Even today, we must have some Good News. Especially today.
If you’re just waking up and haven’t checked the headlines yet, I regret that I must begin this Good News Edition with the harrowing fact that the GOP managed to pass their abomination of a tax scam in the wee hours of this morning. About 500 pages that no one was allowed to read, packed with personal favors and bribes to secure the votes of reluctant Republican senators, this atrocity of greed and cruelty is the least liked piece of legislation in history. I don’t have the heart to go into all the awful crap the GOP crammed into their bill, including giving fetuses personhood (you know, for tax purposes), allowing oil drilling and fracking in the Alaskan National Wildlife Refuge, a special break for Michigan’s Hillsdale college (a pet of Betsy DeVos), and other insanity. It’s all just too gross.
BUT … we’re not giving up yet.
No, seriously. The proverbial fat lady hasn’t sung yet. Sure, she’s warming up, but she cannot take the stage just yet. Now that the House and the Senate have passed their respective bills, they must go into reconciliation to try and hammer out the differences. Vox did a piece that compares some of the major differences between the two versions of the bill. And, after that, the whole mess still need to be signed by 45 … and who knows what will be happening in the Oval Office by the time Congress gets themselves sorted out. I mean, what with Mueller following up his Manafort Monday with Flynn Friday. Who knows, indeed?
ALSO … there’s another time bomb ticking in the GOP’s ear: The Alabama race between accused pedophile Roy Moore and his Democrat challenger, Doug Jones. If Jones can take the race (which happens on December 12th), that could very well shift the balance of power in the Senate in a big way. (If you’d like to get involved supporting Doug Jones, you can:
- Make a donation at dougjonesforsenate.com
- Sign up to send postcards to Alabama voters by texting HELLO to 484-ASK-ABBY (which is 484-275-2229)
- Sign up with Invisible’s text-banking effort (I’ve done this and can attest that it’s fun and easy)
- Indivisible Alabama has also set up a phone banking effort for the day of the election (December 12th)
So, if you’re feeling down this morning about the tax bill, go ahead and cry into your coffee a little. We get it. But don’t give up. Turn your frustration, disgust, and fear into anger and get to work. Make some noise. Make a lot of noise. Speak out against the tax bill, support Doug Jones. We can still make a difference.
In local good news:
- Boston City Council Votes To Ban Plastic Bags
- And, while it didn’t stop last night’s vote on the tax bill, our own Senator Warren wrote a letter to the Treasury Department’s inspector general requesting inquiry into some shady aspects of the department’s supposed analysis of the tax bill under 45-appointed Steve Mnuchin.
- A U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals issued an emergency order temporarily halting construction on the NEXUS Gas Transmission in the city of Green (OH) finding they are likely to prevail in proving the state EPA failed to follow its rules in approving it.*
- The Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment voted to increase the frequency of the monitoring of small gas wells in the Denver-Julesburg Basin’s oil and gas production area.*
- The Center for Biological Diversity and the NRDC sued to stop the Interior Department from allowing Americans to bring elephant trophies from Zimbabwe into the U.S.*
There’s also some good news on the elections front.
- Kris Kobach Wants to Make It Harder to Vote Nationwide—But He’s Already Failing Back Home in Kansas – The vice chair of Trump’s voter fraud commission is running for governor of Kansas, where his policy efforts are in shambles.
- The president’s “voter fraud” commission’s December meeting is cancelled.†
- Democratic group will invest $4 million to train 50k candidates in 2018
- US District court defends transgender military service members’ rights for the 2nd time.†
- Alabama newspaper endorses the kind, sane, moderate candidate, Doug Jones.†
- Please also check out the latest edition of What Went Right – at the end is a recap of many local election wins around the country that maybe didn’t get the fanfare they deserved.
And here’s what’s happening on the social, civil, and economic equality and justice front:
- NBC News source says Matt Lauer will not receive a payout
- Colin Kaepernick receives Muhammad Ali Legacy Award from Sports Illustrated
- A S. District Court Judge struck down a Texas law that unconstitutionally restricted women’s access to the most common form of second trimester abortions.*
- Virginia Gov. has banned guns at political rallies at Richmond’s Robert E. Lee statue.*
- Nigel Farage was forced to publically apologize to the anti-racism charity Hope Not Hate and to agree to never claim they use “violent and undemocratic means” after they sued him for libel.*
- About 300 protesters led by clergy and the Justice Coalition took to their knees outside the AT&T Stadium as the anthem was played during the NFL game, while a number of NFL players on different teams, continued to protest for the 12th week.*
- Propublica sued to obtain some of the visitor’s log for the White House and have now published the information they obtained in easily usable form.*
We’re also hearing some promising news on the Russia investigation front:
- Of course, the best news we’ve had all week is the announcement that Flynn has copped a deal with the Mueller investigation … and it appears to be a pretty sweet deal, which indicates he’s giving Mueller a lot of really good dirt on the higher ups. A Vox headline cheekily leads with, “I’m confident Flynn is singing like a bird to Mueller.” – 9 legal experts on what Flynn’s plea deal means for Trump. Oh, boy. Let’s hope they’re right!
- More on the situation from The Atlantic: Michael Flynn Pleads Guilty to Lying to the FBI – The former national-security adviser is the fourth Trump-campaign official to be charged in Robert Mueller’s inquiry into Russian interference in the 2016 election.
And in miscellaneous, fun, and slightly snarky good news:
- Dictionary.com Brutally Trolled Both Donald And Ivanka Trump With Its ‘Word Of The Year’ (Of course, if you believe her simpering interview comment, Ivanka doesn’t know what ‘complicit’ means.)
- Donald Trump is shutting down his charitable foundation†
- The Trump Organization’s management and licensing of The Trump SoHo Hotel was bought out by the property’s owner, allowing them to remove the Trump name from the failing hotel.*
- Time magazine disputed 45’s claim that he rejected their request for an interview and photo-shoot for “Person of the Year” saying there was “not a speck of truth” to his claims.”*
- The Washington Post published a list of all of 45’s sexual harassment/assault accusers after he stated he supports Moore.*
“Mass State House Dome”: Photo Credit: twiga_swala Flickr via Compfight cc“Planet Earth”: From Morguefile
“Planet Earth”: From Morguefile
“I Voted”: standing8 Flickr via Compfight cc
“Blind Justice”: Government of Prince Edward Island Flickr via Compfight cc
“Russia Sickle”: AK Rockefeller Flickr via Compfight cc
“Snark Kitty”: Gratisography