Monday, September 5, 2011


The Weekly Sift has moved. Check our our new digs at

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) andOne 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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