Michelle Obama behind Inspector General firing?

December 14, 2009

It’s way too early to ask that famous question (paraphrased), “What did she know and when did she know it,” but Byron York reports on strong indications that the White House may be trying to hide the First Lady’s involvement of AmeriCorps Inspector General Gerald Walpin, who had uncovered corruption in one of her favorite charities:

Congressional investigators looking into the abrupt firing of AmeriCorps inspector general Gerald Walpin have discovered that the head of AmeriCorps met with a top aide to First Lady Michelle Obama the day before Walpin was removed.

According to Republican investigators, Alan Solomont, then the chairman of the Corporation for National and Community Service, which oversees AmeriCorps, had denied meeting with Jackie Norris, at the time the First Lady’s chief of staff.  But recently-released White House visitor logs show that Solomont met with Norris on June 9 of this year (as well as on two earlier occasions). President Obama fired Walpin on June 10 after an intense dispute over Walpin’s aggressive investigation of misuse of AmeriCorps money by Obama political ally Kevin Johnson, the mayor of Sacramento, California.

After being presented with the visitor logs, investigators say, Solomont explained that he met with Norris to discuss Corporation business but did not discuss the Walpin matter.  When pressed, Solomont said he might have made an offhand comment, or a mention in passing, about the Walpin affair, but that he and Norris did not have a discussion about it.

Solomont’s explanations have left both Rep. Darrell Issa, ranking Republican on the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee, and Sen. Charles Grassley, top Republican on the Senate Finance Committee, frustrated and vowing to continue their investigation of the Walpin matter. In a letter to Solomont, sent Friday, Issa wrote that he has “serious questions about the veracity of your…testimony.”  In a statement Saturday, Grassley said he is “concerned about the accuracy and completeness of Mr. Solomont’s answers to questions.”

Solomont changed his story several times and was caught in a bald lie by committee investigators. The question is inevitable: if nothing wrong was done, why not admit he had discussed that troublesome IG with Mrs. Obama’s chief of staff? (And who soon thereafter was appointed to the board of AmeriCorps supervising corporation.) Unless, of course, the First Lady was to some degree involved in the illegal firing of Mr. Walpin? AmeriCorps is a favored charity of hers, and Mayor Johnson is a major Obama supporter and friend. A little Chicago-style hardball politics to make Walpin go away wouldn’t be alien to her, someone steeped in it from childhood.

Again, it’s too early to scream j’accuse, but the behavior of those involved is both curious and suggestive. But, with the Republicans in the minority and Democrats seemingly uninterested in pursuing IG-gate, we may have to wait for January, 2011, for the full story to come out.

RELATED: A friend reminds me of a potentially similar prior scandal, from when our Secretary of State was herself First lady. This time, however, there’s the added spice of the current First Lady possibly intervening to protect a supporter who misuses federal funds and sexually harasses interns. Sweet! I’d better order more popcorn…

LINKS: More at Hot Air.


Climategate’s Perry Mason moment

November 28, 2009

Quote of the day, from Steve Milloy:

First, by admitting that we “are nowhere close” to understanding atmospheric energy flows, the much-vaunted Trenberth has trashed all the climate models on which the gloom-and-doom IPCC forecasts are based. If energy flows in the climate system cannot be accounted for, then they cannot be modeled — and there can be no basis upon which to make predictions of future temperatures.

That’s case closed, right there. But there’s more.

To find out what else there is, and why this is a “Perry Mason moment,” read the whole thing.

After these last few revelations (and you can bet there’s more to come), the “science” of Anthropogenic Global Warming has about as much credibility as a game of three-card monte.

TRANSPARENCY: Don’t take my word (or anyone else’s) for it – search the emails in question for yourself.


Climategate and the significance of the emails

November 28, 2009

PJTV‘s Allen Barton interviews Myron Ebell of the Competitive Enterprise Institute on the implications of what’s been found in the emails leaked from the UEA Climate Research Unit:

RELATED: The CEI is suing the NASA Goddard Institute for Space Studies to force it to release its raw data regarding climate change. Like the CRU, NASA/GISS has refused to make its data available.

What are they afraid of?


Even the MSM cannot ignore it

November 22, 2009

You know a scandal may have legs when even the mainstream media, which has generally hewed to alarmist line regarding global warming, reports on the evidence of scientific fraud:

Electronic files that were stolen from a prominent climate research center and made public last week provide a rare glimpse into the behind-the-scenes battle to shape the public perception of global warming.

While few U.S. politicians bother to question whether humans are changing the world’s climate — nearly three years ago the U.N. Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change concluded the evidence was unequivocal — public debate persists. And the newly disclosed private exchanges among climate scientists at Britain’s Climate Research Unit of the University of East Anglia reveal an intellectual circle that appears to feel very much under attack, and eager to punish its enemies.

In one e-mail, the center’s director, Phil Jones, writes Pennsylvania State University’s Michael E. Mann and questions whether the work of academics that question the link between human activities and global warming deserve to make it into the prestigious IPCC report, which represents the global consensus view on climate science.

“I can’t see either of these papers being in the next IPCC report,” Jones writes. “Kevin and I will keep them out somehow — even if we have to redefine what the peer-review literature is!

(Emphasis added)

The highlighted segment of the Post article reiterates the point I made yesterday: results had become more important to significant players in the “climate alarmist community” than truth, leading to a willingness to corrupt the scientific process by excluding contrary articles from scientific literature. Again, this revelation and the others contained in the leaked emails should call all pro-alarmist research into question. As the article points out, most politicians in the US have been unquestioning sheep about anthropogenic climate change. Maybe this time they’ll develop a healthy skepticism.

(hat tip: Hot Air)

Further reading: Fausta has several good links, while Power Line presents a case-study of how alarmists do science.


Global warming fraud exposed?

November 21, 2009

These are dark times indeed for true believers in the religion of Anthropogenic Global Warming: not only is the empirical evidence going more and more against their Inconvenient Truths, but now there have come revelations of scandal within the walls of one of the Holy Places of the Faith. A hacker broke into the computer systems of the University of East Anglia Climate Research Unit and stole over 60 megabytes of emails and other documents and released them to the public.

The significance of of these files is that they strongly indicate deliberate fraud and the illegal destruction of data by researchers seeking to bolster the case for AGW. They also speak of plans (at least) to corrupt the peer-review process by smearing skeptical scientists in order to blackball them, thus creating a review process slanted favorably toward research that supports the anthropogenic thesis of global warming and ignores any problems with that research.

James Delingpole of The Telegraph has a good overview of the ethical roaches uncovered by this (let’s be blunt) theft. Let me quote from one of the emails dealing with the corruption of the peer-review process:

“This was the danger of always criticising the skeptics for not publishing in the “peer-reviewed literature”. Obviously, they found a solution to that–take over a journal! So what do we do about this? I think we have to stop considering “Climate Research” as a legitimate peer-reviewed journal. Perhaps we should encourage our colleagues in the climate research community to no longer submit to, or cite papers in, this journal. We would also need to consider what we tell or request of our more reasonable colleagues who currently sit on the editorial board…What do others think?”

“I will be emailing the journal to tell them I’m having nothing more to do with it until they rid themselves of this troublesome editor.”“It results from this journal having a number of editors. The responsible one for this is a well-known skeptic in NZ. He has let a few papers through by Michaels and Gray in the past. I’ve had words with Hans von Storch about this, but got nowhere. Another thing to discuss in Nice !”

Talk like this should mortify anyone concerned for the integrity of science. The peer-review process is crucial to maintaining this integrity. For any scientist to try to game and shape this system in their favor should lead to calling into question the whole body of their research, especially when global-warming alarmists, such as the scientists at the CRU, are demanding governments take extreme measures to fix a problem the scientists claim is incontrovertible fact.

If half of what was revealed is true, then any credibility possessed by the pro-AGW faction in the scientific community, national governments, and the UN is crippled or outright destroyed. The Senate should call an immediate halt to any further consideration its version  of the Waxman-Markey bill, passage of which would be disastrous for the US economy, until the truth about these revelations from CRU can be determined.

Besides Delingpole’s article, here are a few other links you’ll want to read to get an idea of the scope of this scandal:

The mind boggles at the possible scope of the fraud revealed today. For the sheer magnitude of its potential effect on the world’s economy, it dwarfs other scandals, such as fake fetal stem cell research. If true, it could be fatal to the Anthropogenic Global Warming movement.

Let’s hope it’s true, then.

LINKS: Others writing on this include Michelle Malkin, Gabriel Malor, Ed Morrissey, Stacy McCain, Climate Skeptic, SBVOR (which calls this the “Watergate of Global Warming”), Sister Toldjah, Big Government, and Blue Crab Boulevard. At Power Line, attorney John Hinderaker looks at the emails and thinks they reflect not so much an active conspiracy as a bunker mentality among true believers.

(hat tip: Watt’s Up With That?)


What’s a little sex scandal when Hope and Change are at stake?

November 20, 2009

Congratulations, Mr. President, you now have the first open scandal of your administration! It’s a good one, too. There’s the corrupt use of public funds, trumped up charges and a smear campaign to get rid of a troublesome priest an Inspector General who asked too many questions, and even charges of sexual harassment and a cover-up thereof.  Well done. You’re a rookie president no more.

Congressional Report: Rhee did ‘damage control’ after sex charges against fiance Kevin Johnson

A congressional investigation of the volunteer organization AmeriCorps contains charges that D.C. schools chief Michelle Rhee handled “damage control” after allegations of sexual misconduct against her now fiance, Sacramento Mayor Kevin Johnson, a former NBA star and a prominent ally of President Obama, The Washington Examiner has learned.

The charges are contained in a report prepared by Sen. Charles Grassley, the ranking Republican on the Senate Finance Committee, and Rep. Darrell Issa, ranking Republican on the House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform.

The investigation began after the AmeriCorps inspector general, Gerald Walpin, received reports that Johnson had misused some of the $800,000 in federal AmeriCorps money provided to St. Hope, a non-profit school that Johnson headed for several years.

Walpin was looking into charges that AmeriCorps-paid volunteers ran personal errands for him, washed his car, and took part in political activities.  In the course of investigating those allegations, the congressional report says, Walpin’s investigators were told that Johnson had made inappropriate advances toward three young women involved in the St. Hope program — and that Johnson offered at least one of those young women money to keep quiet.

Read the whole thing; it goes straight back to the White House and its Chicago Way politics.

RELATED: The scandal regarding the the administration’s attempts to suborn the Inspector-General system has been brewing for several months now. Maybe this will be the incident that blows it wide open.  I wrote earlier about the connection to pork and rats and their use in recreating Cook County on the Potomac. Stacy McCain has written extensively on the war on the watchdogs. More from Ed Morrissey.

UPDATE: Iowa’s Senator Grassley, a “patron saint” of the Inspector-General program, thinks there is clear evidence of a political motive in Walpin’s firing.