I know everyone is busy with their respective holidays, but I hope you’ll take a moment to catch up on some of the good news (DOUG JONES!!!) and have yourself a little celebration. This will be our last Good News Edition of the year, but we’re already looking forward to hitting the ground running in 2018 with hope and fire in our hearts.
Until then – merry-merry and happy-happy and all the best wishes for the magic and wonder and kindness of the season.
In local good news:
- French President Emmanuel Macron will award U.S. climate scientists with grants to conduct research in France for the remainder of 45’s current presidential term. Merci, Macron! (More from NBC News)
- The William and Flora Hewlett Foundation announced today that it will donate $600 million over a five-year period from 2018-2023 to nonprofits globally working on solving climate change.
- Well, here’s an interesting idea: China Building Second Enormous Floating Solar Farm on Top of Defunct Coal Mine
- In effort to bolster a global shift to clean energy, the World Bank—which provides financial, advisory and technical support to developing countries—announced it will “no longer finance upstream oil and gas, after 2019.” (More from South China Morning Post)
- Michael Dourson, President Donald Trump’s controversial pick to become the nation’s top regulator of toxic chemicals, has withdrawn his nomination for a post at the EPA after facing heavy criticism over his close ties to the chemical industry, according to two Senate aides.
- We’re not happy that the U.S. isn’t represented, but at least everyone else is on the ball: Without The U.S. Government, The World Unites To Fight Climate Change
There’s also some good news on the elections front.
- Hooray! Hooray! Hooray! An Upset In Trump Country: Democrat Doug Jones Bests Roy Moore In Alabama. Special shout out to all our members who made calls, texted, and wrote a huge pile o’ postcards. (Bambi Snodgrass, I’m looking at you!) And, in related news (some serious, some not so much …):
How Black Voters Sent Doug Jones to the Senate—African American turnout blew past expectations and sent Roy Moore packing.
J.K. Rowling Suggests To Roy Moore That God Is A Black Woman—The author responded to Moore’s claim that “God is always in control.”
- Also, Roy Moore (the loser in this race) cannot ride a horse, and Horse Twitter wasn’t having it. Also, Roy’s horse (Sassy) got her own Twitter account. #FreeSassy
- Coeur d’Alene Tribe woman, Paulette Jordan announces candidacy for Idaho governor. Yes, please.
- Women Are Running For Office In Record Numbers. In this WBUR interview Here & Now‘s Robin Young speaks with Stephanie Schriock (@Schriock1), president of the political action committee Emily’s List, about the role women played in Alabama’s race and the growing number of women running for office.
And here’s what’s happening on the social, civil, and economic equality and justice front:
- While this administration continues to attack higher education on several fronts, Brown University of Providence, Rhode Island will replace student loans with scholarship funds (that do not have to be repaid) for all returning and incoming undergraduates starting in the 2018-2019 academic year.
- A federal judge on Monday denied the Trump administration’s request to delay an order requiring the military to begin accepting transgender recruits starting Jan. 1, saying the argument for more time seemed based on “vague claims.”
- Steven Tyler opens home for abused girls. The article quotes Tyler, front man for Aerosmith, as saying, “While I was in (rehab), I found out most of women in there were battered and beaten and abused verbally and sexually in huge numbers,” he said. “It was like seven out of 10, eight out of 10.” We’re glad he has a heart big enough to want to do something about the problem.
- In case you missed the latest chapters in sexual misconduct-related resignations: Rep. Trent Franks of Arizona, who asked staffers if they would bear his child as a surrogate, says he will resign. Ewww, just ewwww. And also, Farenthold won’t run for reelection. Good riddance.
- We doubt it will have any effect, but at least someone’s speaking up: Grassley urges Trump to reconsider controversial judicial picks
- Pennsylvania Governor: Women Can ‘Make Their Own Health Care Decisions’ — Gov. Tom Wolf plans to veto a highly restrictive abortion bill passed by the state’s legislature. (Can we get this guy to talk to some of the men in DC?)
- The FCC may have voted to repeal net neutrality, but that fight is far from over. Legal Challenges Are Already Coming—New York attorney general plans to sue the Trump administration. (More from Reuters)
- Senate Democrats to force vote on FCC net neutrality repeal
- Charge upgraded to first-degree murder for driver accused of ramming Charlottesville crowd
- Federal Judge Blocks Trump’s Birth Control Restrictions
- ‘He is a bully’: Gillibrand hits back at Trump over demeaning tweet
We’re also hearing some promising news on the Russia investigation front:
Mueller Sought Emails of Trump Campaign Data Firm—Special counsel asked Cambridge Analytica to hand over employees’ emails, in sign of investigators’ interest in campaign data operation
- Kushner’s legal team looks to hire crisis public relations firm amid Russia probe
And in miscellaneous, fun, and slightly snarky good news:
- Hitler banned it; Gandhi loved it: ‘The Story of Ferdinand,’ the book and, now, film – because sometimes kindness needs to be held up as the thing we should all aspire to.
- Merriam-Webster Expertly Sums Up 2017 With Its Word Of The Year: Feminism
- Democratic congresswomen call for Trump investigation … because if so many other men abusing power can be toppled, why not 45? (More from NBC News)
- We know that the FCC voted along party lines this week to repeal net neutrality (boo! hiss!), but a) the battle is far from over, and b) we kind of loved the inimitable Ron Swanson from Parks & Rec telling Ajit Pai he has no honor for his heinous decision.
- The Woman Tracking All of Trump’s Damage, Week by Week—Political activist Amy Siskind—is coming out with a book!
- Snark Kitty was particularly pleased about this news: U.S. Senate unanimously passes PACT Act to crack down on animal cruelty crimes
- ‘Cards Against Humanity’ Sends Checks To Their Lowest-Earning Customers And It’s Bringing Attention To Wealth Inequality
- These Powerful Swedish Ad Women Aim to Create a Global Network of Female Talent
- The 2018 SAG Awards Will Be Presented by an All-Female Lineup, Because Women Are Awesome
- Paul Ryan (blech!) may be reaching the end of his rope, and his political career Don’t let the door hit you on the way out!
- Military Chiefs’ Reluctance to March—The Pentagon’s response to Trump’s transgender troop ban reflects leaders’ new posture of respectful disobedience.
“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
“Gifts”: Gabriele Diwald Flickr via Compfight cc