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Monday, December 09, 2019 {{ new Date().getDay() }}

Reprinted with permission from DCReport.

 

Republicans have been trying to weaken protections for endangered animals and now they are trying to get permission to destroy some records about what animals are protected.

Trump’s Interior Department, headed by Ryan Zinke, wants to destroy records such as proposals to help endangered species recover and proposals for protecting where the animals live. The request is part of a proposed massive purge of Interior records that also includes records about oil and gas leases, timber sales, dams and land purchases.

“This is really bad for endangered species, which need to be monitored over time and to ensure conservation action has been effective,” said Noah Greenwald of the Center for Biological Diversity. “This is yet another attempt by the Trump administration to undermine protections for endangered species for their buddies in various polluting industries.”

The reviewers did recommend permanently keeping records including final and summarized reports about endangered species and scientific assessments. Those records would be transferred to the National Archives where they would be more difficult to access under the Freedom of Information Act.

Writer Russ Kick whose web site, AltGov 2, features government data, said the Interior proposal is “a massive, department-wide request.”

More than 1,600 species have been listed as endangered or threatened under the Endangered Species Act which was signed into law by former President Richard Nixon in 1973. The law had strong support from Republicans in the 1970s.

Zinke is working to change how the Endangered Species Act is enforced. Zinke wants to make it easier to remove protection for a species and have less protection for threatened species. He recently hired Robert Gordon, the author of a report claiming the Endangered Species Act has cost our country hundreds of billions of dollars, as the deputy assistant secretary for policy at the Interior Department.

A recent memo at the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, part of the Interior Department, directs staffers to withhold or delay releasing some public documents about how the Endangered Species Act is carried out.

 

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Madison Cawthorn

Image via Politico

The Republican party seems to be having trouble trying to be the Christian Taliban and hating on LGBT people when they’ve got Rep. Madison Cawthorn in their ranks. His presence is making it so much harder for them to suppress their inner self-loathing--homosexuality and moral hypocrisy.

We all know politicians secretly love illicit drugs as much as taking bribes or paying off strippers they knocked up, so you have to give Cawthorn some credit for being honest. However, any creditability as a human he might have goes out the window when you consider his hatred and policies toward the LGBT community while, hypocritically enough, he engages in homosexual acts himself.

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Jeff Danziger lives in New York City. He is represented by CWS Syndicate and the Washington Post Writers Group. He is the recipient of the Herblock Prize and the Thomas Nast (Landau) Prize. He served in the US Army in Vietnam and was awarded the Bronze Star and the Air Medal. He has published eleven books of cartoons, a novel and a memoir. Visit him at DanzigerCartoons.

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