One of the odd things about the current crop of Republicans is that they’re all scoundrels to one degree or another. Now, I expect a bit of questionable history from politicians who work their way up the ranks from the school board to the state legislature to Congress. You have to make and keep a lot of friends along the way, and you have to do things for them so that they’ll help finance your ambitions. That’s why there’s a certain appeal to just walking into the stands at a little league baseball game and randomly choosing some mother or father to be our senator. Hell, they’re raising their kid; they look pleasant enough. They’ve got a decent car, so they’re obviously employed. They’ll probably make better decisions in Congress than whomever is there right now. I mean, they don’t owe anybody anything, and that’s half the battle.

So, I can kind of get the attraction of the Republican slate of nobodies, who have no political experience. Even a Carly Fiorina has some appeal for this reason. But it turns out that randomly picking Republicans out of a crowd means that you get people with ginormous ethical problems who hold ridiculously radical views. It can’t get much more absurd than Joe Miller up in Alaska. He’s campaigning on eliminating 99% of what the federal government does, including providing unemployment insurance.

U.S. Senate candidate Joe Miller confirmed Monday night that his wife — once hired to work as a part-time clerk for the same Alaska court in which he was serving as a U.S. magistrate judge — went on unemployment after she left the job.

He laid off his wife so she could collect unemployment insurance? You can’t make this shit up. You know what the best part is? He’s totally immunized against the nepotism charge because the write-in candidate/incumbent Republican Lisa Murkowski got her job when her daddy appointed her.

Miller — taking an open shot at Murkowski — appears fearless in addressing the issue and any ethical questions it may raise.

“I welcome any and all discussion on nepotism when it pertains to all of the candidates of the U.S. Senate race,” he said in his statement.

Maybe the Democrat, Scott McAdams, can hit both of them with the nepotism charge.

The absurdity doesn’t end in Alaska. In the far opposite corner of the country, Marco Rubio is engaged in classic hypocrisy. He says he wants to cut wasteful spending while he uses the GOP’s credit card to fix the family minivan.

Meanwhile, in a separate inquiry, the IRS is also looking at the tax records of at least three former party credit card holders — former Florida House Speaker Marco Rubio, ex-state party chairman Jim Greer and ex-party executive director Delmar Johnson — to determine whether they misused their party credit cards for personal expenses, according to a source familiar with the preliminary inquiry…

…Rubio billed the party for more than $100,000 during the two years he served as House speaker, according to credit card statements obtained by the St. Petersburg Times and Miami Herald. The charges included repairs to the family minivan, grocery bills, plane tickets for his wife and purchases from retailers ranging from a wine store near his home to Apple’s online store. Rubio also charged the party for dozens of meals during the annual lawmaking session in Tallahassee, even though he received taxpayer subsidies for his meals.

Forget the legality of it, why would a Republican donate to a guy who steals from the party, let alone vote for him?

How about Rand Paul? He wants to cut Medicare but not Medicare payments? Could that be because he makes his living off of Medicare payments? He’s a friggin’ opthalmologist. He also thinks desegregating public facilities was unconstitutional.

You have Christine O’Donnell telling everyone she went to Princeton and Oxford when she didn’t. You have Mark Kirk telling us he did a bunch of things didn’t actually do:

A few weeks ago, an Illinois Republican congressman in the midst of a senate campaign, Mark Kirk, graciously took the heat off of Connecticut Senate candidate Richard Blumenthal by “exaggerating” his military service even more flagrantly than Blumenthal had. Kirk had said he won the Navy’s “Intelligence Officer of the Year” award, which he didn’t! But that wasn’t all. As reporters dug into his background, more embellishments were revealed. He said he was fired on the last time he visited Iraq. He wasn’t! He said he served in Operation Desert Storm. He was a reservist in Maryland! Now Kirk’s refusal to state any of his life experiences accurately has extended into non-military biographical details, like the time he “taught” nursery school in upstate New York.

It all led New York magazine to ask, “So what else has Kirk embellished about his life? Is he even really a congressman? Does he even exist?” Of course, I’ve veered off course. Mark Kirk isn’t some man on the street. But that just expands on my point. Sharron Angle has some political experience in the Nevada legislature, but she’s as crazy as hell. When she isn’t calling for people to shoot their congressman, she’s saying they’re “domestic enemies.” Also, too, if you get raped, she wants you to buck up and have that baby. In fact, that kind of extreme view is the new normal in the Republican Party.

I got a press release in my email today (no link) from the Joe Sestak campaign. They pointed out that Pat Toomey favors privatizing Social Security but he denies favoring it because he doesn’t like the term.

Despite the fact that he’s been on the record at least 36 times arguing in favor of privatizing Social Security and has a whole chapter about privatizing in his book, to which he refers often, Congressman Toomey has tried to distort his scheme for political gain. He made this remarkable claim to an audience at the Pennsylvania Press Club in August: “I’ve never said I favor privatizing Social Security.” …

…”Yeah, and the thing, you know, I’ve always objected to the term privatize because it conjures up very misleading notions, I think, for a lot of people.”

You know what else conjures misleading notions? Lying about your intentions for Social Security.

Someone else who can’t seem to tell the truth is Kelly Ayotte:

For months, Senate Republican candidate Kelly Ayotte’s campaign has promoted that she “won” a U.S. Supreme Court decision, defending a 2003 New Hampshire law requiring that a minor girl notify a parent before getting an abortion.

Yet, as attorney general in April 2009, Ayotte approved spending $300,000 in taxpayer money to settle the case and pay the legal costs of the opposing party, after a U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals judge decided Planned Parenthood of Northern New England was the winner.

The state paid Planned Parenthood with two payments of $150,000 each in April and August 2009. These payments quietly passed through the state’s budget office and did not require the approval of the Legislature or Gov. John Lynch.
“After reviewing the court’s order, this office determined that it was in the state’s best interest to settle the attorneys’ fees litigation in full through the payment of two installments over two fiscal years,” wrote Deputy Attorney General Orville “Bud” Fitch.

The case has played a prominent role in Ayotte’s campaign. Former Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin highlighted it when endorsing Ayotte in July.

“It’s my honor to endorse a Granite State ‘mama grizzly’ who has broken barriers, fought off and locked up criminals, and battled all the way to the U.S. Supreme Court to protect the rights of New Hampshire parents – and won!” Palin wrote.

It’s no wonder Sarah Palin endorsed her. How could she resist someone who so perfectly emulated her decision to run on the lie that she said, “Thanks, but no thanks on that Bridge to Nowhere”? But you can chalk Ayotte’s crimes down for managerial style, which is another way of saying that she looked the other way while people stole millions right under her nose.

Ken Buck wants you to have your rapist’s baby, too, but he’s pissing everyone off by waffling over whether he wants to deny you fertility treatments and emergency contraception. I’m trying to wrap my mind around why it is okay to use emergency contraception after you are raped but not okay to have an abortion. Pick a side, Mr. Buck!

You know Rob Portman is lucky. The worst thing you can say about him is that he was the U.S. Trade Representative and Director of the Office of Management and Budget during the administration that caused the greatest loss of jobs and the biggest deficit since the Great Depression and World War Two.

Maybe we should consider some screening process before we let Republicans on the ballot.

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