That Democrats and Republicans think differently is rather obvious to most.
But these opposing political supporters even think from different parts of the brain, a recent study found.
According to the recent (and appropriately titled) “Red Brain, Blue Brain
” report, Democrats have higher activity in the left insula – the part of the brain that processes internal cues and emotions – when facing risks.
When Republicans think about risk, however, they have much higher activity in the right amygdale, the region of the brain associated with fear and exterior cues. As a result, these conservative-leaning voters “show greater sensitivity to threatening stimuli,” the report concludes in its summary.
In other words, Democrats tend to think through challenging circumstances before responding, while Republicans are more prone to react impulsively and emotionally to outside influences.
The “Red Brain, Blue Brain” study was conducted by professors of medicine, psychology, psychiatry, biology and (of course) political science, and was released by the Public Library of Science
on Feb. 13.
Eighty-two subjects who identified their political preferences participated in the research, which included MRI tests conducted as they participated in risk-taking mental exercises and games. Researchers confirmed subject party identification by voting records.
Although the study was just released, similar ones have circulated in recent years, and it seems the Republican Party has kept up with the topic, too.
For example, a 2008 study published in Science
noted that conservatives have much quicker and stronger physiological reactions to sudden noises and alarming photos than do liberal Democrats, and establishes connotation between Republicans’ knee-jerk responses and their political beliefs of increased military spending and capital punishment.
Republican campaign platforms and political ads used that year and in following have been laden with such tactics, too. For example (and see slide show for images at the bottom of this page):
- The McCain campaign was often criticized for using “fear factors,” such as calling opponent Obama a “terrorist” and implying racial division in 2008.
- Hoping to build support for offshore drilling, the GOP falsely claimed that China was drilling immediately off the coast of Cuba, threatening U.S. oil supplies.
- Arguments against the Affordable Care Act from 2009 and 2010 told of “death panels.”
- Both Republican candidates and the National Rifle Association continue false claims that “Obama will take away your guns.”
- The “Obama is a Muslim” tactic has been continuously promoted, and at times in support of the juvenile “birth certificate” argument.
- In March 2010, an internal party presentation that was leaked to media showed how the Republican National Committee intended to promote the term “socialism” as a fear-inducing tactic in voter outreach and fundraising.
- Voters saw that fraudulent “socialism” tactic regularly used in 2012, too, and from Republican candidates for U.S. Senate and U.S. House, not to mention the presidential race.
- A tactic now known as “Medi-scare” – a false claim that the savings Obamacare produces for Medicare were actually cuts to its benefits, thus threatening the well-being of seniors – was widely used by many campaigns.
- And in last year’s elections, strongly religious voters were pelted with ads and other communications that frequently referred to “danger” and “threats” to “Judeo-Christian” values. Some were even told that a vote for President Obama was equivalent to “reject(ing) Jesus Christ” and would “put your own soul in jeopardy,” and were threatened with the claim that their votes would “be recorded in eternity.” (See video at bottom of this page)
Apparently, and as 2012 election results showed, the population of “blue brain” Americans seems to be dominant.
Another study associating political beliefs to specific operation of the brain was released recently, as well.
Last year, the Univ. of South Carolina released a neurological study of similar format
but focusing on different areas of the brain. Similar to the “Red Brain, Blue Brain” results, this study found members of the opposing parties to have higher activity rates in different cranial areas.
Democrats have more activity in the part of the brain connected with wider social connections, such as friends and issues that affect more people and are inclusive of other parts of the world, the USC study concludes; on the other hand, Republicans are dominantly active in the brain region associated with tight social connections, such as family and their own personal properties and interests.
(David Becker/Getty Images)
While he is still taking flak for a secret video
that got released last week (see below), there were many other notable quotes and deeds from Mitt Romney in that same period that shouldn’t be overlooked.
And that “47 percent
” line wasn’t the worst of them, either. Romney appeared on Univision
, a Hispanic U.S. television network, but only after his campaign team was allowed to fill the empty seats of the studio with Romney supporters
. And his faux pas (or “paso en falso”) wasn’t the tanned, Spanish skin tone
that some media thought to be his cosmetic attempt to look Latino.
Romney reportedly refused to enter the stage when called by the hosts (“threw a tantrum
,” according to one witness) because he didn’t like this traditional intro of the network. He forced the crew to start shooting all over again with his own favored introduction of last-minute planning. Speaking about his goal to repeal the Affordable Care Act
on Sunday’s 60 Minutes
, Romney suggested that folks without insurance could simply go to a hospital emergency room
when they needed medical care.
Not only is this practice partly responsible for the very high cost of medical care
in the U.S., and even for the high cost of medical insurance
for others, but it’s also the exact opposite of what Romney told voters in his last presidential campaign.
In a 2008 debate of Republican candidates, Romney said
“they shouldn’t be allowed to just show up at the hospital and say, somebody else should pay for me.” After long wait and uncountable requests, on Sept. 21 Romney
finally released his most recent tax return
. He could have taken an additional $1.75 million in deductions for charitable donations, too, he points out, but chose not to, thus increasing his tax burden.
But just weeks ago in July, Romney said he would never, ever pass up on a possible tax deduction; in fact, to do so would mean he shouldn’t get elected, he said
. “(F)rankly if I had paid more than are legally due, I don’t think I’d be qualified to become president.”
This release of his last tax return didn’t answer many questions, either, and instead just created new ones
. Lastly, Romney thinks the aircraft industry
has long overlooked one needed improvement – retractable windows!
Explaining how an onboard electrical mishap delayed his wife’s flight last Friday, Romney said
“you can’t find any oxygen from outside the aircraft to get in the aircraft, because the windows don’t open. I don’t know why they don’t do that. It’s a real problem.”
Of course, airplane windows don’t open for three main reasons: 1) there is a depreciation of oxygen at flight altitudes
, meaning passengers would pass out and quickly die, 2) the temperature is far below zero
at such elevations, and 3) passengers would be sucked out
of their pressurized cabins. (Add in all the litter from folks tossing out their empty peanut packs, and it’s even clearer.)
And this, folks, is just a one-week recap of the man who wants to be your president.
Munoz was also credited with earning Santorum the endorsement
of South Carolina’s former U.S. Congressman Gresham Barrett.
Romney’s campaign acknowledge
s that he “did a few ad hoc projects for us on a per diem basis,” but told Buzzfeed that Munoz was “never an employee of the campaign.”
Santorum’s campaign staff declined comment.
(Click on image to read entire article on The Daily Beast)
The first complainant alleges that incidents occurred in early 2010, when the then-cadet Munoz made multiple attempts to touch him in the groin. According to the report obtained by local CBS affiliate WCSC
, Munoz told the complainant “it was more okay for guys to be with guys sexually before marriage than to be with girls and that God would be less angry at the two guys messing around than a guy and a girl.”
The second complaint describes three incidents over four consecutive days in February 2011 while attending the Conservative Political Action Conference in Washington DC. The intensity of the assaults progressively increased, the complainant says, with the last one resulting with Munoz being thrown to the floor after physically approaching the complaint while he slept.
The Citadel provided statements
to students and to faculty and staff on Friday, reminding all of its compliance with relevant laws, as well as recommended methods that students can use to protect themselves from such circumstances.
At the recent Republican National Convention, congresswoman (and former presidential candidate) Michele Bachmann defended her former opponent against claims he was out-of-touch with the average American.
A USA Today reporter asked her, "(T)here are those who say, 'How can someone with that kind of vast wealth really connect with the American public, really understand what the plight of the American public is?'"
Bachmann's response? "Well, President Obama is extremely wealthy. He and his wife have been wealthy for a number of years, and so I think that's really the issue."
Go on - see it for yourself in the video below:
So, Bachmann says, Mitt Romney is the preferred candidate because Obama has too much money?
Of course, we could just compare their tax returns side-by-side, now couldn't we? (You can use the "view in full screen" options, located in the bottom-right corner of each of the Scribd columns below.)
ROMNEY'S 2011 TAX FILING
OBAMA'S 2011 TAX FILING
This just in for Michele Bachmann: $20,808,805 is greater than $844,585
. TWENTY FIVE TIMES greater, in fact.
And it's FOUR HUNDRED AND NINETY NINE
times more than the average American income of $41,673.83
Now, call me strange, but I can't help but notice that Romney got none of the $20.8 million from actual work. That's right - his multi-millions didn't come from any job. They came from interest on his other money. From stock dividends. And from rental properties, too.
So who is it exactly, Bachmann, that's out of touch with the average American household? Mitt Romney, that's who.
As for Bachmann herself? She's out of touch with reality.
Justin Sullivan/Getty Images
In South Carolina, it’s the senior citizen population that seems to have the most loyalty to the Republican Party.
They’ve been the saving grace for the GOP, too; even though seniors make up only 14 percent of the state population
, they represent over 21 percent of the registered voters
Just check the results from the last presidential election. In 2008, exit polls showed
voters ages 65 and older to give the highest percentage of votes to John McCain in comparison to other age groups – 66 percent, while 61 percent of 45-to-64 voters and only 45 percent of the collective younger groups did.
It was this very high margin from seniors, who made up 20 percent of all the voters that day, that allowed the Republican candidate to win the Palmetto State by an overall nine percent
Why, then, is the GOP alienating that same age group upon which it is most dependent for victory in South Carolina?
Yesterday, Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney added Paul Ryan to the ticket as his running mate. This same Wisconsin congressman is well-known for attacks upon seniors, too.
For example, in his recent national budget proposal
, Ryan’s promoted complete removal of Medicare, converting it to meager stipend payouts that seniors can use to buy restrictive private health insurance.
But 892,583 in South Carolina
– 19.6 percent of the state’s entire population – depend on Medicare. Eighty percent of them are senior citizens.
Ryan’s also promoted a privatization of Social Security
, sending to Wall Street the money an outstanding majority of seniors use as their primary source of income.
Bobbie Rose for 1st Cong. Dist.
But almost 1 million in South Carolina (924,726 in 2011
) receive Social Security, and two-thirds of those recipients are seniors. Moreover, over half of those seniors would be reduced to poverty without it; for one third of them, Social Security constitutes at least 90 percent of their total income.
“The Ryan Budget is a perfect example of how out-of-touch this party has become,” says
Bobbie Rose, Democratic candidate for the state’s 1st congressional district, citing those cuts as examples of such alienation.
Rose’s opponent Rep. Tim Scott voted in favor of Ryan’s budget proposal, and states strong support for these privatizations
Ryan has made it rather evident that he could care less about the opinions of those his budget will affect most, too. At a public event last year, a senior constituent informing him of the personal risks these cuts created. Ryan only made insulting jokes about him when the elderly gentleman was forcibly removed from the room by security.
The Ryan Budget will affect another distinct group of voters that are high in presence in South Carolina, Rose says. “It slashes programs that affect our veterans by over $11 billion, but the word ‘veteran’ never appears.”
Over 400,000 retired military veterans
reside in the state.
Romney’s running mate selection doesn’t appear to be based on Ryan’s congressional experience; instead, it seems Romney is shooting for Tea Party support as some last-minute salvation for his campaign.
As a recent Reuters report states
: “For Tea Party activists uninspired by Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney, the choice of fiscally conservative Congressman Paul Ryan as his vice presidential running mate might allow them to vote in November without holding their noses.”
But the Tea Party itself has been losing its one-time and very-brief respect from Americans. A recent Pew Research study found public opinion of the Tea Party to have declined to only 20 percent approval
in the United States, a sharp decline in only year.
It’s losing ground in South Carolina, too, especially in the Lowcountry part of the state. A recent poll done on behalf of the Rose campaign found only seven percent of active voters in the 1st Congressional District to identify themselves with the Tea Party; 41 percent said they have negative opinion of it.
“Tea-party fanaticism is waning,” Rose says. “The far-right fringe got their House majority (and elected my opponent, Tim Scott) in 2010. The only result has been a frozen, gridlocked House that has squandered opportunities and accomplished nothing.”
Romney-Ryan has alienated the same specific voter groups the Republican Party needed – was very dependent upon, even – to win elections in the recent past.
And it could cost the Republican Party more than just the presidential race, too.
Like Rose says, “I’m sure it will benefit every Democratic candidate in the 2012 election cycle.”
Justin Sullivan/Getty Images
Mitt Romney flip-flops so much that an opponent once referred to him not as pro-choice, but multiple choice
He owns a gun/he doesn't own a gun. He's always been Republican/he used to be independent. He was disappointed in Reagan/he wants to be like Reagan. And he's flipped on stem cell research almost as frequently as he's gone from "don't ask" to "do tell."
In short, Romney can't seem to make up his mind on any important issue.
He's catching a lot of flak for that, too, as the campaign season picks up pace. But perhaps the most telling of his flip-floppiness is a report that his primary opponent had compiled against him back in the 2008 race.
John McCain's campaign team compiled a very detailed account on Romney, covering his personal history. One full section of the report detailed the many turnarounds Romney made during his political career - abortion, immigration, taxes, the Second Amendment, and more. Read the entire 200-page document here on Robservations.
If he changes his mind so often, then how can we count on him to be president?
Election years are chock full of surveys, ranging on topics from platform favorability to electability to even candidates’ good looks.
A recent one by National Geographic
introduces a whole new category, however – extraterrestrial defense
If the United States were attacked by aliens, about two-thirds of voters think President Obama would do better than Mitt Romney in defending the country.
While many might assume such trivial factors would have no effect on an election, you better put on your space helmet and think again – 36 percent of the population believes in UFOs. Roughly 30 million Americans claim they’ve seen an alien spacecraft, too.
Conducted by Kelton Research, the survey was conducted in promotion of Chasing UFOs
, a new series that premieres on the National Geographic Channel this Friday at 9 p.m. Eastern time.
Whether or not Obama’s “Martian Slayer” status will have affect on the November elections remains to be seen, however.
A Gallup poll conducted June 23-25
reports that 48 percent of Americans approve of the president while 46 percent disapprove. That’s substantial improvement for Obama compared to Gallup poll results just eight months ago, however, when only 37 percent gave favorable response.
An NBC News/Wall Street Journal poll, conducted in the same late June period, still shows Obama with a three percent lead
Should the U.S. be subject to alien attack in the meantime, though, the incident is sure to “beam him up” even further in the polls.
Rep. Michele Bachmann’s speech from Patriots Point this evening was thrown askew by demonstrators.
About eight minutes into her address on national security, the presidential candidate was interrupted when approximately 30 Occupy Charleston
members stood in orchestrated protest.
Initiating calls for “mike check!” were followed by an organized alert of respectful intent: “this will only take a minute,” the group announced collectively.
“We have a message for Ms. Bachmann,” they continued in organized address, specifying needs for the government to represent citizens instead of corporations. “This does not help the American people,” was the thematic conclusion of Occupy Charleston’s demonstration, which was sporadically interrupted by other attendees.
Bachmann left the podium escorted by police shortly after the interruption. When Occupy Charleston peacefully left the hosting USS Yorktown facility, chanting “we are the 99 percent” in their exit, Bachmann returned to complete her address.
Afterwards, Bachmann said “They have a right to do that, but how disrespectful to do that in a roomful of veterans.”
Occupy Charleston issued the following statement this evening shortly after its demonstration:
“Today Occupy Charleston invoked the first amendment at a speech by presidential candidate Michele Bachmann. Together in unison we took advantage of the moment to address the system and the people within it as to the unjust role of corporate money in politics. Michele Bachmann was not our target in this action; she is a representative of the institutional and legal corruption that has infected our country – a system of corruption that values profit over people and is driven by the financial interest of the few against the many.”
This evening’s protest was the first public event for Occupy Charleston since its 99-hour campout at Charleston’s Brittlebank Park from the 19th to the 23rd of October.
A new video featuring Mark Block, chief of staff of the Herman Cain campaign, has a lot of people talking. But not saying anything good, necessarily.
Block's a bad reader and a camera ham, and what makes the video most questionable is its closing shot - a closeup of Block taking drags from a cigarette. In fact, the video
the "Now is the time for action!" piece for that same reason.
Just the fact he's supporting Cain, though (let alone working for his campaign), has many wondering "what is that guy smoking?"
Offering an answer to that question is none other than SC Forward Progress
, which produced its own spoof on that questionable video earlier today.
(posted on youtube by scforwardprogress
And here's the original Mark Block video, which was first posted online on Oct. 19:
(posted on youtube by thehermancain
Aren't those two videos rather identical? I mean, neither one of those guys is making any sense or telling any truth. (Add in the fact that both of them are ugly, awaiting cancer, and will absolutely never ever ever make it in Hollywood, well ....)
Okay, now let's be serious for a moment: in his video, Block seems to give physical indications that he doesn't support what he's saying. In other words, he's openly lying in his statements.
Notice the 0:26 to 0:32 segment of the video. He's making positive statements about Cain and the campaign, but is shaking his head in a horizontal "no" direction.
"This is a subconscious movement," reads
one dialog of body language interpretation, "so it means they don't believe in what they just said."
Immediately following that segment, running from 0:32 to 0:40, Block invites viewers to "get involved" with the campaign. But as he says such in that 8-second portion, you see him leaning to his left while holding up his right hand; that's a defensive stance, as if he self-consciously fears that folks will take him up on that invitation, or punish him at sometime for offering it.
And throughout the video, his brow appears clenched as if he's tightly focusing his eyes, which never move their center of focus away from the camera. Maintaining consistent and heavily focused eye contact is another lie indicator, says
a different source, as if the speaker is striving to be sure you're only receiving his spiel and without any distraction that might tell you the truth.
Of course, who'd be so brave to work for Cain's campaign and still tell the truth about him?