It’s been another tough week. In addition to the weight of “the usual” insane happenings, including Mitch McConnell’s stealth approach to healthcare and the deepening Russia investigation, there was also the shooting at the Congressional baseball practice in Virginia. But, even in that dark moment, we can find a glimmer of humanity, as evidenced in the comforting words of Stephen Colbert and Trevor Noah.
And now, we bring you more evidence that there are still good people in the world, that we can still learn to get along, and that sometimes the truth does prevail and justice is duly served.
In local good news:
- From The Boston Globe: House will remove 1-word impediment to pregnancy rights legislation. Seems that the state’s largest business lobby, Associated Industries of Massachusetts (AIM) tried to sneak the word “knowingly” into a bill designed to protect women from being denied jobs because they are pregnant. That one word made all the difference, but – happily – the immediate outrage expressed to our legislators at the state house caused them to do a 180. Phew!
- Ipswich: Community Responds to Anti-Semitic Incident
- From Earth Justice: In Victory for Standing Rock Sioux Tribe, Court Finds that Approval of Dakota Access Pipeline Violated the Law
- 13 U.S. Cities Defy Trump by Posting Deleted Climate Data
- From EcoWatch: Kids Climate Lawsuit Heads to Trial, Judge Denies Trump Administration’s Appeal
- From Times Union: Humpback whales return to NYC for the first time in a century
There’s also some good news on the elections and election-related front.
- From Vogue: Just a reminder that there are still good people willing to get into politics – Congresswoman Stephanie Murphy Ran for Office After the Pulse Shooting: Now She’s Taking on the NRA and Steve Bannon
- From The Washingtonian: Women Are Taking Over in Virginia, One Primary Election at a Time
- From Nature: The mathematicians who want to save democracy – With algorithms in hand, scientists are looking to make elections in the United States more representative.
- From the Boston Globe: Jessica Tang quietly makes history with Boston Teachers Union election
- From WSJ: Theresa May Loses Her Election Gamble
And here are a few good news items on the social, civil, and economic equality and justice front:
- From the NYT: Trump Loses Travel Ban Ruling in Appeals Court
- From the Huffington Post: This Is What Happens When Women Get Elected – Nevada just enacted a slew of women’s rights laws under a GOP governor.
- From the NYT: Trump Will Allow ‘Dreamers’ to Stay in U.S., Reversing Campaign Promise
- Apparently art can be a force for social justice not just in terms of creating awareness and getting people talking, but also by providing funding in the form of cold, hard cash. Prominent art collector, Agnes Gund, recently sold a 1962 Roy Lichtenstein piece called “Masterpiece” for the impressive sum of $165 million. Gund then turned around and took $100 million of that to launch the Arts for Justice Fund. From the fund’s website: ” Over the next five years (2017-2022), the Art for Justice Fund (A4JF) will support innovative advocacy and interventions aimed at safely cutting the prison population in states with the highest rates of incarceration, and strengthening the education and employment options for people leaving prison. In addition, the Fund will support selected artistic initiatives that enable artists to bear witness to the injustices of the system and speak to the potential of people enmeshed in it.”
- From Business Insider, of all places: Hundreds of nuns trained in Kung Fu are biking the Himalayas to oppose human trafficking
We’re also hearing some promising news on the Russia investigation front:
- Seems like someone is turning up the heat, and Mike Pence is feeling it. The Veep hired a lawyer this week. Hmmm …
- Also, Mueller is now investigating Jared Kushner’s finances and business dealings.
- And – let’s not overlook the fact that Mueller is also now officially investigating Trump for possible obstruction of justice. That Mueller doesn’t mess around!
- Also this week, Attorney General Jeff Sessions testified before Congress. Though he mostly tap danced his way through his testimony – refusing to answer questions due to some supposed DOJ policy that he could neither name nor produce – there was an entertaining exchange between Sessions and Senator Kamala Harris. While it was unfortunate that Harris had to deal with the typical sexist fall out of being a strong woman (certain people described her tough questioning as “hysterical”), it was delightful to watch this woman do her job. (For a cuss-laden, NSFW, but pretty darn funny version of this tale, check out the post on Wonkette, “Keep F**** With Kamala Harris, Boys. You’re Making Her Stronger” … it also features a fabulous graphic of Harris as Wonder Woman. I kind of want that t-shirt.)
And Snark Kitty shares these miscellaneous and fun good news stories:
- From the Washington Post: D.C. and Maryland to sue President Trump, alleging breach of constitutional oath
- From NPR: The Covfefe Act Has A Silly Name — But It Addresses A Real Quandary No lie: Rep. Mike Quigley of Illinois presents: the Communications Over Various Feeds Electronically for Engagement, or COVFEFE Act. Go get ’em, Mike.
- In a move that’s either ominous or hopeful (no one seems able to tell), Fox News has dropped it’s long-running tagline, “Fair and Balanced” and replaced it with “Most Watched. Most Trusted.” I’m not sure how to feel about this one … I hope it’s not foreshadowing some media takeover.
- The 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals not only upheld the injunction against Trump’s travel ban, they did so in part based on one of Trump’s own tweets. One of the subtle but potentially important results of their inclusion of the tweet in their decision-making process was that it set a clear precedent for taking the president’s tweets seriously. Stay tuned. This could have some interesting affects.
- Women Dressed As Handmaids Descend On Ohio Statehouse To Protest Anti-Abortion Law
- From The Guardian: So Trump’s too scared to come to the UK. Who says protest doesn’t work?
- From Slate: The Loneliness of Donald Trump – Rebecca Solnit reads her story about a very particular man in a very particular set of circumstances. If you have twenty minutes, we highly recommend this excellent reading of Solnit’s insightful and beautifully written essay. Or, if you’re someplace where you’d rather read than listen, you can read her piece on Lithub. Just to give you a taste, here are the opening lines:
Once upon a time, a child was born into wealth and wanted for nothing, but he was possessed by bottomless, endless, grating, grasping wanting, and wanted more, and got it, and more after that, and always more. He was a pair of ragged orange claws upon the ocean floor, forever scuttling, pinching, reaching for more, a carrion crab, a lobster and a boiling lobster pot in one, a termite, a tyrant over his own little empires.
“Mass State House Dome”: Photo Credit: twiga_swala Flickr via Compfight cc
“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