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It Saved America’s Bald Eagle. Now Trump Will Strangle Endangered Species Act So Big Oil Can Make More Money

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“It’s a gift to industry, and it’s illegal,” one environmental group says.

Nearly since the dawn of the republic, America’s Bald Eagle has been featured on many official logos of the U.S. government, including 1792’s Great Seal of the United States. It also appears on the Seal of the President of the United States. The Endangered Species Act of 1973 saved the Bald Eagle from extinction. It’s also saved the Grizzly Bear, the peregrine falcon, the manatee, the humpback whale, and other animals  from extinction. It has a 99% success rate.

A 1978 U.S. Supreme Court ruling found: “It is clear from the Act’s legislative history that Congress intended to halt and reverse the trend toward species extinction—whatever the cost.”

The Trump administration has a different idea.

President Trump is about to strangle the Endangered Species Act (ESA) to allow Big Oil to make even more money.

Federal and state governments in the U.S. handed almost $30 billion to the oil, gas, and coal industry between 2015 and 2016, and gave consumers nearly $15 billion to help pay their fuel costs, The Guardian reports. During that same cycle, “oil, gas, and coal companies spent $354 million in campaign contributions and lobbying,” 88% of which went to GOP lawmakers.

On Monday The New York Times reported Trump will “change the way the Endangered Species Act is applied, significantly weakening the nation’s bedrock conservation law.”

The changes could clear the way for new mining, oil and gas drilling, and development in areas where protected species live. The new rules will make it harder to consider the effects of climate change on wildlife when deciding whether a given species warrants protection. They would most likely shrink critical habitats and, for the first time, allow economic factors to be taken into account when making determinations.

Environmental are calling the move “a disaster for imperiled wildlife at a time when the United Nations has warned that human pressures are poised to drive one million species into extinction and that protecting land and biodiversity is critical to keep greenhouse gas emissions in check,” according to The Times.

“This effort to gut protections for endangered and threatened species has the same two features of most Trump administration actions: It’s a gift to industry, and it’s illegal,” says Drew Caputo, vice president of litigation for lands, wildlife and oceans at the nonprofit Earthjustice, according to HuffPost. “We’ll see the Trump administration in court about it.”

Trump already has a bad relationship with the Bald Eagle, at least this one, during a TIME magazine photo shoot.

 

 

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Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg Has Completed More Cancer Treatment

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Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg underwent outpatient pancreatic cancer radiation therapy and has been declared cancer-free, according MSNBC’s Pete Williams and a statement from the Supreme Court.

“The tumor was treated definitively and there is no evidence of disease elsewhere in the body,” the SCOTUS statement says. “No further treatment is needed at this time.”

The three-week treatment was completed at Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center in New York.

Ginsburg, who is 86 and keeps an active schedule, has maintained she will continue to serve as long as she feel capable.

Here’s MSNBC’s report:

 

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Internet Responds to Death of Billionaire Conservative Activist David Koch by Reminding Everyone What He Stood For

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Billionaire conservative political activist David Koch has just died. He was 79. With his brother he founded and ran the massive Koch Industries. He was worth an estimated $48 billion.

Koch will be lauded by some as a philanthropist – his name appears on buildings like New York City’s Lincoln Center, and he donated to hospitals, museums, and universities. But many Americans will remember him as one of the major players behind the Tea Party, and using his vast wealth to help massively reconstruct American politics into, some say, the vitriolic insanity we see today.

Jane Mayer, who literally wrote the book on “Dark Money” in politics, including the impact of the Koch brothers, last year penned another deep dive into their history.

She wrote at The New Yorker that in 1980 “Charles convinced his younger brother David to run for Vice-President on the Libertarian Party ticket. The brothers regarded Ronald Reagan, who was running for President that year, as too liberal. The Libertarian platform called for abolishing all federal income taxes and virtually every federal agency, including the I.R.S., the F.B.I., the C.I.A., the F.E.C., the E.P.A., the F.D.A., and the S.E.C. The party also opposed Medicaid, Medicare, Social Security, public education, and minimum-wage and child-labor laws. Charles and David, former members of the John Birch Society, which their father, Fred, helped found, regarded centralized government as a scourge akin to Communism. At the time, however, such views were considered kooky even by most conservatives. The conservative stalwart William F. Buckley, Jr., called the Kochs’ views “Anarcho-Totalitarianism.” The voters’ verdict was equally harsh. David spent two million dollars of his own money on his candidacy in 1980, but he was trounced. The Libertarian Party earned only one per cent of the vote.”

On social media some are sharing their remembrances of David Koch, and what he stood for.

Here’s CNN’s Keith Boykin:

Salon’s Amanda Marcotte:

Others:

 

Image by Gage Skidmore via Flickr and a CC license

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Trump’s Claims About His Performance on Jobs Just Got Destroyed by One of His Own Federal Agencies

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Job Growth Was Much Weaker Than First Reported – and Much Weaker Than Trump Brags About

President Donald Trump’s approval rating is consistently dismal, but the one area that always pulls his low numbers up is how voters think he’s handling the economy and unemployment. Trump talks all the time about how great the economy is – like taking credit when the DOW jumps up or when unemployment drops down, but never taking blame when the reverse occurs.

For example, here’s President Trump talking about the economy and low unemployment numbers – to children and their families – at a White House Easter egg roll:

Trump’s claims about jobs just got slammed, and the wrecking ball comes from one of his own federal agencies: the Dept. of Labor.

Every year the DOL goes back and reviews the numbers it puts out, dives deeper by comparing them to state unemployment insurance reports, and issues a report measuring what unemployment and job growth really was.

And for 2018, the numbers are much different than what the initial reports showed.

“Employers added a half-million fewer jobs in 2018 and early 2019 than previously reported,” according to the Labor Department, The New York Times reports, calling the revision downward “the largest in recent years.”

In other words, the DOL initially reported an additional 500,000 jobs that were never created.

Here’s what that looks like:

A contributing editor at Digital Trends says it’s a 21% drop in job growth numbers from what the Trump administration often claims:

And this senior economist offers up what the revision to the jobs numbers might look like if spread out over just a few months.

“2018, which had ranked among the strongest years of job growth in the decade-long recovery, was weaker than previously believed,” the Times also reports.

 

 

 

 

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