I apologize to Mr. Papeika who lambasted me for using stereotypes of the poor people of West Virginia (woman smoking pipe, man drinking from moonshine jug), but my point was that West Virginia is a very poor state represented by Senator Manchin who drives a Maserati and lives on his yacht in the Potomac tidal basin.

Manchin is holding up important and useful legislation largely because of the close split in the U.S. Senate. Manchin is also one of the richest people in the government, with huge holdings in coal mines in his state, mines that routinely poison the water, blow up mountains and are responsible for the hell of black-lung disease.

Manchin is a species of hypocrite who makes a mockery of representative government, a billionaire leading a state with terrible public schools, endemic drug problems and almost no future for its young people. West Virginia is sometimes called “almost heaven,” which it is if you’re in the coal business. Even so, the people deserve better than a hackneyed cartoon representation, and I will keep Mr. Papeika’s powerful remonstrance in mind in future.

Jeff Danziger


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