FROM Steve Nadeau
The Politics and the Science behind the Endangered Species List The Endangered Species Act passed in 1973, based partly on a powerful symbol: the dwindling number of Bald Eagles. After the act passed, protecting the national bird led to restrictions on pesticides and a ban on the insecticide DDT. Keeping Bald Eagles alive helped promote a much broader environmental movement. Gray wolves went on the list in 1974, but except in Alaska, there weren't any left to protect. In 1995, 66 of the animals were "re-introduced" into national parks in Idaho, Montana and Wyoming. Now there are about 1500, ranging over some 113,000 square miles, and the US Fish and Wildlife Service is removing them from the List of Endangered Species, though not without controversy and possible legal action. Polar bears may go on the list but not because their numbers are dwindling—as yet. They're threatened by global warming. Are there really enough wolves? Can they survive legal hunting in Montana, Idaho and Wyoming? Is the polar bear being used as a powerful symbol in the broader debate about climate change?
GOP 'Nukes' the Senate filibuster on SCOTUS nominees Senate Democrats today blocked Judge Neil Gorsuch's appointment to the US Supreme Court… but just for the moment. The Republican majority has changed the rules to force a likely confirmation as soon as tomorrow.
Why Don't Facts Matter? "Fake News" may have a long history, but social media and 21st Century politics have brought it front and center. One reason for its appeal and its power is the tendency of so many people to cling to their beliefs — even when confronted with contradictory evidence. Today, another look at the Emotional States of America.