This Guy Is Holding America Hostage

And who is he? Senator Richard Shelby. He wants his home state of Alabama to get a $40 billion contract to build air-to-air refueling tankers and...

And who is he? Senator Richard Shelby. He wants his home state of Alabama to get a $40 billion contract to build air-to-air refueling tankers and an improvised explosive device testing lab for the FBI. And he's not going to let any of Obama's nominees for administration jobs get through the Senate until he gets them.So basically 2,000 jobs that require Senate confirmation are going to remain unstaffed until Shelby gets $40 billion for Alabama which, at the going pork-to-campaign-donation exchange rate, probably translates into a few hundred thousand for Shelby personally. In the meantime we're going without judges and department heads and whatnot. Oh, and never mind that Shelby wanted to prohibit this kind of ploy in 2005.This "blanket hold" is legal, according to the rules, but no one's been unreasonable enough to do it before. If you want to know the procedural details, read Ezra Klein's explanation.Matt Yglesias points out a possible silver lining:
I congratulate Shelby on fully exploring the logic of the modern United States Senate. Why, after all, should a great nation of 300 million people have a functioning government if preventing the government from functioning can help a lone Senator advance parochial interests? Why should a Senator act like a statesman when all the objective forces are urging him to act like an unusually pretentious ward heeler? Why hold one nominee when you can hold seven or seventy? Good for him! Now can we change this process? Anyone who's cleared by committee should be guaranteed a floor vote within some specified short period with the Majority Leader able to schedule the moment unilaterally without unanimous consent or sixty votes or any other nonsense.
I had the sense that a lot of the Senate's business was made possible by informal standards of reasonableness, but I didn't quite grasp that any member could grind everything to a halt for $40 billion.
Ottawa Humane Society / Flickr

The Trump Administration won't be remembered for being kind to animals.

In 2018, it launched a new effort to reinstate cruel hunting practices in Alaska that had been outlawed under Obama. Hunters will be able to shoot hibernating bear cubs, murder wolf and coyote cubs while in their dens, and use dogs to hunt black bears.

Efforts to end animal cruelty by the USDA have been curtailed as well. In 2016, under the Obama Administration, the USDA issued 4,944 animal welfare citations, in two years the numbers dropped to just 1,716.

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via I love butter / Flickr

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People often dream about their significant others and studies show it actually affects how we behave towads them the next day.

"A lot of people don't pay attention to their dreams and are unaware of the impact they have on their state of mind," said Dylan Selterman, psychology lecturer at the University of Maryland, says according to The Huffington Post. "Now we have evidence that there is this association."

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via Real Time with Bill Maher / YouTube and The Late Late Show with James Corden / YouTube

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"At Next Thursday's debate, one of the candidates has to say, 'The problem with our healthcare system is Americans eat shit and too much of it.' All the candidates will mention their health plans but no one will bring up the key factor: the citizens don't lift a finger to help," Maher said sternly.

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Me Too Kit

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The kit is marketed as "the first ever at home kit for commercial use," according to the company's website. "Your experience. Your kit. Your story. Your life. Your choice. Every survivor has a story, every survivor has a voice." Customers will soon be able order one of the DIY kits in order to collect evidence "within the confines of the survivor's chosen place of safety" after an assault.

"With MeToo Kit, we are able to collect DNA samples and other tissues, which upon testing can provide the necessary time-sensitive evidence required in a court of law to identify a sexual predator's involvement with sexual assault," according to the website.

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