Trump in a slump

A week after his dreadful debate performance with Hillary Clinton, polls have headed south for Donald Trump. Read the rest

Report: Trump angry at own aides after they concede he lost debate

People close to Trump are admitting he got thrashed by Hillary Clinton on Monday. But they're doing so on condition of anonymity and pharaoh is displeased. Read the rest

Unskew the polls! Trumpkins claim they're rigged

In the 2012 election, as it became clear Barack Obama was polling better than Mittens Romney, it was claimed the polls were "skewed" in favor of Democratic candidates. Turned out that the polls underestimated Obama's margin of victory. But with Donald Trump trailing Hillary Clinton in similar fashion four years on, the "unskewers" are back. Read the rest

Sanders supporters are the least racist

Reuters' largest poll of 2016 on the racial attitudes of supporters of various political candidates found that Trump supporters are seriously racist, Clinton supporters are a little less racist than the average respondent, but Sanders supporters are less racist than the supporters of any other candidate. Read the rest

Britons vote to name $287m research ship "Boaty McBoatface"

After asking the public to decide upon a name for a $287m research ship, Britain's Natural Environment Research Council is feeling stupid, because they've picked "Boaty McBoatface."

“The storm that has been created has got legs of its own,” Mr. Hand told the BBC on Monday, and added that he had submitted Boaty McBoatface in another competition. (For what it’s worth, Mr. Hand voted for the name R.R.S. David Attenborough.)

The research council would not comment on whether it would override the Internet’s suggestion, but Alison Robinson, a spokeswoman, said in an email that the group was “delighted by the enthusiasm and creativity” of people vying for names like Boaty McBoatface. The ship is scheduled to set sail in 2019.

“We’ve had thousands of suggestions made on the website since we officially launched; many of them reflect the importance of the ship’s scientific role by celebrating great British explorers and scientists,” Ms. Robinson said. “We are pleased that people are embracing the idea in a spirit of fun.”

There's something particularly British about "Boaty McBoatface." The way it thinks it's funny and lighthearted and a bit subversive, but the teeth are pressed together just a little too hard for it to be any of those things.

(Just leaving it as "Name of Vessel", on the other hand, would be British in a good way: sarcastic, passive-aggressive, likely to confuse/irritate foreign maritime officials, etc) Read the rest

If Iceland held its elections today, the Pirate Party would win

Pirate Party MP Birgitta Jonsdottir has long sat in the Icelandic parliament, later joined by two more MPs, being part of the reform movement that has repudiated the Icelandic establishment, which helped drive the planet to the brink of ruin through corrupt banking practices. Read the rest

The values gap between America and Europe

Another oldie, doing the rounds today thanks to Twitter, is a 2011 "values" poll from Pew Research which found striking differences between how Americans and Europeans think about stuff. Read the rest

Interactive chart displays opinion gaps between scientists and public

Pew Research Center just released an interactive chart showing gaps between scientific consensus and public opinion. Refine results by gender, age, race, education, ideology, political party, and level of science knowledge. Read the rest

Toronto Mayor Rob Ford's polls go up after he's caught lying about crack-smoking video

Back in August, Toronto Mayor Rob "Laughable Bumblefuck" Ford was caught smoking crack. Now he's been caught lying about smoking crack -- and smearing his critics with still more lies, and his fixer/drug dealer has been charged with extortion in the attempt to suppress the evidence.

So, naturally, his approval rating is up.

The old city of Toronto -- a political boundary that was abolished by Conservative premier Mike Harris in 1998 -- still hates Ford; he barely registers there. But the city's surrounding suburban sprawl is has a large cohort of foolish people who are only too delighted to cram their lying, drunken, stoned, incompetent top choice down the city's throat.

Toronto doesn't have the government it deserves: it has the government its worst neighbours deserve. Read the rest