Welcome 🌻 to Friday’s Roundup of Good News!
I want to include a life hack. My feet were hurting. I thought it was the shoes, but it was bunions, which happen to some of us as we get older. By getting toe separators (only for the big and the one beside) I have completely stopped the pain. Much cheaper, less painful, and probably more effective than surgery.
Anyway, the good guys are still at it, making good news. Come on in, and see what they — and we, and especially you — are up to.
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, March 23, 2023: Press Gaggle by Press Secretary Karine Jean-Pierre En Route Ottawa, Canada
- Thursday, March 23, 2023: Remarks by President Biden at an Affordable Care Act Anniversary Event
- Thursday, March 23, 2023: FACT SHEET: Biden-Harris Administration Tackles Racial and Ethnic Bias in Home Valuations
- Thursday, March 23, 2023: WHAT THEY ARE SAYING: President Biden Champions Conservation, Takes Action to Protect Lands and Waters
- Thursday, March 23, 2023: President Joseph R. Biden, Jr. Approves Maine Disaster Declaration
- Thursday, March 23, 2023: STATE FACT SHEETS: White House Lays Out Devastating Consequences of MAGA House Republican Plans to Gut Medicaid and the Affordable Care Act in State-by-State Fact Sheets
- Thursday, March 23, 2023: FIVE-ALARM FIRE: The House Freedom Caucus’ Extreme Budget Proposal Hurts Seniors
- Wednesday, March 22, 2023: Press Briefing by Press Secretary Karine Jean-Pierre and NSC Coordinator for Strategic Communications John Kirby
- Wednesday, March 22, 2023: Statement from President Joe Biden on the Occasion of Ramadan
- Wednesday, March 22, 2023: Statement by NSC Spokesperson Adrienne Watson on the Administration’s Actions to Invest in Water Security
- Wednesday, March 22, 2023: FIVE-ALARM FIRE: The House Freedom Caucus’ Extreme Budget Proposal Ships Manufacturing Jobs Overseas and Undermines American Workers
- Tuesday, March 21, 2023: Remarks by President Biden at the Presentation of the 2021 National Humanities Medals and National Medals of Arts
- Tuesday, March 21, 2023: Press Briefing by Press Secretary Karine Jean-Pierre and NSC Coordinator for Strategic Communications John Kirby
- Tuesday, March 21, 2023: Readout of White House Panel on the Economic Case for the President’s Initiative on Junk Fees
- Tuesday, March 21, 2023: Readout of White House State Legislative Convening on Child Care Access & Affordability
- Tuesday, March 21, 2023: Remarks by President Biden at the White House Conservation in Action Summit
- Tuesday, March 21, 2023: Nominations Sent to the Senate
- Tuesday, March 21, 2023: A Proclamation on the Establishment of the Castner Range National Monument, 2023
- Tuesday, March 21, 2023: A Proclamation on Establishment of the Avi Kwa Ame National Monument
- Tuesday, March 21, 2023: Remarks as Prepared for Delivery by NEC Director Lael Brainard on the Economic Case for Junk Fees Policies
- Tuesday, March 21, 2023: FIVE-ALARM FIRE: The House Freedom Caucus’ Extreme Budget Proposal Raises Costs for Families
- Tuesday, March 21, 2023: President Joseph R. Biden, Jr. Approves Vermont Disaster Declaration
- Monday, March 20, 2023: Statement from NSC Spokesperson Adrienne Watson Welcoming the Prisoner Exchange Agreement Reached for Yemen
- Monday, March 20, 2023: Press Briefing by Press Secretary Karine Jean-Pierre, the Cast of “Ted Lasso,” and NSC Coordinator for Strategic Communications John Kirby
- Monday, March 20, 2023: Statement from President Joe Biden on the Release of American Jeff Woodke
- Monday, March 20, 2023: President Biden Names Thirty-First Round of Judicial Nominees and Announces New Nominees to Serve as U.S. Attorney
- Monday, March 20, 2023: Statement by the President on S. 619, the COVID-19 Origin Act of 2023
- Monday, March 20, 2023: Bills Signed: H.J.Res. 26, S. 619
- Monday, March 20, 2023: Remarks by President Biden and First Lady Jill Biden at Nowruz Reception
- Monday, March 20, 2023: Statement from CEA Chair Cecilia Rouse on the Economic Report of the President
- Monday, March 20, 2023: FACT SHEET: Biden-Harris Administration Provides Communities Resources to Bolster Resilience to Wildfires in Advance of 2023 Fire Season
- Monday, March 20, 2023: President Biden Announces Key Nominees
- Monday, March 20, 2023: A Proclamation on National Agriculture Day, 2023
- Sunday, March 19, 2023: Statement from NSC Spokesperson Adrienne Watson on Today’s Meeting in Sharm El Sheikh
- Sunday, March 19, 2023: Readout of President Joe Biden’s Call with Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu of Israel
- Friday, March 17, 2023: Remarks by President Biden Before Marine One Departure
- Friday, March 17, 2023: Remarks by President Biden and Taoiseach Leo Varadkar of Ireland at Shamrock Bowl Presentation
- Friday, March 17, 2023: Readout of the President’s National Infrastructure Advisory Council (NIAC) Quarterly Meeting
- Friday, March 17, 2023: Readout of National Security Advisor Sullivan, Secretary Austin and Chairman Milley Call with Ukrainian Counterparts
- Friday, March 17, 2023: Remarks by President Biden and Taoiseach Leo Varadkar of Ireland at the Annual Friends of Ireland Luncheon
- Friday, March 17, 2023: Remarks by President Biden and Taoiseach Leo Varadkar of Ireland Before Bilateral Meeting
- Friday, March 17, 2023: Readout of President Joe Biden’s Meeting with Taoiseach Leo Varadkar of Ireland
- Friday, March 17, 2023: Statement from National Security Advisor Jake Sullivan on the Announcement of Türkiye’s Intention to send Finland’s NATO Accession Protocols to Parliament
- Friday, March 17, 2023: Remarks by Vice President Harris And Taoiseach Leo Varadkar of Ireland Before St. Patrick’s Day Welcome Breakfast
👎 Out with the Bad, In with the Good 👍
👍 Pentagon to speed delivery of tanks to Ukraine Dan Lamothe Washington Post
The Pentagon, in a significant shift, said Tuesday that it will send M1 Abrams tanks to Ukraine by the fall, after facing scrutiny for initially saying it could take a year or two to procure the powerful weapons and get them to the battlefield.
The new plan calls for refurbishing tank hulls already in the U.S. arsenal, officials said. President Biden, under intensifying pressure from Ukrainian officials, agreed in January to pledge 31 M1 tanks as part of a long-term arrangement that afforded German leaders political cover so that they could approve the immediate provision of Leopard battle tanks.
👎 Have you been wondering what Manhattan District Attorney Alvin Bragg has been up to? Well, it turns out he’s been putting away other dangerous criminals, including ISIS recruiters. From the Manhattan DA Press Office
Manhattan District Attorney Alvin L. Bragg, Jr., and New York City Police Commissioner Keechant L. Sewell today announced the sentencing of TREVOR WILLIAM FORREST, a/k/a “SHAIKH ABDULLAH FAISAL,” a/k/a “SHAIKH FAISAL,” 59, for recruiting, soliciting, and inspiring students and followers to pledge allegiance to, travel to, join and commit acts of terrorism on behalf of the Islamic State, a/k/a “ISIS” or “ISIL.” Faisal is sentenced to 18 years in state prison.
“Shaikh Faisal’s advocacy, recruitment and provision of material support to ISIS helped the terrorist organization perform horrific acts, including the murder and kidnapping of innocent people,” said District Attorney Bragg. “Our Counter Terrorism Program worked alongside our NYPD partners to convict Faisal and secure today’s prison sentence. Tragically, Manhattan will continue to be a target for those who want to harm this country. Working with our federal and state law enforcement partners, our office stands at the ready to continue combatting terrorism.”
Yeah, tRump is a domestic terrorist, so hope we put him away next.
💣 Republicans: Party of Crimes and Chaos 💣
I don’t know who is going to win the R primary, but tRump is angry at DeSantis and is giving the Ds plenty of ammo:
The Rs (and the Russians) have spent a lot of time trying to divide us. But isn’t it great when they turn those tactics on themselves and divide themselves?
Tucker has a love? hate? relationship to tRump Justin Baragona The Daily Beast
Fox News star Tucker Carlson really wants his MAGA-loving viewers to forget that he said that he hates Donald Trump “passionately” and believes “there isn't really an upside” to the former president because he’s a “demonic force.”
Appearing on conservative radio host Bo Snerdley’s show on Monday, Carlson lamented over the fact that a slew of his private texts and emails surrounding the 2020 election were made public in the Dominion lawsuit. The voting software firm has accused Fox News of knowingly airing baseless election fraud claims to boost sagging ratings after disgruntled Trump supporters abandoned the channel following its election night call of Arizona for President Joe Biden.
So much fun to watch Tucker squirm!
Republican in Florida pleads guilty to fraud AP via Daily Kos
The former Florida lawmaker who sponsored the controversial law critics call “Don’t Say Gay” pleaded guilty Tuesday to committing $150,000 in COVID-19 relief fraud.
Joseph Harding, a 35-year-old Republican, pleaded guilty in Gainesville federal court to wire fraud, money laundering, and making false statements in connection with COVID-19 relief fraud, according to court records. He faces up to 35 years in prison at a hearing scheduled for July 25.
Harding resigned from the Florida House in December, a day after federal prosecutors announced his indictment.
He has been a “don’t say gay” guy, but if he’s in prison, he may see a lot more gay in the near future.
A rush on the documents case:
🚚 💙 Democrats Deliver 💙 🚚
Biden is taking on the MAGA Rs by explaining what they want. Here’s some of what their budget would mean for seniors:
The extreme MAGA Republican House Freedom Caucus proposals will:
- Make the Largest Medicare Benefit Cut in Decades. Extreme MAGA Republicans in the House have signed onto a bill to repeal the Inflation Reduction Act. That will eliminate access to $35 insulin for more than 3 million Medicare beneficiaries, eliminate the $2,000 out of pocket cap on prescription drugs for seniors, increase prices of prescription drugs for seniors, and eliminate free vaccines that are saving 3.4 million seniors on average $70 per year—all to give Big Pharma a bigger taxpayer handout.
- Worsen Social Security and Medicare Wait Times. Under the extreme MAGA Republican House Freedom Caucus proposal, people applying for disability benefits would have to wait at least two months longer for a decision. With fewer staff available, seniors would also be forced to endure longer wait times when they call for assistance for both Social Security and Medicare, and as many as 240 Social Security field offices could be forced to close or shorten the hours they are open to the public.
- Rob Seniors of Healthy Meals. The extreme MAGA Republican House Freedom Caucus proposal would take away nutrition services, such as Meals on Wheels, for more than 1 million seniors. For many of these seniors, these programs provide the only healthy meal they receive on any given day.
- Cuts Housing for Seniors. The extreme MAGA Republican House Freedom Caucus proposal would eliminate funding for Housing Choice Vouchers for as many as 100,000 households headed by seniors, putting seniors across the country at greater risk of homelessness.
There’s a great state senator in Nebraska! Filibustering EVERYTHING! Stephen Robinson Wonkette
Last month, Nebraska state Senator Machaela Cavanaugh declared that she'd filibuster every damn bill the Republican-controlled legislature put forward unless it pulled proposed legislation banning gender-affirming health care for transgender youth. Specifically, this anti-trans garbage would ban puberty blockers, gender-affirming surgeries, and hormone therapy.
Cavanaugh wasn't shy about her intentions. She said, "If people are like, 'Is she threatening us?' let me be clear: Yes, I am. I am threatening you." She added, "If this Legislature collectively decides that legislating hate against children is our priority, then I am going to make it painful; painful for everyone. Because if you want to inflict pain upon our children, I am going to inflict pain upon this body.”
Those are the badass lines from the trailer for the eventual movie starring Elizabeth Olsen.
The senator maintained her blanket filibuster for weeks, and the Legislature hasn't passed diddly squat all year. Cavanaugh told her colleagues last month, "I will burn this session to the ground over this bill. I have nothing but time, and I am going to use all of it."
Reading aloud what is banned in Florida:
Woke Biden’s woke veto saves woke capitalists! Doktor Zoom, Wonkette
As promised, Joe Biden did his first veto Monday, giving the boot to a GOP bill that would have prevented pension fund managers from considering environmental and social justice factors when they invest. The bill would have rolled back a Labor Department rule allowing such investments; that rule was itself a reversal of Donald Trump's ban on so-called "environmental, social, and corporate governance" (ESG) investing.
As we said when the bill passed in the Senate, it's pretty much a quadruple negative, since Biden vetoed a rollback of a reversal of a ban. And that's a positive!
The bill was part of what Republicans claim is an absolutely vital movement to ban "woke" investing, because if fund managers consider anything but the highest short-term gains, that's supposedly a betrayal of their fiduciary duty to investors.
In reality, of course, it's less about "wokeness" than about protecting fossil fuel companies from disinvestment. You see, kids, money is free speech when corporations are making political contributions, or lobbying Republicans to ban ESG investing. But don't you dare use your money-speech to try to make the world a better place — or even protect your investment in the longer term — by choosing to invest in green companies instead of fossil fuels, because screw your free speech money, commies.
💜 Unity? 💜
💉 Warnock insulin bill goes bipartisan Peter Sullivan, Axios
Sen. Raphael Warnock on Thursday introduced a bill to cap insulin costs at $35 per month, but with an important addition: GOP Sen. John Kennedy is now cosponsoring.
Why it matters: The GOP sponsor could give a boost to Warnock's effort, which he pushed last year as well.
- Democrats were able to cap monthly costs at $35 per person on Medicare last year. This bill would extend the protection to people on private insurance and the uninsured.
Between the lines: Kennedy's support is not a complete surprise, given that he was one of seven GOP senators to vote for the effort last year during the IRA debate.
Yeah, lots of Republicans have diabetes too. Gosh, I like Warnock more and more.
The media world all got ready for indictments this week, that did not happen (though Friday is not over). Mostly they wrung their hands about protests (which also mostly did not happen). They need to get ready for dancing and happiness. How will you celebrate?
Speculation as to what’s taking so long Shan Wu The Daily Beast
Starting with the mundane, Bragg’s office might just need some time to draft and finalize the indictment against Trump to be presented to the grand jury. Once it is presented, then the grand jury votes on the indictment. Only after that vote – typically by a majority – does the prosecutor formally take the next step of starting the criminal case by arraigning the defendant in court. It is at that time Trump would be “booked”—meaning fingerprinted and photographed.
A more substantive reason for the pause could be that prosecutors are deciding whether they need to put more witnesses into the grand jury. These could range from people like former Trump Organization Chief Financial Officer Alan Weisselberg, who could provide the foundation for tying the expected falsifying business records to other charges, such as financial crimes, that the falsification may have been intended to cover up. Prosecutors might also want actress Stormy Daniels to give testimony as well about the circumstances of her being paid the hush-money and possibly even the facts of her affair with Trump. It is also possible that prosecutors want to put Michael Cohen – Trump’s former “fixer” attorney and a key prosecution witness – back in for more testimony to rebut the testimony on Monday from Robert Costello, for which they may need to prepare for with further interviews of Cohen. ✂️
The least likely reason for any pause by the grand jury is that Bragg’s office is reconsidering the strength of its case after Costello testified. This seems unlikely given how frustrated Costello seemed to be with his ineffectiveness before the grand jury. ✂️
Speaking of legal ethics, one last tantalizing possibility is that Bragg’s team needs some time to work on a motion to disqualify Trump’s criminal defense attorney—Joseph Tacopina—from further representation of Trump in the case, based upon Tacopina’s prior advising and representation of Stormy Daniels. From public reporting, Tacopina had confidential communications with Daniels when she sought to potentially hire him about the Trump hush-money matter. Those communications have now been turned over to DA Bragg’s office by Daniel’s current attorney and could serve as the basis for seeking to disqualify Tocapina.
📥 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 😈
More turmoil at FOX
Wouldn’t it be great if FOX started losing staff?
More Jan 6 criminals found guilty:
Apparently the tRump laweyers don’t think he has a good case:
📣 Let’s Honor Truth ☀️️
Sometimes truth requires a split-second decision. Here’s one:
🌹 Let’s Celebrate Love ❤️
⚾️ Sportsmanship! (You may have seen this yesterday, too, but it’s worth watching again)
Doing good for others helps keep you young!
Note I would not characterize him as a Holocaust survivor, because his family fled Germany well before the Holocaust. Still traumatic, of course, but not the same. But that is Goodable’s fault, not this guy’s fault.
📎Odds & Ends 📎
☀️ 🚋 Switzerland to put solar panels between the tracks! Andy Corbley, Good News Network
Europe’s love of train travel is about to transform the continent’s solar energy production as the Swiss are set to begin installing solar panels in between train tracks.
The startup called Sun-Ways is waiting for a sign-off from the Federal Office of Transport to start installing their panels between the tracks near Buttes Station in the west of the country.
With the Swiss national railway network stretching beyond 2,000 miles of track, estimates place the amount of power generation at potentially beyond 1 terawatt hour or 2% of the entire gross annual consumption. ✂️
Sun-Ways’ invention uses a specialized train car to lay down solar panels as if it were unrolling a carpet to save on labor costs.
It’s kind of fun to watch DeSantis and tRump lob insults. But remember, Biden has stood up to putin. DeSantis has stood up to Mickey Mouse — and has lost.
Why Americans should eat lentils every day Michael J. Coren Washington Post
Lentils conceal their superpowers with a dowdy exterior. Pound for pound, raw lentils have more protein than steak. While not as protein-dense once cooked, they pack even more iron than meat, in addition to other vitamins and minerals. ✂️
And unlike red meats, particularly those that have been processed, lentils have none of the saturated fats and additives that raise the risks of cancer and heart disease. They also contain iron, zinc, magnesium, potassium and vitamin B, as well as most of the essential amino acids. ✂️
What’s good for you is also good for the land. America’s most popular crops, like wheat and corn, often degrade the soil over time. Legumes like lentils rebuild it.
That’s what happened on Mader’s family farm, which grows crops under the Palouse Brand name. For 125 years, the family has farmed the rich soil of Washington state’s eastern flank, which has sediment deposited there after the last ice age. But after a century of cultivation, the region’s fertility was eroding fast. So in the 1930s, Mader’s family tried something different. They rotated chickpeas, peas and lentils into their wheat fields. By the 1980s, they also adopted no-till farming, leaving organic matter on the surface instead of plowing it.
Pulses — chickpeas, peas, many different types of beans — are similar to lentils. And the really easy way to cook them is to take a jar of pasta sauce (with or without meat) and mix with a can of your favorite beans. Add a little red wine, a few veggies, and you’ve got a main meal with only a few minutes of effort.
A wild river national park in Europe!
Just so sweet!
🐦 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 sequels, Scavengers of Mind and the brand-new Familiars of the Flock (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.