Free Markets, Free People


Science bows to politics in Obama administration

You may remember this line from President Obama’s inaugural speech: " We will restore science to its rightful place … "?

The implication, of course, is that science had been held hostage to politics and that was no longer going to be tolerated.

Well, until it was necessary to skew it to support Obama’s political agenda, that is:

The White House rewrote crucial sections of an Interior Department report to suggest an independent group of scientists and engineers supported a six-month ban on offshore oil drilling, the Interior inspector general says in a new report. In the wee hours of the morning of May 27, a staff member to White House energy adviser Carol Browner sent two edited versions of the department report’s executive summary back to Interior. The language had been changed to insinuate the seven-member panel of outside experts – who reviewed a draft of various safety recommendations – endorsed the moratorium, according to the IG report obtained by POLITICO.

Of course the usual suspects claim no intention of mislead exists. That it was just part of the "normal editing process".

But:

“At 2:13 a.m. on May 27, 2010, Browner’s staff member sent an e-mail back to Black that contained two versions of the executive summary,” the IG report states. “Both versions sent by the staff member contained significant edits to DOI’s draft executive summary but were very similar to each other.

“Both versions, however, revised and re-ordered the executive summary, placing the peer review language immediately following the moratorium recommendation causing the distinction between the secretary’s moratorium recommendation – which had not been peer-reviewed – and the recommendations contained in the 30-Day Report – which had been peer-reviewed – to become effectively lost.” [emphasis mine]

Unless you’re a totally inept editor and not able to read for comprehension, this should have been obvious to everyone involved. The IG figured it out. Why didn’t Browner and Salazar?

Because, most likely, it said what they wanted said (implications included) exactly as they wanted it said so they could support the position they had already decided was necessary. 

But the denial, as absurd as it is, continues:

Black said he didn’t have any issues with the White House edit; he and his staffer both told the IG it never occurred to them that an objective reader would conclude that peer reviewers had supported the six-month moratorium.

Really? Seriously? Well what about the "objective" readers on the panel:

Nevertheless, Interior apologized to the peer reviewers in early June after some of them complained they were used to support the controversial ban. Salazar also held a conference call with the peer reviewers and met personally with some of them.

Obviously their "objective" reading of the executive summary caused them to conclude otherwise, didn’t it?

Glad to see science is back in the position the president promised it would be under his administration.

Change – a wonderful thing to behold, huh?

~McQ

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18 Responses to Science bows to politics in Obama administration

  • Another attempt to ‘hide the decline.’

  • The implication, of course, is that science had been held hostage to politics and that was no longer going to be tolerated.
    Oh, not JUST politics…  The clear sub rosa is that rationality was riding backseat to religious dogma under BOOOOSH.
    The truth is that it was NEVER this bad, and that the Obami are the LEAST rational bunch EVER to occupy the WH, and Obama the LEAST informed man every to be President.

  • Catching your finger in a closing car door is change too, and it feels about as good.
     

    Øbama’s chief attribute appears to be his ability to boldface lie over & over with not a molecule of shame. The chutzpah simply stunning.

    • I need to write a whole post exploring this., because the theme keeps coming up. As I explained over in the Nancy Pelosi thread, committed leftists don’t believe they are lying. Their post-modern world view allows them to bend the meaning of words and rationalize anything they need to say as the truth. Witness this video.

      I harp on this because understanding the psychology of the opposition is usually one of the keys to defeating them. As little affinity as I feel for Sarah Palin, the one thing she gets right better than anyone else in politics right now is that she understands at a deep, perhaps intuitive, level the twisted psychology of her opponents.

  • Sorry, McQ…
    I have to disagree; this was not “science” versus “politics”.  This was just a big, fat lie.  I think that puts the correct color on the picture here.

  • It really looks like Salazar drew his worst nightmare when the drilling moratorium case was assigned to U.S. District Judge Martin Feldman

    Judge Feldman was appointed to the bench by President Reagan in 1983.  Among his various other credentials and affiliations, he has served as an advisor to the “Court Appointed Scientific Experts” program of the American Association for the Advancement of Science, which assists courts in identifying scientific experts who can serve in judicial proceedings.

  • O’Brien silenced him by a movement of his hand. ‘We control matter because we control the mind. Reality is inside the skull. You will learn by degrees, Winston. There is nothing that we could not do. Invisibility, levitation — anything. I could float off this floor like a soap bubble if I wish to. I do not wish to, because the Party does not wish it. You must get rid of those nineteenth-century ideas about the laws of Nature. We make the laws of Nature.’

    George Orwell
    1984

    What do truth and science matter when one is trying to save the planet by punishing those dirty, polluting oil companies???

  • Well, the whole “the science is settled” meme with respect to AGW is politics, not science. This is quite clear in the released e-mails, where the “scientists” discuss a petition of many scientists, and point out that it doesn’t much matter who signs the petition (except they need a few big names).

    The whole AGW thing may have started off as science, but it ended up as politics, at least in part in an effort to defraud the taxpayer in developed nations (primarly the US).

    • They use science in the same manner as they did with embryonic stem cell.  The anti-science crowd were keeping us from using embryonic stem cells, a means to an undetermined outcome.  It was all like keeping someone from smoking, because ultimately smoking was going to be good for you .. or something.

      • And that debate was really just about who should fund it. No one was talking about a ban.

        Given our national debt, I object to federal funding of such research on a fiscal basis alone.

  • “…it never occurred to them that an objective reader would conclude that peer reviewers had supported the six-month moratorium…”

    These folks are all lawyers and politicians whose lives and livelihoods depend on using (and misusing) language to manipulate others. That makes it just a wee bit difficult to believe them. Of course they could just be incompetent.

    • These folks are all lawyers and politicians whose lives and livelihoods depend on using (and misusing) language to manipulate others.

      Hey…!!!

  • Are we surprised that this kind of thing happened. The whole system is corrupted.

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