Smart Ideas: Animal Testing Not the Cat’s Pajamas

AP Photo/Vadim Ghirda
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July 3, 2018, 8 p.m.

A “bipawtisan” cause: Don’t test on kittens

Brian Darling and Christian Josi, writing for the Washington Examiner

Product and medical testing on dogs has gotten bipartisan attention from lawmakers, but testing on cats has fallen under the radar even as the Agriculture Department continues using them in experiments. Per the White Coat Waste Project, since 1982 USDA “has spent $650,000 each year to breed 100 kittens and make them eat toxoplasma-infected raw meat to grow parasites in their stool for use in other experiments. The tiny ten-week-old kittens are healthy at the end but are killed anyway.” Congress is paying attention now, with Reps. Jimmy Panetta and Mike Bishop introducing the Kittens in Traumatic Testing Ends Now (KITTEN) Act and Sens. John Hoeven and Jeff Merkley introducing language in the department’s appropriations bill to end the experiments.

Trump-Putin meeting a chance for détente

John Glaser and Ted Galen Carpenter, writing for the Cato Institute

President Trump has been rhetorically friendly with Vladimir Putin, but his policy toward Russia has remained firm: the push to expand NATO, troop deployments in the Baltics, military exercises in Eastern Europe and the Black Sea, and the refusal “to give ground to Russian interests in Ukraine or the Balkans.” Proposals for raising sanctions further on Russia, or “retaliatory covert cyber operations … would likely escalate tensions to little greater effect.” And “shrill” anti-Russia political criticisms have become “reminiscent of the excesses that Senator Joseph McCarthy and his followers exhibited,” damaging domestic political culture. For these reasons, a meeting with Putin is not “tantamount to appeasement,” but a savvy diplomatic strategy. The two leaders could use the summit to address their “sharp differences over policy toward Syria, Iran, North Korea, and Ukraine.” Of course, the high-level discussion “may not resolve those differences,” but it could ease tensions and the risk of a dangerous confrontation. To achieve anything, however, Trump’s objectives must remain “limited and realistic.” During his meeting with Kim Jong-un, the president did not focus on details, appearing “more interested in stagecraft, rather than statecraft. He needs to improve that performance in his summit with Vladimir Putin.”

Jealous shows Democrats want a candidate with vision

John Nichols, writing for The Nation

Ben Jealous’s win in the Maryland gubernatorial primary shows Democrats are hungering for candidates with vision, who will use the state as “what then–US Supreme Court Justice Louis Brandeis referred to in 1932 as a ‘laboratory of democracy.’” Jealous’s agenda is deeply progressive, calling for a $15 minimum wage, marijuana legalization, and clean energy, and it helped him earn 40 percent of the vote in a nine-way primary. To defeat Republican Gov. Larry Hogan, however, “he has to continue to get voters thinking about how Maryland might lead the nation in a very different direction from the one Trump and his Republican allies are taking. It will not be easy. Hogan is a smart politician; he has distanced himself from Trump on at least some issues. But the incumbent has shown little inclination to innovate—let alone to build the coalitions that might free Maryland and America from the confines of status-quo politics.”

Maryland Democratic gubernatorial candidate Ben Jealous AP Photo/Patrick Semansky
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