What’s Good, July 23 to August 5
Note: The Good News will be on vacation until mid-September, although it may surface for a brief installment in late August. In the meantime, enjoy your summer and keep up the good fight. The struggle continues!
Good News from The Swamp
- Ivanka Trump announced that she is shutting down her eponymous (and conflict-of-interest-riddled) fashion brand.
- Facing bipartisan backlash, Trump postponed his proposed invitation to Vladimir Putin to visit the White House until 2019.
- Acting EPA Administrator Andrew Wheeler canceled one of the final regulatory actions taken by cartoon villain and former EPA administrator Scott Pruitt, which would have allowed diesel truck manufacturers to ignore Obama-era emissions limitations.
- The far-right Freedom Caucus filed articles of impeachment against Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein but then withdrew them after GOP leadership made clear that they had no intention of pursuing impeachment.
Good News from far and wide
- A Quinnipiac poll of US voters found Trump’s approval rating to be underwater by 20%, with 38% Approval versus 58% Disapproval. A 51%-to-35% margin of the poll’s respondents also believe that the Russian government has compromising info on Trump.
- Pope Francis declared that the death penalty is immoral in all cases.
- Massachusetts Governor Charlie Baker signed the Negating Archaic Statutes Targeting Young Women Act (yes, that’s “NASTY Women Act”), repealing a number of archaic laws relating to reproductive health and freedom.
- The Seattle City Council unanimously approved a “domestic workers’ bill of rights” for nannies, house cleaners, landscapers, etc. that guarantees proper rest, meal breaks, and minimum wage.
- An analysis of federal Bureau of Justice Statistics data showed that recidivism among released state inmates decreased by nearly 25% over a recent seven-year period.
- Global sportswear megabrand Adidas announced a commitment to using only recycled plastics by 2024.
Good News from the courts
- A federal judge ruled that the largest of six lawsuits against a proposed citizenship question on the 2020 census can move forward, as the plaintiffs “plausibly allege that the decision to reinstate the citizenship question was motivated at least in part by discriminatory animus and will result in a discriminatory effect.”
- It probably did not help the citizenship question’s defense that Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross left a paper trail showing that he lied to Congress regarding his role in the question’s addition.
- A federal judge denied a Department of Justice request to dismiss an emoluments case against President Trump.
- A federal judge struck down a Florida law barring early voting sites on college and university campuses as unconstitutional.
- A federal judge issued a last-minute injunction blocking the public distribution of blueprints for undetectable, untraceable 3D-printed plastic guns.
- A appeals court judge ruled that Trump’s executive order threatening to withhold funding from sanctuary cities is unconstitutional.
- A federal judge upheld a previous order that the DACA program should be fully restored, and set a 20-day deadline for the administration to do so.
- Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg said she hopes to stay on the Supreme Court at least 5 more years and has already hired law clerks for at least two more terms.
Bad News for racists
- The City of Orlando approved a policy prohibiting city employees, including police officers, from asking an otherwise law-abiding person’s immigration status.
- The City of Philadelphia is terminating its long-running contract with ICE.
Bad News for Faux News
- After the White House barred CNN reporter Kaitlan Collins from covering a meeting between Trump and European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker, members of the press rallied to criticize the White House and defend Collins, including even major Fox News figures like anchor Bret Baier and president Jay Wallace.
- Trump threw a tantrum during his recent overseas trip when First Lady Melania Trump’s television was tuned to CNN instead of Fox News. Ms. Trump’s spokeswoman subsequently issued a statement that Ms. Trump will watch “any channel she wants”.
- The White House has also made arrangements for “the president and first lady [to] watch TV in their separate hotel rooms when they travel”. Read into that what you will.
- InfoWars founder and conspiracymongering human stain Alex Jones was penalized by multiple social media platforms for violating their hate speech policies: YouTube deleted four of Jones’ videos and issued a “strike” against him that bars him from livestreaming content for three months AND THEN Facebook removed four of Jones’ videos and banned Jones’ personal account for 30 days AND THEN Spotify removed several Infowars podcast episodes.
- Erstwhile Fox News host Kimberly Guilfoyle was revealed to have been forced out at Fox over allegations of sexual misconduct and emotionally abusive behavior, such as “showing personal photographs of male genitalia to colleagues”.
- It is a fluke coincidence or is it divine happenstance that a person of such high moral fiber happens to be dating Donald Trump Jr.?
And lastly, some chaser shots of 150-proof Neener Neener and random acts of kindness to make the Good News go down smoother
- Good help is hard to find: Four members of the Department of Homeland Security Advisory Council resigned with much public ado in protest of DHS’s “morally repugnant, counter-productive and ill-considered” family separation policy.
- Swamp-on-Swamp violence: Trump legal adviser Rudy Giuliani isn’t making many friends in the White House: Chief of Staff John Kelly “[has] been trying to get rid of Rudy for two months” and Counsel Don McGahn “hates Rudy with [the] intensity of 1,000 burning suns.” Meanwhile, conservative mega-donors Charles and David Koch received a heaping helping of Trump tweety burns and RNC nastiness after the Koch’s dark money cabal Americans for Prosperity announced it would not support a Republican Senate candidate in North Dakota.
- A Georgia state representative who dropped his pants and used a racial slur during a televised “interview” (in reality, a comedy sting operation performed by comedian Sacha Baron Cohen) resigned.
- A pickax-wielding man demolished Donald Trump’s star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame, turned himself in at a Beverly Hills police station, and was then released when his $20,000 bail was posted by… the person who destroyed the previous version of the same star two years ago.
- Vandals untied one of Secretary of Education Betsy DeVos’s many yachts from its mooring in Ohio, causing it to drift into a dock and sustain $10,000 in damage.
- A preposterous op-ed published by Forbes arguing that public libraries should be replaced by Amazon storefronts was deleted.
- A Mexican Dominican convent is hosting a thriving colony of endangered salamanders, likely preventing the species’ extinction.
- Read this open letter to NFL owners by Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, in which the 6-time NBA champion, 19-time NBA All Star, and all-time NBA leading scorer and game-winner mercilessly criticizes the “shameful moral weakness and the opposite of patriotism” demonstrated by the NFL’s (currently suspended) policy of punishing players who protest during the national anthem.
- And lastly, enjoy this story about a Minnesota duck who is serving as a combination of mother, foster mother, and babysitter to a brood of over 70 ducklings.
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