Is McDonnell Corruption Case Now a Sex Scandal Too?

Former VA Gov. Bob McDonnell and his wife Maureen are on trial for corruption in connection with over $165,000 in gifts and loans they got from Jonnie Williams, the head of snake oil company Star Scientific.  The guy was selling “health supplements” made from tobacco!

Now Maureen’s lawyer is claiming that Maureen had romantic feelings for Williams and that her marriage had “broken down” to the point that she and the Governor were “barely on speaking terms.”

Sounds as if Governor Ultrasound wasn’t sharing his wand with his wife anymore, and she was looking elsewhere.

Shut Up about Shutting Down

Todd “Legitimate Rape” Akin, who lost his Missouri Senate race to Claire McCaskill, is baaack, and he wants us to know he’s sorry — very, very sorry.  In his new book*, Akin regrets that he apologized for claiming women can’t get pregnant if it’s a “legitimate rape.” I think we all knew at the time that his apology was as phony as his biology.

This moron genuinely believes women can magically shut down their bodies.  If only we could shut up Akin and his crappy science.

* Firing Back:  Taking on the Party Bosses and Media Elite to Protect Our Faith and Freedom

New State, Same Old Phony

The barn jacket and the pick-up truck have lost their magic.  Poor Scott Brown just wants to be in the Senate, people.  But having been kicked out by the people of Massachusetts in favor of Elizabeth Warren, his slither across the border to New Hampshire isn’t panning out.  He’s trailing another woman, incumbent Dem Jeanne Shaheen, by 12 points — 52 to 40.

And his favorables/unfavorables are upside down at 31 and 40.  Hers are right side up at 57-29.

A beat-up Scott may have to toss his carpetbag in that beat-up truck and head back home.

Progressives and Tea Partiers, Unite

I’ve already noted how bizarre the 2016 contest could be in terms of foreign/defense policy in that we might have a serious GOP candidate (Rand Paul) running to the left of the Dems.  Already there’s talk of neo-cons like Robert Kagan supporting Hillary.

But we might also see some strange turns in domestic policy as well.  A lot of attention is being paid to Hillary’s attitude toward, and relationship with, Wall Street, particularly compared to Elizabeth Warren.  However Hillary runs, you can be sure she’d govern as a friend of Wall Street, as she and Bill have consistently been.

We may well see a “populist” GOP candidate or two in the primary running to the left of Hillary on domestic policy.

What I find especially interesting is the conviction that populist rhetoric should be encouraged among Republicans, combined with a certainty that it would be the kiss of death for the Dems to nominate that “scary” Elizabeth Warren.  Candidates are judged not on the content of their character, but on the red or blue color of their party.

While I know that Warren would be turned into George McGovern, the truth is that if Tea Party voters could listen to her in a “blind taste test” setting, a lot of them would feel that she understands their frustration and speaks for them.  While she’d be painted as anti-capitalist, the more subtle truth is that she is against crony capitalism, and so is the Tea Party.

Both parties represent crony capitalism, and that’s something the Progressive wing of the Democratic party and the Tea Party wing of the GOP agree on.  The Dems are for the rich and the poor, the Republicans are for the rich, but really nobody is for the middle class.  That’s why they have to woo middle-class voters and get us wee wee’d up about issues like abortion and immigration and climate change.

All the 2016 candidates will talk about the middle class, but those most likely to mean it either won’t get nominated or would get painted as a hippie Commie freak in the general.

I don’t know who our next president will be, but I’m certain he or she will be someone Wall Street won’t have to worry its pretty little head about.

Yup, They’re Running

We know that Rick Perry and Chris Christie are running in 2016 because they are making decisions purely out of fear of pissing off primary voters.

Perry refused to meet President Obama at the airport in Texas tomorrow, as governors traditionally do, because God forbid he should be photographed shaking the President’s hand.

And Christie vetoed a bill that would have reduced gun magazines in New Jersey from a maximum of 15 rounds to 10, because God forbid a mass shooter should have to re-load more often, giving his victims a chance to run.  Nah, much more important for Chris to run.

The Perry thing is just silly, but the Christie thing is sad.

Quote of the Day

“Republican hysteria still exists, but it increasingly finds its expression not in policy but in a melange of scandal allegations.  The threat to the Constitution once epitomized by such things as Obamacare, socialism, and Greece has instead taken the form of Benghazi, IRS, and Bergdahl.

“The reformicons’ retreat from Ryan-style apocalypticism is not only a shrewd tonal shift, but also a welcome — albeit unackowledged — recognition that the party’s doomsaying has not come to pass, and the the American way of life will indeed survive Obama’s reforms. … Whether or not the reformicons ever compose a workable domestic agenda, they have come to recognize that they cannot run a presidential campaign promising to rescue America from fire and rubble visible only to themselves.”

Jonathan Chait, “The Republican Party After the Apocalypse,” New York Magazine

Did Cassidy’s Daughter Really Have a Choice?

Bill Cassidy, the staunchly anti-abortion GOP candidate for Senate from Louisiana, has announced that his unmarried 17-year-old daughter will have a baby sometime this summer.

I just hope that this is what she wants, and not what Cassidy and his wife want for her.  Their daughter may well want children five or ten years from now, but not as she begins her senior year in high school.

I know that many abortion opponents argue that some women are unduly pressured into having abortions by their parents or spouses or boyfriends, and that’s a terrible thing.  But I think it’s equally sad if a girl is pressured into not having an abortion, if that’s what she wants.  Meanwhile the boy who shares responsibility seems to be going his merry way.

Fishman Seeks Big Fish (Whale?) Chris Christie

Esquire reports* that some of Chris Christie’s people will be indicted as soon as next month for Bridgegate — his Port Authority appointees, David Samson, Bill Baroni, and David Wildstein as well as his former chief counsel, Charlie McKenna.

Key quotes:

“Don’t underestimate what Wildstein has on Christie.  And Wildstein and Baroni have both turned on Samson.  If Samson doesn’t give Fishman Christie, Samson is toast.

“They’ve got him cold.  He got sloppy, arrogant, and greedy.  Samson will want a deal.  This way, he’d get one or two years.  He’d have a future on the other side.  He won’t want to die in jail. [Samson is 74.]

“But Fishman is really focused on Christie.  Ultimately, he believes he’ll get to the governor.”

* “Exclusive:  Prosecutor Is Closing In on Gov. Christie,” Scott Raab and Lisa Brennan

Jebbie is smiling.