John Hayward

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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

ObamaCare: an 'easily hacked' trove of juicy personal data

Another ObamaCare enrollment period is upon us, which means the accumulated trove of personal data stored in the glitchy HealthCareDotGov website will become an even more tempting target for hackers.  The test servers got hacked a while back, without anyone realizing it for almost two months... a development the Administration was not exactly eager to discuss with the public.  But at least they learned from the experienced and fixed all the security flaws in the live site, right?  Well... Oct 28, 2014 12:14 PM PT

HHS official: insurance cancellations are just 'invitations' to sign up for ObamaCare

It's not easy to pretend that a failure as immense as ObamaCare is "working," much less living up to its promises, but the hard Left and Administration drones keep trying.  The latest road apple dropped by Health and Human Services, after a wild night of binging on Orwellian doublespeak tacos, asks us to view insurance cancellations as merely polite invitations to sign up for the People's Glorious Health Care Plan. Oct 28, 2014 11:54 AM PT

Scott Walker Hung Out to Dry?

Politico's article on the dust-up between Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker - currently running neck and neck with his Democrat challenger Mary Burke - and the head of the Republican Governor's Association, Chris Christie, has Walker sounding bitter that Christie won't cut money loose for the Wisconsin battle: Oct 28, 2014 9:10 AM PT

The American people aren't the ones making a big deal about Ebola

The latest round of Ebola politics ended in confusion, recriminations, and a puddle of melted politicians, as New Jersey Governor Chris Christie and New York Governor Andrew Cuomo declared they would go their own way on quarantine protocols... and then folded up under White House and media pressure within 48 hours.  I find the whole thing a baffling series of misjudgments by everyone involved.   Oct 27, 2014 10:31 AM PT

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