Did everyone have a happy Halloween? How about “Mueller Monday?” That was a fun way to start the week! Granted, the GOP tax reform bill set the mood back a little, but I assure you that there’s been a lot of good news happening this week. This week will be the one-year anniversary of that fateful day last November that set the Resistance in motion. (I know, it feels a lot longer …) This week is a good time to take a moment and reflect on how this all started, how far we’ve come, and where we’re headed. For anyone who can be in the north shore area this Friday, the 9th, our Action Together North Shore group is hosting an anniversary get together at the Beverly Public Library. It’ll be a great opportunity to catch up in person and talk about our Resistance experiences and plans. The get together will also feature Joyce Hackett from Lift+Every+Vote: A Political Collaborative. She will speak on the national issue of Voter Suppression and how we can work to get more voters on the rolls in MA by supporting the Automatic Voter Registration (AVR) bill currently in the MA Legislature.
So – lot’s happening locally and across the country. So glad to have you here, and so glad to be able to share some Good News!
In local good news:
- Mass. becomes first state to ban controversial gun modification after Las Vegas shooting
- On Beacon Hill, Female Reps Press Action In Wake Of Sexual Harassment Report
- Very cool to see a creative approach to spreading awareness about global warming. Check out Gianna Stewart’s ‘Iceberg’ sculpture in Boston’s Fort Point Channel
- Amid possible entanglement in the Russia/Trump scandals, Trump Nominee Sam Clovis Withdraws From Consideration for Agriculture Department Post, which is a good thing for many reasons, not least of which is the fact that Clovis is tremendously unqualified for the position. He not only lacks any scientific credentials, he’s also a right-wing radio host who is prone to conspiracy theories and is a climate change denier.
- Transparent solar panels could harvest energy from windows and eventually replace fossil fuels. Science is SO cool!
- NY state filed a notice of intent to sue the EPA for violating the federal Clean Air Act by failing to curb ground-level ozone (or “smog”) pollution that blows into New York from upwind states.*
There’s also some good news on the elections front.
- If the youth of this country are our hope for the future, these three make the future look bright. Teen Vogue reports on three teens running for local offices: Auontai “Tay” Anderson, 19, running for Denver School Board District 4, Colorado; Nadya Okamoto, 19, running for Cambridge City Council, Massachusetts; and Sasha Freeman, 19, planning to run for Gibraltar School District Board, Michigan. Nice going!!
- While we are not at ALL happy about the servers being wiped, at least there’s this: Georgia attorney general quits defense in server wiping case
- Twitter announced they will no longer run ads from Russian-funded news outlets RT and Sputnik.*
- Virginia’s Supreme Court agreed to hear an appeal by a redistricting advocacy group challenging a judge’s decision upholding 11 Virginia state House and Senate districts.*
- Democrat Casey Conley won a special election for Strafford 13 state representative in New Hampshire.*
- Cordal Morris, is running unopposed for Michigan’s Bay City Commissioner, so come election day he will be the first African-American to hold that position.*
- A federal court has found it to be likely that North Carolina did not remedy the unconstitutional racial gerrymanders in nine state House and Senate districts, and has appointed a special master to help it make a final determination.*
And here’s what’s happening on the social, civil, and economic equality and justice front:
- After pressure from grassroots activist groups like Sleeping Giants, Facebook is looking into calls to cut off Breitbart from its ad network. It’s about time, Facebook!
- You probably heard this sick and twisted story, but at least that despicable girl isn’t getting away with her racist crimes: Hartford Student Charged After Boasting About Contaminating Roommate’s Belongings
- Sadly, sexual predators are everywhere, even at organizations as trusted as NPR. Thankfully, seems like there’s a new trend in exposing these people and holding them accountable: NPR’s top editor placed on leave after accusations of sexual harassment. Also: NBC and MSNBC sack Mark Halperin over harassment allegations.
- To be filed under “Draining the Swamp”: First Puerto Rico moves to cancel contract with Whitefish Energy to repair electric grid, and now the FBI Is Probing Puerto Rico Power Contract
- While it’s not a sweeping win, we are glad to read this headline: Federal Judge Blocks Trump’s Ban On Transgender Service Members. Chalk up another point for the independent judiciary.
- White Nationalist rally in Tennessee cancelled amid massive counter protest turnout. Nicely done, Tennessee.
- Meanwhile, in Denver, Mike Pence got a Handmaids’ greeting that I’m sure wasn’t what he was hoping for.
- This is a bit on the fringe (pun intended), but glad to hear that Nevada rancher Cliven Bundy goes on trial for leading 2014 armed standoff. Better late than never, I guess.
- Nearly Every Texans Player Kneeled During Today’s National Anthem – The protest comes days after their team’s owner called them “inmates.”
- A U.S. District Judge ruled two Alabama abortion laws unconstitutional and blocked the state from enforcing them. One prohibited abortion clinic within 2,000 feet of a K-8 public school and the other would criminalize the most common method of second-trimester abortions, and effectively limiting abortions to 15 weeks.*
- 10-Year-Old Immigrant Who Was Detained After Surgery Is Released
- A U.S. District Judge denied Kentucky’s request to reverse his ruling that the state must pay the nearly $225,000 in legal fees to the couples who sued a county clerk for refusing to issue marriage licenses because of her opposition to same-sex marriage, saying the Governor fell “woefully short” of convincing him.*
- The 5th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals ruled that it is a violation of person’s constitutional rights to be jailed for 96 days without seeing a judge and that defendants who are can sue the sheriff and county that held them because they have a duty to get those jailed promptly before a judge.*
- Reddit announced plans to eliminate hate-based groups from its site and instituted rules to ban material that “encourages, glorifies, incites, or calls for violence or physical harm against an individual or a group of people.”*
We’re also hearing some promising news on the Russia investigation front:
- Robert Mueller Sends a Message: He’s Deadly Serious
- Related: Maryland AG investigating Kushner real estate business: report
- Trump Campaign Adviser Met With Russian Officials in 2016
- Mueller Reveals New Manafort Link to Organized Crime
And in miscellaneous, fun, and slightly snarky good news:
- Like father, like daughter … kind of reminds you of the inauguration: Empty seats greet Ivanka Trump at women’s empowerment speech in Tokyo
- For 11 blissful minutes, 45’s toxic Twitter presence didn’t exist: Rogue Twitter employee deactivated Trump’s personal account on last day on the job. My new hero.
- Miss Peru Contestants List Violence Against Women Statistics Instead Of Their Bra Size – They refused to give their body measurements. Way to go, ladies!
- Donald Trump Jr.’s Bizarre Halloween ‘Lesson’ Backfires Spectacularly – That didn’t go over well. Don’t you love it when the Internet says, “Hey, you! Not on my watch.”
- 45’s Approval/Disapproval ratings continue to diverge, and not in the way 45 would like to see. The Gallup Daily Poll shows an unhappy trend for this administration.
- While it’s been disheartening to hear about the coal miners who are refusing job retraining on the grounds that they believe 45 is going to restore the coal industry, there’s also this Good News story: Displaced Coal Miners Turn to Beekeeping — Appalachians reconnect with nature to support their families. Working with Mother Nature instead of against her. What a concept!
- Roger Stone permanently banned from Twitter. Enough said.
* Hat tip to What Went Right (WWR)
“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