This week, in a moment of sober bipartisan agreement, the House and Senate voted to extend retirement benefits for the nation’s research chimpanzees.
As National Journal‘s Elahe Izadi reported a few weeks ago, the National Institutes of Health was quickly approaching a $30 million ceiling for the amount it could spend on research-chimp retirements.
This left the agency in a bind, as the NIH is phasing out many of the experiments it conducts with chimps. A 2011 report found that most research conducted on them is unnecessary, and in the coming months 310 animals (out of 360) will be retired. Though it probably wouldn’t have come to it, euthanasia could have been used if it was deemed to be in the best interest of the animals.
Chimp advocates were ecstatic at the news.
“It’s a great day for federally owned chimpanzees,” Cathy Willis Spraetz, president and CEO of Chimp Haven in Keithville, La. (the national chimp retirement community sanctuary), told The Washington Post. “I am breaking out the champagne as we speak.”
And it is exciting. Who wouldn’t want to retire to a facility with ample “climbing, swinging, and resting options as well as views of the surrounding areas,” along with 200 acres of forest and accommodations for “large social groups.”
As advertised on the Chimp Haven website: “How the chimpanzees choose to spend their day is up to them.”
What We're Following See More »
The Commission on Presidential Debates put out a statement today that gives credence to Donald Trump's claims that he had a bad microphone on Monday night. "Regarding the first debate, there were issues regarding Donald Trump's audio that affected the sound level in the debate hall," read the statement in its entirety.
"A video of Donald Trump testifying under oath about his provocative rhetoric about Mexicans and other Latinos is set to go public" as soon as today. "Trump gave the testimony in June at a law office in Washington in connection with one of two lawsuits he filed last year after prominent chefs reacted to the controversy over his remarks by pulling out of plans to open restaurants at his new D.C. hotel. D.C. Superior Court Judge Brian Holeman said in an order issued Thursday evening that fears the testimony might show up in campaign commercials were no basis to keep the public from seeing the video."
No matter that his recall of foreign leaders leaves something to be desired, Gary Johnson is the choice of the Chicago Tribune's editorial board. The editors argue that Donald Trump couldn't do the job of president, while hitting Hillary Clinton for "her intent to greatly increase federal spending and taxation, and serious questions about honesty and trust." Which leaves them with Johnson. "Every American who casts a vote for him is standing for principles," they write, "and can be proud of that vote. Yes, proud of a candidate in 2016."
"By all means vote, just not for Donald Trump." That's the message from USA Today editors, who are making the first recommendation on a presidential race in the paper's 34-year history. It's not exactly an endorsement; they make clear that the editorial board "does not have a consensus for a Clinton endorsement." But they state flatly that Donald Trump is, by "unanimous consensus of the editorial board, unfit for the presidency."