Welcome 🌻 to Friday’s Roundup of Good News!
First, to everyone, I hope you are warm and have power. I expect if you’re reading this, you at least have power. We send out good thoughts to those who don’t.
Here are some words from President Biden’s speech in Poland:
One year ago, the world was bracing for the fall of Kyiv. Well, I have just come from a visit to Kyiv, and I can report: Kyiv stands strong! Kyiv stands proud. It stands tall. And most important, it stands free.
When Russia invaded, it wasn’t just Ukraine being tested. The whole world faced a test for the ages. Europe was being tested. America was being tested. NATO was being tested. All democracies were being tested. And the questions we faced were as simple as they were profound.
Would we respond or would we look the other way? Would we be strong or would we be weak? Would be — we would — would we be — all of our allies — would be united or divided?
One year later, we know the answer.
We did respond. We would be strong. We would be united. And the world would not look the other way.
We also faced fundamental questions about the commitment to the most basic of principles. Would we stand up for the sovereignty of nations? Would we stand up for the right of people to live free from naked aggression? Would we stand up for democracy?
One year later, we know the answers.
We have to keep fighting, abroad and here at home. Come in, dear gnusies, and see what the good guys are doing.
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. 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, February 23, 2023: Readout of Vice President Harris’ Meeting with Members of the National Space Council’s Users’ Advisory Group
- Thursday, February 23, 2023: Statement from National Security Advisor Jake Sullivan on UN Vote To Support Peace in Ukraine
- Thursday, February 23, 2023: Readout of White House Listening Session: Bolstering the U.S. Economy by Closing the Racial Wealth Gap
- Thursday, February 23, 2023: FACT SHEET: The Biden-Harris Administration’s Work to Support Black Disabled Americans
- Thursday, February 23, 2023: Press Briefing by Press Secretary Karine Jean-Pierre, February 23, 2023
- Thursday, February 23, 2023: Statement from NSC Spokesperson Adrienne Watson on the Opening of Omani Airspace
- Thursday, February 23, 2023: Statement from Vice President Harris on U.S. Nomination of Ajay Banga to Lead World Bank
- Thursday, February 23, 2023: Memorandum on United States Conventional Arms Transfer Policy
- Thursday, February 23, 2023: President Biden Announces U.S. Nomination of Ajay Banga to Lead World Bank
- Thursday, February 23, 2023: Readout of Convening on Blue Chip Climate-Risk Macroeconomic Forecasts
- Wednesday, February 22, 2023: Readout of White House Meeting with State Legislative Leaders on “Red Flag” Laws
- Wednesday, February 22, 2023: Remarks by Vice President Harris at HUD Mortgage Announcement Event
- Wednesday, February 22, 2023: President Biden Names Thirtieth Round of Judicial Nominees
- Wednesday, February 22, 2023: Readout of President Biden’s Meeting with the Leaders of the Bucharest Nine Eastern Flank NATO Allies
- Wednesday, February 22, 2023: Remarks by President Biden Before Meeting with the Leaders of the Bucharest Nine
- Wednesday, February 22, 2023: FACT SHEET: Biden-Harris Administration Announces Actions to Expand Offshore Wind Nationally and Harness More Reliable, Affordable Clean Energy
- Wednesday, February 22, 2023: FACT SHEET: BIDEN-HARRIS ADMINISTRATION ANNOUNCES ACTION TO SAVE HOMEBUYERS AND HOMEOWNERS $800 PER YEAR
- Tuesday, February 21, 2023: Remarks by President Biden Ahead of the One-Year Anniversary of Russia’s Brutal and Unprovoked Invasion of Ukraine
- Tuesday, February 21, 2023: Readout of President Biden’s Meeting with President Maia Sandu of Moldova
- Tuesday, February 21, 2023: Readout of President Biden’s Meeting with Prime Minister Mateusz Morawiecki of Poland
- Tuesday, February 21, 2023: Remarks by President Biden and President Andrzej Duda of Poland After Bilateral Meeting
- Tuesday, February 21, 2023: Readout of President Biden’s Meeting with President Andrzej Duda of Poland
- Tuesday, February 21, 2023: FACT SHEET: One Year of Supporting Ukraine
- Tuesday, February 21, 2023: On-the-Record Press Call by National Security Advisor Jake Sullivan
- Monday, February 20, 2023: President Joseph R. Biden, Jr. Approves the Oglala Sioux Tribe Declaration
- Monday, February 20, 2023: President Joseph R. Biden, Jr. Approves Disaster Declaration for the Rosebud Sioux Tribe
- Monday, February 20, 2023: Remarks by President Biden and President Zelenskyy of Ukraine in Joint Statement
- Monday, February 20, 2023: Memorandum on Delegation of Authority Under Sections 506(a)(1) and 552(c)(2) of the Foreign Assistance Act of 1961
- Monday, February 20, 2023: On-the-Record Press Call by Senior Administration Officials on President Biden’s Trip to Ukraine
- Monday, February 20, 2023: Statement from President Joe Biden on Travel to Kyiv, Ukraine
- Sunday, February 19, 2023: Readout of Forum with HBCU Student Veterans and Cadets
- Saturday, February 18, 2023: Remarks by Vice President Harris, Prime Minister Marin of Finland, and Prime Minister Kristersson of Sweden Before Trilateral Meeting
- Saturday, February 18, 2023: Remarks by Vice President Harris and Prime Minister Sunak of the United Kingdom Before Bilateral Meeting
- Saturday, February 18, 2023: Remarks by Vice President Harris at the Munich Security Conference
- Saturday, February 18, 2023: Statement by NSC Spokesperson Adrienne Watson on the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea’s ICBM Test
- Friday, February 17, 2023: Readout of National Security Advisor Jake Sullivan’s Meeting with Historically Black College and University Presidents
- Friday, February 17, 2023: Statement from President Joe Biden on the Mass Shooting in Tate County, Mississippi
- Friday, February 17, 2023: Press Briefing by Press Secretary Karine Jean-Pierre and NSC Coordinator for Strategic Communications John Kirby
- Friday, February 17, 2023: Remarks by Vice President Harris and President Macron of France Before Bilateral Meeting
- Friday, February 17, 2023: FACT SHEET: Biden-Harris Administration Celebrates the Second Anniversary of the Reestablishment of the White House Office of Faith-Based and Neighborhood Partnerships
- Friday, February 17, 2023: Readout of Vice President Harris’s Meeting with Chancellor Scholz of Germany
- Friday, February 17, 2023: Readout of Vice President Harris’s Meeting with President Macron of France
- Friday, February 17, 2023: Statement from President Joe Biden on Marty Walsh
- Friday, February 17, 2023: Letters to the Speaker of the House of Representatives and the President of the Senate on the Continuation of the National Emergency with Respect to Cuba and of the Emergency Authority Relating to the Regulation of the Anchorage and Movement of Vessels
- Friday, February 17, 2023: Notice on the Continuation of the National Emergency with Respect to Cuba and of the Emergency Authority Relating to the Regulation of the Anchorage and Movement of Vessels
- Friday, February 17, 2023: FACT SHEET: Biden-Harris Administration Deploys Additional Federal Resources to East Palestine, Ohio
- Friday, February 17, 2023: Letters to the Speaker of the House of Representatives and the President of the Senate on the Continuation of the National Emergency with Respect to Libya
- Friday, February 17, 2023: Notice on the Continuation of the National Emergency with Respect to Libya
👎 Out with the Bad, In with the Good 👍
President Biden makes it to Kyiv before tyrant putin David Rothkopf, The Daily Beast
Stirringly, just days ahead of the one year anniversary of Russia’s brutal offensive against Ukraine, Biden walked through the streets of Kyiv, paid his respects to those who had fallen in defense of Ukraine, and said, “Freedom is priceless. It’s worth fighting for, for as long as it takes.” ✂️
Of course, the symbolism of the American president standing alongside Zelensky, walking through the Ukrainian capital even as air raid sirens sounded, carried many other messages as well.
To those fighting for Ukraine, it was a vitally important message of solidarity that came with further commitments from Biden of military support for Ukraine.
To Vladimir Putin, it was Biden’s way of saying, “I am here in Kyiv and you are not. You not only did not take Kyiv in days as some predicted, but your attack was rebuffed. Your army suffered a humiliating defeat from which it has not recovered.”
👎 Russians abandon Russia in war time exodus Francesca Ebel and Mary Ilyushina, Washington Post. Note I heard this being discussed on some podcast a while back, so the news is not that new. But of course, it’s the best and the brightest who are leaving. Putin’s war has crippled Russia, not just for the short term, but the long term.
YEREVAN, Armenia — As Russian troops stormed into Ukraine last February, sending millions of Ukrainians fleeing for their lives, thousands of Russians also raced to pack their bags and leave home, fearing the Kremlin would shut the borders and impose martial law.
Some had long opposed rising authoritarianism, and the invasion was a last straw. Others were driven by economic interest, to preserve livelihoods or escape the bite of sanctions. Then, last autumn, a military mobilization spurred hundreds of thousands of men to run.
Russian President Vladimir Putin’s war has set off a historic exodus of his own people. Initial data shows that at least 500,000, and perhaps nearly 1 million, have left in the year since the invasion began — a tidal wave on scale with emigration following the 1917 Bolshevik Revolution and the Soviet Union’s collapse in 1991.
💣 Republicans: Party of Crimes and Chaos 💣
The Republicans are divided:
MTG, now that she is divorced, wants everyone else to get one.
A reminder that tRump and his minions — and of course the train people - were responsible for the derailment in East Palestine:
Also, a rare example of FOX telling some of the truth. Maybe that lawsuit has them running scared.
🌵 Mark Brnovich hid the truth of no election fraud in AZ Yvonne Wingett-Sanchez and Isaac Stanley-Becker Washington Post
PHOENIX — Nearly a year after the 2020 election, Arizona’s then-attorney general, Mark Brnovich, launched an investigation into voting in the state’s largest county that quickly consumed more than 10,000 hours of his staff’s time.
Investigators prepared a report in March 2022 stating that virtually all claims of error and malfeasance were unfounded, according to internal documents reviewed by The Washington Post. Brnovich, a Republican, kept it private.
In April, the attorney general — who was running in the GOP primary for a U.S. Senate seat — released an “Interim Report” claiming that his office had discovered “serious vulnerabilities.” He left out edits from his own investigators refuting his assertions.
tRump’s popularity with Rs is decreasing Isaac Arnsdorf, Josh Dawsey, Hannah Knowles, Yvonne Wingett Sanchez, Patrick Marley and Ashley Parker, Washington Post
“I and a lot of other Republicans who were supportive of President Trump are becoming less and less supportive,” Jaster said. “Not because I’m a ‘Never Trumper.’ I just don’t believe Trump is the best person to move this party forward.”
That distinction is reshaping the Republican base as the 2024 presidential primary kicks off. The MAGA vs. RINO dichotomy that defined the GOP for much of the last eight years is increasingly obsolete. In its place, a new dynamic emerged from interviews with more than 150 Trump supporters across five pivotal electoral states. In between Republicans who remain firmly committed or opposed to the former president, there’s now a broad range of Trump supporters who, however much they still like him, aren’t sure they want him as the party’s next nominee.
The foremost reason is electability. Even Republicans who said they still supported Trump and believed his false claims that the 2020 election was stolen acknowledged doubts on whether he could defeat President Biden or another Democrat in 2024. “They’ve put so much doubt and mistrust in the people’s minds that he might have a hard time winning,” said Mark Goodman, a retired FedEx driver who lives in Chattahoochee Hills, Ga., and remains a staunch supporter.
However, I don’t think tRump will go quietly into the night. I mean, he wouldn’t leave office when he lost. He wants the cheers and the grift.
And the GOP doesn’t dare to kick him out Zachary Basu, Axios
The big picture: Former President Trump is a wounded front-runner who Republicans privately fear will lose to President Biden if he's the nominee. But he won't go away until a Republican challenger steps into the middle of the ring to dislodge him, and so far, every viable contender is pulling their punches.
Driving the news: Trump's polling numbers dipped after his lackluster November announcement, which failed to scare off potential rivals in the way he had hoped.
- But instead of hitting Trump while he's down, other potential Republican candidates have been busy trying to define themselves while dancing around the elephant in the room.
- In the meantime, Trump has been hurling unanswered attacks at his GOP rivals and testing fresh ways to reset his campaign — including with a visit to East Palestine, Ohio, on Wednesday that reminded many Republicans of his populist star power.
🚚 💙 Democrats Deliver 💙 🚚
In the meantime, President Biden’s popularity is increasing:
Some weird honesty over at FOX
Having Ds in power, working for the people instead of doing performative stunts, matters:
⚡️ Dems are consistently overperforming in the current special elections Kerry Eleveld, Daily Kos
Senator Jon Tester announced his re-election bid:
Tester is a unicorn: a Democrat representing the ruby-red state of Montana. Senator Sherrod Brown has also announced, meaning that we should be able to keep Ohio. Incumbent senators usually get re-elected.
💜 Unity? 💜
President Biden gets a lot of credit for energizing NATO and other countries to support Ukraine, but Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin deserves a lot of credit too. From the Department of Defense News (Jim Garamone):
After almost a year, the free world still stands with Ukraine as it defends its liberty and sovereignty, Secretary of Defense Lloyd J. Austin III said at the conclusion of the Ukraine Defense Contact Group meeting in Brussels today. ✂️
The secretary said the U.S. also mourns the innocent civilians killed as Russia targets Ukraine's civilian infrastructure. "Russia has inflicted a year of tragedy and terror on Ukraine," he said. "But the people of Ukraine have inspired the world."
These nations rallied as part of the Ukraine Defense Contact Group. "Nations of goodwill have rallied together to reject Putin's vision of a world of chaos where tyrants can trample borders and conquer their peaceful neighbors and break the rules of war," Austin said. "That's what this contact group represents. Together, we have made clear that we will support Ukraine's self-defense for the long haul. And we will move out with the urgency that the moment demands."
The United States has led this effort, and Austin chairs the contact group, which has grown to 54 nations. President Joe Biden announced another round of assistance to Ukraine earlier this month. This includes more ammunition for High Mobility Artillery Rocket System, or HIMARS, rocket launchers; heavy machine guns to knock down Russian and Iranian drones; and mine-resistant, ambush-protected vehicles.
Alaska unanimously censures a representative who prefers for abused kids to die Emine Yücel, Talking Points Memo
State Rep. David Eastman (R), a member of the Oath Keepers, was formally reprimanded with a censure Wednesday by the Alaska House of Representatives for asking whether there could be economic benefits to the deaths of abused children.
The vote was 35-1 with Eastman being the only one to vote no.
This comes days after Eastman – who was in Washington, D.C. on Jan. 6 but claims he did not storm the Capitol – argued that the death of an abused child could provide “cost savings” for the government during a state House Judiciary Committee hearing this week.
OK, he got one vote, his own, but almost unanimous.
📥 Actions You Can Take 📤
Tax-exempt organization complaint referrals. 13909. You can fill this out for the NRA and lots of other organizations. How about if some of us white folk go into some of the MAGA churches and video record what they’re saying?
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. Defund the seditionists. This is a list with companies that sometimes have donated to 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.
🔎 Want to check out what’s going on with campaign contributions? Check out this diary. 👀
🐍 Schadenfreude 😈
For those who have been frustrated by the slowness of the DOJ, we have a sprinter now — a proactive one:
Also going after Congress critters?!!! 😄
This is really important:
The GOP House has a committee on the weaponization of the government. Well, this was a prime example. But the Ds will have to bring it up.
Time to stop stalking Democratic representatives:
I know that some people are worried about Emily Kohrs, the foreperson of the Fulton Co Special Purpose Grand Jury, who has been enjoying her fifteen minutes of fame and not really impressing everyone with her interviews. But she has been following the law — the judge came out and defended her (I heard this on last night’s The Last Word) — and I think we’re just focused on her because we don’t have the real details yet. When the real stuff comes out — and she has seen it -- we will forget this tempest in a teapot.
📣 Let’s Honor Truth ☀️️
The Anti-Defamation League, for tracking the murders committed by extremists: And from the press release
Murder and Extremism in 2022: Summary of Major Findings
- Domestic extremists killed at least 25 people in 12 separate incidents in the United States in 2022, down from the 33 extremist-related murders documented in 2021. It continues the recent trend of fewer extremist-related killings after a five-year span of 47-78 extremist-related murders per year (2015-2019).
- The majority of extremist-related deaths in 2022 occurred as part of high-casualty mass shooting events. Extremist-related mass killings have increased at an alarming rate. More than half (57%) of the ideological mass killings in the United States since 1970 have occurred in the past 12 years.
- Almost all the killings in 2022 (93%) were committed with firearms.
- Of the 444 people killed at the hands of extremists over the past 10 years, 335 (or 75%) were killed by right-wing extremists.
- Of the 335 murders committed by right-wing extremists over the past 10 years, 73% were committed by white supremacists.
Not a pleasant subject, but an important one, and numbers matter.
🌹 Let’s Celebrate Love ❤️
President Jimmy Carter has been an example of a life of love to all of us.
🏠 Small amounts for one can mean everything to others:
📎Odds & Ends 📎
🔥 Heat from an Amazon data center is warming Dublin’s buildings Charlie Metcalfe Reasons to Be Cheerful
On January 3, 2023, the 5,000 students who attend Technological University Dublin returned from their winter holiday to their cold suburban campus in Tallaght. At a time of year when the temperature often falls to near freezing, they would have rushed through the revolving door into the toasty, enveloping air of the main building’s glass entrance.
What few of them probably knew was that the warm air that greeted them came not from a traditional gas or electric boiler like most other buildings in Dublin. It came instead from a large hangar-like warehouse a kilometer down the road, where piping-hot servers stored terabytes of online shopping information: an Amazon data center.
The university, along with the nearby South Dublin County Council building, were the first customers of a new district heating system that became operational in mid-December. When servers in the Amazon data center process information, they emit excess heat that would usually enter the atmosphere as waste. The city’s new heating system instead recovers this heat for reuse, channeling it into buildings as an unusual form of green energy.
One cookie at a time:
Unhealthy fat could be turned into good fat to make humans healthier Andy Corbley Good News Network
Did you know your body actually contains three different kinds of fat? That’s right, humans have brown, beige, and white fat adipose tissues, and a newfound ability to turn one into the other could create a revolution in metabolic disease prevention.
By turning a select number of genes in white fat cells off, they reverted to pluripotent cells, which can then become the cells for many different tissues and organs. In the case of a new study from the universities of California Davis and Copenhagen, they turned white fat into brown fat.
Brown fat is very useful for human beings to have, though many of us have very little owing to the comfortable nature of modern life. Brown fat burns a lot of calories to create heat through a process called thermogenesis.
Heroes come in all sizes:
🐦 I do a lot of other writing. A recent offering: Hunters of the Feather, a story about a thinker-linker crow who wants to save birdkind from extinction, and the sequel, Scavengers of Mind. (They’re really good! They’re really cheap! Buy and review or rate positively! And Hunters is also available on Audible!) Other stories, based on Jane Austen novels — including a new one for lovers of Pride & Prejudice, Mrs. Bennet’s Advice to Young Ladies — and others on Greek mythology, can be found here. All titles are available through Kindle Unlimited, but I only get paid if you turn the pages.
💙 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 say something nice to friend or a stranger.
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.