Emory University psychologist Drew Westen put self-identified Democratic and Republican partisans in brain scanners and asked them to evaluate negative information about various candidates. Both groups were quick to spot inconsistency and hypocrisy -- but only in candidates they opposed.
When presented with negative information about the candidates they liked, partisans of all stripes found ways to discount it, Westen said. When the unpalatable information was rejected, furthermore, the brain scans showed that volunteers gave themselves feel-good pats -- the scans showed that "reward centers" in volunteers' brains were activated. The psychologist observed that the way these subjects dealt with unwelcome information had curious parallels with drug addiction as addicts also reward themselves for wrong-headed behavior.
Another study presented at the conference, which was in Palm Springs, Calif., explored relationships between racial bias and political affiliation by analyzing self-reported beliefs, voting patterns and the results of psychological tests that measure implicit attitudes -- subtle stereotypes people hold about various groups.
That study found that supporters of President Bush and other conservatives had stronger self-admitted and implicit biases against blacks than liberals did.
RICE REFORMS FOR STATE DEPT.OSAMA'S latest plea for attention suckered the media into blowing last week's real story: Secretary of State Condeleeza Rice's declaration of war on her dysfunctional department.Read the whole thing. This is the kind of news I've been waiting for ever since Miss Rice took office, and gives me hope that Foggy Bottom can be cleared up a little, and transformed into an effective force in the defense of American interests.
In a speech at Georgetown University's School of Foreign Service, where students are deformed into diplomats, Condi cancelled the tea party. Her message was revolutionary and essential. As a result, she may go down in history as the SecState most hated by Foggy Bottom bureaucrats.
Here's what "Killjoy Condi" had to say:
Do I support men and women who are fighting Nazis who call themselves insurgents or Islamic militants? Do I support men and women who offer up their lives to fight the very same terrorists who killed three thousand totally guiltless Americans on 9/11? Do I support the troops who have more moral decency in their toes than I do or anyone I know does in our whole bodies? I support them, pray for them, am humbled just to be on the same planet with them. With every morning I wake up, every meal I eat, every walk I take in freedom, every night I sleep in peace, I ask God to look after the men and women who guard the ramparts of this blessed island of peace and decency called America. Without them, we would be nothing. Without them, Joel Stein would have his head sawed off. Saints in armor is what I call them and what they are. They are God's gifts to a wayward world.Armed Liberal, too, has a great reply to Stein, invoking TR.
DAVOS, Switzerland (AP) -- U.N. nuclear chief Mohamed ElBaradei on Friday called on the United States to provide Iran with nuclear reactors and urged Tehran to declare a moratorium on enriching uranium for at least eight years.
ElBaradei said that amount of time would enable the country to earn the confidence of the international community that it was really interested in nuclear energy - not nuclear weapons.
Naila Ayesh, a secular married woman who frequently goes about Gaza in Western clothes, has already noticed a subtle change since Hamas's election victory last Wednesday.
"You will hear even kids saying to you, 'your head isn't covered now but it will be. You can drive now but you won't be able to later." She relates, too, how a woman friend described telling a neighbour that her child attended Gaza City's American school. "What, you send her to the crusader school?" the shocked neighbour replied. "Why don't you send her to the Sheikh Ahmed Yassin school [named after the late Hamas founder] where she can learn languages as well as the Koran?" Ms Ayesh added: "All this happened before but it's been happening more since the election."