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Hooray, Pennsylvania state Senate! You came close to doing a solid for our animal friends -- you passed a bill that would result in a prison sentence for anyone who "[breeds,] keeps, sells, offers for sale or transfers a dog or cat for the purpose of human consumption.” Good on ya! And Pennsylvania actually needed that, seeing as how state SPCA investigators found a number of operations where people actually were doing that. Even Republican Gov. Tom Corbett was expected to sign it, because really, who wants dogs and cats being bred as food?


Oh, yes, of course: the National Rifle Association. They aren't really all that big on dog and cat eating, actually, but the animal cruelty bill got killed in the Pennsylvania House because it also included a provision that would have banned "pigeon shoots," and if you're a smart politician, you don't get in the way of the NRA. Bummer about the continued legality of dog and cat slaughterhouses, but at least the NRA has prevented any restrictions on pigeon shoots, a fun sport for the whole family that the Philadelphia Inquirer's Amy Worden describes thusly:

a practice where live pigeons are launched from electronic boxes while shooters fire rounds at short distance. Injured birds that land in the shooting circle get their necks broken - often by teenagers. Wounded birds by the hundreds fly off to die slow deaths.

Animal advocates who have been fighting in the courts, on the streets and in the legislature to stop what they call a barbaric practice for more than two decades. The Pennsylvania Game Commission said shooting pigeons at close range did not constitute "real" hunting. Many hunters I've interviewed agree.

The NRA warned members to contact their legislators to protect this important "traditional shooting sport" from the hordes of "outside national 'animal rights' extremist groups," lest the banning of pigeon shoots leads to a slippery slope that would eventually threaten hunting and freedom altogether, resulting in bans on caged pheasant hunts and shooting your lawyer in the face.

And so traditional activities like shooting easily available pigeons and making chicken-poodle soup are preserved. Thanks, NRA! Maybe Steve King can come by and explain why dog-fighting doesn't need regulation either.

[Philadelphia Inquirer via Think Progress]

Doktor Zoom

Doktor Zoom's real name is Marty Kelley, and he lives in the wilds of Boise, Idaho. He is not a medical doctor, but does have a real PhD in Rhetoric. You should definitely donate some money to this little mommyblog where he has finally found acceptance and cat pictures. He is on maternity leave until 2033. Here is his Twitter, also. His quest to avoid prolixity is not going so great.

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FINALLY. Of course, we say "finally," because we haven't been behind the scenes in the House Judiciary and Intelligence committees to witness the negotiating and wrangling firsthand, so we don't know what it's taken to make this happen, but clear your calendars for July 17, because Bobby Mueller is goin' to Congress!

Committee chairs Adam Schiff and Jerry Nadler sent the letter late yesterday, accompanied by a subpoena, for Mueller to testify at 9 a.m. Eastern on July 17, which is a Wednesday, so you will presumably not be busy with brunch. The hearings for each committee will be back to back, after which members of Mueller's staff will meet with committee staff behind closed doors.

Schiff told Rachel Maddow last night that it should not be viewed as a friendly subpoena, because as we all know, Mueller has been very reluctant to become the star of the political circus this will surely create. However, he's gonna have to suck it up, because as we all saw after what happened when Mueller addressed the nation for 10 whole minutes, there is great value in actually having Mueller breathe life into his own work, for an American audience that hasn't read his 448-page report. (And we don't blame them/you! We probably wouldn't have read it all if it wasn't our job. It would probably be on our "list," like "someday I am going to watch 'The Sopranos' start to finish finally. And then I will read the Mueller Report!")

Point is, it needs to happen on live TV, where people can gather around at work and on the train and in the Fantastic Sams while they gets their hair did, and let this highly respected public servant tell the story of how America's most hostile enemy attacked the 2016 election in order to help Donald Trump, how the Trump campaign was positively orgasmic over that reacharound, and how Trump criminally obstructed the investigation into that hostile foreign attack at every turn.

And because Robert Mueller is a patriotic American who respects the rule of law and our institutions, he will be complying with the subpoena, because of fucking course he will.

Right off the bat, we have a couple of questions:

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Beds at the 'temporary' shelter in Homestead, Florida. US HHS photo.

The House of Representatives passed a $4.5 billion emergency bill to fund detention of undocumented immigrants and asylum seekers yesterday, but the bill's demands that government meet minimal standards of humane treatment led Donald Trump to threaten a veto, because no one puts cruelty in a corner. The bill passed largely along party lines, 230-195, with four progressive Democratic first-term representatives opposing it because they believed the machinery of the New Cruelty shouldn't get a single dollar more. Trump prefers a bill already passed by the Senate, which would provide a similar level of funding $4.6 billion), but lacks the House bill's crazy radical requirements that migrants be held in less horrifying conditions than have been reported in the last week.

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