



• On Feb. 14, 278 A.D., Valentine, a holy priest in Rome, is executed for continuing to perform marriages for young lovers in secret after Emperor Claudius the Cruel banned all marriages and engagements. Legend has it that while in jail, Valentine left a farewell note for the jailer’s daughter and signed it “From Your Valentine.” • On Feb. 15, […]

Car Talk

Cosmetics may not be the important question here

Dear Tom and Ray: Although I am not currently participating in a witness protection program, I think it best not to divulge my true name or whereabouts — you’ll understand. I live in a rural setting near a medium-size U.S. city. That’s as specific as I’ll get. One recent autumn evening, someone entered our property via a private road and […]

The way we were

Clips from Mountain Eagle front pages over the past 50 years

February 12, 1959 The Letcher County Board of Education will meet at 1 o’clock Saturday afternoon to consider plans for improving fire prevention and protection at the Whitesburg High and Grade School. County school buses will be used next year to transport rural students to and from athletic events at high schools in Letcher County. After a request from Whitesburg […]

The numbers may surprise you



Social Security touches the lives of virtually every American. Whether it’s after the loss of a loved one, the onset of disability or during the transition from work to retirement, our employees and programs offer support to the people of this country, often during difficult times. We run one of the nation’s largest entitlement programs — the Old Age, Survivors […]


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