Bruner: ‘We’re About to Win That (Global Warming) Battle’

No matter how wrong she is on a host of issues, Texas State Board of Education candidate Mary Lou Bruner probably thinks she really would help Texas children get the best education possible and go on to succeed in life.

Here’s the problem: She cares more about pushing her own bizarre political agenda.

She’s a partisan ideologue. Here’s the even bigger problem: She’ll read something, or is told something by some random dude, and — if it fits her political agenda — she’ll run with it, no other fact-checking necessary. That trait was on display earlier this month when she told a group that teacher shortages were such a big problem, that the Lufkin Independent School District had started the current school year with a shortage of 91 qualified teachers that was being filled with full-time substitute teachers. The Lufkin ISD superintendent, who happened to be in the room and would know these things, assured Bruner that the district had a full slate of qualified teachers. Bruner countered that she knew the district was short 91 teachers when the school year started because some random dude living in Lufkin ISD told her that was the case.

That brings… Read More

Texas Sen. Van Taylor: Making Things Up

Visiting the Twitter feed of Texas state Sen. Van Taylor, R-Plano, is an adventure in conspiracy land. His feed is full of hair-on-fire posts about topics like "liberal fascism," Obamacare, the supposed "fast and furious" gun scandal and Hillary Clinton's emails. Now he's going after the Obama administration for, supposedly, wanting to prosecute people for disagreeing with him about climate change: Read More

The right’s contempt for facts is especially evident when it comes to issues like climate change and evolution. Here’s some of the science denialism we heard from the right on in 2015. (Click here for previous posts on what we heard from the right in 2015.)

“I’m going to punt on that one as well. That’s a question a politician shouldn’t be involved in one way or another. I love the evolution of trade in Wisconsin.”

– Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker, responding to questions about his thoughts on evolution during his failed campaign for the Republican presidential nomination.

“No, it hasn’t changed my mind. We all have the same evidence, and it’s just a matter of how you interpret it. There’s no dates stamped on these things.”

– Canadian Edgar Nernberg, who serves on the board of a creationist museum that promotes the idea that Earth is only about 6,000 years old, explaining his personal discovery of 60-million-year-old fish fossil.

“Humans, horses, and other animals do not use similar facial muscles and communicative expressions because of shared ancestry, but they do share a common Designer and so we would expect to see similarities in living things — and… Read More

Sort of. From Associated Press:

Alabama is updating its decade-old science standards to require that students understand evolution and learn about climate change, topics that can still be controversial in the Bible Belt state.

Educators say the new rules — part of a major change that includes more experimentation and hands-on instruction and less lecturing — don’t require that students believe in evolution or accept the idea that climate is changing globally.

But public school students will be required for the first time to understand the theory of evolution. And teachers will be required to address climate change, which wasn’t a focus the last time the state set science standards in 2005.

Unfortunately, Alabama still requires textbooks to cast doubt on evolution. From the same story:

Textbooks used in Alabama science classes have carried a disclaimer sticker for years stating that evolution is a “controversial theory,” not fact, and the new course of study doesn’t change the warnings, which were advocated by Christian conservatives.

Back in 2009, the State Board of Education in Texas approved new curriculum standards that creationists hoped would force publishers to include discredited arguments attacking evolution in their new textbooks. But the Texas Freedom… Read More

On his Monday WallBuilders Live! radio program, phony historian and religious-right propagandist David Barton decided to lecture Pope Francis about the advice he gets. Yeah, seriously.

Barton and his sidekick Rick Green invited anti-climate science crank William Briggs on their show to criticize Pope Francis for his June encyclical calling climate change a “principal challenge” for humanity. International leaders and climate scientists have praised the encyclical. Right-wing pressure groups and political activists hated it. (Natch.)

So it wasn’t really surprising to hear Barton, Green and Briggs denounce the pope’s encyclical. But it was a little startling to hear them attack the pontiff for listening to people they described as atheists, abortion supporters and “global warming fanatics.” Barton even conflated political positions on issues like free market economics and climate science with being pro- or anti-God.

Here is Barton talking to Green in one segment of the show:

Barton: “The pope has done some really good things since he’s become pope. But it’s now coming out that some of the counsel he is given, some of the advice he is given, some of the encyclicals that are coming out, are being drafted by people who are his counselors who happen to be atheists, who also happen… Read More

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