Welcome to this week’s Good News Edition. As they say on the excellent Lovett or Leave It podcast, “What a week.” Sure, there have been plenty of headlines that have made us wring our hands (and maybe want to wring a few necks); but there has also been some heartening news from around the state and the country. We’re here to share the good stuff that reminds us that the human race isn’t a lost cause and actually still has some redeeming qualities.
P.S. – There’s no appropriate category for this, but I wanted to give you all a heads up on a great new podcast from Crooked Media (the folks who bring us Pod Save America and Lovett or Leave It): Majority 54 with Jason Kandor. I’ve only listened to the first episode so far, but I’m already hooked. From the website, here’s a description of the first episode: “Bruce Franks joins the show to discuss Ferguson, Black Lives Matter and the relationship between the African American community and the police. You’ll find out about the importance of making people uncomfortable, Bruce’s take on American History, and surprisingly, that I am a battle rapper.” Seriously. Tune in.
In local good news:
- Dedham Town Meeting approved the formation of a Human Rights Commission this past Monday. Article 12 allows for the formation of a human rights commission, which will consist of 13 members and develop community awareness and education of human rights, promote understanding of the diverse cultures within town, and promote the cooperation of racial, religious, ethnic, civic, fraternal, benevolent and private and public organizations and agencies. The town’s Director of DPW was apparently so moved by the discussion, that he repurposed a town sign with this quote from Elie Wiesel, “We must always take sides. Silence encourages the tormentor. Never the tormented.” Congrats, Dedham!
- Mass. Senate unanimously passes free birth control bill – If you’d like to see this one go all the way, check out how you can encourage Governor Baker to sign this into law.
- Ipswich bags the bag – Single-use plastic bags and Styrofoam containers are out in Ipswich as of Wednesday, Nov. 15, and reusable and biodegradable are in.
- Gloucester: Single-use Plastic Bags Banned!
- Mass. Senate passes sweeping criminal justice bill after emotional debate, and here’s more from the MA ACLU
- Advocates make new push for Mass. to adopt auto voter registration
- Hundreds walk out at Westfield State University to protest racism on campus
- David Crosby tells President Trump supporters to not attend his concerts following Massachusetts show
- Macron: France will cover US share of funding for UN climate panel
- California’s Plastic Bag Ban Appears to Be Kicking Some Major Ass
- We don’t believe we’re out of the woods on this one (or the reversal of the ban on bringing lion trophies into the country either), but at least there’s this: Facing Public Outrage, Trump Puts Elephant Trophy Decision ‘On Hold’ – Earlier this week, the administration lifted a ban on the import of elephant parts from two African nations.
- Kids’ Climate Change Lawsuits Say No to a Future of “Damages, Death, and Destruction.” Let’s hear it for our young people!!
- Monarch butterfly numbers up dramatically this year, data show
There’s also some good news on the elections front.
- Democrats continue their winning streak with big victories in New Mexico and Oklahoma
- Democrat pulls off special election victory for Senate seat in west Tulsa County
And here’s what’s happening on the social, civil, and economic equality and justice front:
- Lawmakers unveil ‘ME TOO Congress’ bill to overhaul sexual harassment policies
- More than 400 millionaires tell Congress: Don’t cut our taxes
- Judge rules for Philly in ‘sanctuary city’ case
- India Rules Sex With a Child Bride Is Always Rape in a Massive Win for Girls’ Rights – It’s a landmark change to India’s marital rape laws.
- Colin Kaepernick Is GQ’s 2017 Citizen of the Year
- Faith Hill And Tim McGraw Take Aim At The NRA And Demand Gun Control – “It’s not about the Second Amendment.”
- Soldiers Speak Out on Kaepernick: His protest ‘makes him more American than anyone’
- 15 glorious photos that capture the moment Australia chose marriage equality
- ‘Obamacare’ sign-ups 45 percent ahead of last year’s pace
- Drake Pauses Concert to Yell at Fan for Inappropriately Touching Women
We’re also hearing some promising news on the Russia investigation front:
- Jeff Sessions Had a Very Bad Day – “I have always told the truth,” the Attorney General promises amid tough questions on Capitol Hill.
- CIA: Director ‘stands by’ Russian interference assessment
And in miscellaneous, fun, and slightly snarky good news:
- Fox News anchor Shep Smith took apart the Uranium One conspiracy theory in what amounts to a methodical annihilation of his own network’s coverage of the story – Matt Gertz
- Lady Gaga, Joe Biden Reveal Plan to Build Trauma Centers – Former vice president detailed importance of providing long-term treatment for emotional, physical abuse
- Gal Gadot Confirms Brett Ratner Has Been Kicked Off the Next Wonder Woman – The producer faces multiple sexual-misconduct allegations.
- Tomi Lahren Releases ‘Dear Liberal Snowflakes’ Poster–And It Backfired In A Big Way
- Cards Against Humanity buys piece of the U.S. border so Trump can’t build his wall
- From John Pavlovitz: Dear Donald Trump, We’re Not Afraid of You.
- More advertisers are dropping Hannity
- Goodbye MAGA Doug, Rootin’-Tootinest Trump Troll In The Whole Wide World
- And, thank goodness there’s still some empathy and logic in the world: Dalai Lama: We need an education of the heart
- And, finally, something to look forward to: Thousands of Black Nerds Reportedly Deceased as Black Panther Character Posters Slay the Internet
“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
Happy Chihuahua: Rennett Stowe Flickr via Compfight cc