Archive for May, 2007

Oh The Irony

Tuesday, May 22nd, 2007

I wonder which of the “two Americas” John Edwards hails from:

John Edwards has an example to teach University of California at Davis students how to avoid poverty — charge $55,000 for a speech. That’s how much the 2008 Democratic presidential candidate negotiated for his fee to speak to 1,787 people at the taxpayer-funded school in January 2006, according to financial disclosures.

This hardly distinguishes Edwards from other politicians, of course, whose concern with winning elections is far greater than any concern for average people. Still, the hypocrisy is obvious and illuminating.

Competing Studies

Tuesday, May 22nd, 2007

Ed Morrissey looks at two studies on immigration, both by Heritage Foundation scholars, that come to two radically different conclusions.

Blue Ridges

Tuesday, May 22nd, 2007

Civil War in 5 Minutes

Monday, May 21st, 2007

Very sad…

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Blog Survey

Monday, May 21st, 2007

Barb Kaye of the University of Tennessee College of Communications is conducting an online survey of blog readers. I encourage everyone to participate. Via Glenn Reynolds.

They Learnt Me Good!

Monday, May 21st, 2007

Education in Tennessee: not so good:

The state Board of Regents says, statewide, nearly half of all college students and 70 percent of community college students require remedial work that costs the state $25 million dollars annually.

Bredesen says students who score poorly on the ACT college entrance exams should consider going to community colleges, rather than four-year schools that are more expensive for the state and where marginal students are much more likely to fail.

A study by the ACT concluded just 17 percent of Tennessee students meet the benchmarks for being ready for college classes.

This is hardly a problem unique to Tennessee, of course. All across America, high schools are churning out students that are hardly prepared for college. And while academic standards continue to decline, more and more students are enrolling in college than ever before. The recipe for disaster is obvious.

The key to improving our colleges, as I’ve always said, is to improve high schools. Thomas Nenson of the University of Memphis blames socioeconomic factors, a common culprit according to academics. I don’t doubt that there is some truth to this, but when an outright majority of graduates are not prepared for college, it is clear that socioeconomic factors are overemphasized as a cause of the problem.

The main causes are two things: poor education and the idea that everyone should go to college. The former is difficult to fix, as it goes back to parenting more than anything else. Effective parents will make sure that their children receive a quality education. Programs like vouchers that allow for more choices in education would clearly aid parents in doing this.

The second cause is more painful. The simple fact is that not everyone belongs in college. Now, it’s hard to tell a high school student they aren’t college material. But we all know that some are not. It makes little sense to spend public funds on students that have little to no chance of receiving a college degree. That might sound heartless, but deep down, everyone knows this. Some just try to deny it.

UPDATE: This post is taking part in the Beltway Traffic Jam.

Romney Surges

Sunday, May 20th, 2007

Just when some were writing obituaries for the Romney campaign, a new poll shows him leading in Iowa with 30%, with McCain and Giuliani in a dead heat for second place with 18% and 17% respectively.

On the Democratic side, John Edwards leads with 29%, six points ahead of Obama and eight points ahead of Hillary (yes, she is in third place). If these leads hold (which is by no means assured given how far off the caucus is), wins in Iowa for Romney and Edwards will be viewed as upsets and will jump start their campaigns.

Who Said This?

Sunday, May 20th, 2007

Can you guess who said this:

“[B]ecause we allowed ourselves to wait until we woke up one day and found 12 million illegals here, there’s no easy solution. And I think that you have to realize that you’re either going to drive 12 million people underground permanently, which is not a good solution. You’re going to get them all together and get them out of the country, which is not going to happen. Or you’re going to have to, in some way, work out a deal where they can have some aspirations of citizenship, but not make it so easy that it’s unfair to the people waiting in line and abiding by the law.”

Or this:

“We haven’t enforced the law, in terms of employers. … For 20 years, we’ve not enforced the law, and that’s a part of the problem. You can’t enforce it all on the backs of the employers. People falsify information that they give employers and all that. That’s not a solution to the problem.”

And this:

“You know, if you have the right kind of policies, and you’re not encouraging people to come here and encouraging them to stay once they’re here, they’ll go back, many of them, of their own volition, instead of having to, you know, load up moving vans and rounding people up. That’s not going to happen.”

So who made these statements? Ted Kennedy? George Bush? No, it was Fred Thompson who said all of these things, and much more. Not that I’m upset about it; I think he was absolutely right. I’m just wondering why the Malkinites over at Hot Air are so revved up about him, given their near derangement when it comes to anything that doesn’t involve mass deportations.


Sunday, May 20th, 2007

Glen Dean has a great post about the unlikely friendship that developed between the Rev. Jerry Falwell and Larry Flynt:

I really don’t understand why people think it is healthy to hate people that they “consider” to be hateful. Do you think that you are hurting the people that you are hating? No, you are only hurting yourself with that poison. You are only making yourself miserable. Last week, when Falwell died, I abstained from shaming the people who said nasty things about Dr. Falwell. If anything, I felt compassion for them. To have that much hate inside must be a miserable existence.

Mountain Bouquet

Saturday, May 19th, 2007