Chuck Schumer Says Next FBI Director Should ‘Not Be A Partisan Politician’

Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.) on Sunday laid out his criteria for the nation?s next FBI director, after President Donald Trump fired James Comey this week.

?The nominee should be not a partisan politician, not part of either party,? Schumer said on CNN?s ?State of the Union.? ?This demands a serious, down-the-middle investigation. Second, it ought to be somebody who is experienced. You need a really good prosecutor here, somebody who knows how to do it. And third, it should be someone with courage. If there is interference or attempted interference to shut down the investigation, to misdirect it, you need somebody who is going to stand up.?

Trump dismissed Comey earlier this week amid the agency?s investigation into possible Russian collusion with the Trump campaign in the 2016 election. The president is said to be interviewing several candidates for the job, including Sen. John Cornyn (R-Texas), Schumer?s colleague and Senate majority whip. 

In a separate appearance on NBC?s ?Meet the Press,? Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.) said the next FBI director ought to be someone ?outside the political lane.?

?Under normal circumstances, [Cornyn] would be a superb choice to be FBI director,? he said. ?But these are not normal circumstances.?

Graham, who is a member of the Senate Judiciary Committee, said last week he wants to explore whether Trump?s businesses have any ties to Russia. On Sunday, the senator again called on Trump to release his tax returns.

Trump is also reportedly considering tapping Judge Michael J. Garcia of the New York Court of Appeals, who previously served as assistant U.S. attorney in the Southern District of New York, and Assistant Attorney General Alice Fisher, who used to work in the Justice Department?s Criminal Division.

Adam Goldman, a reporter for The New York Times, tweeted Sunday Garcia was seen favorably by some active FBI agents.

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Hope You Don’t Expect The Senate GOP To Be Transparent About Obamacare Repeal

Senate Republicans have spent the last 10 days or so promising not to tackle health care in the same hurried, irresponsible way that their House counterparts did. ?We are not under any deadlines,? Sen. John Cornyn (R-Texas) said last week, ?so we are going to take our time.?

They have also suggested they have little interest in drafting something that looks like the American Health Care Act ? the wildly unpopular House bill that would roll back many of the Affordable Care Act?s most important insurance regulations and deprive something like 24 million people of coverage. ?We?re starting over from a clean sheet of paper here,? Sen. Bob Corker (R-Tenn.) promised.  

All of that is probably true ? and less meaningful than it sounds at first blush.

It?s possible to write a bill in a slower, more deliberative manner than the House did without allowing the kind lengthy, open public debate that legislation of such magnitude would seem to require. It?s also possible to pass less disruptive, less extreme legislation that would nevertheless take away insurance from many millions of people, causing widespread hardship.

In fact, from the looks of things, this is precisely what Senate Republican leaders are trying to do.

GOP leaders are trying to shield their legislation from scrutiny

The big boast Senate Republicans are making is that they won?t vote on legislation before the Congressional Budget Office has a chance to analyze it. That?s what House Republicans did when they voted on their bill last week, less than 24 hours after making amendments that had potential to affect insurance coverage and the federal budget in fairly significant ways.

?Y?all, I?m still waiting to see if it?s a boy or a girl,? Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.) quipped afterward. ?Any bill that has been posted less than 24 hours, going to be debated three or four hours, not scored? Needs to be viewed with suspicion.?

But voting without a CBO score was merely one way in which the House rushed its debate.

House leaders wrote legislation privately and then pushed it through the two committees of jurisdiction with markup sessions that lasted just one day each. Leaders had to pull the bill from the House floor at the last minute, because it lacked enough support to pass, but their response was to return to private negotiations, hash out the additional amendments, and then proceed quickly with the final vote.

Even those House Republicans who had time to read and study the final language (many admitted they hadn?t) probably didn?t grasp its implications, because those implications were still becoming apparent in real time. Two days before the vote, for example, a Brookings Institution report showed how the bill could bring back annual and lifetime limits on benefits, even for employer policies.

You saw what the House Republicans did. When you don?t read it, you don?t know what the impact is.
Sen. Patty Murray (D-Wash.)

Those limits, which the Affordable Care Act prohibits, would be a huge deal for that tiny portion of Americans dealing with the most severe medical problems ? think aggressive cancer that requires chemotherapy and surgery, or genetic disorders that require long stays in neonatal care. By the time a Wall Street Journal article on the subject brought the possibility to national attention, the vote was just hours away ? too late for new information to have an effect.

Of course that was precisely what House Speaker Paul Ryan (R-Wis.) and his allies were trying to accomplish ? to avoid public scrutiny, to get legislation through the House before either the media or the public could recognize and seize on its shortcomings. Now it looks like Senate Republicans are intent upon doing the same thing.

Back in March, the first time the House was set to vote on repeal, Senate leaders indicated that they intended to bypass the two committees that had jurisdiction. ?Probably straight to the floor,? Cornyn told CNN, when asked about the plan, ?Because there has already been a lot of consultations on a bicameral basis to get us here.?

Leadership hasn?t said much about his plans since that time, and the office of Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) declined to answer HuffPost?s inquiries about process and timetable. But on Wednesday, finance committee chairman Orrin Hatch (R-Utah) told The Hill, ?I don?t think it?s going to go through the committees, at least from what I know about it.?

Democrats are furious, in part because most of them were around in 2009 and 2010 when they spent more than a year writing and debating what eventually became the Affordable Care Act. For all of the discussion that took place behind closed doors back then, quite a lot took place in public ? over the course of more than 130 hearings, spanning five committees, according to a Democratic tally that didn?t even include administration events like the daylong, bipartisan session at Blair House that President Barack Obama presided over personally.

?We had 45 bipartisan hearings and roundtables,? Sen. Patty Murray (D-Wash.), ranking Democrat on the Health, Education, Labor and Pensions Committee, said in an interview. ?Every issue and aspect of this was discussed. People had a chance to really see the impact ? line by line, amendment by amendment ? and know what they were actually passing.?

?You saw what the House Republicans did,? Murray added. ?When you don?t read it, you don?t know what the impact is. And somebody who is being impacted doesn?t have a chance to say, ?Wait a minute, that doesn?t work for me.??

This isn?t just some partisan talking point. Norm Ornstein, a respected political scientist at the American Enterprise Institute, says, ?The push and pull, give and take of an open markup can make a bad bill, with stupid provisions, sloppy drafting, unintended consequences, repeated mistakes from past experience, a better one.? 

Earlier this week, Murray and Sen. Ron Wyden (D-Ore.), ranking Democrat on the finance committee, sent their GOP counterparts a letter demanding hearings. They have not gotten a formal response, and neither did HuffPost inquiries to those offices, except for a statement from Hatch?s office that he ?appreciates Senate Democrats? renewed interest in improving the nation?s healthcare system and welcomes their input and ideas as we move through this debate.?

Most Republicans seem ready to accept some pretty big cuts 

One reason the House bill is so spectacularly unpopular is the likelihood that it will leave so many millions of Americans without health insurance. And from the very beginning of the debate, senators have been warning, publicly and privately, that they could not abide such dramatic losses of coverage.

Many of those warnings focused on the American Health Care Act?s proposed cuts to Medicaid. That includes phasing out the new funding available through Obamacare that the states have used to expand eligibility for the program ? effectively making it available to all people with incomes below or just above the poverty line. Among the 32 states that have accepted the money and expanded the program are more than a dozen with Republican senators.

One of them is Sen. Rob Portman (R-Ohio), who has reportedly taken the lead on figuring out how the Senate legislation will deal with Medicaid. Something like 700,000 of his constituents got insurance through the Medicaid expansion, and the program has become a critical source of financing for opioid treatment, as well as for community clinics that provide basic medical care to the poor. Ohio?s Medicaid expansion also has a vocal, influential champion in Gov. John Kasich (R-Ohio), one of about a half-dozen Republican governors who have lobbied hard to keep the expansion in place.

But Portman told reporters on Wednesday that he was looking for a ?soft landing? on Medicaid and that he supported ending expansion funding eventually. A key letter on Medicaid he and three other Republican senators wrote during the early stages of House debate was careful to talk about ?stability for individuals currently enrolled in the program? ? which suggests they are open to a proposal that tapers off funding slowly, and lets people who qualify under the expansion hold onto Medicaid until their enrollment lapses.

That?s actually what the House bill already does. The Medicaid population would still drop sharply in the first three years, CBO predicts, because low-income people tend to have volatile incomes and lose eligibility quickly. Senate Republicans might have some other ideas for stretching out the transition ? they have said very little publicly ? but it appears to be a matter of when, not whether, the expansion population loses its coverage.

?Clearly the House has done some important work,? Sen. Roger Wicker (R-Miss.) said this week. ?I think we?d like to take the Medicaid provision and engineer a softer landing and eventually get to the same place?

The House bill wouldn?t simply roll back the Medicaid expansion. It would also introduce a ?per capita cap? that would reduce the program?s funding over time. Sen. Shelley Moore Capito (R-W.V.), who joined the Portman letter and whose home state is particularly dependent on Medicaid, left a meeting two days ago saying that the Senate was open to per capita caps ? a tell-tale sign that the cap, or something like it, could end up in final legislation.

And then there are the implications that repeal could have for people purchasing coverage on their own, either directly from insurers or through healthcare.gov and state-run insurance exchanges. Senate Republicans have said the House bill would punish older consumers too much, by allowing insurers to charge near-retirement seniors up to five times what they charge younger consumers ? and, simultaneously, by rearranging the Affordable Care Act?s financial aid so that it doesn?t provide extra help to people with high insurance costs.

But they haven?t made the same fuss about the way the House bill also shifts assistance away from lower-income consumers, which is a big reason why so many people would lose coverage. And key members like Hatch seem committed both to cutting as much spending as possible ? and rescinding the Affordable Care Act?s taxes, including hefty levies on corporations and the wealthiest American households. The net result is likely to be large losses of insurance coverage, even if they are not as large as the losses in the House bill.

Senate politics are tricky enough that public pressure matters

GOP leaders face some big obstacles as they try to craft a bill that can pass, and most likely those obstacles are bigger than the ones that stood in the way of Ryan and his allies earlier this year.

In the Senate, Republicans need 50 votes to pass legislation, assuming Vice President Mike Pence would break a tie, and they have only 52 seats. Already two of their members, Sens. Bill Cassidy (R-La.) and Susan Collins (R-Maine), have called explicitly to preserve or even expand the Affordable Care Act?s expansion of insurance coverage. Sen. Dean Heller (R-Nev.), who is among those who have been most openly critical of the House bill, faces a difficult re-election fight in a Democratic state. 

Put those together with the likes of Capito, Portman and Sen. Lisa Murkowski (R-Alaska), and their strong feelings about protecting the Medicaid expansion population, and it?s easy to see how the Senate could end up with a bill that?s less extreme than the House version ? or maybe no bill at all.

But even Cassidy and Collins have left themselves wiggle room, which means they could end up supporting a bill in exchange for minor modifications, just as so-called moderates in the House did. And they will be fighting ultra-conservatives like Sens. Ted Cruz (R-Texas), Mike Lee (R-Utah) and Rand Paul (R-Ky.), whose idea of ?compromise? is a bill that looks like the House bill or is maybe even more extreme.

The deciding factor could be public reaction, but the public can?t react to a bill unless it gets a good look at it. It appears Republican leaders are trying not to let that happen.

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Outspeak Wants Your Videos For Sexual Assault Awareness Month #SAAM

Despite the irony, Donald Trump has officially declared April to be Sexual Assault Awareness Month. The unfortunate reality is this month is needed because sexual violence and abuse still play a major role in societies across the globe, and we?re no strangers to it here in North America.

Sexual assault is a major public health, human rights and social justice issue that we cannot ignore, especially now that our President helps to perpetuate this type of behavior. The goal of the month is to raise public awareness about sexual violence and to educate communities on how to prevent it. We need everyone?s help to end sexual violence and abuse.

This year SAAM?s official campaign is centered around ?Engaging New Voices?. The focus is on giving coaches, faith leaders, parents, and bystanders the knowledge and tools necessary to help prevent sexual assault. Many groups know about sexual assault and believe it is a problem, but they are not equipped to deal with the issues.

It?s up to all of us to educate each other and increase preventative measures within our communities. Because of that, Outspeak wants to encourage everyone to join the discussion, to reflect on the importance of sexual assault awareness, and to speak up about the way forward. Throughout the month we will be focusing on content related #SAAM, and we are seeking video and article submissions.

If you currently have a video, or are interested in creating one related to #SAAM, send it to us via Facebook or Twitter using the hashtag #SAAM. Or email your submissions to social@outspeak.tv.

If you are looking for information yourself or want to know what resources are available to you, please visit the the SAAM website or NSVRC.org of to learn how you can get involved in preventing sexual violence.

Your video has the opportunity to be featured on Huffington Post?s massive social media pages, on Outspeak social media, and you have the chance to be featured in an article on HuffingtonPost.com. For an example of how these features look. Check out our recent #YourVoteYourVoice Election campaign.

Please keep the following in mind for your videos:

  • Make sure you?re shooting in a well-lit, non-distracted environment.
  • Keep the shots well-composed and in focus.
  • Keep the video short. 1-2 minutes preferred.
  • Keep the video focused on one theme. People will listen if you can speak focused and passionately.
  • Take a unique approach. How is this personal to you? Why is this issue in particular something you?re passionate about?
  • Do not use offensive or derogatory language. If used maliciously or recklessly, your video will not be considered for circulation.

If you have any questions, please contact us at social@outspeak.tv or give us a shout on Twitter.

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Nicole Kidman Just Can’t Stop Wearing Animal Dresses

Remember when Nicole Kidman showed up to the SAG Awards with parrots on her shoulders and we couldn?t stop chirping about her high-risk, higher-reward look?

Well, it appears the ?Big Little Lies? star may have heard our praise. Or she just really, really loves animals. Either way, she wore yet another creature-adorned gown to the Academy of Country Music Awards in Las Vegas Sunday night.

The intricately beaded Alexander McQueen dress is decorated with leaves, flowers and ? if you can spot them ? a whole bunch of animals. We spy an owl, a squirrel, deer and various other little creatures we?re still trying to identify.

It?s a Where?s Waldo of nature, if you will! 

Kidman paired the wild look with a pair of stunning emerald earrings, and left her hands free enough of jewelry to clap normally this time around. 

Weird clapping be damned, this gown gets a standing ovation from us. 

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stalactite

Should we really stop eating meat? Many people have started becoming vegans. I for one cannot imagine life without eating meat. Vegetarian food is plain and tasteless. For those that love to compete, Louisville, KY, offers the action-packed Go Ape Treetop Forest course.Compete with your team members or friends in the different weird and fun courses in Louisville, KY I also work out a lot and lead an active lifestyle. I don?t believe that a vegetarian diet will be sufficient for me.

Here’s How Every Senate Democrat Plans To Vote On Neil Gorsuch

WASHINGTON ? When Supreme Court nominee Neil Gorsuch gets his Senate confirmation vote this week, he?ll need eight Democrats to vote with Republicans in order to reach the 60 votes he needs to clear a filibuster.

It?s not looking great for him.

There are 52 Republicans and 48 Democrats (including the two independents who caucus with them). Democrats are, by and large, vowing to filibuster Gorsuch and demanding that President Donald Trump put forward a more mainstream pick. But Republicans are signaling that if they can?t get the 60 votes they need, they?ll retaliate by changing the rules so it only takes 51 votes to advance a Supreme Court nominee ? a prospect that?s bumming out senators in both parties who love their institution and its rules.

If Republicans get the 60 votes they need to clear the filibuster, it only takes 51 votes to confirm Gorsuch after that.

Here?s where every Democrat stands on joining the filibuster against Gorsuch. We?ll update the list as more Democrats announce how they?ll vote. It takes 41 Democrats to block Gorsuch.

JOINING FILIBUSTER (37)

Sen. Tammy Baldwin (Wis.)

Sen. Richard Blumenthal (Conn.)

Sen. Cory Booker (N.J.)

Sen. Sherrod Brown (Ohio)

Sen. Maria Cantwell (Wash.)

Sen. Tom Carper (Del.)

Sen. Bob Casey (Pa.)

Sen. Catherine Cortez Masto (Nev.)

Sen. Tammy Duckworth (Ill.)

Sen. Dick Durbin (Ill.)

Sen. Al Franken (Minn.)

Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand (N.Y.)

Sen. Kamala Harris (Calif.)

Sen. Maggie Hassan (N.H.)

Sen. Martin Heinrich (N.M.)

Sen. Mazie Hirono (Hawaii)

Sen. Tim Kaine (Va.)

Sen. Amy Klobuchar (Minn.)

Sen. Ed Markey (Mass.)

Sen. Claire McCaskill (Mo.)

Sen. Jeff Merkley (Ore.)

Sen. Chris Murphy (Conn.)

Sen. Patty Murray (Wash.)

Sen. Bill Nelson (Fla.)

Sen. Gary Peters (Mich.)

Sen. Jack Reed (R.I.)

Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.)

Sen. Brian Schatz (Hawaii)

Sen. Chuck Schumer (N.Y.)

Sen. Jeanne Shaheen (N.H.)

Sen. Debbie Stabenow (Mich.)

Sen. Jon Tester (Mont.)

Sen. Tom Udall (N.M.)

Sen. Chris Van Hollen (Md.)

Sen. Elizabeth Warren (Mass.)

Sen. Sheldon Whitehouse (R.I.)

Sen. Ron Wyden (Ore.)

VOTING WITH REPUBLICANS TO END FILIBUSTER (3)

Sen. Joe Donnelly (Ind.)

Sen. Heidi Heitkamp (N.D.)

Sen. Joe Manchin (W.Va.)

HAVEN?T SAID (6)

Sen. Michael Bennet (Colo.)

Sen. Chris Coons (Del.)

Sen. Dianne Feinstein (Calif.)

Sen. Angus King (I-Maine)

Sen. Bob Menendez (N.J.)

Sen. Mark Warner (Va.)

SQUISHY (2)*

Sen. Ben Cardin (Md.)

Sen. Patrick Leahy (Vt.) 

*These senators have hinted that they?ll vote with Republicans to end the filibuster, but then vote against Gorsuch?s confirmation. But they?re still mostly ¯\_(?)_/¯.

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Carbon Monoxide Leak At Hotel Pool Leaves 1 Teen Dead, 12 People Hospitalized

A 13-year-old boy was killed and 12 people were hospitalized when a visit to a hotel?s indoor swimming pool led to carbon monoxide poisoning, authorities said.

Several children had been swimming at the Quality Inn in Niles, Michigan, around 10 a.m. Saturday when a passing member of the hotel?s staff peered through a window and saw them lying unconscious on the deck, local fire officials said.

Six children between 12 and 14 years of age were rushed to local hospitals. One boy, since identified as Bryan Douglas Watts, died en route, local station WNDU reported.

Hotel staff members and police officers who responded to the emergency were also taken to area hospitals after being exposed to the toxic air.

According to WNDU, the CO levels were later determined to be 16 times the safe limit.

Niles Fire Department Capt. Don Wise said he suspects the pool?s heater is to blame. 

?Anything that has a natural gas heater has a potential of putting off carbon monoxide,? Wise told reporters at the scene. ?Carbon monoxide is colorless, odorless and tasteless. You?ll end up getting flu-like symptoms… Patients will get nauseous, maybe vomit.?

Wise added that it was pure chance the children were found when they were. He credited the hotel?s staff with opening the doors, which allowed fresh air to get in.

?Staff just happened to walk by the window and [see] the kids unresponsive on the deck, and then they reacted,? he said. ?But no one really knows when the last time somebody saw them actively moving around [was].?

One hotel guest described hearing the children playing before laughter turned to screams.

?At first I thought someone drowned, because when I came out of my room, there was a body lying on the floor in the hallway and then there was five of them lying by the pool,? the woman, who was not identified, told Reuters.

As authorities worked to remove and resuscitate the children, the hotel was evacuated as a precaution. Wise said the pool area did not have a carbon monoxide detector.

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This Is What Trump’s White House Correspondents Dinner Would Look Like

Donald Trump will be the first president in 36 years to be absent at the White House Correspondents Dinner ? an annual tradition where media figures, politicians and celebrities schmooze for a night.

And while he and his staff likely turned down their invitations because of the president?s deep hatred for the media and so-called ?fake news,? the folks over at ?The Late Show with Stephen Colbert? have figured how to get Trump to attend.

Invite the Russians.

What would that dinner look like? In Trump?s mind, it would probably include a Russian man like Boris Yacanovich riffing on journalists.

It would feature jokes like:

?A journalist criticized the administration. And he was shot dead in the street. In broad daylight.?

And other knee-slappers, including:

Another journalist expressed dissent. And he was dropped out of window. Kaboom.

Fingers crossed that the White House Correspondents Dinner never ends up looking like this.

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It’s Brinner Time! 12 Easy Breakfast-For-Dinner Recipes

Brinner, Brinner, Breakfast for Dinner! Breakfast is arguably the best meal of the day, but normally it?s too rushed to enjoy. That?s why I love breakfast for dinner ? from Blueberry Pancakes to Spinach & Cheese Strata, your happy taste buds will have no idea what time it is.

1. Blueberry Pancakes with Blueberry Maple Syrup

Calling all pancake lovers! These blueberry buttermilk pancakes topped with blueberry syrup are like an explosion of intense blueberry flavor. Don?t be tempted to skip the syrup ? it only takes a few minutes to make and is definitely the best part! GET THE RECIPE

2. Spinach & Gruyere Quiche

Of all the spinach quiches I?ve tried over the years, this classic French version is my favorite. The combination of heavy cream and Gruyère makes it insanely rich. There?s also a good bit of spinach, which balances out all that richness and makes it just a little bit healthier. GET THE RECIPE

3. Spicy Maple Candied Bacon

Start with thick-cut applewood smoked bacon and slather it with a maple syrup, brown sugar, and chipotle glaze halfway through cooking ? as the bacon cooks, the glaze sizzles and thickens into a shiny, candy-like coating. It?s addictive! GET THE RECIPE

4. Amish-Style Baked Oatmeal with Apples, Walnuts & Raisins

A comforting Amish breakfast casserole, baked oatmeal has a consistency similar to that of bread pudding. There are endless variations ? the recipe is easily adapted with whatever fruits and nuts you have on hand ? but this version filled with tart apples and plump raisins with a crunchy walnut topping is especially good. GET THE RECIPE

5. Marbled Chocolate Banana Bread

Tender and sweet-scented with a gorgeous ribbon of melted chocolate running through it, this banana bread is fun to make: you spoon the banana and chocolate batters into a loaf pan alternately, then swirl the two together with a knife. GET THE RECIPE

6. Leek & Parmesan Quiche

Made with leeks and a rich Parmesan-flavored custard, this quiche is an longtime favorite of mine. Serve a salad and baguette alongside and a French-inspired ?brinner? is done. GET THE RECIPE

7. Perfect French Toast

This is no ordinary French toast. Made with challah and a rich custard flavored with honey, vanilla and lots of cinnamon, it tastes just like bread pudding. GET THE RECIPE

8. Zucchini and Cheddar Frittata

Frittatas can be dry and firm but this one is delicate and creamy, almost like a crustless quiche. GET THE RECIPE

9. Overnight Drunken Caramel French Toast

Part booze, part French toast, part bread pudding ? how could you go wrong? Assemble it ahead of time, let it sit in the fridge overnight, then just pop in the oven when you?re ready to eat. GET THE RECIPE

10. Savory Sausage & Cheddar Bread Pudding

Bread pudding is usually sweet, but it can be made savory too. This version, brimming with sweet pork sausage and sharp cheddar, is deeply flavored with a golden crust and creamy interior. GET THE RECIPE

11. Banana Pancakes

Fluffy inside, crispy outside, and delicately flavored with bananas and vanilla ? these are phenomenal banana pancakes. The recipe, believe it or not, is adapted from a children?s cookbook, which only proves how easy they are to make. GET THE RECIPE

12. Spinach & Cheese Strata

With spinach, cheese, and cubes of bread baked in custard, this strata makes a comforting meal. You can do all of the preparation in advance ? at dinnertime, simply turn the oven on, place the strata in, and effortlessly wait for ?brinner? to emerge. GET THE RECIPE

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This Couple Is Pregnant At The Same Time And Due Just 3 Weeks Apart

In what has been a ?definitely surreal experience,? Toby Fleischman and her partner, Lindsay Lanciault, are pregnant at the same time. 

Fleischman, a celebrity makeup artist in Santa Monica, California, told The Huffington Post that when she and Lanciault, a speech-language pathologist, decided to start expanding their family, she would try to get pregnant first since she was older. Lanciault would then try to get pregnant a few years later. Plans changed, though. After Fleischman had been trying to get pregnant for more than a year (during which she had a miscarriage), the couple agreed that Lanciault should start trying, too.

?We decided she should still try anyway since I had previously suffered a miscarriage and we just didn?t know what the outcome would be,? Fleischman told HuffPost.

In early November, Fleischman learned she was pregnant. The next week, Lanciault was ovulating. Both women decided Lanciault should continue trying to get pregnant in case Fleischman had another miscarriage. A few weeks later, Lanciault had a positive pregnancy test, too.

?We both joked though, this WOULD be the time Lindsay gets pregnant,? Fleischman said. ?And that?s exactly what happened. So yes, we were prepared for the positive result, but it was still a shock. We were of course so excited and we kind of just laughed ? this was the way the universe had it in store for us all along.?

Both women chose to undergo insemination at home using sperm from a ?dear friend? who grew up with Lanciault. Fleischman said the first few moments after learning both tests came back positive were ?definitely surreal to say the least.?

?We had been dealing with disappointment for so many months while ?facing the stick,? as we called it, as I had been trying to get pregnant for more than a year at that point,? she said. ?We were so patterned to a negative result.?

Fleischman is due July 22, and Lanciault is due just shy of three weeks later on August 10. Both are having boys.

Fleischman told HuffPost that she was sick for about three weeks because of her pregnancy. As she was coming out of her bout of illness, Lanciault began showing the same symptoms. Both are in their second trimester now, though, and are ?feeling pretty good.?

?I think we definitely are more understanding and a little more tolerant with each other since we know what the other is going through,? they said.

#bumpin #17weeks #20weeks

A post shared by Toby Fleischman (@tobyfleischman) on

They are also in sync when it comes to their pregnancy cravings

?We both want Italian food or we both feel like ice cream!? they said. ?It has been really great to share the journey.?

Since sharing their story, Fleischman said they have received ?such wonderful feedback.? They have also heard from other same-sex couples who have experienced something similar. Sadly, there has also been negative feedback. Fleischman simply reminds herself, though, that what she and her partner have is ?a story of love.?

?Big picture, how can loving people who want to raise children in a loving home be anything other than something beautiful?? she said. ?So we choose to focus on the positive.?

Fleischman and Lanciault have no doubt that having two kids at about the same time will be a challenge. But they?re excited about their sons having a ?built-in best friend.?

?That?s going to be the most amazing part,? Fleischman said.

The HuffPost Parents newsletter, So You Want To Raise A Feminist, offers the latest stories and news in progressive parenting. 

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Abandoned

Police and social services were baffled when an elderly man with an American accent was found lost on the streets of the streets of Hereford. Who was he?.http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/magazine-38769685
olice and social services were baffled when an elderly man with an American accent was found lost on the streets of the streets of Hereford. Who was he?