The pledge was created in 2008 by the Koch-backed Americans for Prosperity, and those who sign it promise to not spend any money fighting global warming unless that money is “balanced” with tax cuts.
While the pledge began with a marginal following, an energized turnout of conservative voters in the 2010 election swept 85 freshman Republicans into the House. Of those 85 Republicans, 76 signed the Koch pledge as candidates. And 57 of those 76 received campaign contributions from Koch Industries’ political action committee.
With the support of these newly elected Republicans, from 2011 to 2013, Congress passed increasingly smaller budgets for the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), attempted to strip the agency of varying regulatory powers and discouraged policies to address climate change across multiple federal agencies, according to the Workshop’s analysis.
Koch puppets have testified before Congress about global warming six times in 2013 alone, most recently on May 7, when Paul Knappenberger of the Cato Institute told the House Committee on Science, Space and Technology, “The more we learn, the less responsive it seems that the earth’s average temperature is to human carbon-dioxide emissions.”
via Our Global Warming Noose Is Cinched Tight With Koch Brothers' Money: Gothamist.
North Carolina, with one of the nation’s highest unemployment rates at 8.8 percent, imposed cuts in unemployment benefits today that are truly breathtaking:
Jobless workers can now receive only 19 weeks of benefits — less than half what any other state offers, even states like North Dakota where the economy is much stronger (see map). The previous limit, similar to other states with relatively high unemployment, was 63 weeks: 26 weeks of state-funded benefits plus another 37 weeks of federally funded emergency benefits for which North Carolina has now disqualified itself, as explained below.
via Off the Charts Blog | Center on Budget and Policy Priorities | North Carolina’s Obscene Attack on Jobless Benefits.
Kathleen Conlee, animal research director with the Humane Society of the United States, noted that the NIH has resisted attempts to strengthen the federal Animal Welfare Act, which guides how animals are used in research in the United States. Those rules are often vague and researchers can too easily apply for exemptions, said Conlee.
Many rhesus monkeys are, for example, kept in solitary cages, an experience known to drive these highly social animals crazy. “The Animal Welfare Act was supposed to create environments that addressed the psychological well-being of these animals,” said Conlee. “A lot of the facilities are falling short of meeting those minimal standards.”
One Humane Society analysis of documents from two major U.S. primate research facilities found that their animals spent, on average, 53 percent of their lives in solitary housing, sometimes with nothing in their cage but a piece of metal hung on one side for “enrichment.”
It might sound strange to consider how best to treat monkeys that are consigned to medical sacrifice anyways — but if we’re going to use these intelligent, emotional creatures, we should do it right, said Conlee. “Until the day we ultimately replace them in research,” she said, “we have an obligation to address their welfare.”
via Medical Experimentation on Chimps Is Nearing an End. But What About Monkeys? | Wired Science | Wired.com.
Old school “scientists” cannot think in new ways to be humane and to be more exact in their research in this genome mapping age, than to use early 1900s “test” methods.