Undermining Americans’ belief in their own institutions of self-government remains a prime GOP electoral strategy. 

Mike Lofgren, retired Republican Congressional staffer
Goodbye to All That: Reflections of a GOP Operative Who Left the Cult

In this week’s sift:

  • Rootworms, Monsanto, and the Unity of Existence. Liberals like to use the word holistic, but conservatives are the ones whose ideology connects everything. Why a down-on-the-farm issue like Bt-resistant rootworms has larger lessons to teach.
  • Blowing Smoke About Clouds. If you have enough media power, you can hijack the prestige of the biggest names in science and use it for your own purposes. Witness how climate deniers just hijacked the coverage of an article in Nature by researchers at CERN.
  • A ConConCon and other short notes. Lawrence Lessig tries to make common cause with the Tea Party. Cheney’s book tour. Geo-engineering. Rolling Stone covers voter suppression. Convoluted music copyrights. Relative costs of the Libyan and Iraq interventions. More on Libertarians.
  • Last week’s most popular post. Traffic mostly went back to normal last week, except for continuing interest in Why I Am Not a Libertarian (18K total views) and One Word Turns Around the Tea Party (7K). (Between them they’re still accounting for more than half the blog’s traffic.) Last week’s Barack, Can We Talk? got a more typical 450 views. However, it took off when I reposted it to Daily Kos, where it went to the top of the recommended list (800 recommendations, 800 comments).
  • This week’s challenge. Try to put words around the political message you’re waiting to hear. What could a politician say or do that would give you a surprised reaction of “This person really gets it!”?
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  • Jonathan Korman  On September 5, 2011 at 12:16 pm

    In response to the challenge:

    + “The measure of our economy is not growth or gross domestic product, the very purpose of our economy is HOW WELL IT PROVIDES FOR ALL OF US.”

    + “We need to build schools and water mains and bridges and libraries and railroads and countless other projects investing in America that can make us stronger and more prosperous for years to come. We have a lot of people looking for work in America. Corporations can not or will not put them to work. But we have work to do. So EVERY AMERICAN WILLING TO WORK HAS A JOB WAITING FOR THEM WORKING FOR UNCLE SAM BUILDING AMERICA.”

    + “We talk about our dependence on foreign oil, we talk about the problems of rising gas prices, we talk about how fossil fuels are damaging the environment, but every year we use more. We talk about using less fossil fuels, but I think that’s not an ambitious enough goal for Americans. Our goal should be not to use less, but to USE ZERO FOSSIL FUELS WITHIN MOST AMERICANS’ LIFETIMES.”

    + “We should look to the best health insurance program in the country as the answer to our health care crisis. What insurer delivers the best care, the lowest administrative costs, and the best cost controls? What insurer does the best job of covering people who are hard to insure? The answer is clear. The answer is Medicare. So let’s have MEDICARE FOR EVERYONE.”

  • Stephanie Brent  On September 6, 2011 at 11:47 am

    In response to the challenge: The real problem is that a Global Economy can not work when there is too wide a gulf between rich and poor countries. Trying to have a Global Economy simply makes the rich countries poor. All of America’s current economic issues are symptoms of the damage done by a Global Economy set up to drain our financial lifeblood dry. Focusing on fixing these symptoms will simply create more symptoms.

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