daily kos recommends … Campaign2016

Log in or sign up for Daily Kos, the nation’s largest progressive community.

Sign up to receive the Daily Kos Recommended email by clicking here.

Thanks for all you do,
The Daily Kos team

Mark Ruffalo with Earthjustice

Earthjustice - Take Action Today

Five years ago, millions of barrels of oil spilled into the Gulf of Mexico during the Deepwater Horizon disaster. The Gulf still hasn’t fully recovered from the spill, yet now the Department of the Interior is proposing to open even more of our coastal waters to offshore drilling. This shortsighted and irresponsible policy would put our coastal ecosystems and communities at even greater risk.

Earthjustice is partnering with groups across the country to demand action now to keep more drill rigs out of the Atlantic and Arctic oceans. And we need your help.

Join me in telling the Obama administration to stop new leasing in the Atlantic and the Arctic oceans.

New offshore drilling and leasing in those areas would open fragile and priceless coastal ecosystems to damage from pollution and spills, pose immeasurable risk to economies and communities up and down the Atlantic seaboard, and accelerate global climate disruption.

An oil spill in any body of water causes irreparable damage. It’s just not worth it. If we’re going to successfully turn the tide on climate change, we must move away from all fossil fuels—whether it’s fracking, tar sands, mountaintop removal, or offshore drilling—and focus our efforts on increasing renewable energy.

Now is the time to tell the Department of the Interior that drill rigs have no place in the Atlantic and Arctic oceans.


Staff photo

Mark Ruffalo
Actor, Earthjustice supporter,
and founder of Water Defense

Sea Lions Vs Climate Change

Voracious sea lions invade Columbia River

Pinnipeds are lured in record numbers by millions of smelt, and to the dismay of many they’ve taken over virtually every inch of dock space in Astoria basin


California sea lions have flooded into the Columbia River in record numbers, thanks to a phenomenal abundance of smelt during a season in which food has been scarce for the voracious pinnipeds just about everywhere else.

The pinniped invasion has overwhelmed the East Mooring Basin in Astoria, Oregon, where 2,340 sea lions were counted recently. That shatters last year’s record count of 1,420 sea lions, and represents “a mind-boggling number,” Bryan Wright, a spokesman for the Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife,” told OPB News.


Sea lions have commandeered virtually every inch of dock space and are piling on top of one another, because there is not enough space to accommodate all of them, when they’re not foraging for smelt and salmon.

The blubbery mammals are said to be causing damage to docks and making it port authorities to rent or lease slips to boaters.

Some have come to the sea lions’ defense, saying they could represent a tourism boon if people will pay to see them.

Normal sea lion counts in the basin, from late March through May, average fewer than 300.

The Astoria invasion occurs at a time when young sea lions, who are not strong enough to travel long distances to find food, are starving in California, filling care facilities to capacity.

Unusually warm water in the Eastern Pacific, from Mexico to Alaska, is blamed for displacing bait fish populations the sea lions rely on for sustenance.

SeaLions copy

The so-called “warm blob,” caused in large part by a lack of significant winds and the upwelling those winds typically cause, was blamed for last year’s heat-up, with sea surface temperatures during the spring and summer averaging well above normal.

The phenomenon appears to be evident again this year.

The older and stronger sea lions are lured to the lower Columbia River in part by the early stages of the salmon run, but also by millions of smelt that have returned to the river to spawn.


Harbor seals also are foraging on the bounty. The accompanying image showing 6,000-plus seals grouped near the mouth of the river was captured last month by Steve Jeffries, a biologist with the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife.

The presence of so many sea lions and seals is cause for concern because the developing salmon run could be decimated by so many voracious pinnipeds.

(The Washington agency has a permit to euthanize a certain number of sea lions each year, to protect salmon entering the river mouth at the Washington-Oregon border.)

While many locals are unhappy with the problems being caused by the sea lions inside the basin, a group called the Sea Lion Defense Brigade tells KGW News that perhaps they will turn out to be a valuable tourist attraction.

“People that come to visit these guys are more than willing to spend money on tourism,” Defense Brigade spokeswoman Veronica Montoya said. “On seeing these guys, on visiting these guys.”

Perhaps, but more than likely, the waterfront community probably wishes it could have its docks back.

–Follow Pete Thomas on Facebook and Twitter


U.S. Cops Continue to Kill the Mentally Ill in Large Numbers, Especially in NYC, While Effective Approaches Are Ignored

Terrell Jermaine Starr, AlterNet

Memphis and other cities have adopted programs that reduce these tragedies. Why hasn’t New York followed suit? READ MORE»


Woman Held 8 Days in NYC Psych Ward For Saying Obama Followed Her on Twitter — Even Though He Does

By Scott Kaufman, Raw Story

Kam Brock claimed she was sedated by hospital employees. READ MORE»


Even Our Online Activism Is Affected by Race

By Anjali Enjeti, AlterNet

Overwhelmingly, people on social media grieve, defend and speak out for people who resemble them. READ MORE»


Indiana Governor ‘Looking Forward’ to Signing Bill That Ensures Sweeping Discrimination

By Kerry Eleveld, Raw Story

Mike Pence is enacting policies that will allow a chosen few to trample all over the rights of everyone else. READ MORE»

The FBI Let Suspects Off In Order to Maintain its ‘Stingray’ Secrets

Michael Arria, AlterNet

A recent court order tells us something we long suspected. READ MORE»

Georgia Women Arrested Protesting Bill That Would Let Employers Fire Women Who’ve Had An Abortion

Zaid Jilani, AlterNet

If the bill passes, the state could see a new wave of discrimination similar to Jim Crow. READ MORE»

Noam Chomsky: Slavery and White Fear of Revenge ‘Deeply Rooted in American Culture’

By Kali Holloway, AlterNet

Chomsky looks at the roots of American racism and genocide. READ MORE»

This NY Bill Could Effectively Make You a Felon If You’re Arrested During a Protest

By Adam Johnson, AlterNet

A subtle change in New York State law could stop #BlackLivesMatter in its tracks. READ MORE»

Cops in Colorado Could Soon Face $15,000 Fines If They Try to Stop People From Filming

By Matt Agorist, The Free Thought Project

While Texas lawmakers are trying to make filming the police illegal, Colorado is taking a much better approach. READ MORE»

Arizona Wants to Hide Names of Police Who Kill People

By Michael Arria, AlterNet

The state has produced a bill that will scale back police accountability even more. READ MORE»

Why Is the Government Spying on the Black Lives Matter Protests?

By Heather Digby Parton, Salon

President Obama? Care to explain this chilling new low in America’s disturbing surveillance apparatus? READ MORE»

Jeb Bush Implicitly Endorses Georgia Bill that Would Legalize Discrimination Against Gay People

By Zaid Jilani, AlterNet

The potential presidential contender voiced support of Georgia’s infamous “religious liberty” law. READ MORE»

There’s a Very Good Reason Why Black People Despise the Mainstream Media

By Terrell Jermaine Starr, AlterNet

New study shows how the media over-reports black crime and goes out of its way to hyper-criminalize us. READ MORE»

Leila Deen, Greenpeace … Shell

Shell is traveling across the Pacific, and we’re watching.

Shell on the water
Follow these volunteers as they travel across the Pacific to document Shell’s misdeeds.