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Even Joe Manchin

Quick Senate Update: With wins by Mark Kelly (D-AZ) and Catherine Cortez Masto (D-NV), the Democratic Party has maintained its majority in the Senate. Here’s the unmisleading map:

The current state of the Senate, with 3 seats undecided.
Red = Republican
Blue = Democratic
Light blue = Independent but votes Democratic
White = party undecided
Click for a full-size version.
If Warnock wins for a 51-49 Democratic edge...

Democratic leadership will no longer have to rely on every single Senator's vote to pass legislation

Even Joe Manchin?

Especially Joe Manchin.

Both wins were not hugely surprising. We still don’t know who will represent Alaska or Nebraska, but we know it will be a Republican. And of course, we won’t know until the runoff on December 6th whether Democratic Raphael Warnock or Republican Herschel Walker will represent Georgia.

The runoff election in Georgia is still extremely important, though. If Warnock wins for a 51-49 Democratic edge, Democratic leadership will no longer have to rely on every single Senator’s vote to pass legislation, including Joe Manchin (D-WV). That would be great news for Democratics everywhere for two reasons. First, for passing legislation, which after all is the entire point of being the majority party. Second, the occasional (or even frequent) no vote will allow Manchin to say he “stood up to the left wing of his own party,” which will be helpful for his re-election campaign in 2024 in ultra-conservative West Virginia.

All this comes with a big IF, of course: IF Raphael Warnock wins the runoff election against Herschel Walker. No matter which candidate you support: VOTE! VOLUNTEER! DONATE! The future of American democracy is in your hands.

Senate Update 2022: Slimed

A non-misleading map of the current state of the U.S. Senate after the 2022 midterm elections
The current state of the Senate, with 5 seats undecided.
Red = Republican
Blue = Democratic
Light blue = Independent but votes Democratic
White = party undecided
Click for a full-size version.

Which political party will control the Senate when the next legislative term starts on January 3, 2023?

I don’t know.

(I hope someone gets the reference.)

Five seats are still undecided, three of which have implications for control. If the Democratic Party wins 2 out of 3 seats, they will control the Senate by virtue of either a 50-50 tie plus the Vice President as tiebreaker, or by a 51-49 majority. If the Republicans win all three, they will control the Senate with a 51-49 majority.

Here are the seats whose Senators are still unknown, ordered from least to most interesting.

Nebraska Group 3 (next election 2026): Ben Sasse will resign immediately at the beginning of the next term to become President of the University of Florida, a job for which he is extremely well qualified. He has been one of the few Republicans to even try to stand up to Trump, so I wish him well. His successor will be named by the Governor of Nebraska, pending an off-cycle special election in 2024. It’s technically possible that Republican Governor Pete Ricketts will name a Democratic Senator, but hahahahahahahahahaha no.

Alaska Group 3 (current cycle): Alaska has a weird system using Australia-style ranked choice voting, independent of party. Currently, Trump-backed Republican candidate Kelly Tshibaka leads incumbent Republican Lisa Murkowski. The margin is hard to evaluate because of the ranked choice voting system, but it looks like the predicted comfortable victory by Tshibaka will turn into a close victory. But a win is a win – and even if Murkowski comes back, the seat will still be held by Republicans.

Arizona Group 3 (current cycle): With 82 percent of the vote counted, Democratic incumbent Mark Kelly currently leads Republican challenger Blake Masters by 115,000 votes, for a 52%-46% edge (plus a few percentage points for minor parties). Most of the remaining ballots are from Maricopa County (Phoenix and suburbs) and/or are mail-in ballots, both of which lean Democratic. Kelly will almost certainly be re-elected.

Nevada Group 3 (current cycle): This one is hella close. With 90 percent of the vote counted, Nevada’s Republican Attorney General Adam Laxalt leads Democratic incumbent Catherine Cortez Masto by just 9,000 votes, just a 49%-48% edge. With mostly mail-in ballots from Clark County remaining, Cortez Masto could still win – but so far the margin of those appears to be 50-50 as Laxalt holds a slight edge. I have no idea what will happen here. If Laxalt holds, then once again it all comes down to the runoff election in…

Georgia Group 3 (current cycle): Georgia has a Brazil-like system where, if no candidate gets a majority, the election heads to a second round with the top two candidates. Democratic incumbent Reverend Raphael Warnock leads Republican challenger Herschel Walker by 35,000 votes for a 49.5%-48.5% margin, but neither candidate got the required majority of votes cast to win outright. The runoff is scheduled for Tuesday, December 6th. Again, this one could go either way. Runoff elections tend to have higher turnout, which would favor Warnock. But without a Libertarian candidate to pull votes away, Walker could do better in a one-on-one matchup.

So where does that leave us? On the news, you have probably seen visualizations of the composition of the Senate, either as a map or as a series of dots in a half-circle. Both visualizations have major disadvantages. The map massively overstates the importance of large-area, low-population states, resulting in a skewed view. The dot-half-circle view fairly represents the balance of power by depicting area, but removes all geographic context.

With my passion for data visualization and mapmaking, I figured we can do better. So here is the state of the U.S. Senate at this moment. All states have equal areas in the map, are in their approximate relative locations, and are surrounded by yellow borders. Each hexagon shows one Senator, gives that Senator’s last name, and is color coded by party. Red means Republican, blue means Democratic, and light blue means independents who vote with the Democratic Party. The red hexagons with ? labels mean that we know the Senator will be Republican, but we don’t know which Republican. The white hexagons with ? labels mean that we don’t know either the next Senator or the next Senator’s party. Click on the image for a larger view.

A non-misleading map of the current state of the U.S. Senate after the 2022 midterm elections
The current state of the Senate, with 5 seats undecided.
Red = Republican
Blue = Democratic
Light blue = Independent but votes Democratic
White = party undecided
Click for a full-size version.

I’ll keep updating the map as we learn more. Check back here to learn what the future of the USA will look like!

VOTE!

VOTE!

Today is Election Day in the United states.

VOTE!

Even if you live in a state with a Senate seat and in a district where the incumbent will win 95 percent of the vote, VOTE!

Separation of powers means that your city and county elected officials have just as much influence over your world as the President. Every race matters. So VOTE!

The composition of the U.S. House and Senate will change greatly tomorrow, in ways that we can’t fully predict right now. Here is what our Congress looks like now.

The Senate

Click for a larger version

The House of Representatives

Click for a larger version

Both these maps might look very different after today’s results. It’ll take me some time to make new versions, since the district boundaries have changed as a result of the 2020 U.S. Census. But rest assured I will update the maps. Yay maps!

Also: VOTE!

Announcing Our Sexy 2022 WINNER!

The votes are in!

After a record 38 votes, we have a winner in the Sixth Annual Best Sexy [Thing That Is Inherently Not Sexy] Halloween Costume Contest™!

In my earlier post, Back Again! Sexy Unsexy Halloween Costumes!, I explained the purpose of the contest and reviewed the winners of the 2015-2019 contests (the 2020 and 2021 contests were cancelled due to the global COVID-19 pandemic). On Halloween Monday, I revealed this year’s record 23 nominees, sent in by you! From there, I chose 12 finalists and invited you to vote for your favorites.

Here are the results, in order of increasing votes, with ties broken by me.


In twelfth place, with zero votes:

Sexy Fart (for Kids!)

Suggested by Aimee Shoff

Kids costumes are never within the Sexy Unsexy Costume Contest brief, for reasons that I really really really hope are obvious to everyone. But some costume designs are so WTF inappropriate that they just have to be included.

This one came in under a cloud of suspicion, but ultimately it was a stinker.

The good news is that this costume is extremely popular with kids – my sister tells me that my niece and nephew are already asking for one next year.


In eleventh place, also with zero votes:

Sexy Blockbuster Video Employee

Suggested by Aimee Shoff

Everyone’s favorite costume from Halloween 1992 – and like Blockbuster Video itself, it is still inexplicably around for Halloween 2022!


In tenth place, with one vote:

Sexy Velma

Suggested by Aimee Shoff

Since when was Velma the sexy one in the Mystery Machine crew? Since ALWAYS!

Seriously, though, Velma is the best. Universal agreement across all genders and sexual orientations on this one.


In ninth place, with one vote:

Sexy Blank Spirit Halloween Costume Meme

Suggested by David Dudich

Fake Spirit Halloween Costumes was the joke that the 2022 Internet ran into the ground, through the core of the Earth, and out the other side. This one not only beats them all, it encompasses them all.

Be the blank slate onto which other people project their sexy desires!


In eighth place, with two votes:

Sexy Ketchup

Suggested by Joseph Kennedy

This one really pours it on thick.

Although, to be fair to the costume idea, I’ll include the comment from one of the people who voted for it:

Ooh, is that Ice-T? I vote for Ice-T!


In seventh place, with two votes:

Sexy Mail Carrier

Suggested by Aimee Shoff

Neither snow nor rain nor heat nor gloom of night stays this sexy courier from the swift completion of her appointed rounds on Halloween night. Wherever she may be rounding.

Bonus vote for representation for plus-size women!


In sixth place, with two votes:

Sexy Jester for Dudes

Suggested by Aimee Shoff

Are jesters sexy? No.

Is leather sexy? Maybe.

Is a hand strategically placed in front of a penis in a stock photo sexy? Wait what?


In fifth place, with three votes:

Sexy CVS Receipt

Suggested by Aimee Shoff

Rhode Island’s favorite convenience store brought us the Long Receipt that has been nearly universally adopted by similar stores, and now it brings us the Sexy Costume of the same.

The taller you are, the more realistic it is! Or alternatively, if you’re short, you get a train worthy of a royal wedding.


In fourth place, with four votes:

Sexy Airpods for Couples

Suggested by Aimee Shoff

A couples costume that lets you be sexy TOGETHER!

At least until one of you gets lost halfway through the evening, or until you stick it into the wrong hole.


In third place, with four votes:

Sexy Boob Ghost

Suggested by David Dudich and Aimee Shoff

Aimee sent this to me by private message so that she wouldn’t get sent to Facebook Jail. At first I wondered why a simple sheet-for-a-ghost Halloween costume would get her suspended.

Then I got it. BOOBS.


In second place, with six votes:

Sexy Honey Badger

Suggested by Jackie Bowman

Honey Badger don’t care… Honey Badger is SEXY!

Caution: may eat your face. But maybe you’re into that.


…and with 13 votes, our 2022 Best Sexy [Thing That Is Inherently Not Sexy] Halloween Costume Contest™ winner is…

Sexy Tardigrade

Suggested by Elliot Kresmer

A homemade costume is this year’s winner, with an incredibly strong WTF appeal: Sexy Tardigrade!

Tardigrades, also known as water bears, are microscopic animals that are found all over the Earth, in the most extreme environments from the Antarctic interior to a mile deep in the crust to the stratosphere – and even in outer space.

Yes, the accompanying costume photo really is what it looks like. At least the top half; the bottom half is pure sexy.

Sexy Tardigrade is also the first animal costume to win since Sexy Orca in 2015. Yes, I looked it up and confirmed that a tardigrade is an animal.

I’ll let you explain why this one won, in your own words from online discussion of this year’s contest:

I wish the tardigrade had boobs. Very hard to vote against boobs but logic follows that a sexy person would become a sexy ghost. So I guess I’m voting tardigrade! With ear pods as a close second.

same, with pretty much the same reasoning

I vote for the tardigrade. The blank meme and the CVS receipt are nicely meta/random, but I don’t think the CVS receipt is even trying to be sexy. In contrast, the repulsive top 💩 vs sexy bottom in the tardigrade are notable

So congratulations to Sexy Tardigrade, and congratulations to Elliot Kresmer on the winning suggestion! Elliot, I’ll be in touch about the $10 Amazon.com gift card.

I hope you enjoyed this year’s contest, and remember, it’s never too early to send entries for the 2023 contest!

Stay Sexy!

Your Sexy Unsexy Halloween Costumes!

After a delay due to Medical Complications (looooong story involving allergic reactions to antibiotics but I’m fine now)… welcome to the final round of the 2022 Best Sexy [Thing That Is Inherently Not Sexy] Halloween Costume Contest™!

In my most recent post, Back Again! Sexy Unsexy Halloween Costumes!, I explained the purpose of the contest and reviewed the winners of the 2015-2019 contests (the 2020 and 2021 contests were cancelled due to the global COVID-19 pandemic).

Today is Halloween, which was supposed to be the day I announced this year’s winners. Instead, we’ll review this year’s nominees – so very many nominees! And we’ll close with a poll to determine the winner, which I will announce later this week – as well as the person who suggested the winning costume, who wins a $10 Amazon.com gift card!

The Nominees

We got a record TWENTY-THREE NOMINEES this year! So many that I can’t include them all without making this post overwhelmingly long and the poll overwhelmingly difficult to score. And so, from the full list of 23 nominees, I designated twelve as finalists for the award – the best of the best, making sure to include at least one entry from each person who sent in a suggestion. First, I’ll link to photos of the Honorable Mention costumes, and then show the 12 finalists. And then we’ll vote!

Honorable Mention

With 23 suggestions, some just couldn’t make the final poll. Here are those great ideas. Click on the name of the costume for a photo.

Sexy 80s Workout Playboy Bunny

Sexy Bug

Sexy Conservative Guy Scared of Cities

Sexy Generic Pennywise for Kids

Sexy Hater DJ

Sexy Lunchables for Kids

Sexy Nun

Sexy Popcorn

Sexy Rubber Chicken for Dudes

Sexy Seahorse

Sexy Soldier

The Finalists

And now the finalists! Presented in alphabetical order, along with the person who suggested the costume, and my commentary on it

Sexy Airpods for Couples

Suggested by Aimee Shoff

Decide which one of you is Left Ear and which is Right Ear, but be prepared to stick it in the wrong hole at least once!

And a surefire way for one of you to get lost!

Sexy Blank Spirit Halloween Costume Meme

Suggested by David Dudich

Definitely the Internet’s favorite costume choice this year – I’m sure you have seen it across your Facebook feed once. And this one is all of them at once: a blank slate for all your sexy costumes.

So meta it’s meta!

Sexy Blockbuster Video Employee

Suggested by Aimee Shoff

Everyone’s favorite costume from Halloween 1992, still inexplicably around for Halloween 2022!

Sexy Boob Ghost

Suggested by David Dudich and Aimee Shoff

Aimee sent this to me by private message so that she wouldn’t get sent to Facebook Jail. At first I wondered why a simple sheet-for-a-ghost Halloween costume would get her suspended.

Then I got it.

Sexy CVS Receipt

Suggested by Aimee Shoff

The taller you are, the more realistic the costume!

Sexy Fart for Kids

Suggested by Aimee Shoff

It’s a kids costume, so it’s not sexy, but it’s certainly WTF.

Sexy Honey Badger

Suggested by Jackie Bowman

Honey Badger don’t care… Honey Badger is SEXY!

Caution: may eat your face

Sexy Jester for Dudes

Suggested by Aimee Shoff

Jesters weren’t historically considered sexy. But when you look like this, you’re sexy. And weird.

Sexy Ketchup

Suggested by Joseph Kennedy

Pour some on thick!

Sexy Mail Carrier

Suggested by Aimee Shoff

Neither snow nor rain nor heat nor gloom of night stays this sexy courier from the swift completion of her appointed rounds on Halloween night.

Sexy Tardigrade

Suggested by Elliot Kresmer

Evolutionarily speaking, it pays to pick a winner – and what could be more of a winner than an organism that survives everywhere from the Earth’s core to outer space?

Sexy Velma

Suggested by Aimee Shoff

Since when was Velma the sexy one in the Mystery Machine crew? Since ALWAYS!

So those are the nominees. Who will be the winner? You decide!

Select one of the options below.

Happy Halloween, everyone!

Stay safe, and Stay Sexy!

Back again: Sexy Unsexy Halloween Costumes!

Back from a two-year COVID-19 hiatus, it’s the most famous thing I’ve ever written about: welcome to the long-awaited Best Sexy [Thing That Is Inherently Not Sexy] Halloween Costume Contest™!

What is the Best Sexy [Thing That Is Inherently Not Sexy] Halloween Costume Contest™, you ask? It’s a joyous annual tradition celebrating (?) the weirdness that is Halloween as celebrated on Earth, and especially as celebrated in the United States. Specifically, the weirdness of women’s Halloween costumes.

What is so weird about women’s Halloween Costumes?

Imagine that you are a woman (easy for about 50% of you) and that your favorite animal is a moose (easy for me and maybe you too). You want nothing more than to go out with your friends and celebrate the majestic moose.

Behold, the ONLY women’s moose costume I could find on the Internet.

And there is the problem: for just about any costume idea you can imagine, there are no normal costumes available in women’s sizes for that idea – instead, there are just SEXY costumes. And Sexy Moose is not even in the Top 100 weirdest. (Aside: another weirdness is that this is clearly a women’s costume, but it has antlers, which only male moose have).

In 2015, I decided to take the moose by the antlers and sponsor a contest. It took off from there. Oh boy did it take off. People now send me these costumes twelve months a year. Someone once defined an Internet brand as the thing that, whenever anyone sees it, it makes them think of you. By that definition, my brand is… inappropriately sexy Halloween costumes. Y’all are WEIRD.

A caution before we begin: I don’t want to sound like I’m making fun of any women who wear these costumes. You should wear whatever you want this Halloween, and have fun wearing it. Instead, I want to make fun of a society that thinks so little of women that it offers absolutely no costumes but sexy ones.

The Contest

Bernie Sanders meme: "I am once again asking for you to send me sexy Halloween costumes"

Once again, I invite you to suggest the best, weirdest, most WTF examples of sexy Halloween costumes. In particular, I invite you to suggest costumes that bring sexy to things that are totally, completely, Inherently Not Sexy. (If you send me a costume idea since the last completed contest in 2019, please send it again.) Comment here, or on my social media, or email me at jordan.raddick@gmail.com.

Coming up here are the winners of the Best Sexy [Thing That Is Inherently Not Sexy] Halloween Costume Contest™ for the years 2015 to 2019. I think you’ll agree that, not only are they all completely batshit, they get more batshit with each year. I can’t wait to see what this year’s suggestions will bring.

The rest of this week, I’ll post the suggestions I receive from you. On Friday, I’ll post a poll asking you to vote for the winning (?) costume. You’ll have the weekend to vote, and the winner will be announced on Halloween itself, next Monday.

A new twist this year: A PRIZE! The person who suggests the winning (?) costume will receive not only Internet fame, but also a $10 Amazon.com gift card.

Good luck and Happy Halloween!

Previous Winners (?)

Presenting the winners from previous years, and the people who suggested them:

2015: Sexy Orca

Suggested by Jeremy Berg

Because nothing says “sexy” like GIANT SWIMMING WHALE OF DEATH!

Black-and-white costume with a tail hanging from the back and a hoodie that looks like a killer whale head
Sexy orca (click for a larger version)

2016: Sexy Scrabble

Suggested by Kelly Simms

When people say “smart is the new sexy,” I don’t think this is what they had in mind. Possible exception if your name is Magdalena Krzyzewski.

A short white dress decorated like a Scrabble board (with colored ties), and thigh fringe with letters
Sexy Scrabble (click for a larger version)

2017: Sexy Green Poo

Suggested by Aimee Shoff

This was a reference to one of cultural items that makes no sense even five years later. For Halloween 2017, Burger King sold a limited-edition “Black Whopper” – just a regular Whopper sandwich served in a black bun. And apparently, it turned your poo green. Who thinks green poo is sexy? Please don’t answer that question.

Green poo-shaped costume from too many Sexy Black Whoppers
Sexy green poo (click for a larger version)

2018: Sexy Art Gallery Urinal

Suggested by Christina Rawls

A reference to a different pop culture icon: the art exhibit Fountain by Marcel Duchamp, a literal urinal that he submitted to an art gallery. With this costume, you can make a subversive statement about the nature of art, while also finding partners who enjoy the same things you do.

A very short dress decorated to look like a urinal - ceci n'est pas une Halloween costume
Sexy art gallery urinal (click for a larger version)

2019: Sexy Mr. Rogers

Suggested by Elliot Kresmer

After two straight years of scatological costume humor, the contest went in a… different… direction. This costume was inspired by the box-office success A Beautiful Day in the Neighborhood, starring Tom Hanks the legendary children’s TV host. It includes his iconic red sweater, which you can take off when the trolley takes you to the land of make-believe.

Sexy Mr. Rogers, with black stiletto heels and HAND PUPPETS of King Friday and Daniel the Lion
Sexy Mr. Rogers (click for a larger version)

I’ll feature your costume suggestions the rest of the week, put up a poll on Friday, and announce winners on Monday – as well as who won THE PRIZE!

Happy Halloween, everyone!