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FUNNY OR DIE

This Pol’s Got Balls

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Iowa candidate Bob Quast pulls the trigger on a ballsy campaign in which he says “I’m gonna use my glock to blow your balls off.”

In an interview with The Daily Beast, Bob Quast, a long-shot independent candidate for the United States Senate in Iowa (who hasn’t even filed an FEC report yet), laughed about his “spoof ad” where he wields both a gun and a knife and threatens criminals that he will “use my glock to blow your balls off.” Quast said the commercial cost him $868 to produce with the help of his neighbor who is a “professional videographer.”The ad begins with Quast, clad in a yellow IOWA sweatshirt, walking his dog, Mr.

Union Backer

Obama Loves Labor (on the DL)

Reuters

The president got headlines this week for an executive order targeting wage disparities, but far more of his work for unions has flown under the radar—and they’ll repay him in November.

A day before Senate Republicans blocked a bill aimed at addressing male-female wage disparities, President Obama signed an executive order targeting the same issue by prohibiting government contractors from retaliating against workers who discuss their pay.Both defenders and critics of the administration say going around Congress is a technique the Obama administration is using with greater frequency as it attempts to bolster organized labor and make workplaces safer and fairer.

It’s Automatic

Our Mindless Government

The Daily Beast

From infrastructure improvements to entitlement spending, government is on autopilot, according to author Philip K. Howard. It’s a ‘form of tyranny,’ he says, and disaster is looming.

If the government that governs least governs best, then the government that governs via a demented form of “scientific management” and “legal assembly line” governs worst.That’s the essential insight of Philip K. Howard’s important new book, The Rule of Nobody: Saving America From Dead Laws and Broken Government. An attorney by trade, Howard is the author of The Death of Common Sense: How Law Is Suffocating America, a huge 1995 best seller that started a still-heated and vital national conversation about nuisance lawsuits, power-tripping bureaucrats and special interests, and out-of-control regulations.

‘Over Broad’

Bridgegate Subpoenas Thrown Out

Mike Segar/Reuters

A committee investigating the George Washington Bridge lane closures that have haunted Chris Christie won’t get its hands on documents from two key figures in the case, a judge rules.

Two main characters in the real-life drama of Bridgegate will not be required to comply with legislative subpoenas ordering them to hand over documents, a judge ruled on Wednesday afternoon. The decision may render the joint legislative committee investigating the lane closures obsolete. Bridget Anne Kelly, Gov. Chris Christie’s former deputy chief of staff, and Bill Stepien, Christie’s former campaign manager and a one-time would-be chairman of the New Jersey Republican Party, made the rare argument that in their case, turning over documents would be testimonial in nature and thus would violate their Fifth Amendment rights against self-incrimination.

Fat Chance

These Guys Need a Raise?

Getty

A proposed pay raise to help members of Congress maintain residences both in their home districts and in Washington, D.C. got laughed off of Capitol Hill on Wednesday.

Nearly everybody in Congress thinks it, but only retiring Rep. Jim Moran (D-VA) has the guts to say it: After five years of self-imposed pay freezes, many members of Congress say they need a raise. In a city as pricey as Washington, new members often speak privately of the strain of maintaining two residences: one in their congressional districts, where their families usually live, and another in D.C. To avoid the double hit, more than a fifth of the freshman class of 2010 elected to sleep in their House offices and shower in the on-site gym rather than fork over the steep rents or mortgages that the nearby Capitol Hill neighborhood commands.

Help

Dem Urges Obama On Ukraine Intel

Bloomberg/Getty

Republicans are not alone in urging President Obama to share intelligence with Ukraine on Russian troop movements. On Wednesday, Rep. Adam Schiff (D-CA) voiced his concerns as well.

A key Democratic member of the House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence joined Republican colleagues on Wednesday in urging President Obama to share more intelligence with Ukraine about Russian troops gathered on its border.In an appearance on MSNBC  Rep. Adam Schiff said he did not think the United States was doing enough to help prepare Ukraine for what it may be facing. “I think we should be doing more,” he said. “There is more we could do to help Ukraine prepare that doesn’t put at risk any of our intelligence gathering methods and the degree that we can track Russian military movements.

Fashion Favorite

Candidate to the Stars

Tibrina Hobson/Getty

It’s always a good idea to get celebrity endorsements for your congressional campaign, right? Well, maybe not when Nicole Richie’s hair color choice is overshadowing your message.

When researching California congressional candidate Marianne Williamson, two of the first article headlines to surface are,“ Kim Kardashian Wears Plunging Top With Menswear-Inspired Look” and “ Katy Perry Exposed a Springy Strip of Upper Belly.”Last October, the 61-year-old spiritual teacher and author announced her run for the U.S. House of Representatives to represent California's 33rd District, which includes cities in West L.A. such as Beverly Hills, Brentwood, Calabasas, Malibu, and Santa Monica.

MOMMY GAP

GOP Can Win the Equal Pay Debate

The Daily Beast

The gender pay gap is no black and white issue. If the Republicans stopped doing stupid things, this is an argument they could win.

Though it didn’t seem possible that the GOP could lower its standing with women any further, the party has managed to outdo itself with recent rhetoric around “Equal Pay Day.” While the president and Democrats have positioned themselves as the party of “equality” (who wants to be against that?) Republicans have spent the last few days sounding as though they wish to recapture the glory days of Todd Akin and other election-losing loudmouths.With midterm elections on the horizon, the timing is particularly puzzling.

Women Problem

Blunder Reveals GOP’s Dark Heart

It’s not Kirsten Kukowski’s fault she only had gibberish to spout about workplace gender fairness. It’s the fault of her party and its culture—and the GOP will pay for it with women.

Just a wild guess, but I have a hunch that Kirsten Kukowski is glad Tuesday is over. Kukowski is a press aide at the Republican National Committee. I do believe I’ve spoken with her on an occasion or two, something to do with credentials. She seemed nice enough.And so I almost felt a little sorry for her Tuesday as I watched her performance on Jansing & Co. on MSNBC, hurtling herself into enemy territory, burdened with the task of defending her party’s record and posture on women.

We Don’t Need It!

GOP Slams Equal Pay Bill

Yuri Gripas/Reuters

On a day meant to symbolize wage discrepancies between women and men, Mitch McConnell slammed the Democrats’ bill—and provided yet more fodder for the ‘war on women’ meme.

Not everyone is aware that Tuesday was Equal Pay Day, marking how much extra time women would have to work into 2014 to earn as much as men. It’s an important day for Democratic activists seeking to highlight the discrepancy in wages. Women earn 77 cents for every dollar earned by men, and equal pay for equal work, a slogan that dates back to the early suffragists, is enjoying renewed resonance.Democrats dusted off their Paycheck Fairness Act for a vote Wednesday, the third attempt for the legislation, which failed in 2010 and 2012.

Gadfly

Rand vs. The (Republican) World

Mike Theiler/Reuters

Libertarianism may be en vogue but isolationism isn’t. Yet there may be room on the left of the party for him to win.

As the 2016 GOP presidential race heats up, many Republicans—particularly governors and relatively junior senators—are seeking of beef up their foreign policy smarts. The list of those meeting with potential candidates reads like a who’s who of the Republican foreign policy establishment over the decades: Henry Kissinger, Condoleezza Rice, Donald Rumsfeld, John McCain, and so on.Standing on his own is Rand Paul.Paul’s foreign policy positions are far from Republican orthodoxy.

Finders, Keepers

US Won’t Give War Intel to Ukraine

Spencer Platt/Getty

American spies have spotted all the signs of an all-out Russian invasion of Ukraine. Why won’t they tell the Ukrainians about the forces on their border?

U.S. intelligence agencies now have detailed information that Russia has amassed the kind of forces needed for a full-scale invasion of Ukraine. But the Obama administration hasn’t shared with Ukraine the imagery, intercepts, and analysis that pinpont the location of the Russian troops ready to seize more Ukrainian land, The Daily Beast has learned.President Obama has repeatedly and publicly expressed solidarity with the Ukrainian people—and warned Russian leader Vladimir Putin that there will be consequences if he takes over any more Ukrainian territory.

Red State Voters: Give Us Medicaid

Mike Segar/Reuters

A core part of Obamacare is popular in states from Kansas to Georgia where Republicans are blocking it. They’ll pay come November.

Republicans desperately hoping to focus the nation on Obamacare’s failures are being stymied by facts. The Affordable Care Act hit its March 31 goal of 7 million enrolled in private insurance plans and 3 million more have signed up for coverage under Medicaid. Now, Republicans face stiff opposition from voters in states where they blocked Medicaid expansion. According to new polling by Public Policy Poling conducted for MoveOn, in voters support Medicaid expansion in key states by wide margins: 52 to 35 percent in Kansas, 58 to 33 percent in Florida, 59 to 30 percent in Pennsylvania, 54 to 38 percent in Georgia.

No Favors

Why Women Don’t Vote for Women

Brian Snyder/Reuters

Despite generations of women striving for better representation in politics, female candidates do not necessarily get a bump from women voters.

Some of the toughest and tightest Senate races in the 2014 midterm elections will feature female candidates in top-tier primary and general elections but if history is any guide, those women won’t be able to automatically count on their fellow females to get them across the finish line.Mary Landrieu in Louisiana, Shelley Moore Capito in West Virginia, Kay Hagan in North Carolina and Joni Ernst in Iowa are among those locked in fierce electoral battles.

Ex-Firebrand

Rand Paul’s Michael Moore Moment

J. Scott Applewhite/AP

Dick Cheney may be sniping at the 2016 hopeful now, but Paul once hit even harder—accusing the ex-veep of going into Iraq to help Halliburton. And there’s more where that came from.

I think we can all agree that, in the current struggle for the soul of the Republican Party, few skirmishes offer better drama than the ongoing clash of the Cheney and Paul clans. Pick your permutation—Dick firing on Rand, Ron firing on Dick, Rand on Liz, Dick on Ron, Rand on Dick—this display of isolationist Hatfields vs. neocon McCoys consistently packs more sizzle than Anthony Weiner’s Twitter feed. Plus, with Rand gearing up for a run at the big chair in 2016, the feud promises to get even hotter as the ex-veep, prodded by fellow hawks, stews over the mere possibility of a Republican POTUS so intervention-averse that he’d make Barack Obama look like, well, Dick Cheney.

'Clinton Vs. Bush? Count Me In'

A Hillary Clinton-Jeb Bush presidential faceoff would be great for America. So says Daily Beast contributor Mark McKinnon, who joined 'Morning Joe' to explain why the U.S. needs this.

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