Friday, May 25, 2012

Law Prof Pleads Ignorance of Law & Facts -- About Herself!

According to reporter Mary Carmichael of the Boston Globe . . . that's right, the Boston Globe, the current leading Democrat Party US Senate candidate for the Commonwealth of Massachusetts, Harvard Law School Law Professor Elizabeth Warren, is sticking with her story that she was simply
"not aware that Harvard Law School had been promoting her purported Native American heritage until she read about it in a newspaper several weeks ago."
Thus, Ms. Warren doggedly persists in making that claim of ignorance of federally-mandated diversity claims made about her, in spite of the fact that,
"for at least six straight years during Warren's tenure, Harvard University reported in federally mandated diversity statistics that it had a Native American woman in its senior ranks at the law school. According to both Harvard officials and federal guidelines, those statistics are almost always based on the way employees describe themselves."
Could this possibly be the sole instance, in the long and storied parade of Harvard University legal academics, of a professor openly pleading ignorance of both the law and of the facts . . . especially when ipso facto it is given that both quite recently applied to her status, and her status alone -- at Harvard?!!

Not only was the University reporting this claim about Professor Warren in their federal diversity filings, but there were apparently cooperative efforts by the University to promote that claim in other venues, and even an intra-school effort to actively promote her "minority status" including in an article in at least one Harvard law school journal, thereby demonstrating that Harvard was quite openly touting the fact the University had a "woman of color" serving on the law school faculty.

Amazingly, we are now also asked to believe that Professor Warren somehow missed all of that as well?

As has been widely reported, recent detailed examinations have thoroughly undermined her various claims, including earlier reporting citing New England genealogists who had been initially contacted by news outlets regarding her ongoing personally promoted claims of Cherokee lineage.  Those initial contacts had led to some erroneous reporting about her claimed lineage-- most notably in a story that appeared in the Boston Globe.  It is now undisputed among various news accounts that there is simply no factual basis whatsoever to support her continuing "family lore" based assertions of such lineage.

So, in response to persistent media questions by reporters asking her on what basis she now personally relies in continuing to claim that she has Cherokee lineage, Warren has been reduced to saying that the reason she knows it is true is because her mother told her so! More detail on that angle here.

Today's Boston Globe story goes on to point out, however, that,
"both Harvard’s guidelines and federal regulations for the statistics lay out a specific definition of Native American that Warren does not meet.

The documents suggest for the first time that either Warren or a Harvard administrator classified her repeatedly as Native American in papers prepared for the government in a way that apparently did not adhere to federal diversity guidelines. They raise further questions about Warren’s statements that she was unaware Harvard was promoting her as Native American."
Though for the time being she appears to be holding steady in the polls, John Sivolella, a new blogger at Boston Magazine has made the key observation that her campaign has recently made a significant and very expensive media buy, one that can easily explain much of that leveling. John's point is that her big buy arguably should have given her a nice lead, not just allowed her to stay even.
"The results of a recent Rasmussen poll have been portrayed (and then parroted) as showing that the Cherokee affair hasn’t yet had an impact on Warren because she remains tied with Brown at 45 percent. This doesn’t tell the whole story, of course, since it leaves out the critical fact that Warren had just embarked on a major, very expensive media buy featuring none other than the President himself. By showing her Obama cards so early, Warren must have hoped for a boost in the polls, perhaps trying to put 5-7 points of daylight between her and Brown. Instead, she’s spent a lot of campaign cash but remains in a dead heat. And the Cherokee affair lives on. This has to trouble her supporters."
Indeed, this story will not simply just go away, as amply demonstrated by the above-linked piece in today's Globe.

At some point, perhaps prior to their first debate, one suspects that Warren may feel compelled to somehow address the specifics, rather than just continuing to rely on such risible claims as that it is somehow all just a case of Scott Brown attacking her family!

Nor will it help her cause -- as it continues to dawn on more and more voters -- that this is a law professor who is now steadfastly denying knowledge of both the law and the facts regarding her own set of circumstances . . . a person who has been teaching at arguably the most prestigious law school in the entire country!

Gee! I'm thinking that might even make for a very good Saturday Night Live skit . . . oh wait!

UPDATE, 05/25/2012 at 5:20 pm: More on this from Ed Morrissey at Hot Air.

UPDATE II, 05/25/2012 at 8:00 pm: The Daily Caller "teaser" for this story; Warren may have told Harvard she was Native American for six years - TheDC.

Wednesday, May 16, 2012

NEHGS: No Proof of Warren's Indian Heritage

05/16/2012 -- The Boston Herald, per reporter Hillary Chabot, is now reporting that the New England Historic Genealogical Society (N.E.H.G.S.) says they have concluded that there is simply "no proof" of Massachusetts Democrat and United States Senate candidate Elizabeth Warren's long-time claim to Native American heritage.

Until yesterday, that organization was the only one that had preliminarily given any credence at all to her claims, largely based on the speculative claim that there either was, or may have been a reference to such a link in the marriage documentation of her great, great, great grandmother, identified as "O.C.Sarah Smith."  Proof of such a tenuous claim, would have formed the basis for Warren only being 1/32 Cherokee, but now N.E.H.G.S. has concluded that there is simply no documentation on which to base proof of even that thin connection.

When the actual marriage certificate was shown to contain no such reference at all, and genealogists thereupon further established that the certificate itself was the only possible extant documentation -- i.e., that records and officials confirmed that there simply were no "application" forms filled out for a marriage certificate back at the time -- that factually undercut any continuing basis for the Society's preliminary finding.  Finally,
the Society backpedaled yesterday, saying they haven’t been able to find primary documentation to back up that claim. Their comments came as the Herald reported yesterday that an Oklahoma county clerk said a marriage application proving Warren’s tribal roots does not exist.

"We have no proof that Elizabeth Warren’s great-great-great-grandmother O.C. Sarah Smith either is or is not of Cherokee descent,” said Tom Champoux, a [NEHGS] society spokesman.
With this setback, Warren is now faced with lingering questions regarding the basis for her long-time claims of Cherokee lineage over the years, including having listed herself as being of Native American heritage with the American Association of Law Schools (A.A.L.S.), and having also been listed as a "minority" professor with a few highly prestigious institutions of higher learning, including the Harvard Law School, where she has taught most recently, and earlier with the University of Pennsylvania School of Law.

The lack of any factual basis for her claims is an embarrassment for these institutions as well, and raises issues regarding what proof they may (or may not) have solicited or obtained from her at the time of her hiring at those institutions.

Politically, the Herald article strongly suggests that this issue will likely remain with her throughout the remainder of the campaign, and, further, that she no longer has any control of the narrative regarding the issue.

"It’s glued to her now. This is going to be with her throughout the campaign,” said Larry Sabato, who heads the University of Virginia’s Center for Politics. “I don’t know how it goes away when you have so many unanswered questions."

. . .

Another new reference to Warren’s minority status surfaced yesterday in a 1997 Fordham University article that cites her as a “woman of color.” The article quotes former Harvard Law School spokesman Michael Chmura, who was also quoted in the original Harvard Crimson article touting Warren’s purported tribal heritage.

A Warren spokeswoman called the article “nothing new.”

But Leonard Steinhorn, a political science professor at American University, said, "I think she’s lost this storyline in the media."

Though she has so far been seen as the "presumptive" Democratic Senatorial nominee in the fall race for the Massachusetts seat currently held by Republican Scott Brown, Elizabeth Warren is not the only Democrat in the primary race for the nomination.

One other candidate, Marisa DeFranko, has also now filed her petitions.  The Democrat primary election for the seat in Massachusetts will be held on September 6th, thus leading one political commentator to ponder whether the Democrats might now be tempted to turn to this relatively unknown candidate.

Monday, May 14, 2012

Warren Refuses to "Evolve" on Cherokee Legacy

05/14/2012 -- At the Daily Caller, an embedded clip of Elizabeth Warren, responding to a question based on Senator Scott Brown's recent claim of contradictions in her palpably curious family history story, in which she has long asserted Cherokee Indian lineage, a boast she only very recently narrowed down to a claim of being only 1/32 Cherokee, based on the thin and as yet undocumented assertion that her great, great, great grandmother, one O. C. Sarah Smith, was Cherokee.

Since then, however, further serious questions about the entire story have arisen. But she is not budging, holding on now to the claim that it was recorded in a family newsletter -- one that no one seems to have kept.  *UPDATE, 8:26 pm: The original genealogist who had backed her story, has now admitted his mistake.  Elizabeth Warren's story now appears to be lacking any possible foundation whatsoever.*

The televised  question to her came during her appearance on the CNN interview show "Starting Point."

It seems Elizabeth  is now "doubling down" in spite of increasingly convincing evidence that her long time claim to Native American heritage, appears to be, well . . . bogus.

Detailed stories have emerged over the past few weeks, ones virtually undermining the entire genealogical basis for her prior (and current) claims, and the revelations have even including persuasive evidence detailed by Breitbart here and enhanced in a well-documented post at a law blog here that one of her forerunners was actually a member of a militia unit back at at the time in Tennessee, a unit that was militarily responsible for rounding up Cherokee people in the prelude to the sorrowful "Trail of Tears!" 

The entire matter has now become an acute embarrassment for a few institutions of learning (ht, Legal Insurrection, here) at which Warren has taught over the years, including at two of the top law schools in the country -- Harvard University and the University of Pennsylvania -- prestigious institutions where Warren instructed.  In each case, it now appears that she was proudly being touted at the schools as a "minority" professor while she was teaching there, a "fact" that now is in serious question.

Yet, in this latest CNN clip, she can be heard dismissively addressing Brown's jibes during the course of the interview, still claiming defiantly, "You know, I'm proud of my Native American heritage." In spite of the strong contrary evidence, the CNN interviewer did not challenge her statement.

Warren then went on to allege that the continuing controversy is all just an effort by Wall Street, Scott Brown and Washington to "change the subject," that is, to create a distraction from the weak American economy, and the effect on middle class and working families -- even though she was the person who all along raised the claim of American Indian heritage.

Warren's campaign website currently makes no references to, nor links any stories at all about the controversy.  Nor does it factually address her continued claim of Cherokee "heritage"  in the background.

Apparently she's not that proud!

By launching this latest "subject changing" line of defense, she may have risibly singled herself out thereby as the only Democrat in the entire country to be making such a charge!  Republicans across the country have been raising strikingly similar claims, aimed at the President and the Democrat-controlled Senate, given the fact that both the Obama Administration and the Senate Democrats have lately eschewed all credible talk of the current state of the economy. They and their acolytes in the MSM seem to prefer instead addressing such "issues" as the alleged "war on women,", the President's "historic evolution" on gay marriage, or scrounging around for any opportunity to once again "spike the football" over the year-old raid on OBL's lair in Abbbottabad, PK.  The economy is a non-story for the Democrats -- except for Liz.

At this point, it sadly seems the only way to address her continuing insistence on her "heritage" is by poking bit of fun at her story.
"I love my ancestry," sez she.
If only the facts would agree!
High cheeky worked then,
Back at Harvard and Penn,
But outed . . . a faux family tree.

Sunday, May 06, 2012

'ROCK . . . Meet Hard Place!!

05/10/2012 -- Weekday Update #2 -- Greta Van Susteren of Fox has confirmed with NBC that SNL scrapped the parody aimed at President Obama for "spiking the football" over the first anniversary of the raid on the OBL compound in Abbottabad, PK, and instead ran a lampoon of a Fox morning show, Fox & Friends.

From Greta's' blog:
NBC is confirming reports that Saturday Night Live scrapped an opening sketch taking a poke at President Obama for politicizing Osama bin Laden’s death on the one-year anniversary.
Instead, the show opened with a skit mocking Fox New Channel’s morning show “Fox & Friends.” The show’s executive producer insists SNL has no hidden motive, saying the show just couldn't fit everything in and the President Obama impersonation simply didn’t make the cut.
Greta, we think you let 'em off the hook a little too easy! If anything was to be cut, it should have been the "Fox & Friends" bit, which was really lame. Where were your follow up questions?

05/08/2012 -- Weekday Update:  John Fund, writing at National Review Online (NRO), legitimately asks whether the long-running NBC comedy show -- Saturday Night Live (SNL) -- is not itself "fast becoming, well, a joke." (ht to reader Vince for the Fund piece).

John notes that even though SNL has politically canted a bit left throughout its 37 years on air -- and displayed staying power for its only sometimes storied run as a cultural institution of American comedy -- that there have nevertheless been some key moments in that history, of well-deserved fun poking at the more risible antics of several larboard-leaning political icons in our lives, even including a few Democratic presidential candidates.

Fund cites past skits aimed at Al Gore, Michael Dukakis, and even Barack Obama himself, back during the 2008 Democrat primaries. He notes that many of those skits were authored by veteran SNL writer, Jim Downey (himself a Democrat), whose latest lampoon was one poking a bit of fun at Barack Obama for a flurry of recent instances of "spiking the football" in and around the anniversary of the raid on the Osama Bin Laden lair in Abbottabad, Pakistan.

That skit, however, obviously proved just too much for the kill-joys at NBC, and it was cut from the show this past week, pulled in favor of one aiming its jibes at a Fox morning show, Fox & Friends.

Pretty pathetic!

The text of that eliminated skit, however, was leaked to The Daily Caller, once again exposing the censorious and enervating political bias of those in control at NBC.

05/06/2012 -- One might have thought the folks over at 30 ROCK had learned a valuable lesson with their recent exposure of a nasty bit of fabulism -- for having attempted to publicly paint George Zimmerman with a racist brush, by intentionally truncating key portions of a 911 call he made for a March 21st story about the explosive Treyvon Martin shooting case down in Sanford, Florida. That NBC story originally made it seem that Mr. Zimmerman's motivation leading up to the tragic fatal shooting of Martin, was blatantly racial (See the March 28th disclaimer at the end of their story.*)

Observers from several new media outlets, including both the Media Research Center and Fox, quickly teamed up to expose that brazen network attempt, as was posted about by Eric Wemple on his WaPo media blog. NBC eventually had to publicly retract their story, and apologize for the having broadcasted that obviously misleading story line in a few instances, including once on their flagship morning Today show. NBC was embarrassed and ultimately ended up conducting an internal investigation.  They said they fired an "unnamed" producer, who they identified as having overseen the improper editing the audio tape of the call. In fact, as of a few days ago, NBC reportedly had fired a total of three employees over the incident.

But has that very recent lesson somehow escaped NBC?  Consider the latest!

Now, the Daily Caller has posted a new piece, exposing the embarrassing level of political partisanship over at NBC, this time for someone having interfered with and scrapping, of all things, a Saturday Night Live skit.  It was one that humorously poked a bit of fun at President Obama in the wake of his recent habit of repeatedly "spiking the football" for personal political gain on the first anniversary of the operation last year to take out Osama Bin Laden in Abbottabad, PK.

That comedy skit that was slated for airing this weekend, but it was yanked at some point and instead replaced with one attacking the supposed "partisanship" of a Fox News Channel (FNC) show, "Fox & Friends." Now NBC has been exposed again, because the full text of the trashed skit itself was leaked to the Daily Caller, and has been posted by them on their site.

Can you just imagine the tone of the discussion at that internal NBC meeting . . . the one that must have been held at the network, and during which the issue was debated -- i.e., whether or not to scrap the skit? And, of course, to also discuss replacing it with a skit attacking another news network for their claimed political bias?

This is comedy gold, folks!

Just imagine those four or five or six sour-pussed NBC producer types, sitting huddled around a table in the network "situation" room (you know they must have one of those), airing the pros and cons of SNL going with a bit openly poking fun of Obama!

Do you suppose that at any point during that meeting that they debated the political "downside" of killing the skit, given the possibility, however remote, that that story might eventually leak? Here's betting that never really crossed their minds.

And, you've also really got to wonder exactly who had, and exercised the final "go, or no-go" authority . . . the ultimate call on scrapping it. You also have to wonder whether there was a consensus during the meeting (or maybe it was meetings) to "debate" the idea of tossing out the POTUS bit -- or whether their was a split of opinion?

Just the thought of any such meeting itself would inspire a good SNL skit -- one, of course, which we'll never see!

The interesting thing now will be if any other mainstream news organizations will seek to participate in the further exposure of the details of that obvious partisan political decision taken by the NBC "bigs." One of the worst things for any news-gathering organization is to themselves become the story. Recall if you will Dan Rather initiating the penultimate case, way back in the fall of 2004, with his "60 Minutes Wed." show, during which he dramatically airing "the Killian documents" about George W. Bush, ostensibly dating from back during the time of his service in the Texas Air National Guard.

Within hours, of course, the documents were identified as forgeries by a skeptical public on the internet -- remember Buckhead? -- as having been cobbled together by someone using a computer typeface invented years after the supposed dates posted on the "originals" that were aired by Rather on CBS. That CBS incident too involved obvious partisan political involvement by a news network during a Presidential election, one that cost Rather, and his "producer" Mary Mapes, their careers and reputations.

Obviously, there is no question that NBC, along with their nomenklatura of openly Obama-worshiping commentators over at MSNBC would have been a bit embarrassed in the aftermath of the airing of the original Obama skit. They are so heavily invested in Obama that poking even a bit of fun at him would have angered some of their viewing audience.

But in the end, the nakedly political killing of the skit could likely prove a much bigger embarrassment for them, and they will obviously be tempted now to take efforts to cover up the excruciating details . . . such as by risibly concocting a cover story, somehow claiming that an appropriate committee had carefully evaluated the skit, and determined that it just wasn't that funny!

Of course, I'm just guessing what their cover story might end up being, but the text of the now-published skit at the Daily Caller will speak for itself.

Well, here's my vote -- I say it's funny. It certainly is a whole lot funnier than the lame cheap shot replacement they aimed at Fox & Friends!

So, one might even be tempted to say at this point . . . 'ROCK, Meet Hard Place!!!

# # # # #

* Here was that NBC disclaimer, printed with the March 21st written version, one week after the original misleading story about Zimmerman was posted:
"Editor’s note: A clarification was made to this story on March 28, 2012. An earlier version of the story truncated George Zimmerman’s quotes to a 911 operator in a way that may have changed the meaning."