* Jeb Bush said someone immigrating to the U.S. illegally can be an “act of love.” Here’s a roundup of quotes from Republicans who are not pleased, not one bit. The presidential campaign is off to a great start.
* The Senate failed today to overcome a Republican filibuster of the Paycheck Fairness Act. Every GOP senator voted against it. But seriously, ladies, the Republican Party wants your vote.
* Remember when Iowa Rep. Bruce Braley derisively referred to Chuck Grassley’s background as a farmer, unleashing days of GOP attacks that would supposedly doom his run for Senate? A new Suffolk poll finds Braley leading all his potential GOP opponents by between 6 and 13 points.
* Republicans have again postponed introducing their alternative to Obamacare, but they vow to produce it soon – just as they always have, and just as they always will. Jonathan Cohn on what the latest delay really means about the GOP stance on health care.
* Meanwhile, a new study from the Rand Corporation says even more Americans have gotten insurance because of the Affordable Care Act than people think, with the ranks of the insured swelling by 9.3 million since last September. Michael Hiltzik has a good take on the story.
* Vox’s Sarah Kliff reports from the socialist hellscape of Vermont, where the state is trying to institute a single-payer health plan. Imagine if it actually works out.
* The House Ways and Means Committee has voted to ask the Attorney General to pursue criminal charges against former IRS official Lois Lerner. Republicans on the committee also released emails showing that Lerner was skeptical of Crossroads GPS’s claim to be a “social welfare organization.”
Sure, Crossroads spent $70 million trying to get Republicans elected. But isn’t that social welfare?
* Dana Milbank on why the GOP policy agenda (in particular the Ryan budget) is really bad economics for women, and how that’s connected to the case of Rep. Vance McAllister, who got caught making out with a staffer, and of course then had to terminate her.
A preview: “It takes chutzpah to observe Equal Pay Day by sacking the low-wage employee you’ve been snogging.”
* Michael Tomasky offers some sympathy to Republican spokespeople who are burdened with the difficult task of going on TV and explaining what policies the GOP might advance to ensure pay equity.
* Sen. Diane Feinstein shoots back at former NSA and CIA director Michael Hayden, who said her objections to the CIA’s handling of investigations into its torture policies showed she was getting “emotional.” She said: “I think that’s an old male fallback position.”
In case you’re curious, here’s a video of Feinstein holding her act together pretty well while people all around her were freaking out (and she was the one who found Harvey Milk’s body minutes before).
* Medicare has released never-before-seen data on how much individual doctors bill Medicare. The guy at the top of the list is Salomon Melgen, a Florida ophthalmologist who billed the program an astonishing $21 million in 2012 alone. Federal prosecutors are currently investigating Melgen’s relationship to Sen. Robert Menendez, who has benefited from the good doctor’s largesse in the past.
* Francis Wilkinson digs into the complex question of why cities run by liberals haven’t done a better job staving off inequality and boosting the fortunes of African-Americans.
* Over at The American Prospect I explain why Clinton’s gender problem will not create the same dynamic as Barack Obama’s race problem.
* And at an event in Portland, a 6-year-old asked Hillary Clinton, “In 2016, would you prefer to be called Madame President or Mrs. President?” She was stumped.