Boy did I have this wrong.  I was so sure, just from the context, that he’s a Republican, I didn’t check.  Well — guess what? . . .



Nicholas Kristof tweets: “West Virginia had an admirable program to break the cycle of poverty. So the governor just slashed it.”

CHARLESTON, W.Va., March 25, 2015 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ — Governor Earl Ray Tomblin’s move this week to slash programs that help struggling children succeed in school is extremely short-sighted, Save the Children said today. . . .

“The governor is cutting programs we know help struggling children succeed in school,” said Anna Hardway, state director of Save the Children’s U.S. Programs. . . .

“At a time when Governor Tomblin has publically stressed early childhood education, we are very disappointed with his decision to cut children’s programs again.  Studies have shown that investing $1 in early education now returns $7 later through increased productivity and savings in public assistance and criminal justice. Aren’t our children and the future of our state worth that kind of investment?”

Save the Children’s early education programs in West Virginia consistently show strong results. Despite poverty and multiple risk factors they face, 88 percent of 3-year-olds in the program score at or above the national average on pre-literacy tests.  Save the Children’s elementary-school-based literacy programs also help children make significant gains – equivalent to what they’d learn in five additional months of schooling each year.

“There are mountains of research showing that whether a child is reading at grade level by 3rd grade determines the whole course of their future.  Our literacy programs are designed to get kids on track so they are equipped to succeed in school, graduate and go on to become productive members of society, ” Hardway said.  “Fewer kids in West Virginia will have that chance now.”

Save the Children invests in childhood – every day, in times of crisis and for our future. In the United States and around the world, we give children a healthy start, the opportunity to learn and protection from harm.

There’s more to the Republican/Democratic divide than that, to be sure — the R’s refuse federal Medicaid expansion money . . . block attempts to revitalize our infrastructure . . . block the comprehensive immigration reform that passed the Senate 68-32 . . . seek to make voting more difficult . . . and so on — but that’s pretty much it: don’t invest in kids, cut taxes.*

(Was there any doubt as you read the press release that Governor Tomblin is a Republican?  The article didn’t say; and you had never heard of him before; but you knew he was a Republican.  No?  WELL, AS IT TURNS OUT, HE’S A DEMOCRAT.  Agh!!!)


Jeff Cox: “Republicans come up with some simple Wishy-World idea, like trickle-down economics, and responsible Democrats spend all their energy treating voters like adults, explaining why we need taxes for schools, roads, ships, retirement income and everything else.  Eventually Democrats grow frustrated and call the Republicans simple-minded, and then the independent voters grow frustrated with the ugliness of the campaign and just refuse to participate, which leaves everything open to the Republicans who will — no matter what else you can say about them — take the time to vote.  We need a simple, easy-to-understand slogan.  I suggest “Helping the working class.”  Nearly everything about the Democratic agenda would fit into that category.  The working class needs good schools for helping our children achieve the American Dream.  The working class needs well funded Social Security, clean air and water, good infrastructure and a process that makes voting easy.  The working class needs government.”

☞ And at the risk of piling on, I can’t help noting this deeply simple-minded yet remarkably accurate slogan, drawn from your automatic trasmission: “R stands for REVERSE; D stands for DRIVE.”  If you want to move forward, you choose D.

*E.g., West Virginia’s corporate income tax.



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