Warren’s Junk Science; Clinton Entry

Grind for November 19th
“He has all of the virtues I dislike and none of the vices I admire.”
– Winston Churchill

Are You Serious?

The Headline

Elizabeth Warren: Let the government control which research is used to write regulation

The Grind

In a proposal she believes will help undo some of the ‘damage’ caused by the Trump-era EPA, presidential hopeful Elizabeth Warren wants to ban federal agencies and courts from using so-called “junk science.”

The idea is part of a larger proposal designed to curb the influence of big business on regulation (but of course if Warren is elected there won’t be any big businesses).

The proposal seeks to weed out the conflict of interest studies by requiring all industry-submitted research to include information about funding. Any suspicious studies – such as opioid research submitted by Big Pharma or climate research funded by Big Oil – will be “excluded from the rulemaking process and will be inadmissible in any subsequent court challenges unless the research has passed rigorous, independent peer review.”

The validity of such research would be determined by a “White House Office of the Public Advocate,” whose members will likely be appointed by Warren.

“It’s bad enough that the companies peddle misinformation on purpose,” wrote Warren. “But the consequence is even worse when it comes to new regulations.”

The Details

Warren’s proposal, inspired by Big Oil’s use of contrarian research on climate change to shape regulation, was introduced days after the Trump Administration announced plans to move forward with an EPA proposal that requires scientists to forfeit all raw data – including medical records – for any study considered by the EPA.

Critics argue the plan would make it harder to enact new clean air and water rules because studies on pollution often include personal health records obtained under confidentiality agreements. The plan would also apply retroactively, giving the EPA the ability to overturn existing public health regulations.

The way I see it, the proposals are essentially two sides of the same coin:

Elizabeth Warren wants more information about research to make sure big businesses aren’t submitting biased studies that promote regulation in their favor. This would give the government more control over research and how it is done (a bad idea).

The Trump Administration wants more information about studies submitted to the EPA in order to improve public understanding of the science behind regulations and prevent the EPA from relying on studies that are not made public (a good idea).

Don’t Do It

The Headline

Hillary Clinton tells reporters she is under ‘enormous pressure’ to enter the 2020 presidential race

The Grind

Former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton this week told reporters she was facing “enormous pressure from many, many, many people” to enter the 2020 presidential race.

“I feel a sense of responsibility partly because, you know, my name was on the ballot, I got more votes, but ended up losing to the current incumbent in the White House who I think is really undermining our democracy in very fundamental ways. And I want to retire him.”

Clinton did not rule out the possibility of a late entry, telling BBC she ‘never says never,’ but has no plans to run for president at this time.

The Details

Based on the complete lack of public support for Clinton to enter the race, Fox News host Steve Hilton says he can’t imagine why she is under pressure to run.

“I’m just laughing at that…I’m just wondering who these ‘many, many, people’ are? Are they even Democrats? Because it seems to me the people who would be most excited to see Hillary Clinton get into the race and get the nomination would actually be Republicans. Because she’s proved before she is a terrible candidate and I’m sure she’d be very happy to prove that again,” jokes Hilton.

“The fact that the Democrats aren’t publicly clamoring for her to do this shows that – I don’t know who these people are but I don’t think it’s Democrats wanting her to get in.”

As Senator Lindsey Graham (R-SC) points out, Clinton’s primary advantage were she to enter the race is that she hasn’t promised ‘crazy stuff.’

“She hasn’t promised to give illegal immigrants free healthcare, she hasn’t promised to decriminalize illegal entry into the country. I don’t think she supports the Green New Deal or Medicare for All. In that regard, it would be more difficult for the Republicans to have somebody not as wacky.”

According to a recent Fox News poll, up to 66% of Democratic primary voters would choose Hillary if she entered the race right now.

Did you know… Donald Glover got his rapper name ‘Childish Gambino’ from an online Wu-Tang Clan name generator.