Archive for the ‘Elizabeth Warren’ Category
Shut Up—Or We’ll Shut You Down
Elizabeth Warren isn’t the only one trying to silence her opponents.
Last month George Mason Professor Jagadish Shukla and 19 others signed a letter to President Obama, Attorney General Loretta Lynch and White House science adviser John Holdren urging punishment for climate dissenters. “One additional tool—recently proposed by Senator Sheldon Whitehouse—is a RICO (Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations Act) investigation of corporations and other organizations that have knowingly deceived the American people about the risks of climate change, as a means to forestall America’s response to climate change,” they wrote.
In other words, they want the feds to use a law created to prosecute the mafia against lawful businesses and scientists. In a May op-ed in the Washington Post, Mr. Whitehouse specifically cited Willie Soon of the Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics, who has published politically inconvenient research on changes in solar radiation.
The RICO threat is intended to shut down debate because it can inflict treble damages upon a defendant. Enacted to stop organized crime and specifically to prosecute individuals tied to loansharking and murder-for-hire, it was long seen as so powerful a tool that the government warned prosecutors to limit its use.
THE WALL STREET JOURNAL
Don’t Cross Elizabeth Warren
A left-leaning think tank gets a visit from the thought police for heresy on regulation.
By L. GORDON CROVITZ
Oct. 5, 2015
What good is a think tank if thinking isn’t allowed? That’s the question the hard-left senator from Massachusetts, Elizabeth Warren, forced on the soft-left Brookings Institution by getting one of its top economists fired.
Her victim is Robert Litan, a Democrat who served in the Clinton administration and had been associated with Brookings since the 1970s, including as a former director of its economics division.
The ambush of Mr. Litan occurred in Internet time. At 8:30 a.m. on Tuesday last week, the Washington Post reported online a letter Ms. Warren sent to Brookings complaining about him. Twitter lit up, with her fans demanding Mr. Litan’s head. “If @BrookingsInst has integrity will loudly fire ‘scholar’ Robert Litan today, declare new policies. If not . . .” tweeted David Cay Johnston, a left-wing writer, at 8:52. By 9:30 Mr. Litan was gone.
In July Mr. Litan had testified against a Warren-backed Labor Department plan to regulate financial advisers. His cost-benefit analysis estimated that during a market downturn the regulation could cost investors—especially those who aren’t wealthy—tens of billions of dollars by depriving them of advice, such as against panic selling. Half of House Democrats and virtually all Republicans in Congress oppose the plan because of its costs.
Instead of rebutting his argument, Ms. Warren decided to punish it. Her letter to Brookings president Strobe Talbott accused Mr. Litan of concealing a conflict of interest. The first page of Mr. Litan’s testimony says: “The study was supported by the Capital Group, one of the largest mutual fund asset managers in the U.S.” She called that disclosure “vague”—an obvious falsehood.
Mr. Litan had told his colleagues at Brookings, including Mr. Talbott, about Ms. Warren’s complaints, and they seemed unconcerned as late as the morning her letter went public. “Two hours later,” he told me, “it was clear that there was a high level of distress at Brookings, and after 40 years I left. That’s it.” (more…)