June 6, 2007


This Is Compassion (The Editors, 6/06/07, National Review)

“Compassionate conservatism” has been justly maligned, but it may yet leave one lasting and worthy legacy.

That would be the President’s Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief (PEPFAR), begun in 2003, which George W. Bush asked Congress last week to extend for another five years. Funding for AIDS prevention and treatment has seen a spectacular rise under PEPFAR. While spending on global AIDS relief hovered just short of $1 billion annually during Bill Clinton’s last years in office, the Bush administration has tripled that amount, spending an average of $3 billion per year since PEPFAR began. Under the proposal announced last Wednesday, that figure would double to $6 billion per year from 2008 to 2012. This is, as the president noted Wednesday, “unprecedented — the largest commitment by any nation to combat a single disease in human history.”

Very rarely does a government program produce such momentous results: 1.1 million HIV-positive Africans have received treatment, and many of them have been saved from a horrible death not widely seen in America since the early ’90s. And, more important for the long run, prevention programs are working. Africa’s rate of HIV infection peaked around 2000, and is now decreasing more quickly than ever before.

PEPFAR signaled, and its second iteration amplifies, the United States’ emergence under the Bush administration as the global leader in the fight against the spread of HIV/AIDS.

While the AIDs initiative is certainly worthy, it is, of course, just one of a series of signal achievements for compassionate conservatism, that you'd have to be a conservative to be so Stupid as not to recognize, starting with the HSA revolution.

Scores Up Since 'No Child' Was Signed (Amit R. Paley, June 6, 2007, Washington Post)

The nation's students have performed significantly better on state reading and math tests since President Bush signed his landmark education initiative into law five years ago, according to a major independent study released yesterday. [...]

The report, which experts called the most comprehensive analysis of test data from all 50 states since 2002, concluded that the achievement gap between black and white students is shrinking in many states and that the pace of student gains increased after the law was enacted. The findings were particularly significant because of their source: the nonpartisan Center on Education Policy, which in recent years has issued several reports that have found fault with aspects of the law's implementation.

Jack Jennings, president of the District-based center and a former Democratic congressional aide, said a decade of school improvement efforts at local, state and national levels has contributed to achievement gains.

"No Child Left Behind, though, is clearly part of the mix of reforms whose fruit we are now seeing," he said.

Posted by Orrin Judd at June 6, 2007 7:42 AM
Comments for this post are closed.