Monthly Archive for January, 2008

Quote Of The Day

“Clinton’s campaign manager backing the DNC, said, “We believe Iowa, New Hampshire, Nevada and South Carolina play a unique and special role in the nominating process, and we believe the DNC’s rules and its calendar provide the necessary structure to respect and honor that role.” So Florida and Michigan didn’t get their primaries. They didn’t get campaigns. They didn’t have serious Get Out The Vote efforts. And now, they’re being cynically used, the language of democracy revisited and dusted off in service of a power play for additional delegates. Where, rightly or wrongly, the campaigns agreed to deny them a primary, now Clinton’s campaign, which in Michigan won because they were the only campaign on the ballot and in Florida won because no one contested their lead, is demanding they be seated. The intervention did not come in time to give Florida and Michigan a full role in the democratic process, only in time to let the Clinton campaign benefit from their essential disenfranchisement….This would be wrong if Barack Obama had done it, wrong if John Edwards or Bill Richardson or Dennis Kucinich did it. And it is wrong when the Clinton campaign does it. If they believed democratic principles were at stake, then there was a time to stand for democracy and ensure Floridians would host a campaign and have a voice. They let that moment pass. And they did not do so passively; they spoke up in agreement with the DNC’s decision. Now they are circling back for advantage, pretending to speak up for the process when in reality they are only advocating for themselves. That does not honor Florida and Michigan’s participation. It cheapens it.” —Ezra Klein, on how the Clintons are trying to change the rules of the game

Quote Of The Day

Gustavo Vega, director of the Center for International Studies at the prestigious Colegio de Mexico in Mexico City, said that while NAFTA has helped create more jobs for Mexicans, it has not helped create enough of them. Still, had it not been for passage of the North American Free Trade Agreement in 1993, Mexico would have suffered a much-greater financial crisis after its economy crashed in December 1994, he said. “It helped us to recover from the crisis sooner rather than later,” Vega told the Center for U.S.-Mexican Studies at the University of California San Diego on Tuesday.” — San Diego Union Tribune

Quote Of The Day

“Many progressives seem to think we can transform America into a vast college campus where food, shelter, and recreation are all provided for us and the only crime is to be mean to somebody else, particularly a minority.” — Arnold Kling, quoting a passage of Jonah Goldberg’s recent book Liberal Fascism while reviewing the book

The Benefits Of Wal-Mart

Jobs:

They came in droves — high school students, retirees, young moms, the unemployed — all for a shot at a job at a new Wal-Mart on Memorial Drive in central DeKalb County.

In just two days, and with virtually no advertising or even any signs, a staggering 7,500 people filled out applications for one of the 350 to 400 available jobs.

Delois Zeigler was among those who packed a meeting room Tuesday at Saint Philips AME Church near Avondale Estates, hoping to soon be wearing Wal-Mart’s trademark blue uniform.

“I need a job,” said Zeigler, who has held temporary cleaning and cooking jobs since moving to metro Atlanta two months ago. “I’m open to anything.”

Although Wal-Mart often draws more than 1,000 applicants in one day, store manager Henry Greene said the turnout for the Memorial Drive site was stunning.

“When I arrived Monday morning and saw people lined up down the hill, it was absolutely frightening,” he said. “To see that many people, I was like, ‘Oh my goodness.’ I was very happy.”

The full article can be found here. Wal-Mart continues to bring what the poor most need – jobs and cheaper products.

College Choices: Parental Involvement and Latino Students

Hello Hispanic Pundit readers! Hispanic CREO – real name, Anne – guestblogging for the first time today. I’ll be dropping in occasionally to comment on some of the educational issues currently affecting the Latino community. If you like what you read, please visit my blog, The Daily Grito. Also, leave comments – they’re great!

Today’s topic: Latino Parental Involvement in College-Related Decisions

More than a third of Latino college freshman report that their parents are involved “too little” in their college-related decisions, according to a report published yesterday by The Higher Education Research Institute (HERI). The report, which surveyed over 270,000 students across the country, revealed that 32% of Hispanic freshman desire greater parental involvement in dealing with college officials, and 43% of students want more parental help in choosing college courses and college activities.

It’s no secret that parental involvement increases academic performance in elementary and secondary schools, but scant research has been conducted to evaluate the effects of parental involvement on the academic achievement of college students. In fact, while researching this post, I could not find a single study that evaluated college students’ academic achievement in relation to parental involvement.

So, what does the HERI study mean for Latino students? Well, firstly, it offers some motivation for parents to become more involved in their children’s college choices. Even if we don’t yet have research to say so, there is little doubt that parental involvement yields positive results. Of course, this is not something that parents can necessarily “go alone.” Today, 49% of Latino college students are first generation college students – which means that their parents need information and support about how to navigate the college system and help their children be successful in higher education. This is a good prospect for non-profit organizations – perhaps the College Parents of America – as well as colleges and universities.

Secondly, the research indicates that even with increased parental support, Latino students may need more general assistance to make important decisions about their college careers. This is where colleges and universities come in. As the Latino population grows and more Hispanic students enter college, institutions of higher learning will have to adapt to serve the needs of these students – especially first generation college students. Orientation programs for minority students, personalized and intensive academic counseling and peer support groups are all good starting points and can offer many benefits to Latinos in college.

With greater parental involvement and institutional support, we can begin to increase the number of Latino students who make good choices about college – and make themselves successful graduates.

Quote Of The Day

“So what drives modern marriage? We believe that the answer lies in a shift from the family as a forum for shared production to shared consumption. In case the language of economic lacks romance, let’s be clearer: modern marriage is about love and companionship. Most things in life are simply better shared with another. … The key today is consumption complementarities — activities that are not only enjoyable, but are more enjoyable when shared with a spouse. We call this new model of sharing our lives “hedonic marriage.”” — Justin Wolfers, on the economics of marriage.

Quote Of The Day

“Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama are now in a rock ’em, sock ’em battle. The astute liberal columnist Michael Tomasky characterizes Clinton’s victory as “downright ugly.” A push poll in Nevada four times identified Clinton’s opponent as “Barack Hussein Obama”—imagine the cries of bigotry that would ensue if a Republican had done that!” —Michael Barone, Discussing the political climate

Quote Of The Day

“When I first came to understand that Roe v. Wade was logically incompatible with the idea that babies had a right to life, I feared that if this decision were to stand it would eventually lead to the erosion, if not the complete abandonment, of the idea on which this country was founded, that “all men are created equal, with certain unalienable rights, that among these are life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness”. Or as a Christian would put it, that it would destroy the concept of the “sanctity of life”. As Richard Weaver said, ideas have consequences. It would seem that my fears have been tragically borne out. It is now necessary to argue, almost on a case-by-case basis, for respecting human rights that have heretofore been taken for granted. The progress of the last two millennia in this area are now being reversed. We seem to be plunging headlong back into barbarism, ignoring the hard-won wisdom embedded in the moral understandings developed over many centuries of human experience. Everything must be learned anew; we must start with a blank slate and work out everything for ourselves with no regard for what has come before. This is madness. If we persist in this arrogance it can only lead to our destruction”. —bd-from-kg, on a discussion forum at the Secular Web in the later part of the year 2000

The Case Against John McCain

Here is just one among many, many, others:

In the New Hampshire debate, McCain asserted that corruption is the reason drugs currently cannot be reimported from Canada. The reason is “the power of the pharmaceutical companies.” When Mitt Romney interjected, “Don’t turn the pharmaceutical companies into the big bad guys,” McCain replied, “Well, they are.”

There is a place in American politics for moralizers who think in such Manichaean simplicities. That place is in the Democratic Party, where people who talk like McCain are considered not mavericks but mainstream.

Republicans are supposed to eschew demagogic aspersions concerning complicated economic matters. But applause greets faux “straight talk” that brands as “bad” the industry responsible for the facts that polio is no longer a scourge, that childhood leukemia is no longer a death sentence, that depression and other mental illnesses are treatable diseases, that the rate of heart attacks and heart failures has been cut more than in half in 50 years.

The full article can be found here.

Quote Of The Day

“The problem we have today is that a politician is measured by what he wants to spend money on. Everybody’s talking about how they’re going to start this new program or that new entitlement or whatever. What we need is to measure politicians by what dumb thing they’re going to get the government to quit doing.” – Greg Krehbiel

HispanicCREO To Guest Blog

HispanicCREO and I have agreed to occasionally guest blog on each others blog. So expect to see blog posts from them and you can find more of me over on their blog.

To avoid confusion, blog posts by Hispanic CREO will have, “Published By HispanicCREO” under the title whereas posts I write (or quote) will continue to have “Published By HispanicPundit” under the title.

Quote Of The Day

“Clinton is no doubt shocked that a simple argument about experience versus inspiration becomes the basis for a charge of racial insensitivity. She is surprised that the very use of “fairy tale” in reference to Obama’s position on Iraq is taken as a sign of insensitivity, or that any reference to his self-confessed teenage drug use is immediately given racial overtones. But where, I ask you, do such studied and/or sincere expressions of racial offense come from? From a decades-long campaign of enforced political correctness by an alliance of white liberals and the black civil rights establishment intended to delegitimize and marginalize as racist any criticism of their post-civil rights-era agenda”. —Charles Krauthammer

Quote Of The Day

“I am impressed that the strong majority of the world’s richest individuals (about 30 out of the 39 richest Americans) made their money rather than inherited it. The wealthiest individuals are mainly self-made because inherited wealth gets dissipated over a couple of generations through bad investments, or is given to various charities, or gets broken up and divided among many grandchildren, cousins, and divorced members. For this reason, no descendants of John Rockefeller, Andrew Carnegie, or other titans of the beginning of the century are among the very wealthiest”. — Gary Becker, Nobel Laureate in economics on The Proliferation of Billionaires

Quote Of The Day

“There has been plenty of talk about “predatory lending,” but “predatory borrowing” may have been the bigger problem. As much as 70 percent of recent early payment defaults had fraudulent misrepresentations on their original loan applications, according to one recent study. The research was done by BasePoint Analytics, which helps banks and lenders identify fraudulent transactions; the study looked at more than three million loans from 1997 to 2006, with a majority from 2005 to 2006. Applications with misrepresentations were also five times as likely to go into default.” — Tyler Cowen, in a New York Times article describing what economists learned this past year

Quote Of The Day

“Medicare is a different story. Health-care costs now consume about 16 percent of GDP, but projections by the Department of Health and Human Services suggest that by 2016, that will have risen to almost 20 percent. Wise speculates that closing the Medicare budgetary gap would require a tax increase of something on the order of 8 to 12 percent of total payroll. That is a massive tax increase—$4,000 to $6,000 a year on a $50,000 income (again assuming the tax were spread evenly). Many economists and budget analysts have drawn up plans intended to fix Social Security, through some combination of benefit cuts, higher retirement ages, and tax increases. But almost no one claims to have any good ideas about Medicare”. —Megan McArdle, blogging in The Atlantic on the upcoming retirement of the baby boom generation

Quote Of The Day

“I have believed for a while now that an important reason that suburban public schools outperform urban public schools is that suburban public schools have to keep the parents happier because of the competition from private schools. That is, in a rich suburban neighborhood, you get excellent public school, partly because the parents are rich enough to send their kids to private schools if the public schools perform poorly. In the inner city, the parents are poor and the private school alternative is not much of a threat.” — Russell Roberts, on competition