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Wednesday, August 5 2015

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Op-Ed
 

Mitch Merry: The Heavy Price of Trophy Hunting

The world came together last week in a rare moment of solidarity following the abhorrent slaughter of what was, by all accounts, a very popular lion. When the now-infamous dentist from Minnesota unleashed the bolt from his crossbow, he ignited a global fury by taking down this beloved lion – though it required another 40 hours of pursuit before the dentist finally found the badly wounded Cecil and ended his life with a rifle. Officials in both the United States and Zimbabwe are seeking the offending trophy hunter for questioning, and calls for indictments and policy changes rose out of the online outcry. Our own petition calls for the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service to reconsider exempting some trophy hunters from what would otherwise be a solid ban on importing African lion trophies after a proposed listing is final.

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Captain Paul Watson: The Danish Giraffe Killer Applauds the American Lion Killer

What do the Grindadráp and the killing of Cecil the lion have in common?

It appears that the Director of the Copenhagen Zoo, Bengt Holst, is a fan of both.

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Ken Kimmell: Obama Administration Issues "Strong and Smart" Final Clean Power Plan

Today, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) released the final version of its Clean Power Plan, the nation’s first-ever limits on carbon emissions from power plants—the single largest source of U.S. global warming pollution.

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James Zogby: The GOP: Reaping What It Has Sowed

The 2016 Republican presidential contest has barely begun and it has already grown alternately tiresome and old or just downright scary. As a Democrat, I might be pleased, but as an American, I am deeply troubled. I just want it to end.

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Robert Reich: The Revolt Against the Ruling Class

“He can’t possibly win the nomination,” is the phrase heard most often when Washington insiders mention either Donald Trump or Bernie Sanders.

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Carl Takei: President Obama Needs to Stop Repeating FDR's Worst Mistake and End Family Detention Now

The Obama administration has repeatedly characterized its newly constructed family detention camps as “an effective and humane” way to keep families together, and threatened in court filings that ending family detention would “require ICE to separate… children from their parents” by keeping the parents locked up and releasing only the children. But last week, a federal court in California issued a blistering order that flatly rejected this argument. The court confirmed that the 1997 Flores settlement prohibits jailing immigrant children and requires officials to release parents and children together unless the parent “is determined to pose a significant flight risk, or a threat to others or the national security, and the flight risk or threat cannot be mitigated by an appropriate bond or conditions of release.”

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Wayne Pacelle: Time to Shut Down Trophy Imports of All Lions to the United States

Overnight, we learned that Zimbabwean officials will seek to extradite Walter Palmer from the United States, for luring a male lion named Cecil out of a park and wounding him in an unauthorized area, before killing him 40 hours later. The HSUS and Humane Society International (HSI) strongly urge the United States to cooperate with the extradition effort.

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LeeAnn Hall: To Fight Racism, Protect the Right to Vote

The cold-blooded murder of nine people at a Charleston church made it impossible to deny the persistence of racism across the nation. So do the symbols of support for slavery and segregation that remain emblazoned on public property throughout the South, and scattered among some Northern states as well.

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John Kiriakou: Greece: Blood from a Stone

Like many other proud Greek-Americans, I’ve visited the country of my ancestors many times over the years. I even lived in Athens for two years while working for the U.S. government.

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Wayne Pacelle: Cecil the lion is dead because Walter Palmer the dentist is a morally deadened human being

Cecil the lion is dead because Walter Palmer the dentist is a morally deadened human being.

The man traveled clear across the world – from the suburbs of Minneapolis into the pay-to-slay world of Zimbabwe, where dictator Robert Mugabe sells off hunting rights and other natural resources to the highest bidders – for the chance to kill the king of beasts. In this case, the victim was a lion who has been widely photographed and somewhat habituated to a non-threatening human presence in Hwange National Park. The hunt was a “guaranteed kill” arrangement, where Palmer paid about $50,000 to hire professional guides to help him complete the task. The local guides knew exactly what they were doing. In the dark of night, they lure a famed, black-maned lion from an otherwise protected area, with a dead carcass as bait. Palmer then stuck Cecil with an arrow.

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Philadelphia City Councilman Jim Kenney: Non-cooperation with ICE is simply good governing
Full story: Aldia News


Jeff Flocken: Cecil the Lion illegally killed for sport

We are extremely saddened by the news of Cecil the Lion being illegally killed for sport—not only from an animal welfare perspective, but also for conservation reasons. African lion populations have declined sharply, dropping nearly 60 percent in the last three decades. With as few as 32,000 African lions remaining in the wild, individuals matter for conserving the species. Even worse, the killing of a dominant male in a pride, like Cecil, can have a ripple effect and result in the deaths of other males, young cubs and females in that pride.

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Andre Segura: Whatever your immigration status, you should not have a gun pointed at your head

When 13-year-old Benito came home from school on October 20, 2010, he thought it would be like any other day.* He dropped his bag off at home and ran out to play soccer with a cousin who also lived in his apartment complex. What he did not know was that on that day, Immigration and Customs Enforcement and the Metropolitan Nashville Police Department would storm his predominately Latino-occupied apartment complex, filling two large vans with as many suspected undocumented immigrants as they could find. They detained anyone they came across who fit their perception of what “undocumented immigrants” look like.

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Nancy Woloch: The US Is the Only Advanced Country on Earth that Doesn't Guarantee Paid Maternity Leave. Why Is that?

Today, we’re the only advanced country on earth that doesn’t guarantee paid sick leave or paid maternity leave to our workers,” President Obama declared in his State of the Union speech in January 2015. Directing federal agencies to give their employees up to six weeks of paid leave after the birth or adoption of a child, the president also called on Congress to start a 2.2 billion dollar incentive fund to reimburse states that initiate paid leave programs and to provide grants to states that strive to create such programs. The proposal is the last in a chain of steps toward paid maternity leave that goes back to the end of protective laws for women workers in the 1960s and 1970s.

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Rep. Luis V. Gutiérrez: Floor Speech On The "Donald Trump Act" H.R. 3009 (VIDEO)

Today, Rep. Luis V. Gutiérrez (D-IL) spoke on the House floor in opposition to H.R. 3009, a bill to take funding away from state and local police departments who have certain community policing and community trust policies regarding immigrants.

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Jamie Raskin: A Supreme Threat to American Democracy

Here’s a little quiz you won’t find on the LSATs: Which Supreme Court justice called a recent ruling by the court a “threat to American democracy”? And what decision was it?

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Ron Briley: Donald Trump, Xenophobia, and Immigration: We've Been Here Before

Boosters of assimilation celebrate America as a nation of immigrants, but reality is far more complex. The nation of immigrants’ concept, of course, tends to ignore the Native Americans who originally inhabited the Americas as well as the Africans who came in chains through the Trans-Atlantic slave trade. Immigrants, nevertheless, are celebrated for building the United States and pursuing the American dream. On the other hand, there is an intolerant strain in American society that has opposed the arrival of the Irish, Japanese, Chinese, Italians, Greeks, Turks, Eastern Europeans, and Jews. In recent weeks, business mogul Donald Trump has shot to the top of public opinion polls in a crowded Republican Party Presidential field by tapping this legacy of discrimination and attacking undocumented immigrants from Mexico as a threat to the American economy and society. It is a xenophobic argument appealing to American fears and insecurities as citizens feel vulnerable to terrorist attacks while the recovery from the 2008 economic collapse remains slow amid stagnant wages and growing inequality.

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Matt Wood: AT&T/DIRECTV Merger Still Doesn't Serve the Public Interest

On Tuesday, the Wall Street Journal reported that the FCC is poised to grant AT&T's proposed acquisition of DIRECTV. FCC Chairman Tom Wheeler subsequently issued a statement confirming that he would circulate for a full Commission vote an order proposing approval of the deal.

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Walter Ewing: Turning our border into a modern-day equivalent of the Berlin Wall makes no sense

If there is one thing that the past few decades of immigration enforcement has made clear, it’s that unauthorized immigration responds much more to the U.S. job market and the natural desire for family reunification than it does to border fences or the ubiquitous presence of armed immigration agents. Since the last major overhaul of the U.S. immigration system in 1986, the federal government has spent an estimated $186.8 billion on immigration enforcement. But, because the 1986 reforms failed to create flexible legal channels for future immigration, all those billions of dollars did not keep new unauthorized immigrants out of the United States, nor persuade them to leave once they were here. As a result, over the past two-and-a-half decades, the number of unauthorized immigrants has tripled to more than 11 million. This happened during Republican and Democratic administrations alike, slowing during economic downturns and speeding up during economic good times.

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Pablo Alvarado: Converting sheriffs into deportation agents endangers communities, undermines trust in law enforcement, results in grave civil rights violations.

Donald Trump, a birther who believes President Obama himself is an undocumented immigrant, is currently setting the national agenda, and the result is the dangerous surge of racist rhetoric we heard today. After making comments that Mexicans are rapists and murders, Donald Trump recently joined Joe Arpaio for a rally with xenophobes in Arizona. Today, Mr. Trump was joined by the US Senate in what amounted to a pep-rally for the criminalization, dehumanization, and subjugation of immigrants.

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Robert Reich: How Goldman Sachs Profited from the Greek Debt Crisis

The Greek debt crisis offers another illustration of Wall Street’s powers of persuasion and predation, although the Street is missing from most accounts.

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Emily Schwartz Greco: People from Seattle to Fiji are filing lawsuits over global warming

Climate action is finally gaining ground in Washington. No, not that Washington.

Following their victory in a Seattle court, eight children are pressing Washington State’s Department of Ecology to crack down on carbon pollution. The agency has until August 7 to reach an agreement with the youths, who sued after the department rejected their petition. Otherwise, the kids will go back to court.

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Raul A. Reyes: Trump's Badmouthing Deportment

The chips just keep falling. The Professional Golf Association is one of the latest companies to part ways with Donald Trump. The PGA announced that it would not hold its Grand Slam of Golf at a Trump golf course in Los Angeles, because of the business mogul’s recent remarks about Mexicans and immigrants.

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Mary Meg McCarthy: Family Detention Needs to End

Heartland Alliance’s National Immigrant Justice Center (NIJC) applauds the Obama administration’s announcement that it will change the landscape of family detention by routinely releasing asylum-seeking mothers and children from custody. While the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) never should have revived its failed family detention policy one year ago, this development marks an important step toward more humane treatment of refugee families.

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Leslie Kitchen: Daintiness, Blather, and the Confederate Flag

Many southerners, though thankfully not all, love to pule that their old flag is not a racist symbol, but is instead a symbol of their heritage. I agree that it is a symbol of their heritage, but theirs is a heritage that has been saturated in racism from its very beginnings. They know this. They just don’t like to talk about the truth that much. They prefer blather and obfuscation.

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Jamie Fellner: US Presidential Clemency Welcome but Not Enough

Yesterday was no doubt a day of excitement and jubilation for the 46 men and women whose long sentences for nonviolent drug offenses were commuted by United States President Barack Obama. As the president noted, their punishments did not fit the crime. They were not violent criminals, yet most had been sentenced to at least 20 years in prison; 14 to life without parole.

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Robert Reich: Hillary Clinton's Glass-Steagall

Hillary Clinton won’t propose reinstating a bank break-up law known as the Glass-Steagall Act – at least according to Alan Blinder, an economist who has been advising Clinton’s campaign. “You’re not going to see Glass-Steagall,” Blinder said after her economic speech Monday in which she failed to mention it. Blinder said he had spoken to Clinton directly about Glass-Steagall.

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Dale Ho: North Carolina Is Making It Harder for People to Vote, and We're Pushing Back

Today trial begins in our challenge to the North Carolina Voter Information and Verification Act of 2013, which election law expert Richard Hasen described as “the most sweeping anti-voter law in at least decades,” designed “to make it harder for people — especially non-white people . . . — to register or cast a vote.”

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AILA and American Immigration Council: Release of Refugee Families is Long-Overdue Step

The American Immigration Lawyers Association (AILA) and the American Immigration Council welcome plans announced by Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) for the release of some mothers and children detained after seeking refuge at our borders with the following statement:

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Martin Schulz: Iran nuclear agreement: good for Iran, for the region and for global security

Today's nuclear agreement with Iran marks the beginning of a new era in the relation between Iran and the rest of the world. After years of sanctions and tense relations, this agreement makes everyone better-off. This agreement is good for Iran, is good for the region and is good for global security.

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