Spooky season at the federal courthouse: Yesterday, the architect behind a "ghost cattle" scheme responsible for defrauding Tyson Foods and another company not named in court documents received 11 years in prison for his crime. The man said he cooked up the idea to forge invoices to illegally overcharge the clients of his cattle ranching business to cover losses he suffered trading in commodities futures due to a gambling addiction, but the judge apparently didn't buy the explanation when handing down the heavy sentence. Good luck getting that money back from a man who will be in his 60s by the time he's released, Tyson.

Knock it off, Starbucks! That's the message 30 members of Congress sent the coffee giant in a letter yesterday requesting that the company "set a model for the food and drink industry" by cooperating with the burgeoning unionization movement in its stores. Rep. Pramila Jayapal was the only member from our state to sign onto the demand.

We're really still fighting about weed? Yes, we are, in 2022. The latest controversy comes as some researchers raise concerns about the possibilities of young people dabbing and experiencing psychotic episodes as a result. However, these concentrated cannabis products are already illegal for kids under 21, so industry advocates warn that additional regulations will likely not do much to address these concerns. We'll keep an eye on how the State Legislature responds in the spring, when they'll also have to address whether to resume the War on Drugs as they find a permanent solution to the Washington Supreme Court's decision to decriminalize simple possession of illegal drugs.

In cop training news: Los Angeles' finest apparently needs more money for training on how not to kill a fellow officer investigating them for an alleged gang rape.

A local sports palate cleanser: Hot take, sports are fun and good.

Surprise, surprise: Amazon hasn't followed through on improving working conditions for its delivery drivers, according to a new class action lawsuit filed last Friday. Axios reports that the drivers are seeking back wages for meal and rest breaks the company has denied them, which they say requires them to urinate in plastic bottles in order to accomplish their deliveries on time.

Ok, this is actually a surprise: Back when I worked on political campaigns, staffers used to joke about killing puppies as the worst possible scandal that could happen to an opponent. Now, Dr. Mehmet Oz is testing the limits of negative partisanship by having literally done that. Not a joke. This is real. From 1989 to 2010, research conducted in support of 75 studies published by the Pennsylvania GOP candidate for Senate caused the deaths of more than 300 dogs, including an entire litter of puppies. 

For more, we turn to the meme lords of Democratic politics: Oz's opponent, progressive John Fetterman, has the best social team in the game right now.

Nothing to see here: Just a totally normal headline from Business Insider: "Former Rand Paul aide, pardoned by Trump, charged with funneling Russian money into 2016 election." The latest charge concerns an apparent attempt by a Russian national to funnel $100k to "Political Candidate 1" at a fundraiser in 2016. Trump already pardoned the aide, Jesse Benton, prior to leaving office for a different campaign finance conviction. The kicker? Benton's prior conviction came just two days before the event where he allegedly evaded regulations prohibiting foreign nationals from donating to US political campaigns. 

Speaking of Russia: Putin's war of aggression in Ukraine is backfiring so badly that he's unintentionally helping to break down imperialist stereotypes about Russia's less well-off neighbors.

Putin will be totally chill about this, right? Maybe not, based on this new video of what one military analyst identified to CBS News as support equipment for a Russian unit that handles nuclear weapons. Other experts with NATO caution that the video is likely a bluff to influence Western decision-making by making us fear potential use of a tactical nuke. Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy, on the other hand, told Face the Nation on Sunday that he's treating the potential nuclear escalation as a real threat.

One step closer to Gilead: Anyone want to take bets on how long before Florida Governor Ron DeSantis requires school uniforms for girls ripped straight from the Handmaid's Tale costume department?

Remember the Supreme Court? The country's worst national institution kicked off its new term this week, and the Justices are already back on their bullshit. The Court's conservative majority seems to be looking for ways to validate an Alabama redistricting map that a panel of lower court judges—including two Trump appointees—found violated the Voting Rights Act. In what counts as good news these days, questions from several of the Republican appointees on the Court led Vox's SCOTUS expert Ian Millheiser to predict that the conservatives will avoid gutting the law's protections for minority voters entirely, and justify the unconstitutional map on narrow grounds.

For more on the latest assaults on our rights, I highly recommend this preview of the major cases the Supreme Court will hear this term from the leftist legal scholars of 5-4.