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THE August unemployment report pegged the unemployment rate at 7.3 percent, the lowest under the Obama presidency.

But Rep. Shelley Moore Capito, R-W.Va., looked

behind the numbers and found trouble.

The "unemployment report is jarring news for the millions of Americans who are looking for work," she said. "With workforce participation down to 63.2 percent — the lowest since 1978 — the real fear is that people are so discouraged they have given up looking for a job.  

"And with a record of long-term unemployed individuals, I am deeply concerned that number will only continue to grow. It is clear that failed stimulus spending and higher taxes haven't jumpstarted our flailing economy.  

"I encourage the president to start showing some leadership and focus on economic initiatives, like the Keystone XL Pipeline, that will create jobs and move our country toward energy independence."

Sadly, the president is not listening to business on these matters. Obamacare is forcing businesses to cut full-time workers to part-time status in order to avoid paying a hefty tax.

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SCOTT Strzelczyk is fed up with more taxation and less representation in state government. He heads the Western Maryland Initiative.

The group wants to have Allegany, Carroll, Frederick, Garrett and Washington counties form their own state of roughly 650,000 people.

The five counties happen to be largely Republican in a blue blooded Democratic state.

Among his complaints are the state's high gasoline tax, sales tax and its flush tax, which helps pay for wastewater systems that protect the Chesapeake Bay.

There also are land use restrictions written in Baltimore that adversely affect rural Maryland.

West Virginia's three Eastern Panhandle counties also have their secessionists.

Maybe the eight can get together and form their own state: Grumpyland.

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FOR years, California has been at the forefront of environmental regulation, as its bureaucrats research for new ways to complicate life for marginal benefits to the ecology.

Businesses fled. Even Hollywood has only one-third of the film industry today.

Now Gov. Jerry Brown and the legislature are trying to resuscitate the goose that laid those golden eggs.

Even Ann Notthoff, the California advocacy director at the Natural Resources Defense Council, admitted some changes are needed.

For four decades, California politicians have demonized businesses. The result is an unemployment rate that is a full point higher than the national average.

West Virginians take heed. The idea is to protect the earth environment and the business environment.

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LIKE several municipalities, Ronceverte in Greenbrier County will hold an urban deer hunting season beginning on Sept. 20.

But with 1,765 residents, Ronceverte has to do things slightly different. Mayor David Smith deferred to the police chief to devise this year's rules.

The main change is that the deer will have to be checked in at Whitetail Pro Archery Sporting Goods in Fairlea because the police lack the time to do this.

Also, it could take up to 48 hours to get police approval of an application, again because of the small size of the department.

There is something charming about a town that needs a police staff that is so small that you have to go out of town to check a deer.

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HOW much did the recession of 2008 and 2009 hurt the nation? The Federal Reserve Bank estimated that the recession meant a loss of $14 trillion in U.S. economic activity.

That meant $14 trillion that was not available for taxation, personal income or shareholder earnings.

Thus states had less money to meet a higher demand for relief, while at the same time their pension debts widened. And the pain lingers on.

"In the aftermath of [previous] recessions there were strong recoveries. That is not true this time around," said Gary Burtless, a senior fellow at the Brookings Institution. "This is more like the pace getting out of the Great Depression."

Politicians have spent a lot of time and money trying to figure out how to get the nation out of this mess.

The time has come for them to figure out how we landed here.

And not do that again.


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