Sam's Top 5 for 2/7/17

1. 9th Circuit Court of Appeals is going to hear challenge to Trump's immigration ban today

This evening, three federal judges will hear oral arguments in the challenge to President Donald Trump's executive order on immigration.

The hour-long hearing, conducted by telephone among three West coast judges at 6 p.m. ET, will determine the immediate fate of the nationwide temporary restraining order against Trump's travel ban.

Attorneys general for Washington and Minnesota, which challenged the executive order, say that the temporary restraining order should remain in place because the President had "unleashed chaos" by signing the order.

2. Lena Dunham says, “Donald Trump made me lose weight”

Lena Dunham has Donald Trump to thank for her recent weight loss.

“Donald Trump became president and I stopped being able to eat food,” Dunham, 30, told Howard Stern on his SiriusXM show Monday (via Entertainment Weekly).

The actress, who has long been criticized for her body image, continued, “Everyone’s been asking like, ‘What have you been doing?’ And I’m like, ‘Try soul-crushing pain and devastation and hopelessness and you, too, will lose weight.”

She admitted to Stern that initially Trump winning the election “seemed like an impossible joke” that “would never happen,” adding that she told herself, “the most qualified candidate we’ve ever had is running against a steak salesman. We’re going to be fine.”

Dunham has made her distaste for the current president clear, but it didn’t help when he called her a “B-list actor with no mojo.”

3. Harambe-shaped Cheeto reaches bid of nearly $100K on eBay

Bidding for a Cheeto shaped like a gorilla killed last year at a Cincinnati zoo reached nearly $100,000 onlineMonday afternoon. User valuestampsinc listed a Flamin' Hot Cheeto for sale on eBay that resembled an orangey, powdery version of Harambe, the slain gorilla later memorialized in countless Internet memes and jokes.

As of Monday evening, more than 100 offers had resulted in a current bid of $99,700.00.

The listing’s title read, "Gorilla Hot Cheetos - RARE - One of a Kind Cheetos - Harambe Gorilla.” The story behind the Harambe Cheeto was equally alluring:

The item description read, "I opened up a bag of Flamin Hot Cheetos and as soon as I looked inside I came across this unique Cheetos that looks like Harambe the gorilla.” The description also noted the Flamin' Hot Harambe measured about 1.5 inches in length.

The bag was not included. The success of Flamin' Hot Harabme seemed to inspire imitators: A Cheeto shaped like "Harambe Gorilla Poop" appeared on eBay, too. The auction was set to end Tuesday at 3:45 a.m. ET. "As with Harmabe's life, all things must come to (an) end," the New York Daily News noted.

And the item's shipping, like Harambe's spirit, was free.


4. Mark Dayton says, “Add human rights offices to boost Minnesota workforce”

While Republican lawmakers look to hold down state spending this year, Gov. Mark Dayton is calling for a major funding boost for the Minnesota Department of Human Rights to expand its services outside the metro area.

The department opened its first regional office last year in St. Cloud, and now Dayton wants to establish additional offices in Duluth, Rochester and Worthington. He proposed a 44 percent increase in the department’s budget — the largest percentage hike for any state agency — mainly to pay for the new offices.

Although the Human Rights Department is best known for investigating illegal discrimination, a top Dayton aide said the governor’s underlying goal is to ward off a projected labor shortage in the state by making it more appealing to a diverse workforce.

5. Bill blocking Mpls. wage hike clears MN Senate panel

A Minnesota Senate panel has advanced legislation that prohibits cities from imposing their own minimum wage, sick leave or other labor requirements on private local employers.

The so-called preemption legislation, sponsored by Sen. Jeremy Miller, R-Winona, would also roll back the recently-adopted sick leave policies of Minneapolis and St. Paul.

Members of the Senate Jobs and Economic Growth committee approved the bill yesterday on a 6-3 vote, sending it next to the Local Government committee. Supporters say the bill would ensure fair and consistent labor standards across the state.


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