If you recall, during the Bush administration there were a lot of crazy conspiracy theories emanating from the left. The government is tapping our phones and running secret Eastern European prisons, all to fatten the pockets of Halliburton.

If you recall, during the Bush administration there were a lot of crazy conspiracy theories emanating from the left. The government is tapping our phones and running secret Eastern European prisons, all to fatten the pockets of Halliburton.

Were those things true? Of course not!

Well, individually, yes, each item is technically true. Yes, our phones were tapped, there were secret prisons and Halliburton did receive a s---load of money. But when you put it all together in one sentence, it makes it sound slightly more dystopian than perhaps was warranted.

Now, we've got a different president, a clean slate, the left is in control and it's the right's turn to uncover evidence of the nefarious plots of powerfully privileged plutocrats.

But if ACORN's all they got, it's going to be smooth sailing for S.S. Left Wing around the isthmus of Core Issue Cove, right?

Well ...

"A hacker in England got hold of e-mails between leading scientists which skeptics say show a clear effort to raise fears about global warming and hide evidence against it," reported CNN on Nov. 25.

Poor Al Gore! Global warming completely debunked via the very internet you invented. Oh, the irony.

Actually, the real story isn't quite that sensational. Basically, e-mails stolen from scientists at one of the leading science centers for global warming show them discussing their work a bit - how do I put this? - casually.

"The fact is, we can't account for the lack of warming at the moment and it is a travesty that we can't," read climate scientist Kevin Trenberth's e-mail. "I've just completed Mike's nature trick of adding in the real temps to each series for the last 20 years (i.e. from 1981 onwards) and from 1961 for Keith's to hide the decline."

Ha, see, it's nothing. He was just using a trick to hide the decline. It's just scientist speak for using a standard statistical technique recalibrating data in order to trick you into not knowing about the decline.

But here's what is great about science: In disagreement we go back and look at the raw data.

"University scientists say raw data from the 1980s was thrown out," reported Fox News.

Why would you throw out raw data from the '80s? I still have Penthouses from the '70s!

What did they keep? Something called "value-added data." What is that, numbers fortified with art?

It doesn't look good, but it doesn't disprove global warming. It does put a fresh set of Energizers in the Senate's resident Denier Bunny, James Inhofe, R-Oklahoma.

"This whole idea on the global warming," said Inhofe, "I'm glad that's over, gone, done. We won. You lost. Get a life."

We knew Inhofe was going to say that - he thinks global warming is debunked every time he drinks a slushy and gets a brain freeze. But by the way, that quote was from before he found out about the leaked e-mail story.

But that's the point. If you care about an issue and want to make it your life's work, don't cut corners.

It's disheartening for people inclined towards the scientific method, and its catnip for these guys who are going to end up celebrating tonight drunk, roaming the Arctic Circle trying to beat up polar bears, which are quickly disappearing because of rising oceans caused now, apparently, by God's tears.