Culture Wars Rise with the Economy and other short notes

A simple reason why Rick Santorum and the culture wars are on the upswing in Republican primaries: As the economy improves, the rationale of the Romney campaign falls apart. Social issues were supposed to stay on the sidelines so that Mitt the Financial Wizard could pound Obama the Economic Failure.

Salon’s Alex Parene asks: “Would it be conspiratorial to note that these divisive cultural issues began attracting a great deal of right-wing attention very soon after the release of a positive jobs report?”

Not at all, Alex.


Purple cow? No. Purple squirrel? Here.


The difference between liberal nonsense and conservative nonsense is that liberals let the audience in on the joke.


It looks like another surge of global-warming denial is building. A couple weeks ago the Wall Street Journal printed a letter from 16 scientists and engineers saying “There is no compelling scientific argument for drastic action to ‘decarbonize’ the world’s economy.” They compared global warming to Lysenkoism and presented a picture of scientific community heavy-handedly enforcing a rigid dogma.

If you look at the list of signers, most of them have no connection to climate science, so their opinion is no more significant than mine or any other educated person’s. Skeptical Science finds them “worth noting for their lack of noteworthiness”. Only two have “published climate research in the past three decades” while 7 have received funding from the fossil fuel industry. Skeptical Science also debunks the letter’s claims, and includes a wonderful graph explaining how an energy-industry flack can make a warming trend look like a cooling trend.

At the same time, the WSJ refused to print a letter from 255 members of the National Academy of Sciences defending the scientific process and claiming:

Many recent assaults on climate science and, more disturbingly, on climate scientists by climate change deniers are typically driven by special interests or dogma, not by an honest effort to provide an alternative theory that credibly satisfies the evidence.

Forbes called the WSJ’s actions “remarkable editorial bias“, which shouldn’t surprise anyone, now that it’s owned by Rupert Murdoch.

Some of the same misinformation appeared simultaneously in a British tabloid, from which it migrated to the Washington Times and other right-wing publications. Kevin Drum debunks.


New re-election plan: Surround Obama with kids and gadgets, and he’s irresistible.

James Fallows writes an insightful analysis of what we’ve learned about Obama during his first term.


When I wrote last week’s article on Komen and Planned Parenthood, it wasn’t clear yet whether Komen had really reversed itself or the right-wingers inside Komen had just stepped back until public outrage faded a little. “[Karen] Handel is still on the job, after all.”

Not any more. Tuesday morning Handel resigned. So maybe Komen is serious about de-politicizing itself and getting back to its mission.


The anti-public-employee jihad that is getting Wisconsin’s Scott Walker recalled has spread to Utah and Arizona.


Just for the cuteness of it: Video of a wolf pup playing with a bear cub.

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  • By Back to the Culture Wars « The Weekly Sift on February 13, 2012 at 12:57 pm

    [...] Culture Wars Rise With the Economy and other short notes. If the economy is getting better, Republicans will have to run on social issues. Purple squirrels. Nancy Pelosi tries to “Stop Colbert”. A new push on global-warming denial. Obama and the marshmallow cannon. And the cutest thing I saw this week: video of a wolf pup and a bear cub. [...]

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