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June 07, 2012

Brilliance Percolating

The writing is on the wall for the Obama presidency.  While browsing Memeorandum this morning I ran across this from Taylor Marsh.  Ms. Marsh is a progressive.

I remain fascinated that anyone pretending to have Democratic, progressive, let alone liberal, political views cares whether Pres. Obama wins or loses. What it’s going to take for people to understand he’s not fighting any of your battles, but only waging his own for himself, is unknown at this point, but maybe when he shoots for legacy on the “grand bargain” fence of history people will tune in and, perhaps, wake up. Then it will be too late, though it already is and was a long time ago.

Ah, the dawn comes to Marble Head.  After three and a half years of Obama, the keen progressive mind dimly perceives a disconnect between Obama oratory and Obama action.  Morning brightens ever so slowly over there on the left.  They've been fumbling around in the dark looking for the switch for so long that they never noticed the sun is up and they don't need to turn on a light.  It's been a three and a half year sunrise. 

Then suddenly recognition, like an ice cold shower. 

The collective political ego of the Democratic Party insiders, activists, union bosses, and voters are holding on to Barack Obama for dear life to convince themselves the cause is relevant.

What “cause” exists, exactly?

What is Pres. Obama fighting for besides himself, the only cause that makes him rise up to do anything?

The guy can’t even find a slogan, stuck with We’re Not Done Yet.

God help us all.

Obama is Obama's cause?  What a painful shock!  Or it would be if the progressive brain could only make sense of those muddled nerve impulses attacking it.  There's little evidence of that, though.  Reality seems to get lost as it tries to make its way through Ms. Marsh's sexist filters.  She makes that clear as she gets to the real point of her diatrive.

One of the most important battles worth waging in 2012 is one for the survival and preservation of Elizabeth Warren to make sure her power is institutionalized in the Senate (though I remain skeptical Warren will remain who she is today in that cave of men and party group think). Her brilliance percolating for the lone road of the presidency, a choice that could be dashed if she loses in November.

 Brilliance percolating? 

A working class hero from Harvard whose latest assault from the right is about her native American heritage, which they’re attempting to turn into scandal.

Somehow it goes ignored.   Warren is a working class hero who railed against the bank foreclosures, but who also made hefty profits flipping foreclosed homes in Oklahoma.  I suppose that's pretty typical of today's heroes of the proletariat.

Elizabeth Warren Flip

RETURN ON HER INVESTMENT: Elizabeth Warren purchased this Oklahoma City home at 200 NW 16th Street for $30,000 in August 1993, then sold it for $145,000 five months later.

So much for heroics.  How 'bout some percolating brilliance?  Don't look to the late Professor Philip Shuchman of Rutgers University Law School for a Warren brilliance endorsement. 

In 1990, Rutgers University Law School Professor Philip Shuchman wrote a review of As We Forgive Our Debtors: Bankruptcy and Consumer Credit in America, the 1989 book Ms. Warren co-authored with Teresa Sullivan and Jay Westbrook. In his review, “Social Science Research on Bankruptcy,” published in the 43rd volume of the Rutgers Law Review (pages 185-244), Professor Shuchman assailed Ms. Warren’s academic credibility in a lengthy article that culminated in this hard-hitting charge (see page 187):

Most of their study replicates several earlier research publications. These are hardly mentioned. The writers make extravagant and false claims to originality and priority of research. There appear to be serious errors in their use of statistical bases which result in grossly mistaken functions and comparisons. Some of their conclusions cannot be obtained even from their flawed findings. The authors have made their raw data unavailable so that its accuracy cannot be independently checked. In my opinion, the authors have engaged in repeated instances of scientific misconduct. [emphasis added]

You can read Professor Shuchman’s review in its entirety here.

Such "scholarly" work was not what you would call an aberration.  Megan McArdle was outraged at Warren's inordinate influence in the promotion of ObamaCare through a deceptive study of medical bills and bankrupties.

I am mad, first of all, because Elizabeth Warren is not a third-year statistically illiterate policy analyst at a health care advocacy group. She's a professor at Harvard, and the head of the Congressional TARP oversight panel. This conveys a certain responsibility to present data in the most illuminating way, not in the way that will induce journalists to say things that aren't true.

And they have done just that. Read a sampling of the stories about this study on Google News. It's clear that none of the authors of the stories I've read understand that we're talking about a smaller absolute number of medical bankruptcies, representing a larger proportion of a much smaller overall number:  that this increase in the proportion could at least as easily have been driven by less need for non-medical bankruptcy, than by bigger, scarier medical bills. Indeed, many of the stories indicate that medical bankruptcies have risen since 2001, which is not true even according to Warren's figures.

On the one hand I have to give Taylor Marsh a little credit.  At least she's got brains enough to see Obama for what he is — a self serving con artist.  Too bad she can't take off her sexist blinders.  She might see that Elizabeth Warren is only a feminist version of Barack Obama.  There's nothing brilliant about that.

Linked by fellow New Hampshire blogger the Weekend Pundit!  Thanks!

Posted by Tom Bowler at 08:32 PM | Permalink


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Link to Schuhman's paper doesn't work

Posted by: rod mcfadden | Jun 12, 2012 2:37:22 PM

Sorry I didn't see your comment earlier, but the link does work. You have to scroll down to the window with the PDF in it and click to Page 2 to get by the HeinOnline license agreement verbiage.

Posted by: Tom Bowler | Jul 11, 2012 1:11:59 PM