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Paul Krugman writes: "Now, we don't know who will win next year's presidential election. But the odds are that one of these years the world's greatest nation will find itself ruled by a party that is aggressively anti-science, indeed anti-knowledge. And, in a time of severe challenges - environmental, economic, and more - that's a terrifying prospect."

Portrait, New York Times columnist Paul Krugman, 06/15/09. (photo: Fred R. Conrad/NYT)
Portrait, New York Times columnist Paul Krugman, 06/15/09. (photo: Fred R. Conrad/NYT)

Republicans Against Science

By Paul Krugman, The New York Times

29 Month 11

Jon Huntsman Jr., a former Utah governor and ambassador to China, isn't a serious contender for the Republican presidential nomination. And that's too bad, because Mr. Hunstman has been willing to say the unsayable about the GOP - namely, that it is becoming the "anti-science party." This is an enormously important development. And it should terrify us.

To see what Mr. Huntsman means, consider recent statements by the two men who actually are serious contenders for the GOP. nomination: Rick Perry and Mitt Romney.

Mr. Perry, the governor of Texas, recently made headlines by dismissing evolution as "just a theory," one that has "got some gaps in it" - an observation that will come as news to the vast majority of biologists.... In the past, Mr. Romney, a former governor of Massachusetts, has strongly endorsed the notion that man-made climate change is a real concern. But, last week, he softened that to a statement that he thinks the world is getting hotter, but "I don't know that" and "I don't know if it's mostly caused by humans."

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+40 # shagar 2011-08-29 10:49
On the surface of it, My Perry is correct. Like any good scientific theory, it is incomplete, and the fossil record is constantly turning up anomalies and deviations that cause scientists to scratch their heads for explanations. However, that is the nature of scientific study, its incompleteness, its humility before the evidence. Science, like the biosphere it studies, evolves, grows, morphs, dare i say ...matures with time. But to the right wing monotheists that is the glaring flaw that justifies their ignorance.
Mind you I'm no better, I've seen a few gaps in their world view too , starting with the notion that the Bible is just another holy book, subject to perverse , self serving interpretation, oblivious of its own evolution. Call me crazy but...
+9 # lotuslover 2011-08-29 10:56
shagar--you got it right!
+42 # universlman 2011-08-29 11:39
regardless of the "gaps" in the science, we eliminated polio, discovered our genetic roots and we got to the moon

we must learn again to dance with the one who brung us - even if the republicans are smug over having two left feet
+18 # Cereal Killer 2011-08-29 12:40
Shouldn't that be two way right feet?
+9 # Christopher Warren 2011-08-30 10:34
In typical right wing fashion shagar conflates science with the Bible?
One is Myth and the other is fact!
I just hope that all the climate deniers live long enough that their Grandkids get to tell them what MORONS they are!
+4 # chick 2011-08-30 22:23
I agree with you on the science part but I also believe in the Bible. I am a 100% percent believer in Jesus Christ and a 100% Democrat.

Those who do not believe in the bible that is their perogative but please do not mix the Republicans calling themselves Christians (hypocrits) and people who are really christians.

You have got to have a heart to be a Christian and Republicans have no heart.
0 # 2011-09-08 13:22
Keep religion out of our government and add an "e" to hypocrit...The Bible belongs in your church or home.
+6 # chick 2011-08-30 22:18
Sorry but I would rather believe the thousands of sound scientists who say Global Warming is real and made by man.
+63 # dr. labwitch 2011-08-29 11:07
evolution is more understood than gravity, time or space. as for global warming, perry doesn't understand it because he adds to it everytime he opens his piehole.

give him an island and let him take his followers with him...maybe a comet will come for them too.
+51 # fredboy 2011-08-29 11:24
Please, all of you, read Merchants of Doubt by Naomi Oreskes and Erik M. Conway. Shares the path of science denial from the tobacco industry to global warming--tactic s now adopted by the neanderthal reich wing and tea baggers. And dolts like Perry.

We recently saw the impact in Florida's Collier County. The six counties to its north adopted stringent fertilizer controls to keep it away from and out of their waters, knowing fertilizer nutrients spark massive harmful algal blooms and very dangerous bacteria. But the science deniers voted 3-2 against such measures, adopting only state minimums. All this happened while county ponds were erupting in algae, and the counties "world famous" beaches were stretches of harmful algal blooms and dead fish. The results were VISIBLE and still denied! Warn your friends, vacationers, and convention planners about Nasty Collier.
+36 # majorpayne 2011-08-29 11:24
As Krugman says, "Mr. Perry and those who think like him know what they want to believe," but it's the "gut feeling" of their constituents' that tells them what they want to believe. Every election is more like choosing a high-school homecoming king and queen than the last, except more expensive.
+13 # Cereal Killer 2011-08-29 12:41
Imagine if Governor Christie has a gut feeling. No room for anyone else's.
+31 # TheCoyote 2011-08-29 11:25
There are many meanings for the word "theory". "Gravity" is just a theory, too. To date there has been nothing that contradicts the "Theory" of evolution. The way in which science debunks a theory is to propose an alternative theory that is more all inclusive, that is testable, and that explains any apparent anomalies in the theory being questioned. None have appeared to date.
My concern is that, as Krugman notes, there seems to be an attempt to challenge the very legitimacy of "science". Science and religion and different types of phenomena. No independently, objectified proof is required of religion. If I can persuade sufficient people to believe in the "flying spaghetti monster" and use that as a base for a religion, it's a religion (though the dominant religions would probably want to call it a cult).
Let's keep the two - science and religion - as separate categories, as different ways of "knowing", and not attempt to mix them indiscriminantl y.
+12 # futhark 2011-08-30 02:50
Stop using the pejorative adjective "just" in front of the word theory. Also, stop connecting the concept of "proof" with theories. Ideas that have little or no supporting objective evidence are hypotheses, not theories. Theories are the most powerful products of science, since they connect and thereby explain natural phenomena. They can never be "proved" because 1) they are products of the human mind, which may at some future time conceive of a superior explanation, and 2) we never know that we have all the information relating to a natural phenomenon. A theory may be supported, weakened, or falsified by objective information ("data"), but it can never be proven in the mathematical sense.

Gravity is not a theory ("just" or otherwise). Gravity is a force that can be demonstrated as factual in innumerable experiments. Einstein's Theory of General Relativity explains gravity, so it is a theory. That Darwin's Theory of Evolution by Means of Natural Selection has been supported by many observations does not make it a fact. The Darwinian Theory of Evolution has itself evolved over time to incorporate concepts of genetic drift and Mendelian genetics. Powerful theories have predictive power, but one must always understand that they are derived through incomplete and fallible mechanisms and so can never be accepted as totally axiomatic.
+4 # fiona 2011-08-30 12:50
This is helpfully clear. I’ve had a hard time verbalizing the scientific view of a “theory,” which is not just a theory in the popular sense as it has established factual underpinnings, yet it’s not fixed and completely reliable either.
I would assume you would agree that evolution is factual. That is, species of life on Earth can give rise to variations or even new species, connected by descent yet with changes. That’s been demonstrated in the lab (mostly with fruit flies and bacteria and such), by the fossil record, and (rarely) by observation of living species. The theory of evolution by natural selection is the connecting and explaining overview, which puts forth how evolution happens. It has lots of factual underpinnings yet is a product of the human mind, weaving the facts together into a big picture. It’s undergone modifications and additions, and will undergo more. Agreed?
+2 # futhark 2011-09-01 05:37
Yes, fiona, you seem to have understood my little rant about scientific theories. Theories cannot be proven, as I stated, because they involve necessarily fallible data collection processes and do not occur in an abstract, artificially constrained universe, as does mathematics.

Is evolution a "fact"? I've tussled with that question for a long time, teaching biology in a small high school for over thirty years. My current thinking is that it is not really all that important to accept a natural process like biological evolution or plate tectonics as "facts", but to recognize them as paradigms that are useful in understanding the way the world works.
+18 # Bob Sprengeler 2011-08-29 11:32
Another chilling story about
+23 # Diane Johnson 2011-08-29 11:36
+21 # jon 2011-08-29 12:24
You can bet that when that day comes, as it surely will, they will blame it on the Democrats
+4 # DLT888 2011-08-29 13:10
Quoting Diane Johnson:

I like that image! Thanks!
+8 # EdwardJ.Egan 2011-08-29 11:56
Pope JohnPaul. " Evolution is a fact!"...fact". ...Pope John Paul," "Fundamentalism is society's major obstacle "..

We live in the Age of Science....not the more romantic prophetic j Age of Herding and Domesticating which our prophets thrived and led us ....... I am irish how does ethnicity relate to ethnicity in the Age when Irish can receive organ transplants and pig-kidney transplants to live....the prophets are not scientists..we live in the Age of fact....our Earth planet is made of the same elements on the periodic table in school classrooms... ..........the same elements...He used the same school classroom periodic table elements to create this planet Earth Universe that surrounds us too!......plane t Earth and all its lifeforms....le t us preserve what He created...all life consists of the same elements...God ,our Creator is God of Science too!...modern scientists simply father the facts to prove or disprove the earth-man'sprophesy...
Fundamentalists are free to believe what ever they wish to believe.....the y should quit using science to live longer.if they are opposed to science.......a nd quit using that comfy scientific technology also..........a nd return to days of romantic yesteryear with the horse and independent farm ,where I would like to be........
+19 # Sukumar 2011-08-29 16:02
We live in the Age of Morons.
+13 # fredboy 2011-08-29 12:04
To TheCoyote: In Collier County, FL, we even heard people deny the effects of gravity. Sounds far-fetched, but it's true.
+7 # jon 2011-08-29 12:25
Yes, and ducks don't really fly, they are actually just great jumpers.
+23 # jwb110 2011-08-29 12:10
Gravity is a theory. The earth as the center of the planetary system is an hypothesis. Theories are scientifically proven with data. A hypothesis is a "hunch" and has no data behind it.
When a candidate questions a theory he is attacking proven data. Perry and the like have hypothesis regarding climate change, no data involved.
Also the Christian Right and their candidates have no skin in the game of saving the planet because they are all about hastening the end of the world.
+31 # LeeBlack 2011-08-29 12:12
To me "common sense" weighs in on the side of the scientists. How can you believe that endlessly pouring junk and poisons into the air and water will not have a negative effect?
+7 # Gurka 2011-08-29 13:36
Quoting LeeBlack:
To me "common sense" weighs in on the side of the scientists. How can you believe that endlessly pouring junk and poisons into the air and water will not have a negative effect?

Spot on, LeeBlack!
+14 # Isar 2011-08-29 12:22
Isn't there a museum in Kentucky or Tennesse that promotes "Creationism" and has cycloramas of Adam and Eve riding on the backs of dinosaurs? We believe WHAT we want to believe OR what is "comfortable" to believe. Republicans cannot support scientists who promote the idea of global warming because they cannot support enviornmentalis ts who demand laws that prohibit PROFIT for the big corporations. Everything is politicized---e ven scientific evidence of the planet's warming trends. Yep...if God created the world in six days, then Adam and Eve had to have little dinosaurs as pets, right? Sure.
+18 # TomDegan 2011-08-29 12:26
Good one, Mr. Paul! And as always, nail placed firmly on the head.

The deeply disturbing similarities to George W. Bush aside, Rick Perry has also got that Ronald Reagan thing happening, have you noticed that? Good hair, telegenic, sunny disposition, smooth talker - and dumber than an empty box of Rice Crispies. Ronnie with a Texas twang. The perfect candidate in this era of soundbites and snake oil.

I hope he gets the nomination. I'm looking forward to the Perry Campaign like an eight-year-old kid looks forward to Christmas morning. A campaign as endearingly weird as that ought to be good for too much material to catalog. Can he make it all the way to the convention? It's not bloody likely that the religious bigots who now control that disgusting party will be nominating Mormon Mitt Romney anytime soon - the only one of the current frontrunners with an IQ higher than room temperature.

Oh, what the hell! Let's all pretend that it's morning again in America. Cheery optimism is the order of the day. Times as weird as these demand Rick Perry.

Git 'em, cowboy!

Tom Degan
+23 # amye 2011-08-29 12:26
Where has everyone been here? We've had these crazy issues since the day Bush W. went in to office in 2000! He was very anti-science! Ask any scientist about their funding during the Bush years! They will tell you it was bad! Bush was overtly religious too! The separation of church and state took on new meaning under him! In other words, there was not much separation between the two! Thats just as scary!
+34 # elmont 2011-08-29 12:34
Well, like the bumper sticker says, "Science flies you to the moon, Religion flies you into buildings." We atheists have been raised to be polite to the people who believe in fairy tales, to in fact be RESPECTFUL of those who revel in the faith charade de jour [don't ask them about Zeus--that's so two millenniums ago--very unfashionable]. Never mind that they all treat us with the nastiest opprobrium imaginable: no one is detested so much as those who have no faith in some supernatural being who will deliver us from evil if we pray hard enough. [Does prayer work?--research the 9/11 prayer results.] What stupidity. I say it's time for us atheists to stop playing nice and do whatever is necessary to prevent a bunch of medieval idiots from taking over our country.
+17 # futhark 2011-08-29 12:45
I don't see the Democrats busting their butts to stop the Albert tar sands extraction catastrophe from happening, even in the face of valid scientific extrapolation that this action will be one of the largest environmental insults ever perpetrated by humanity on its parent planet. The Democrats seem equally willing as the Republics to pillage the planet on behalf of the Plutocrats, but are not honest enough to be forthright in telling the public.

So we have the two faces of the Plutocratic Party, one openly hostile to science and the other covertly hostile to it. We've got to stop giving support and credence to the lesser of these evils as well as to the greater. So I've just re-registered as a Green Party member in the hope of sending a message to the Democrats that they can't get my support by continuing to be so duplicitous. I'm just not buying the propaganda anymore!
+1 # nice2blucky 2011-08-30 06:53
"I'm just not buying the propaganda anymore!"

Lucky for you, election-season is free.
+10 # Lin 2011-08-29 12:45
There should be a IQ and polygraph test for all political wannabees that they must pass before running for any office.
+7 # DLT888 2011-08-29 13:14
Quoting Lin:
There should be a IQ and polygraph test for all political wannabees that they must pass before running for any office.

LOL! Yeah, but if written by the Repukes, it will be a test of circling the two-spotted frog that doesn't belong with the 3-spotted frogs -- that will be both the IQ and the poligraph test.
+16 # DLT888 2011-08-29 13:17
Yes, the Repukicans like to keep the people stupid and take away their education to keep it so. But there is more to evolution than just physical evolution. There is spiritual evolution -- which cannot be denied anyone and that's what they can't stand. Once someone has spiritually evolved enough to have compassion for others and to be thankful for this planet as a home, they cannot go back and regress to where the Repukicans need their base to be. They cannot control everything as much as they think they can.
0 # 2011-09-08 14:30
Good Comment!
+11 # Sukumar 2011-08-29 16:06
An IQ ceiling is what we have in the Tea Party.
+27 # Lulie 2011-08-29 12:49
Stupid voters like stupid candidates. Brainless crazies like Perry and Palin make them feel better about themselves.
+11 # foxtrottango 2011-08-29 16:50
As said before, most nations have their fools, but not many have them in high places. The USA is one that has achieved this goal. And they are all in the Republican Party!

Next November will tell the tale is the nation lives or die!
+17 # todd williams 2011-08-29 12:58
Right on, Elmont! I'm with you on that one. I've always been polite to Born Agains or any religious person. I was taught to be that way. My father was a Republican from the old school. He was against Kennedy because he was afraid relgion would get into government! Where in the hell has the old fashioned Republican Party gone? My dad is undoubtedly spinning in his grave. Progressive atheists (is there any other kind?) need to stand up to these relgious fruit cakes. I call 'em American Taliban Christians.
+1 # chick 2011-08-30 22:40
Plese you have got to be able to tell the difference of a true religous person and a hypocrite trying to sound religous.

I am a true Jesus Christ believer. But I also believe those two should never be together. You cannot put religion in govenment.

I pray to God but never think he answeres me or tells me to do anything.
Anyone who says God talked to them is a big fraud and you should know that.

Most Democrats are true Christians because they have empathy and want to help the poor, disabled, children. That is the difference with the Republicas who only want more money for Wealthy and Corporations and if they call themselves Christians you have to know they are frauds, they are hypocrites and they do not care for the welfare of the poor, sick, disabled and children. Period.
+7 # propsguy 2011-08-29 13:02
yes, he's an idiot, but sadly once obama, the reasonable man signs his approval for the keystone pipeline, it won't really matter
+14 # BVA 2011-08-29 13:16
I'm more concerned about what happens to civilization if two or three volcanoes were to begin erupting or one very big volcano were to begin erupting and create a year(s) without summer. The volcanic activity of Hekla (Iceland) and Asama (Japan) beginning in 1783 is credited with helping to cause the French Revolution in 1789. The eruption of Mt. Tambora (Indonesia) is caused the "the year without a summer" in 1816.

Just what would happen to civilization if Earth's current population of 6 plus billion people did not have enough to eat for a couple of years?

After the eruptions, a short 'ice age', and famine were over global warming would probably resume and accelerate because volcanic eruptions release large amounts of greenhouse gases into the atmosphere (primarily CO2 and water vapor). Not a pretty picture for the long-run.

Republicans appear to be so worried about the debt that we leave to future generations, but seemingly have little concern about the planetary conditions and civilization we bequeath. On this Republicans seem to agree with their bete noir in economic analysis, John Maynard Keynes, "In the long-run we are all dead".
-40 # brycenuc 2011-08-29 13:22
I think the Republicans are anti-science, but they are right about man-caused global warming. They are probably right by accident, because it is being promulgated by liberals. But there is absolutely no theoretical or experimental evidence that carbon dioxide (the only man-generated green house gas that is slated for reduction) can have anything but a totally negligible effect on world temperature.
Krugman neglected to mention that ALL the organizations that came to the defense of the infamous East Anglia climategate emails have as much revenue tied up in the hoax research of climate-change doom as do the authors of chicanerous emails. His claim of greater than 97 percent of climate scientists supporting man-caused global warming is as phony as the AGW science itself.
+21 # tclose 2011-08-29 15:22
Please, brycenuc, this blog is meant for serious discussion, not for mindless speculation. You are just repeating the misinformation that is being fed to you by anti-science skeptics who have been shown to be way off base time and time again. And you are wrong to question Krugman's claim of 97% of climate scientist supporting the veracity of man-made climate change - it happens to be true.
+20 # ABen 2011-08-29 16:44
To brycenuc; so your assessment is that the plethora of renowned scientists who are part of the Union of Concerned Scientists are just a bunch of deluded lefties who don't really know of what they speak? I can see that you don't let facts confuse the issue at hand.
0 # 2011-09-08 13:27
What planet do you live on?
+16 # angelfish 2011-08-29 13:39
These Fools, Bachmann, Perry, Palin, Romney, et al; make the "Know-Nothings" look like Intellectuals! I find it hard to believe that ANY of them can win the Presidency. At the very LEAST, President Obama is an Intelligent, Reasonable man, albeit too easily prone to "compromise", a concept that the K.N.F.P. (Koch/Norquist Fascist Party) NEVER heard of! I, for one, will NOT be dragged kicking and screaming back to the 12th Century where these Cretins' mindsets currently abide. I hope and pray the rest of America will rePudiate them as well!
+15 # Rara Avis 2011-08-29 13:50
It's one thing to weigh in that climate change is not as serious a problem as might be supposed using science and logical reasoning to back up your view.

But the Republican Party of the United States does not employ the scientific method nor logic or reason to their arguments about climate change, evolution, and technology that any world leader must be on top of.

And to even a layman, simply noting the milder winters since my youth forty years ago, the snow disapearing from Mt. Kilaminjaro, glaciers melting in the Alps, real shrinkage of the polar areas of the globe, the movement of Armadillos into northern states, and the increasing regularity of severe weather beyond mere chance, we should begin to have a clue.

Eight or ten billion humans have harnessed fossil fuels, spewed billions of tons of it into the air every year and more. If you think this has no impact on the Earth and its ecosystems you're not paying attention to your world and you are ... you can fill in the blank here along with and a Republican.
+12 # fredboy 2011-08-29 13:56
Amazing how a once-great nation and its election process can morph into a freak show.
+4 # KittatinyHawk 2011-08-29 14:02
Mr Perry might be right about Evolution, after all what species, matter would really want to take credit for Teapots or Rethugs no less the Democrats

their partners in crime however, certainly line their pockets with heir science of pharmaceutical, chemical hazards.
Only reason we are allowed to ponder Outer Space is for a Place/Planet for them to run to when they push the button or Poison this Planet.

They all know full well what they are doing but they are so beyond belief than to believe this will affect their families. They just do not care, and are very stupid. Corporations will keep feeding them lies along with all the money.
+22 # Doc Mary 2011-08-29 14:15
I've always wanted to teach a course in creationism. We'd start with the ancient Chinese belief that they lived on the back of a giant turtle, move on to Hindu beliefs in four eternally repeating cycles of destruction and regeneration - the last was water and the next fire, Add Aztec creationist stories ... Think I could do that? in Texas?

For generations southern plantation owners controlled the politics of the South, in part by leaving everyone else too uneducated to object, in part by a terroristic totalitarian state. Southern whites always voted Demcrat because Lincoln was a Republican - the real election was the primary. Southern blacks didn't vote at all.

And then Democrats took on the cause of Civil Rights. All too quickly the same crowd that ran the South as a terroristic totalitarian state decided maybe the party of Lincoln wasn't so bad. Today, when I I look at the Republican Party, I see the old Democratic Party of the South, not the party of Teddy Roosevelt, who believed in the power of education, science, research, greater understanding.

Knowing the lengths to which the old Southern Dixiecrats and their predecessors went to hold on to power frightens me as I see a similar trend rising in the Republican Party.

Sometimes I wish Lincoln had let the South secede and realize it's inner banana republic - without me.
+2 # kyzipster 2011-08-30 08:13
It's an easy exercise to scapegoat the South but the South doesn't control Congress or decide a presidential election. I'm not defending the South against your assessment but the problem is clearly nationwide. The Republican Party is dependent on their stronghold in the South but their Southern Strategy or culture war has evolved into an anti-poor, anti-immigrant, anti-gay, anti-Muslim etc platform that has national appeal.
+2 # ABen 2011-08-30 10:30
Doc Mary; I suspect that changing demographics will soon eliminate the southern "dumb like me" voting block.
+9 # Peasant 2011-08-29 15:34
It seems that over the years, elections in the United States have become more like national I.Q. tests. Sometimes the I.Q. goes up, (Obama, Clinton, Roosevelt), sometimes it goes down (Bush, Reagan, Nixon). Not that any of these presidents were actually "good", but some were "smarter" than others. If the national I.Q. goes down again in the next election, the best thing the rest of the planet can do is treat the U.S. like aparthied South Africa and have a complete boycott. Every country worldwide should close our embassies, shut off diplomatic contacts, no imports of products, no airline landings, force out our military bases and troops, pull out all investments, completely isolate us. Maybe then we might wise up as a nation, and learn how to play nice with the rest of the people we share the planet with.
+6 # chick 2011-08-30 22:52
I cannot keep quiet on this one. Roosevelt was one of the greatest President. If you lived during the depression you would know what I mean.

He was the most loved president. I am sorry most young people do not realize to what extent he saved this country and its middle class and poor.

The Republicans always try to downgrade hm but let me tell you

Allmost immediatly on taking over as President the bread lines ended. Work created for everyone Life and hope got better for all thanks to this man alone for what he created and accomplished.

And I should know I am 84 and lived through it.

And Clinton at least left us with plenty of money which Bush immediatly used up and started the deficit we are in.

Obama we have yet to see.
-1 # 2011-09-08 13:49
You are right about Roosevelt and Clinton but if you cannot SEE how OBAMA has failed as POTUS your vision is occluded. OBAMA is the worst POTUS we have ever had and it will take a genius to get usnout of the mess he has brought us into. The Tea Party politicians are bigoted, fascist idiots and would not have captured the attention of so many Americans and threatening our country with their potential to win an election in the US if OBAMA had not failed us so miserably. Who even listens to OBAMA'S rhetoric and excuses anymore? He needs to step down and hand his mantle over to Hillary Clinton or Bernie Saunders or someone with the character, experience and intelligence to lift us out of this ongoing, accelerating recession and to save the finest nation in the world from becoming a third world country
+7 # Wink 2011-08-29 15:56
I see no cause for concern here-- we should simply let Perry and his followers set sail, much as did Noah. We can watch excitedly as they enter the realm of dragons and then fall off the edge of the world into who knows what? Then they won't have to worry about scientific theory, even if they do discover there is such a thing as gravity. Science? Bah, humbug!
0 # 2011-09-08 13:55
WINK, To "wink" at such a preposterous idea is absurd and cowardly. We need someone who can beat Rick Perry or Palin or Bachman et al in 2012 or what you propose could become a reality and Obama is not the man.
+10 # CragJensen 2011-08-29 16:06
Years ago, back in the mid-nineties - I lived on the Gulf Coast of Mississippi. (Mississippi being a thoroughly red state of course.) When I first rented the house we lived in I couldn't help but notice the picturesque little brook that ran alongside our property-line. It wasn't very long after we moved in though that I figured out that the picturesque little brook had raw sewage running through it. And that sewage filled brook - by-the-way - ran straight into the Gulf of Mexico two miles downstream from our property.

After living there about a month or so a neighbor who happened to be a pastor for a large Gulfport Church invited my wife and I to a "chili-cook-off ." So (like a couple-of-idiot s) we went and within twenty minutes several members of the group had separated my wife and I, circled each one of us like some kind of a Sioux war party around a couple of prairie schooners and began to proselytize fervently.

After living there for about a year I opened the newspaper one day to discover that some religious zealots had burned down a nearby Hindu or Hare-Krishna Temple.
+19 # CragJensen 2011-08-29 16:07

After living there for about a year and a half - I was substitute teaching one day when I happened to notice that the teacher I was subbing for had strategically plastered a number of anti-Clinton bumper stickers in different places around her classroom.

If these southern-fried, ultra-right-win g, Bible belting crackpots take over - this nation will regress into some kind of feudalistic, fascistic, nightmare of a theocracy in no time flat.

Beware, be diligent and get ready for the worst!
+13 # foxtrottango 2011-08-29 16:47
It's mother nature's revenge for humanity being so stupid! She created the Tea party, republicans and fundamental religious brainwash-brain dead humans to lead us in the destruction of the world.

Mother Nature must have been amusing herself when she left out one chromosone (the one that makes sense) in the evolution scale for some humans. The ironic part is, they seem to be all in the US of A! Even apes have more unstanding about their environment that these Republicans and it's Tea party membership.

I'm not very optimistic about the future if these insane brain-washed people get to rule the USA!
+1 # chick 2011-08-30 22:55
I am optomistic, because I intend to vote and if all the people writing here do the same all those nuts will be gone.
0 # 2011-09-08 14:50
Obama created the Tea Party by revving up the American citizens with his hope and change rhetoric, by defaulting on his promises and failing as a leader at a pivotal time of crisis bringing us into the worst economic times Americans have faced since the Great Depression. He sacrificed lives escalating the wars and the US has lost international esteem.
+17 # ABen 2011-08-29 18:25
"If Fascism ever comes to this country, it will be wrapped in the flag and waving a cross." Sinclair Lewis
0 # 2011-09-08 13:56
ABen, What are YOU doing to prevent it?
+9 # Ronv 2011-08-29 18:28
In my view, the problem is not with "them", the people who believe in these incredible fantasies about the world which have no bearing on reality, individuals who would at one time be considered “insane”. The problem is with us in that we heed their opinions to any degree whatsoever. We waste our time when providing any hint whatsoever that they might be rational by attempting to engage them in a rational manner. The fact that any of them rise to power as Rick Perry has is a very sad statement about today's society and not, in my opinion, about Rick Perry.
0 # 2011-09-08 14:22
Ronv, YOU GOT IT! The problem is with us and not Rick Perry. He is an opportunist who stepped up to the plate at the only time in history a moronic bigot like him would be taken seriously enough to even be considered as POTUS. Since we own the problem, what are we going to do about it? Wait for OBAMA to come up with some briliant strategy to and restore hope in the masses who are unemployed and lost their homes? Do you think the youth who have graduated from college and cannot find a job or those who cannot got to college because they can't get loans are going to vote for Obama? Certainly not the Seniors who depend on Medicare and SS
to survive or the poverty stricken who have no Medicaid or assistance or the African Americans whose unemployment and disgruntlement is at an all time high. Unhappy people do not go to the polls to vote for a weak contender who has let them down to negate a worst contender. They go to the polls to support a strong contender who will lift them out of their misery. We need to find a strong contender who is able to restore hope in the hopeless and who can convince them he/she will bring action to their words
and declarationa.
+1 # Archie1954 2011-08-29 19:00
"The world's greatest nation"? What a joke! You are very funny Sir.
+6 # tomo 2011-08-29 20:00
Romney evidently is willing to sell his soul to become President. So while Romney is not an authority on science, he is an authority on selling out. As such, it is hard for him to imagine there are people in the world whose agenda is to discover what is true. His idea that scientists have invented climate change to get money to investigate something which--in their souls--they think is isn't happening is just cuckoo. If scientists were in it for the money, they could get a lot more money lying their heads off in defense of the oil industry. They are being attacked because they're not for sale.

It doesn't though seem to matter much whether we choose as President someone who denies climate change and doesn't do anything about it or whether we re-elect someone who says he believes man-made climate change is occurring and doesn't do anything about it. In the contest or rivalry over who can be the most useless with regard to climate change, Obama is every bit equal to Romney. Both men are opportunists to their innermost core.
+3 # Texas Aggie 2011-08-29 22:39
“I think there are a substantial number of scientists who have manipulated data so that they will have dollars rolling into their projects. And I think we are seeing almost weekly, or even daily,"

In a sense, he's right although not the way he intends. EXXON pays its "scientists" very well, more than any government or academic institution could even dream of. For their vast riches, their scientists give them "manipulated data" that they have taken from real scientists and distorted in order to give EXXON and the other oil companies the ammunition that they want.

Unfortunately the public doesn't understand what is going on. See Fredboy above for a brief mention of how this has worked in the past to mess with the public by public relation campaigns based on falsehoods in other industries that are harmful to society's welfare.
+1 # Peacedragon 2011-08-30 02:33
So what do we do? My plan: We support Obama. Meanwhile, we quietly work on deciding what change we really want. When Obama wins and has no election to worry about we present our more radical ideas.
+6 # kyzipster 2011-08-30 08:01
It's not just a war on science, it's a war on facts because the truth threatens every aspect of the Republicans' mythology. Facts are almost always dismissed as 'liberal bias'.

Economic theory, taxation, the causes of a shrinking middle class, the rising cost of health care, you name it, they have the answers and they're all as ludicrous as Creationism.
+6 # Michael Levy 2011-08-30 08:04
This is all about human insanity. Unable to cope with the facts of life and death, the majority of people find comfort in mythical beliefs. The denial of reality is rampant. The pity is that if we were able to just believe what we can prove and come together as a human race, we could solve the vast majority of our problems Imagine if all of the effort spent on wars and fighting each other were used to advance the human race and preserve this little funny rock called the Earth.
+5 # cherylpetro 2011-08-30 16:32
Republicans don't dislike science for the reasons we would think! We might assume that it is because most of them are as dumb as stumps, but they have a more insidious reason, because they want the public to believe that none of the polluting their benefactors are doing will eventually kill off us and our planet! They want everyone to believe in their version of God, and also their version of the truth about what is going on with the only home the human race has: EARTH! They are so GREEDY, and LIVING FOR NOW, that they turn off rational, and intelligent thinking, so that they can get lots and lots of money and LIVE IT UP NOW! THEY ARE SAYING: SCREW THE PLANET, AND FUTURE GENERATIONS!
+2 # Robyn 2011-08-31 03:33
The Republicans seem to think that God is going to swoop down from on high and rescue the believers. Makes me wonder what they are going to do when he/she doesn't.
+2 # mjc 2011-09-02 10:02
Krugman calls what is happening to the Republican Party as a movement of "anti-knowledge ". Anti-intellectu al was too strong a word to use on these Tpublican' converts. But it isn't just in the realm of climate that the Teas show their anti-intellectu alism. There seems to be a whole effort NOT to know what is really going on, in re taxes, health care, or education.

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