Here is some stuff in the news today...
Congratulations to Dr. Carla Hayden, who has been confirmed by the US Senate as the 14th Librarian of Congress. She is the first Black person and the first woman to hold the position!
[Content Note: War on agency] Welp: "Congress is about to leave for a seven-week vacation without giving the Obama administration any of the $1.9 billion it's seeking to battle the Zika virus." The House did manage to pass a sure-to-be-vetoed "dangerous, discriminatory" piece of anti-choice legislation on their way out the door.
[CN: Misogynoir; police brutality] "Black Lives Matter activists have held demonstrations this week in Waller County, Texas, to mark the one-year anniversary of the death of Sandra Bland on Wednesday. Their message: 'Sandy still speaks.' ...Mirissa Tucker, a senior at Prairie View A&M University, told Rewire that the vigil was to give voice to Bland and other victims of racism and police brutality. 'Sandy still speaks,' Tucker said. 'Sandy speaks through us at the Waller County jail.' Activists played a recording of Bland speaking through a loudspeaker during the vigil. Bland had been outspoken about issues of racism and police brutality prior to her death. 'White people, if all lives mattered, would there need to be a hashtag for Black lives mattering?' Bland asks in a video she posted on Facebook, which was played at the vigil."
WOW: "As he heads for the Republican convention in Cleveland next week, Donald Trump's campaign infrastructure remains severely underdeveloped. In some places it appears to be non-existent. ...The Huffington Post attempted to call the contact phone numbers for the Trump campaign in all 50 states. A few of the state operations had no websites or no numbers listed. Many of the other numbers didn't work. When we left voicemails, we didn't get callbacks. On only six occasions did someone actually answer the phone. And in several of those instances, the person who picked up explained that a physical office would be opened up only after the convention. 'I'm sure the headquarters will open soon,' said the individual who answered Trump's Georgia number."
[CN: Racism; Islamophobia] Unfathomable: "During a CNN town hall last night, a student named Zachary Marcone asked House Speaker Paul Ryan (R-WI) how he can morally justify his support for presumptive Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump. 'I cannot and will not support Donald Trump, and it concerns me when the Republican leadership is supporting somebody who is openly racist and has said Islamophobic statements, wants to shut down our borders,' Marcone said. 'Can you tell me, how can you morally justify your support for this kind of candidate, somebody who could be very destructive for our nation.' Ryan's response? Hillary Clinton is worse, and like it or not, voters face a 'binary choice' when casting their ballot for president. Not supporting Trump 'basically means you're going to help elect Hillary Clinton, and I don't think Hillary Clinton is going to support any of the things that you stand for if you're a Republican.'" Ryan just conceded that anti-racism isn't a Republican value, and it's met with a national shrug.
Meanwhile: "The vast majority of Americans say they are afraid of at least one of the two major candidates—Hillary Clinton or Donald Trump—winning the White House, a remarkable finding that reflects an unsettled nation unhappy with its choice. Eighty-one percent of Americans say they would feel afraid following the election of one of the two polarizing politicians, according to a new Associated Press-GfK poll. That includes a quarter who say it doesn't matter who wins: they're scared of both." Good job to every fucking Hillary Clinton hater who has helped turn her into History's Greatest Monster in America's dark imagination.
Y'all. The video of former President George W. Bush dancing like a complete wanker at the Dallas Memorial Service makes me not miss him all over again. Laura Bush: "Calgon, take me away." Michelle Obama: "Someone take him away."
Well played, Metro. Well played.
[CN: Animal endangerment] Now this is a drone program I can get behind (provided it won't harm the birds!): "Scientists may have found the perfect weapon in the fight to save the critically endangered black-footed ferret: drones outfitted to shoot vaccine-spiked, peanut butter-flavored bait pellets. The vaccine snacks, however, aren't for the ferrets, but the burrowing rodents the animals rely on almost exclusively for food and shelter: prairie dogs. As it turns out, protecting their prey could prove key to recovering ferret populations. The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and other agencies have been experimenting for several years with a vaccine to protect prairie dogs from sylvatic plague, a devastating bacterial disease that fleas transmit. Now proven effective in small populations, the agency has turned its attention to management. It is exploring alternative delivery methods, including the use of all-terrain vehicles and unmanned aircraft."
"Mary Lambert Skips Work to Hang Out with Real-Life Girlfriend, Rescued Puppies in Uplifting New Video." AS ADVERTISED. Love it so much.
[CN: Video may autoplay at link] And finally! LOL WHUT: "The Jefferson County Sheriff's Office in Colorado got a call about the bear who managed to get into a Subaru wagon without breaking any windows. The car's owner even said all the doors were closed. The bear got trapped in the car, leaving a pair of deputies to find a way to get it out. One deputy, who recorded the escapade on his cellphone, decided to open the hatch, while the other stood guard nearby with a shotgun. The bear bounded out, leaving behind some snout marks on a window, a shredded interior and questions about how the animal got into the vehicle."