climate change, polar bears, extinction, Antarctica
The author writes, “The plight of the Arctic’s polar bears has captured global attention. ... The loss of polar bears at the hands of melting sea ice has led some to suggest relocating these beloved animals to Antarctica. The amount of sea ice is shrinking in Antarctica too, but nowhere near as rapidly as in the Arctic. If polar bears are given sturdy ground, might they learn to survive?” Photo credit: Alex Rose / Unsplash

Republicans Don’t Know Anything About Their Party ; Major NH Addiction Treatment Center Mishandled COVID Outbreak ; and More Picks 1/4

Republicans Don’t Know Anything About Their Party (DonkeyHotey)

From Data for Progress: “While the packaging of Republican Party politics has evolved since 2000, what remains unaltered is a bedrock commitment to regressive tax cuts, a sharp curtailment of worker power, and the elimination of health, environmental, and economic regulations. This is an agenda that, structurally, has limited electoral appeal. Indeed, there is a reason that since 1988, excluding 2004, no Republican presidential candidate has exceeded 48 percent of the popular vote. In this post, I seek to explore whether or not the Republican Party’s positions on economic issues defines how likely voters view the party. I am especially interested in how likely voters that self-identify as Republicans conceptualize their own party.” 

New Governor Sworn In as a Wary Puerto Rico Demands Changes (Reader Steve)

The author writes, “Pedro Pierluisi vowed to achieve statehood for Puerto Rico and fight against poverty, corruption and COVID-19 after he was sworn in Saturday as the U.S. territory’s new governor. Pierluisi, a Democrat who previously served as Puerto Rico’s representative in Congress for eight years, also promised to prioritize education, lift the government out of bankruptcy and alleviate a deep economic crisis as leader of the pro-statehood New Progressive Party.”

Clients, Staff Say Major NH Addiction Treatment Center Mishandled COVID Outbreak (Dana)

From NHPR: “Interviews with clients, their relatives, current and former staff, and internal communications suggest Green Mountain Treatment Center failed to take basic steps to protect residents from a COVID-19 outbreak that has so far, according to state numbers, infected nearly 50 people. Complaints include a lack of social distancing in company-managed transportation and the dining area; the absence of a plan to protect clients in the event of an outbreak; and a lack of enforcement of mask-wearing among both clients and staff.”

Not Real News: A Look at What Didn’t Happen This Week (Dan)

The author writes, “A roundup of some of the most popular but completely untrue stories and visuals of the week. None of these are legit, even though they were shared widely on social media. The Associated Press checked them out.”

Argentina Legalizes Abortion After Green Wave Protests (Sue)

The author writes, “Argentinian politicians have passed a bill to legalise abortion in a groundbreaking move for Latin America, a region that has long opposed the practice on religious grounds. Currently, women who have an abortion in Argentina — and even those who assist them with the procedure — can face prosecution. There are only exemptions in cases of rape or if pregnancy poses a risk to the mother’s health. The new bill, which permits abortions up until the 14th week of pregnancy, faced 12 hours of heated debate in the Senate, reflecting months of national division on the issue. It passed in the early morning, 38 in favour to 29 against, with one abstention.”

This Landmark Law Saved Millions of Lives and Trillions of Dollars (Mili)

From National Geographic: Fifty years ago, a group of Democratic and Republican senators spent months working together in Washington, D.C. to tackle a danger they all agreed was harming Americans’ health and lives. Huddled in committee rooms for hours on end, they listened to one another’s ideas, traded jokes across party lines and, in the end, produced a bill that won unanimous Senate approval and passed the House of Representatives with just one ‘no’ vote. The Clean Air Act, signed by President Richard Nixon on December 31, 1970, would become one of modern America’s most consequential laws.”

‘They’re Like Piranhas’: These Goats Will Eat Your Christmas Tree When You’re Done With It (Russ)

The author writes, “There are a few rules you must abide by before you’re allowed the privilege of letting farm goats happily devour your Christmas tree. First, there cannot be tinsel, ornaments, doodads, baubles, or anything else still on the branches. No goat should eat that. Second, the trees can’t have browning needles and should be free of sprays, pesticides, fire-retardant, or any sort of fake-snow coating. … And lastly, in most cases, you’ve got to do the heavy lifting and bring the goods to the goats. If you’ve satisfied these requirements, then there are some goats scattered at properties throughout New England — and beyond! — that would love to chow down on the spiky branches of your discarded Christmas centerpiece.”

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