Will Obama step up, and aside, in 2014?
In 1994 under the leadership of House Minority Whip Newt Gingrich, the Republicans took control of the House and the Senate. At his 1995 State of the Union address Democrat President Bill Clinton spoke these words:
"If we agree on nothing else tonight, we must agree that the American people certainly voted for change. I think we all agree that we have to change the way the government works. Let's make it smaller, less costly, and smarter. Our job is to expand opportunity; nor bureaucracy, to empower people to make the most of their own lives. We must not ask government to do what we can do for ourselves. We have to cut yesterday's government to solve tomorrow's problems."
After those thoughtful and I believe to be truthful words President Clinton graciously stepped aside and let the Republicans savor their moment of victory. I wonder if President Obama will display the same courage and foresight as President Clinton, when after the 2014 midterms the Republicans will again control both chambers. I wonder if he will be capable of seizing the moment and stepping up to the plate as a real leader and do what is best for the country. Can he put his pride on the shelf long enough to forge ahead in a spirit of true compromise; not for the good of his own agenda, but for the good of the people? The welfare of a nation does not reside in any one individual. Do not underestimate the people; they are speaking and they will be heard and most times they are right.
Von Albert Ehman
The Library was thrown under the bus
I grew up in Kanawha County in the 1970s and was a regular library patron while going to school in Dunbar and then St. Albans. While some of my time at the library was spent looking for books to read for pure enjoyment, most of my time there was strictly for the purpose of completing school assignments. The library was an integral part of my education, not separate, as seen now by the Board of Education and the state Supreme Court.
Why was the Kanawha County school system so eager to distance itself from the library system and yet so eager to piggyback the library on yet another excess levy? The answer is quite simple, money.
The Kanawha County school board was nice enough to sponsor a levy initiative for the library system that they had just cut off funding to as long as they could also gain even more financial funding as well. The School Board has a levy that was passed last year and doesn't even go into effect until 2014; yet they have already decided that they can't live on the funding that they asked for just last year. The Library funding didn't fail on its own merit, but on the greed of the Kanawha County school board trying to get even more money than the $3 million that they already gained by cutting off the libraries in the first place.
The Gazette tried to convince everyone that their burden would be minimal and kept repeating the $125 extra a year for a $100,000 home value and that the schools need the money to survive (even though just last year the school board apparently didn't think they needed it.) What the Gazette should have been rallying around is the fact that the Library should have been able to sponsor its own levy and the cost to a homeowner of a $100,000 house would only have been a small fraction (around $14 per year) of what was actually asked for on the levy. That levy would have probably passed and library funding would have been restored as was the supposed intent of the levy.
I guess the moral to this story is that no one really benefits when greed is attached to a good cause.
Live and learn or die in ignorance.