Cuccinelli-Mann probe takes a bizarre twist

Wow. In the middle of the battle, the warmists erroneously send up a flare from their position, drawing undue attention to the target. I rather expected a moribund outcome from this investigation, maybe a couple of embarrassing quotes, maybe a hotheaded Santeresque comment by Dr. Michael Mann about Dr. Pat Michaels, but that was about it.

Now, with them trying to retroactively change the law as a way to head off the investigation, it makes me wonder if maybe there’s really something profound there in those communications after all. Bad move fellas, you just made the Q Score for this story triple.

From the Daily Progress:

By Bryan McKenzie

Two Democratic state senators are proposing to change state law to thwart Attorney General Ken Cuccinelli’s efforts to investigate a former University of Virginia professor’s research on global warming.

The proposed legislation would repeal sections of Virginia law that give the state’s attorney general authority to issue civil investigative demands, similar to subpoenas, to gather documents in relation to a civil investigation conducted by the office.

The bill is in response to efforts by Cuccinelli, a Republican, to investigate possible fraud by former UVa professor Michael Mann in relation to five taxpayer-funded research grants between 1999 and 2005.

The senators, A. Donald McEachin and J. Chapman Petersen, will meet this morning with Del. David J. Toscano, D-Charlottesville, at the Capitol to discuss the legislation.

======================================

Read the article in full here

h/t to Bishop Hill

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134 thoughts on “Cuccinelli-Mann probe takes a bizarre twist

  1. The suit was already filed, so changing the statues should not be allowed to effect the suit. (Ex post facto) Oh, they are Democrats. Laws need not restrain them.

  2. It does sound a drastic response if there is nothing to hide unless there is general consensus that (irrespective of the present investigation) the Attorney General is too powerful and democracy or the rule of law requires his power to be curtailed.

    This type of action potentially has dramatic unintended consequences and if the law is amended, it may be that some time down the future when there is a Democrat Attorney General, that the Democrats will rue the day that they made such amendment.

  3. So, essentially, them dumb a a a of many holes think they can essentially make fun of Mr Cuccinelli and the law?

    Seems like they don’t know their place. :p

  4. Given that the process is already underway, wouldn’t this new law be moot anyway? Also, i’d guess it will take too long, Cuccinelli’s investigation will be done before such a law would be effective. Lawyers’ take?

    Mark

  5. Something that has been bothering me about this…who is there to ensure that any and all emails are given up as requested? What’s to stop them from permanently deleting any really bad emails? What kind of oversight is used in a case like this?

  6. I don’t swear often, but that is [snip snip].

    Can you imagine what would have been charged if NY had tried to neuter Spitzer like that? What could be so sensitive that is not already covered by national security laws?

  7. Here’s hoping they succeed. Can you imagine if the investigation is thwarted by democrats changing the law. Wow. that would be the gift that keeps on giving

  8. Shades of Richard Nixon. Or the Catholic Church. “Nothing to see here – and we’ll damn well stop you from seeing it!”

  9. I dunno, it seems consistent with climate science M.O. If you don’t like what happened in the past, change it. ;->

  10. What skeletons do they have in that UVa closet to make them go to such great lengths to hide some emails?

    Really makes one wonder!

  11. Some of our Brit politicians may not be “Brain of Britain” quality but I’d like to think they’re not as plain stupid as those two numbnuts.

  12. Oy. Talk about Law of Unintended Consequences if they get something like that through.

    I’m reminded of Missouri just after the Civil War. The state legislature passed a law giving immunity to all Union soldiers for any act committed during the war. Confederate soldiers, not so much.

  13. Wow, if they succeed, Virginia will become a safe haven for fraudsters and criminals. Any Attorney General there won’t be able to have any sort of investigative power to fish out criminals. Then again, maybe this new retroactive law would only apply for climate research related crimes.

  14. Didn’t I see that there is some sort of new FOIA in Virginia that requires that they turn over this stuff without the need of the Virginia AG ? … merely by asking ? … and they can’t say no ?

  15. The probe never had a chance anyway. Show me one example where these folks have been convicted of anything. They will continue to get away with this sort of thing until the present group of US and world leaders are displaced. If not, more of the same.

  16. From a purely legal standpoint, it’s insane – they seriously propose to strip the State Attorney General of ALL of his civil investigative power, just to try to cover up for one of their pals? Fortunately, Republicans control the House, so this is going nowhere.

    But still, you’re absolutely right, Anthony – for them to make THIS move is astounding – it is a move of absolute desperation. This is now getting even bigger than the Global Warming fight – I now (as I think many of us do) suspect that there has been *Massive* Financial Fraud carried out by Mann, sanctioned by the University, and possibly covered up by payoffs to “friendly” politicians in the State Legislature.

    Why so much fear at these documents coming out? Because I think several quite well connected people face a serious chance of going to jail because of what’s in them!!!

  17. richard verney–No they will just change the law again. Since when have the Democrats lived by the same laws they expect others to live by? That said, hopefully some judge will have the fortitude to uphold the current law which applies in the current case. But I wouldn’t bet on it.

  18. David L says: “What skeletons do they have in that UVa closet to make them go to such great lengths to hide some emails?”

    Obviously, enough evidence that the whole AGW con may unravel world-wide. The Warmists will throw money at this problem until it goes away. They have a budget of billions, and much of it is YOUR money, anyway. “To infinity and beyond!”

  19. In most situations legislation that purports to influence judicial outcomes dies. If the Judiciary Committee lets it out, its precedent for the next one. Where does it stop?

    The legislation also puts the legislature in the position of judging the merits of the case. This is utter politicization of a judicial issue. If it is introduced, I think it dies a quiet death.

  20. Ed Moran. 4.26pm
    Really! Chris Huhne possibly and any number of the previous administration who believe that government can spend more than they raise in tax – ah, i.e. all politicians.
    But I know what you mean.

  21. One wonders exactly how they would create the carve-out. “CIDs can not be issued for _______”. How would they fill in this blank.

    “…academic research of any kind”. Hmm, so that would say you can’t investigate things like the recent autism fraud.

    “…any acts undertaken by employees of state funded universities”. Gee, that sounds kinda broad. So someone who embezzles money from the purser’s office could’t be investigated.

    “…academic research related to climate science”. Ah, that’s the ticket.

    Or maybe “…academic research related to climate science or any other subject that the majority party deems to be off-limits”. Yeah, that ought to work. I don’t see anything undemocratic about that. /sarc (for Anthony’s benefit).

  22. Manybody here talkin’ about UVa closet. Is that some sort of tanning aid? Is there UVb closet too?

  23. What are the great icons that got the AGW scare going?
    (1) Mann’s hockey stick – still teetering along with thimble-rigged reinforcements. “It’s never been so warm so suddenly before”
    (2) Mauna Loa CO2 has been rising so unearthly steadily that we don’t even need to remember Al Gore’s second infamous Hockey Stick for CO2.
    (3) Hiding UHI. This has a double effect (a) it makes the temperature increase look violent (b) it removes the solar correlation.
    (4) The Arctic. Nobody goes there, so anything goes.

    Maybe there’s evidence of a genuine conspiracy to “get rid of the MWP”. Whatever, I’m happy to keep drawing attention to what Steve Mosher pointed out, the AR4 wording that suppressed McKitrick and Michaels’ paper on UHI, that means Jones & Wang 1990 still hold sway. This too I think should be a matter for the courts.

    I didn’t think Ira Glickstein’s figures were right, so I collected evidence for the stronger UHI figures that I suspected. The evidence is also suggestive of a weaker natural trend and a weaker human CO2 effect than Ira claims.

  24. I am opposed to this type of political inquiry into scientific institutions. Even if Mann did use the funds and misrepresent the data, that does not deserve this type of relentless investigation.

    If he had used the funds to hire strippers and have wild parties an investigation would be warranted, but that is simply not the cause of the investigation.

    One of the biggest problems with the entire debate is the political aspect. Cuccinelli is the worst type of political activist who is abusing his power to persecute someone who he disagrees with politically.

    Mann is scum, I am not arguing that. He is a bad scientist, but Cuccinelli is a horrible Attorney General and he is abusing his position. Al Gore abused his power to turn climate science into a political machine. Cuccinelli is no better.

    http://theinconvenientskeptic.com/2010/10/cuccinelli-a-problem-that-everyone-should-agree-on/

  25. Seems like a whole lot of trouble just to stop someone from seeing some emails…
    ..didn’t we elect a president because one of his promises was to be the most open and transparent

  26. richard verney says:
    This type of action potentially has dramatic unintended consequences and if the law is amended, it may be that some time down the future when there is a Democrat Attorney General, that the Democrats will rue the day that they made such amendment.

    The liberal side of politics are always proposing short-term “fixes” like this. Then when it turns around to bite them on the posterior they blame “evil Right-wing extermists” and proceed to introduce another “fix” to solve the (unintended consequence) problem caused by their original “fix”.

  27. jorgekafkazar says:
    January 18, 2011 at 4:36 pm

    David L says: “What skeletons do they have in that UVa closet to make them go to such great lengths to hide some emails?”

    Obviously, enough evidence that the whole AGW con may unravel world-wide. The Warmists will throw money at this problem until it goes away. They have a budget of billions, and much of it is YOUR money, anyway. “To infinity and beyond!”

    Gee, that’s an exact description of how the mafia operates.
    Take your money under penalty and then use it against you.

  28. John Kehr,

    Are you assuming that you have all the information that AG Cuccinelli has?

    Investigators don’t reveal their information until they make a report.

  29. No they won’t be changing the law, I strongly suggest. Dems control the State Senate, but Repubs control the Assembly and the Governorship. So, end of story on legislative fixes. In fact, considering that EPA is about to put the kibosh on anything generating power (in what seems an increasingly cold time), a move of this sort this may generate a lot of political interest. I’m sure Mann et al. REALLY don’t want that.

  30. The bill is in response to efforts by Cuccinelli, a Republican, to investigate possible fraud by former UVa professor Michael Mann in relation to five taxpayer-funded research grants between 1999 and 2005.

    Might they be trying to cover MM’s backside over suspicious this like this from one of the “crew”: http://www.climate-gate.org/email.php?eid=332&s=tag73

    From: “Mick Kelly”
    To: Nguyen Huu Ninh (cered@xxxxxxxxx.xxx)
    Subject: NOAA funding
    Date: Tue, 24 Jun 2003 14:17:15 +0000

    Ninh
    NOAA want to give us more money for the El Nino work with IGCN.
    How much do we have left from the last budget? I reckon most has been spent but we need to show some left to cover the costs of the trip Roger didn’t make and also the fees/equipment/computer money we haven’t spent otherwise NOAA will be suspicious.
    Politically this money may have to go through Simon’s institute but there overhead rate is high so maybe not!
    Best wishes
    Mick

    “Otherwise NOAA will be suspicious.”

    Nah, nothing to see here, move along folks.

    cheers

  31. “The proposed legislation would repeal sections of Virginia law that give the state’s attorney general authority to issue civil investigative demands, similar to subpoenas, to gather documents in relation to a civil investigation conducted by the office.”

    The two “senators” must be transplants from West Virginia — deport them : )

  32. I think the dumbest statement in the comment section over there was:

    “It is also these same climate change atheists who challenge Mann’s
    statistical analysis,” and they do so based entirely on stolen e-mails in which the term “trick” is used. The “trick” is a technique to meld two sets of data (temperature readings and tree-ring growth), and it was presented openly in peer-reviewed scientific journals (which means a high level of scrutiny of the methodology used).”

    Ugh….the stupid…it burns….

    Anyway, I think this entire fiasco points to how well connected Mann is. The most interesting thing about the Climategate emails (to me) was his communication with people in the Obama admin and in the media. It would be a goldmine if THOSE communications were released in full.

    When politicians take idiotic actions like these it makes me wonder what is going on behind the scenes.

  33. John Kehr –

    I would be inclined to agree with you regarding academic freedom. But this is not some marginal issue. It is entirely central to US energy and climate policy, with monetary values in the billions to trillions of dollars. The conduct, analyses, data and conclusions of UVA climate scientists are material–and in the form of the ‘hockey stick’, central–to beliefs about climate change. Therefore, an aggressive pursuit of the truth is warranted.

  34. The make-up of Virginia’s Senate is 22 Democrats and 18 Republicans.
    The make-up of Virginia’s House of Delgates is 53 Republicans, 44 Democrats, 2 Independents, and 1 vacancy.
    The Governor, is Bob McDonnell, a Republican.

    Virginia Democrats can’t pass any bill for at least two years. So one has to wonder why they have elected to embarrass themselves for proposing such a cover-up law.

  35. Sooner or later the University of Virginia is going to understand that its interests diverge from those of the Piltdown Mann and his shy private financiers. The Regents may find it in their interest to make that determination sooner rather than later. It’s not as if they can plead ignorance of the situation.
    ===========

  36. John Kehr
    Calling both sides names doesn’t necessarily improve your cred with either side.If this AG has no case it will all come out in the wash.Lets have a look at what He has before jumping to conclusions. We seen enough evidence to be convinced of the other sides guilt but you want to crucify this guy because He is skeptical. Pleeeeease!

  37. John Kehr

    Every scientist who willingly accepts taxpayer money for their research is giving up their right not to be audited at any point in the future. As the saying goes, they made the bed now they must lay in it.

    Accountability is a tough concept, but I’m all for it. If Mann didn’t want to be accountable he should not have taken funds. End of story.

    Now it is the right of the State of Virginia to audit what he did with the funds.

    I take money from my Company. By dong so I give to the Company certain rights. It’s a fair deal to me. And I am definitely accountable to the Company for my actions.

  38. Doh! Bad strategical error….. Even the Leftist Journo’s will have doubled taked with this…. Their little heads swiveling around and their eyes goggling…

    Now they will be wondering what Micheal Mann and Co have hidden…. and perverse people that they be, the Lefty Journo’s will want to know, even if it burns their leftist eyes and makes their fact avoiding ears bleed…. They won’t be able to help themselves. Like moths to a candle.

    … What’s in those emails, Lefty Journo’s?…. What secrets lie there? C’mon, take a peek…… We know you want too….:-)

  39. I wish there was more information about the specific changes to the civil investigative demand powers of the AG the lawmakers are proposing:

    “repeal sections of Virginia law that give the state’s attorney general authority to issue civil investigative demands, similar to subpoenas, to gather documents in relation to a civil investigation conducted by the office”

    is so broad that the AG would be neutered in investigating any civil matter, which clearly wouldn’t be in the Commonwealth’s interest. Certainly that isn’t what is being proposed.

  40. In climate science, the incentive system is backwards.

    A scientist is rewarded greatly for exaggerating and a scientist is punished for trying to be objective. Noble cause corruption.

    And Mann was the enforcer handing out the punishment in many different examples which are demonstrated in the emails at the very least. Many careers have been ruined.

    Maybe Mann is not quite the force he used to be, but something has to be done about changing this backwards incentive system. A few punishments thrown the other way, against exaggeration, could help to swing momentum back to the way science is supposed to work.

    I’m okay with this case being one of the starting points given that many careers have been ruined by the objective of this case already. Fair game. Noble cause.

  41. And they complain about AGW skeptics? They bring in the uberlawyers to make a law to prevent them from being compelled to release their data and methods? And they wonder why there are skeptics?

    This should absolutely tell anyone watching that they must have something extremely damaging to hide.

  42. John Kehr says:
    January 18, 2011 at 4:54 pm

    I am opposed to this type of political inquiry into scientific institutions.
    ========================================================

    Sorry John, but I disagree. This is something that has gone on for too long. In the arena of ideas and freedom, one rises and falls on the value of their work product. Even schools. The fact that they cannot and require mine and your money to sustain themselves speaks volumes. I cannot express the acrimony I feel about our “institutions of higher learning”. But, I can express this; it isn’t freedom that they are pursuing, it is license. There is no government funded institution that has a license to pervert the minds of our children. It isn’t ok to intentionally lie to our children and demand that we pay for it. And, it is my prayers that it doesn’t stop there. I hope AG’s from all states go to all schools in all fields and make these people accountable for the prevalent stench that permeates from these institutions. My wife recently took a couple of American history courses. We paid an enormous amount of money for the texts. Taught by an instructor that couldn’t put 2 sentences together without using profanity. The texts could do no more than TWO PARAGRAPHS ABOUT ABRAHAM LINCOLN!!! It was basic American history. Leif recently showed a video about how our young people don’t know basic science. That is lamentable. What is outrageous is that they aren’t taught basic American history. Don’t get me started on mathematics.

    We have a house and it is in dire need of cleaning. The house keepers have refused to clean it for decades. It is past time.

  43. Anyway, how dare a politician question a scientist? All the poor scientist wants to do is force everyone to pay social engineering taxes based on the scientist’s fluffy consensussy doctrine; how dare these politicians demand a say in taxation policy when well-meaning sciency scientists assure us it’s necessary?!

  44. Welcome to Massachusetts election law 101! The old “unintended consequences” can be fun to watch if you believe that God has a sense of humor.

    When John Kerry looked like he might be president and open up a seat in MA that the gov (R) would fill the legislature (D) changed the law to require a special election, regardless the cost to the taxpayers. Fast forward to 2010 with a new gove (D) when Scott Brown wins the special election for the seat formerly held by Teddy Kennedy.

    Kharma, it’s what’s for dinner.

  45. thegoodlocust says:
    January 18, 2011 at 5:23 pm

    “Ugh….the stupid…it burns….”

    The willfully ignorant are worse than the cursed stupid. Apparently the person you quoted never heard of McIntyre or ClimateAudit.

    An example, ……. I see this, “The Northern Hemisphere sea ice and snow cover has responded quite sensitively to warming over the last 30 years,” Flanner said of his findings. I go the site and show them a graph of the NH winter snow extent. After a while an industrious person points out that the spring NH snow extent shows a decline. And, indeed, it does. But, they failed. The graph clearly shows no sensitivity to temps. http://climate.rutgers.edu/snowcover/chart_seasonal.php?ui_set=nhland&ui_season=2 compare

    U of M. Ann Harbor……..Willfully ignorant or willfully misleading. Stupid, they can’t help it. Willfully ignorant…….. That’s what puts a fire in my ………

  46. Dear me.

    Sometimes people reveal things in writing that the probably wish they hadn’t.

    A commenter self-named “democracy” over there says, “What the Cooch fails to cite is that it is climate change atheists like himself who are the ones with the ‘criticism’ of Mann’s findings.”

    Oh my, “climate change atheists”!

    What is an atheist? One who does not believe in a given concept of the divine; a denier of religion.

    Rarely does one see so bald an admission that climate change, for the vast majority of its innumerate adherents, is merely a belief.

    How dare anyone not believe in Gaia. Or Thor. Or Quetzalcoatl.

  47. It’s like the dems just kicked the top off a fire ant mound—the blogosphere is going to swarm all over this

  48. FOI is supposed to be enough. But that’s not enough according to these two. Not only is FOI being resisted by global warming scientists but now Democrat ‘lawmakers’ want to help the resisting. How dirty!

    Why, oh why, all these lengths to hide global warming ‘science’?

    What’s next—the President ordering the stop of FOI in the area of ‘global warming’?

    Maybe he should so that the world will see politics running naked in global warming ‘science’!

  49. Wow alright – there MUST be excitement to be had in reading the communication exchanges between MM and fellow members of the Team.

  50. John Kehr says:
    January 18, 2011 at 4:54 pm

    I am opposed to this type of political inquiry into scientific institutions.

    Maybe you should be opposed to this type of scientific obstruction of political inquiry. I know I certainly am.

  51. You’d think they’d say:

    “HEY WORLD, COME AND LOOK AT THE SCIENCE! HERE IT IS, LOOK! NOW! HURRY UP! SEE THE DATA THAT SHOWS HOW POLLUTION IS CHANGING THE CLIMATE AND HORRIBLE DISASTERS ARE COMING TO THE EARTH AS A RESULT! SEE HOW AWFUL MANMADE CO2 IS? SEE? WE’VE BEEN SAYING ALL ALONG THE WORLD NEEDS TO BE SAVED! NOW YOU CAN SEE FOR YOURSELF! THANK GOD YOU LOOKED AT ALL OF THE SCIENCE OUT IN THE OPEN SO YOU WILL ACT NOW TO STOP THE WORLD FROM THE AWFUL CONSEQUENCES OF MANMADE CO2!!”

    They don’t say that, do they. What they do is put up more and more walls instead.

  52. Any bill can be proposed. A bill could be proposed …” that would repeal sections of Virginia law that give the state’s attorney general authority to issue civil investigative demands, similar to subpoenas, to gather documents in relation to a civil investigation conducted by the office.”

    If, only if, such a bill was allowed to the floor for a vote, and if it passed, Cucinelli would be required to drop his suite regardless of when the suite was filed. VA law would effectively be changed. To attempt to continue would be met with dismissal of the case based on the new VA law.

    Having said that, the bill will never see the light of day. There will never be a vote. It’s a futile attempt to cover for Michael Mann. What else would explain the continued legal barricades that have been raised by UVA , the courts and now a couple of state senators? Where there is smoke there is fire.

    The glaring issue that Senator Toscano fails to mention is that Mann’s work was taxpayor-funded. If there is fraud, and I expect there is, there is also a crime that can be prosecuted. That’s what this is all about. We’ve all seen the emails and we’ve all smelled a rat. This is far from over.

  53. It doesn’t matter, its all academic now.

    Global Warming is officially over thanks to the good efforts of governments, bureaucrats and climate scientists.

  54. In all seriousness why (and oh why!) can’t “The Hockey Team” see that it is in their best interests to make public all the (publically funded) raw data, all the (publically funded) computer codes that manipulate and model that data and all the communications between themselves on the subject?

    That way the public will see that they were right all along.

    Won’t they?

  55. I’m not certain what a person is supposed to think about all this. what this really shows me is that FOI needs to be drastically strenthened. If a SINGLE dollar of taxpayer money goes into an institution, everything in that institution should be public. everything, every bit of information about it, available for public consumption. AND it should be at the institutions expense, as a requirement for recieving taxpayer money.

    I want to see every scrap of paper, email, test, textbook, newsletter, pamphlet, teaching notes, video lectures….. ALL of it.

    and NOTHING done with an institution’s property is “private.” if you want to secretly crunch numbers, buy your own computer and start a dark secret blog

  56. solrey says:
    January 18, 2011 at 5:21 pm
    The bill is in response to efforts by Cuccinelli, a Republican, to investigate possible fraud by former UVa professor Michael Mann in relation to five taxpayer-funded research grants between 1999 and 2005.

    One wonders why he isn’t investigating the Principal Investigators of those grants rather than Mann?

  57. Any bill can be proposed, even a bill as ridiculous as this one. The VA senate could conceivably pass the bill–it has the numbers. But when it reaches the assembly it will surely fail. If it somehow reached Bob McDonnald’s desk (it never will) he will veto the bill. There are not enough votes to override the governor’s veto power. It will never see the light of day.

    So, what’s this all about?” Cover for Michael Mann. If there is fraud, and I expect there is, there is a crime, and it can be prosecuted. Fraudulent misuse of taxpayor funds is an indefensible act that breaks the public trust. Why would the UVA, the courts and now three state senators go to such lengths to raise legal barricades to access data that belongs to the public? Where there is smoke there is fire.

    What aggravates me is the fact that while senator Toscano, et al complains about the wasted taxpayor money being spent to litigate this case, he fails to acknowledge that it was taxpayor money that was used to prop up what appears to be fraudulent climate science! We’ve all seen the emails. If there was fraud it should be exposed and prosecuted.

    This is just another attempt to distract, prolong and cover up this issue. It will fail. If I were Michael Mann I would be very worried too. I think it also demonstrates how well networked this whole cover up was. Just my thoughts.

  58. Phil. says:

    “One wonders why he isn’t investigating the Principal Investigators of those grants rather than Mann?”

    What makes you so sure he’s not?

  59. John Kehr says:
    January 18, 2011 at 4:54 pm

    “….I am opposed to this type of political inquiry into scientific institutions……”

    I would see some of the idea behind your position, in that you don’t want to see the spirit of investigation squashed by constant investigation.

    But I think that in cases like this, they have abondoned the scientific inquiry defence, when they chose to either become activists or support activism. Mr. Mann is not a scientist badgering away at an abstract question in the halls of acedemia, he is a political activist, that also is a scientist. When he stoppped just researching and starting campaigning and writing his endless opinion pieces, he stopped being just a scientist.

    He is not just doing his research and quietly publishing. He is publishing something then doing a round of yelling from the rooftops, “look at my work”. Then attacking everyone who might question him or want to do opposing research. Then proclaiming how we need to change policy to suit him.

    In my opinion, activist scientists need to be treated with more scepticism already, not given a free ride on the coat tails of more objective individuals.

    In addition, it is easy enough to argue that Mann and his group have done more to discourage open investigation in science than the AG probably will. I say lets air out the dirty laundry, if there is any, and try to move on.

    We all know he brought it on himself. Something about “living in glass houses…”

  60. I wish to propose to our esteemed friends in the IPCC cheerleading squad that they immediately replace the offensive term “global warming deniers” with “climate change atheists”. It’s so much more civil, and what’s even better, it’s far more accurate.

    The ones with open but skeptical minds could even be called “climate instability agnostics”. There might even be hope for some of them. Call it Pachauri’s Wager…

  61. Hmmm….

    The two Virginia state senators and the single (so far)
    delegate should be filing lobbyist contact reports and the
    lobbyists involved should be filing expense reports to
    the state.

    The lobbyists should have on file what organizations or
    instiutions they represent or are affiliated with when
    lobbying for this bill.

    If the lobbying was done directly by the UofV, then
    their legislative liason officer should have a report on
    this effort that is subject to FOI requests.

  62. It’s hard to believe, but there are still those who insist on attempting political suicide.
    Intervention, please. Call the crisis hotline.
    Please, Senators, don’t jump. We can talk this over.

    This reminds me of the way the Watergate coverup went down.

  63. Nothing inspires confidence like hysterical rewrites of the law to prevent even a lawful review of the work one’s allies.
    To say that the tax payer/citizen lawful representative cannot even review the work if it is scientific is so bizarre on its face as to leave reasonable people scratching their heads.
    If ‘where there is smoke there is fire’ is even a little bit true, then climate science at U Va is smoking like a three alarm fire.

  64. UVA gave up the same type of information requested by the AG without protest, when it was a former professor who was a skeptic. They applied a different standard in this case.

    I don’t see how this is an academic freedom issue. There is no effort to silence Mann retrospectively; and he continues his research at Penn State, with the assistance of the University in covering up for him. The issue is to review whether Mann has conducted his research in a way that meets normal standards and to see what may be hidden beyond the decline. The research was paid for by the US and Virginia taxpayers, so the data and communications related to it (which used state-funded computer systems) are subject to review.

    The past governor of North Carolina was disgraced by disclosure of e-mails which were generated on State computer systems, and the public nature of those communications was affirmed by courts. The notion that the public or its legal representative cannot review the information due to selectively applied academic freedom claims is suspect.

  65. Look there is certainly nothing to see here, so then do please move on now, good people, move on along.

    Look they had to change the peer review process to stop certain facts emerging.
    Changing the law to hide the truth is such a small addition thing.
    don’t you think?

    Oh OK /sarc off

  66. Packman1,
    While you did not mention Patrick Michaels by name it is only fair to note that the University of Virginia management made no attempt to withhold his emails.

  67. @solrey:

    It simply amazes me how little attention that email gets.

    ———————————————————–
    Ninh

    NOAA want to give us more money for the El Nino work with IGCN.
    How much do we have left from the last budget? I reckon most has been spent but we need to show some left to cover the costs of the trip Roger didn’t make and also the fees/equipment/computer money we haven’t spent otherwise NOAA will be suspicious.
    Politically this money may have to go through Simon’s institute but there overhead rate is high so maybe not!
    Best wishes
    Mick
    ———————————————————–

    I wonder why you would “need to show some left”? You know what that means? It means that there should be something there that isn’t. And they are clearly talking about money. Big fat red flag for fraud. I give 100:1 odds that WikiLeaks puts something out about BofA that is a fraction as damaging, but gets 100,000:1 coverage in the press. Because scientists don’t cheat.

  68. There seem to be a lot of attempts to change the rules lately. Inverting the null hypothesis, sudden new ideas in academic freedom that never applied before, and never applied to Mann’s opponents.

    Yeah, I’m sure they’re right, there’s nothing to hide.

    Hey, if they paid for the research themselves and weren’t both using my money for it and demanding more of my money based on their conclusions, they could keep all the secrets they wanted.

  69. John Kehr says:
    “Mann is scum, I am not arguing that. He is a bad scientist, but Cuccinelli is a horrible Attorney General and he is abusing his position. Al Gore abused his power to turn climate science into a political machine. Cuccinelli is no better.”

    John, it’s very clear the University released the same type of data when it just happened to be a global warming sceptic and the FOIA came from greenpeace.

    But when it’s a global warmer somehow the FOIA law doesn’t apply to them.

    Something very very odd is happening here – the best way to shut up Cuccinelli would be to comply with the FOIA as they complied with FOIA for the Greenpeace request – but for some reason they are treating an FOIA for sceptical information very differently from that for warmist information.

    Unless anyone can come up with a viable reason to explain their compliance for one type of information and non-compliance for another, that would appear to be a prima facia for conspiracy by the University to defraud.

  70. John Kehr says:
    January 18, 2011 at 4:54 pm
    I am opposed to this type of political inquiry into scientific institutions.

    The problem is that many previously scientific institutions have morphed into government funded political institutions that generate and underpin government propaganda… calling these institutions scientific is stretching the imagination to the point of comedy.

    This sort of ethical corruption is endemic whenever the government funds institutions… these institutions are now called Non Government Organisations – NGOs. NGOs are funded by politicians to produce political propaganda and to lobby the funding politicians … its a closed loop that is used to subvert democracy… NGOs have now become an oxymoron… as they say: follow the money.

  71. If the law is retroactively changed, one could make the argument for greenpeacecorp be retroactively charged for receiving records relating to Patrick Michaels.

  72. I vaguely recall they have spent $500,000 so far. What have they got to hide to go to such lengths including attempting to change the law?

  73. natural trend and a weaker human CO2 effect than Ira claims.

    John Kehr says:
    January 18, 2011 at 4:54 pm
    “I am opposed to this type of political inquiry into scientific institutions. Even if Mann did use the funds and misrepresent the data, that does not deserve this type of relentless investigation.”

    What an incredible statement. If a misuse of funds and a misrepresentation of data does not justify investigation then what does? The investigation is relentless only because the university will not release the documents. Had they done so by now and proven they had nothing to hide then the matter would by now have been laid to rest

  74. The tactic of flagging this desired law change has instead flagged that there is something other than the purity and freedom of UVa and its scientists at stake. The proposed law change is somewhat remeniscent of a small boy telling his teacher after a playground fist-fight “He hit my fist with his chin with no warning at all!”

  75. It’s very simple.

    As a lawyer, I adopt a rule of thumb:

    the harder an opponent tries to avoid disclosing something to me, the more damaging it is likely to be to their position.

    Seems to me they are trying very hard indeed to avoid disclosure here.

  76. Are some emails deleted after a set period of time? 5 years, 10 years?

    Could the university be using delaying tactics to ensure some emails can be deleted before they are finally required to release them?

  77. “with them trying to retroactively change the law as a way to head off the investigation, it makes me wonder if maybe there’s really something profound there in those communications after all.”

    Don’t think that’s a necessary assumption. Seems more likely to me that this is motivated by the usual CliSci attitude: ‘But, but, but… We shouldn’t even have to aaaanswer* these sorts of questions!’

    [*Can you hear the wail of anguished self-righteous frustration in that word? ;) ]

  78. Amino Acids in Meteorites says:
    January 18, 2011 at 6:30 pm

    FOI is supposed to be enough. But that’s not enough according to these two. Not only is FOI being resisted by global warming scientists but now Democrat ‘lawmakers’ want to help the resisting.

    It is becoming obvious that Dr. Michael Mann is not the one being defended here. There is some entity that has the clout to direct the University to spend tuition money on lawyers to defend this case. Failing with the lawyers, it has become necessary to expend not one, but two politicians embedded in the legislature.

    The power and the money at stake here must be tremendous. Someone, or some organization, desperately wants this information to remain secret. They are willing to consume accumulated political capital at both the administrative level of the University and in the State Government to protect themselves.

    Dr. Mann is expendable. The administration of the University is expendable. Two politicians are expendable. Whatever it is being defended here must be remarkably valuable indeed.

  79. Actually, legislatures can pass laws to block on-going activities in many ways. Directly or indirectly by removing funding from any government entity. In lay terms, whoever has the gold rules – whence the “golden rule” of human governments.

    Imho, I don’t see this protecting Mann so much as simply blocking any method(s) that government agencies/offices would have to shine light into the darkness of global warmists. This would allow the warmist’s narrative to continue without any challenge by an “official” government entity. I.E., only the kook deniars. Which, in turn, allows the politicians of the left to base climate bills using “not one government agency has determined that global warming has not occurred and that humans are, in part, responsible.” Then they jump to tax, spend, regulations, et al.

    The Left is really good at these type of moves of taking a rather murky area (Mann emails) that on the surface seem like they’re somehow private, sorta, and use it to reverse story and lead to imposing all sorts of laws. They play chess while their opposites seem stuck in endless games of checkers.

  80. To John Kehr,

    I would disagree. Not that I think someone using public funds for a Hangoveresque night out is a good thing. I disagree because Mann and others have stepped over the line of science and become activists, and the proposed changes to our economy based in large part on the work of Mann et al is going to cost everyone a hell of a lot more than one night with some strippers. The potential consequences for allowing Mann to perpetuate fraud are enormous.

  81. John Kehr:
    Have you lost sight of what’s at stake for many countries and their populations?
    A very good government has already fallen in 2007 in my country, because it took the realist view and wanted to have all scientific views available to it before putting the country’s economic future at risk.
    It seems to me that your view allows suppression of information at the whim of this elite group of scientists and those who would protect them, if they so wish—when their actions and advice have the potential to destroy economies, livelihoods—-and to damage future trust in scientists.
    Whether you recognise it or not, this is already political.

  82. While the Democrats do control the Virginia State Senate, the Republicans control the house, and many of the ‘Democrats’ in the Senate are not traditional Democrats. I suspect this is just political grandstanding on the part of these two Senators as the real battles in the State assemblies will be over redistricting based on the 2010 Census results.

  83. John Kehr,
    So is there now a wall of separation between science and state?
    That implies that science, as you perceive it, is really a religious enterprise.
    That also implies that science must not be supported by government money, and we must not be forced to follow the claims of its adherents. Is that what you are after?

    However, I think if one reads what you are saying a bit more closely, it is clear you are playing a bit of deception, either deliberately or accidentally.
    This is not a scientific investigation. This is a fraud investigation.
    Fraud with tax payer money. The AG of Virginia is elected by the people of Virginia to enforce the laws of Virginia and to protect them from, among other things, fraudulent use of funds. Universities and their employees, if funded by tax payers, are not immune to that. Do you really think that ‘science’ is immune from any legal problems?
    Unless you think that not only do climate scientists completely understand the climate, but also the law on disclosure and compliance? And that climate scientists should only be investigated by those acceptable to them?
    Or maybe you perceive that your faith is in fact in big trouble and that you want to suppress any challenges to it?
    Certainly if the science is robust, a mere Attorney General empowered to review public expenditures is not going to sink it, is he?

  84. John,
    I accidentally hit ‘post’ too quickly.
    Please stop with the equivalency. Equating the AG of Virginia with Gore is bogus and annoying for any thinking person.
    The AG of Virginia is abusing nothing. Gore enriched himself directly cynically and massively. Mann has published crap at tax payer expense. Did he spend it correctly?
    The actions of U Va. scream coverup and corruption. The smell, as someone who grew up during Watergate can tell you, is the same now as it was then.
    You do not know what Mann did with the money, since he has been enabled in dodging any reviews of it.

  85. As a Brit this subject had somewhat passed me by as I was aware of the general nature of the investigation, but not the details.

    However this attempt to change the law retrsopectively caused me to sit up and take real notice. Why would those two senators draw attention to this by unless there was something to hide?

    Logical non conspiracy theories welcome BEFORE I start to get really suspicious.

    Tonyb

  86. FerdinandAkin says:
    January 19, 2011 at 3:38 am
    It is becoming obvious that Dr. Michael Mann is not the one being defended here. There is some entity that has the clout to direct the University to spend tuition money on lawyers to defend this case. Failing with the lawyers, it has become necessary to expend not one, but two politicians embedded in the legislature.
    The power and the money at stake here must be tremendous. Someone, or some organization, desperately wants this information to remain secret. They are willing to consume accumulated political capital at both the administrative level of the University and in the State Government to protect themselves.
    Dr. Mann is expendable. The administration of the University is expendable. Two politicians are expendable. Whatever it is being defended here must be remarkably valuable indeed.

    I would not be at all surprised if you’re very close to the mark here.
    If a Cuccinelli-type investigation were to proceed it could lead to the exposure of far deeper and fundamental information as to how the marxists-leftists took control of education in America and indoctrinated and corrupted your young, behind your backs and without your consent – not just at university level.
    Am I joking? – I wish I was.
    But, of course, I’m a conspiracy theorist, a sceptic and a denier – which I ain’t.
    I think Mann and AGW would be readily sacrificed by these traitors if they felt it was necessary to protect themselves, and money is not a problem for them.

    I say God Bless America and sincerely hope you take your country back from the B******s before it’s too late.

    tim

  87. Good grief did ya’ll see the hypocritical reason for the bill?
    They’re worried about inappropriate use of tax dollars?

    Toscano said he and the senators filing the legislation believe Cuccinelli’s efforts to get Mann’s information, and to fight global warming issues, should not be taxpayer funded.“There are 50 scientific organizations in 50 countries all around the world that came to the same conclusion,” Toscano said. “This is really an inappropriate use of tax dollars.”

    What a hoot.

  88. From the WaPo story:
    “If the bills pass the Democratic-led Senate, they are unlikely to be approved by the House of Delegates, where the GOP holds a strong majority.

    Still, they afford Democrats a forum for hammering the controversial attorney general over the U-Va. subpoena, which they consider an area of vulnerability with moderate voters.”

    It’s all politics and the bills won’t pass…

  89. Wow, attempting a cover-up in plain view. This will not bode well for public trust in government or climate scientists!

  90. I would draw nothing from this (and nothing will come of it). The 2 senators actually have different reasons for their proposal. The one in C’ville is doing his constituents demands (that is where UVA is located), and is probably totally clueless on what is going on. The other however is a lying SOB (documented). He use to represent my area (until I moved since i refused to have anything to do with the cretin). If Cuccinelli was a D, that clown would be lying to support him. As it is, McEachin is also totally clueless about the subject and is just trying to give Cuccinelli a black eye to soften him up for the next election (where McEachin has already run and lost the office of AG and is now making noise about Governor – which many think Cuccinelli will run for in 2013).

    The AGW crowd may be wrong, but we all know the leaders are not stupid. That same statement cannot be made for politicians.

  91. jtom says:
    January 18, 2011 at 5:31 pm

    jtom – it is either 1 year or 3 years, not 2. This year, Virignia votes for every member of the GA (all Senators and Delegates), and in 2 years, for Governor (and all Delegates). They will not take office until 1 or 3 years from now. It is widely believed the democrats will lose their majority in the senate this year, but anything can happen.

  92. Drudge has picked it up – Anthony the “Q” on this story just got way bigger – prediction true.

  93. If the research had been privately funded, the grantor would OWN the data. The academics could get their names on the publications, but so would the source of funding. If this case the source was the Commonwealth of Virginia. The Democratic Partisans are essentially stating that Virginia does not have the proprietary rights of a private citizen, and that publicly funded scientific research is owned by the private individuals who took the money, not by the taxpayers.

  94. Does anyone realize the Greenpeace FOI request for Dr. Michael’s information also involved Dr. Fred Singer?

    http://www2.dailyprogress.com/news/cdp-news-state/2010/jun/03/uva_at_center_of_battles_over_climate_change-ar-65067/

    And why are two state senators (one of them is mine from Richmond and the other is from Northern Va.) getting involved in something way outside their constituencies and any issues they have addressed before? I am guessing there are some strings being pulled. This is Anthony’s “flare gun,” I find it hard to believe they would fight so hard for just a principle if there were nothing of importance that would be revealed.

  95. Come on guys, don’t you know that state constitutions are ‘living’, ‘breathing’ documents that should be flexible enough to meet the contemporary needs of well-intentioned, thoughtful, and caring politicians?

  96. Where are the bookies when you really need them …. birth certificate or UVa records; which sees light of day first?

  97. Tom Davidson says:
    January 19, 2011 at 9:54 am
    If the research had been privately funded, the grantor would OWN the data. The academics could get their names on the publications, but so would the source of funding. If this case the source was the Commonwealth of Virginia.

    In 4 of the 5 cases mentioned this isn’t true, the one that was funded by the Commonwealth was for $214,700 and the PI was J.D. Albertson.

  98. Tom Davidson says:
    January 19, 2011 at 9:54 am

    Tom, in all fairness, they are not claiming that. Cuccinelli is using a law passed 9 years ago, that was aimed at medicare fraud , to get the records. The alternative way is to go the legal “sue” route and get a subpoena to go about getting the records. So all they are really doing is trying to “slow down” the investigation.

    oeman50 says:
    January 19, 2011 at 10:22 am

    Howdy neighbor!

  99. None of this really matters; by the time they get to it, the backup server will no longer contain the emails in question.

    I can’t imagine it still does even today.

  100. I have been speculating if it is credible to think that Cuccinelli has been, since the beginning of his investigation, in possession of incriminating (to Mann/UVa) information from a confidential whistleblower/leaker within the UVa faculty or from within Mann’s research team.

    One might be inclined to think it is not credible that he has had incriminating info from a confidential whistleblower/leaker since the beginning of his investigation. Maybe it is not credible because if he did have such info then he would have revealed it already in the legal process. But, I cannot dismiss the idea that the reason for Cuccinelli’s tenacity in pursuit of the civil investigative demands (CIDs) on UVa & Mann is that he already has in his possession info about what he will find. I speculate he does have a hole card.

    I would think it would be a relatively safe path for a hypothetical whistleblower/leaker to go the Virginia Attorney General’s office with info. Given the often one-sided MSM coverage of AGW, it would be safer to go the Va AG office than the press. As for the option for releasing info to blogs, well maybe a hypothetical UVa whistleblower/leaker would not want to risk themselves to a public exposure . . . blog people can be fantastic investigators as we all know. : )

    I wish Michael Crichton were still with us to write a fictional book about the possibilities.

    John

  101. “If a Cuccinelli-type investigation were to proceed it could lead to the exposure of far deeper and fundamental information as to how the marxists-leftists took control of education in America and indoctrinated and corrupted your young, behind your backs and without your consent – not just at university level.”

    ROFL!

    Oh, wait, you’re serious?

  102. #
    #
    thegoodlocust says:
    January 18, 2011 at 5:23 pm

    I think the dumbest statement in the comment section over there was:

    “It is also these same climate change atheists who challenge Mann’s
    statistical analysis,” and they do so based entirely on stolen e-mails in which the term “trick” is used. The “trick” is a technique to meld two sets of data (temperature readings and tree-ring growth), and it was presented openly in peer-reviewed scientific journals (which means a high level of scrutiny of the methodology used).”

    That was no trick. It was my SO. – MM

  103. Smokey says:
    January 18, 2011 at 5:11 pm

    Phil.,

    Are you assuming that you have all the information that AG Cuccinelli has?

    Investigators don’t reveal their information until they make a report.

    Here’s a scenario: A whistleblower brings e-mail copies to the DA and says, “You can use these, but only as a last resort, because I don’t want to be drawn into this. Try to get them by a subpoena first.”

  104. Peter Maddock says:
    January 19, 2011 at 1:50 am

    Are some emails deleted after a set period of time? 5 years, 10 years?

    Could the university be using delaying tactics to ensure some emails can be deleted before they are finally required to release them?

    A clever thought, but it’s illegal to delete documents that are the target of an ongoing judicial case.

  105. POSTURING!!

    The VA Senate is controlled by Dems, the Assembly is Republican. The Senate can’t do squat on its own.

    Nothing but noisemaking. Fuggedaboudit.

  106. George – I guess you do not want your kids going to UVA? The problem with the “public” universities is they have multiple avenues to obtain funding. And while penalizing them sounds good – in effect, they will just jack up tuition.

  107. ginckgo says:
    January 19, 2011 at 9:38 pm
    “If a Cuccinelli-type investigation were to proceed it could lead to the exposure of far deeper and fundamental information as to how the marxists-leftists took control of education in America and indoctrinated and corrupted your young, behind your backs and without your consent – not just at university level.”
    ROFL!
    Oh, wait, you’re serious?

    ROTF are we? it seems to me a bit more like Nero fiddling while Rome burns.

    Then again, maybe you’re young or already well indoctrinated.

    Maybe you’re a little like the frog in the hot water? If you really knew what the temperature was you’d certainly be ROTF but i doubt you’d be LYAO.

    If you think my contribution to the thread is so hilarious why don’t you make a contribution?

    I promise I won’t laugh – really.

  108. Phil –

    Yes, you are correct. VA is unusual wrt the scheduling of its elections. I could suggest that even if Democrats were elected to a majority of both VA statehouses, it would likely take them a year of in-fighting before they could accomplish anything. That would result in my two-year guesstimate being right – but I would never suggest such a thing ;)

  109. jtom – another interesting part of the Virginia Legislature is that it only meets for 45/60 days each year (60 days after an election, and 45 after the non-election years). While your scenario is plausible, it would be doubly hard even then. Not impossible, but not very likely.

  110. If the law is passed, then it WOULD affect any actions currently in progress. Simply, authority is granted under the current law, and if it is changed, current requests would lose their authority and would not have any power.

    Consider it as equal to a search warrant being revoked while they are at your house (or in it)
    they have to leave. simple as that.

    It’s all fraud anyway, anyplace there’s money -especially GRANT money, there is ALWAYS fraud.

    Similarly with expense reports and time sheets.
    There is always some shit with those too.
    So the question then becomes, not WHAT, but WHO
    Is this some witch hunt because the Republican Atty is against global warming and looking for dirt on those who are its proponents?
    Who the hell cares. Today battle the global warming liars, tomorrow, those fakers who push that Evolution nonsense!
    (Next week: Persecuting the “Round Earth Fableists” )

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