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


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?


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


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.

Some Questions for the Gun Store Owner With the “Muslim-Free Zone”

When a gun shop owner announces he’s closing because he’s tired of selling arms to young, disturbed white guys wearing rebel flags, that will be a YouTube video worth watching

It’s bad enough that a gun store owner declared his store a “Muslim-free zone” after the shooting and killing of four Marines and a Navy sailor by 24-year-old Muhammad Youssef Abdelazeez. That he chose to deliver this message in front of a rebel flag tacked up over an American flag, while wearing a sidearm, made this move just that much worse.

There are so many questions raised by Andy Hallinan’s video. For starters:

  • Why didn’t Hallinan declare his gun shop a “white supremacist who says he wants to start a race war free zone” after 21-year-old Dylann Roof shot and killed nine people at a Charleston church?


  • 8%

    Actual percentage of voters in the U.S. electorate who support Donald Trump, according to Nate Silver at “Right now, [Trump] has 25 to 30% of the vote in polls among the roughly 25% of Americans who identify as Republican,” Silver writes. “That’s something like 6 to 8% of the electorate overall, or about the same share of people who think the Apollo moon landings were faked.”

  • 83%

    Sen. Bernie Sanders’ (I-VT) approval rating among his own constituents, the highest of any United States senator, a new Morning Consult survey finds.

  • 46%

    Presidential Obama’s approval rating, with 50% disapproving, according to a new Washington Post/ABC News poll. The fall has been driven almost entirely by concerns about terrorism and refugees.

  • 51%

    Of adults said the government should ensure the health care coverage of all Americans, according to a new Gallup survey released Monday. That is slightly more than the 47 percent of Americans who said it is not the government’s responsibility, though the difference is still within the poll’s margin of error.

  • 23%

    Of Americans think President Obama has a clear plan for dealing with ISIS, the lowest number yet recorded, according to a new CBS News poll. Sixty-six percent do not think he has a clear plan — a new high. “Large majorities of Republicans and independents say the President doesn’t have a clear plan, and almost half of Democrats (40%) agree. More Democrats (45%) say he doesn’t have a plan than say he does.”

Poetic Justice

With an “It’s not my time,” Bobby Jindal’s outta there,
After his quixotic presidential climb went nowhere.
You’d have to be a psychotic pollyanna
To want for the nation what he did for Louisiana.
Asked who he’d endorse, Jindal said, “I don’t think people care.”


  • Republican elites are panicky about the durable dominance of Trump (and to a lesser extent Ben Carson) in the presidential race. They are right to worry, but I don’t feel much sympathy. Trump is a problem of their own creation. … Trump gets ever more base in his bigotry — and yet, with few and intermittent exceptions, rival candidates, party leaders and GOP lawmakers decline to call him out. So he continues to rise, benefiting from tacit acceptance of his intolerance. … For months — years, really — Republicans have averted their gaze from Trump’s attacks on women, Hispanics and immigrants. Now the racism becomes more overt — and still, he goes unchallenged.

    — Dana Millbank, writing in the Washington Post.

  • Europe is under invasion and Paris is the first city to fall under full attack. We in the U.S. are next and the Quisling who has opened wide our gates to the invading horde is our very own president.

    — Alaska state Rep. Pete Kelly (R), quoted by the Alaska Dispatch News, on the Syrian refugees.

  • It’s still a capital crime, and I would give him the death sentence, and I would prefer to see him hanged by the neck until he’s dead, rather than merely electrocuted.

    — Former CIA director James Woolsey, telling CNN that leaker Edward Snowden should be convicted of treason and given the death penalty in the wake of the terrorist attack on Paris.

  • These are the same folks who suggested they’re so tough that just talk to Putin or staring down ISIL [will work] … but they’re scared of widows and orphans …. First they were worried the press was too tough on them in the debates, now they’re worried about 3-year old orphans. That doesn’t sound very tough to me.

    — President Obama, quoted by NBC News, blasting GOP presidential candidates for rhetoric about Syrian refugees.

  • Nobody wants to say this and nobody wants to shut down religious institutions or anything, but you know, you understand it. A lot of people understand it. We’re going to have no choice.

    — Leading GOP presidential candidate Donald Trump, saying the United States will have “absolutely no choice” but to close down some mosques where “some bad things are happening,” Politico reports.



Republicans Hate the Constitution