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    Elizabeth Warren’s charmed academic life

    Elizabeth Warren’s charmed academic life

    Michael Patrick Leahy rolls out the second in his series of four posts on the investigation — or meaningful lack thereof — into allegations of “scientific misconduct” and misleading use of data contained in a scathing review of Warren’s book,  As We Forgive Our Debtors: Bankruptcy and Consumer Credit in America, by then Rutgers law professor Philip Shuchman.

    Leahy looks into investigations conducted by The University of Texas, and concludes that the investigations were inadequate, University of Texas Whitewash of Elizabeth Warren Scientific Misconduct Charge Entangles UVA, UC Presidents:

    The lack of serious scrutiny of Ms. Warren’s academic research has continued for the subsequent two decades. Questions about Ms. Warren’s empirical studies have not been fully explored, and specific policies she has promoted–in particular those that led in 2010 to the passage of the Dodd-Frank Act and its onerous Consumer Financial Protection Bureau–have been imposed upon the public.

    Breitbart News is not alleging that Sullivan, Warren, and Westbrook engaged in scientific misconduct. We are, however, presenting evidence that suggests the 1991 investigation conducted by the University of Texas into the allegations brought by Philip Shuchman in his scathing sixty page review of the book Sullivan, Warren, and Westbrook co-authored in 1989 was neither thorough nor exculpatory.

    The story of Warren’s tendency to take limited data sets and jump to questionable politicized conclusions is not as easy to tell as her false claim to Cherokee heritage.

    The data story has been told by law professor Todd Zywicki and writer Meghan McArdle (also here), but it does not fit easily in a newspaper headline or a soundbite.

    Read Leahy’s post, and you will come to the conclusion that Warren’s rising academic stardom was protected much in the way her tenuous claim to Cherokee heritage never was questioned by Harvard and Penn law schools even when used for federal reporting.


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    redstateredux | June 25, 2012 at 11:04 pm

    It seems like Lizzie won’t be spinning her way out of trouble this time. The ridicule and lampooning have already taken hold out in cyberspace, see for yourself.

    Emil Blatz | June 25, 2012 at 11:41 pm

    I actually read the book many years ago while in law school, and I did think that her arguments from the anecdotal debtor’s story to the general policy conclusion were a huge, unsupported stretch. In those days pulling a random sample of petitions would have been logistically much more effort. The book reported on cases from the mid-1980’s, as I recall, and with CM/ECF in place just about everywhere now – assembling a representative sample and performing analysis would be much easier.

    What I think is more timely as an objection to Warren is her congressional testimony in favor of Obama-care in either late 2009 or early 2010. I recall seeing her on CSPAN, testifying to some exceptionally large percentage (like > 50%) of consumer bankruptcies caused by medical debt. It was a gross distortion of the facts and she made the claim under oath.

    I practice in the bankruptcy courts in 3 states and I see that in typical Chapter 7 consumer cases there is some medical debt incidental to most petitions. But it is another thing to claim that medical debts cause a large percentage of bankruptcies. And that is exactly what she testified to. As I heard her testimony I realized she was auditioning for the CFPB job, and it would seem to be a really poor call for Bay State voters to award her the Senate seat as a consolation prize.

    The Brown camp is probably all over her Obama-care testimony, but if not, why not?

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