2014 Watch
May 5, 2014

Iowa Senate candidate Joni Ernst (R) — who boasted in her first TV ad that she could cut "pork" in Washington, thanks to her ability to castrate squealing hogs — has yet another spot up, in which she asks Republican primary voters to, um, "give me a shot" at ObamaCare.

Ernst is shown loading up a handgun at a shooting range. "Joni Ernst will take aim at wasteful spending," the announcer says. "And once she sets her sights on ObamaCare, Joni's gonna unload."


One interesting thing to point out is that the Republican candidate Ernst is far from being the first candidate to fire a gun at a piece of Washington legislation in a TV ad. That honor quite famously goes to Democratic Sen. Joe Manchin of West Virginia, who took "dead aim" at the cap-and-trade bill during his 2010 campaign. But later on, after the near-fatal shooting of Rep. Gabrielle Giffords (D-Ariz.) by a deranged lone gunman in Jan. 2011, Manchin doubted that he would run such an ad again. Eric Kleefeld

Let laid-off dogs lie
10:58 a.m. ET

As many as 60 drug-sniffing dogs in Oregon are about to be out of a job thanks to legislation that has legalized recreational marijuana use starting July 1. Members of the police’s K-9 unit have been trained, at the cost of $10,000 each, to smell for four odors: methamphetamine, heroin, cocaine, and marijuana. While 3 of those drugs will remain illegal, soon the ability to identify marijuana will become a liability. The dogs are trained sniff out marijuana and not budge until they are rewarded — a skill that will no longer be needed. And since pot is often around drugs that will remain illegal, cops and prosecutors will no longer be able to prove that the dog smelled an illegal drug, rather than a legal drug, that led to the arrest or search warrant.

While many of these dogs will be in early retirement, at least some will find new jobs. One dog, Dora, will be reassigned to a prison, one of the few places that marijuana will still be illegal. But that means being separated from her longtime human partner, Travis Dahl. “I’ll stay away from her for a while. It would be too hard for her, and for me,” Dahl told The Guardian about their impending separation. Meanwhile, Dahl and the rest of the police force will replace their dogs with ‘three-scent’ dogs that were never trained to sniff for pot. Marshall Bright

sing along song
10:53 a.m. ET

Mitt Romney had Meat Loaf's endorsement in 2012. And now, Ted Cruz has the support of Christian rap group We Are Watchmen for the 2016 GOP nomination. The group, which describes itself as "a movement that uses music and message to mobilize American Christians to civic duty," recently released "Set It on Fire," a conservative rap anthem that, true to its word, name-drops Ronald Reagan during its first verse.

"The banner is in the air for the conservative ascendancy," We Are Watchmen declare. "Collectivism, everyone's a victim like the reds do," the song continues, before dropping the money line: "And for our next president, we're all in for Ted Cruz." Listen to the track in full below. Samantha Rollins

finally something for the men
10:49 a.m. ET
Justin Sullivan/Getty Images

Forget business class: If you were an upscale male traveler between 1953 and 1970, United Airlines wanted to offer you an entire "executive" plane.

In the mid-20th century, United appealed to businessmen with "executive flights" across two routes — between New York and Chicago and between Los Angeles and San Francisco — that were "for men only," according to the flying-focused blog Boarding Area. Neither children nor women were allowed on the planes — except for the stewardesses who catered to the passengers with special meals and complimentary cigars.

(Boarding Area)

Touted as a "club in the sky," the flights also boasted comfortable digs, including provided slippers and a "deep, soft Mainliner seat." See more at Boarding Area. Kimberly Alters

the wonderful world of disney
10:47 a.m. ET

"Colors of the Wind," the Oscar-winning ballad from Disney's 1995 hit Pocahontas, is undeniably stirring — but if you actually listen to the lyrics, you might walk away a little puzzled. Have I ever heard the wolf cry to the blue corn moon? Tell me what a blue corn moon is, and I'll let you know.

There's another person who's baffled by that lyric: Judy Kuhn, who sang "Colors of the Wind" for Pocahontas. "Actually, I have no idea what a blue corn moon is," said Kuhn in a recent interview with Entertainment Weekly. "I have always hoped someone could explain it to me."

As it turns out, there's a reason Kuhn has no idea what a "blue corn moon" is: lyricist Stephen Schwartz invented it. "I feel somewhat guilty to have to tell you that the phrase 'blue corn moon' has no actual meaning in Indian lore," wrote Schwartz in a Q&A with fans. "I made it up because I liked the sound of it."

Mystery solved! Now tell us why the grinning bobcat grins. Scott Meslow

10:29 a.m. ET
Facebook.com/The LEGO Movie

First the Oscar snub, now this — The Lego Movie can't catch a break. (Well, save that it grossed nearly $500 million, but other than that.)

Sen. Ron Johnson (R-Wis.), a businessman himself, condemned the animated children's movie as "insidious" propaganda, wherein "Mr. Evil Businessman" plots to destroy the world so he alone may profit. "That's done for a reason," Johnson said. Hollywood is cultivating a "cultural attitude" in which people believe "government is good and business is bad."

On Thursday, Johnson responded on his website to a Huffington Post article which reported his comments, saying the writer "can’t seem to figure out why I or anyone else would say this about 'The Lego Movie.'"

Johnson's critique is notable not for labeling the movie anti-business (as others have), but that he claims it to be pro-groverment. In The Lego Movie, villain President Business functions simultaneously as "Mr. Austere Government Overlord," who imposes strict guidelines for the Lego people, effectively keeping them over-caffeinated worker bees, who lack imagination and are highly disjointed from each other. In that sense, pro-government seems an ill-fitting descriptor.  Stephanie Talmadge

Watch this
10:24 a.m. ET

As part of our ongoing series on the 2016 candidates, produced in partnership with Rubin Report, The Week's Marc Ambinder and Dave Rubin concisely analyze the former Florida governor's biggest strengths and weaknesses. Watch below:

court reports
10:00 a.m. ET
Mark Boster-Pool/Getty Images

Marion "Suge" Knight's lawyer filed a motion Friday to throw out the former rap music mogul's charges for murder, attempted murder, and hit-and-run, the Associated Press reports.

Knight, 50, allegedly ran over two men, killing one, outside a Compton, California, burger stand in January. Defense attorney Matt Fletcher argued the case should be thrown out because the injured man's testimony does not specifically name Marion Knight.

"There is nowhere in the entire transcript that Mr. Sloan even identifies Marion Knight as a driver of the red truck in question; the red truck that hit the victims," Fletcher wrote in the motion.

The prosecutor's response contended her client, Cle "Bone" Sloan, has clearly identified the driver as "Suge," AP reports.

Knight is also due in court for a separate robbery case but told deputies he was too sick to come in. The judge has said he would forcibly bring Knight to court Friday if necessary. Knight's murder trial is scheduled for July 7. Julie Kliegman

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