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Monday, January 30, 2012

Tammy doesn't have time to do her job?


Strict right-wing ideology might appeal to those who have trouble grasping the complexity of the world

Low IQ & Conservative Beliefs Linked to Prejudice
Stephanie Pappas, 26 January 2012

There's no gentle way to put it: People who give in to racism and prejudice may simply be dumb, according to a new study that is bound to stir public controversy.

The research finds that children with low intelligence are more likely to hold prejudiced attitudes as adults. These findings point to a vicious cycle, according to lead researcher Gordon Hodson, a psychologist at Brock University in Ontario. Low-intelligence adults tend to gravitate toward socially conservative ideologies, the study found. Those ideologies, in turn, stress hierarchy and resistance to change, attitudes that can contribute to prejudice, Hodson wrote in an email to LiveScience.

"Prejudice is extremely complex and multifaceted, making it critical that any factors contributing to bias are uncovered and understood," he said.



Romney-- talented at disconnecting with people

Jason Stanford, Jan 30, 2012

These debates have turned the Republican presidential primary into a reality show. If the 2008 Democratic primary was The Amazing Race that followed compelling characters coast to coast, then the 2012 GOP primary is The Biggest Loser. Pity those poor Republicans. Mitt Romney will probably still be the nominee, but the longer the primary drags on, the less people like him.

The terror that Republican insiders feel at being left with Mitt Romney, Newt Gingrich, Rick Santorum, and Ron Paul as their finalists was evident after the State of the Union. No sooner had Indiana Gov. Mitch Daniels given the Republican response than the Twittersphere exploded with fantasies of drafting Daniels for president. So deep is Republican dissatisfaction that they were willing to ignore the fact that Daniels stands 5'5" and was the Director of the U.S. Office of Management and Budget under George W. Bush. If the solution to what ails Republicans is W’s Mini-Me, their problems are worse than we thought.

Recently Romney saw his ratings among independent voters drop 23 points in one week. The reason that swing voters have abandoned Romney isn’t that he has to lurch to the right to appeal to the “teavangelicals” who dominate the Republican Party. The problem with Mitt is that he’s a bit of a jerk, for Pete’s sake.

Romney is the game show contestant who looks likable but who can’t shut up long enough for you to actually like him. Lieutenant Commander Data of Star Trek: The Next Generation related to humans better than Mitt Romney does, and he was an android. It continues to surprise me that someone perceived as willing to say anything to anyone ends up saying the wrong thing so often. By his own admission, he thinks corporations are people, he likes firing people, and he considers the $374,000 he earned giving speeches “not very much.” Romney has said so many things that will help re-elect the President that his mouth should be declared an Obama Super PAC.


Mitt Romney’s problems have nothing to do with the fact that he makes $20 million a year and can’t hit a curveball. Romney says that Obama wants to turn America into an entitlement society while he wants to turn us into an opportunity society. Actually, Obama thinks all Americans should be entitled to the same opportunities. Romney thinks the way for us all to achieve the American Dream is to allow him to keep more of his money, and not even all of his supporters agree with his position that the government should tax work more than wealth.

If Mitt Romney’s got problems, the Republican establishment doesn’t think Newt Gingrich is a solution. Before too long, Romney should have the nomination locked up, at which time his handlers can deal with the real problem facing the campaign: the candidate.

It’s time to reboot the Mittbot.

You just can't make this stuff up....

From -


We won't discuss the versatilty of only "loud" and only "high energy".  Wonderful music with your dinner.

Actual political polarization has remained steady since the 1970s

Americans' Political Views Not So Far Apart
By Stephanie Pappas. January 29, 2012

SAN DIEGO — In an election year, it's hard to turn on the television or read a newspaper without getting the sense that Americans are becoming ever more divided into red versus blue. But a new study finds that perception may be downright wrong.
In fact, political polarization among the public has barely budged at all over the past 40 years, according to research presented here on Jan. 27 at the annual meeting of the Society for Personality and Social Psychology. But, crucially, people vastly overestimate how polarized the American public is — a tendency toward exaggeration that is especially strong in the most extreme Democrats and Republicans. (The results do not apply to Congress, politicians or media pundits, but rather to the general public.)
"Strongly identified Republicans or Democrats perceive and exaggerate polarization more than weakly identified Republicans or Democrats or political independents," said study researcher John Chambers, a professor of psychology at the University of Florida.
The people who see the world split into two opposing factions are also most likely to vote and become politically active, Chambers said in a talk at the meeting. This means that while real growingpolarization is illusory, the perception of polarization could drive the political process.
Growing divide?
Inspired by polling data showing that two-thirds of Americans believe the United States is becoming more politically polarized, with the gap between the political parties widening, Chambers and his colleagues looked at nationally representative data stretching from 1970 to 2004. More than 43,000 respondents over the years have participated in the large-scale American National Election Survey, though not all answered all questions. So the researchers had between 4,000 and 26,000 individuals to work with on various questions. 
The respondents indicated their political beliefs by answering questions on their opinions on a wild variety of issues, from government-provided health care to defense spending to women's equality. They also reported how they believe a "typical" Republican and Democrat would feel about these same issues.
"Using these two measures, we were able to look at actual and perceived differences in polarization," Chambers said.
They found that actual polarization has remained steady since the 1970s. The historical responses also showed that people have always overestimated polarization. Even decades ago, in times now remembered as cooperative and cordial, people pegged political disagreements as much more vast than they really were. [Life's Extremes: Democrat vs. Republican]
When the researchers broke down the respondents by political positions, they found that not everyone judges polarization in the same way. Everyone overestimates it, but political independents are much closer to the mark than strong Republicans or strong Democrats, who tend to see the gulf between themselves and the other party as impossibly wide. Moderate Republicans and moderate Democrats were in-between, perceiving more polarization than independents but less than the extreme ends of the parties.
Projecting polarization
In a separate study also presented here, University of Colorado, Boulder, psychology professor Leaf Van Boven looked at why people at the political extremes might overestimate polarization. The answer seems to be that they project their own strong, emotional thought processes onto others, Van Boven and his colleagues concluded. In their study, they presented students with a fictional policy that would try to lure out-of-state students to campus with preferential treatment, including first pick of classes and dorms.
Unsurprisingly, this fake proposal yielded polarized views. "This proposal is bulls---!" one student wrote. Another indicated support, adding, "I am biased, because I am out of state, and I want the sweet hookups."
When the researchers asked students to indicate how they though other students felt about the proposal, those who themselves opposed or supported it most strongly assumed that others would also feel strongly, in support or opposition.
When asked how they came to their conclusions about the proposal and how they believed others came to their conclusions, the students gave themselves credit for more fairness and less self-interest than they did others. But they also assumed that everyone gave equal weight to emotion and extensive thought.
"If someone has a strong moral reaction and says 'This is a moral issue', they may reasonably think that others, both on their side and other side, will think in the same way," Van Boven explained.
While political elites, such as political operatives, Congress and media pundits, are "another story," according to Chambers, the results of the polarization studies provide "reason for optimism and hope," he said.
"Although we tend to see the world as divided between blue and red, in reality, the world has much greater shades of purple," Chambers said. "There is more common ground than we realize."


Sunday, January 29, 2012

Romney unable to land the biggest endorsement of all: Jeb Bush

A Florida Bush Stays Silent, and to Many, That Says a Lot
By Jeff Zeleny.  January 29, 2012

MIAMI — A steady stream of endorsements has been flowing to Mitt Romney, with his campaign promoting Republicans who are giving their blessing to his presidential candidacy. Yet on the eve of the Florida primary, he has been unable to land the biggest catch of all: Jeb Bush.

An unspoken question hovering over the Republican presidential race here is why Mr. Bush, the state’s popular former governor and heir to the nation’s aging political dynasty, has not added his voice to the party establishment’s support for Mr. Romney in his increasingly bitter duel with Newt Gingrich.

It has not been for a lack of effort by Mr. Romney, who has made phone calls, traded e-mails and met privately to try to win over Mr. Bush. The campaign was poised to make him a national co-chairman, a role Mr. Bush would have shared with Gov. Chris Christie of New Jersey, but several Republicans familiar with the offer say it was declined. As the center of Republican politics has once again returned to Florida, with Mr. Romney and Mr. Gingrich making final appeals to voters across the state on Sunday, Mr. Bush has been noticeably — and, several friends say, purposefully — absent from the conversation.

“If Dad got behind him, that would help shut the door,” Jeb Bush Jr., his youngest son, said in an interview, referring to Mr. Romney. “But that’s just not his style.”

Mr. Bush has made clear in television interviews and in conversations with friends that he is troubled by the sharpening tenor of the race, particularly on immigration. He voiced his concern directly to Mr. Romney, two people close to him said, urging him to moderate his oratory and views to avoid a collapse of support among Hispanic voters in the general election.

In his conversations about an endorsement, Mr. Bush also conveyed to Mr. Romney and his allies that his double-digit defeat in the South Carolina primary did not warrant an endorsement and he needed to “earn” it. Yet if weekend polls showing Mr. Romney with a double-digit lead offer an accurate picture of the race, an endorsement from Mr. Bush may be unnecessary.

The level of effort and intensity by the Romney campaign to court Mr. Bush suggests that his seal of approval was highly coveted not only for the Florida primary, but also in the quest to galvanize the party behind him to help swiftly lock down the Republican nomination. Mr. Romney also sought his aid trying to secure the support of Senator Marco Rubio of Florida, who also has declined to endorse.

“Of course, everyone wants him to endorse,” said John D. Rood, a finance chairman for Mr. Romney in Florida, who was also ambassador to the Bahamas under President George W. Bush. “But I think Jeb looks at his endorsement as one where he wants the people of Florida to study the issues, work hard and make an educated decision.”

A series of false reports last weekend suggested that Mr. Bush was on the verge of endorsing Mr. Romney. The rumors, which some aides to Mr. Romney were initially promoting, agitated Mr. Bush, who was in China at the time and unable to quickly respond.

For the last year, as Republicans have pined for a wider field of presidential candidates, Mr. Bush’s name has topped the wish list. His low-key posture in the race has done little to cool speculation about the aspirations of Mr. Bush, 58, son of one president and brother of another.

If he is thinking of ever running for president himself — as many of his friends believe that he is — he also could have concluded that it was not in his interest to get involved and agitate conservatives in his party by going against Mr. Gingrich. He has often chosen not to become embroiled in primary races here in Florida, where he spends his time advocating an overhaul of the nation’s education system.

But his silence in the fight between Mr. Romney and Mr. Gingrich has been noticed by Republicans here. As the two candidates made appearances on Friday before Mr. Bush’s Hispanic Leadership Network, Mr. Bush was not in the audience. He turned up later that day in Washington for a private Oval Office meeting with his father and President Obama.

Former President George Bush has endorsed Mr. Romney. Former President George W. Bush has told friends he is following the race but has no plans to become involved. All three Bushes were at the Alfalfa Club dinner in Washington on Saturday night, when Mr. Obama joked that many people hoped Jeb Bush would run for president.

“I am not one of them,” Mr. Obama declared at the private dinner, one attendee said.

The Republican presidential campaign in Florida, which has erupted into a confrontation between the party’s establishment supporting Mr. Romney and conservative grass-roots activists backing Mr. Gingrich, is also infused with a subtext about Mr. Bush. At campaign rallies last week, when asked whom they planned to support, several voters said that they wished Mr. Bush were a candidate.

They are not alone.

When Laura Bush, the former first lady, visited Sarasota this month, she told an audience that Jeb Bush would make a “wonderful” president and that she and her husband wished he had declared his candidacy. “We wanted him to this time,” she said, according to an account in a local newspaper.

For his part, Jeb Bush has played down the likelihood of a presidential run. Some friends have suggested that a vice presidential candidacy would be his best path to the White House, given the resistance that may remain in the electorate after his brother’s presidency.

“Never say never,” Mr. Bush said in an interview with CNN, responding to a question about a future presidential bid. “But in all honesty, this was probably the right time for me, in terms of my age and just the opportunity that existed, but there are personal and family reasons that made that impossible.”

And even as establishment Republican began rallying behind Mr. Romney, Mr. Bush declined to tip his hand.

“I’ve already voted, I voted absentee,” he said in the television interview. “And thank God it’s a secret ballot.”

Shame on RNC Chairman Priebus!

Op-Ed: Desperate GOP leaving no lie untold to attack Obama
By William Schmalfeldt, Jan 29, 2012

When you hear the chairman of a major political party comparing the President of the United States to a ship captain who abandoned his ship and left 16 people to die, you know you are dealing with people who will do anything, say anything, to win.
On the CBS News program "Face the Nation," Republican National Committee Chairman Reince Priebus compared President Obama to Francesco Schettino, the Italian cruise ship captain who took off in a lifeboat after his ship ran aground at Isola del Giglio, Tuscany and is suspected of multiple counts of manslaughter.
Speaking about the brutal Republican presidential primary, Priebus told Bob Schieffer::
“In a few months, this is all going to be ancient history, and we are going to talk about our own little Captain Schettino, which is President Obama who is abandoning the ship here in the United States and is more interested in campaigning than doing his job as president.”
Shall we count the number of things that are wrong about that statement?
1. President Obama is doing his job. The economy is getting better. His approval numbers are on the upswing. The "right track/wrong track" numbers are starting to turn around. Since Congress refuses to act to do anything but obstruct, the President is using the same executive powers granted to his 43 predecessors to ensure that people get the help they need to make it through rough times.
2. President Obama is campaigning because he is running for re-election. He is doing the same thing every president does after making a State of the Union speech, and that's go around the country, making speeches, connecting with people, driving home his plans for improving the national situation.
3. While former Massachusetts Governor Mitt Romney and former Speaker of the House Newt Gingrich are using whips with hooks at the end of each lash to flay chunks of flesh from each others' bodies, President Obama continues to display the cool, unflappable leadership this nation needs at a time of crisis.
4. 16 people were killed when the Italian ship captain ran his ship aground and fled. The only people we know for sure that are dead because of Obama are Osama bin Laden, several other Al Qaeda leaders and a bunch of Somali pirates.
So let Reince Priebus tell his little lies. He's preaching to the choir of stupid people who believe what they're told by the yapping morons of talk radio.
Intelligent Americans can look at the choice they will face later this year... the steady, cool leadership of Barack Obama, or a man who will say whatever the pollsters tell him is the right thing to say at the moment although he may say something entirely different tomorrow, or a man who wants you to believe his serial adulteries are a testament to the strength of leadership he offers.
Reince Preiebus knows the hard core right wing of his party will decide who gets the nomination. But just how stupid does he think the rest of us are?


Saturday, January 28, 2012

Awww, Palin strains to inject herself into the 2012 Republican primary

Sarah Palin Calls Criticism Of Newt Gingrich 'Stalin-Esque'
First Posted: 01/29/2012 1:38 am; Updated: 01/29/2012 1:52 am

Former Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin, straining to inject herself into the 2012 Republican primary, accused Newt Gingrich's critics of imitating the former communist dictator of the Soviet Union, Joseph Stalin.
Palin, in a post on her Facebook page that was emailed to reporters by an aide, defended Gingrich against those who said this week that he criticized Ronald Reagan, siding decisively with Gingrich against Romney in the debate this week over who was a Reagan supporter.
"Newt actually came at Reagan’s administration 'from the right' to remind Americans that freer markets and tougher national defense would win our future," Palin wrote, seeking to explain comments by Gingrich in the 1980s that were critical of Reagan's foreign policy, particularly his approach to the Soviet Union.
Gingrich's comments were highlighted in a much-cited article by Elliott Abrams, an assistant secretary of state under Reagan, in the National Review. Gingrich was also hit with critical columns from a number of other conservatives.
Palin took issue with the way Gingrich's relationship with Reagan was characterized.
"This week a few handpicked and selectively edited comments which Newt made during his 40-year career were used to claim that Newt was somehow anti-Reagan and isn’t conservative enough to go against the accepted moderate in the primary race," she wrote. "What we saw with this ridiculous opposition dump on Newt was nothing short of Stalin-esque rewriting of history. It was Alinsky tactics at their worst."
Palin said the episode illustrated a larger dynamic of "the GOP establishment vs. the Tea Party grassroots and independent Americans who are sick of the politics of personal destruction used now by both parties’ operatives with a complicit media egging it on."