By Jason Sattler

Far More Republicans Believe In Climate Change And Evolution Than The Ever-Shrinking Deficit

December 31, 2013 3:41 pm Category: Memo Pad, Politics 116 Comments A+ / A-
Far More Republicans Believe In Climate Change And Evolution Than The Ever-Shrinking Deficit

A new Pew Research poll is getting a lot of attention because it shows the share of Republicans who believe in evolution has declined 11 percent since 2009, down to just 43 percent. In 2009, 54 percent said that human beings had “evolved over time.”

A quick poll of 2008 Republican candidates for president found that 7 out of 10 recognized the science of evolution. No such poll was taken during the 2012 GOP primary but not one of the eight candidates said he or she would be willing to accept a tax increase, even if it were paired with spending cuts at a rate of 10 to 1.

But in 2013, after the Bush tax rates expired, Congress voted to end the tax breaks for those earning $400,000, along with slightly higher taxes on capital gains and inheritances. The resulting increase in revenue along with budget cuts and the fastest growing job market since 2005 have resulted in a deficit that’s falling at nearly record rates.

The deficit was cut by $409 billion, or 37 percent, from the last fiscal year to $680 billion—$170 billion less than the Congressional Budget Office originally predicted.

While these numbers are still large, they’re even more impressive when you consider the key metric economists look at — deficit as a share of gross domestic product.

The White House presented this chart to illustrate how significant the reduction actually is:

deficitchart_v2_0

By actual dollar amounts and as a share of GDP, the budget deficit is falling — quickly.

Yet for some reason, the percentage of Republicans who believe deficit reduction is occurring is a fraction of those who believe in evolution or even climate change.

Only 12 percent of Republicans believed that progress was being made in reducing the deficit in a Pew poll released earlier this month — even though the deficit shrunk by more than a third!

12-19-2013-7

This matches a Bloomberg poll in October that showed two-thirds of Republicans, including 93 percent of Tea Partiers, believed the deficit was actually growing.

In an economy where millions are out of work, deficit reduction is most likely harmful. But the media goes out of its way to depict a deficit as inherently evil, while neglecting to make clear that it is actually shrinking precipitously.

When it comes to politics, most people are guilty of what Chris Mooney labels “motivated reasoning.”

Though climate change and evolution are theories that are accepted by the vast majority of scientists, they are still theories. The deficit, however, unquestionably exists. It was much larger the year before than it is now. Only 1 out of 10 Republicans is willing to accept this reality.

Before we start worrying about the right accepting scientific theories, let’s first try to get them to agree that facts exist.

Photo: Gage Skidmore via Flickr

Far More Republicans Believe In Climate Change And Evolution Than The Ever-Shrinking Deficit Reviewed by on . A new Pew Research poll is getting a lot of attention because it shows the share of Republicans who believe in evolution has declined 11 percent since 2009, dow A new Pew Research poll is getting a lot of attention because it shows the share of Republicans who believe in evolution has declined 11 percent since 2009, dow Rating:

More by Jason Sattler

3-19-14bud-f1

5 Reasons The Deficit Has Fallen By Nearly $5 Trillion (And Why That’s A Bad Thing)

This year’s deficit will likely be $514 billion, down about a quarter from last year’s deficit of $680 billion, which was down by more than a third from the year before. “Since 2010, projected 10-year deficits over the 2015-2024 decade have shrunk by almost $5.0 trillion, $4.1 trillion of which is due to four pieces

Read more...

5 Ways The GOP Refuses To Learn From History

It’s not entirely their fault. The 2014 map looks as if it were designed to make sure the GOP does not change. With a House majority they maintained in 2012 even though they won 1.4 million fewer votes than Democrats and as many as 11 chances to pick up the six Senate seats they’d need

Read more...

5 Things You Need To Know About New GOP ‘Frontrunner’ Rand Paul

A new CBS/New York Times poll has bad news for the man who can only now be called a former frontrunner for the 2016 Republican presidential nomination — Governor Chris Christie (R-NJ). With 41 percent of Republicans saying they don’t want the governor to run and only 31 percent saying they do, he’s the only

Read more...

Tags

Comments

  • Lynda Groom

    Science and mathematics are hard compared to the fantasies of the right. Nothing that comes from these polls and studies is surprising except the independent numbers. I always believed they were brighter than that.

    • Independent1

      That makes two of us. I’m especially disappointed that there seem to be so many independents that are totally clueless about issues that are affecting them greatly.

      • Saaby000

        Sad to say that the “average” citizen.. no matter what party they vote for, is “clueless” on most subjects that are not part of their daily lives. Whenever I socialize with strangers in activities that are very “mixed” (socially and economically), I find it almost impossible to find people that are informed and up-to-date on most matters that affect us.. it’s really sad.

  • angelsinca

    The poll seems to indicate a general lack of understanding of what deficit spending is, especially while the national debt continues to grow.

    • Sand_Cat

      It illustrates the same kind of general lack of understanding of science and reality so common on the current political scene.

      • angelsinca

        Agreed.

    • Fiji’s Best

      The US government’s debt on January 19, 2001 was 5.7 trillion dollars.

      • Independent1

        You got that right. And Bush ended up more than doubling it with the 1.9 trillion in his last budget to 11.9 trillion. But on top of passing Obama about 1.5 trillion in unspent deficit spending, he also passed along an economy in freefall with more than 800,000 job losses/month in January 2009 and almost 14 million in eventual job losses; including thousands of large and small companies going belly up which all together resulted in almost 1 trillion in lost tax revenues/year. And on top of all that, Bush and the irresponsible GOP congresses also passed numerous unfunded pieces of legislation that kept driving up the deficits (two tax cuts, two unfunded wars, and unfunded drug benefit giveaway to Big Pharma called Medicare Part D, and a number of mandates to the states that were unfunded like the disastrous No-Child-Left-Behind fiasco. Some of these are still adding to our deficits. All this adds up to Nixon, Reagan and the two Bushes being responsible for more than 90% of our current 17 trillion in debt.

    • Independent1

      Yeah! and despite the fact that you GOP lovers hate it when most independents and Democrats say that the rising debt, even today, is still BUSH’S FAULT – that in fact is the truth.

      Virtually every dollar of the current 600 plus billion in deficit spending is Bush’s fault.

      The unfunded tax break that American’s earning less than 400,000/yr are still getting (like myself) and which is one factor that is making tax revenues less than spending was just one of the unfunded pieces of legislation Bush and the irresponsible GOP Congresses of the early 2000s passed.

      And so is the debt rising related to the drug benefit giveaway to Big Pharma called Medicare Part D which was another Bush unfunded fiasco. Especially when you consider that the only way the GOP would pass it is if it included a priviso that the government couldn’t negotiate drug prices to ensure maximum Big Pharma profits.

      And so are the ongoing costs of the Afghan war adding to the debt which Bush purposely went ahead with on an unfunded basis and just added it to the 300-500 billion in spending that he never paid for or included in his budgets each and every year he was in office.

      And so are several pieces of Fed mandates to the state, like the No Child Left Behind Law which once again were passed by the GOP as unfunded.

      And so are the remaining tax revenue shortfalls that are adding to the debt because it was Bush who allowed the economy to run amok to the point that the bubble collapsed in 2008 and the economy went into free fall; a free fall that the GOP just insists on preventing from rebounding faster by refusing to do anything that would in any way end up creating more jobs and thereby reducing the increases to our debts.

      Yup!! Just thank the GOP for everything related to our rising debts!!!

      • angelsinca

        …Bush who allowed the economy to run amok to the point that the bubble collapsed in 2008…

        This particular claim seems to ignore a wide host of truths and factors that actually caused the collapse.

        • Independent1

          Whatever those “truths and factors” were HE overlooked them and let them continue. HE WAS IN CHARGE!! and therefore HE IS RESPONSIBLE!! Just like HE IS RESPONSIBLE for letting the terrorist attack on 9/11 happen because, just like with the economic debacle HE LET IT HAPPEN BY DOING NOTHING ABOUT TRYING TO STOP EITHER OF THEM. THE TERRORIST ATTACK OR THE RUNAWAY ECONOMY THAT WAS BEING FRAUDULENTLY LED BY THE FINANCIAL SECTOR!!!

          • angelsinca

            And that concludes this exchange. Call when you feel better, not-so-independent one.

    • Allan Richardson

      Agreed, the cumulative debt continues to grow, but the annual deficit is NOT growing, even though a modestly higher deficit, with the right KIND of spending, would stimulate the economy, grow the tax base, and allow for deficits to be reduced later. The deficit is shrinking (that is, the rate at which public debt grows is shrinking) due to BAD causes (like “losing weight” from cancer), but it is still SHRINKING, while Republicans insist it is growing, contrary to the numbers.

      And government debt is not our worst problem. If someone in your family were to require expensive medical care (and you had not found affordable insurance), or were facing mistaken prosecution for a serious crime, would your family debt be a WORSE problem than dying of disease or going to prison for a crime you did not commit?

      • angelsinca

        Yes, the deficit is shrinking. I can rattle off the names of just as many Democrats that don’t understand the concept of deficit VS debt. The ability to understand or deny the concept is not defined by political boundary. Not including the near-trillion dollar QE by the Fed as part of the deficit only compounds the confusion and evades the actual value of the debt AND the deficit.

  • Sand_Cat

    The author falls for the same fallacious use of the term “theory” as the ignorant rubes who “don’t believe in” evolution.
    Scientific theories are links accounting for observed and established phenomena, and are as much “facts” as anything can be in science.

    • Paul Bass

      In science “theory” IS the established FACT, until proven otherwise.

      For evolution, since the 1870′s, no scientist, has done that, therefore this is a very strong “FACT”, having stood the onslaught of the ultra-religious for more than 140 years…

      • Fiji’s Best

        Not true.

        A scientific “law”, e.g. the “law” of gravity, is accepted as scientific fact here on earth and in the immediate surrounding vicinity.

        Theories consist of large amounts of conjecture, speculation, and conjured narrative.

        For whatever reason, liberals tend to conflate science-fiction with science.

        • Paul Bass

          You obviously didn’t read my statement, Theory IS the established FACT, UNTIL proven otherwise.

          Do you have ANY credible scientist that has “proven” evolution false?

          You are obviously NOT a scientist, please stop spouting your opinion as fact.

          • Fiji’s Best

            No, theory is not established “fact”.

            Theory is a possible explanation.

          • daniel bostdorf

            Evolution is both fact and theory.
            read here:

            http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Evolution_as_fact_and_theory

          • Fiji’s Best

            Evolution is a story. As man-made global-warming is a story.

            Possible explanations are not “facts”.

          • daniel bostdorf

            Please read the wiki article. And learn the indisputable facts not your theory,

          • Fiji’s Best

            I don’t think any reasonable person considers Wikipedia a source of “indisputable facts”.

          • daniel bostdorf

            I don’t think any reasonable person considers you a source of anything credible. Your illogic and farciful pronouncements astounds all of us here…

            You are nothing more than a social media troll.

            A social media troll is someone who seeks to lure or bait people into negative, disruptive rhetoric for their own edification or to commandeer an otherwise free-flowing discussion among colleagues.

            They don’t recognize anyone that may be interested in discussing something that bores them and opt to criticize or yell “boring” instead of engaging in the discussion. They choose to belittle those who seek the information and discourse as well as those who try to provide it.

            They simply have no interest in anything that is not self-serving.

            Trolls will defend their focus on expressing contrary opinions as an honorable attempt to rid the online community of fake-experts, get to the truth of a matter or enlighten their followers; however, their intent has nothing to do with community building or public enlightenment.

            Do you understand that this definition is you?

          • Sand_Cat

            Well, you got it partly right. The part where you said “I don’t think” is spot on.

          • omgamike

            When over 90% of the world’s leading scientists in the field of climatology tell me that we are experiencing the effects of global warming, and that human activity is responsible for the vast majority of that global warming — then that, to me, is as established a theory as I have yet heard. It has a tremendous amount of actual data to back it up. Anyone who, after an objective review of all of the evidence, can still claim that there is either no global warming, or if there is that it is not due to humankind, is dumber than a box of rocks. And there is a difference between global warming and climate change. Related but different.

          • Fiji’s Best

            You’re confusing stories with science.

            It’s very common, actually. Many people easily confuse stories of science-fiction with legitimate science.

          • rkief

            Rocks are factual, so it is possible that you have overestimated the intelligence of most climate-change deniers, and underestimated their fossil-fuel propaganda gullibility.

          • lancesharpe

            All you need is a very basic understanding of physics and thermo-dynamics and man made global warming becomes concrete fact .
            you confuse the religion of science and the science of religion open your mind close you mouth

          • Fiji’s Best

            Oh, baloney.

            Contrary to the science-fiction conjured up by fortune-tellers like Al Gore, recent climate data indicates an upcoming period of global cooling.

          • Sand_Cat

            Baloney is what you’re pushing.

          • Sand_Cat

            You clearly do not understand scientific terms. Gravity is a theory, as are most scientific “laws.” You obviously consider science that conflicts with your preconceptions as not “true” science, which shows how little qualified you are to pronounce on any science. Your inclusion of political terms (“liberal”) in discussing “science” shows better than anything else your ignorance and rejection of science.

          • Saaby000

            It’s fun to watch people argue over something they argree .. LOL

          • Bodine666

            Republicans believe that reducing education budgets will result in more dumb people. Dumb people have no critical thinking skills. Fiji is just one example of the result of Republican efforts. Clearly they are being successful.

            What Fiji calls a theory is in science a hypothesis. Clearly Fiji does not understand the difference between a theory as used in science and theory that police detectives use when attempting to solve a crime.

            A scientific theory is based on multitude of hypotheses that have been found to be true. Facts in other words. And everyone knows how Republicans feel about facts.

            Fiji, you are more than welcome to disprove any scientific hypothesis that you are able to disprove. Getting up on your soapbox and parroting Republican talking points is not proof of anything. Well, maybe one thing, that you have no clue what you’re talking about.

            Fiji, if you had any critical thinking skills, then you would realize just how ignorant parroting Republican talking points makes you look.

          • Fiji’s Best

            Cutting the central government, by 50% across the board, seems like the best way forward.

            Who really needs bureaucrats anyway?

            No one.

          • daniel bostdorf

            Read more here:
            http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/E

      • Sand_Cat

        Yes. What I was trying to say. Thanks. But wasted on Fiji.

    • Fiji’s Best

      Not really.

      A scientific “law” is essentially established scientific fact here on earth and in immediate surrounding space.

      Theories tend to be weak because they consist of substantial amounts of conjecture and speculation.

      You’re confusing “stories” with science. Stories of science-fiction, conjured narratives, are not science.

      • Bryan Blake

        Are all of the right wing site “hungover” today?? I hear JesusHates.com is up and running how about sliding over there and discussing creationism?

        • Fiji’s Best

          I think we can all agree that the story of Anthropogenic Global Warming (man-made global-warming) is a story of science fiction.

          • Bryan Blake

            No we cannot agree on such a ridiculous notion. The only science fiction I see here is in your comments. Climate Change is very real despite the ubiquitous denials of right wing shills. The only scientists that do not recognize Climate Change are those on the payroll of Exxon-Mobile, The Brothers Koch and so forth. You are free to believe as you will. Climate Change is already occurring and the primary cause is our accelerating use of fossil fuels. If you ain’t rich your progeny will be standing in food rationing lines like the rest of the poor. That is if the rich and ultra-rich leave any to be rationed beyond that which they use to control their own workers. A tried and true method of totalitarians throughout history.

            Meanwhile I will leave notes to my progeny as to where I have hidden caches of LRRP rations. Since I am part of the infamous 47% my unearned entitlement fortune will not allow me to leave them much. But you are probably comfortable with that.

          • Sand_Cat

            Only you and your fellow idiots c an agree on anything of the kind.

          • Bodine666

            Fiji the only thing that everyone here can agree on is the fact that you are nothing but a troll. Probably a paid Republican troll.

            If Republican talking points were true, then why must they pay people to agree with them. I’ve often wondered what kind of person would take pay to present himself in a public forum as a complete idiot. If you are that desperate for money, then the best thing for you to do would be to help vote the Republicans out since they only represent the rich, and I know you’re not rich, because if you were, you would be somewhere taking care of business instead of spewing out nonsense on this website.

            If you’re not a Republican troll then you had better start supporting the Affordable, Care Act because you are seriously in need of meds.

            It seems the more Republicans are proven wrong, the more they double down on their idiotic beliefs. The base of the Republican Party, the greedy old white men, are dying off. The young people now reaching voting age are simply not going to fall for the stupidity that is the Republican Party. The more people like you double down on their ignorant talking points, the more you’re going to drive the young people away.

            So, on second thought, maybe I was mistaken. Paid Republican trolls do perform a service for the country. They show the true colors of the Republican Party. Much better than any Democrat ever could.

          • Fiji’s Best

            No one is actually disputing any of my points.

          • Allan Richardson

            The only scientists who consider climate change a “story” are the ones whose paychecks come from oil companies. Just like the scientists working for tobacco companies “could not find any evidence” that smoking causes illness..

          • Fiji’s Best

            The scientists who are employed in the private sector are certainly less politically motivated than those who depend upon government funding.

          • Saaby000

            Only if we agree that Gravity is also just a science fiction theory.

          • Fiji’s Best

            We experience gravity every day and we have the experiments to prove to model it and prove it.

            Notions of man-made global-warming can’t be tested by experiment. Instead, notions of man-made global warming rely upon mass-media propaganda.

            That’s not science – it’s fiction.

  • v98max

    Precipitously declining deficits are the cause of most American problems today. The unemployment rate is roughly triple the inflation rate. The real interest rate is approximately zero. Deficits should be increasing right now.

    • daniel bostdorf

      As long as the expenditures are a “peace based economy” ie putting Ameicans back to work….not a “war based economy” where the GOP military industrial complex steals tax payer dollars.

      • Allan Richardson

        It has been shown by economists that, barring a full scale shooting war on the order of WWII employing millions of extra military people (God forbid we would be that stupid, or that unfortunate), defense spending is the LEAST stimulating to the economy, because very expensive weapons are designed and built by relatively small crews of highly paid engineers and managers, and most of the revenue of defense companies goes to their owners. Infrastructure, on the other hand employs LOTS of medium to lower wage workers, so much more money is injected into the economy.

        • daniel bostdorf

          Fully and fundementally agree….The history of civilization has proven this too…

  • Bryan Blake

    What this poll clearly shows is how successful the abundantly financed right wind propaganda machine is. Besides, the constituency of the extreme right, and that is what the vast majority of the right is, has an unmitigated deficit to believe that night is day! I also agree with Linda Bloom’s comment below about Independents and I am both surprised and dismayed by their figures. If independents are falling for right wing propaganda then we what’s left of the Democratic Party must undertake an intense effort to break through that wall. Independents must once again lean to the center or center-left to stop the GOP in 2016.

    • daniel bostdorf

      Points well stated particularly how independents must lean to the progressive side. The manner of pointing out GOP propaganda is important. We cannot sink to the gutter of inflammatory rhetoric…..just state the facts and keep stating the facts. Even Gandhi knew that fighting in the gutter was counter-productive.

      • Bryan Blake

        Also exemplified by the life of Nelson Mandela, Dr. King and others here in our own country. I think three presidents are included in that list as well: Abraham Lincoln, Theodore Roosevelt and Franklin Roosevelt. They used the power of the presidency to enhance the lives of We The People more than any other presidents. Once again we need a president that will promote the interests of We The People over the special interests. I know of only two politicians on the national stage that are both capable and ready to rise to the most important challenge of our time and one the most important in our history. Both are Senators and one is a she and the other is a he. Make your choice. Either one would be an excellent one.

        • daniel bostdorf

          Keep your eye on the new senator, Angus King, from Maine too…Bernie from Vermont and Elizabeth from Massachusetts not withstanding :-)

          • Independent1

            My wife and I have lived under a number of governors and Angus King is far and away the best governor we’ve had the fortune to be the governor of our state when we first retired an moved to Maine in 2000. He was our governor for 2 years.

            Gov. King held 2 hour question and answer sessions every month on Maine Public Broadcasting in which he took and responded to questions emailed and phoned in; delegating follow up on issues he could not completly resolve during the program to his staff or sometimes himself for follow up. And he always spent the beginning of each following program recapping what had been accomplished on the questions which were unanswered in the previous month’s session. It was quite an experience to have a governor who was as open, candid, honest and forthcoming as Angus King. I would vote for him as president in a heartbeat.

          • daniel bostdorf

            Yep—has my vote….Angus visited my wife and I down in Virgin islands 8 years ago…we publish a hard copy magazine there (now online only) that we got printed in Maine and shipped to us….some restaurant friends in St. John who were advertisers served Maine lobster weekly…so–Angus—(who has a home on water island)–was vacationing on st john….his people heard about our lobster promotion and hooked us up with him while he was there for a promotional photo!

            What a great guy….drove him around st john and got to get a feel for his humanity….he’s one of us at heart…

          • Independent1

            Nice to hear!! And thanks for the pic!! He looks great with that lobster dinner!! If it came from Maine, they may have caught it in the waters out in front of our house or around our island. Our island hauls more lobster than any other seaport in America. A lobsterman was out front pulling pots even yesterday, the morning of New Years eve with the temperature around 10 degrees. I don’t know how these fellas can work out on the water in those cold temperatures.
            About 10 years back, the main state road to our island was in terrible shape but the state DOT didn’t have it on their repair list for another 3-5 years. So I wrote an email to Angus letting him know that the road had gotten to the point where it was an accident waiting to happen; and really shouldn’t be allowed to go unrepaired for another 3-5 years.
            Wouldn’t you know that when we got our island newspaper a couple weeks later, there was an item in it about Angus having been to the island to have lunch at one of our restaurants the previous week. A few days later I was contacted by the head of the DOT saying Angus had asked him to respond to my email ahd that he was to let me know that they had moved up repair on the state road and it would be reworked within the next 6-9 months.
            In the midst of all the other things he had to look after as governor, my wife and I are convinced that Angus took the time out of his busy schedule to drive here from Augusta, which is a 2 hour drive each way, just to see for himself if what I had explained in my email was true about how bad the state road had gotten.

            Again, thanks again for the photo! Have a great New Year!

    • Allan Richardson

      They not only refuse to believe in SCIENCE, they refuse to believe in BOOKKEEPING when it contradicts their dogma!

      • Bryan Blake

        Good point. Nor do they accept the fact that all of that “gubmint red ink” is the direct result of their own policies.

  • Mark Forsyth

    Tea mixed with KoolAid must taste terribly good as those on the right continue to drink it.One might wonder if even a poison label would make a difference.I guess that ignorance is truly bliss at least as it applies to the gop/t.

  • Bill Thompson

    Keep watching Fox news where you get to hear all the misleading information you want. Once again this comes back to the Democrats getting the facts out. Republicans are beating the Democrats to death, and the Democratic leadership stand by and does nothing. Gandhi may have been a peaceful man but at least he spoke, no lie Would go unchallenged.

    • daniel bostdorf

      Yes—Gandhi spoke, and it was from a peaceful righteous indignation perspective. Not a “thme” vs. “us” battle plan. Truth was mightier than the sword…Facts existed, not theory.

      Stattier has posted an important article about the relationship of GOP mindset towards believing in extreme “theories” rather than facts. This group mindset is dangerous because the premises of this collective thinking is based upon a series of false premises….which leads to false comclusions.

      This aritcle is about what Stattier stated:

      “But in 2013, after the Bush tax rates expired, Congress voted to end the
      tax breaks for those earning $400,000, along with slightly higher taxes
      on capital gains and inheritances. The resulting increase in revenue
      along with budget cuts and the fastest growing job market since 2005
      have resulted in a deficit that’s falling at nearly record rates…….Though climate change and evolution are theories that are accepted by the vast majority of scientists, they are still theories. The deficit, however, unquestionably exists. It was much larger the year before than it is now. Only 1 out of 10 Republicans is willing to accept this reality….. Before we start worrying about the right accepting scientific theories, let’s first try to get them to agree that facts exist.

      I see no mention by Stattier of inaction by Democrats.

      I see plenty of “Democratic leaders” on PBS, MSNBC, FOX, Bloomberg, and a dozen other media sites9bothe radio and tv) countering right wind GOP propaganda and Koch brother talking points..

      So–what do you think about this topics main point: Far More Republicans Believe In Climate Change And Evolution Than The Ever-Shrinking Deficit

  • howa4x

    The republicans live in a bubble of right wing media who have the intent of distorting, misquoting, and outright lying about facts. This is all done to make reality worse than it is, and make people believe the wheels are coming off the bus. If all you watch is FOX news or listen to Rush Limbaugh, Ann coulter, Mike Huckabee, Glenn Beck, Sara Palin, and read blogs like Red state, and the Drudge report, you will have a different view of reality than someone who watches PBS news hour, or CNN. This is all part of the GOP election machine. They are trying to make people afraid and from that show anger at democrats and progressives who they paint as the leaders of a multi colored horde that is coming to take away their guns, or interfere with you doctor relationship, and a myriad of other paranoid fantasies. This is why tea party representatives won’t even talk to democrats in their own chamber.
    If you are told 24/7 that a group is evil, descended from Satan, anti American, socialists, would you want to deal with them?
    This is the demonization of everyone that doesn’t agree wit you, and the right wing media attack machine pumps this out constantly. So how do you get people like this to understand facts?

    • Carl_in_California

      I used to worry about this too… but I don’t worry about this as much anymore. The truth is that the percentage of people who are suckered in by the right wing media outlets you mentioned is actually a relatively small percentage of the overall populace… Take solace in the words of Abraham Lincoln–”You can fool some of the people all of the time, and all of the people some of the time, but you can’t fool all of the people all of the time.” What I think those of us who are better informed and more thoughtful should focus on is the corrosive power of big money in our politics and in our media culture. That’s a much bigger worry…

      • howa4x

        I agree

  • Fiji’s Best

    Evolution is a story. A story of science fiction. It cannot be proved, it can only be speculated upon. Same for stories of man-made global-warming.

    Note to liberals: Science-fiction isn’t science.

    • ayungclas

      Your comment is satire, right Fiji? … ?

      • Fiji’s Best

        Science deals with the immediate circumstances surrounding physical events.

        Stories, conjecture, and speculation deal with events past and future. The more distant in time, the more conjecture.

        Man-made global warming is a story. Evolution is a story. Both of science fiction. One deals with the distant past, one deals with fortune-telling and sooth-saying re: fear-mongering about the future.

        • daniel bostdorf

          Yours is a theory not based in facts and the history of evolution. Please see the article I linked above. Appreciate your opinion and hope you will read a bit more about the difference between fact and theory. Known as “actual” vs “Potential of Aristotle’s discourses on logic.

          http://www.iep.utm.edu/aris-log/

          • Paul Bass

            Thanks for your link. I therefore won’t go into another rant with “Fiji”!

          • daniel bostdorf

            Keep up the great posts Paul!

    • Paul Bass

      Have you NEVER taken a science class? I’ll comment under my comment below…

      • Fiji’s Best

        The more I’ve studied chemistry, biology, and physics, the more skeptical of abiogenesis I’ve become.

        • Paul Bass

          That is a personal statement.

          Whether you believe that organic chemicals may evolve into simple cell organisms, or not, is not pertinent.

          BTW, most scientists that follow this idea, require a “spark” (i.e.lightening) for this to occur., plus usually anaerobic conditions.

          • Fiji’s Best

            It’s relevant in the since that there are no observed or repeatable instances of abiogenesis.

    • daniel bostdorf

      Read more here:
      http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Evolution_as_fact_and_theory
      quoting article:

      Many scientists and philosophers of science have described evolution as fact and theory, a phrase which was used as the title of an article by Stephen Jay Gould in 1981. He describes fact in science as meaning data, not absolute certainty but “confirmed to such a degree that it would be perverse to withhold provisional assent.” A scientific theory is a well-substantiated explanation of such facts. The facts of evolution come from observational evidence of current processes, from imperfections in organisms recording historical common descent, and from transitions in the fossil record. Theories of evolution provide a provisional explanation for these facts….

      Each of the words ‘evolution’, ‘fact’ and ‘theory’ has several meanings in different contexts. Evolution means change over time, as in stellar evolution.
      In biology it refers to observed changes in organisms, to their descent
      from a common ancestor, and at a technical level to a change in gene frequency over time; it can also refer to explanatory theories such as Darwin’s theory of natural selection which explain the mechanisms of evolution.

      Fact can mean to a scientist a repeatable observation that all can agree on;
      it can mean something that is so well established that nobody in a
      community disagrees with it; it can also refer to the truth or falsity
      of a proposition. To the public, theory can mean an opinion or
      conjecture (“it’s only a theory”), but in the scientific world it has a
      much stronger connotation of “well-substantiated explanation”. With this
      number of choices, people often end up talking past each other, and
      meanings become the subject of linguistic analysis.

      Evidence for evolution continues to be accumulated and tested. The
      scientific literature includes statements by evolutionary biologists and
      philosophers of science demonstrating some of the different
      perspectives on evolution as fact and theory.

      • Paul Bass

        Thanks for the post and link, Fiji seems to not understand science at all, I’ve been discussing this all morning.

        You have a wonderful New Year!

      • Fiji’s Best

        There are no repeatable observations associated with the story of evolution. Just as there are no repeatable observations associated with the story of man-made global warming.

        Science depends upon empirical evidence, not conjured narrative.

        • Sand_Cat

          So what are the “repeatable observations” of your story, besides your repeated refusal to accept facts?
          What are the “repeatable observations” underlying your obvious faith in an iron-age document?

    • Paul Bass

      Please send me your link to credible scientists “proving” (or heck, just giving me “POSSIBLE” speculation…) that either of these ideas, evolution or global warming,are false?

      Please don’t send any link to fox News….

      • Fiji’s Best

        I’m simply pointing out that science deals with the immediate circumstances surrounding discrete physical events.

        Similarly, non-observable, non-testable, non-repeatable, non-experimental events of the distant past and distant future are mostly conjecture, speculation, and conjured narrative.

        There’s no way to test them, there’s no way to experiment with them, and there’s no way to observe them.

        You’re confusing stories of science-fiction with legitimate science.

        • Paul Bass

          Sorry, that’s a copout, “Negatives can’t be proven”, check daniel’s post, giving actual links, I might point out,

          Just give me a credible scientist link to “creationism” or “intelligent design” or whatever nonsense you believe OTHER then evolution, and I will read it and decide if it is believable….

          • Fiji’s Best

            You’re still confusing non-repeatable, non-testable, non-observable stories with the repeatable, testable, observable study that characterizes legitimate science.

            While the stories of man-made global-warming and evolution are quasi-scientific, they are mostly conjecture, speculation, and conjured narrative.

            Science-fiction, in other words.

          • Paul Bass

            Still no links? Non-repeatable, non-testable, and non-observable, is just stupid. What about all of Carl Linnaeus’ plant studies, and George Washington Carver’s peanut studies? Those plants didn’t “change” (i.e. evolve)?

            Please google either of these great scientist, if you foolishly think evolution is “non-repeatable,non-testable, or non-observable, ”

            Gosh, if we can’t even agree on facts we are in trouble.

            Or as a former senator said, ” you are entitled to your own opinion, but not your own facts”

          • Paul Bass

            BTW, these scientist did their work BEFORE Darwin, yet still show the “evolution” (of course they didn’t use that word) /change of their plant species over time.

          • Fiji’s Best

            The basis of your claims about the dogma of evolution is George Washington Carver’s peanut studies?

            Seriously?

          • Paul Bass

            Seriously?

            He did his studies SEPARATE from Darwin, read Darwin and all the others AFTER him for evolution defense,

            I was pointing out Carver’s “proof” that plants change!

            you said “Non-repeatable, non-testable, and non-observable”,

            the plant studies show this statement false.

          • Fiji’s Best

            No one disputes the fact that living organisms change.

            Many people dispute the notion that DNA somehow magically congealed in a puddle.

          • Paul Bass

            Great, at least this means you’re not one of those world-was-created-9000 years-ago-on October-9th-at-9-am nuts!

            So your problem is with abiogenesis , not with the idea that one species may evolve into another?

            (I could bring up xenogenesis, which is the MOST likely cause of life on earth, but that would just bring up a UNIVERSE (pardon my pun) of problems!)

          • Fiji’s Best

            I don’t think most people take the book of Genesis literally.

            I’m simply pointing out that stories regarding the distant past and the future are mostly speculation, conjecture, and conjured narrative.

          • Carl_in_California

            Well said…

        • Carl_in_California

          Nope, seems to me that you’re confusing legitimate science with stories of science fiction…

    • omgamike

      It appears that the only thing ‘Fiji’ is best at is trolling. Now that you’ve played in our sandbox, please go home and play in your own. You obviously are not up to grownup discussions where intelligent thoughts are exchanged.

      • Fiji’s Best

        Well, Al Gore – for example – is a fortune-teller and media personality.

        That’s not science.

        • omgamike

          Al Gore is not a scientist. He’s like the public relations person for the environmental groups. And he’s a politician. But a lot of what he says is essentially telling all of us what the scientists have been saying — and that no one has been listening to. The bottom line is that we only have one planet to live on. We are destroying our own home, slowly at first, quicker now. And no one who is knowledgeable on the subject is going to point to this storm or that drought and say “see, it’s global warming”. But when you look at what is happening all over our country — the droughts, the more severe summers and winters, the more powerful tornadoes, the greater flooding, etc. — and also going on all over the globe — then you start putting together patterns on a global basis. Mankind is his own worst enemy. And it does no good to say that China and India are doing it, too. We aren’t responsible for either country, directly. We are responsible for what we do or don’t do in our own country. I personally think we have passed the tipping point, that we should be doing things to help deal with the problem that we helped to create. And I personally wouldn’t be looking to invest in any ocean front property — not any more, even if I could afford it.

          • Fiji’s Best

            Al Gore is a fortune-teller. And his fortunes told are bullsh*t.

            In a related 2007 video, media-personality Al Gore claims that the north polar ice cap will disappear by 2014: http://www.mrctv.org/videos/gore-earth-has-fever

          • Carl_in_California

            Odd that you seem to think that being a media-personality is some kind of pejorative… I think that most of the people who are putting forth the ideas of climate change denial and denial of evolution would also be considered “media personalities.”

          • Bryan Blake

            News flash: we now have satellites that send back photographs far superior to the daguerreotypes hanging on your wall. NASA has some nice photos take from space showing the dramatic melting of the poles – especially the North Pole. It is indisputable evidence that the pole is melting. It is science. It is fact.

            Never mind the right wind does not believe in fact nor science. I hope your reference to Fiji is not as your home. Because many of the islands of the South Pacific are already disappearing. Put that in your pipe and gurgle!

    • daniel bostdorf

      10 facts of Darwinian evolution young-earth creationists don’t want to understand :

      10. Beyond a shadow of doubt, human DNA and chimpanzee DNA are 98%
      identical. We diverged from the same common ancestor 5 million years
      ago. This isn’t idle speculation, it is a fact bound up in deductive
      logic. We are the modern descendants of ancient apes, just as modern
      apes are the descendants from that same ancestral tree but on a
      different branch to humans. Just as the VW Beetle is the ancestor of
      the Porsche Carrera GT, one does not cease to exist because of the
      emergence of the other. But where car designs are engineered and
      refined by man, life is shaped by genetic mutations, which over time,
      gives rise to entirely new species.

      9. The genetic evidence of natural selection is compelling enough
      proof of evolution without any evidence from fossils whatsoever. If
      Darwin had never lived, we would still have eventually discovered
      naturally occurring selection mechanisms in our DNA. If there were no
      fossils in the fossil record, whatsoever, the evidence of evolution in
      our genes would still be a fact. Genetics does not require the evidence
      from the fossil record in any way shape or form. Lateral gene transfer
      is a major mechanism in prokaryotic genome evolution. Gene theory and
      palaeontology are two completely separate areas of study that just so
      happen to support each other. Independently acquired, mutually
      corroborative evidence is the heart and soul of the theory of evolution.
      To disprove one, you must disprove the other, yet each set of
      evidences are intrinsically linked, while being independently
      ascertained.

      8. Evolution does not propose origins of life. Evolution does not
      seek to answer the question of how the first multicellular organisms
      appeared. It describes how they evolved once they formed, not how they
      formed in the first place. Abiogenesis is in no way related to
      Darwinian evolution. We do not know how the first multicellular life
      formed, but we know what it was made of and that these elements were
      abundant on the early Earth, after it formed 4.54 billion years ago*,
      and that these same elements are present throughout the universe today.
      The vast timescales involved aren’t easy to comprehend. But admitting
      you do not understand something, in science, is the only way to find
      out.

      read all of them them here:

      http://howgoodisthat.wordpress.com/2010/07/19/10-facts-of-darwinian-evolution-young-earth-creationists-dont-want-to-understand/

      • Paul Bass

        Thanks Daniel! Especially #8, that abiogenesis is not related to evolution. Keep up the posts!

    • ralphkr

      Very true, Fiji, that Evolution is a theory but equally true is the FACT that Creationism is a Fantasy based story.

    • Carl_in_California

      Note to Fiji’s Best: Fictional facts aren’t facts…

  • moelarryandjesus

    GOP brains continue to shrink faster than the deficit.

  • elw

    Well we all know the Republicans have “fussy’ math skills and live in an alternative universe. As far as the Media goes, it should be pointed out that “journalism” and ‘the media” do not cross paths. If you build you philosophies on what you hear from “the media” you just get another Republican.

    • Paul Bass

      I agree, though would use Fuzzy, “fussy” means they work at it and might be good at math, which many are not. Thanks for your post!

  • M Kercher

    “A new Pew Research poll is getting a lot of attention because it shows
    the share of Republicans who believe in evolution has declined 11
    percent since 2009″
    While this is nearly unimaginable, that the percentage of stupid people is actually growing in this day and age of so much good science, I think there may be a better explanation. That being because the number of people who define themselves as Republican is actually declining. I believe it is a fact that with so much extreme right wing insane rhetoric, never substantiated yet forever defended conspiracy theories, non stop support and defense for the rights and entitlements of the super rich with obvious willingness to throw everyone else under the rug,unremitting intolerance for women’s rights, the poor, the indigent, minorities, and absolute refusal to accept proven science, reasonable thinking republicans have finally had enough and are finally turning their backs on the current day insanity of the Republican party. The only ones remaining are those who get all their news from Fox News or believe every insane thought that Rush Limbaugh regurgitates.

    • Independent1

      Sure makes sense to me that it would be the smarter Republicans, those who would believe in evolution, that would would no longer be calling themselves Republicans, because they wouldn’t want people to lump them in with all those crazies like Cruz, Santorem, Paul, Limbaugh, Beck and on and on. With all the smarter Republicans jumping ship before the party sinks like the Titanic, the number of idiots remaining who refuse to believe in evolution would be going up meaning the percent of those who believe in evolution would be going down; as the recent polls have shown.

  • Magnus Thunderson

    Ignorance is our greatest enemy

  • JD Mulvey

    I’m not sure that the increasing proportion of factually-challenged Republicans is a function of them getting dumber. It could instead be a function of the large number of relatively sane people leaving the party.

    • Carl_in_California

      Anecdotally, several people I know have become disillusioned with the Republican party and now call themselves Independents… Interestingly enough, over the past 8-9 years, when I engage them on specific issues like Education, Economic Policy, Civil Liberties they often “discover” (to their surprise) that they are in agreement with democratic party positions… This has happened repeatedly since 2005… You may be onto something!

      • JD Mulvey

        Personally, I don’t care what people call themselves as long as they vote for progressive candidates on election day.

        I think there’s a certain satisfaction that people get when they say “I’m an independent” –as if they’re now absolved of any responsibility for the state of our political system.

        Disgust for the Democrats has been common on the left for a long time, whereas on the right, Republicans have always had a perverse sort of pride in being Republicans. Does it seem like that’s changing?

        • angelsinca

          I am an independent that has voted republican for over forty years.

          Recently, I’ve considered a change in direction. So, I have spent a lot of time on liberal/progressive blogs to get a feel for the people that make up the non-GOP contingent.

          I have found a lot of thoughtful liberals with bright minds, but nearly every comment is an indictment toward the supposed stupidity, apathy and greed of the republican. These stereotyping portrayals make me feel uneasy. I see the free use of insult and mockery and character assault directed mostly at ‘them’ in the GOP. Guests are treated with caution, if not disdain I don’t see that in conservative crowds.

          I like when people hold respect for others, regardless of party, social status or income level.

          My votes will probably remain where friendliness, politeness, and doing the right thing take precedence over winning. But, my mind remains open to help select a presidential candidate that is best for the nation. I want a leader that will guide the nation out of its current dilemmas, without the trickery or clever partisan maneuvering. The governor from Maine seems worth studying further. thanks.

  • Kurt CPI

    I think here are many factors at play on both sides. Many people incorrectly equate the terms “Federal Deficit” and “National Debt” (more than you might think – just ask them to explain the difference). The poll needs to include safeguards to ensure that respondents are actually answering the question being asked. That,combined with partisan tendencies to believe whatever rhetoric is being spewed (by either party) probably skews the poll significantly. The deficit has shrunk, but the debt is still increasing at an alarming rate. Still, let’s give the Obama administration their due credit – deficit reduction is the first step toward a balanced budget and, ultimately, debt reduction. And no Republican administration in modern history can claim deficit reduction as a result of policy.

  • stichmo

    The problem is the failure of the media to report the fiscal year results. After having a major fiscal fight in October involving a partial government shutdown, the results for fiscal year (FY) 2013 (year ending September 30, 2013) were reported late afternoon on October 30, 2013.

    When I Google fiscal year 2013 deficit I can find stories in the Washington Post, NY Times, CNN Money, Washington Times, and wire stories by Reuters and Bloomberg News. Here in Chicago neither the Tribune nor the Sun Times published even a wire service story. Two days later the Chicago Tribune published an editorial that indicated that the CHICAGO TRIBUNE EDITORIAL WRITERS WERE NOT AWARE THAT ACTUAL RESULTS WERE AVAILABLE. When I polled my friends, none have seen the actual FY 2013 deficit results either in print or reported on TV.

    If you want to see the actual budget numbers for FY’s 2008-2013, you can find them here: http://www.cbo.gov/publication/44716.

    In its last forecast in May 2013 the CBO projected that the deficit would continue to decline, to $560 billion in FY 2014 and $378 billion in FY 2015. http://www.cbo.gov/sites/default/files/cbofiles/attachments/Table_1-revised_GDP_projections.pdf

    These projections were based on discretionary spending that was over $150 billion higher than the amounts approved in last month’s budget deal, so I expect the CBO’s January 2014 projections will be even lower.

    Don’t blame citizens for not knowing the numbers when the media can’t be bothered to report them.

scroll to top