May 132015
 

What kind of person supports trapping? How can Congress consider EXPANDING this barbaric act instead of outlawing it?

Bill seeks to make trapping a legal hunt | Albuquerque Journal News By Nicole Paquette, Vice President Of Wildlife Protection / Humane Society Of The United States PUBLISHED: Wednesday, May 13, 2015 at 12:05 am

One of the children recounted what happened next:

“[The younger child] got a closer look at him and started screaming, ‘it’s a trap.’ And there was a snare trap that was tied around his neck that had suffocated them. My other St. Bernard, 10 feet away, we look at him and he’s caught in another trap. And so we both rush over there to try to break the wire free that was tied around his neck, but he was fighting us and was trying to fight to get loose, and the wire just got too tight; and we both, there was nothing we could do … . Later that night, we found Brooklyn, the dog who originally went missing, and we found her in a trap as well.”

Sadly Brooklyn, Jax and Barkley’s story is far from unique. Every year, trappers kill at least six million target animals and millions more non-target animals, including family pets, and threatened and endangered species. By including trapping in its definition of hunting, the Sportsmen’s Act would dramatically expand this cruel practice. Whether it’s a steel-jawed leghold trap, a Conibear trap or a cable snare, these traps are simply inhumane.

Bill seeks to make trapping a legal hunt | Albuquerque Journal News

 Posted by at 7:00 am on Wed 05/13/15
May 122015
 

This is the second time in a week that the Albuquerque Journal has opposed Game Commission actions. (Previously, it was the approval of mountain lion traps that any decent human being would oppose.)

This is the same Game Commission whose head participated in the slaughter of a cornered mountain lion by a disgustingly privileged Texas attorney for a wheel barrel full of cash. These spoiled frat boys need to go. Fire them. Chase them down the street with sticks. Find someone with heart and sense to serve on the commission.

Editorial: Game board unfairly takes aim at gray wolf protector | Albuquerque Journal News

Unlike the Bill Richardson administration, which supported the program, Gov. Susana Martinez has not been friendly to it – even though it has been popular with many New Mexicans. A 2008 survey by Research & Polling found 69 percent either strongly supported or somewhat supported the program. In 2011, the governor-appointed Game Commission suspended state participation.

Editorial: Game board unfairly takes aim at gray wolf protector | Albuquerque Journal News

 Posted by at 7:56 am on Tue 05/12/15
May 092015
 

But don’t assume they can’t win despite that. Money rules. The obscenely rich can buy anything.

Populism could divide the Grand Old Party – The Washington Post

The New York Times/CBS News poll, released a day later, showed what the GOP is up against: Only 29 percent of Americans had a favorable view of the Republican Party, while 43 percent had a positive view of the Democrats.

The survey also documented a steady but little-noticed trend: Americans are becoming less conservative. In the fall of 2010, the Times/CBS poll found, there were twice as many self-described conservatives as liberals: 19 percent of Americans called themselves liberal, 38 percent called themselves conservative. In the latest poll, liberals stood at 25 percent, conservatives at 33 percent. In less than five years, a 19-point margin has shrunk to eight points.

Republicans and conservatives have a brand problem. Their presidential campaign will only aggravate it as candidates are forced to double-down on an ideology that is in danger of decline. Moreover, the next year is likely to intensify deep stresses inside their coalition.

Populism could divide the Grand Old Party – The Washington Post

 Posted by at 8:10 am on Sat 05/09/15
Apr 152015
 

The True Cost of Gun Violence in America | Mother Jones by Mark Follman, Senior Editor, et al.

gun violence costs charts

Jennifer Longdon was one of at least 750,000 Americans injured by gunshots over the last decade, and she was lucky not to be one of the more than 320,000 killed. Each year more than 11,000 people are murdered with a firearm, and more than 20,000 others commit suicide using one. Hundreds of children die annually in gun homicides, and each week seems to bring news of another toddler accidentally shooting himself or a sibling with an unsecured gun. And perhaps most disturbingly, even as violent crime overall has declined steadily in recent years, rates of gun injury and death are climbing (up 11 and 4 percent since 2011) and mass shootings have been on the rise.

Yet, there is no definitive assessment of the costs for victims, their families, their employers, and the rest of us—including the major sums associated with criminal justice, long-term health care, and security and prevention. Our media is saturated with gun carnage practically 24/7. So why is the question of what we all pay for it barely part of the conversation?

The True Cost of Gun Violence in America | Mother Jones

Because the Gun Industry and its proxies, the Gun-nuts, shout it down and shoot it down.

 Posted by at 6:27 pm on Wed 04/15/15
Apr 142015
 

The relentless effort of Republicans to relieve the rich of any and all taxation has caused the dramatic shift in disparity between the OBSCENELY Rich and the rest of us. The grotesquely rich already buy anything they want from government. Eliminating estate taxes assures that every subsequent generation of rich will have even more power because the Supreme Court Council of Cardinals equates money with speech.

Republicans push for a permanent aristocracy – The Washington Post by Dana Milbank

This is the ultimate perversion of the tea party movement, which began as a populist revolt in 2009 but has since been hijacked by wealthy and corporate interests. The estate tax has been part of American law in some form since 1797, according to the advocacy group Americans for Tax Fairness, a shield against the sort of permanent aristocracy our founders fought to rid themselves of.

It had long been a conservative ideal, and the essence of the American Dream, to believe that everybody should have an equal shot at success. But in their current bid to end the estate tax, Republicans could create a permanent elite of trust-fund babies.

The estate tax was a meaningful check on a permanent aristocracy as recently as 2001, when there were taxes on the portion of estates above $675,000; even then there were plenty of ways for the rich to shelter money for their heirs. …

“It sounds to me like there’s a lot of wealth envy in this country,” Rep. Virginia Foxx (R-N.C.) complained while serving as chairwoman of the Rules Committee debate Tuesday. The bill abolishing the estate tax, she said, “will draw a line in the sand.”

Yes, it will: between the wealthiest two-tenths of 1 percent — and everybody else.

Republicans push for a permanent aristocracy – The Washington Post

 Posted by at 7:59 pm on Tue 04/14/15
Apr 132015
 

Gun nuts note: You won. You’re wacky interpretation of the 2nd Amendment is the law. Just try to control your weapons, OK?

Will the NRA’s Wayne LaPierre Ever Stop Lying? – The Daily Beast by Dean Obeidallah

In 2008, the NRA honcho said Obama was going to confiscate guns. Now, Hillary wants to. The lies will never end.

“They are coming to take your guns away!” That was the message from this past weekend’s annual NRA Convention. In fact, it’s the same message we have heard for years from the NRA. And just as it has been in the past, as it was this weekend, that message is a lie.

Will the NRA’s Wayne LaPierre Ever Stop Lying? – The Daily Beast

 Posted by at 10:18 am on Mon 04/13/15
Apr 132015
 

Gun owners face much higher murder risks, researchers said. Then the NRA silenced them. Amber Hall, The Takeaway

Back in the early 1990s, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the National Center for Injury Prevention and Control provided funding for studies on gun violence. The NRA was not pleased.

“[Our research] underwent peer review and was thought to be very solid and worthwhile research,” says Dr. Fred Rivara, who was part of the team that researched gun violence. “The CDC stood by our research — they had funded it and they stood by it. Unfortunately, it raised the attention of the National Rifle Association, who then worked with pro-gun members of Congress to essentially stop funding firearm research.” …

And that wasn’t all. “More importantly, however, was that they put a clause for the appropriations of the CDC that essentially blocked all gun research for the next two decades,” Rivara says.

The CDC budget cuts all but ended federal gun research.

Gun owners face much higher murder risks, researchers said. Then the NRA silenced them.

 Posted by at 9:08 am on Mon 04/13/15