What’s Good, June 25 to July 8
Good News from The Swamp
- The Scott Pruitt Dumpster Fire finally consumed Scott Pruitt, who resigned as administrator of the EPA.
- Reminder 1: Pruitt is still the subject of over a dozen separate federal investigations, so getcha popcorn ready.
- Reminder 2: Pruitt will probably be replaced by former coal lobbyist Andrew Wheeler, who is just as ideological as Pruitt but is unlikely to be as buffoonish or corrupt, so remain vigilant.
- Contradicting the parallel House committee’s findings, the Senate Intelligence Committee “sees no reason to dispute the conclusions” of the US intelligence community that “Putin and the Russian Government developed a clear preference for Trump” and carried out an “influence campaign… approved by President Putin” to sway the 2016 presidential election.
Good News from far and wide
- Four Indivisible-endorsed House candidates won their Democratic primaries in New York. Most notably, in New York’s 14th District, 28-year-old Democratic Socialist Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez ousted ten-term incumbent Rep. Joe Crowley, who had been considered one of the leading contenders for the speakership when Democrats retake the House.
- Massachusetts joined 16 other states and Washington DC in suing the Trump administration over its “zero-tolerance” family separation policy, including its failure to reunite parents and children who have already been separated.
- Massachusetts Governor Charlie Baker signed the legislature’s “grand bargain” bill, which will increase the minimum wage to $15 per hour over the next five years, create a new paid family and medical leave program, and mandate a permanent annual sales tax holiday.
- A US attempt to bully the World Health Organization into dropping a resolution encouraging breastfeeding was defeated, thanks to intervention by that world-renowned champion of human rights, Russia.
Good News from the courts
- A federal judge issued an injunction against the Trump administration’s policy of splitting of migrant families at the border and subsequently refused to ease the court-imposed deadlines for reuniting already-separated families.
- A federal judge ordered the Trump administration to provide details on its decision to add a citizenship question to the 2020 census, citing “strong” evidence the question represents a bad-faith action by the administration.
- A federal judge struck down Kentucky’s recently enacted Medicaid work requirements as “arbitrary and capricious.”
- A federal judge ruled that Tennessee’s policy of revoking the driver’s licenses of people who can’t pay court costs is unconstitutional.
Bad News for racists
- Hundreds of thousands of protesters gathered at dozens of major cities and small towns across America on June 30 for nonviolent protests against Trump’s “zero-tolerance” immigration and family separation policy.
- A week after their Totally Xenophobic hardline immigration restriction bill failed, the GOP’s Only Mostly Xenophobic alternative billed failed even more spectacularly, 121 to 301. The bill received zero Democratic Ayes and only nine more Republican Ayes than Republican Noes.
- Laura Ingraham’s Fox News show shed more advertising revenue as its second-largest sponsor pulled ads for HomeAdvisor and Angie’s List from the show after Ingraham compared migrant detention centers to “summer camps” and “boarding schools.”
- A San Francisco woman who was caught on video threatening to call police on an 8-year-old black girl was ousted from the company she founded.
- The suspect in the August 2017 Charlottesville, Virginia car attack that killed one protester and injured dozens more was indicted on 30 federal charges, including hate crimes, in addition to first-degree murder and other state-level charges.
- Alt-Right frontman Richard Spencer’s latest tour was derailed when the Polish government denied his attempt to fly to Sweden and told him to return to the US.
And lastly, a few chaser shots of 150-proof Neener Neener and frivolity to make the Good News go down smoother
- Good help is hard to find: to fill a communications staff vacancy, Trump had to resort to hiring Bill Shine, a former Fox News executive who was forced out at Fox over his (mis)handling of sexual harassment claims against Bill O’Reilly and others.
- Baseball Hall of Famer and longtime home run king Hank Aaron voiced his support for athletes who publicly protest injustice and demand progress: “We didn’t get to where we are today because we kept our mouth closed or scratched our head and sat and didn’t do anything.” Aaron also supported the trend among current championship teams to skip the traditional visit to the White House: “Go to the White House? You mean pass by it?… there’s nobody there I want to see.”
- Republican incompetence is causing collateral damage among some of their most steadfast allies: In an unexpected side effect of the GOP Tax Scam, churches are suddenly finding themselves having to pay taxes (the horror!) on some types of employee benefits.
- Attorney General Jeff Sessions has been accused of child abuse, immorality, and racial discrimination “antithetical to the teachings of Christ” by his own church over his role in the administration’s immigration and family separation policy.
- London Mayor Sadiq Khan granted approval to protesters planning to fly a giant diaper-wearing “Trump Baby” balloon near the UK Parliament building during Trump’s upcoming visit to London.
- A 98-year-old African American veteran finally received his officer’s commission that he earned in 1942 but was denied for 75 years due to racial bias.
- And lastly, enjoy this tale of a bear that took a dip in a California couple’s hot tub, drank one of their margaritas, and then passed out in one of their backyard trees to nap it off.
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