Just when Thomas Jefferson’s University thought it could get a respite from a spate of bad news, the Cooch comes back.

Yes, irrepressible Atty. Gen. Kenneth Cuccinelli is back with a new civil investigative demand for emails and other materials of former University of Virginia professor Michael Mann, an expert on global warming.
The Cooch has his legs kicked out from under him in August when five of his CIDs were tossed out by an Albemarle County judge who couldn’t figure out why Cuccinelli was bothering to probe research into global warming, but did leave the door open for a new CID.
Cuccinelli complied with a new version that probes one research contract involving only state money. He made his play Oct. 4, in good time for the November midterm elections where Republicans are pushing the idea that goofy and dishonest profs ginned up the global warming hoax (one guesses they missed the pictures of melting glaciers).
U.Va. shelled out $352,874.76 from alumni and other donors to shield itself from Cooch’s fishing trip. One wonders how much more they will have to pay.
Doesn’t matter to the Cooch. He’s on a media roll. And to the hard right wing, he looks a lot more together than fellow Republican Gov. Bob McDonnell who wonders if he has enough votes to make privatizing ABC stores worth taking to the General Assembly or a special session. Imagine if all that work comes to naught.
Charging ahead also positions Cuccinelli to take on Lt. Gov. Bill Bolling when McDonnell’s term ends in 2013.
But you have to wonder about the Republicans. Cooch doesn’t care how much he spends to skewer a professor who left the state five years ago when that professor runs afoul of Cuccinelli’s scientific theories. One thought the GOP would be more cost conscious.
As for McDonnell, he’s come up with a plan that benefits big box stores who thirst for liquor sales while little guys will suffer. He’ll come up $47 million a year short of what state ABC stores now do annually. And he’s messed around with a bunch of new taxes or charges masquerading as taxes to get privatizing ABC less anemic than it otherwise wouldbe. ONe thought Republicans were against new taxes.
Whatever. The Gong Show continues in Richmond.
Peter Galuszka

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15 responses to “He’s BAAAAACK!”

  1. And how much did Maine make by leasing the rights to run its stores?

  2. Larry G Avatar

    McDonnell beat Creigh Deeds by saying he was opposed to new/more taxes and would downsize govt and undertake a fiscally conservative approach to a smaller, more efficient govt.

    So.. what does he do?

    He tries to raise taxes…

    but not before he defers $600 million in pension fund contributions and then claims he's produced a "surplus".

    Even his idea of funding transportation from oil drilling involved TAXING the oil – right?

    At least Creigh Deeds honestly stated that if we wanted to better fund VDOT – we'd have to raise taxes.

    McDonnell on the other hand seems to be twisting and turning his way to "find" new money – like it will magically appear from audits and ABC privatizing while the reality is he's doing the same thing Creigh Deeds said – new taxes.

    Who said that Va is "owed" the profits and the taxes from alcohol in the first place?

    I thought Republicans believe that we should cut taxes and give them back to taxpayers but instead McDonnell apparently thinks that citizens "owe" the Commonwealth taxes and fees for alcohol.

    At least give the Dems credit – they believe we SHOULD tax alcohol.

    Republicans say that we should not tax but then when push comes to shove.. they wiggle and worm their way to stealth taxes and fees.

    George Wallace said there's not a dimes worth of difference between them.

    mostly true but Republicans are always claiming virtuous thoughts… but then they sin anyhow…

    I guess that's why they're into religious "values" also, eh?

  3. Larry G Avatar

    For those that believe that there is a worldwide conspiracy on one subject – what keeps you from thinking that there are also other areas where there is worldwide conspiracies?

    and if you believe that for a number of areas there are worldwide conspiracies….

    how do you trust anything ?

    The same scientists that study climate – predict El Nino and Hurricanes , etc….

    why would you believe their hurricane and tsunami science but not their other science?

    what is the right-wing propaganda machine's position on hurricane predictions?

    a worldwide conspiracy to get the government to spend more on disaster relief and subsidized flood insurance?

    Cooch and his brethren medieval-minded idiots.

    Cooch's great, great, great grandfather no doubt burned the round-earth heretics at the stake…

  4. Anonymous Avatar

    It's not about science, but rather about access to taxpayer money and political power, which brings more access to more money.

    I would not argue that humanity cannot have an impact on climate or that we do not need to explore more energy sources. But neither would I argue that we should ignore the massive evidence about how the world's climate has changed radically over time. There seems to be some patterns of both long and short-term cycles.

    I don't trust Wall Street or academia about dollars and cents.


  5. Larry G Avatar

    TMT – you don't trust ANY Academia or Science that has the same environment that Climate Science has?

    I'm trying to understand why it is JUST Climate Science that has a worldwide conspiracy – and the implications of a belief that any/all science could suffer from the same problems that have led to the Climate Science problems.

  6. Anonymous Avatar

    Larry, I think climate science, while certainly having some very legitimate basis, also offers the possibility for scamming the public interest to get power and money. I don't think other weather-related areas offer the same opportunities. This is similar to any big government program, be it Stimulus or defense spending. Access to power and money invites corruption. This, of course, does not mean either all participants are corrupt or that there is no value whatsoever in the underlying subject matter.


  7. This is interesting. I believe that TMT is correct to say that there is incentive to oversell things that may get government funding as a result.

    But Larry is also right to ask why it is that you don't distrust hurricane prediction or even something as nascent as earthquake prediction.

    Larry, on the other hand does not trust stream pollution models, or predictions of chemical toxicity.

    And even if you beleive there is a natural cycle to climate change, does this mean that there is not also a component of change that is manmade? Does it mean that you cannot or should not attempt to change a bad event, just because it is "natural"?

    It seems to me that it is easy to postulate an infinite number of bad events, or an infinite number of conspiracies, but there is not an infinite amount of resources to combat them. Cuccinelli is wasting valuable resources, and causing other valuable resources to be wasted on needless defense.

    So, among all the bad things that can happen, how do you allocate resources? Do you allocate them to rare events with unknown probabilities and possible drastic consequences? Or do you spend money solving the easiest cheapest and most obvious problems first?

  8. Gooze Views Avatar
    Gooze Views

    Thank you for the You Tube.

    Cuccinelli's Exhibit A?

    Peter Galuszka

  9. Groveton Avatar

    Climate change is happening – but how fast?

    That is the question.

    Dr. Mann said some odd things as he developed his now famous (or infamous) "hockey stick" chart.

    Did he use (or misuse) taxpayer money in an attempt to exaggerate the speed of climate change? I don't know. However, very rapid climate change would certainly cause government to spend more and spend more quickly on further cliamte change research.

    Dr. Mann and his collegues made some very odd statements in the hacked East Anglia e-mails.

    Do these statements cause suspicion as to the taxpayer – funded research Dr. Mann was conducting while employed by U Va? They do to me.

    Did Dr. Mann do something legally incorrect with the funds he received while employed by U Va? I don't know. Gooze doesn't know, LarryG doesn't knoe, TMT doesn't know….

    So, if Cooch puts the U Va documents (paid for by taxpayers) in the public domain – I guess we'll all find out.

    When you get funded by the taxpayer you should be willing to show the taxpayers' representative (in this case our elected Attorney General).

    Univerities can have all the academic freedom they want – so long as they don't take taxpayer money.

  10. So, if Cooch puts the U Va documents (paid for by taxpayers) in the public domain – I guess we'll all find out.


    Given the way VA law enforcement treats FOIA, I would not count on that.

    Cuccinelli has his own agenda for more money and power.

    I dontt see a whole lot of point in dwelling on what did we think we knew that turned out to be wrong. The question is how much was right, how much more do we need to know, and assuming we have valid results, how do we decide what to do about it.

    We do not have that decision process in place. therefore, no matter what results we ome up with, we are doomed to argue over what's next.

    Whether climate change is natural or not, it may have profound effects. Those effects may transcend our political ability to deal with them.

    Imagine that much of the rest of the world becomes flooded, desert, storm prone or arctic, and only the American High Plain and a few other places are both civilized and verdant. What will your immigration policy be then?

    And, during the 50 or 100 years it takes to solve that problem, what will we do about malaria, dengue fever, dysentery, and AIDS, and hunger that affect millions of people today and which we already know how to fix?

  11. Isn't there a need for money that comes with few strings attached?

    Would we have any more faith in academic research if all the money received produced results that were politically pre-ordained?

  12. Anonymous Avatar

    Over the long term, government, including higher education funded by the public, cannot continue to grow faster than increases in private sector income. Note that I said long term.

    I have done legal work for some Virginia public schools, representing them in commercial transactions. Everything about those transactions, including what I've been paid, the amounts received by the schools and the details of the leases, are public record. Also, subject to the attorney-client privilege, all of my emails and other written correspondence are subject to FOIA as well. Ditto for the other participants.

    Why is UVA different?


  13. Larry G Avatar

    re" big govt programs….

    on a worldwide basis – on a conspiratorial basis?

    are you saying that all the worlds fly-shit scientists get together and promote a scare tactic about fly-shit so they can stampede all the world govts to boost their funding of fly-shit science?

    this is the part I don't get.

    is it just climate science or are their other examples?

  14. Larry G Avatar

    is it about "the money"?

    listen.. there are THOUSANDS and THOUSANDS of government grants for scientific studies.

    are we saying that you want the govt expanded so go and analyze and audit all of these studies to make sure that improper conclusions were not reached and then conspiratorially altered so that multiple scientist studies "matched" each other?

    Ya'll want a whole new govt agency to do this?

    or you just want someone like Cooch to.. whenever he feels like it to go issue a bunch of summons to go through all Va University records to determine if the "science" was not kosher?

    do you guys realize just how crazy this sounds?

    First of all – you guys say you don't trust the govt and even if you did – they're incompetent but now you want the govt to investigate science?

    Whatever the right wing propaganda machine is passing out for smokes is some really good stuff….!!!

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