John Hayward

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The 2014 wave hits the beaches of 2016

You'll read some thorough, well-researched analysis about what the 2014 midterm election wave means for various potential 2016 presidential candidates.  I think the time is right for some guy out in flyover country to whip a quick post off the top of his head. Nov 6, 2014 10:00 AM PT

Image of the night: Charlie Crist's fan put away for the last time

I'm sure my fellow Floridian Javier will join me in thanking Governor Rick Scott for scaring us all half to death with a close race, but in the end, soulless party-flipping opportunist Charlie Crist was sent packing.  The New York Times captured this beautiful image of Charlie's beloved fan - the one he insisted on using in violation of debate rules, because he looks awful without a fan blowing on him - for the very last time.  This is the closest we'll get to the image of the routed Democrats striking their flag and retiring from the field. Nov 5, 2014 5:35 AM PT

Fossilized Democrat Tom Harkin patronizes Joni Ernst

The latest polls have Republican Joni Ernst opening a commanding lead over Democrat Bruce Braley in the Iowa Senate contest.  Braley is a clumsy gaffe-machine candidate who shouldn't be within 10 points of her.  (Considering how many objectively awful candidates Democrats have run in this election cycle, I feel a bit cynical that some of these contests are "races" at all.  How can someone like Bruce Braley, or Mary Landrieu in Louisiana, still be in the running after actively insulting the voters?  Is this some combination of low expectations and masochism among certain electorates?) Nov 2, 2014 5:44 PM PT

Did Facebook's Secret Experiments on Users Affect the Outcome of the 2012 Election?

Back in July, I wrote about the controversy over Facebook secretly manipulating the news feeds of some users, in what amounted to a huge psychological experiment.  The idea was to tinker with the priority of good or bad news items appearing in the subjects' feeds, to see if getting hit with a lot of good news up front would improve their mood, or vice versa with those who were fed a diet of bad news.  Facebook insisted that the tinkering was fairly minor - there were only monkeying with the order in which news items appeared, not hiding anything from the users.  Many Facebook users strenuously objected to being manipulated, even subtly, without their knowledge. Nov 1, 2014 11:14 AM PT

Suggested snack for Halloween: a bowl of creepypasta

The term "creepypasta" is fairly elastic, covering a lot of Internet short fiction and manufactured urban legends - a notable example being the "Slender Man," which began as a set of clever Photoshops inserting a tall, disturbing humanoid figure into mundane pictures of kids at play, and grew into an urban legend about a possibly extraterrestrial stalker.  (Slender Man then got commercialized, even receiving his own video games.)   Oct 31, 2014 12:36 PM PT

America's new pyscho-politico-sexual crisis: Catcalls

An enormously popular viral video was created by an attractive young woman who spent ten hours walking the streets of New York City behind a guy lugging a hidden camera in his backpack, to record the various catcalls, wolf whistles, and aggressive greetings thrown her way: Oct 30, 2014 10:28 AM PT

Scott Walker up 7 in Wisconsin

It might be too early to describe this as the epilogue of the Scott Walker vs. Chris Christie funding spat from earlier in the week, but the final Marquette University poll of the Wisconsin gubernatorial race has Walker leaping out to a commanding 7-point lead over Democrat Mary Burke.  The two candidates were dead even in the same poll two weeks ago.  This puts Walker's lead outside both the poll's margin of error, and the percentage of undecided voters remaining in the race.   Oct 29, 2014 2:34 PM PT

'Suspicious cyber activity' at the White House

Here's a lovely companion piece to the story about how ObamaCare's servers remain vulnerable to hacker attack: the White House itself appears to have been penetrated by online hooligans.  Reuters reports assurances from the Administration that no sensitive data was compromised: Oct 29, 2014 8:41 AM PT

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