The Babadook Is Apparently Now A Gay Icon And The Internet Is Losing Its Mind Over It

We?re babashook!

The titular bad guy from the 2014 horror movie ?The Babadook? has suddenly become a gay icon and the internet can?t get enough of his delightfully evil homosexual ways.

Vulture believes the hilariously puzzling phenomenon can originally be traced back to a Tumblr post from October 2016:

Buzzfeed reported that the craze began in the summer of 2016 when the film was mistakenly listed in the LGBT section of Netflix:

Teen Vogue claims that the image was actually edited and notes that while the newly out boogeyman-like character first became a sensation months ago on Tumblr, it wasn?t until earlier this month that it really began to take off in tandem with LGBTQ Pride celebrations. 

No matter what the real backstory is, one thing is certain: people just can?t get enough of gay Babadook.

A post shared by Mikey Pop (@djmikeypop) on

We?re still not really sure how or why this happened but we don?t really care. We?re just happy to have The Babadook as part of the family.

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House Votes To Let Some Border Officer Applicants Skip The Polygraph

WASHINGTON ? President Donald Trump wants to hire thousands more Customs and Border Protection agents, and the House wants to help him, in part by loosening some of the screening requirements for hiring.  

The House voted 282-137 on Wednesday to exempt some applicants from a polygraph that a 2010 anti-corruption law currently demands of all applicants to CBP. The new bill would allow the agency, which includes the Border Patrol, to waive the requirement for certain individuals who served in law enforcement or the military.

Supporters of the bill argue it?s a matter of common sense: Why put people through a polygraph test if they were already approved for another law enforcement agency or the military? But CBP has struggled for years with corruption, abuse and misconduct in its ranks, including by veterans and former police officers. With the agency set for a massive expansion, some Democrats warned that loosening standards could undermine safety.  

?We cannot give up on the need to fully vet these people,? Rep. Zoe Lofgren (D-Calif.) said on the House floor ahead of the vote.

CBP is facing a staffing shortage that could increase under Trump. There are about 1,800 unfilled positions currently, and the president wants to add 5,000 more employees, which has led officials to consider changes to speed up hiring.

Polygraphs have been one major obstacle in bringing on new employees: Government officials say 60 percent of CBP applicants don?t pass them. The agency is already testing shorter polygraph exams and supports a legislative change that would allow it to exempt some applicants entirely, although officials told The Wall Street Journal that the agency would not compromise on its standards.

Homeland Security Secretary John Kelly said Wednesday that he would ?support anything that would speed up the process, so long as we don?t skimp on the quality and the vetting, to put more men and women to work.? He was responding to a question from Rep. Martha McSally (R-Ariz.), the sponsor of the polygraph waiver bill, who?d asked him about her measure during a hearing.

After the House vote, McSally said in a statement that her bill would give CBP ?discretionary ability to hire qualified, vetted individuals who already have earned public trust? and to ?increase the security of our nation and facilitate cross-border commerce and tourism.? The congresswoman is an Air Force veteran.

Democratic opponents warned the bill could make it easier for corrupt individuals to join CBP. Polygraphs have helped detect serious problems in the past, including attempts by organized crime to infiltrate the agency, the Center for Investigative Reporting found in 2013. Some applicants admitted to engaging in or having relatives who engaged in drug or human smuggling; one woman said she had smuggled marijuana into the U.S. about 800 times. Others admitted to taking money to kill people or possessing child pornography. Some of those applicants were veterans, according to the report.

CBP has struggled with employees? bad behavior, even if those wrongdoers represent only a small percentage of its workforce. There were 2,170 reported arrests for misconduct such as driving under the influence or domestic violence for fiscal years 2005 through 2012, according to the Government Accountability Office. During the same period, 144 current or former CBP employees were indicted or arrested for activities related to corruption.

The veterans and law enforcement officers that McSally?s bill could exempt from polygraphs don?t currently pass the tests at a higher rate than other applicants, James Tomsheck, who served as CBP?s assistant commissioner for internal affairs from 2006 to 2014, wrote in a column for The Hill.

?Nor do these groups present a lesser risk of integrity violations: they have been involved in some of the most serious CBP corruption activity and excessive force incidents,? Tomsheck wrote in opposing the legislation. ?Importantly, very few members of the military take polygraphs or have comprehensive background checks, and the quality of state or local law enforcement polygraphs varies widely. Past service in these capacities is by no means a proxy for proper, thorough vetting by CBP.?

Homeland Security Inspector General John Roth told The New York Times that loosening polygraph requirements ?could put CBP at significant risk.?

?While it may sound reasonable to say you could waive requirements from former military personnel because they have passed a polygraph, Border Patrol agents work in a different environment that is not as controlled as the military,? Roth said.

Rep. Michelle Lujan Grisham (D-N.M.) proposed an amendment that would delay implementation of the CBP hiring bill until the Department of Homeland Security?s inspector general determined that it would not endanger national security and until CBP completed its pilot program of an alternative polygraph test. That amendment was voted down.

?We shouldn?t blindly experiment with our nation?s security,? Lujan Grisham said on the House floor ahead of the vote, ?given that drugs, weapons and human trafficking, as well as terrorism, are all threats we are facing at the border.?

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Stephen Colbert Makes Plea To Donald Trump To Stop Tweeting

Nation, we have a bigly problem on our hands. 

Donald Trump has the power to start a new national outrage in 140 characters or less. His tweets aren?t only concerning to the country, but also his own staff, whom he consistently contradicts. 

For example, the White House kept saying Trump?s travel ban wasn?t an actual ?travel ban,? only to be met by tweets like this:

Stephen Colbert thinks everyone?s had enough. He?s already held a Twitter-vention for the president. Now, he?s just making a desperate plea.

?First of all, thanks for watching, sir,? said Colbert in a message to Trump on his Tuesday show.

He continued, ?Second, as an honorary member of the media, please stop tweeting, especially early in the morning so we have to write about it all day long ?cause that?s a lot of material for us to have on our show. Some days we come up with too many jokes, and we have some left over for the next day, and I have to start drinking early. So please, no tweeting. None. I demand it.?

Colbert even had ?Cartoon Donald Trump? on the show to confront him about the tweets, and apparently not even a fake Donald Trump can stop himself. 

?The Late Show? airs weeknights at 11:35 p.m. ET on CBS.

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Margaret Atwood Has Some Fixes For A Crisis That’s Slowly ‘Killing Us’

This story is part of a series on ocean plastics.

Margaret Atwood, the author behind hit Hulu series ?The Handmaid?s Tale,is well versed in the types of hot-button issues that polarize societies. In a new op-ed, the dystopian author says she?s also keen on tackling a devastating problem that much of the world is barely talking about: plastic waste.

Atwood writes in her piece, published in The Guardian on Saturday, that she considers plastics the ?modern equivalent of a universal religion.? 

?We worship them, whether we admit it or not,? she explains. ?Their centre is whatever you happen to be doing, their circumference is everywhere; they?re as essential to our modern lives as the air we breathe, and they?re killing us. They must be stopped.?

In Atwood?s lifetime, the world went from barely using any plastic to being unable to live without it. Plastic is cheap, and can be found in pretty much everything we use ? from clothing to diapers to shopping bags. We just as readily discard these products without thinking twice, which leads to the dumping of billions of pounds of plastic waste in oceans. While the scope of the issue ? and its effect on living beings ? is difficult to calculate, environmentalists are gravely concerned.

If we don?t change our consumption habits, by 2050 there will be more plastics in the ocean than fish by weight, according to a report from the from the World Economic Forum and the Ellen MacArthur Foundation.

Animals are mistaking plastic for food, and are getting seriously injured ? or dying ? after becoming entangled in discarded trash. 

Human health risks associated with plastics may be enormous. Scientists haven?t settled on exactly how these substances affect humans, but numerous studies suggest that chemicals in plastics may be linked to birth defects, diabetes, cancer and infertility. 

Microfibers ? which shed from synthetic clothing ? make their way from washing machines, to natural bodies of water and into the tissues of marine life. How this will affect fish, and the people who consume them, is still unknown.

Microplastic particles are affecting marine algae, which is the ?basic building block of oceanic life,? Atwood adds. Marine algae are responsible for making about 70 percent of the oxygen we breathe. Destroying them could mean killing ourselves.

Atwood outlines a three-point plan to address the issue, calling for reforms that advocacy groups and environmentalists have long promoted.

She wants organic and biodegradable replacements for plastic products. That?s a critical one, considering how long it takes for plastic items to decompose. A plastic bag, for example, often used for one shopping trip and then immediately thrown out, takes 10 to 20 years to decompose.

Atwood wants the industry to devise methods to collect plastics before they reach the oceans and filter plastics out of seawater. Such robust systems exist in developed nations like the U.S., but not as much in developing nations. 

Finally, plastic products need to be broken down into their basic parts. This is crucial, especially considering how much plastic packaging can?t be recycled. They?re often made from multiple layers of materials, and the recyclable components can?t be separated out. 

A number of activists and environmental groups are already working on some of the action items Atwood raised.

Norwegian billionaire Kjell Inge Røkke, who made his fortune in offshore drilling, is donating most of his wealth to cleaning up the oceans. In 2020, in partnership with the World Wildlife Fund Norway, he?ll be launching a massive yacht, which will collect 5 tons of plastic a day. The researchers on board will work to identify plastic alternatives and develop ways to keep plastics from entering the ocean.

These are the types of reforms that give Atwood hope.

?We may yet save ourselves from being plasticised to death,? she writes.

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