Friday, January 22, 2016

"The Second Time Around...only this time with emphasis added!"

Red Pill ...a "Must-See" video (below) for the uninformed and for those who THINK that they are informed.  Note to America: If we don't deal with this now, we will not be able to deal with it later...and it's later than you think!
I don't recall posting a previous post (not including parts thereof or links to) nor do I want to include all that I've said about what's going on in the world here within this one... but I would like to repeat one post and hope those of you who have missed it or skimmed over it lightly would look at it a bit closer and compare it to what Stephen Coughlin says in his video below.  Stephen's résumé is more impressive than mine and with that said it is hoped that more people would begin to comprehend the dangerous situation we are presently experiencing and if we as a people do not act soon we stand the chance of becoming an afterthought in some Islamic history book.  ←Regarding that last line, I could not have said it more bluntly now read the following and pay close attention to what Stephen Coughlin says in his Red Pill video...and if this is not a call for action, you missed the point! ~ Norman E. Hooben

PS: I firmly believe everything Mr. Coughlin says especially the fact that I've said everything that he says a long time before I've ever heard of him. (I think I'll name this post, "The Second Time Around...only this time with emphasis added!")


What is an Alinskyism? (Originally posted November 3, 2013)
Have you ever wondered what an Alinskyism is?
by Norman E. Hooben
Saul Alinsky was is probably the most influential character in American politics during the last half a century. Without getting into his life story suffice it to say that he has injected more hatred for the American way of life into the Democratic Party than any one person. Even Hillary Clinton admired this man so much that she wrote her college thesis about him. Saul Alinsky is famous in the world of liberal academia because his methods fall in line for the ultimate destruction of this Republic. For it was the Communists who took on his tactics to get control of the American educational system...just look at who controls Harvard (John Harvard would be appalled), Yale, Georgetown, UCLA, ...and the politicians they develop.
Alinsky wrote a little red book titled, "Rules For Radicals" and we can list some of them here. But before we do, I can summarize most of the book with one sentence, "Tell them one thing but do the opposite." Most Alinskyites (Alinsky followers) have been doing this since FDR (and before), Johnson did, as did Carter, Clinton, and now Obama. Take FDR for example...during his campaign he was against everything his opponent was for and yet almost all of FDR's policies were that of the guy that lost.
All of the politicians I've mentioned have the ability to preach a good sermon while expressing their patriotism and yet not one of them has ever done one good thing for the Republic for which we (the people) stand. Everything gets progressively worse over the long run (huh, is that why they like to call themselves progressives), especially the national debt and the dwindling loss of freedoms (i.e. by instituting numerous rules and regulations either by fiat, dictates by unelected government agencies, Executive Orders, and occasionally by an actual law passed by both Houses and signed by the president. I might add in this parenthetical space that it would not be illegal to disobey an EO for the president does not have the authority to make laws. You as a citizen have the responsibilty to obey laws and EO's are not laws.)
Now before Obama came onto the national scene the most influential Alinskyite was Bill Clinton who's major agenda was is one world government. He spoke of his new world order on many occasions and most of his legislative wishes were to enhance that outcome; the new world order! While the Clintons were raised in an America that they knew was founded on Judeo/Christian principles and understood that fact while at the same time despising anything to do with organized religions, their Alinsky-like influence on the American voter was accepted because they preached a good sermon. Obama however, was not raised in the traditional American household or neighborhood. His entire life has been influenced by Communists (of which he was a member of the New American Party), Marxists, and Islamists. Obviously he was groomed for the position he now holds and he got their by making use of Alinskyisms...say one thing but do the opposite. The Judeo/Christian definition of that would be a lie. The Clintons understood that. The Islamic or Muslim definition of that would be....aah lets see, anything you want it to mean as long as the desired outcome fits your agenda. And that's exactly what Obama is doing here: ↓ see video ↓
Obama is preaching a good sermon but does not believe a word of it. Remember, Obama does not have a conscience so lying with every other breath does not bother him in the least...he's after one thing; his agenda! Although his agenda includes a one world government absent of all organized religions except Islam. He's even friends with the guy that wants to place the flag of Islam over the White House, but that's another story. Meanwhile I promised I'd list some of Alinsky's Rules For they are:

Saul Alinsky’s 12 Rules for Radicals

Here is the complete list from Alinsky.
* RULE 1: “Power is not only what you have, but what the enemy thinks you have.” Power is derived from 2 main sources – money and people. “Have-Nots” must build power from flesh and blood. (These are two things of which there is a plentiful supply. Government and corporations always have a difficult time appealing to people, and usually do so almost exclusively with economic arguments.)
* RULE 2: “Never go outside the expertise of your people.” It results in confusion, fear and retreat. Feeling secure adds to the backbone of anyone. (Organizations under attack wonder why radicals don’t address the “real” issues. This is why. They avoid things with which they have no knowledge.)
* RULE 3: “Whenever possible, go outside the expertise of the enemy.” Look for ways to increase insecurity, anxiety and uncertainty. (This happens all the time. Watch how many organizations under attack are blind-sided by seemingly irrelevant arguments that they are then forced to address.)
* RULE 4: “Make the enemy live up to its own book of rules.” If the rule is that every letter gets a reply, send 30,000 letters. You can kill them with this because no one can possibly obey all of their own rules. (This is a serious rule. The besieged entity’s very credibility and reputation is at stake, because if activists catch it lying or not living up to its commitments, they can continue to chip away at the damage.)
* RULE 5: “Ridicule is man’s most potent weapon.” There is no defense. It’s irrational. It’s infuriating. It also works as a key pressure point to force the enemy into concessions. (Pretty crude, rude and mean, huh? They want to create anger and fear.)
* RULE 6: “A good tactic is one your people enjoy.” They’ll keep doing it without urging and come back to do more. They’re doing their thing, and will even suggest better ones. (Radical activists, in this sense, are no different that any other human being. We all avoid “un-fun” activities, and but we revel at and enjoy the ones that work and bring results.)
* RULE 7: “A tactic that drags on too long becomes a drag.” Don’t become old news. (Even radical activists get bored. So to keep them excited and involved, organizers are constantly coming up with new tactics.)
* RULE 8: “Keep the pressure on. Never let up.” Keep trying new things to keep the opposition off balance. As the opposition masters one approach, hit them from the flank with something new. (Attack, attack, attack from all sides, never giving the reeling organization a chance to rest, regroup, recover and re-strategize.)
* RULE 9: “The threat is usually more terrifying than the thing itself.” Imagination and ego can dream up many more consequences than any activist. (Perception is reality. Large organizations always prepare a worst-case scenario, something that may be furthest from the activists’ minds. The upshot is that the organization will expend enormous time and energy, creating in its own collective mind the direst of conclusions. The possibilities can easily poison the mind and result in demoralization.)
* RULE 10: “If you push a negative hard enough, it will push through and become a positive.” Violence from the other side can win the public to your side because the public sympathizes with the underdog. (Unions used this tactic. Peaceful [albeit loud] demonstrations during the heyday of unions in the early to mid-20th Century incurred management’s wrath, often in the form of violence that eventually brought public sympathy to their side.)
* RULE 11: “The price of a successful attack is a constructive alternative.” Never let the enemy score points because you’re caught without a solution to the problem. (Old saw: If you’re not part of the solution, you’re part of the problem. Activist organizations have an agenda, and their strategy is to hold a place at the table, to be given a forum to wield their power. So, they have to have a compromise solution.)
* RULE 12: Pick the target, freeze it, personalize it, and polarize it.” Cut off the support network and isolate the target from sympathy. Go after people and not institutions; people hurt faster than institutions. (This is cruel, but very effective. Direct, personalized criticism and ridicule works.) ...See complete post here.

The emphasis is here: ↓ Stephen Coughlin ↓


Also see excerpt below
And here's a final thought...

Open Doors & Big Problems | Final Thoughts
Doors have locks, citizens have guns and countries have borders.
Posted by Tomi Lahren on Tuesday, January 19, 2016

Excerpt from Public Law 414
(3) Security and related grounds.-
(A) In general.-Any alien who a consular officer or the Attorney General knows, or has reasonable ground to believe, seeks to enter the United States to engage solely, principally, or incidentally in-
(i) any activity (I) to violate any law of the United States relating to espionage or sabotage or (II) to violate or evade any law prohibiting the export from the United States of goods, technology, or sensitive information,
(ii) any other unlawful activity, or
(iii) any activity a purpose of which is the opposition to, or the control or overthrow of, the Government of the United States by force, violence, or other unlawful means, is inadmissible.
(B) Terrorist activities-
(i) 3 4 4a IN GENERAL.-Any alien who-
(I) has engaged in a terrorist activity,
(II) a consular officer, the Attorney General, or the Secretary of Homeland Security knows, or has reasonable ground to believe, is engaged in or is likely to engage after entry in any terrorist activity (as defined in clause (iv));
(III) has, under circumstances indicating an intention to cause death or serious bodily harm, incited terrorist activity;
(IV) is a representative (as defined in clause (v)) of--
(aa) a terrorist organization (as defined in clause (vi)); or
(bb) a political, social, or other group that endorses or espouses terrorist activity;
(V) is a member of a terrorist organization described in subclause (I) or (II) of clause (vi);
(VI) is a member of a terrorist organization described in clause (vi)(III), unless the alien can demonstrate by clear and convincing evidence that the alien did not know, and should not reasonably have known, that the organization was a terrorist organization;
(VII) endorses or espouses terrorist activity or persuades others to endorse or espouse terrorist activity or support a terrorist organization;
(VIII) has received military-type training (as defined in section 2339D(c)(1) of title 18, United States Code) from or on behalf of any organization that, at the time the training was received, was a terrorist organization (as defined in clause (vi)); or
(IX) is the spouse or child of an alien who is inadmissible under this subparagraph, if the activity causing the alien to be found inadmissible occurred within the last 5 years, is inadmissible.
An alien who is an officer, official, representative, or spokesman of the Palestine Liberation Organization is considered, for purposes of this chapter, to be engaged in a terrorist activity.
4 (ii) EXCEPTION- Subclause (IX) 4d of clause(i) does not apply to a spouse or child--
(I) who did not know or should not reasonably have known of the activity causing the alien to be found inadmissible under this section; or
(II) whom the consular officer or Attorney General has reasonable grounds to believe has renounced the activity causing the alien to be found inadmissible under this section.
4 (iii) TERRORIST ACTIVITY DEFINED.-As used in this Act, the term "terrorist activity" means any activity which is unlawful under the laws of the place where it is committed (or which, if 4 it had been committed in the United States, would be unlawful under the laws of the United States or any State) and which involves any of the following:
(I) The highjacking or sabotage of any conveyance (including an aircraft, vessel, or vehicle).
(II) The seizing or detaining, and threatening to kill, injure, or continue to detain, another individual in order to compel a third person (including a governmental organization) to do or abstain from doing any act as an explicit or implicit condition for the release of the individual seized or detained.
(III) A violent attack upon an internationally protected person (as defined in section 1116(b)(4) of title 18, United States Code) or upon the liberty of such a person.
(IV) An assassination.
(V) The use of any-
(aa) biological agent, chemical agent, or nuclear weapon or device, or
(bb) explosive, 4 firearm, or other weapon or dangerous device (other than for mere personal monetary gain), with intent to endanger, directly or indirectly, the safety of one or more individuals or to cause substantial damage to property.
(VI) A threat, attempt, or conspiracy to do any of the foregoing.
(iv) 4 4b ENGAGE IN TERRORIST ACTIVITY DEFINED- As used in this chapter, the term "engage in terrorist activity" means, in an individual capacity or as a member of an organization-
(I) to commit or to incite to commit, under circumstances indicating an intention to cause death or serious bodily injury, a terrorist activity;
(II) to prepare or plan a terrorist activity;
(III) to gather information on potential targets for terrorist activity;
(IV) to solicit funds or other things of value for--
(aa) a terrorist activity;
(bb) a terrorist organization described in clause (vi)(I) or (vi)(II); or
(cc) a terrorist organization described in clause (vi)(III), unless the solicitor can demonstrate by clear and convincing evidence that he did not know, and should not reasonably have known, that the organization was a terrorist organization;
(V) to solicit any individual--
(aa) to engage in conduct otherwise described in this subsection;
(bb) for membership in a terrorist organization described in clause (vi)(I) or (vi)(II); or
(cc) for membership in a terrorist organization described in clause (vi)(III) unless the solicitor can demonstrate by clear and convincing evidence that he did not know, and should not reasonably have known, that the organization was a terrorist organization; or
(VI) to commit an act that the actor knows, or reasonably should know, affords material support, including a safe house, transportation, communications, funds, transfer of funds or other material financial benefit, false documentation or identification, weapons (including chemical, biological, or radiological weapons), explosives, or training--
(aa) for the commission of a terrorist activity;
(bb) to any individual who the actor knows, or reasonably should know, has committed or plans to commit a terrorist activity;
(cc) to a terrorist organization described in subclause (I) or (II) of clause (vi) or to any member of such an organization; or
(dd) to a terrorist organization described in clause (vi)(III), or to any member of such an organization, unless the actor can demonstrate by clear and convincing evidence that the actor did not know, and should not reasonably have known, that the organization was a terrorist organization.
5 (v) REPRESENTATIVE DEFINED.-As used in this paragraph, the term "representative" includes an officer, official, or spokesman of an organization, and any person who directs, counsels, commands, or induces an organization or its members to engage in terrorist activity.
(vi) 5a 4c TERRORIST ORGANIZATION DEFINED- As used in this section, the term 'terrorist organization' means an organization?
(I) designated under section 219;
(II) otherwise designated, upon publication in the Federal Register, by the Secretary of State in consultation with or upon the request of the Attorney General or the Secretary of Homeland Security, as a terrorist organization, after finding that the organization engages in the activities described in subclauses (I) through (VI) of clause (iv); or
(III) that is a group of two or more individuals, whether organized or not, which engages in, or has a subgroup which engages in, the activities described in subclauses (I) through (VI) of clause (iv).
(C) Foreign policy.-
(i) In general.-An alien whose entry or proposed activities in the United States the Secretary of State has reasonable ground to believe would have potentially serious adverse foreign policy consequences for the United States is inadmissible.

Tuesday, January 19, 2016

This is serious...

This is serious...
I did not come up with the title of this blog; I got it from my Congresswoman's email with the name in the subject line:


This is serious for all the reasons pointed out by Congresswoman Roby but it is also serious from another point of view.  The average American knows little or nothing about any of the things Roby is addressing (I was going to use average voter, but I would be more correct with average American).  The other day I was listening to some woman scream and holler on a YouTube video about just what it is Obama has failed at while at the same time bragging about all of his accomplishments (which were just echoing Obama's own words) that were obvious all lies.  This is serious because we have altogether too many brainwashed, un-informed people that have no idea that America's freedom is at stake with every day Obama is allowed to stay in office.  I have openly told Congresswoman Roby that there's  no one in Congress with the intestinal fortitude to do anything about Obama's removal from office...she just looked at me an went on about something else (that was about two years ago at a town hall meeting in Enterprise, Alabama). Other than that, I like Congresswoman Martha Roby...and just in case you're interested, I included her email newsletter. I hope ya'all take her serious...seriously! ~ Norman E. Hooben

Iran is on quite a roll. By now you've seen the news that the Obama Administration has lifted sanctions on Iran, releasing $100 billion in assets to them. Then, the Administration engaged in a "prisoner" swap with Iran, releasing seven Iranians who were accused or convicted of serious crimes in the United States in exchange for Americans held hostage by Iran for doing nothing wrong.

Of course, this is in the wake of Iran detaining 10 U.S. Navy Sailors after their boats mistakenly veered into Iranian waters, brazenly firing rockets within a few miles of an American aircraft carrier, and aggressively ramping up its ballistic missile program.

First of all, we are all thankful that the Americans held hostage by Iran are now free. So many have hoped and prayed for these souls, and we all rejoice in their coming home.

However, the details of the deal should concern all Americans. The seven Iranians the president just released were accused or convicted of serious crimes. The Americans Iran finally freed- a pastor, a teacher, and a reporter among them - had done nothing wrong. The moral equivalence assigned to them by this “prisoner” swap is galling, to say nothing of the money that will now apparently flow to the Iranians.

We are also thankful that the sailors were released unharmed and our boats were returned. But, on the front pages of most every major newspaper and on the nightly news, Americans saw the images of our sailors kneeling, hands behind their head being detained by Iranian authorities. People around the world saw those images too, and Iran didn’t miss a golden opportunity to use this incident for propaganda purposes on their state-run television. It was disturbing, and not something we should simply ignore or dismiss, especially given Iran’s past actions.

That’s why I’m bewildered at President Obama’s attempt to sidestep Congress and pursue sanctions relief for Iran. He and Secretary of State John Kerry continue to ignore and make excuses for Iran’s actions to protect their legacy nuclear deal.

Granting Iran sanctions relief is a bad idea, and I'm working to build support for legislation that would walk back these actions by President Obama and Secretary Kerry. We could vote on the bill before the end of January, and I hope that Congress can send a strong, bi-partisan message that it's time to hold Iran accountable for its actions.

Ending Common Core and Federal Coercion in Education:

Recently, Congress passed the Every Student Succeeds Act to empower states and local governments in education decisions, effectively pushing back on federal government overreach. Hopefully by now you have seen this news and read about the important provisions in this bill. But I wanted take a moment to share with you this good article about ESSA and more specifically my language included in the bill to "take away the Department of Education's ability to attach curriculum and assessment policy strings to special grants and waivers."

Some have misrepresented this bill and its impact, which is a shame. I worked hard to include strong “state authority” language in this bill, and I was proud to join Senator Jeff Sessions and other members of the Alabama delegation to support its final passage.

We finally replaced "No Child Left Behind" with policies that return decision-making back to the states and local communities, as it should be.

Around the District:

I am always grateful for "District Work" periods that allow me the opportunity to get around AL-02 and meet with folks from a variety of backgrounds. This week I'm traveling the district, meeting with students, civic clubs, business leaders and others, giving them an update on legislative action and hearing from them.

I'll be around the district, from Prattville to Troy to Evergreen and many other stops in between. I look forward to meeting with and hearing from many of you. Be sure to check my Facebook and Twitter feed for updates from the road!

Stay In Touch:

You can keep up with the latest news by finding me on Facebook and Twitter where I post updates daily. Please let me know if there’s anything my office can assist you with. My staff and I work for you. 



This is also serious ↓

This too...↓

Monday, January 18, 2016

Elizabeth Warren is flipping like Kerry

See Boston Herald story here Chabot: Elizabeth Warren warming to idea of a GE in Boston

In the "Did you know?" category:

In early June 2012, investigative reporter Michael Patrick Leahy at[1] revealed a scathing critique of Warren published by highly regarded Rutgers Law Professor Philip Shuchman which was uncovered in the 1990-1991 edition of the Rutgers Law Review.[2]
The 60-page analysis concerned a book Warren co-authored, As We Forgive Our Debtors: Bankruptcy and Consumer Credit in America.  Shuchman wrote:
Most of their study replicates several earlier research publications. These are hardly mentioned. The writers make extravagant and false claims to originality and priority of research. There appear to be serious errors in their use of statistical bases which result in grossly mistaken functions and comparisons. Some of their conclusions cannot be obtained even from their flawed findings. The authors have made their raw data unavailable so that its accuracy cannot be independently checked. In my opinion, the authors have engaged in repeated instances of scientific misconduct. [emphasis added]
Professor Shuchman argued that Warren and her co-authors jumped to conclusions, proclaimed new findings which were not new, and most importantly, ignored or did not accurately reflect data.
On page 240 of the Rutgers article, Schuchman asserted that some of the finding reached reached conclusions which were  not supported by the data:
Burgeoning consumer credit and increased volatility, they say, are the two primary systemic factors that caused the “startling increases” in consumer bankruptcy in the 1980′s. But these increases are less than in other recent periods and are only about one-sixth more than the increases in business bankruptcies, which suggests that consumer credit is not the cause of the increase in personal bankruptcy filings. [footnotes omitted]
Professor Shuchman went even further (at pp. 243-244), and suggested that the data was presented in such a way as to preclude verification:
This book contains so much exaggeration, so many questionable ploys, and so many incorrect statements, that it would be well to check the accuracy of their raw data, as old as it is. But the authors arranged matters so that they could not provide access to the computer printouts by case, with the corresponding bankruptcy court file numbers, thus preventing any independent check of the raw data in the files from which they took their information. [footnotes omitted]
Leahy followed up with an examination of whether, as some had claimed, Warren and her co-authors were cleared of the charges made by Professor Shuchman:[3]
Twenty-two years later, Professor Shuchman’s charges of “scientific misconduct” against Elizabeth Warren and her co-authors remain publicly unanswered and unresolved. These unresolved charges associated with her first major book raise continue to raise questions that hang over Elizabeth Warren’s entire body of academic work.
The next three articles in this series will address the conduct of three institutions enmeshed in this scandal: The University of Texas, the National Science Foundation, and Harvard University.
Leahy looked into investigations conducted by The University of Texas, and concluded that the investigations were inadequate:[4]
The lack of serious scrutiny of Ms. Warren’s academic research has continued for the subsequent two decades. Questions about Ms. Warren’s empirical studies have not been fully explored, and specific policies she has promoted–in particular those that led in 2010 to the passage of the Dodd-Frank Act and its onerous Consumer Financial Protection Bureau–have been imposed upon the public.
Breitbart News is not alleging that Sullivan, Warren, and Westbrook engaged in scientific misconduct. We are, however, presenting evidence that suggests the 1991 investigation conducted by the University of Texas into the allegations brought by Philip Shuchman in his scathing sixty page review[5] of the book Sullivan, Warren, and Westbrook co-authored in 1989 was neither thorough nor exculpatory.
Warren’s research also has been criticized by law professor Todd Zywicki.[6] In September 2010, before Warren was a declared candidate for political office, Zywicki wrote[7] that Warren’s much publicized findings as to medical bankruptcies was suspect:
Consider Ms. Warren’s much-ballyhooed study on the alleged link among health problems, medical expenses and personal bankruptcy filings. Published in the February 2005 issue of Health Affairs, the report was timed to head off bipartisan bankruptcy legislation that was enacted later that year. Ms. Warren and her co-authors claimed that “at least” 46% of personal bankruptcy filings in 2001 (the year from they collected the data) were the result of “medical causes,” and that this represented a 23-fold increase over 20 years.
Both conclusions are extremely suspect. First, the study provided an implausibly broad definition of “medical bankruptcy”—including any filer who reported uncontrolled gambling, drug or alcohol addiction, or the birth or adoption of a child.
Equally dubious, the authors classified a bankruptcy as having a “major medical cause” if the individual had accumulated more than $1,000 in out-of-pocket medical expenses (uncovered by insurance) over the course of two years prior to filing—regardless of income, and even if the debtor did not cite illness or injury among the reasons for bankruptcy….
In contrast to Ms. Warren’s studies, a battery of analysis, including research done by the Department of Justice’s Executive Office of the United States Trustee (which oversees the administration of bankruptcy cases), and by David Dranove and Michael Millenson of Northwestern University, concluded that fewer than 20% of bankruptcies are caused by health problems or medical expenses.
Last year Ms. Warren and her co-authors were back with an even more dramatic study, in the American Journal of Medicine, timed to promote President Obama’s health-care reform law. Drawing on 2007 filings, the authors concluded that 62% of bankruptcy filings were the result of medical issues and that the odds that a bankruptcy had a medical cause had doubled between just 2001 and 2007. This study was also flawed.
After Congress made it harder for people to skip out on their debts in 2005, the number of bankruptcy filings plummeted. In 2001, the year Ms. Warren used for the first study, there were 1,452,030 personal bankruptcy filings; in 2007 there were 822,590. Even if we are to accept the methodologies of the two studies for the sake of argument, there were 670,838 “medical bankruptcies” in 2001 and 510,828 medical bankruptcies in 2007—a drop of 160,000 per year. Yet Ms. Warren’s article nowhere acknowledges that the absolute number of bankruptcies and purported medical bankruptcies declined.
Smilar criticisms of Warren’s methodologies and conclusions were made by writer Megan McArdle:[8]
Does this persistent tendency to choose odd metrics that inflate the  case for some left wing cause matter?  If Warren worked at a think tank, you’d say, “Ah, well, that’s the genre.”  On the other hand, you’d also tend to regard her stuff with a rather beady eye.  It’s unlikely to  have been splashed across the headline of every newspaper in the United  States.  Her work gets so much attention because it comes from a Harvard professor.  And this isn’t Harvard caliber material–not even Harvard undergraduate.
So I think it matters on two levels. One, it matters how we evaluate the work–and I’ve been disappointed at how uncritically some people I  really respect have been willing to accept the 2001 and 2007 findings.   Not because I don’t think that there are medical bankruptcies in the  United States; I do!  I think medical bills are certainly the primary  cause of some of those filings, though I don’t know how many, and I’ve  also been writing about bankruptcy long enough to know that assigning  any one cause to the ultimate financial meltdown is, in many cases,  impossible.  (If you have nice consumer goods and no health insurance,  does a car accident count as a “medical bankruptcy” or a budgeting  deficiency?  If you lived right up to the edge of your income, was a job loss, or your spending pattern, to blame?  How you answer these  questions depends on a large number of prior value judgments that are  hotly contested in our society.)
It matters that we get this stuff right.  I am among the majority who  would like to see bankruptcies reduced in this country, and we’re not  going to be very effective at that if we run around thinking we can cure 2/3 of them by putting a national health care system in place, when in  reality a third or less have any strong causal relationship with medical bills.  Obviously, this was also held out as an argument for PPACA,  making an implicit promise to the American people which I believe to be  false.
But it also matters because a large part of Warren’s prominence comes  from the fact that she’s an academic.  If she came from . . . well, the  sort of think tank that publishes this sort of advocacy science . . .  she would have considerably less glamor, and power.
And perhaps it mattes most of all because this woman is now under consideration to head a powerful new agency.  If this is how she evaluates data, then isn’t that going to hamper her in making good policy?  If we’re going to have a consumer financial protection agency, I want one that has a keen eye to the empirical evidence on consumer welfare–not one that makes progressives most happy by reinforcing their prior beliefs.
Megan McArdle[9] pointed out the weakness of making the causal connection on such a wide scale of medical bills and bankruptcy, since bankruptcy filers themselves did not identify medical expenses as the cause of the bankruptcies (emphasis mine):
Elizabeth Warren has another study out showing that medical expenses contribute to more than half of all bankruptcies–indeed, this time, it’s 70%, up from the 50% she found in 2001.
Now, it is possible that this is true. The fact that it seems to disagree with every other study I’ve ever read that is not authored by Elizabeth Warren, and also, the self-reports of the people in her study (only about a third of whom attribute their bankruptcy to a health problem) could just be a fluke. It doesn’t necessarily mean that it’s wrong.
Yet upon closer examination, it turns out that it is not just wrong, but actively, aggressively wrong. Warren and her co-authors have obscured important and obvious facts that call the integrity of the work into serious question.
The text itself raises a huge red flags. It’s hard to believe that more than half of people who have been pushed into bankruptcy by a medical issue don’t understand this fact. Perhaps they are not the brightest bulbs on the Christmas tree, but could it really be true that most people catapaulted into a financial crisis by their medical bills don’t even notice that health care expenses are their main problem?
McArdle elaborated on other allegedly misleading aspects of the study, and then followed up with:[10]
She’s a professor at Harvard, and the head of the Congressional TARP oversight panel.  This conveys a certain responsibility to present data in the most illuminating way, not in the way that will induce journalists to say things that aren’t true.
The post 2005 increase in bankruptcies isn’t being driven by medical bankruptcies.  It’s simply rebounding from what every single analyst at the time, including Elizabeth Warren, agreed was an unsustainable drop.
- See more at: