September 3, 2014

Last week, Kentucky Sen. Rand Paul, who is widely considered to be mulling a presidential run, wrote an op-ed in the Wall Street Journal stating the policies of so-called "interventionists" such as Hillary Clinton in Syria have "abetted ISIS." In that piece Paul outlined his support for a far more cautious foreign policy:

A more realistic foreign policy would recognize that there are evil people and tyrannical regimes in this world, but also that America cannot police or solve every problem across the globe. [The Wall Street Journal]

Paul is now singing a different tune.

On Friday, Paul told The Associated Press in an email that he was in favor of robust military force when it came to ISIS:

If I were president, I would call a joint session of Congress. I would lay out the reasoning of why ISIS is a threat to our national security and seek congressional authorization to destroy ISIS militarily. [AP]

That position is well beyond Obama's limited interventions against ISIS, which have so far amounted to humanitarian aid for those displaced by ISIS' advances, as well as airstrikes and other support for Kurdish and Iraqi government fighters on the ground.

Paul's father, the former presidential candidate Ron Paul, remains steadfastly against military intervention of any kind, arguing: "I think the sooner we get out of there, the better. I think the policy we should follow is one designed to allow the Iraqis to solve all their problems and stay out of this and let them deal with it because we tried for a long time." John Aziz

1:06 p.m. ET

Many Secret Service officials have not been paid overtime in months due to a combination of the intense presidential campaign and a cap on federal income, BuzzFeed News reports:

When overtime payments drive an agent's aggregate income for the year past the federal limit of $160,300 — no matter how early — the agent no longer earns paid overtime, even as they regularly clock in long past the 50-hour work week, traveling around the clock with the candidates, their families, the Obamas, the Bidens, and the press.

Ask any agent on the campaign trail when they "maxed out" during the course of the year — or hit the federal salary cap — and they will be ready with an answer: May, April, March, or for some of the most senior agents in the field, even earlier. The result? Hundreds of agents working months of overtime for which they will never be paid. [BuzzFeed News]

Adding to the strain is the fact that a hiring freeze from a couple years ago has resulted in a smaller pool of active agents in the field to draw on. Also, this election year is more demanding than most, with the president and vice president both frequenting the campaign trail in addition to other events like the Democratic and Republican conventions requiring extra security, and the United Nations General Assembly.

Of 3,300 active Secret Service agents, nearly a third have or will go over the federal pay cap, BuzzFeed News reports. Nearly all of them have worked to some extent on the election, and most of their work has demanded daily overtime. "It's been an incredible sacrifice," Secret Service Director Joseph Clancy, who has no control over the federal cap, said. Jeva Lange

1:01 p.m. ET

Hillary Clinton is turning 69 today, and it's pretty clear she is enjoying every minute of it:

Clinton even went ahead and wished herself happy birthday:

In celebration of the big six-nine, Clinton's campaign released a timeline of Clinton's entire life, so supporters can find out what the candidate was up to the year they were born (if you're older than 69, though, you're of course out of luck). Check it out here. Jeva Lange

10:37 a.m. ET
Craig Barritt/Getty Images

In the future, we might not watch TV on screens. It might be all in our heads.

That, at least, is the theory held by Reed Hastings, the CEO of Netflix, The Telegraph reports. Hastings warned audiences at a Wall Street Journal event earlier this week that technology and entertainment have a funny way of making the mediums that came before go bust — for example, how cinema and TV have made "the opera and the novel" less appealing to consumers. Streaming, he said, could face the same fate.

"In 20 or 50 years, taking a personalized blue pill you just hallucinate in an entertaining way and then a white pill brings you back to normality is perfectly viable," Hastings said. "And if the source of human entertainment in 30 or 50 years is pharmacological, we'll be in real trouble."

Other tech billionaires, like Elon Musk and Sam Altman, think we're already living in a simulated universe. Life itself, they have alleged, could be one giant drug-induced hallucination, like it is in The Matrix. Jeva Lange

10:21 a.m. ET

Donald Trump's campaign manager Kellyanne Conway wants to know where the outrage was when Hillary Clinton took time off the campaign trail to go to an Adele concert. While defending Trump's Wednesday morning stop at his hotel opening in Washington, D.C., Conway argued that his "pit stop" there 13 days ahead of Election Day just really "shows Americans the tangible accomplishments of Donald Trump." "He's somebody who builds things. He's somebody who fixes things," Conway said in an interview with NBC's Today show Wednesday morning. She added: "And you know, respectfully, Hillary Clinton has time to go to an Adele concert and everybody thinks that's really cool."

And, Conway pointed out, Clinton has diverted her attention from the campaign for more than just some soulful tunes. "Hillary Clinton took five days off to prepare for one debate and everybody looked at that as some kind of noble exercise, with 23 days to go. Nobody covered that as: Where is she? Why doesn't she campaign much? What is she doing? Where is she hiding?" Conway said.

It's hard to imagine anyone would've been upset if Trump had done the same prep work. Watch Conway defend her candidate, below. Becca Stanek

10:01 a.m. ET

Donald Trump's Hollywood Walk of Fame star has been wrangled behind a wall, muted, stomped, and flipped off, but with two weeks left to go before the presidential election, a vandal decided to take a drastic next step.

A man dressed as a city construction worker pulverized the star with a sledgehammer around 5:45 a.m. PT Wednesday. The culprit, Jamie Otis, said he had wanted to actually remove the star to auction it off as a means of raising money for the women who have accused Donald Trump of sexual assault, Deadline reports. Trump has threatened to sue his accusers.

Otis failed, to say the least. The star ended up smashed into pieces but couldn't be removed:

Trump was awarded the star in 2007 for his work on The Apprentice. Jeva Lange

9:38 a.m. ET
Joe Raedle/Getty Images

Victoria Gotti may be the daughter and former wife of Gambino Mafia bosses, but she said even they didn't talk about women the way Donald Trump has. "I was married to the #1 gangster and would have cut his throat if he ever said such a foul thing to me," Gotti told a pen pal at The Daily Beast, referring to the Access Hollywood tapes in which Trump brags about kissing and groping women.

Gotti, who was also a contestant on Celebrity Apprentice in 2012, added that she considers Trump a "spoiled, rich brat" and "an embarrassment to the country." On Facebook, Gotti added she was "hoping you women out there who have any ‘class or dignity’ remember what this ‘crude obnoxious megalomaniacal mutt’ really thinks about women." Jeva Lange

9:22 a.m. ET

In a tweet Tuesday night, Donald Trump aide Dan Scavino Jr. declared former House Speaker Newt Gingrich (R-Ga.) the winner of his on-air squabble with Fox News' Megyn Kelly. The two got into a heated argument during Tuesday night's episode of the The Kelly File, after Kelly brought up the sexual misconduct allegations made against Trump, a claim Gingrich insisted Kelly couldn't defend.

Though Kelly got the last word, advising Gingrich to "spend some time" working out his "anger issues," Scavino was certain Gingrich, who accused Kelly of being "fascinated with sex," had emerged victorious:

After thoroughly insulting Kelly's intelligence, Scavino fired off this ominous warning:

During her fiery exchange with Gingrich, Kelly said she brought up the allegations against Trump because she is concerned with the "protection of women and understanding what we're getting in the Oval Office." Becca Stanek

See More Speed Reads