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Monthly Archives: February 2019


While looking at the news of the day, I was struck by he alternative facts, strained truths and out right lies issued by this administration to justify stealing funds from the Military for an unnecessary wall! It is remarkable that many (even though few) believe that the immigrants seeking asylum are “rapists, murderers and drug runners”. It is a fact that no matter what is spewed from the lie mill facts are always facts and must be seen as such. Any reasonable person can determine what is true and what is not but as humans are want to do, the biases we carry color our understanding of information issued by the current administration. Where we are now is a valley filled with trash disguised as facts thrown out by this administration and repeated daily in the mode of Dictators who usurped authority and brought their countries to the brink of ruin and beyond. TOTUS is a failed businessman who through the freedom of speech we all enjoy has subverted Government functions and is abetted by a milquetoast Congress. Any rational person regardless of what party or label they follow can see that the changes required are in the Congress. The existing titular head of our country is no more than a bully with no moral compass and less integrity.

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Judge Law and Legal Definition. A judge is a government official with authority to decide lawsuits brought before courts. The judge in a case decides questions of law, as well as questions of fact in a non-jury trial. … Judges are subject to certain ethical standards and have a duty to be impartial.
Judge Law and Legal Definition | USLegal, Inc.
https://definitions.uslegal.com/j/judge/.

The above definition is what we should ask of any person selected to serve on any court from local to federal. This has not been the case especially in this administration (as shown in the Kavanagh debacle). Our Judiciary is supposed to be impartial and not influenced by religion, race, gender or political affiliations. This has not been the case in many of the current administration’s selections for judgeships in lower Federal courts. The selections tens toward conservative right to ultra conservative right- this aided by Bitch McConnell’s control over the Senate with lap dog Lindsey yapping at the heels of Democrats. To be clear none- NONE of our Congressional members are without fault in this as each party has done their dirt when in power while ignoring the idea of  impartiality in Judges. If we as voters do not step up on who becomes judges we will end up with more poor court results and possibly laws that will harm us all. Currently the “conservatives” are attacking Planned parenthood with the results reducing Healthcare for women. This attack is pinpointing Abortion which is not the main business of Planned Parenthood. It is true that they (PP) do counsel regarding abortion but as a service to their clients. As an aside: why would Conservatives be so against abortion using religion as the reason when there are many unwanted children who are in need but these organizations are not supplying that need. To be against anything with no facts other than religious zeal is why we have such an assortment of religions that appear to say the same thing but are interpreted according to the hierarchy of the sect. There is (or should be) a separation of church and state, that line appears to be blurred for political reasons.

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Politics has never been a “clean” activity. Since Roman times and probably before, there has always been the name callers and detractors. The purpose is to garner support for one candidate or another by persuading the voting public with rhetoric for or against. In tune with the times each generation has used the language of the day to put their message out. Through all of these years of politicking the language and assertions have increasingly become worse. Currently the access to mass media spreads good and bad messages quickly. This allows truth, lies and innuendo to reach the public before it can be refuted or proven. The past 6 to 10 years have allowed the rise of far right, far left and the seamy in between groups to surface with their vile messages which offer “coded” messages to scare voters into one camp or another and often with just a phrase that resonates but often has no facts to back them. “Make America Great Again” offers a pie in the sky message that resonates with people who are unhappy with Government but blame some one else who the “coders” offer up as the reason for their problems. One issue that doesn’t seem to come up is that voters are the reason for poor government by voting for the same people over and over because they use the same “buzz words” to agitate and  excite the voters. Currently we have (in my opinion) the worst legislators in place who willingly aid and abet a leader who seeks adoration by any means necessary while allowing the use of Federal positions  by family and friends to fill their pockets now and after their terms.

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Apparently there are no honest or semi honest politicians. The esteemed(?) leader of the Senate is allowing a miscreant occupant of the White House to trample on the constitution because?. It seems that Kentucky is gaining a benefit from his spouse being Transportation secretary. People involved in politics have always been suspect but now in this century those suspicions have become overt and all too commonplace. Those overt activities have brought us Donald J. Trump whose activities throughout his life have been one small step away from  criminal. This small step is now part of his actions in the Oval office. He is aided and abetted by a crew of miscreants commonly called  cabinet secretaries and assistants. The basis of this administration is dubious executive orders and several manufactured crises  which allows TOTUS to then address the issue or rather quietly back down and calling it a “deal” he made that saved the situation. There is no path as far as I can see that would enable us to trust this President and the sitting Congress. It will take a full term of the next CIC and a changed Congress to undo the problems created by this administration.

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When your actions are questionable, you tend to keep a low profile and hope no one notices your errant ways, right Mitch? MA.

By Tanya Snyder 10 hrs ago

The records also do not show how frequently Transportation Secretary Elaine Chao has met with people from outside Kentucky, a state Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell has represented in the Senate since 1985.
A trove of more than 800 pages of emails sheds new light on the working relationship between Transportation Secretary Elaine Chao and Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, one of the most potent power couples in Washington — including their dealings with McConnell supporters from their home state of Kentucky.

Chao has met at least 10 times with politicians and business leaders from the state in response to requests from McConnell’s office, according to documents provided to POLITICO by the watchdog group American Oversight. In some cases, those people later received what they were hoping for from Chao’s department, including infrastructure grants, the designation of an interstate highway and assistance in getting state funds for a highway project — although the documents don’t indicate the meetings led to those outcomes.
The records also do not show how frequently Chao has met with people from outside Kentucky, a state her husband has represented in the Senate since 1985, or how readily she has responded to similar requests from other lawmakers. But at least a dozen of the emails show McConnell’s staff acting as a conduit between Chao and Kentucky political figures or business leaders, some of whom have had prior relationships with the couple.

In one email from Feb. 2, 2017, just days after Chao was sworn in, McConnell’s state director emailed a Chao lieutenant asking the secretary to meet with maritime industry lobbyist Jim Adams about proposed changes to “Buy American, Hire American” requirements for offshore drilling equipment. The lobbyist and his wife, a Kentucky state senator who used to work for McConnell, donated $1,500 to McConnell’s 2014 reelection campaign, according to FEC filings.
“The Secretary knows them both well,” McConnell state director Terry Carmack wrote to Todd Inman, who at the time was director of operations at the Department of Transportation. Chao met with the lobbyist the following month, according to her calendar.
Carmack also requested a meeting in April 2017 for Greg DeLancey, the general manager of Taylor Motors in Murray, Ky., a government contractor that provides bus services primarily to the Defense Department. Carmack wrote that DeLancey was “the Calloway county GOP chairman and about to be the first district GOP chair.” Chao met with someone from Taylor Motors in July 2017. When the McConnell staffer asked Inman to arrange a meeting for Jason Vincent and other people from the Pennyrile Area Development District during a March 2017 fly-in, he noted that some of the representatives were “friends.”
American Oversight obtained the emails under the Freedom of Information Act. The group’s executive director and founder, Austin Evers, said they show an unusually close relationship between a Senate leader and a member of President Donald Trump’s Cabinet — and that “Secretary Chao built a political operation in her office to favor Kentucky.”
“We launched this investigation because we were intrigued by the president’s selection of Elaine Chao as Transportation secretary,” Evers said. “The media and political class identified it as a savvy move to hire the spouse of the majority leader of the Senate. We wanted to see what that relationship looked like.”
DOT said no such favoritism exists, and that any agency “would be responsive to the requests of the Majority Leader of the U.S. Senate.”
Chao’s office treats “requests from Congress with serious consideration and is responsive to all members and their staff,” a spokesperson said. “She understands the needs of Kentucky, which is her home, and naturally has enjoyed a long friendship with many of the people who are also in contact with Senator McConnell’s office.”
When asked about the propriety of setting up meetings for constituents, a spokesperson for McConnell told POLITICO that “the Leader regularly advocates for Kentuckians with Members of the Cabinet and agencies of the federal government.”
“He has advocated on behalf of Kentuckians his entire career — and that includes both Republican and Democrat Administrations,” the spokesperson added.
At the very least, the emails offer a rare glimpse at the working relationship between Chao and McConnell, who aside from a few confrontations with protesters, typically maintain a low public profile about their interactions together. But other people familiar with the workings of DOT and Congress said they didn’t see anything unusual in a Cabinet secretary responding to requests from lawmakers.
A Democratic Senate aide said it’s common for members of Congress to contact DOT or other agencies on behalf of their constituents and that the department is responsive and accommodating to all.
“DOT will talk to anyone,” said the aide, who requested anonymity because of his ongoing dealings with the department. He said he doesn’t often ask Chao to take meetings because “people know they can pick up the phone and call DOT themselves,” but that on occasion he will “make an introduction.”
Former Transportation Secretary Norm Mineta, a Democrat who served under President George W. Bush, told POLITICO it “happened a lot” that lawmakers asked him to meet with constituents traveling to Washington, “and then you would meet with them.” Mineta said a request from a member of Congress would carry additional weight, regardless of what state that member was from.
“Of course you’re going to meet with people from your home state,” added a former DOT official from the Obama administration who asked to remain anonymous to speak candidly about the department she once worked for.
But Evers from American Oversight contended that in these emails, Chao’s staff appear to go out of their way to make McConnell’s Kentucky contacts “feel special.” In one March 2017 email to Inman, requesting a meeting between Chao and the group Kentuckians for Better Transportation, Carmack suggested that if Chao herself couldn’t make it, perhaps “an assistant secretary or 2” could. “That way it is not taking up the Secretary’s time but they feel special,” Carmack continued.
Inman had previously told Carmack that Chao’s office was planning to decline the meeting. But the meeting later appeared on Chao’s calendar for the following May 17.
A POLITICO review of two months of Chao’s calendar over her first 14 months in office doesn’t reveal a particular preference for Kentucky visitors — in more than 100 meetings and phone calls with people outside the executive branch, none had an apparent Kentucky connection.
Still, Evers highlighted two instances when DOT’s Inman instructed McConnell staffers to flag requests from Kentuckians for him in addition to sending them to Chao’s schedulers, “to make sure we take an extra look at” them.
“The Secretary has indicated if you have a [Kentucky] specific issue that we should flag for her attention to please continue to go through your normal channels but feel free to contact me directly as well so we can monitor or follow up as necessary,” Inman wrote to McConnell’s then-chief of staff, Brian McGuire, in an email from Feb. 28, 2017.
“There’s a normal channel and a Kentucky channel,” Evers said. “It would be surprising if there was also an Arizona channel and a California channel.”
And, on a tentative list of staff duties Inman shared with McConnell’s office soon after he started, “Kentucky” is listed as one of Inman’s responsibilities. No other state is included in any of the other 26 staffers’ list of duties.
Inman, who became Chao’s chief of staff last month, was a Republican political operative in Kentucky before joining DOT. He communicated frequently with McConnell staff for most of his first year in the job, until an assistant secretary for government affairs was confirmed.
The email cache is also sprinkled with instances of McConnell staffers referring to meeting-seekers’ personal ties to the couple and their status as GOP supporters.
In one email thread from March 2017, McConnell’s staff describes Hart County, Ky., Judge/Executive Terry Martin — the county’s top elected leader — as a “loyal supporter” and “friend.”
Chao met with Martin two weeks later and again a year later.
She met on March 20, 2017, with representatives from the Pennyrile Area Development District, who had gotten similar praise, and who were interested in discussing their long-running priority of redesignating the Breathitt-Pennyrile Parkway as Interstate 169. President Donald Trump signed a bill designating I-169, sponsored by Sen. Rand Paul (R-Ky.), into law in May 2017.
In another February 2017 email exchange, Carmack asked Inman to set up a meeting with two Kentucky county judge/executives who wanted to talk about bridge and highway problems in their counties. “Always value your input,” Inman responded.
Harlan County Judge/Executive Dan Mosley, who met in April 2017 with Chao about widening and improving a flood-prone stretch of U.S. 421,said in an interview with POLITICO that Chao was “one of the smartest people I’ve ever met” and that “her commitment to transportation issues” was evident in their meeting. After they met, a Federal Highway Administration official came to evaluate the project, and eventually the  state allocated  $800,000 to start the project, Mosley told POLITICO.
Boone County Judge/Executive Gary Moore, who asked for and, in June 2018, received a $68 million DOT grant for two interstate interchanges,said he met with Chao and asked for her support for the grant at his December 2017 meeting with her. Boone County had been seeking a federal grant for this since at least 2017.
Cooperation between the two offices goes in both directions, the emails indicate. In May 2017, a group of real estate company representatives and public officials from China enjoyed a Capitol tour organized jointly by Chao’s and McConnell’s offices. The group “was thrilled to get the VIP treatment by [McConnell’s] office and were particularly excited to hear that the leader’s office was normally off limits to normal guests,” said Melissa Fwu from Chao’s office, in an email to a McConnell aide.
Oversight groups aren’t just worried about the meetings Chao is granting, however. A new, previously unreleased report from the watchdog group Restore Public Trust questions the 2018 choice of a town of about 25,000 residents situated near the Tennessee, Ohio, Cumberland and Mississippi rivers, as the site of a new DOT maritime gateway office intended to help coordinate between port operators and government bodies to help improve freight movement on inland waterways.
Paducah is the smallest city to host one of DOT’s 10 maritime gateway offices. The nine other such offices are in major cities such as New York, Chicago and Miami.
“This is the kind of stuff the American public hates,” said Caroline Ciccone, executive director of Restore Public Trust, adding that a “prudent elected official” will avoid favoritism “not just because it looks bad, it’s because it is bad.”
But a DOT spokesperson who spoke on the condition of anonymity said the department chose Paducah because it’s “always been a natural hub for regional inland waterway traffic,” given its proximity to four major rivers and the presence of “more U.S.-flag inland waterway operators than anywhere else in the nation.” The low cost of living also made it attractive, the spokesperson said.
The spokesperson said a strategic analysis, undertaken by the Maritime Administration in 2015, resulted in a decision to close one of two gateway offices in California in favor of one on the inland waterways to support the St. Louis office. Paducah was chosen out of five inland waterway locations that were evaluated.
Deb Calhoun, senior vice president of the Waterways Council, called Paducah “the epicenter of the inland marine industry.”
“Many of the major inland operators have offices in Paducah,” she told POLITICO. “There is a maritime training center. And each year, hundreds of inland marine related companies gather for an annual river industry awards event.”

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The real national emergency is located at 1600 Pennsylvania avenue and weighs about 239 lbs. Congress has allowed the child to advance his personal agenda while ducking their duty based on party politics which ultimately does not serve the country and especially their own constituents. The Conservative right who are against anyone who doesn’t look like them or believe as they do have conscripted the GOP under the guise of patriotism. The course is set for a rancorous and bitter political system which can be stopped by careful consideration of the FACTS by voters. The other rhetoric from both sides will be crushing in its abundance and disingenuousness. Voters beware!

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The current administration has made the failings of our government over the past 20 years apparent yet with all of the rhetoric during and after the elections, we still have the hypocrites who still promote the same failed policies as if they were new and fresh ideas. There will never be term limits applied by the elected officials so that issues falls to the voters. In order to advance this issue we all need to expand our knowledge of the facts which involves gathering information from multiple sources. Unfortunately too many talking heads have one objective and that is to promote whatever gets views and comments. The few real news presenters are hard pressed to compete with the loudness of idiots who are paid well to get those views (at any cost). If we combine that with a neer do well Congress who have all but abdicated their duties to an administration populated by arguably the worst members since the Nixon area and a disingenuous (mildly put) Commander, we have a perfect storm for failure as a nation. This administration apparently has one major goal and that is to be re-elected and continue to be “adored” at campaign style rallies. These rallies have the goal of promoting support for the poor policies under the guise of “Making America Great Again”. A simple read of most major news sources will reveal that this administration has put us into shaky relations with our long time allies and allowed our worst enemies inroads into our Government. All of this while spending government funds on illegal actions that undermine our government and reduce funding for infrastructure and public welfare (we pay taxes for all of this).

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Not sure that TOTUS has viewed Star Wars but this seems to echo the declaration by Jar Jar Binks to give emergency powers to the Chancellor (who as you may remember is the Evil emperor), who stated upon acceptance that he would give those powers up upon the end of the “crisis”. Not seeing that happen with this Leader(?). MA
Christopher Wilson 36 minutes ago

In a rambling, teleprompter-free diatribe, President Trump announced that he was declaring a national emergency in order to build a wall at the southern border.
Speaking in the White House Rose Garden Friday morning, after a long digression in which he touched on trade policy with China, the war on ISIS and other subjects, Trump announced he would take executive action to divert federal money to declare a national emergency for “virtual invasion purposes.” In doing so, he brought up many of the discredited arguments he has been relying on over the last several months. He said drugs coming across the southern border don’t come through official ports of entry (not true), that El Paso, Texas, was dangerous before the construction of a wall (not true) and that women are being trafficked across the unguarded portions of the border (no evidence exists of this). Trump also disputed studies that have found undocumented immigrants commit crimes at a lower rate than native-born citizens.
An emergency declaration would allow Trump to divert funds appropriated for other purposes to build the wall. Trump has said he would shift the money from “far less important” government programs, including the Department of Defense. A Pentagon official told the New York Times that one likely scenario would be to divert up to $2.5 billion in counternarcotics funds to the Army Corps of Engineers.
This is a departure from Trump’s original campaign promise that Mexico would pay for the wall. The administration did not press for money to build a wall during the two years when Republicans had control of both the Senate and House. Illegal border crossings have declined during that time, and the administration has not explained why the border situation is now an emergency. If, as seems likely, there is a constitutional challenge to the declaration, it may hinge in part on Trump’s admission in his remarks that “I could do the wall over a longer period of time. I didn’t need to do this.”
A deadlock with Congress over border security issues led to the 35-day partial government shutdown that ended last month. Congress passed a continuing resolution Thursday to fund the government and avert a second shutdown, and Trump has agreed to sign it, but he made no mention of it in his remarks.

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi has the option of triggering a vote on Trump’s declaration, forcing Republicans to go on the record about whether they support the emergency wall. Two Democratic representatives, Joaquin Castro of Texas and Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez of New York, have already announced plans to introduce a resolution that would terminate the emergency declaration.
But even if the declaration survives congressional challenges over appropriations, actually building the wall could face legal challenges from landowners along the border whose property would need to be acquired. Trump acknowledged that this act would likely face a legal challenge that could reach the Supreme Court.
While Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell said he was supportive of Trump declaring a national emergency, many of his Republican colleagues were less enthusiastic. Sen. Marco Rubio of Florida called it a “bad idea,” Sen. Susan Collins of Maine said it was “of dubious constitutionality” and Sen. Ron Johnson of Wisconsin said, “It would be a pretty dramatic expansion of how this was used in the past.”
On Thursday, Pelosi warned that a future Democratic president could use the precedent of declaring a national emergency for other purposes, such as gun control, citing the anniversary of the Parkland, Fla., mass shooting that left 17 dead.
“Because if the president can declare an emergency on something that he’s created as an emergency, an illusion he wants to convey, just think what a president with different values could present to the American people,” said Pelosi. “You want to talk about a national emergency? Let’s talk about today. The one-year anniversary of another manifestation of the epidemic of gun violence in America. That’s a national emergency. Why don’t you declare that emergency, Mr. President? I wish you would. But a Democratic president can do that. A Democratic president can declare emergencies as well.”
All the major network and cable news outlets carried Trump’s Rose Garden announcement live. But as the president’s rambling speech wore on, CBS cut away and returned to its regularly scheduled programming — which, on the East Coast, was “The Price Is Right.” Trump’s declaration of a national emergency came hours before he was scheduled to depart the White House for his Mar-a-Lago estate in Palm Beach, Fla., for the weekend.


It is worth remembering that Steven Miller is a major architect of the negative influence in the trump administration regarding Race. MA
Mary Papenfuss, HuffPost 9 hours ago

White House senior policy adviser Stephen Miller tried mightily to bulldoze Chris Wallace of Fox News Sunday as the host sharply fact-checked him on President Donald Trump’s reasons for declaring a national emergency so he can build his border wall.
Wallace began by challenging Miller with a quote Friday from Trump, who conceded: “I didn’t need to do this. But I’d rather [build the wall] much faster.”
Wallace turned to Miller: “How does that justify a national emergency?”
Miller cited a “crisis” at the border with an “increasing number of people crossing the border.”
“Let’s look at the facts,” Wallace responded.
He pointed to statistics highlighted on a screen that illegal border crossings were less than 25 percent of figures from 19 years ago. He also noted that nearly 90 percent of illegal drugs coming across the border enter via ports of entry, where walls don’t — and won’t — exist.
Miller responded that no one, including the administration, knows who is dodging detection. “You don’t know what you don’t know,” he said.

Wallace also pressed Miller, who considers himself a staunch defender of the Constitution, to provide a single example of another president invoking national emergency powers to get money that Congress denied him through the appropriations process.
As Miller dodged the issue, Wallace again pressed: “Answer my question,” then: “Yes or no, sir?”
Wallace noted that of the 59 times the 1976 National Emergencies Act was invoked by a president, only two were for military construction funds, which Trump plans to use: during the Gulf War and after 9/11.
“That’s hardly comparable to either of those,” Wallace said. Wallace read the article as shown below:

Article 1, Section 9, Clause 7. Article 1, Section 9, Clause 7. No Money shall be drawn from the Treasury, but in Consequence of Appropriations made by Law; and a regular Statement and Account of the Receipts and Expenditures of all public Money shall be published from time to time. 1. 

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Listen· 3:10
3:10February 17, 20198:12 AM ET
Heard on Weekend Edition Sunday
Glynis Board
Tariffs announced by the Trump administration have led to a glut of milk in the United States. Food pantries are suffering because they’re deluged with milk and have no way to store or distribute it.

LULU GARCIA-NAVARRO, HOST:
Got milk? Food banks in the United States are overflowing with it, but that’s not necessarily a good thing. The cause of the oversupply is the U.S.’s trade disputes. The federal government has been buying up surplus milk to help out dairy farmers hurt by the trade wars, which has led to the glut at food banks. Glynis Board of the Ohio Valley ReSource team tells us more.
GLYNIS BOARD, BYLINE: At Facing Hunger Food Bank, Executive Director Cyndi Kirkhart steps into her agency’s walk-in refrigerator in Huntington, W.Va.
CYNDI KIRKHART: This is the only cooler we have. So this is Kentucky milk, and this is West Virginia.
BOARD: There’s not very much space.
KIRKHART: No.
BOARD: There’s so much milk, they’ve often had to store it inside their refrigerated trucks and keep them running all night. Every couple of weeks since November, Kirkhart’s operation has gotten about 8,000 half-gallon cartons of milk.
KIRKHART: We never have received what we refer to as fluid milk, which is fresh milk.
BOARD: Donations from the federal government are normal, but products usually have a long shelf life – months or years. Milk lasts maybe two weeks.
The dairy industry is already producing plenty of surplus milk, and recent trade disputes with the Trump administration made the situation worse. Jim Goodman is a former dairy farmer who now heads up the National Farm Coalition (ph).
JIM GOODMAN: Twenty-five percent of our dairy exports probably go to China. And probably another 25 percent of them goes to Mexico. Both of those countries put a tariff on in response to the steel and aluminum tariffs.
BOARD: The Trump administration released $12 billion last year to bail out farmers. Ten percent of that was put toward purchasing commodities, like milk, to be distributed for hunger relief.
JOSHUA LOHNES: Whose responsibility is it to get rid of this milk?
BOARD: Joshua Lohnes is a researcher at West Virginia University. He explains the donated perishable food doesn’t come with money to offset extra administrative costs associated with storage and distribution.
LOHNES: It costs the food banks $2 a mile to deliver this, quote, unquote, “free food” across this vast, rural landscape. So they are advocating, you know, with our state legislators and the powers that be at the Department of Ag to try to figure out how to not have all of this surplus pretty much tank their operation.
BOARD: In Huntington, Kirkhart says food banks like hers do get some federal financial support for administrative costs, but it doesn’t match the increases in overhead created by perishable donations.
Still, she feels she has to accept them, despite logistical difficulties, because the need in her region is so great. Two hundred and eighty-five thousand people throughout West Virginia, eastern Kentucky and southeastern Ohio are food insecure.
KIRKHART: We’re going to keep on keeping on. And I know that we have a lot of love in this community around our service area, and people will help us through because that’s what Appalachians do.
BOARD: Even if accepting these donations threatens her food bank’s continued existence.

For NPR News, I’m Glynis Board in Huntington, W.Va.
Copyright © 2019 NPR. All rights reserved. Visit our website terms of use and permissions pages at http://www.npr.org for further information.
NPR transcripts are created on a rush deadline by Verb8tm, Inc., an NPR contractor, and produced using a proprietary transcription process developed with NPR. This text may not be in its final form and may be updated or revised in the future. Accuracy and availability may vary. The authoritative record of NPR’s programming is the audio

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