We can completely understand the Joan VandeHei domination of Playbook last week when Politico‘s Mike Allen blew up the birthday of the mother of his boss and longtime friend Jim VandeHei. Mike and Jim are like peas and carrots at this point. And Joan is like a lovely sweet potato. Five relentless birthday mentions later, and she’s a star.

But HuffPost‘s Jon Ward‘s BROTHER in Australia gets a birthday mention? Now we know that Jon Ward has long captured the imagination of Allen — he recently called him “one of Washington’s smartest young thinkers” and hell, it was revealed in an incestuous report that studiously examined Playbook mentions that Allen mentioned Ward 45 times. What we can’t understand, is why. As in why such intensity?

“BIRTHWEEK (was yesterday): Joe Ward, working in Sydney for Marriott, and a younger brother of Jon, is 31 (hat tip: Dad, Chip) …”

Incest Desk scorecard: 7. It’s not the worst thing we’ve seen in the incest department, but it’s fishy.