What’s Good, October 1 to October 21
Editor’s note: the Good News will be going on hiatus after this installment so that the guilty parties can focus their efforts on helping build the Blue Wave on November 6. We’ll see you on the other side of Election Day– hopefully with plenty of Good News to share!
Good News for the Blue Wave
- Beto O’Rourke raised a record $38.1 million in the third quarter of 2018 for his campaign to unseat the odious Senator Ted Cruz (R-TX). For comparison, that’s more than three times what Cruz raised, and several million dollars more than Jeb! Bush raised in his entire 2016 presidential campaign.
- A Washington Post-ABC News poll found that voter enthusiasm is up among all groups in comparison to in 2014, but that the increase is greatest among young people, minorities, and Democrats.
- College-educated suburban white women, formerly a reliable Republican vote bloc, are increasingly fleeing the GOP since Trump’s election and are more politically engaged than ever.
- Voter registrations spiked after superstar singer/songwriter Taylor Swift encouraged her 112 million Instagram followers to vote in the upcoming elections. Commenting specifically on races in her home state of Tennessee, Swift stated that she would be supporting Democratic candidates and that the voting record of Republican Senate candidate Marsha Blackburn “appalls and terrifies me”.
- A Daily Kos appeal on behalf of an organization providing voter IDs for Native Americans in North Dakota aimed to raise $100,000 but instead raised over $500,000 (and still counting).
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- Billionaire former NYC mayor Michael Bloomberg contributed $20 million to the Democrats’ Senate Majority PAC in support of Democrats’ attempt to flip the Senate, on top of another $80 million he previously pledged toward Democratic congressional candidates earlier this year.
- Alaska Governor Bill Walker, an independent, dropped his reelection campaign and endorsed Democrat Mark Begich, cutting the race from three active candidates to two and significantly improving the chance that anyone other than the Republican will win.
- The Republican Governors Association appears to have given up on the governors’ races in Pennsylvania and Minnesota and is making no more investments in those states.
Good News from the courts
- A federal judge blocked the Trump administration from ending the Temporary Protected Status program for over 300,000 migrants from Haiti, El Salvador, Honduras, and Sudan.
- A federal judge upheld President Obama’s creation of the massive Northeast Canyons and Seamounts Marine National Monument off the New England coast against a claim by fishermen arguing that the monument’s protections harm their business.
Good News from America’s state houses
- California became the first state to require corporations to include women on their board of directors. Every publicly traded corporation headquartered in California must have at least one woman on their board by the end of 2019, and companies with six or more members on their board will be required to have at least three women by the end of 2021.
- California and Vermont enacted state-level Net Neutrality laws, enraging Big Telecom and the Department of Justice.
Good News from far and wide
- E-commerce behemoth Amazon declared that it will raise its US minimum wage to $15 an hour, more than double the federal minimum of $7.25. The new rate will go into effect on November 1, covering all full-time, part-time, temporary and seasonal Amazon employees in the US. Other retailer rivals like Walmart, Target, and Costco have either taken similar measures recently or are planning to do so soon.
- The war on dirty palm oil scored two significant victories as Indofood, a major Indonesian palm oil company long accused of human rights violations and ecologically destructive practices, was dropped by PepsiCo and Nestlé.
- Women won the Nobel prizes in Physics and Chemistry for the third time and fifth time in the 117 years of the prizes’ history, respectively.
Bad News for racists
- Chicago police Officer Jason Van Dyke was found guilty of second-degree murder and 16 counts of aggravated battery with a firearm in the 2014 shooting of 17-year-old Laquan McDonald.
- Four California members of a white supremacist group were arrested on federal charges of rioting relating to their participation in the 2017 Charlottesville “Unite the Right” rally; each faces up to 10 years in prison if convicted.
Bad News for Faux News
- USA Today performed a public fact-check on itself after publishing an op-ed “written” by President Trump attacking Democrats over healthcare, admitting that the Trump op-ed contained “sweeping, unsupported attacks” and “false claims… without evidence”.
And lastly, a few 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: Trump’s UN Ambassador Nikki Haley announced her plans to leave her position by the end of the year.
- Tesla CEO Elon Musk contributed half a million dollars to install new water fountains with state-of-the-art filtration systems in all of Flint, Michigan’s schools by the end of January 2019.
- Belgian voters elected the first black mayor in the nation’s history on Sunday, a Congolese refugee who was elected by an overwhelmingly white community.
- And lastly, enjoy this endorsement of Beto O’Rourke by the Houston Chronicle, which had endorsed Ted Cruz in 2012, “not only because of [O’Rourke’s] skills, both personal and political, but also because of the manifest inadequacies of the man he would replace.” Among Cruz’s myriad other deficiencies, the Chronicle notes that “His repellent personality hamstrings his ability to do the job.”
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