Sunday, September 26, 2010

21: Obama Accounting: The Harvard Influence in the Oval Office?

Recent Harvard news from the Obama White House is the return of Larry Summers to Harvard. Despite Prof. Summers retrogressive comments about not believing there was a place for women in math, science, and the higher echelons of society, there was a place for him in the Obama White House. There is still a place for him at Harvard, but without his namesake burger at a local restaurant. Barack and Michelle Obama are Harvard Law School graduates. Martha Minow, named Dean of Harvard Law Schol 7/2009, Newton Minow, and other Harvard graduates and connections, in Chicago, IL and elsewhere, supported and contributed to Obama's campaigns.

Of interest for Prof. Summers and other Harvard faculty in government is the two-year sabbatical for "public service", Harvardese for government work, or social justice jobs. This, of course, is a funding concept shared by another Harvard graduate, recently approved Obama appointee, Supreme Court Justice Elena Kagan. As former dean of Harvard Law School, 2003-2009 Solicitor General of the US, while sitting in the Charles Hamilton Houston Professorship for Race and Justice, Kagan promoted the full tuition grant during the 3rd year for students who pledged to spend 5 years working for non-profit organizations or the government after graduation. The "public service for tuition" payment option was discontinued and replaced with other incentives in 2009. 2008-2009 Harvard Law School tuition was $41,500, a significant remuneration for paid government work.

Harvard socialized health care rationing proponent Dr. Donald Berwick, in a speech reacting to public concern over this topic, has taken a step back from formal rationing as Director of the federal Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services.

The Harvard Influence on the current US government cannot be underestimated. 149 sitting US federal judges, 6 of 9 sitting Supreme Court Judges, including Chief Justice John G. Roberts, Anthony Kennedy, Stephen Breyer, Antonin Scalia, and Elana Kagan are Harvard Law School graduates. Ruth Bader Ginsburg transferred from Harvard to Columbia School of Law.

7 US Senators are Harvard graduates.

Massachusetts (MA) Governor Patrick Deval and Michelle Obama worked for the Harvard Legal Aid Bureau. Former MA Governor Mitt Romney is a Harvard graduate.

Goldman Sachs CEO Lloyd Blankfein is a Harvard graduate. Former Goldman Sachs employees include 2 recent US Secretaries of the Treasury, Robert Rubin under William Jefferson Clinton, then Henry Paulson in George W. Bush's administration. Both Clinton and Bush are Yale University graduates, friendly Ivy League rivals of Harvard in business and government.

Internationally, the President of the Republic of China, Ma Ying-jeou and President of the World Bank Group, Robert Zoellick are Harvard graduates. So is United Nations High Commissioner Navanethem Pillay

Harvard Law School itself has an international origin, Antigua. Antigua is a Caribbean island in the Lesser Antilles, east of Cuba, Haiti and The Dominican Republic, and the American Territory of Puerto Rico.

Harvard Law School is built on the Massachusetts estate of Isaac Royall, who sold most of his Antiguan slaves and plantations to move to Medford, Massachusetts. The Royall house is the only remaining slave quarters in the Northeast US. Royall fled Massachusetts at the start of the American Revolution. Before his death in 1781, Royall left the land to Harvard for sale for the endowment of a Professor of Laws or a Professor of Physics and Anatomy.

The decision to endow the Harvard Law School with land left by the heir of an Antigua slave and plantation owner, made history, indelibly influencing the legal history of the United States from the Civil War, through Reconstruction to the present.

The conficts of interest, national and international issues, tuition money for more accessible paid government jobs, and business connections to the university and its "spin-off" businesses, currently and historically, are, like the crest of 3 stacked wheat sheaves beneath the university motto "Veritas" (truth), phenomenal.

In 1827, when the school was struggling financially, an alumnus endowed the Dane Professorship of Law to be given to Supreme Court Justice Joseph Story for belief in the need for "an elite law school based on merit and dedicated to public service".

The question for the American public, in the context of interlocking law, government, and business clubs, nationally and internationally, now globally, is: does The Harvard Influence presume to know "what is best" for America and Americans?

Graphic: World Book Encyclopedia, 2003

Other References: The Washington Post, 2007,

Email or to comment or request a copy of this or other blogs on "Obama Accounting" or other topics posted by mary for monthlynotesstaff on, (monthlynotes-monthlynotessix) on