How people express support as John McCain faces brain cancer

John McCain has an aggressive form of brain cancer. After 31 years of high-visibility leadership in the Senate, he’s due a lot of sympathy. The sincere and personal notes that his colleagues have written impressed me. The prognosis for McCain’s cancer is poor. Like many Americans, I’ve admired him for years. His heroism as a … Continued

Talking about Donald Trump and Twitter with an idealist from 2007

Josh from 2007: I can’t believe it. I can’t believe I’m talking to you ten years in the future. Josh 2017: Yup. I’m here to tell you that you were right about social media blowing up. Even politicians are using it. But it turns out that connecting a politician’s brain directly to millions of voters … Continued

Democratic response from Steve Beshear shows no audacity, no hope

Steve Beshear, a Democrat and former governor of Kentucky, presented the Democratic response to Trump’s speech to Congress. Where Trump delivered platitudes mixed with policy in front of Congress, Beshear gave us platitudes mixed with whining (in a diner). It probably didn’t help that Beshear doesn’t know who he is. Here’s his confused opener: I’m … Continued

How to deal with schmucks (like the guy Delta Air Lines just banned)

There’s a lot more public nastiness since the election. For example, there’s the passenger who, as a Delta Air Lines flight was boarding, starting shouting offensive stuff like “Donald Trump, baby! We got some Hillary bitches on here?” Delta has banned him for life. Is this the right way to deal with real-life trolls? Here’s part of … Continued

The bad faith lesson of Donald Trump at the New York Times

Donald Trump’s latest statements at the New York Times demonstrated an amazing “flexibility” (in other words, he changed long-held positions). If you were scared of Trump’s rhetoric, perhaps this encouraged you. But once you understand the dangers of negotiating in bad faith, your optimism will evaporate. What is bad faith? In a negotiation, each side … Continued

Nate Silver wasn’t wrong

My Facebook feed is full of people angry at election forecaster Nate Silver of fivethirtyeight.com, declaring him a failure. They’re wrong. Here’s why he was right . . . and why you’re blaming the wrong guy. My argument has three simple points: Nate Silver’s forecast wasn’t wrong, because he didn’t predict a Clinton win. Polling … Continued

Strange potential consequences of a Donald Trump presidency

I have consistently criticized — and ridiculed — Donald Trump. Now he will be president. Stop crying or cheering for a minute, and consider what might happen next. I have. Like a true analyst, I put emotion aside and make some sober predictions. At the heart of this analysis: Donald Trump is no Republican, and owes nobody anything. … Continued

Fivethirtyeight.com reveals the whole election in one gutsy graphic

This is a puzzling election to understand, with unconventional candidates, unusual voting patterns, and hundreds of fluctuating polls. One site does the best at tracking the race (as opposed to the candidates and issues): Nate Silver’s fivethirtyeight.com. And one very strange graphic on that site shows exactly what’s happening, what matters, and what’s changing. Here … Continued