Admit it! This was better than the gop debate! Jimmy Fallon may make a better Donald Trump than Donald Trump. In a skit from last night’s The Tonight Show, Fallon emulated The Donald in order to give Hillary Clinton some not-so-sound campaign advice. Watch the full clip in all its hilarious glory below:
California governor sends Ben Carson a thumbdrive with climate change report
“Please use your considerable intelligence to review this material.”
California’s governor has provided presidential hopeful Dr. Ben Carson with “overwhelming evidence” of climate change, something that the Republican candidate claimed does not exist.
Last week, Carson appeared in San Francisco as part of his campaigning schedule. At an event, he addressed why the “climate change debate” remains, in his view, “irrelevant.” In a tweet published later in the week, Gov. Jerry Brown (D) posted a picture of this letter sent to the retired neurosurgeon.
Dear Dr. Carson,
I hope you’ve enjoyed your visit to the Golden State. It’s come to my attention that while you were here you said the following regarding climate science:
“I know there are a lot of people who say ‘overwhelming science,’ but then when you ask them to show the overwhelming evidence, they never show it…There is no overwhelming science that the things that are going on are man-caused and not naturally caused. Gimmie a break.”
Please find enclosed a flash drive with the complete United Nations Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) “Synthesis Report,” the concluding installment of the Fifth Assessment Report, published earlier this year. This report assessed over 30,000 scientific papers and was written by more than 800 scientists, representing 80 countries around the world, who definitively concluded that: “…human influence on the climate system is clear and growing, with impacts observed across all continents and oceans.”
This is just one of the thousands of reports authored by the world’s top scientists on the subject, including a study published just last month by Columbia University, University of Idaho and NASA Goddard Institute for Space Studies scientists that found climate change has intensified California’s drought. These aren’t just words. The consequences are real.
Please use your considerable intelligence to review this material. Climate change is much bigger than partisan politics.
Speaking in an exclusive interview with CNN’s Wolf Blitzer on “The Situation Room,” Clinton chalked up the debate to “the usual back-and-forth — political attacks, the kinds of things you say when you’re on a debate stage and you really don’t have much else to say.”
She blasted the GOP candidates in the 2016 presidential race for failing to address student debt, equal pay for women and income inequality.
“I don’t really pay a lot of attention to this kind of rhetoric that heats up the debate stage. They’re all trying to vie for more attention from, obviously, the Republican Party,” Clinton said.
Clinton was a prime target at the debate hosted by CNN at the Ronald Reagan Presidential Library. GOP 2016 hopefuls, including Carly Fiorina, Chris Christie and front-runner Donald Trump, attacked her record as secretary of state as well as her trustworthiness.
On Thursday, Clinton’s team seized on the candidates’ comments, particularly their virulent opposition to Planned Parenthood, the controversial women’s health organization that provides cancer screenings, health services and abortions.
In a written statement to reporters, Clinton said the Republican debate continued the party’s “race to the bottom on women’s health and women’s rights” because “every single candidate on stage has pledged to defund Planned Parenthood if they become president.”
She added, “Repeating false statements doesn’t make them true, no matter how many times you do it.”
But Clinton took it a step further Thursday, calling on House Speaker John Boehner to not shut down the government over Planned Parenthood.
Some Republicans in Congress have pushed for Congress to tie defunding Planned Parenthood to funding the government, thou some House GOP leaders are actively exploring a plan that would target the organization through a stand-alone measure, not tying it to the budget.
“Speaker Boehner and his colleagues have a job to do, and they should do it,” Clinton said. “Here’s my message to them: don’t attack women’s health care. And don’t shut down the government.”
Thursday’s live interview comes as the Clinton campaign has said it is going to try to showcase the former secretary of state’s more spontaneous and charming side, as her early lead in most polls has slid. Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders has even taken the lead in some surveys in the key primary states of Iowa and New Hampshire.
Wednesday night, Clinton appeared on “The Tonight Show,” where she let Jimmy Fallon tug on her hair to prove it was real and participated in a sketch where she was interviewed by “Donald Trump” — as played by Fallon.
And last week, Clinton sat down for a series of interviews in which she apologized for the decision to use a private email server while at the State Department — an effort by her campaign to try to put the lingering, damaging issue behind it.
The former secretary of state is traveling in New Hampshire on Thursday, where she received the endorsement of the state’s governor, Maggie Hassan.
This Is A Country Where We Speak English, Not Spanish.
– Donald Trump to Jeb Bush during the GOP debate
In 1922, in “Tractatus Logico-Philosophicus,” the philosopher Ludwig Wittgenstein wrote, “The limits of my language mean the limits of my world.” The words that we have at our disposal affect what we see—and the more words there are, the better our perception. When we learn to speak a different language, we learn to see a bigger world.
Many modern language researchers agree with that premise. Not only does speaking multiple languages help us to communicate but bilingualism (or multilingualism) may actually confer distinct advantages to the developing brain. Because a bilingual child switches between languages, the theory goes, she develops enhanced executive control, or the ability to effectively manage what are called higher cognitive processes, such as problem-solving, memory, and thought. She becomes better able to inhibit some responses, promote others, and generally emerges with a more flexible and agile mind. It’s a phenomenon that researchers call the bilingual advantage.
For the first half of the twentieth century, researchers actually thought that bilingualism put a child at a disadvantage, something that hurt her I.Q. and verbal development. But, in recent years, the notion of a bilingual advantage has emerged from research to the contrary, research that has seemed both far-reaching and compelling, much of it coming from the careful work of the psychologist Ellen Bialystok. For many tasks, including ones that involve working memory, bilingual speakers seem to have an edge. In a 2012 review of the evidence, Bialystok showed that bilinguals did indeed show enhanced executive control, a quality that has been linked, among other things, to better academic performance. And when it comes to qualities like sustained attention and switching between tasks effectively, bilinguals often come out ahead. It seems fairly evident then that, given a choice, you should raise your child to speak more than one language. Indeed, papers touting “Creativity and Bilingualism,” “Cognitive Advantages of Bilingual Five-Year-Olds,” “A Bilingual Advantage in Task-Switching,” “Bilingualism Reduces Native-Language Interference During Novel-Word Learning,” and “Good Language-Switchers Are Good Task-Switchers”—and the resulting books with provocative titles such as “The Bilingual Edge” and “Bilingual Is Better”—suggest that raising a bilingual child is, in large part, a recipe for raising a successful child.
From the age of eleven, Angela de Bruin spoke two languages. Born in the nineteen-eighties in Nijmegen, a small town in the Netherlands, de Bruin spoke Dutch at home, and, in school, immersed herself in English. She became fascinated by bilinguals, and read avidly about the cognitive advantages that being fluent in more than one language was supposed to provide. In college, she took up linguistics and neuroscience. And, in 2012, de Bruin enrolled in the psychology graduate program at the University of Edinburgh to further pursue the link between bilingualism and cognition.
She came to the program fully expecting to study the extent to which her bilingual brain was adapted to succeed. “I had the impression that there’s a really strong effect of bilingualism on executive function,” de Bruin told me recently. Then, she carried out her first study. Normally, to test for an edge in executive function, you give a version of a task where people have to ignore certain stimuli while selectively focussing on others. For instance, in the commonly used Simon task, you are shown pictures (often arrows) on either the left or right side of a screen. If you see a right-pointing arrow, you press the right key. It doesn’t matter on which side of the screen the arrow appears; the only thing that matters is the direction in which it points. Typically, people have faster reaction times on congruent trials—when the right-pointing arrow actually appears on the right, and vice-versa. Bilinguals are supposed to have an advantage in the incongruent trials: when the left arrow appears on the right, and the right arrow appears on the left.
When de Bruin looked at the data, though, in three of the four tasks testing inhibitory control, including the Simon task, the advantage wasn’t there. Monolinguals and bilinguals had performed identically. “We thought, Maybe the existing literature is not a full, reliable picture of this field,” she said. So, she decided to test it further.
Systematically, de Bruin combed through conference abstracts from a hundred and sixty-nine conferences, between 1999 and 2012, that had to do with bilingualism and executive control. The rationale was straightforward: conferences are places where people present in-progress research. They report on studies that they are running, initial results, initial thoughts. If there were a systematic bias in the field against reporting negative results—that is, results that show no effects of bilingualism—then there should be many more findings of that sort presented at conferences than actually become published.
That’s precisely what de Bruin found. At conferences, about half the presented results provided either complete or partial support for the bilingual advantage on certain tasks, while half provided partial or complete refutation. When it came to the publications that appeared after the preliminary presentation, though, the split was decidedly different. Sixty-eight per cent of the studies that demonstrated a bilingual advantage found a home in a scientific journal, compared to just twenty-nine per cent of those that found either no difference or a monolingual edge. “Our overview,” de Bruin concluded, “shows that there is a distorted image of the actual study outcomes on bilingualism, with researchers (and media) believing that the positive effect of bilingualism on nonlinguistic cognitive processes is strong and unchallenged.”
De Bruin isn’t refuting the notion that there are advantages to being bilingual: some studies that she reviewed really did show an edge. But the advantage is neither global nor pervasive, as often reported. After her meta-analysis was complete, de Bruin and her adviser ran an additional series of studies, which they have just submitted for publication, hoping to find where the limits of bilingual advantage lie, and what the real advantage may actually look like. To test for a possible boost, they examined three different groups (English monolinguals, active English-Gaelic bilinguals who spoke Gaelic at home, and passive English-Gaelic bilinguals who no longer used Gaelic regularly). They had each group take part in four tasks—the Simon task, a task of everyday attention (you hear different tones and must count the number of low ones while filtering out the high ones), the Tower of London (you solve a problem by moving discs around on a series of sticks to match a picture of what the final tower looks like), and a simple task-switching paradigm (you see circles and squares that are either red or blue, and must pay attention to either one color or one shape, depending on the part of the trial).
In the first three tasks, they found no difference between the groups. On the last, they thought they’d finally detected an advantage: on the switch trials—the trials immediately after a change from shape to color or color to shape—the bilinguals, both active and passive, seemed to be quicker. But when the researchers dug deeper, they found that it wasn’t so much a case of switching faster as it was being slower at the non-switch trials, where shape followed shape and color followed color.
So does that mean that there’s no such thing as a bilingual advantage? No. It’s just one study. But it adds further evidence to the argument that the bilingual advantage is sometimes overstated. “I’m definitely not saying there’s no bilingual advantage,” de Bruin says. But the advantage may be different from the way many researchers have described it: as a phenomenon that helps children to develop their ability to switch between tasks and, more broadly, enhances their executive-control functions. The true edge, de Bruin believes, may come far later, and in a form that has little to do with task-switching and executive control; it may, she says, be the result of simple learning.
One of the areas where the bilingual advantage appears to be most persistent isn’t related to a particular skill or task: it’s a general benefit that seems to help the aging brain. Adults who speak multiple languages seem to resist the effects of dementia far better than monolinguals do. When Bialystok examined the records for a group of older adults who had been referred to a clinic in Toronto with memory or other cognitive complaints, she found that, of those who eventually developed dementia, the lifelong bilinguals showed symptoms more than four years later than the monolinguals. In a follow-up study, this time with a different set of patients who had developed Alzheimer’s, she and her colleagues found that, regardless of cognitive level, prior occupation, or education, bilinguals had been diagnosed 4.3 years later than monolinguals had. Bilingualism, in other words, seems to have a protective effect on cognitive decline. That would be consistent with a story of learning: we know that keeping cognitively nimble into old age is one of the best ways to protect yourself against dementia. (Hence the rise of the crossword puzzle.) When the brain keeps learning, as it seems to do for people who retain more than one language, it has more capacity to keep functioning at a higher level.
That, in and of itself, is reason enough to learn a second, third, fourth, or fifth language—and to keep learning them as long as you’re able. The bilingual advantage may not appear in the exact guise researchers think of it today. But, on a fundamental level, bilingualism’s real benefits could be far more important.
Donald Trump filed for bankruptcy not once, not twice, but a record four times. Four times! A record four times. Why should we trust you to man the finances of this nation?
– Carly Fiorina
As Republican presidential candidates lay into his record, President Barack Obama on Wednesday chalked up the attacks to expected election-year politics but said there was “nothing particularly patriotic” about their rhetoric.
“Despite the perennial doom and gloom that I guess is inevitably part of a presidential campaign, America is winning right now,” Obama said at a meeting of the Business Roundtable in Washington. “America is great right now. We can do even better.”
He cited job creation, the rising stock market and millions of Americans who now have health insurance as examples of a successful presidential run.
“You wouldn’t know any of this if you were listening to the folks seeking this office that I occupy,” the President told the group of American chief executives.
“In the echo chamber that is presidential politics, everything is dark and everything is terrible,” he said. “They don’t seem to offer many solutions to the disasters they perceive, but they’re quick to tell you who to blame. There’s nothing particularly patriotic or American about talking down America, especially when we stand as one of the few sources of economic strength in the world.”
Obama said it was imperative that Republicans in Congress pass a government spending measure before the end-of-month deadline to avoid a shutdown, calling the standoff over funding for Planned Parenthood “bad policymaking.”
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