Bob-n-Along March 10, 1999
Reader writes: Poem "Our Presidents" comes from "Almanack"

    Only a few days ago, I included in BobnAlong an item from Raymond Matthey of Cherry Camp Road in Harrison County, who was looking for some lines of verse pertaining to the presidents. The portion of the poem he submitted varied slightly from the poem "Our Presidents."
    That poem appeared in "J. Gruber's Hagers-Town Town and Country Almanack."  The date was not indicated, although it's believed that it appeared in 1992.
     It was submitted to Bob-n-Along by Velma Allen of Route 3, Box 259B, Philippi, WV 26416.  It's somewhat lengthy, so I'll get right to it:
    First stands the lofty WASHINGTON, that noble, great, immortal one.
    The elder ADAMS next we see, and JEFFERSON comes number three;
    Then MADISON is fourth, you know; the fifth one on the list, MONROE.
    The sixth, then ADAMS comes again, and JACKSON, seventh in the train;
    VAN BUREN, eighth upon the line, and HARRISON counts  number nine.
    The tenth is TYLER in his turn, and POLK the eleventh, as we learn.
    The twelfth is TAYLOR in rotation, the thirteenth, FILLMORE, in succession;
    The fourteenth, PIERCE has been selected, BUCHANAN, fifteenth, is elected.
    Sixteenth LINCOLN  rules the nation; JOHNSON, seventeenth, fills the station.
    As the eighteenth, GRANT two terms serves, nineteenth, HAYES our honor preserves;
    Twentieth, GARFIELD becomes our head; twenty-first ARTHUR succeeds the dead.
    Then CLEVELAND next was selected, twenty-third, HARRISON's elected;
    Twenty-fourth CLEVELAND is recalled, twenty-fifth McKINLEY twice installed."
    Twenty-sixth, ROOSEVELT, strenuous, firm; TAFT, twenty-seventh, serves his term;"
    Twenty-eighth, WILSON held the place, HARDING yields to death's embrace.
    COOLIDGE follows in his stead, HOOVER's next the nation's head;
    ROOSEVELT called in time of need, a second term defends our creed, "ROOSEVELT" for  third-term country leading.
    Fourth term "ROOSEVELT Immortal" not dead; Truman succeeds as our country's head.
    Country hopes to stop inflation, TRUMAN elected by the nation.
    U.S.A. world's greatest power, inaugurates EISENHOWER.
    General, President and man  of worth, EISENHOWER again comes forth.
    JOHN F. KENNEDY wins the election, will lead us in the right direction.
    Presidents assassinated now number four, when KENNEDY passed through martyr's door.
    JOHNSON takes president's oath on plane; landslide vote, LBJ's in again.
    Change of party we now present, RICHARD NIXON as president.
    As peace in southeast Asia nears, NIXON in for four more  years;
    But he resigns over Watergate, GERALD FORD is number  thirty-eight.
    The thirty-ninth to hold the reins, JIMMY CARTER, from Georgia's Plains.
    RONALD REAGAN of the silver screen, is the next to grace the national scene.
    Landslide results in '84, return MR. REAGAN for four more.
    Next, GEORGE BUSH knows he's headed right, in seeking  a thousand points of light.
    In '92 we now all know, CLINTON was first, then Bush and Perot.
    Just who will be the next to lead us, often depends on the candidate's speeches."
Well, that was a clever exercise in historical rhyme.
    I thank Mrs. Velma Allen for submitting it to the newspaper so promptly.

Another BobnAlong Friday.

Pratt & Whitney expansion the result of good teamwork

    Monday's announcement of a $7 million expansion project at Pratt & Whitney's Bridgeport plant was a welcome bit of news.
To recap, company officials said they plan to renovate two jet engine "test cells" and build a third cell for testing larger engines.
The project will result in at least 30 new jobs at the plant that already employs 350. In addition, company officials said the expansion will further secure the firm's future in our state for years to come.
    For us, one of the nicest things about this announcement is the fact that it didn't happen by accident.
The expansion of the Benedum Airport facility and the development of the aerospace industry in Harrison County is, frankly, the fruit of a lot of hard work by a lot of different people.
    Among those deserving credit are the people who work for Pratt & Whitney and other firms located here because of Benedum.
In announcing the project, company officials extolled the virtues or our area's work force. Workers here are "qualified, skilled and motivated people," said Pratt & Whitney Canada President and Chief Operating Officer Gilles Quimet.
    Quimet also cited the willingness of local and state governments to work with business as a reason for the expansion.
Indeed, West Virginia's Legislature passed a bill Friday that will give tax breaks to expanding aerospace firms. Pratt & Whitney will be able to use those tax incentives for this project.
    Delegate Bobby Warner and the rest of the Harrison County legislative delegation should get credit for the tax bill and plans to improve roadways around the airport.
    Also, hats off to Gov. Cecil Underwood, who attended Monday's announcement ceremony and pledged to sign the bill.
Others who have worked hard to help make Benedum and our area's aerospace industry growing include U.S. Rep. Alan Mollohan, the Harrison County Commissioners, Bridgeport city officials, Fairmont State College, U.S. senators Robert C. Byrd and Jay Rockefeller and the Benedum Airport Authority.
    The biggest lesson to learn from this success, perhaps, is the value of teamwork without it, Pratt & Whitney might not be here, period.
    Officials in the Charleston area, still fighting over what to do with a regional airport in that neck of the woods, would do well to pay attention to what's going on at Benedum and what can be accomplished if groups of people stop bickering and work together to accomplish a common goal.

This editorial reflects the consensus opinion of the Exponent editorial board, which includes William J. Sedivy, John G. Miller, Julie R. Cryser, James Logue, Kevin Courtney and Cecil Jarvis.

Independent Counsel Act should stay, but with some revisions

The Independent Counsel Act is set to die on June 30, but few in Congress want to keep it alive.
    It is understandable why. Special Investigator Kenneth Starr, dragging his job out for years and jumping from one accusation to another, uncovered much President Clinton was guilty of, but not enough to remove him from office.
    The president, although acquitted, is anything but innocent. It was an investigation, a trial and a verdict that satisfied no one.
So, a growing number of congressmen favor letting the Independent Counsel Act die this year. We disagree with that. We believe the Independent Counsel Act should be saved. We believe that, with revisions, it can serve the country better in the future.
What might those revisions be? Here are two suggestions.
    First, limit the length of independent counsel investigations to 18 months. (Starr spent 4 years and $40 million in his Clinton hunt.) The longer an investigation continues, the less likely it is to uncover major wrongdoing and the more likely it is to get sidetracked by the trivial.
    Second, limit the scope of independent counsel investigations. Starr began by investigating Whitewater and ended up with the Lewinsky affair, making detours through Travelgate and Filegate along the way. He became, as Sen. Joseph Lieberman of Connecticut said, the president's "permanent personal inquisitor." If one independent counsel finds evidence of more wrongdoing, another independent counsel should be appointed to investigate it - again with an 18-month deadline. This would help eliminate the problem of the never-ending, ever-expanding investigation.
    The Independent Counsel Law, even with its flaws, stands on a solid principal: When a powerful official in the Executive Branch is accused of wrongdoing, the Executive Branch cannot be trusted to make an impartial investigation.
    Before the Independent Counsel Act, the attorney general (who is part of the Executive Branch and under the president's control) was to look into high-level corruption and name a special prosecutor, if needed. Then, President Nixon fired Special Prosecutor Archibald Cox in 1974 to try to stop the investigation into Watergate. Congress decided there had to be a better way and passed the Independent Counsel Act, under which a three-judge panel names special prosecutors.
    As unpleasant as the whole Starr investigation/Clinton impeachment mess was, the American people never would have heard the case against President Clinton without it. And it was a case that needed to be heard.
    Attorney Nathan Levin, who represented former Attorney General Edwin Meese III in a 1987-88 independent counsel investigation, put it this way: "Is there any real likelihood that the case against the president ... would have gone as far as it did if the prosecutor was not totally independent? The pressure on a prosecutor who was subject to Justice Department oversight would surely have overcome any inclination to investigate further."
    Don't let the Independent Counsel Act die. Renew it, revise it, revive it. With changes, it can still serve the American people well.
Tim Langer
Telegram Editorial Board member


Clarksburg Publishing Company, P.O. Box 2000, Clarksburg, WV 26302 USA
Copyright Clarksburg Publishing Company 1999