Tuesday, October 05, 2010

A very thin reed

Well, the Cooch can't take a hint, so he decided to refile against his Civil Investigative Demand (text at the link) against the University of Virginia trying to thread the needle through the microscopic hole the judge left when he squashed the previous fishing trip into Michael Mann's files. Although Cuccinelli was told that he could not butt into federal grants, there was a single intramural grant from UVa on which Mann was not the PI but a co-PI dealing with how interactions between the biosphere and atmosphere in the African savannah.

Even after a couple of hours there are articles on this already everywhere (deSmog, Washington Post, Mother Jones, Real Climate and more), but Eli has a suspicion, actually two. In trying to tie the UVa grant to the Mann, Bradley and Hughes papers there is some funny language in the CID

To the extent that Dr. Mann did reference or rely on his past work in these papers (or others like them) to aid in the winning of the grant when he should knew of should have known of the potential of the papers (or others like them) to mislead the grantor, such actions would subject him to potential FATA liability . . .

Further if the work on the grant built on any prior work that suffered from the same or a similar flaw, Dr. Mann would also be subject to liability. This would apply to any claims for payment or payments made under the grant listed below after January 1, 2003.
What makes this interesting is that this "reference" could have been in a list of publication on the bio sketch, a very thin reed indeed. The other part that could bring the whole house of cards down is they could have had like $5 left by January 1, 2003.

The only interesting thing is that pages 17 to 28 of the CID are the usual denial hash, the question that the bunnies are asking is who wrote it. Therein lies the tale.


John Mashey said...

Well, there are also 6 mentions of the Wegman report, on which Cuccinelli and his sidekick Wesley Russell (both George Mason-trained lawyers) relied heavily.

This may turn out to be incredibly-inept timing, in several different ways.

Anonymous said...

Don't know who wrote the 'science': do tell. S>F>Singer wrote 2 letters to the Richmond Times-Dispatch in support of Cuccinelli's investigation.

I'm wondering what a judge can do to a state Attorney General who ignores his previous warnings to bring back only a significant reason for the CID.

Anonymous said...

Snow Bunny says

Dear Eli, have you ever heard of serious scientists mentioning 'postnormal science', much less suggesting they use it?

David B. Benson said...

Is he sane?

CapitalClimate said...

The question is not whether he is sane. As Mashey and others have pointed out elsewhere, he is so tainted with the stink of ideology and personal conflict-of-interest that it doesn't require a south wind to detect the scent over on this side of the Patowmack.

As for the origins of this abortion, a cursory search of some key phrases finds no direct matches, but it would hardly be surprising if it turned out that much of the "science" originated at 1600 South Eads Street, Suite #712-S, Arlington VA 22202-2907, Tel/Fax 703-920-2744.

EliRabett said...

FWIW the judge will probably be more direct this time

FancyRat said...

Sadly Eli's quote does not match the PDF at DesmogBlog. Desmog Blog's apparently scanned document has only one typo. It has "knew of should have known of the potential" not "knew of should have known to the potential". (Eli has "to" where PDF has "of"
Similarly the PDF has "if the work on the grant built on any prior work ..." not "if the work on which the grant built on any proior work" as quored by Eli :-(

On the other hand The A.G. seems to think
a) Saying what papers you have previously written is fraud, even though you wrote them
b) building on flawed work by improving it makes the new work flawed/fraudulant.

It's also interesting to see the A.G. using stolen emails as evidence - is this Unlawful Search and Seizure ?

EliRabett said...

Ok, fixed.

Timothy Chase said...

CapitalClimate wrote, "... it would hardly be surprising if it turned out that much of the 'science' originated at 1600 South Eads Street, Suite #712-S, Arlington VA 22202-2907, Tel/Fax 703-920-2744."

Lovely. I have Google phone, and for convenience I have an extension that turns phone numbers into hyperlinks that automatically dial the phone for me.

Then you gave a phone number but didn't say whose phone number it was. So I was trying to copy and paste it into the Google search engine to find out and instead nearly dialed him.

Thank you ever so. I would likely have received a visit from the FBI.

Timothy Chase said...

David B. Benson wrotee, "Is he sane?"

Cuccinelli doesn't have to even get the case into court in order to "win." He is playing to the audience that will get him elected governor if he decides to run -- and he has been indicating his intention.

Additionally, we have seen how this works often enough with the mainstream media. Cuccinelli's mere "intent" to take Mann to court is is sufficient to give Morano and the like material to run with, smearing not just Mann but climatology as such.

Then you have a smear campaign just in time for the elections -- something convenient for tea party candidates to milk in the hope of getting elected. And if Cuccinelli can get away with doing this without having to bear some sort of penalty then he has blazed a trail for others like him to follow -- simply by showing whats possible and that it is possible to get away with it. A trail others likely won't follow this season but next.

Or at least that's my take on this.

Brian Schmidt said...

If VA law follows the federal law that I researched 11 years ago, the alleged fraud has to have happened after the enactment date. Just accepting a check is a thin reed, as they say. I suppose Cooch will claim that cashing the check is an implicit reassertion of prior fraud, but I don't think that will fly.

Along with the many other problems with the CID. Fraud requires intent to deceive, and the CID is arguing, partially, that prior research was wrong. Those two aren't the same.