Welcome 😄 to Friday’s Roundup of Good News!
It may be weird to think of President Biden as wise. He lacks the soaring eloquence of Obama, and unlike Yoda, Biden’s sentences are straightforward. His word choices don’t send people scrambling to the dictionary, the way they did when Hillary Clinton used the word “deplorables.”
Because Biden’s delivery is so ordinary, because his arguments seem so obvious, it’s easy to miss the wisdom in his prose.
President Biden’s approach, his vision, his choices are all the result of five decades of experience. Because of this experience, this prioritizing, we finally stand a chance of making progress on so many issues that matter: the pandemic, education, climate change, racial injustice, and so much more. It won’t be easy, with R politicians obstructing at every turn — but Biden spoke to the nation, and even many Rs (non politicians) support much of President Biden’s agenda.
There are some signs the national political climate may improve. Support for tRump has been going down, some. The FBI raided Giuliani and Toensing, which means the crimes of the previous administration are being investigated (the lack of visible progress in this area was making me nervous, because until we put these people behind bars, we are vulnerable to them). These things, along with the euphoria of relative health and wealth, will help heal the country.
It doesn’t all happen at once, but when you see incremental progress, it’s important to remember progress — even when it is real — is almost always incremental. Rs joining to vote against hatred of Asians means that they can vote with Ds. People liking a 💙 policy can be a step toward liking the Ds who support them. We have to work on the messaging, but Ds recognize that now.
Here are the CDC vaccination numbers from April 30, at 9 a.m.: Total Doses Distributed 305,478,495; Total Doses Administered 237,360,493.
Come on in, dear gnusies, and see the news that I’ve gathered and please share your own. Let’s make a strong start on the second 100 days!
Regular Scheduled Programming
No one here is naïve; we are aware of the many who are fighting to destroy our country. Some of us expected it: the cheating, the lying, the chaos, and yes, even the attempts to cling to power despite the clear will of the people. But we are here to read the efforts and the positive results of those (including us and our fellow gnus) who are working so hard to save our country from those very bad people. We are furious with them for what they are doing and we are letting them know. Remember:
💚 There are more of us than there are of them.
💛 They are terrified when we organize. THERE IS LOTS OF EVIDENCE THAT THEY ARE TERRIFIED!
💔 They want us to be demoralized. We have to keep demoralizing them. Name, blame and shame! IT IS WORKING! WE HAVE EVIDENCE THAT THEY ARE DEMORALIZED!
💙 The best way to keep up your spirits is to fight. So, take the time to recharge your batteries, but find ways to contribute to the well-being of our country and our world.
🗽 Biden as President!🗽
Biden, Harris and their administration have been hard at work. Here are the last week’s posts at the White House briefing room.
- Thursday, April 29, 2021: Statement by White House Spokesperson Jen Psaki on the Visit of President Moon Jae-in of the Republic of Korea
- Thursday, April 29, 2021: Press Gaggle by Principal Deputy Press Secretary Karine Jean-Pierre Aboard Air Force One En Route Plains, GA
- Thursday, April 29, 2021: FACT SHEET: The American Families Plan Will Support Children, Teachers, and Working Families in Rural America
- Thursday, April 29, 2021: FACT SHEET: The American Families Plan Advances Equity and Racial Justice
- Thursday, April 29, 2021: Nominations Sent to the Senate
- Thursday, April 29, 2021: Remarks by President Biden in Address to a Joint Session of Congress
- Thursday, April 29, 2021: FACT SHEET: 100 Days In, Biden-Harris Administration Makes History with Presidential Appointees
- Thursday, April 29, 2021: President Biden Announces Second Slate of Judicial Nominees
- Wednesday, April 28, 2021: Remarks as Prepared for Delivery by President Biden — Address to a Joint Session of Congress
- Wednesday, April 28, 2021: FACT SHEET: Biden-Harris Administration Delivers Emergency COVID-19 Assistance for India
- Wednesday, April 28, 2021: Excerpts from Remarks as Prepared for Delivery by President Biden to a Joint Session of Congress
- Wednesday, April 28, 2021: White House Announces Virtual Guests for the First Lady’s Box 2021 Joint Session of Congress
- Wednesday, April 28, 2021: President Biden Announces 16 Key Administration Nominations
- Wednesday, April 28, 2021: Statement of President Joe Biden on the Passing of Michael Collins
- Wednesday, April 28, 2021: Nominations Sent to the Senate
- Wednesday, April 28, 2021: President Joseph R. Biden, Jr. Approves New Jersey Disaster Declaration
- Wednesday, April 28, 2021: Background Press Call by Senior Administration Officials on the American Families Plan
- Wednesday, April 28, 2021: Fact Sheet: The American Families Plan
- Tuesday, April 27, 2021: Press Briefing by Press Secretary Jen Psaki, April 27, 2021
- Tuesday, April 27, 2021: Background Press Call by Senior Administration Officials on National Security and Foreign Policy in President Biden’s First 100 Days
- Tuesday, April 27, 2021: Nominations Sent to the Senate
- Tuesday, April 27, 2021: A Proclamation on Workers Memorial Day, 2021
- Tuesday, April 27, 2021: Remarks by President Biden on the COVID-19 Response
- Tuesday, April 27, 2021: Readout of Jake Sullivan’s Bilateral Meeting with Israeli NSA Meir Ben-Shabbat
- Tuesday, April 27, 2021: Press Briefing by White House COVID-19 Response Team and Public Health Officials
- Tuesday, April 27, 2021: President Biden Announces Key Administration Nominations
- Tuesday, April 27, 2021: President Biden Announces Key Administration Nominations in National Security
- Tuesday, April 27, 2021: Executive Order on Increasing the Minimum Wage for Federal Contractors
- Tuesday, April 27, 2021: FACT SHEET: Biden Administration Advances Expansion & Modernization of the Electric Grid
- Tuesday, April 27, 2021: President Biden Announces Key Hire at the Office of Management and Budget
- Tuesday, April 27, 2021: How to Watch the Livestream of President Biden’s Address to the Joint Session of Congress
- Tuesday, April 27, 2021: FACT SHEET: Biden-Harris Administration Issues an Executive Order to Raise the Minimum Wage to $15 for Federal Contractors
- Monday, April 26, 2021: Background Press Call by Senior Administration Officials on COVID-19 in India
- Monday, April 26, 2021: Remarks by Vice President Harris and President Giammattei of the Republic of Guatemala Before Virtual Bilateral Meeting
- Monday, April 26, 2021: Press Briefing by Press Secretary Jen Psaki and Director of the National Economic Council Brian Deese, April 26, 2021
- Monday, April 26, 2021: FACT SHEET: Urgent Relief to Central America
- Monday, April 26, 2021: Letter to the Speaker of the House and President of the Senate Regarding the Apportionment Population for Each State as of April 1, 2020
- Monday, April 26, 2021: Executive Order on Worker Organizing and Empowerment
- Monday, April 26, 2021: President Joseph R. Biden, Jr. Approves Alabama Disaster Declaration
- Monday, April 26, 2021: Readout of President Joseph R. Biden, Jr. Call with Prime Minister Narendra Modi of India
- Monday, April 26, 2021: FACT SHEET: Executive Order Establishing the White House Task Force on Worker Organizing and Empowerment
- Saturday, April 24, 2021: Statement by President Joe Biden on Armenian Remembrance Day
- Friday, April 23, 2021: Press Briefing by Press Secretary Jen Psaki and Secretary of the Interior Deb Haaland, April 23, 2021
- Friday, April 23, 2021: Readout of the Biden-Harris Administration’s First Meeting of the White House Council on Native American Affairs
- Friday, April 23, 2021: President Joseph R. Biden, Jr. Approves Kentucky Disaster Declaration
- Friday, April 23, 2021: Bills Signed: S. 164, S. 415, S. 422, S. 578
- Friday, April 23, 2021: A Proclamation on World Intellectual Property Day, 2021
- Friday, April 23, 2021: President Biden Announces Key Administration Nominations in National Security
- Friday, April 23, 2021: President Biden Announces Six Key Administration Nominations
- Friday, April 23, 2021: Statement by National Security Advisor Jake Sullivan on the appointment of Ambassador Jeff Feltman as U.S. Special Envoy for the Horn of Africa
- Friday, April 23, 2021: Press Briefing by White House COVID-19 Response Team and Public Health Officials
- Friday, April 23, 2021: Readout of President Joseph R. Biden, Jr. Call with President Recep Tayyip Erdogan of Turkey
- Friday, April 23, 2021: Remarks by President Biden at the Virtual Leaders Summit on Climate Session 5: The Economic Opportunities of Climate Action
- Friday, April 23, 2021: FACT SHEET: President Biden’s Leaders Summit on Climate
- Friday, April 23, 2021: Statement by Press Secretary Jen Psaki on the President’s Travel to the United Kingdom and Belgium
- Friday, April 23, 2021: Statement of President Joe Biden on Senate Passage of the COVID-19 Hate Crimes Act
- Friday, April 23, 2021: Statement by NSC Spokesperson Emily Horne on National Security Advisor Jake Sullivan’s Call with Foreign Minister Retno Marsudi of Indonesia
- Friday, April 23, 2021: FACT SHEET: Biden Administration Outlines Key Resources to Invest in Coal and Power Plant Community Economic Revitalization
- Friday, April 23, 2021: FACT SHEET: The American Jobs Plan Empowers and Protects Workers
- Friday, April 23, 2021: Leaders Summit on Climate Summary of Proceedings
👎 Out with the Bad, In with the Good 👍
Homeland Security to work on outing white supremacists Zolan Kanno-Youngs New York Times
WASHINGTON — The Department of Homeland Security will undergo an internal review to root out white supremacy and extremism in its ranks as part of a larger effort to combat extremist ideology in the federal government, officials said on Monday.
The task of identifying extremists throughout the United States, and specifically in government agencies, has come to the top of President Biden’s agenda since Jan. 6, when a pro-Trump mob stormed the U.S. Capitol. Many of the rioters were found to be members of extremist groups. ✂️
The review comes shortly after the Pentagon completed a 60-day “stand down” to address extremism after a number of veterans were found to have taken part in the Capitol riot. The Biden administration is assessing whether other agencies will have similar inquiries as part of a broader review started this year to assess how the federal government combats domestic extremist threats.
This was already started in Minneapolis — and the same procedure is being done now in Louisville, KY, where Breonna Taylor was murdered in her own bed by the police.
As so often, 🎩 hpg
We need to make a difference to the courts:
💣 Republicans in Disarray 💣
A few who are not pro-sedition
tRump support is softening Chuck Todd and Mark Murray and Carrie Dann Yahoo News/NBC News
WASHINGTON — Out of office, off of Twitter, still complaining about the election results — the last 100 days or so haven’t been kind to Donald Trump, our new national NBC News poll finds.
His ratings among all adults stands at 32 percent favorable, 55 percent unfavorable, which is down from his rating in January (40 percent favorable, 53 percent unfavorable among registered voters), as well as where he was in the poll right before the election (43 percent favorable, 52 percent unfavorable among registered voters).
By comparison, President Biden’s current favorable/unfavorable stands at 50 percent positive, 36 percent negative.
Even Trump’s pull within his own party appears to have lessened, with 44 percent of Republicans saying they’re more supporters of Trump than the GOP, versus 50 percent who say they’re more supporters of the GOP than the former president.
Election integrity seen by some Rs as a losing issue Bob Brigham Raw Story
The controversial audit of Maricopa County votes in Arizona has been widely panned for lacking legitimacy, but former President Donald Trump is reportedly fixated on the political theater -- even though it may backfire on Republicans. ✂️
"Election integrity is a losing issue. It doesn't help us get our voters out," Eberhart said. "This is a mistake issue and a red herring the Democrats want us to chase. I don't see a win there for us, but Trump keeps repeating the issue, and it resonates for some in the party."
I don’t think Ds want them to chase this, but if that’s what it takes to turn them off from this...
💙 Democrats Being Cool 💙
Warnock is intimidating the competition! 🎩 hpg
💜 Unity? 💜
This is a great bit:
💉 West Virginia offering bonds to young people who get vaccinated Bob Brigham Raw Story
"After saying Friday that the state had "hit a wall" when it comes to COVID-19
vaccinations, West Virginia Gov. Jim Justice announced a plan Monday to encourage the state's younger residents to get their shots," WBOY-TV reported Monday. "The plan calls for $100 savings bonds to be given to anyone in the 16-35 age bracket, using CARES Act funds. This applies to anyone in that age group who has already gotten a shot and anyone who gets one moving forward, Justice said."
The governor used a whiteboard during his coronavirus brieifng to explain his math.
"Of an eligible population of 1,470,000, 52%(764,400) have been vaccinated so far, Justice said. There are 380,000 16-25 year-olds in the state, the governor continued and he is hoping that 275,000 will get vaccinated, which would mean more than 70% of the state's total population have gotten shots," the network reported. "If that percentage does not improve dramatically, Justice will be reading the names of dead and will have to continue the state's mask mandate, he warned."
📥 Actions You Can Take 📤
Voting rights. This may be the biggest issue threatening our democracy right now. Besides contacting your representatives at the state and federal level to do the right thing (depending on who they are), you can support and contact these organizations:
ACLU — American Civil Liberties Union
Democracy Docket — founded by Marc Elias, so important in fighting the challenges after the last election.
Fair Fight — founded by Stacey Abrams
🌱Grass roots. Biden and Harris can do the top-down stuff, but we have to support from the bottom. I don’t know how to deprogram 75 million people, but some things have been written about, such as deep canvassing, and lots of people are talking about this. If you know someone (who did not storm the Capitol), then see if you can be pleasant. Instead of trying to reason with them (logic is obviously not their strong point) distract them with something else. We need to remove the sources of lies and to take down the temperature. If we get more of the Rs to wear masks and to get vaccinated and to vote for Ds, the country will be a better place. We need to coax some of them out of the rabbit holes and diffuse the anger and the crazy.
🏃 Run for something. If you want to run for something, but have no idea what to do, these people will help you. They also like money and volunteers to help those people who are running, so even if you’re not in a position to stand for office, you can help. Note: they are especially planning to target the 57 Rs in local governments who participated in the insurrection.
👎 Defund the seditionists. This is a list with companies that sometimes have donated to the seditionists, and their current approach to supporting or not supporting the seditionists. The list is long. You will recognize many of the corporations, and you probably have a relationship with some — either you are a customer, a shareholder, or maybe even an employee. Contact them and compliment or complain, but let them know you are watching. Forward it to others.
🐍 Schadenfreude 😈
A confession letter written by Joel Greenberg seems to nail Matt Gaetz Jose Pagliary , Roger Solienberger The Daily Beast
A confession letter written by Joel Greenberg in the final months of the Trump presidency claims that he and close associate Rep. Matt Gaetz paid for sex with multiple women—as well as a girl who was 17 at the time. ✂️
The letter, which The Daily Beast recently obtained, was written after Greenberg asked Roger Stone to help him secure a pardon from then-President Donald Trump.
In late 2020, Greenberg was out of jail and in communication with Stone. A series of private messages between the two—also recently obtained by The Daily Beast—shows a number of exchanges between Greenberg and Stone conducted over the encrypted messaging app Signal, with communications set to disappear. However, Greenberg appears to have taken screenshots of a number of their conversations. ✂️
“I hope you are prepared to wire me $250,000 because I am feeling confident,” Stone wrote to Greenberg on Jan. 13.
😆 I have been laughing and laughing at this.
Michael Cohen has been laughing at Rudy too Sonam Sheth Insider
Cohen added that Giuliani has "been shady for a long time" and that the investigation into whether he broke foreign lobbying laws could expand "into other areas that Rudy doesn't even possibly remember. Or if he does remember, he certainly didn't want it released."
He concluded, bluntly: "We have no idea how expansive this investigation is going to ultimately reveal itself because Rudy's an idiot. And that's the problem. Rudy drinks too much, Rudy behaves in such an erratic manner that who knows what's on those telephones or what's on his computers."✂️
Cohen noted that before Trump became president, he and Giuliani did not like each other. "So do I think Rudy will give up Donald in a heartbeat? Absolutely," he said. "He certainly doesn't want to follow my path down into a 36 month sentence for something as innocuous as a hush money payment, right, to a porn star ... at the direction and for the benefit of Donald J. Trump." ✂️
"What's ironic here is the fact that these tactics of the Southern District of New York in terms of bullying you into a plea deal were created by Rudy Giuliani going back 30 years ago," he told CNN. "And it's just ironic that the tactics that he created for that office are now going to be employed against him" and could result in Giuliani giving up information about "all of the individuals in that garbage can orbit of Donald Trump."
Yep, this is why we have had an insurrection...
🐮 And then there’s this
Anti-masker in Alaska banned from flights Cristina Cabrera Talking Points Memo
Alaska state Sen. Lora Reinbold (R) had no choice but to drive for more than 13 hours and then take a ferry on Sunday to get to the state’s legislature in Juneau after Alaska Airlines banned her for flouting its mask requirement. ✂️
Alaska Airlines told the Anchorage Daily News on Saturday that Reinbold “is not permitted to fly with us for her continued refusal to comply with employee instruction regarding the current mask policy.”
“This suspension is effective immediately, pending further review,” Tim Thompson, the airline’s spokesperson, said. “Federal law requires all guests to wear a mask over their nose and mouth at all times during travel, including throughout the flight, during boarding and deplaning, and while traveling through an airport.”
📣 Let’s Honor Truth ☀️
Medical examiner’s testimony was so outrageous that all his cases are being re-examined Zoë RichardsTalking Points Memo
Maryland officials are launching an investigation into reports regarding death in police custody that were handled by former Chief Medical Examiner Dr. David Fowler, just days after his testimony in defense of former police officer Derek Chauvin drew criticism and calls for a review of his work.
“We agree that it is appropriate for independent experts to review reports issued by the Office of the Chief Medical Examiner (OCME) regarding deaths in custody,” said Raquel Coombs, a spokeswoman for Maryland Attorney General Brian Frosh on Friday in response to calls for an inquiry. “We are already in conversations with the Governor’s Office about the need for such a review, and have offered to coordinate it.”
Coombs’ statement was first reported by the Baltimore Sun.
Michael Ricci, a spokesman for Maryland Gov. Larry Hogan (R), told the Washington Post that the state plans to begin quickly working to identify independent experts who can serve on a work group to review cases under Fowler’s leadership.
Good for them. A person who lies today, has probably lied yesterday as well.
🌹 Let’s Celebrate Love ❤️
70 Never Looked So Good Elena Passarello, Audubon Magazine
One autumn day halfway through the 20th century, a Laysan Albatross returned to Midway Atoll, built a nest in the sand, and settled in to incubate her annual egg. A firm believer in “nest-site fidelity,” the albatross had made this same trip most autumns of her adult life—doing the work of countless generations of albatrosses before her. Each year millions of seabirds return to this tiny island in the middle of the Pacific Ocean to breed. And over the centuries, the generations of humans who watch these seabirds have given them myriad names: mōlī, a nod to the tattooing needles that native Hawaiians once crafted with the birds’ bones; albatross, derived from an Arabic term for “diver”; Laysan, after an even smaller neighboring island that, in turn, was named for a Russian explorer’s ship. ✂️
This egg will hatch without fanfare, and the bird inside it will spend her life as expected: at sea 90 percent of the time, flying back to the same square of sand to incubate no more than one egg per year with her long-term mate. As the decades pass, she will keep returning to Midway, logging at least three million flight miles. She will build nests for more than three dozen eggs in 65 years. And while she does so, the albatross will cross paths with a roster of humans who are keen to keep tabs on her: naturalists, photographers, volunteers, and, eventually, superfans.
When humans learn that this bird has lasted into her sixth decade, she will receive a name all her own. Not mōlī or gooney, but Wisdom: a worldwide symbol of nature’s endurance and hard-won seabird smarts. Her longevity will make her the star of children’s books, an icon on tote bags, and the subject of countless jubilant news reports. Because Wisdom, the inhabitant of this mid-century albatross egg, will live to become the oldest wild bird on the planet—as far as humans know, at least.
Note that Wisdom is a theme in this GNR...
A tour of Midway Islands; not really a focus on the albatross. Note my husband was on a plane that had an emergency landing there many years ago.
📎Odds & Ends 📎
🐮 Where’s the Beef? Gaby Hinsliff the Guardian
This week, the American recipe website Epicurious announced that, for environmental reasons, it wouldn’t publish any new beef recipes. No more steaks, burgers or creative ways with mince; no more juicy rib. Since about 15% of global greenhouse gas emissions come from livestock farming, with beef responsible for nearly two thirds of those, it wanted to help home cooks do their bit.
All this seems guaranteed to trigger the sort of people who get very emotional about roast beef and yorkshire pudding, particularly in the same week that the White House had to quash some wild scare stories about Joe Biden banning burgers to save the planet. (Spoiler alert: not happening.) But the twist in the tale is that Epicurious actually stopped publishing beef recipes a year ago without telling anyone, and it says its traffic numbers show the vegetarian recipes offered instead were gobbled up. Those who scream loudest don’t, as ever, speak for everyone.✂️
Eating habits are already changing, if not fast enough for climate scientists then faster than angry burger warriors suggest. One in eight Britons claim to be vegetarian or vegan and another one in five flexitarian, eating meat-free sometimes; and although meat consumption rose over the last decade the big rise was in chicken, not red meat. Going veggie for the sake of the planet, rather than the animals, might have sounded eccentric a generation ago but it barely raises a millennial eyebrow now. By the time generation Z are their age, counting dietary carbons may seem no stranger than counting calories.
☁️ Senate votes to reverse its position on methane Valerie Volcovici Reuters
The U.S. Senate on Wednesday approved a measure to restore regulation of emissions of methane, a potent greenhouse gas, a move Democratic Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer called a "big deal" in fighting climate change.
The Senate approved the measure in a 52-42 vote.
Schumer, along with fellow Democrats Martin Heinrich and Ed Markey and Independent Angus King, introduced their resolution in the Senate under the Congressional Review Act (CRA), a 1996 law that allows Congress to reverse federal rules implemented in the last days of a past administration with a simple majority.
Democrats narrowly control both houses of Congress. Three Republican senators also voted for the measure: Susan Collins, Lindsey Graham and Rob Portman
Gardening helps relieve stress Good News Network
The study from Britain’s Royal Horticultural Society (RHS) surveyed more than 6,000 people, and results indicate that those who garden every day have wellbeing scores 6.6% higher and stress levels 4.2% lower than people who don’t garden at all.
RHS Wellbeing Fellow and lead author, Dr Lauriane Chalmin-Pui says; “This is the first time the ‘dose response’ to gardening has been tested and the evidence overwhelmingly suggests that the more frequently you garden—the greater the health benefits.
Given how stressed we have all been, this is very useful advice.
🐦 I do a lot of other writing. My most recent offering: Hunters of the Feather, a story about a thinker-linker crow who wants to save birdkind from extinction. (It’s really good! It’s really cheap! Buy it! Review or rate it positively! Now available on Audible!) Other stories, based on Jane Austen novels and others on Greek mythology, can be found here.
💙 What You Can Do to Rescue Democracy 💙
It turns out that participation in democracy is not just an every-four-years event but requires active participation, like, whenever you can find time.
Look in the comments for Progressive Muse’s report on Postcards to Voters
And some other ideas:
You can relax and recharge.
You can join protests and freeway blog.
You can help register new voters.
You can smile.
You can get out the vote for special elections.
You can reach out to upset Republicans. We need to win some back.
You can share your ideas below.
💙 “Our history has been a constant struggle between the American ideal that we all are created equal and the harsh ugly reality that racism, nativism, fear, demonization have long torn us apart. The battle is perennial, and victory is never assured.” 💙
President Joseph R. Biden
🌹 🌹 🌹
TRUTH MATTERS. LOVE MATTERS.