The GOP Frontrunner Is a Notorious Adulterer Whose Current Wife Posed Nude – Is This the End of GOP ‘Family Values?’
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Future First Lady Melania Trump posing in 2000 for a photo spread in British GQ

Now that we have a Republican frontrunner who is an infamous serial adulterer and whose current wife once posed nude for a magazine in his private jet, can we say that the GOP’s 35-year masquerade as the party of “family values” is officially over?

Imagine for a moment that photos had emerged of a wife of a past Republican frontrunner — Ann Romney or Cindy McCain, for example — supine on a fur rug in the altogether. Their husbands’ campaigns would have been over faster than Rick Perry could say “Oops.” But this is Teflon Don, so even evangelicals are apparently okay with what they’d otherwise consider a sinful display.

And then there is the candidate himself. Just 14 years after impeaching Pres. Clinton over a sex lie in civil lawsuit, the Republicans are now giving majority support to a notorious philanderer who openly carried on an affair with wife number two while still married to wife number one, and may have started seeing number three (the one who posed nude) while still married to number two.

Google Search Is Gaming the 2016 Election
'The best place to hide a dead body is Page 2 of Google results.' — Anonymous

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And you thought it was the Koch brothers and super PACs that were calling the 2016 election. A new study reveals that Google’s search algorithms have the potential to sway undecided voters merely on the power of results rankings in Google search.

Google Search is having a detrimental affect on democracy by swaying undecided voters through its rankings, according to new research. A study by the American Institute for Behavioural Research and Technology found that Google has the power to shift voting preferences in the upcoming 2016 US elections by 20% or more through the results brought up by its secretive search algorithms, with Democrat candidate Hillary Clinton the most likely to benefit.

Through five experiments carried out in two countries, the study found that the search engine manipulation effect (SEME) could even be used to determine an election outcome if the proportion of undecided voters is calculated first. SEME is described as a “virtually invisible” form of social influence that is currently not subject to any specific regulations anywhere in the world.

“What the research shows is that when a candidate is ranked higher on Google, that shifts the votes of undecided voters towards that candidate because we’ve all learned they have such incredible trust in those rankings,” Robert Epstein, senior research psychologist at the American Institute for Behaviour Research and Technology and co-author of the study, told WhoWhatWhy. “Some 50% of all of our clicks go to the top two [search results] and [more than] 90% of all clicks go on the first page.

“Because moderate Republicans are so vulnerable to SEME, this makes Hillary Clinton virtually a shoo-in if the next election is close. If she has Google’s support, no one is going to be able to mess with her and it means Google will be able to shift all kinds of people in her direction – even a big chunk, possibly, of moderate Republicans.”

Former Pres. Jimmy Carter Had Some Bad-Ass Friends

Like former Pres. Jimmy Carter himself, his friends seem pretty bad-ass. They put up 500 signs around Plains, Ga., where Carter lives, that said, “Jimmy Carter for Cancer Survivor.

Of course, the 90-year-old won’t live forever but it’s hard to make the case that he left anything on the field, as the saying goes, and it would be nice if he could.

Carter’s recent press conference announcing that he has metastatic cancer included two wishes for the rest of his time:

  • That the last guinea worm, which causes a painful and horrifying disease and which Carter has worked to eradicate, precede him in death.
  • That peace is achieved in the Middle East.

Neither outcome is likely, but the wish Carter didn’t make, for a long and happy life, is a done deal.

If You See Marco Rubio with a Football, Hide Your Children!

The ones where he hits the kids smack in the face are the best, but they’re all good. You’d think Markie Marc would learn after the first couple of passes how to do this thing.

Jeb Returns to His Neocon Roots: Vows to Finish Mideast Wars His Brother Started
A new Bush Doctrine, same as the old Bush Doctrine

Always Wrong: PNAC founders, from left, Jeb Bush, Dick Cheney, Bill Kristol, Donald Rumsfeld,  Paul Wolfowitz

Always Wrong: PNAC founders, from left, Jeb Bush, Dick Cheney, Bill Kristol, Donald Rumsfeld, Paul Wolfowitz

Five days after calling his brother George W. Bush’s invasion and occupation of Iraq a “mistake” and saying he “wouldn’t have gone in,” Jeb Bush announced to a war-weary nation that he’s running for president not just to become the third Bush in the White House, but also to be the third Bush president to invade the Middle East.

In a speech at the Reagan Library in Simi Valley, Calif., yesterday Bush announced essentially that, if elected, he would revive the Bush Doctrine, the plan concocted by George W. Bush, Bush’s vice president, Dick Cheney, and other neoconservatives that called for using military force to subjugate the Middle East under the guise of democratizing it but with the real intention of control its “strategic interests,” which is to say its oil reserves.

Trump’s Big Government, ‘Expedited’ Revolving-Door Amnesty Plan Would Cost $375 BILLION
About his support for socialized healthcare for the poor, Trump says, 'If I lose votes over that, or if I don't get a nomination over that, that's just fine with me'
Donald Trump interviewed by CNN's Dana Bash, July 29, 2015

Donald Trump interviewed by CNN’s Dana Bash, July 29, 2015

Now that the media is forcing Donald Trump to provide specifics to back up his bravado and bluster, he’s revealing himself to be just another big-spending, big-government Republican — at least when it comes to two of the nation’s most complex and intractable problems: funding healthcare for the poor and what to do about the millions of undocumented residents living in the United States.

In an interview with CNN’s Dana Bash, Donald Trump admitted he once supported socialized healthcare in the form of a single-payer system like Medicare for seniors in the United States and the cradle-to-grave socialized systems in Canada, Great Britain, Spain, Japan, Kuwait and other U.S. competitor and allied nations.

(CNN has not enable embedding the video, but see it here — and the transcript of section of the interview about Trump’s healthcare and immigration plans follows this article)

Trump Again Triggers the Instinct to Destroy Stuff

There’s something about Donald Trump that makes people want to beat things, and this ad from a Van Nuys, Calif. Nissan dealer is proof. The ad, which has been condemned by Nissan corporate, shows a sales manager nicknamed, “The Ladies’ Man” beating a pinata of a man in a suit with a generous topping of blonde hair.

After store managers hit the piñata, Van Nuys General Sales Manager Martin Cuevas declares, “Aqui en Van Nuys Nissan, los Latinos mandan.” (Translation: “Here at Van Nuys Nissan, Latinos rule.”)

Nissan quickly condemned the ad.

Presidents Versus Porn Stars — Some Endorsements are More Welcome than Others

Mitt Romney (left) and Meatloaf

Mitt Romney (left) and Meatloaf

It might seem a bit early in the 2016 campaign for endorsements to make a difference, but apparently, since 1980 at least, endorsements from party elites and big donors have been the single best predictor of who a party’s eventual nominee will be, according to the New York Times.

The pace of endorsements is a bit off of what it has been in the past few elections, probably because of the number of candidates, at least on the GOP side. The Times notes that only 14 percent — or 45 of 335 — current Republican governors, senators or representatives have publicly backed a candidate. Of those who have, however, more have endorsed Jeb Bush than any other candidate.

Not so on the Democrat side, with Hillary Clinton bagging a former president (her husband), Madeleine Albright, former U.S. secretary of state and former U.S. ambassador to the United Nations, and Howard Dean, former chairman of the Democratic National Committee, former governor of Vermont and candidate for Democratic nomination for president in 2004.

In addition, Clinton has been endorsed by 11 sitting and former Democratic governors, 33 current or former U.S. senators and nearly 90 U.S. representatives as well as a ton of state politicians, government operatives, musicians and actors, celebrities and businesspeople.

Is John Kerry Really a Better Secretary of State than Hillary Clinton?
If So, How Much Is It Because of Sexism and How Much Because of Clinton Herself?

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John Kerry could eclipse his predecessor, Hillary Clinton, in the role of United States Secretary of State. If he does, will it be because of sexism, anti-Clintonism, or world events? Or is Kerry simply more effective?

Kerry has seen a recent series of diplomatic victories.

  • The Cuban embassy is open again in America for the first time since 1961, and the American embassy is open again in Cuba.
  • If Clinton has greatness within her, it’s time to take a page from Kerry and show it
  • After months of talks, some while Kerry was on crutches with an injured leg, a deal was worked with Iran to commit to not building a nuclear bomb and to allow inspections to verify they are not.
  • Saudi Arabia, which was expected to criticize the Iran deal and bolster opponents, publicly came out in favor of it.
  • After saying no for months, Turkey agreed to allow American air strikes on ISIL targets from bases in its country, which could prove pivotal in the fight.

Both Kerry and Clinton had their bad moments.

Run Donald, Run!
His Ticket Would HAVE to Be Called the Whig Party

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If you asked Democratic strategists for their dream scenario for 2016, here it is:

  • Hillary Clinton as the Democratic nominee
  • Generic Republican as the GOP nominee
  • Donald Trump as a third-party nominee

There is a chance this wish might come true, according to a report that says Donnie is threatening to go rogue.

Enumerati

  • 247

    Number of mass shootings in the United States in the first 238 days of 2015, through Aug. 26, including the journalists murdered in Virginia yesterday. Aug. 26 was the 238th day of the year, the Washington Post reports.

  • 28%

    Donald Trump’s expanding lead over the Republican presidential pack, followed by Ben Carson at 12%, Jeb Bush, Ted Cruz and Marco Rubio all at 7%, according to a new Quinnipiac poll. On the Democratic side, Hillary Clinton leads with 45%, followed by Bernie Sanders at 22% and Joe Biden at 18%.

  • -51%

    Donald Trump’s disapproval rating among Hispanic voters, according to Gallup. His closest rivals for Hispanic disapproval are Rick Perry and Ted Cruz, at -7 percent, contrasted with Jeb Bush’s +11 percent approval rating.

  • 35%

    Donald Trump’s lead over the Republican presidential field, followed by John Kasich at 11%, Carly Fiorina at 10%, Jeb Bush at 7%, Scott Walker at 7%, Ben Carson at 6%, Marco Rubio, Chris Christie and Ted Cruz all at 4%, according to a new Public Policy Polling survey in New Hampshire.

  • 54%

    Hillary Clinton’s dominating lead over the Democratic field, followed by Sen. Bernie Sanders at 20%, Vice President Joe Biden at 11% and Martin O’Malley at 4%, according to a new Suffolk University poll in Iowa.

Poetic Justice

In the campaign they haven’t acted much like mateys,
But they both disdain foreign-national pregnant ladies.
Despite the Constitution,
Which labels them “American,”
Both Jeb and The Donald prefer the term “anchor babies.”

Verbatim

  • Jeb Bush established his inheritance of the family trait earlier this year, with his kick-off foreign policy speech. He confused Iraq for Iran, said Islamic State had 200,000 fighters instead of 20,000, and referred to the Islamic State leader as ‘the guy that’s the supreme leader, whatever his new title is, head of the caliphate.’ He said immigration should be ‘a catalytic converter for sustained economic growth.’ … But Jeb Bush’s slips tend to be different from those of his kin. His are more Freudian, involving accidental truths.

    — Dana Millbank in the Washington Post.

  • There is no war on women – there may be a war on what’s inside of women, but there is no war on women in this country.

    — Ben Carson, quoted by The Hill.

  • Donald Trump is turning the schoolyard taunt into a political art form. … These aren’t gaffes or off-script asides. They are part of a strategy, people close to Mr. Trump say, of knocking his Republican presidential rivals off their game. That, at least for now, is getting him the attention and poll ratings he wants among voters looking for an antidote to the artifice of U.S. politics. … But the intensely personal nature of Mr. Trump’s insults, sometimes mocking his rivals by mimicking them, is startling even to those who have grown accustomed to the sometimes low levels of civility in politics today.

    The Wall Street Journal

  • The 2016 campaign is merely the latest manifestation of decades of discord between Trump and the Bush family. Since the gilded 1980s, when Trump and George H.W. Bush rose as forces in their respective spheres, the relationship between Trump and the Bushes has been a melodrama — veering between displays of public affection and acerbic insults. … At the core, there are clashes of style, manner and class between the Bushes — a patrician clan of presidents, governors and financiers who have pulled the levers of power for generations — and Trump, a hustling New York City deal-maker who turned his father’s outer borough real-estate portfolio into a gold-plated empire.

    Washington Post

  • Trump has certainly crafted an appeal to voters who like impractical ideas. But his true threat lies in the fact that Trump himself is crazy — not just ideologically, though he is certainly that as well, but in the sense that he lacks any rational connection between his actions and his goals, to the extent that his goals are discernible at all. That is also his downfall.

    — Jonathan Chait, in New York Magazine.

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