Second district House race heavily contested

first_imgAfter months of speeches, fundraisers, handshakes and kissed babies, voters in Indiana’s 2nd Congressional District will decide whether Democrat Brendan Mullen or Republican Jackie Walorski will represent them on Capitol Hill. Notre Dame professor and former political reporter Jack Colwell said the race is still close with only four days remaining until Election Day. “At the start of the race, it was generally regarded as Jackie’s district,” Colwell said. “She unsuccessfully ran against [Sen.] Joe Donnelly in 2010, but came close. She also has a lot of name recognition, where Mullen is virtually unknown.” Colwell said the Republican-controlled state legislature redrew voting district lines in a way likely to incorporate more right-leaning voters in the district, favoring Walorski’s odds. “She began as a very heavy favorite, but Mullen came on in an impressive way,” Colwell said. “Whether he can actually catch up and win is far from certain, but he’s made a race of it that’s shown by some of the national groups spending heavily in this district now. Neither side would spend if they figured the race was over.” With voters looking for more bipartisanship, both candidates stress their willingness to reach across the aisle in Washington, Colwell said. “Jackie is saying she would be an independent voice and Mullen says he’d be a moderate, along the lines of Joe Donnelly, the Democrat who represents the district now,” he said. The spending includes funds from political consultant Karl Rove’s Super PAC, American Crossroads, which is backing Walorski. Mullen is getting support from Democratic PACs and the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee. Name recognition has been difficult for Mullen in these new areas. To draw enough votes, Colwell said Mullen must win big in St. Joseph County, the most populous county of the 10 in the district, because his chances in the other nine are not good. Part of the headwinds Mullen will face throughout the district, Colwell said, comes from his opponent’s associating him with controversial figures and policies in Washington. “Walorski is trying to portray him as a Washington insider who was recruited by [House of Representatives minority leader] Nancy Pelosi to try and run in the district, and links him to President Obama and Obamacare,” Colwell said. “Mullen tries to link her to the Tea Party, which indeed did support her; Richard Mourdock, the Indiana Republican senatorial candidate who recently made controversial comments about abortion; and calls her a career politician.” The two candidates’ first and only television debate together occurred Tuesday at WSBT studios in Mishawaka. Mullen and Walorski also held a radio debate in Wabash, Ind., on Oct. 25. Colwell said Mullen came across as more assertive than Walorski in the debates because of the “prevent defense” Walorski has adopted to preserver her favorable poll numbers. “Mullen tried to get in all of his points and was critical of Walorski on the privatization of social security,” Colwell said. “Walorski seemed more intent on not making a mistake to preserve what’s assumed to be her lead.” Colwell attributed some of the contention in the race to the district’s residents’ moderate political leanings. “Both parties in seeking control of the House will zero in on this district as one that could be won,” Colwell said. “There are a lot of congressional districts across the country where it’s obvious that one party will win, but if it’s close, both sides will come in spending millions of dollars to make television stations happy.”last_img read more

Teenage video game players have brains ‘like gambling addicts’

first_imgDaily Mail (UK) 15 Nov 2011Teenagers who spend hours playing video games may have a similar brain structure to gambling addicts, research suggests. In a study of 14-year-olds, those who played frequently had a larger ‘reward centre’ in their brains than those who played less often. Brain scans showed those who played for more than nine hours a week produced more of the ‘feel-good’ chemical dopamine. They produced even more when they were losing, an effect seen in pathological gamblers which is thought to be what prevents them from stopping when they are on a losing streak. Playing video games was also shown to reduce decision time – a key skill for being good at them – which is also a characteristic of gamblers.The researchers do not know whether gaming causes the brain to change, or whether people are born with this brain structure which makes them want to spend hours playing. But they say it is a crucial first step in understanding whether video games could be addictive. This study, published in the journal Translational Psychiatry, is the first to connect frequent video gaming with differences in both brain structure and activity. Dr Simon Kuhn of Ghent University in Belgium and colleagues in the UK and Germany analysed brain scans of more than 150 teenagers who were classified as playing video games either moderately or a lot.http://www.dailymail.co.uk/sciencetech/article-2061983/Teenage-video-game-players-brains-like-gambling-addicts.html#ixzz1dvi16SGOlast_img read more

Captains need to use pacers differently in Test: Gautam Gambhir

first_imgKolkata: Former India opener Gautam Gambhir is excited about the Pink Ball Test between India and Bangladesh, starting at the iconic Eden Gardens here from Friday. Gambhir, who is an expert at sports broadcaster Star Sports, said both the captains will have to use their pacers differently as the conditions will be different under the lights.Gambhir while talking about Pink Ball under lights on Nerolac Cricket Live said: “I am really excited to see how this pink ball behaves because I have played with the Kookaburra ball which behaves much differently. One thing I realized was under the lights it was really difficult to pick the wrist spinner.”Another thing is that captains will now need to use their fast bowlers differently; in red-ball cricket, they use them early in the morning but in the day-and-night matches, they will probably have to use them under lights as well,” Gambhir said. IANSAlso Read: Bangladesh already a Wicket down without Shakib: Gautam GambhirAlso Watch: Govt all set to push for the contentious Citizenship Bill in the winter session of Parliamentlast_img read more