Republican chair of House Science Committee peddles non-facts on climate change

When it comes to scientific matters, U.S. Rep. Lamar Smith, a Texas Republican, is not exactly the sharpest knife in the drawer. Not even close. So, of course, his party has made Smith chairman of the House Committee on Science, Space and Technology, which gives him a platform to spout nonsense on all kinds of issues about which he knows little or nothing. Consider, for example, a recent op-ed written by Smith and titled “The Climate Change Religion.” Most of the claims made in that piece don’t hold up to fact-checking by...

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What will Fox News do now with the Baltimore story? The answer seems predictable

Now that the local prosecutor is bringing criminal charges against six Baltimore police officers in connection with the alleged murder of Freddie Gray, a question arises: Where will the racists at Fox News go with the story now? I’ve already discerned a few hints this morning, and I think a full-blown strategy will emerge in the next few days, The prevaricators at Fox, especially the prime-time commentators, likely will advance the notion that the cops charged in the case have been framed to placate the “thugs” who’ve...

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Baltimore prosecutor says Freddie Gray was murdered; cops charged with crimes

The controversy in Baltimore took an explosive turn this morning when the local prosecutor said Freddie Gray’s death was a homicide. A variety of criminal charges have been brought against police officers involved in the case. HERE‘s the early news, and lots more will follow as the day goes on: The state’s attorney of Baltimore, in a unexpected announcement, said Friday that she had probable cause to file homicide, manslaughter and misconduct charges against the police officers in the death of Freddie Gray, who died after...

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Too many people don’t understand the meaning of scientific consensus

Let me stipulate at the outset here that I am not a scientist. Far from it. But I try my best to understand science, and I become frustrated by people who reject scientific consensus without a shred of good evidence — or any evidence, in some cases — simply because it runs counter to their political, cultural or religious beliefs. It’s that way with evolution and global warming. I know people who can’t bring themselves to embrace either concept — but also can’t offer scientific reasons for their dissent....

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Televangelist makes one big mistake in predicting that the world will end this year

It has come to my attention that televangelist John Hagee (above) is predicting that the world will end sometime this year — owing, I’m informed, to “four blood moons” or some such phenomenon that captures his imagination. I’m not going to tell you that Hagee’s sense of this matter is completely wacky. He might even be right. For all I know, the world might end before you have a chance to read this blog post. But Hagee is making the same mistake all famous doomsayers make: He’s going public with his...

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Will Obama’s approval ratings ever sink as low as those for recent Republican presidents?

Regular readers of this blog may have noticed that I keep fairly close tabs on President Obama’s approval ratings in the Gallup Daily Tracking poll, which is the best measure of such stuff. My purpose is to see which factors in the continuing flow of events are having positive or negative effects on Obama’s standing with the public at large. I checked again this afternoon to see if there’s been any effect from days of civil unrest in Baltimore. The short answer, at least for now, is that there has been no negative impact. In...

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