Hello! It’s only been two weeks, but it feels like it’s been much longer since I’ve sat down to compile our list of happy headlines. The first week of my mini hiatus was the result of my attending the March for our Lives event in Boston with my daughter and her friend. That was an inspiring and heartening day. The second week of my hiatus was for personal reasons, but now I’m back in the saddle and ready to unload a massive list of the latest happy headlines for your reading pleasure.
Hope you’ve been discovering your own good news as well!
In local good news:
- Federal Judge Upholds Massachusetts Assault Weapons Ban (Congrats to AG Maura Healey!)
- David Ortiz surprised Aly Raisman with a ‘girl power’ shirt at the Red Sox home opener
- From West Roxbury by way of The New Yorker: Sometimes Fighting Climate Change Means Breaking the Law (court victory for protestors of a high-pressure natural gas pipeline) (More from CommonWealth)
- Baker signs medical privacy law – Also known as the “Patch” bill, this is something some of our ATMA members worked on very hard, so congrats all ’round!
- The Massachusetts Board of Elementary and Secondary Education passed a resolution in opposition to arming educators. From Senator Tarr, “Yesterday the Massachusetts Board of Elementary and Secondary Education unanimously adopted a well-reasoned resolution in opposition to the concept of arming educators in order to promote school safety. I support the resolution adopted by the board, and also oppose the idea of arming teachers with firearms.”
- Elsewhere in New England: Vermont Legislature Passes Sweeping Gun Restrictions
- Major justice reform bill clears Legislature – Signals shift in focus from punishment toward rehabilitation and substance use treatment
- Parkland, Fla., students and families flew to Washington, D.C., on the Patriots’ plane
- New York and Massachusetts to investigate Cambridge Analytica and Facebook
- Federal Court Reaffirms Maui Clean Water Act: Victory: 9th Circuit Court of Appeals rejects Maui County’s petition for the full court to reconsider whether Maui County violated the Clean Water Act by injecting millions of gallons of treated sewage each day into wells that discharge into the Pacific Ocean
- Congress rejects draconian budget cuts to public health and environmental agencies
- Patagonia vs. Donald Trump (Long read, but interesting … and good to know some corporations are willing to stand on the side of the planet in a very meaningful way.)
- German cities to trial free public transport to cut pollution – Plan to be tested in five cities in effort to meet EU air pollution targets and avoid big fines
- Judge dismisses Exxon lawsuit against climate change probe: NEW YORK (AP) ” A federal judge on Thursday dismissed a lawsuit by Exxon Mobil aimed at stopping an investigation by New York and Massachusetts officials into whether the oil giant misled investors and the public about its knowledge of climate change and how the issue could affect its business.
- A Fossil Fuel Company Tried to Put a Dirty Gas Plant on a Beautiful Coastline. It Failed. – California regulators’ latest move to reject the short-sighted proposal is a turning point in the state’s clean energy future.
- Judge: Trump Admin. Must Consider Climate Change in Major Drilling and Mining Lease Plan – The plan covers 15 million acres in the Powder River Basin of Montana and Wyoming. The ruling on it is the latest to cite risks of fossil fuels and global warming.
- Volunteers Plant 67,500 Trees in Portuguese Forest Devastated by Wildfires
- Is a Texas Town the Future of Renewable Energy? – A high-wattage Republican Mayor of Georgetown, Texas, has become the unlikeliest hero of the green revolution
There’s also some good news on the elections front.
- New California Law Automatically Preregisters 16-Year-Olds to Vote When They Get Their Licenses
- Women file to run for US House seats in record numbers
- A Wave of Young Women Running Campaigns (and Changing Politics)
- Liberal Judge Wins Wisconsin Supreme Court Seat, Buoying Democrats (More from The Washington Post)
- Rep. Darrell Issa To Retire, Adding To Record GOP Exodus From Congress
- Republican Rep. Ryan Costello of Pennsylvania won’t seek re-election – Two-term Republican blasts state Supreme Court ruling on state’s districts as “obscene.”
- In Texas, Ted Cruz Is Facing an Unusual Challenge: A Formidably Financed Democrat
- Maryland legislature passes automatic voter registration
- Record number of black women are candidates in Alabama – They’re fueled by Democrat Doug Jones’ stunning upset Senate win, the #MeToo movement, opposition to Trump and a desire to carry on Obama’s legacy.
- Thousands register to vote at March for Our Lives demonstrations
- Toni Atkins To Be Sworn In As First Female California Senate Leader
- All of a Sudden, Voting Rights Are Expanding Across the Country – Washington state is leading the pushback against national moves to curtail ballot access.
And here’s what’s happening on the social, civil, and economic equality and justice front:
- Rallying Nation: In reaction to Trump, millions of Americans are joining protests and getting political (Cool survey data about just how many people are attending marches and who they are.)
- Wisconsin students trek 50 miles to Paul Ryan’s home to push gun control
- Ajit Pai’s Ties to Sinclair Broadcasting Under Investigation At FCC
- Amy Schumer reportedly cancels interview with Sinclair station
- The rise of ‘fake news’ is producing a record number of journalism majors
- A picture of a broken chair drove people to donate $44,000 in supplies to an Oklahoma teacher
- Chalk one up for the good guys: Rachel Maddow Beats Sean Hannity For March, Takes Title As Most-Watched Cable News Host
- ‘Black Panther’ About to Pass ‘Titanic’ to Become No. 3 Highest-Earning Movie in the U.S. … Rowr!!
- ‘Black Panther’ to Break Saudi Arabia’s 35-Year Cinema Ban
- Oregon Governor Tells Trump She’ll Refuse Order to Send Guard Troops South
- 17 States Sue the Trump Administration Over Census Citizenship Question – This is the third major lawsuit against the controversial new citizenship question. (More from NPR)
- New York Law Mandates That Domestic Abusers Turn Over Guns
- Lawmakers just voted to make N.J. gun laws even tougher
- Remington, Centuries-Old Gun Maker, Files for Bankruptcy as Sales Slow
- YouTube Bans Firearms Demo Videos, Entering the Gun Control Debate
- Poll: More view NRA negatively than positively for first time since before 2000
- First it was Confederate monuments. Now statues offensive to Native Americans are poised to topple across the U.S.
- India Rules Sex With a Child Bride Is Always Rape in a Massive Win for Girls’ Rights
- Protests Shut Down Sacramento Kings Game, Freeways Over Stephon Clark’s Death
- Congress rejects much of Betsy DeVos’s agenda in spending bill
We’re also hearing some promising news on the Russia investigation front:
- Mueller (Quietly) Keeps Turning Up the Heat
- Judge skewers Manafort’s civil case challenging Mueller’s powers
- In a footnote, Mueller sends a warning shot to Trump
- Mueller authorized by DOJ to investigate alleged Manafort collusion with Russian government
- Mueller pushed for Gates’ help on collusion
- FBI questions Ted Malloch, Trump campaign figure and Farage ally
- Cambridge Analytica accused of violating US election laws in new legal action
And in miscellaneous, fun, and slightly snarky good news:
- The woman who got fired for flipping off President Trump just sued her former employer
- Snark Kitty knows this isn’t political, but he’s giving a nod to Team Dog: Man who tortured dog gets 10 years in prison, will be deported
- Mr. Rogers is being honored with U.S. stamp (It’s about time!!!)
- Did you catch SNL’s Betsy DeVos piece re: the fallout from her disastrous 60 Minutes interview? From the sketch, “Well, I think problem is that the words that were coming out of my mouth were bad. And that is because they came from my brain.” Nailed it.
- Ivanka Trump Dressed Up as a Scientist to Test Some Vape Juice … And the photo is priceless.
- John Oliver’s Pence-Trolling Gay-Bunny Book Sold 180,000 Copies in Two Days – As a gleeful Seth Meyers tells Oliver, fans are also trolling Pence even more through cheeky Amazon reviews.
“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