Republican presidential candidate/human idea toilet Ted Cruz just published a new memoir to promote his presidential campaign. The New York Times refused to put the book on its bestseller list, saying its sales numbers were inflated due to "strategic bulk purchases." Now Amazon and the book's publisher, Harper Collins, are both defending Cruz, saying they see no sign of bulk purchases.

I mean, the dirty secret of all bestselling political books is that they're manipulated by bulk purchases. Getting "New York Times Bestseller" on the front of your book is a cheap way to earn credibility and popularity. All sorts of authors and pubishers do this.

If you want a look inside how this kind of thing happens, you should read about the scandal that erupted when it was revealed that former Mars Hill preacher/human hairgel farm Mark Driscoll's book Real Marriage only landed on the bestseller list due to bulk purchase manipulation. Blogger Warren Throckmorton published a copy of the contract Mars Hill signed to land the book on the list, and it's full of little tricks: the agency in question uses "over a thousand different payment types” to buy multiple copies of the book and “requires a minimum of 90 geographically disperse (sic) addresses” to ship those copies to, in order to make it seem like the book was a spontaneous success. I have no doubt that agencies like the one Driscoll hired are still in operation and still gaming the system. This gig is too lucrative for them to give up. Is Cruz's campaign using one of these firms? I have no way of saying for sure — I certainly have no proof — but it's pretty damn likely.