Rep. Vance McAllister (R-Adultery)

What a wholesome politician:

Oh, yeah. What was it he did a couple of days ago?

Anything else we need to know?

Aides to McAllister confirmed to The Post that the staff member, who had recently joined the staff at the time of the romantic encounter, has been dropped from the congressman’s payroll.

According to Legistorm, a congressional staff salary database, the staffer in the video worked part-time and earned less than $22,000 a year. She is one of the only members of McAllister’s staff who is not a holdover from the staff hired by former congressman Rodney Alexander (R), who resigned last year and now serves as Secretary of the Louisiana Department of Veterans Affairs.

So, family-values Republican Christian protector of the unborn smooches with a staffer who is not Mrs. family-values Republican Christian protector of the unborn. The said non-Mrs. loses her job. The horny family-values guy will keep his.

And the Republicans don’t understand why they have a problem with women voters?

Anyone want to add anything else? Hit Girl?



Paul Krugman and “Equivalences”

In light of the Supreme Court ruling that people with lots of money can spend as much as they want to get the people they want elected, Paul Krugman takes a look at “Equivalencies”:

There are definitely times when it seems that our winner-take-all society is also a whiner-take-all society; it’s really amazing how quick billionaires are to portray themselves as victims because some people say nasty things about them.

One remarkable aspect of this whining is that the nasty things aren’t really all that nasty. Saying that the Koch brothers are using their wealth to promote a political agenda that will make them even wealthier is a substantive claim, not character assassination; it’s not at all the same as, say, suggesting that Hillary Clinton is a murderer. Yet the Kochs and Perkinses act as if this kind of thing were utterly vile, an attack on their liberty.

The other remarkable thing is the instant escalation of hurt feelings into a Godwin’s Law violation. You see, liberals criticize the Kochs; that makes them just like Hitler and Stalin, who murdered their opponents.

But wait, there’s more. What I’ve been hearing from Koch defenders is that people like me have no standing to ridicule billionaires. You see, I sometimes say sarcastic things about the arguments of people who disagree with me, and even question their motives when they say things I consider obviously wrong. And that’s just like comparing such people to Hitler.

The thing is, I don’t think the crybaby thing is an act, put on for strategic purposes. I think it’s real. Billionaires really are feeling vulnerable despite their wealth and power, or perhaps because of it. And the apparatchiks serving the .01 percent are deeply insecure, culturally and intellectually, so that ridicule cuts deep.

It’s kind of sad, really – but also more than a bit scary: When great power goes along with fragile egos, seriously bad things can happen.

Stupid is as stupid does: McConnell filibusters his own bill

Don’t dare someone to do something they’re willing to do. Just a suggestion:

Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) introduced legislation to raise the debt ceiling on Thursday, apparently with the intent of showing that even Democrats would not support such a bill.

However, McConnell’s plan backfired after Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-NV) called for a vote on the legislation, which would have given the president the authority to raise the federal debt ceiling on his own. The top Senate Republican was forced to filibuster his own bill.

“What we have here is a case of Republicans here in the Senate once again not taking ‘yes’ for an answer,” Reid said, after McConnell announced his filibuster. “This morning the Republican leader asked consent to have a vote on this proposal, just now I told everyone we were willing to have that vote — up or down vote. Now the Republican leader objects to his own idea. So I guess we have a filibuster of his own bill, so I object.”

And this is why the filibuster procedure has to be changed.

GOP asks rest of the world: What happened?

A few note on the total disconnect from reality by the GOP in this election.

First, CBS News reported this:

Mitt Romney‘s campaign got its first hint something was wrong on the afternoon of Election Day, when state campaign workers on the ground began reporting huge turnout in areas favorable to President Obama: northeastern Ohio, northern Virginia, central Florida and Miami-Dade.

Then came the early exit polls that also were favorable to the president.

But it wasn’t until the polls closed that concern turned into alarm. They expected North Carolina to be called early. It wasn’t. They expected Pennsylvania to be up in the air all night; it went early for the President.

After Ohio went for Mr. Obama, it was over, but senior advisers say no one could process it.

“We went into the evening confident we had a good path to victory,” said one senior adviser. “I don’t think there was one person who saw this coming.”

OK, let’s stop here for a minute. I’ve posted Nate Silver‘s poll-based forecasts from the 538 Blog since July and on Election Day morning (links, here, here and here). And other statisticians, like Sam Wang at the Princeton Election Consortium, were looking at the same numbers Silver was using and coming to the same conclusion. So a bunch of people saw this coming and gave relatively high odds on an Obama victory. And when they released their findings, the right went nuts, saying it was part of a left-wing media conspiracy that used skewed results to give the impression that Obama had the election all sewn up. But the “REAL NUMBERS” that the GOP had were showing a Romney landslide.

Really, how can they have been so blind? Paul Krugman says:

I suspect that it comes down to two things: self-definition in terms of always being the people with the power, and the right-wing information bubble, which left them completely unaware of information they didn’t want to hear.

Yeah. They didn’t want to hear what skewed poll numbers, based on probability and statistics, were saying. So they decided to seek out the skills of the “unskewers” to validate their version of reality. And you saw how that worked. Here’s what one of the GOP-supporting unskewers said after the vote:

Dean Chambers, the man behind “unskewed polls,” a site that attempted to re-weight polls that Chambers thought oversampled Democrats, admitted to his model’s shortcomings on Wednesday.

“Most of the polls I ‘unskewed’ were based on samples that generally included about five or six or seven percent more Democrats than Republicans, and I doubted and questioned the results of those polls, and then ‘unskewed’ them based on my belief that a nearly equal percentage of Democrats and Republicans would turn out in the actual election this year,” Chambers wrote on The Examiner website. “I was wrong on that assumption and those who predicted a turnout model of five or six percent in favor of Democrats were right. Likewise, the polling numbers they produced going on that assumption turned out to be right and my ‘unskewed’ numbers were off the mark.”

Ya think!!??

Of course, we now have to go through the spectacle of a political party trying to figure out how its presidential campaign derailed so badly:

Top Republican officials, stunned by the extent of their election losses Tuesday night, have begun an exhaustive review to figure out what went so wrong and how to fix it.

Party leaders already had planned to poll voters in battleground states starting Tuesday night in anticipation of a Mitt Romney victory — to immediately begin laying the groundwork for midterm congressional elections and a Romney 2016 reelection bid.

But as they watched one state after another go to President Obama and Senate seats fall away, party leaders quickly expanded and retooled their efforts. They’re planning a series of voter-based polls and focus groups, meetings with constituency group leaders, and in-depth discussions with their volunteers, donors and staff members to find ways to broaden their appeal.

The Rude Pundit has a suggestion:

You are going to get advice from everywhere, all over, left, right, crazy. So the Rude Pundit’s not going to attempt to say much here because you’re not going to listen. It comes down to this: Stop being jerks, and, as Joe Biden said, get out of the way. Stop being jerks to women, to immigrants, to gays, to union members. Just…well, just fucking stop.

Now, you have to ask yourself, will they listen?

Uh, no.

And I’ll close with this little dose of skewed reality from a YouTube commenter:

You KNOW your party is pathetic when a friend asks: “Hey, did that guy who talked utter nonsense about rape get elected?”

And YOU have to reply: “Which one?”

Something I have in common with Mitt Romney

We both think the Brits are going to screw up the Olympics. Fortunately for me, I’m not running for president and going on a global tour to show the world what a great guy I am.

Mitt Romney struggled Friday to stem political fallout at home after insulting Britain’s handling of the London Games. The stumble at least briefly pitted the Republican presidential candidate against America’s strongest ally while limiting his ability to capitalize on more troubling U.S. economic news.

At the same time, President Barack Obama used his office to try to take advantage of the Republican’s missteps abroad, praising Britain for its Olympics preparations one day and sending money to Israel the next – just as Romney prepared to visit that nation.

The confluence of events – just as the world focused on London’s opening ceremonies – confounded Republicans and tickled Democrats. People in both parties wondered aloud how the former Massachusetts governor could have complicated the opening leg of a three-nation tour carefully crafted to highlight his diplomatic strengths and personal Olympic experience.

“You have to shake your head,” GOP strategist Karl Rove said Friday on Fox News.

Here’s London Mayor Boris Johnson, a conservative, giving Romney a hard time:

And here’s British PM David Cameron, a conservative, pissing on Romney’s Olympics:

Just to make sure you caught it:

“Of course, it’s easier if you hold an Olympic Games in the middle of nowhere.”

There’s a buzz going around, where people are saying Romney really wants to lose the election, and Fox News wants him to lose as well. By losing, Romney gets to be the GOP guy to go to in the future, gets all kinds of business deals and still gets to spew out weird messages without having anyone in the “lame stream media” point out that what just came out of his mouth contradicts what came out of his mouth an hour ago. (Horses are my passion. I’m not going to watch my horse in the Olympics.)

And Fox gets to have Obama around for a whipping boy for four more years, a true ratings grabber, instead of having to tow the Romney line, a real snooze.

That’s all a little too 11-dimensional Machiavellian chess for me.

We’ll have to see whom he chooses as his running mate to determine how much he really wants to lose.

The welfare states: Chances are, they’re red

From Talking Points Memo:

Texas Gov. Rick Perry said Monday he will not implement “Obamacare” provisions such as the Medicaid expansion and the insurance exchanges. The decision could mean that Texas ultimately loses an opportunity to cover half of its uninsured residents and relinquishes to the federal government more control over its health care system. …

Perry joins other GOP governors — including Florida’s Rick Scott, South Carolina’s Nikki Haley and Wisconsin’s Scott Walker — in refusing to implement the Affordable Care Act. The Supreme Court upheld the law but said the federal government may not cut off a state’s Medicaid funds if they turn down the expansion. If a state refuses to set up the insurance market exchanges, the federal government does it for them.

You know this is all just a show, right? Perry, Walker, Scott and Haley all know that if they opt out, the rest of the country will pick up the cost. That’s what Red States do. They take an anti-federal government tone, then they suck up every federal dollar they can get. They are leeches.

This chart is “mostly true” according to PolitiFact. When it first came out in 2008, it was accurate. But the first obvious flaw is that New Mexico is listed as a Red State. It was in 2004. That changed in 2008.

But the overall message is clear: Too many Blue States are putting in more and getting back less because the Red States get more from the government than the tax dollars they contribute. So Red States really don’t want what they’re asking for, because the minute they get it, the Blue States will finally be able to stop bailing them out.

And by the way, what is happening in health care in places like South Carolina?

Shirley Johnson gets her medical care at Palmetto Health Baptist hospital’s emergency room in Columbia, South Carolina. She goes when her back gives out or when a benign tumor near her ribcage swells and throbs. She goes for headaches, heartburn, and spider bites, leaving the hospital a sheaf of unpaid bills.

“I owe so much money,” said Johnson. “The last time I went just for my toe. It cost $1,000.”

Johnson, as a 49-year-old with no dependents, isn’t eligible for Medicaid, the joint state-federal health program for the poor, which covers about 20 percent of the state’s residents. And in two years, when President Barack Obama’s health-care overhaul allows the expansion of Medicaid to cover 17 million more Americans, she may still be left behind.

Governor Nikki Haley, a Tea Party-backed Republican, was among the first state leaders to oppose expanding Medicaid after the U.S. Supreme Court ruled that the federal government can’t make states do so. Caught between poverty and pressure to curb government’s power, South Carolina illustrates the forces at play in the nation’s capitals amid the broadest changes to the health care system since 1965.