From the weekend

We covered a little less ground that usual over the weekend, due in large part to Hurricane Irene and the relative scarcity of political news. Here’s a quick overview of what you may have missed:

On Sunday, we talked about:

* Republican presidential candidate Ron Paul doubles down, rejects the very idea of FEMA’s existence.

* To put it mildly, al Qaeda has been on quite a losing streak recently. Over the weekend, the terrorist network’s second in command was killed in a U.S. attack.

* Will Congress shut down the government at the end of September? At this point, the odds are against it.

* International Monetary Fund Chief Christine Lagarde wants policymakers on both sides of the Atlantic to follow a familiar path: address long-term fiscal issues while at the same time, focusing on job creation and economic growth in the short term. In the U.S., she also stressed the importance of aggressive efforts to improve the housing market, assisting underwater homeowners. That’s good advice.

* Some on the right aren’t responding well to the hazardous weather conditions. Fox News ran a piece calling for the elimination of the National Hurricane Center and National Weather Service, while Glenn Beck called Hurricane Irene a divine “blessing.”

And on Saturday, we talked about:

* Would congressional Republicans really refuse to approve emergency disaster aid in the wake of a hurricane? At this point, it appears GOP leaders don’t want to prove relief unless Democrats meet the Republicans’ terms (i.e., comparable spending cuts).

* In “This Week in God,” we covered, among other things, a detailed look at the organized anti-Muslim campaign in the U.S., driven by several conservative foundations and their well-funded “experts.”

* Rick Santorum rejects the idea that he and his party are “anti-science.” He simply prefers to reject scientific evidence because it conflicts with his interpretation of the supernatural. And what’s anti-science about that?