Archive for the ‘Emory University’ Category

Your morning jolt: Romney presses for deeper U.S. involvement in Syria, would re-examine Afghan exit

In a speech this morning at Virginia Military Institute, Republican presidential nominee will endorse deeper U.S. involvement in Syria’s civil war, and raised the prospect of delaying the exit of American combat forces from Afghanistan.

From the Associated Press:

“Hope is not a strategy. We cannot support our friends and defeat our enemies in the Middle East when our words are not backed up by deeds,” Romney plans to say in the address, adding that the U.S. should use its influence “wisely, with solemnity and without false pride, but also firmly and actively.”

On Syria:

”I will work with our partners to identify and organize those members of the opposition who share our values and ensure they obtain the arms they need to defeat Assad’s tanks, helicopters, and fighter jets. Iran is sending arms to Assad because they know his downfall would be a strategic defeat for them. We should be working no less vigorously with our international partners to support the many Syrians …

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Your morning jolt: Clarence Thomas concedes U.S. Constitution didn’t originally include him

In a Sunday piece timed to mark the 225th birthday of the U.S. Constitution, Robert Barnes of the Washington Post wrote of a recent question-and-answer session with U.S. Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas, who conceded that the opening phrase of the nation’s founding document – “We the people” – didn’t originally apply to people like him.

The Georgia native said he often contemplates the gap between America’s promises and its delivery:

“I always think it’s so fascinating to think of these black kids in the segregated school in Savannah reciting the Preamble to the Constitution of the United States or standing out in the schoolyard saying the Pledge of Allegiance every day before school,” Thomas said.

“I mean, everything so obviously in front of you is wrong. You can’t go to the public library. You can’t live in certain neighborhoods. You can’t go to certain schools. But despite all of that, you lived in an environment of people who said it was …

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Your morning jolt: Jimmy Carter’s grandson and Mitt Romney’s finances

Perhaps some of you who have a liberal bent saw the following about Republican presidential hopeful Mitt Romney:

According to government documents reviewed by Mother Jones, Romney, when he was in charge of Bain, invested heavily in a Chinese manufacturing company that depended on US outsourcing for its profits—and that explicitly stated that such outsourcing was crucial to its success.

But maybe you didn’t see this tagline at the end: “Research assistance: James Carter.”

We’re reliably informed that the above Carter is James Earl Carter IV, son of Chip Carter and grandson of the former president. According to his Twitter profile, Carter IV is an “Internet investigator / oppo researcher; political junkie; news sponge; policy wonk. Currently looking for work.”

The Associated Press passes on word that legislative opposition to increased penalties for boating under the influence is melting away:

House Speaker David Ralston of Blue Ridge said he has the support of …

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Do yawning chimps amount to ‘white-coated welfare’?

In honor of Tax Day, a California-based group called In Defense of Animals has come out with a list of what it calls the 10 “most ridiculous” government-funded research projects involving animals.

Emory University and the Yerkes National Primate Research Center are cited twice. From the press release:

In one of the Emory/Yerkes experiments, number 8 on the list, researchers created “single-mother” prairie vole families by removing the father from some prairie vole families. While they found that the single mothers spent just as much time caring for their children as the mothers with mates, they did find that the children of single mothers spent less time caring for their children than those raised by two parents….

In the second experiment, number 5 on the list, Dr. Frans DeWaal and another researcher studied yawning in chimpanzees, finding that it is possible that empathy makes chimpanzees more likely to catch a yawn from familiar chimpanzees than strangers. This was …

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InsiderAdvantage poll has Newt Gingrich within reach of Mitt Romney

In a poll for, Atlanta-based InsiderAdvantage says GOP presidential candidate Newt Gingrich is already in a statistical tie with frontrunner Mitt Romney in South Carolina. The line-up:

– Romney, 23 percent;

– Gingrich, 21 percent;

– Rick Santorum, 14 percent;

– Ron Paul, 13 percent;

– Jon Huntsman, 7 percent;

– Rick Perry, 5 percent;

– Undecided/No opinion, 15 percent.

The poll of 726 likely voters was conducted Wednesday. MOE is +/- 3.8%. Crosstabs can be found here on the IA web site, a subscription site. Says InsiderAdvantage’s Matt Towery:

“Romney and Gingrich are even among those who identify themselves as ‘Republicans’ in South Carolina. Among those who call themselves ‘Independent,’ Paul leads at 29% but Gingrich and Romney are not far behind. Men favor Gingrich, while women favor Romney. Of most of interest, Santorum performs well among voters age 30-44, holds his own among women, but is doing poorly among male voters.”

One reason this survey …

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The myth and fact behind Newt Gingrich’s 1980 divorce

On Friday, Newt Gingrich’s phoenix of a presidential campaign unveiled a new area of its website dedicated to countering the areas of the former U.S. House speaker’s life – personal and professional – likely to become fodder for his rivals.

His criticism of U.S. Rep. Paul Ryan, one-time support for mandated health insurance, statements on climate change, the 1995 government shutdown, and his extramarital affair during the impeachment of President Bill Clinton are all topics.

Perhaps the oldest piece of unwanted luggage in Gingrich’s career has been the story of his conduct during the dissolution of his first marriage with Jackie Battley.

The campaign includes a link to a column written last May by Gingrich’s daughter, Jackie Gingrich Cushman:

It was the spring of 1980. I was 13 years old, and we were about to leave Fairfax, Va., and drive to Carrollton, Ga., for the summer. My parents told my sister and me that they were getting a divorce as our family of four sat …

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The first poll to place Herman Cain at the top was…

On Wednesday evening, NBC and the Wall Street Journal released a national survey that declared Herman Cain had climbed to the top of the GOP presidential heap.

Many called it the first poll to say so.

But Matt Towery of InsiderAdvantage beat the New York team to the punch by a matter of hours, declaring Cain to be the GOP frontrunner at 1:08 p.m. Wednesday, on behalf of the conservative website, Newsmax.

The poll put Cain at 26 percent and former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney at 24 percent – a virtual tie when a 4.4 percent MOE is present, but still.

Towery, a Georgia operative, has sent over his crosstabs, which can be found here.

While we’re on the topic of polling, Public Policy Polling of North Carolina has chosen one of its stranger topics – a study of Democratic and Republican attitudes toward the various states. Among its findings, which can be found here:

— There are three states that Republicans have a negative opinion of: Illinois (15/44), Massachusetts …

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Merle Black breaks down tonight’s Republican debate

Emory University smartly put out this YouTube clip today of political scientist Merle Black, giving a rundown of tonight’s GOP presidential debate in California, which – for the first time – will feature Texas Gov. Rick Perry:

- By Jim Galloway, Political Insider

For instant updates, follow me on Twitter, or connect with me on Facebook.

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California science class was 89% sure of Osama bin Laden’s whereabouts – in 2009

Alan Abramowitz of Emory University passes along this gem from Science Magazine:

Could Osama bin Laden have been found faster if the CIA had followed the advice of ecosystem geographers from the University of California, Los Angeles? Probably not, but the predictions of UCLA geographer Thomas Gillespie, who, along with colleague John Agnew and a class of undergraduates, authored a 2009 paper predicting the terrorist’s whereabouts, were none too shabby.

According to a probabilistic model they created, there was an 88.9% chance that bin Laden was hiding out in Abbottabad, Pakistan, where he was killed last night. And they correctly predicted that he would be in a large town, not a cave.

The bin Laden tracking idea began as a project in an undergraduate class on remote sensing that Gillespie, whose expertise is using remote sensing data from satellites to study ecosystems, taught in 2009. Based on information from satellites and other remote sensing systems, and reports on his …

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House committee slaps a steep price on zero-based budgeting

Whether you’re in the state Capitol or a flea market, it is best not to show interest in a particular item – unless you want the other fellow to jack up the price.

Last month, the Senate voted unanimously to override Gov. Sonny Perdue’s 2010 veto of a bill to require zero-based budgeting – and dared the House to match it.

House Speaker David Ralston declined, and buried the override measure in a committee – saying his chamber already had an updated version of the bill in the works.

On Wednesday, that particular measure – HB 33 – had its first hearing before the House Budget and Fiscal Affairs Committee chaired by Chuck Martin, R-Alpharetta.

And knowing how badly the Senate wanted the bill, the committee jacked up the price – adding an amendment that would return the Legislature to the good old days when a single budget office provided numbers to crunch for both the House and Senate.

The system always seemed to benefit the House – which has first dibs on all …

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