WHEELING - To Cal Thomas, present-day Washington serves much the same function as Punxsutawney, Pa., did for Bill Murray in the film "Groundhog Day" - you wake up, you hear the same song, the same players are there doing the same thing, and, at the end of the day, you have exactly the same result.
The process repeats the next day. And the next. And - you guessed it - the next.
Thomas, a syndicated columnist whose work has appeared in newspapers across the country for years, touches on how Washington continues to play the same song and refuses to learn from the past in his latest book, "What Works - Common Sense Solutions for a Stronger America." He will bring that message and more to Wheeling Thursday as the featured speaker at West Liberty University's Economics Club luncheon.
The event, set for noon on the third floor of River City Ale Works, is open to the public.
Thomas has worked in print and broadcast journalism for more than 40 years.
He has written more than 10 books, and his columns appear in more than 500 newspapers nationwide. Thomas has appeared as a political contributor on Fox News since 1997.
Copies of Thomas' latest book also will be available at the event through Words and Music Bookstore at Stratford Springs, and the author will be there to sign any purchased copy. Words and Music owner Alan Lestini urged those interested in getting a copy to arrive early, as he will have about 100 available for sale.
"This is fantastic, it's great exposure for us and we are very honored to be asked by the Economics Club at West Liberty to be part of this event," Lestini said. "It's always great to partner for a book signing with a nationally known author like Cal Thomas."
Lestini also said copies of "What Works - Common Sense Solutions for a Stronger America" can be found at his store if anyone wants to purchase one prior to Thursday's event and then take it to be signed.
The speaker series is funded through a grant from BB&T. The WLU Economics Club is sponsored by the school's Center for Economic Philosophy.
The speaker series "seeks to engage faculty, students and the public in serious and sustained examination of the free market, WLU spokeswoman Maureen Zambito said.
Three more speakers are set for the next few months through the Economics Club:
May 22 Chris Stirewalt is the digital politics editor for Fox News, where he has worked since 2010. Stirewalt, a Wheeling native, began his career at The Intelligencer and Wheeling News-Register and then had stops in West Virginia and also the Washington Examiner, where he served as politics editor.
June 26 Rich Lowry's journalism career spans more than 20 years, leading up to his current role as editor of the National Review.
He also is a syndicated national columnist. Lowry has written for the New York Times, the Washington Post, the Wall Street Journal, the Los Angeles Times and a variety of other publications, and is the author of the bestselling book "Legacy: Paying the Price for the Clinton Years."
July 24 Joy Pullmann is a research fellow for The Heartland Institute and serves as managing editor of School Reform News. Pullman taught history, literature and debate in both middle school and high school and has traveled nationwide to speak on issues impacting education.
Her recent reporting and commentary questions the effectiveness of Common Core standards, a set of requirements adopted by 46 states in 2010 that standardize what elementary and secondary school children should know in each grade in math and language arts.
To reserve a seat for any of the events, call West Liberty University Vice President for Community Engagement Jeff Knierim at 304-336-8301 or email firstname.lastname@example.org. There is a cost to attend.