So in a final twist in the Walker-Staffer-Punished-For-Dissing-Iowa saga, turns out the staffer in question, Liz Mair, is a buddy of Erick Erickson, who discloses she got some extra negative attention for having annoyed social conservatives in the past, and then goes on to fire a shot across Walker’s bow for firing her. Popcorn time!

Here are some less convoluted midday news/views treats:

* Glenn Beck says he’s had it with the RINO Squish GOP.

* In another ring at the circus, Trump forming presidential exploratory committee.

* And in still another, Jim Rutenberg does long thumbsucker on problem for Republican Establishment posed by Ben Carson.

* Paul Waldman notes House GOP budget, even though it includes big “magic asterisk” on entitlement savings, pretty frank about its atavistic goals.

* Jeffrey Goldberg deplores Netanyahu’s descent into Lee Atwater country in complaints about Arab voting. I still say it’s more like George Wallace.

And in non-political news:

* March madness under-way with preliminary round wins by Hampton and Ole Miss.

As we break for lunch, here’s Wilson Pickett with one of his softer hits: “I’m in Love,” as performed on Soul Train.

Ed Kilgore

Ed Kilgore is a political columnist for New York and managing editor at the Democratic Strategist website. He was a contributing writer at the Washington Monthly from January 2012 until November 2015, and was the principal contributor to the Political Animal blog.