3 reasons the GOP should be open to swiping right on Obama's SCOTUS nominee.

Let's not waste time arguing about politics on this one, OK?

President Barack Obama's list of traits he wants from a new Supreme Court justice reads a bit like a dating profile, and maybe that's not the worst thing in the world.

Over at SCOTUSblog, the president wrote a guest editorial about the current Supreme Court vacancy, outlining what he's looking for in a nominee. Among the qualifications listed, he writes that he's looking for somebody with "an independent mind, rigorous intellect, impeccable credentials, and a record of excellence and integrity."


Photo by Drew Angerer/Getty Images.

Also making the list: somebody with "a mastery of the law" who "recognizes the limits of the judiciary's role" and "judges who approach decisions without any particular ideology or agenda, but rather a commitment to impartial justice, a respect for precedent, and a determination to faithfully apply the law to facts at hand."

Whether you'd swipe right on the president or not, we can all agree that this is a pretty solid-looking profile for a potential addition to the Supreme Court.

Sadly, news out of the Senate Judiciary Committee seems to suggest it has deleted this particular match-making app from their phones.

Here are three reasons the Senate Judiciary Committee needs to stop all the posturing and work with Obama instead of dragging out this nomination.

1. If we're interested in a truly independent thinker, the best time to have the debate about a new candidate is when the president comes from a different party than the one that controls Congress.

We can all agree that Supreme Court justices shouldn't be blatantly partisan, right? The best way to ensure a truly independent mind on the court? We need to find a candidate that both Democrats and Republicans can agree on, with both sides making a few ideological concessions here and there.

That's how we wound up with Justice Anthony Kennedy, and while you'll find a good number of liberal-minded people willing to say he's too conservative and vice versa, he's the de facto "swing vote."

Supreme Court Justice Anthony Kennedy. Photo by Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images.

If Democrats controlled both the Senate and White House, Republicans would be unhappy with the nominee. If Republicans controlled both the Senate and White House, Democrats would be unhappy with the nominee. Maybe that means now is the perfect time to have this debate.

For the good of the country, it's time we used the c-word — no, not that one: I'm talking about compromise!

Will any person who makes it through the confirmation hearings be the next Antonin Scalia? No, probably not. But they might be the next Kennedy, and honestly, that's probably better for the country. If we can find somebody who both Democrats and Republicans can agree on (they exist), even if neither side comes away perfectly happy, that's the person we want deciding our most important questions.

If we wait until after the election, there's the possibility that both the Senate and White House will be controlled by a single party, and we will again wind up in an awkward position.

2. "We, the people" know that, at the end of the day, politicians will say what they need to say to help their parties whether or not we agree with them.

Through the years, politicians have made a number of statements both for and against filling judicial vacancies. Unsurprisingly, it always seems to work that the party with the most to gain from filling the vacancy tends to find itself on the side of supporting just that while the party that doesn't, well, doesn't.

Check it out. Here's Republican President Ronald Reagan making the case that the Senate (which was controlled by Democrats at the time) should "join together in a bipartisan effort to fulfill our Constitutional obligation":

And here's Republican Sen. Chuck Grassley (Iowa) arguing in favor of confirming this nominee (Kennedy) during an election year:


Then there's Republican Sen. Mitch McConnell (Kentucky), who in 2005 urged Democrats to stop obstructing President George W. Bush's judicial nominees.

And on the other hand, here's then-Democratic Sen. Joe Biden in 1992 threatening to do exactly what he, as vice president, asked Republicans in the Judiciary Committee not to do in 2016:

So maybe it's not the politicians we should listen to? Here's what Scalia himself had to say about leaving the court with only eight justices:

Basically, "Fill that spot. It's your job." Which brings us to the last point...

3. Senate Judiciary Committee, you have one job. This is it.

Nobody says you need to like Obama's nominee. Nobody says you need to confirm the nominee. But you should at least hold hearings and go on record saying why you don't like the nominee. The argument that you just don't replace Supreme Court justices during election years is simply false.

This is politicizing the whole process, and that's something even the man you're charged with replacing was against.

Everybody involved in appointing our next Supreme Court justice is coming from a position of good faith and really does want the best for the country.

That's why it's so important that we come together, have this debate in public, and yes, compromise. To go back to the dating site analogy, you might not match with the very first person you're shown, but if you don't even bother to set up a profile, you never will.

So go on, Senate Judiciary Committee, be open to the idea of a match. You've got an important role to play in this process, and I believe you can do it.

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Should a man lose his home because the grass in his yard grew higher than 10 inches? The city of Dunedin, Florida seems to think so.

According to the Institute of Justice, which is representing Jim Ficken, he had a very good reason for not mowing his lawn – and tried to rectify the situation as best he could.

In 2014, Jim's mom became ill and he visited her often in South Carolina to help her out. When he was away, his grass grew too long and he was cited by a code office; he cut the grass and wasn't fined.

France has started forcing supermarkets to donate food instead of throwing it away.

But several years later, this one infraction would come back to haunt him after he left to take care of him's mom's affairs after she died. The arrangements he made to have his grass cut fell through (his friend who he asked to help him out passed away unexpectedly) and that set off a chain reaction that may result in him losing his home.

The 69-year-old retiree now faces a $29,833.50 fine plus interest. Watch the video to find out just what Jim is having to deal with.

Mow Your Lawn or Lose Your House! www.youtube.com

Cities

The world officially loves Michelle Obama.

The former first lady has overtaken the number one spot in a poll of the world's most admired women. Conducted by online research firm YouGov, the study uses international polling tools to survey people in countries around the world about who they most admire.

In the men's category, Bill Gates took the top spot, followed by Barack Obama and Jackie Chan.

In the women's category, Michelle Obama came first, followed by Oprah Winfrey and Angelina Jolie. Obama pushed Jolie out of the number one spot she claimed last year.

Unsurprising, really, because what's not to love about Michelle Obama? She is smart, kind, funny, accomplished, a great dancer, a devoted wife and mother, and an all-around, genuinely good person.

She has remained dignified and strong in the face of rabid masses of so-called Americans who spent eight years and beyond insisting that she's a man disguised as a woman. She's endured non-stop racist memes and terrifying threats to her family. She has received far more than her fair share of cruelty, and always takes the high road. She's the one who coined, "When they go low, we go high," after all.

She came from humble beginnings and remains down to earth despite becoming a familiar face around the world. She's not much older than me, but I still want to be like Michelle Obama when I grow up.

Her memoir, Becoming, may end up being the best-selling memoir of all time, having already sold 10 million copies—a clear sign that people can't get enough Michelle, because there's no such thing as too much Michelle.

Don't like Michelle Obama? Don't care. Those of us who love her will fly our MO flags high and without apology, paying no mind to folks with cold, dead hearts who don't know a gem of a human being when they see one. There is nothing any hater can say or do to make us admire this undeniably admirable woman any less.

When it seems like the world has lost its mind—which is how it feels most days these days—I'm just going to keep coming back to this study as evidence that hope for humanity is not lost.

Here. Enjoy some real-life Michelle on Jimmy Kimmel. (GAH. WHY IS SHE SO CUTE AND AWESOME. I can't even handle it.)

Michelle & Barack Obama are Boring Now www.youtube.com

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via EarthFix / Flickr

What will future generations never believe that we tolerated in 2019?

Dolphin and orca captivity, for sure. They'll probably shake their heads at how people died because they couldn't afford healthcare. And, they'll be completely mystified at the amount of food some people waste while others go starving.

According to Biological Diversity, "An estimated 40 percent of the food produced in the United States is wasted every year, costing households, businesses and farms about $218 billion annually."

There are so many things wrong with this.

First of all it's a waste of money for the households who throw out good food. Second, it's a waste of all of the resources that went into growing the food, including the animals who gave their lives for the meal. Third, there's something very wrong with throwing out food when one in eight Americans struggle with hunger.

Supermarkets are just as guilty of this unnecessary waste as consumers. About 10% of all food waste are supermarket products thrown out before they've reached their expiration date.

Three years ago, France took big steps to combat food waste by making a law that bans grocery stores from throwing away edible food.According to the new ordinance, stores can be fined for up to $4,500 for each infraction.

Previously, the French threw out 7.1 million tons of food. Sixty-seven percent of which was tossed by consumers, 15% by restaurants, and 11% by grocery stores.

This has created a network of over 5,000 charities that accept the food from supermarkets and donate them to charity. The law also struck down agreements between supermarkets and manufacturers that prohibited the stores from donating food to charities.

"There was one food manufacturer that was not authorized to donate the sandwiches it made for a particular supermarket brand. But now, we get 30,000 sandwiches a month from them — sandwiches that used to be thrown away," Jacques Bailet, head of the French network of food banks known as Banques Alimentaires, told NPR.

It's expected that similar laws may spread through Europe, but people are a lot less confident at it happening in the United States. The USDA believes that the biggest barrier to such a program would be cost to the charities and or supermarkets.

"The logistics of getting safe, wholesome, edible food from anywhere to people that can use it is really difficult," the organization said according to Gizmodo. "If you're having to set up a really expensive system to recover marginal amounts of food, that's not good for anybody."

Plus, the idea may seem a little too "socialist" for the average American's appetite.

"The French version is quite socialist, but I would say in a great way because you're providing a way where they [supermarkets] have to do the beneficial things not only for the environment, but from an ethical standpoint of getting healthy food to those who need it and minimizing some of the harmful greenhouse gas emissions that come when food ends up in a landfill," Jonathan Bloom, the author of American Wasteland, told NPR.

However, just because something may be socialist doesn't mean it's wrong. The greater wrong is the insane waste of money, damage to the environment, and devastation caused by hunger that can easily be avoided.

Planet

The world is dark and full of terrors, but every once in a while it graces us with something to warm our icy-cold hearts. And that is what we have today, with a single dad who went viral on Twitter after his daughter posted the photos he sent her when trying to pick out and outfit for his date. You love to see it.




After seeing these heartwarming pics, people on Twitter started suggesting this adorable man date their moms. It was essentially a mom and date matchmaking frenzy.

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