Recent quotes:

Fragmented discourse, in commercial speech too.

While his team at Giles-Parscale designed the ads, Parscale invited a variety of companies to set up shop in San Antonio to help determine which social media ads were most effective. Those companies test ad variations against one another—the campaign has ultimately generated 100,000 distinct pieces of creative content—and then roll out the strongest performers to broader audiences. At the same time, Parscale made the vendors, tech companies with names such as Sprinklr and Kenshoo, compete Apprentice-style; those whose algorithms fared worst in drumming up donors lost their contracts. Each time Parscale returned to San Antonio from Trump Tower, he would find that some vendors had been booted from their offices.

America the random

“There could be no politics which gave warmth to one’s body until the country had recovered its imagination, its pioneer lust for the unexpected and incalculable,” Norman Mailer wrote in 1960.

Bernie's record online ads

The Sanders campaign spent more on digital advertising than all federal races combined in 2008. […]

Study Predicts Political Beliefs With 83 Percent Accuracy | Science | Smithsonian

The idea that the brains of Democrats and Republicans may be hard-wired to their beliefs is not new. Previous research has shown that during MRI scans, areas linked to broad social connectedness, which involves friends and the world at large, light up in Democrats’ brains. Republicans, on the other hand, show more neural activity in parts of the brain associated with tight social connectedness, which focuses on family and country. Other scans have shown that brain regions associated with risk and uncertainty, such as the fear-processing amygdala, differ in structure in liberals and conservatives. And different architecture means different behavior. Liberals tend to seek out novelty and uncertainty, while conservatives exhibit strong changes in attitude to threatening situations. The former are more willing to accept risk, while the latter tends to have more intense physical reactions to threatening stimuli.

Iowa neighborhoods and churches

To explain Iowa’s swing state status, Lasley notes that Iowa has had a reputation as a conservative state with values that focus on farm, faith, and family. But in Iowa, those community values also tend to have what Lasley called a “progressive edge”: Iowa has never had segregated schools and in 1851 became the second state to legalize interracial marriage. In 2009, Iowa became the third state to legalize same-sex marriage. “It’s hard to hate someone when you have to live next to them and you depend on them for help and you sit elbow to elbow with them in the pew every Sunday morning,” Birkby says. “This is what has always made Iowa so great. We are great neighbors, because we have to be. Or we were anyway.”

This French Philosopher Is The Only One Who Can Explain The Donald Trump Phenomenon | ThinkProgress

Others in the Republican field are concerned with the rules and constructing a strategy that, under those rules, will lead to the nomination. But Trump isn’t concerned with those things. Instead, Trump is focused on each moment and eliciting the maximum amount of passion in that moment. His supporters love it. The key to generating passion, Barthes notes, is to position yourself to deliver justice against evil forces by whatever means necessary. “Wrestlers know very well how to play up to the capacity for indignation of the public by presenting the very limit of the concept of Justice,” Barthes writes. Trump knows how to define his opponent — China, “illegals,” hedge fund managers — and pledges to go after them with unbridled aggression. If, in making his case, he crosses over a line or two, all the better.

Blah!

Stumping the Palmetto State a day after his campaign announced staff reductions and pay cuts, Bush dismissed critics who said the changes reflect a struggling campaign that is losing ground to any number of rivals. "Blah, blah, blah," Bush said. "That's my answer — blah, blah, blah."

A few key signs betray betrayal

When they used a computer program to compare exchanges between players whose relationships ended in betrayal with those whose relationships lasted, the computer discerned subtle signals of impending betrayal. One harbinger was a shift in politeness. Players who were excessively polite in general were more likely to betray, and people who were suddenly more polite were more likely to become victims of betrayal, study coauthor and Cornell graduate student Vlad Niculae reportedJuly 29 at the Annual Meeting of the Association for Computational Linguistics in Beijing.

Neurons as free agents

The question is, what happens to your ideas about computational architecture when you think of individual neurons not as dutiful slaves or as simple machines but as agents that have to be kept in line and that have to be properly rewarded and that can form coalitions and cabals and organizations and alliances?  This vision of the brain as a sort of social arena of politically warring forces seems like sort of an amusing fantasy at first, but is now becoming something that I take more and more seriously,

Call Donald Trump's Cell Phone and Ask Him About His Important Ideas

If it is the case—as Trump’s release of Graham’s number implicitly argues—that our political discourse improves when voters can ring up candidates on their private cell phones, then we are happy to add Trump’s cell phone number to the body of public knowledge. You can reach Donald Trump at 917-756-8000.

Top Conservative Magazine Calls Bernie Sanders A Nazi

He is, in fact, leading a national-socialist movement, which is a queasy and uncomfortable thing to write about a man who is the son of Jewish immigrants from Poland and whose family was murdered in the Holocaust. But there is no other way to characterize his views and his politics. The incessant reliance on xenophobic (and largely untrue) tropes holding that the current economic woes of the United States are the result of scheming foreigners, especially the wicked Chinese, “stealing our jobs” and victimizing his class allies is nothing more than an updated version of Kaiser Wilhelm II’s “yellow peril” rhetoric, and though the kaiser had a more poetical imagination — he said he had a vision of the Buddha riding a dragon across Europe, laying waste to all — Bernie’s take is substantially similar. He describes the normalization of trade relations with China as “catastrophic” — Sanders and Jesse Helms both voted against the Clinton-backed China-trade legislation — and heaps scorn on every other trade-liberalization pact.

How not to engage with protestors

Trump is a joke

After watching and listening to Donald Trump since he announced his candidacy for president, we have decided we won't report on Trump's campaign as part of The Huffington Post's political coverage. Instead, we will cover his campaign as part of our Entertainment section. Our reason is simple: Trump's campaign is a sideshow. We won't take the bait.

Political tees off to a slow start?

Abdul Rashid, chief operating officer of Bayside, says that multiple candidates have ordered tens of thousands of tees, and one candidate—he won’t say who—has ordered over 100,000. When others join the fray, he continues, the process of ordering the shirts is easy. “We have millions of T-shirts in our warehouses, ready to ship." Pricing for the shirts vary widely. Rand Paul’s tee was easily the cheapest at just $20.75, including shipping and handling. Bernie Sanders and Rick Perry were the only other candidates whose shirts fell under the $30 threshold. Tees from Hillary Clinton and Ted Cruz were the most expensive, by far—$36.69 and $36, respectively. For context, a graphic T-shirt from high-end retailer Steven Alan goes for $32, and Wal-Mart sells more than 20 graphic tees for less than $5.

Saddest Hillary Clinton Email Revealed in New Data Dump! - Hit & Run : Reason.com

This latest batch of emails, from a few months in 2009, shows a secretary who, among other things, struggled to use a fax machine.

Charismatic leaders helped by perception of mortal threats

For example, the researchers asked students to think about death or a control topic and then read statements supposedly written by gubernatorial candidates of varying leadership styles. You are not just an ordinary citizen, you are part of a special state and a special nation, the charismatic leader said. I can accomplish all the goals that I set out to do. I am very careful in laying out a detailed blueprint of what needs to be done so that there is no ambiguity, a task-oriented leader said. I encourage all citizens to take an active role in improving their state. I know that each individual can make a difference, the relationship-oriented leader said. Participants then picked the candidate they would vote for. After thinking about a control topic, four of 95 people chose the charismatic leader. After a death reminder, that candidate’s votes increased nearly eightfold. Such results, the psychologists wrote, suggested that "close elections could be decided as a result of nonrational terror-management concerns."

Jeb Bush sums up high school

His first year at Andover, Bush re-did the ninth grade — even so, he has admitted, he barely passed. […]Andover was much harder than the private school he had been going to in Houston. He adjusted reluctantly to its rigors and pressures. He was apathetic and apolitical and smoked marijuana, as did many others around him; some, although not all, remember him as a bully. “I was a cynical little turd in a cynical school,” he once said.

Herding viral political cats

Still, for campaigns used to message control, it can be a double-edged sword, says Cyrus Krohn, who directed digital efforts for the Republican National Committee in 2008 and is now with Cheezburger.com, an online hub of Internet culture. “You used to be able to just interact with your five or 10 talking heads who went and did the TV shows, and now you’ve got an infinite number of social-media content creators who are carrying your water in one way, shape or form,” he says. “And how do you herd the cats? How do you coalesce all of these people to help? They’re already very independent and they don’t want to be told what to do. But if the right level of respect and interaction can be constructed, then you’ve built up a cadre of digital advocates who aren’t official members of the campaign.”

How will the Tea Party feel about Heidi Cruz's career at Goldman Sachs?

“She and her brother compete baking bread. They bake thousands of loaves of bread and go to the local apple orchard where they sell the bread to people coming to pick apples,” said Cruz, 44. “She goes on to a career in business, excelling and rising to the highest pinnacles, and then Heidi becomes my wife and my very best friend in the world.” Heidi Cruz, 42, has taken unpaid leave from her job at Goldman Sachs in Houston to help with her husband’s run[…] Heidi Cruz, a Harvard Business School graduate who worked in President George W. Bush’s administration, joined New York-based Goldman Sachs in 2005 and was promoted to managing director, the firm’s second-highest rank, in 2012. She serves as regional head of the Houston office in the private wealth-management unit, which serves individuals and families who have on average more than $40 million with the firm. […]Her employment at Goldman Sachs became a political topic when Senator Richard Durbin, an Illinois Democrat, tried to push Ted Cruz into admitting he was on his wife’s Goldman Sachs health insurance plan after criticizing President Barack Obama’s health-care policies, the Times reported. […] he did speak of the time she spent living in Kenya and Nigeria as the daughter of missionaries. […]

Hillary‘s private ISP was OKed?

One final thought: I’d imagine Secretary Clinton at some point emailed the White House. I made the mistake of emailing the White House from my personal account once (!) during my term, and managed to get back a nastygram from Counsel about it. How or why didn’t the White House tell Hillary to use her official .gov email account?It could be that they knew the entire classified and unclassified email system was compromised and decided that the smartest thing to do was for her to use her personal email instead.

As Dynasty’s Son, Jeb Bush Used His Connections Freely

For the 12 years that his father held national elective office, Mr. Bush used his unique access to the highest reaches of government to seek favors for Republican allies, push his views and burnish his political profile in his home state, a review of presidential library records shows. In the process, Mr. Bush carefully constructed an elaborate and enduring network of relationships in Florida that helped lead to his election as governor in 1998 and, now, to his place as a top contender for the Republican presidential nomination in 2016.

How to skewer someone? Watch closely.

During the 1960 presidential campaign, she profiled Rose Kennedy, skewering Camelot’s sainted matriarch under the headline “Mother Comes To Town.” Rose Kennedy, Curtis makes clear, is cosseted and demanding. Covering a midday press appearance, for which Mama Rose is turned out in Oleg Cassini, alligator shoes, and a pile of gold, diamonds, and pearls, Curtis simply documented everything Kennedy did. Mrs. Kennedy… said she was too warm, that someone should turn on the air-conditioning and that if there were going to be pictures, she’d like to put on a hat and gloves. She disappeared into her bedroom and returned wearing a white wool toque. She worked her small hands into long white kid gloves while the television cameras were set up. And someone found a pillow so she would be more comfortable. ‘If we’re going to be on television, I wish you’d tell me what questions you’re going to ask,’ she said…. ‘I don’t answer political questions. I talk about the way the children were brought up…..’ The reporters continued their questions. The cameras ground on. And Mrs. Kennedy pulled out a jeweled compact and powdered her nose.

How Did America’s Craziest Governor Get Reelected? - Colin Woodard - POLITICO Magazine

Then there’s the unusually high turnout yesterday—perhaps as high as 60 percent—which benefited the governor. This may have been prompted by a pressing public policy issue: whether Mainers should be prevented from feeding donuts to bears. A campaign to ban the practice of baiting bears with pastries and other garbage—and then letting hunters shoot them—may have mobilized large numbers of rural voters who tend to appreciate hunting and the “plain spoken” LePage. (The ballot measure was defeated, by the way, by some five points—about the same as LePage’s margin of victory.)

Cross check program goes after (minority) voters with common names

The three states’ lists are heavily weighted with names such as Jackson, Garcia, Patel and Kim — ones common among minorities, who vote overwhelmingly Democratic. Indeed, fully 1 in 7 African-Americans in those 27 states, plus the state of Washington (which enrolled in Crosscheck but has decided not to utilize the results), are listed as under suspicion of having voted twice. This also applies to 1 in 8 Asian-Americans and 1 in 8 Hispanic voters. White voters too — 1 in 11 — are at risk of having their names scrubbed from the voter rolls, though not as vulnerable as minorities.If even a fraction of those names are blocked from voting or purged from voter rolls, it could alter the outcome of next week’s electoral battle for control of the U.S. Senate — and perhaps prove decisive in the 2016 presidential vote count.
To the average person, the result looks stupid and smells worse. To most people, the decision looks stupid ’cause corporations are not persons[…] misogynist because the majority were all men[…] partisan because all were appointed by a Republican[…] religiously motivated because each member of the majority belongs to the Catholic church, and that religious organization is opposed to contraception. While “looks” don’t matter to the logic of the law […] all of us know from experience that appearances matter to the public’s acceptance of the law.
Foreigners visiting the country remark that this is the oddest election campaign they have ever encountered. There are large billboards bragging about Hungary’s great performance, but otherwise a casual visitor to Hungary would never know that the election is only a few days away. A billboard advertising Fidesz’s candidate for the premiership is the oddest of all. No orange, the color of Fidesz, can be seen, only a Hungarian flag and the following words: “Viktor Orbán, prime minister of Hungary.” Clearly the message is that he is more than a party leader seeking reelection; he is the prime minister.