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The Trump Administration just tore a hole through the Endangered Species Act

UPDATE 8/12/19:

More than 1,600 species are protected by the federal government's Endangered Species Act. Now, thanks to new changes from the Secretary of Interior, the Trump White House is literally putting a price tag on which species to protect and which could see their fate's permanently sealed in order to protect the bottom line of corporate interests.

The Trump Administration has been trying to gut the act for months. The latest changes have been blasted as disastrous by a number of governors, environmental groups and Democrats in Congress.

After all, as the Associated Press notes, this is the same act that helped to save the Bald Eagle, literally the creature chosen to represent America as a living symbol.

"As we have seen time and time again, no environmental protection - no matter how effective or popular - is safe from this administration," said Sen. Tom Udall (D-NM).

The original story begins below.


If you care about saving the environment, November 2018 can't come fast enough.

Republicans in Congress are moving fast to reverse and alter portions of the Endangered Species Act, which has helped bring several species back from the brink of extinction for nearly 45 years.

Weakening the act is bad for the environment and bad for people. At least 10 animals, including America's iconic bald eagle, could have gone extinct without it.


So why would anyone attack it?

Lobbyists for the oil and gas industries, the timber industry, and other private interests are pushing Republicans in Congress to roll back parts of the act before the November midterms because they know if Democrats take back control of the House, they are unlikely to vote to scale back these very basic, popular protections.

"It's all about the midterms," said Andrew Rosenberg of the Union of Concerned Scientists. "[Republicans] have what might be a unique opportunity to get things through that could never get political support in a more balanced Congress."

Protecting endangered species didn't used to be a political debate.

"Nothing is more priceless and more worthy of preservation than the rich array of animal life with which our country has been blessed," said one liberal icon about the importance of the Endangered Species Act.

Just kidding. Those are the words of Republican Richard Nixon, who signed the act into law when he was president.

Nixon wasn't an exception. Basic environmental protections used to be a bipartisan issue and polls continue to show that support for the act remains incredibly high, oftentimes 80% or more.

Ultimately, the only real institutional support for rolling back these protections is from limited business interests who would see short-term profits at what critics say would be substantial costs to endangered species and the environment.

Needless to say, people aren't happy about it.

The clock is ticking. Here's how you can help.

The lobbyists pushing Republicans to roll back these protections know that they only have a short window of time.

Contact your member of Congress. Register to vote. Donate to causes you believe in.

But in this case, it may all come down to pressuring one person: John McCain. McCain is normally a voice of reason in the Republican Party on environmental issues.

Contacting McCain's office and urging him to vote against any rollbacks might be the last defense in stopping changes from reaching President Donald Trump's desk. And that's something McCain has reportedly shown a past willingness to do.

Protecting our most vulnerable species doesn't have to be a partisan issue. It's about standing up for our own best interests, which is something just about everyone should be able to agree on.

Nature

Pennsylvania home is the entrance to a cave that’s been closed for 70 years

You can only access the cave from the basement of the home and it’s open for business.

This Pennsylvania home is the entrance to a cave.

Have you ever seen something in a movie or online and thought, "That's totally fake," only to find out it's absolutely a real thing? That's sort of how this house in Pennsylvania comes across. It just seems too fantastical to be real, and yet somehow it actually exists.

The home sits between Greencastle and Mercersburg, Pennsylvania, and houses a pretty unique public secret. There's a cave in the basement. Not a man cave or a basement that makes you feel like you're in a cave, but an actual cave that you can't get to unless you go through the house.

Turns out the cave was discovered in the 1830s on the land of John Coffey, according to Uncovering PA, but the story of how it was found is unclear. People would climb down into the cave to explore occasionally until the land was leased about 100 years later and a small structure was built over the cave opening.

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Architectural Digest/Youtube

This house was made with love.

Celebrity home tours are usually a divisive topic. Some find them fun and inspirational. Others find them tacky or out of touch. But this home tour has seemingly brought unanimous joy to all.

“Stranger Things” actor David Harbour and British singer-songwriter Lily Allen, whose Vegas wedding in 2020 came with an Elvis impersonator, gave a tour of their delightfully quirky Brooklyn townhouse for Architectural Digest, and people were absolutely loving it.

For one thing, the house just looks cool. There’s nothing monotone or minimalist about it. No beige to be seen.

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Pop Culture

Buffy Sainte-Marie shares what led to her openly breastfeeding on 'Sesame Street' in 1977

The way she explained to Big Bird what she was doing is still an all-time great example.

"Sesame Street" taught kids about life in addition to letters and numbers.

In 1977, singer-songwriter Buffy Sainte-Marie did something revolutionary: She fed her baby on Sesame Street.

The Indigenous Canadian-Ameican singer-songwriter wasn't doing anything millions of other mothers hadn't done—she was simply feeding her baby. But the fact that she was breastfeeding him was significant since breastfeeding in the United States hit an all-time low in 1971 and was just starting to make a comeback. The fact that she did it openly on a children's television program was even more notable, since "What if children see?" has been a key pearl clutch for people who criticize breastfeeding in public.

But the most remarkable thing about the "Sesame Street" segment was the lovely interchange between Big Bird and Sainte-Marie when he asked her what she was doing.

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Health

Oregon utilizes teen volunteers to run their YouthLine teen crisis hotline

“Each volunteer gets more than 60 hours of training, and master’s level supervisors are constantly on standby in the room.”

Oregon utilizes teen volunteers to man YouthLine teen crisis hotline

Editor's Note: If you are having thoughts about taking your own life, or know of anyone who is in need of help, the 988 Suicide & Crisis Lifeline is a United States-based suicide prevention network of over 200+ crisis centers that provides 24/7 service via a toll-free hotline with the number 9-8-8. It is available to anyone in suicidal crisis or emotional distress.

Mental health is a top-of-mind issue for a lot of people. Thanks to social media and people being more open about their struggles, the stigma surrounding seeking mental health treatment appears to be diminishing. But after the social and emotional interruption of teens due the pandemic, the mental health crises among adolescents seem to have jumped to record numbers.

PBS reports that Oregon is "ranked as the worst state for youth mental illness and access to care." But they're attempting to do something about it with a program that trains teenagers to answer crisis calls from other teens. They aren't alone though, as there's a master's level supervisor at the ready to jump in if the call requires a mental health professional.

The calls coming into the Oregon YouthLine can vary drastically, anywhere from relationship problems to family struggles, all the way to thoughts of self-harm and suicide. Teens manning the phones are provided with 60 hours of training and are taught to recognize when the call needs to be taken over by the adult supervisor.

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Family

Mom shares her brutal experience with 'hyperemesis gravidarum' and other moms can relate

Hyperemesis gravidarum is a severe case of morning sickness that can last up until the baby is born and might require medical attention.

@emilyboazman/TikTok

Hyperemesis gravidarum isn't as common as regular morning sickness, but it's much more severe.

Morning sickness is one of the most commonly known and most joked about pregnancy symptoms, second only to peculiar food cravings. While unpleasant, it can often be alleviated to a certain extent with plain foods, plenty of fluids, maybe some ginger—your typical nausea remedies. And usually, it clears up on its own by the 20-week mark. Usually.

But sometimes, it doesn’t. Sometimes moms experience stomach sickness and vomiting, right up until the baby is born, on a much more severe level.

Hyperemesis gravidarum (HG), isn’t as widely talked about as regular morning sickness, but those who go through it are likely to never forget it. Persistent, extreme nausea and vomiting lead to other symptoms like dehydration, fainting, low blood pressure and even jaundice, to name a few.

Emily Boazman, a mom who had HG while pregnant with her third child, showed just how big of an impact it can make in a viral TikTok.

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The cast of TLC's "Sister Wives."

Dating is hard for just about anyone. But it gets harder as people age because the dating pool shrinks and older people are more selective. Plus, changes in dating trends, online etiquette and fashion can complicate things as well.

“Sister Wives” star Christine Brown is back in the dating pool after ending her “spiritual union” with polygamist Kody Brown and she needs a little help to get back in the swing of things. Christine and Kody were together for more than 25 years and she shared him with three other women, Janelle, Meri and Robyn.

Janelle and Meri have recently announced they’ve separated from Kody. Christine publicly admitted that things were over with Kody in November 2021.

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