University of Wisconsin - Madison Disgraces Itself

Linda Chavez
Townhall - by Linda Chavez - The campus at the University of Wisconsin-Madison erupted this week after the release of two studies documenting the heavy use of race in deciding which students to admit to the undergraduate and law schools. The evidence of discrimination is undeniable, and the reaction by critics was undeniably dishonest and thuggish. The Center for Equal Opportunity (CEO), which I founded in 1995 to expose and challenge misguided race-based public policies, conducted the studies based on an analysis of the university's own admissions data. But the university was none too keen on releasing the data, which CEO obtained through filing Freedom of Information Act requests only after a successful legal challenge went all the way to the state supreme court.
It's no wonder the university wanted to keep the information secret. The studies show that a black or Hispanic undergraduate applicant was more than 500 times likelier to be admitted to Wisconsin-Madison than a similarly qualified white or Asian applicant. The odds ratio favoring black law school applicants over similarly qualified white applicants was 61 to 1.
The median SAT scores of black undergraduates who were admitted were 150 points lower than whites or Asians, while the median Hispanic scores were roughly 100 points lower. And median high school rankings for both blacks and Hispanics were also lower than for either whites or Asians.
CEO has published studies of racial double standards in admissions at scores of public colleges and universities across the country with similar findings, but none has caused such a violent reaction.
Instead of addressing the findings of the study, the university's vice provost for diversity, Damon A. Williams, dishonestly told students that "CEO has one mission and one mission only: dismantle the gains that were achieved by the civil rights movement." In fact, CEO's only mission is to promote color-blind equal opportunity so that, in Martin Luther King's vision, no one will be judged by the color of his or her skin.
Egged on by inflammatory comments by university officials, student groups organized a flashmob via a Facebook page that was filled with propaganda and outright lies about CEO wanting to dismantle their student groups. More than a hundred angry students stormed the press conference at the Doubletree Hotel in Madison, where CEO president Roger Clegg was releasing the study. Read rest of column here: News New Mexico

Cash Infusion to Solyndra in 2011 Reeks of Fraud

AJC - WASHINGTON — The Obama administration restructured a half-billion dollar federal loan to a troubled solar energy company in such a way that private investors — including a fundraiser for President Barack Obama — moved ahead of taxpayers for repayment in case of a default, government records show. Newly released emails show that the Obama administration was worried about the financial health of a troubled solar energy company even as officials publicly declared the company in good shape. An email from a White House budget official to a co-worker discussed the likely effect of a default by Solyndra Inc. on President Barack Obama’s re-election campaign. Administration officials defended the loan restructuring, saying that without an infusion of cash earlier this year, solar panel maker Solyndra Inc. would likely have faced immediate bankruptcy, putting more than 1,000 people out of work. Even with the federal help, Solyndra filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection earlier this month and laid off its 1,100 employees. Read full story here: News New Mexico


Terrell: A Few Things Starting to Move

Steve Terrell
Roundhouse Roundup - Both the Senate and the House this afternoon passed their versions of the Public Education Commission redistricting plans. I can't say how the two plans differ, if at all. At least one of the bills would have to make it through both chambers before going to the governor for signature. The PEC is mostly an advisory board. Its major power is approving charter schools. And just moments ago the House unanimously passed HB 28, which appropriates the rest of the state's stimulus money (currently at $6.2 million) to the state's Medicaid program and $450,000 from the general fund to shore up the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program. This bill was part of Gov. Susana Martinez's agenda -- and is the only non-redistricting bill that's been considered so far. Read full story here: News New Mexico

Miller: Time's a Wastin

Jay Miller
Inside of the Capitol - SANTA FE -- Time's a-wastin'. Tomorrow is the end of the second week of the New Mexico Legislature's special session on redistricting. And not much has happened. The first encouraging sign emerged the middle of last week when 13 of 15 Republican senators signed a bill redistricting the Senate so that no returning Republican senator gets hurt. That feat was accomplished soon after Sen. Kent Cravens, an Albuquerque Republican, announced that he will be leaving the Senate to become director of governmental affairs for the New Mexico Oil and Gas Association. Senate Democrats also have an Albuquerque member, Sen. Eric Griego, who has announced his intent to leave the Senate to run for Congress. With those two advantages, Senate Democrats and Republicans might be able to get together on an agreeable redistricting plan.
It's about time. The general timetable reportedly in legislative minds calls for redistricting to be decided in about two weeks, followed by several days of discussion about Gov. Susana Martinez's 11 agenda items. Sufficient money has been appropriated for a three week session ending September 27. By that time, the House, Senate, Democrats, Republicans and the governor need to agree on redistricting of the U.S. House, state House and Senate, Public Regulation Commission and state Board of Education districts. Mere passage of redistricting legislation does not accomplish the task. Unless bipartisan agreement can be reached, including the governor, the court is going to end up drawing the new districts at a cost to the state of about $5 million in attorney fees. It isn't important to fret about this session costing $50,000 a day. That is one-percent of my estimated cost to taxpayers of legal fees if everything goes to court. Read full column here: News New Mexico


Want Less Inequality? Stop Subsidizing Schools

From -No matter how good and dedicated teachers might be, if students are mediocre and below, they will remain so.  You can change class sizes, or waste billions on computers, but neither will change the distribution of talents.   Brilliant students will benefit from access to the subsidized technology, and they will do brilliantly even if their teachers are mediocre.  Above average students situated in class with brilliant student will perhaps raise their own performance. But let brilliant teachers teach mediocre and below-mediocre students, even with the most up-to-date equipment, and you’ll only get, at best, good statistics about education and more paper degrees. At worst, you’ll get students bored to death – and boredom is a source of vice.  More News New Mexico

Another Dem May Switch Vote on Drivers Licenses

Steve Munoz
From -A couple weeks ago, we reported that Sen. Steve Fischmann (D-Mesilla) indicated he may switch his vote from “no” to “yes” when it comes to repealing the state law granting driver’s licenses to illegal immigrants.  On August 31, Fischmann said on the radio program News New Mexico, “I’m getting enough blowback [in my district] that I might very well vote to pull, yank, driver’s licenses because, frankly, that’s what my constituents seem to overwhelmingly want.  More News New Mexico

Goldman Sachs: Exclusive Advisor on Solyndra Loan Gurantee Appplication

Economic Policy Journal - When it comes to government money, it's always about insiders running circles around the government money and pocketing a piece. Don't ever forget that. And usually, there is a crony investment banker as part of the program. On March 20, 2009, the Obama connected and now infamous Solyndra, Inc. announced that it was the first company to receive an offer for a U.S. Department of Energy loan guarantee under Title XVII of the Energy Policy Act of 2005.
Solyndra said in the announcement that it would use the proceeds of a $535 million loan from the U.S. Treasury’s Federal Financing Bank to expand its solar panel manufacturing capacity in California. The press release closes this way: Goldman, Sachs & Co. acted as exclusive financial advisor to Solyndra in connection with this loan guarantee application. Read full story here: News New Mexico


Nobel Prize Winning Physics Scientist....a "Denier"

Dr. Ivar Giaever
Fox News - Dr. Ivar Giaever, a former professor with Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute and the 1973 winner of the Nobel Prize in physics, abruptly announced his resignation Tuesday, Sept. 13, from the premier physics society in disgust over its officially stated policy that "global warming is occurring." The official position of the American Physical Society (APS) supports the theory that man's actions have inexorably led to the warming of the planet, through increased emissions of carbon dioxide. Giaever does not agree -- and put it bluntly and succinctly in the subject line of his email, reprinted at Climate Depot, a website devoted to debunking the theory of man-made climate change. "I resign from APS," Giaever wrote. Giaever was cooled to the statement on warming theory by a line claiming that "the evidence is incontrovertible." "In the APS it is ok to discuss whether the mass of the proton changes over time and how a multi-universe behaves, but the evidence of global warming is incontrovertible?" he wrote in an email to Kate Kirby, executive officer of the physics society. "The claim … is that the temperature has changed from ~288.0 to ~288.8 degree Kelvin in about 150 years, which (if true) means to me is that the temperature has been amazingly stable, and both human health and happiness have definitely improved in this 'warming' period," his email message said. Read full story here: News New Mexico

Bingaman on Green Energy Loan Guarantees: "has not worked as well as we had hoped"

Jeff Bingaman
As chairman of the Senate Energy Committee, New Mexico Senator Jeff Bingaman has his legislative hands all over the discredited concept of empowering the federal government to hand pick companies for federal loan guarantees. And it was that policy that led directly to taxpapers loss of more than a half a billion dollars in the Solyndra scandal. The Washington Times has quoted Bingaman as saying recently that the loan-guarantee program he actively supported, "has not worked as well as we had hoped."
As recently as two months ago, Jeff Bingaman was still forging ahead with the idea that the federal government should help President Obama's Energy Department make "investments." In July Bingaman introduced a bill to create a "clean-energy bank" that would make direct loans or take equity positions in projects of its choosing.
Martin Heinrich
Bingaman's Senate Energy Committee approved the proposal. However, in an era where massive federal budget defiicts are coming under much more scrutiny, Bingaman's latest foray into government banking and investing, the program has not made it to the Senate floor. New Mexico House member from Congressional District I, Martin Heinrich, also an ardent supporter of the federal government funneling taxpayer dollars into solar energy companies of its choosing, has been maintaining silence on the Solyndra scandal. Heinrich is seeking the Senate seat the reitiring Senator Bingaman is leaving next year.


Not Shovel Ready, But......


WSJ: 27 Percent of NM Jobless Claims Paid in Error

According to a Wall Street Journal Report, New Mexico was one of the biggest violators by percentage of nearly $19 billion in state unemployment benefits that were paid in error during the three years that ended in June according the latest Labor Department data. See interactive map here.
The amount represents more than 10% of the $180 billion in jobless benefits paid nationwide during the period. See a sortable chart of each states’ overpayments here. The tally covers state programs, which offer benefits for up to 26 weeks, from July 2008 to June 2011. Layers of federal programs that help provide benefits for up to 99 weeks weren’t included.
The figures were released Wednesday as the Obama administration promotes its bid to reduce waste at federal agencies. The federal government foots the bill for administering the programs, and states are supposed to pay for the benefits. Many states exhausted their unemployment insurance trust funds during the long recession and slow recovery, prompting them to borrow from the federal government to replenish their funds.

Improper payments most often occur when recipients claim benefits even though they have returned to work; employers or their administrators don’t submit timely or accurate information about worker separations; or recipients don’t correctly register with a state’s employment-service organization. The Labor Department launched a plan to crack down on the improper payments, targeting Virginia, Indiana, Colorado, Washington, Louisiana and Arizona in particular for their high error rates. Those states will undergo additional monitoring and technical assistance until their error rates dip below 10% and remain there for at least six months, according to the Labor Department. “The Unemployment Insurance system is a unique partnership between the federal government and the states. States bear the responsibility of operating an efficient and effective benefits program, but as partners the federal government must be able to hold them accountable for doing so,” Labor Secretary Hilda Solis said in a release. Read full story here: News New Mexico