What’s Good, March 25 to April 7
Good News from the ballot box
- In a special election for a vacant Wisconsin Supreme Court seat, liberal candidate Rebecca Dallet crushed her conservative opponent Michael Screnock by a double-digit margin, cutting the court’s conservative majority to 4-3.
Good News from the courts
- A federal judge rejected Trump’s request to dismiss a lawsuit accusing him of violating the emoluments clause of the Constitution; another federal judge rejected Trump’s request to dismiss a lawsuit challenging Trump’s plan to end DACA.
- 17 states (and counting) have filed lawsuits against the Department of Commerce over its plan to add a citizenship status question to the 2020 Census.
- Infamous neo-Nazi troll marshal Andrew Anglin‘s latest attempt to evade a federal lawsuit was rejected.
Good News from The Swamp
- Republican Representative Ryan Costello (PA-06), whose safely gerrymandered district was replaced by a competitive one in the recent Pennsylvania State Supreme Court redistricting, announced that he will take his toys and go home when his current term ends this fall.
- Bonus! The timing of Costello’s withdrawal leaves the GOP in a serious lurch in terms of finding a replacement candidate.
- Republican Representative Blake Farenthold (TX-27) unexpectedly resigned.
- Attorney General Jeff Sessions rejected Republican demands to appoint a second Special Counsel to investigate Republican political accusations against the FBI.
- The Department of the Interior backed off on a proposal to hike entry fees at national parks.
- President Trump inadvertently admitted that his nondisclosure agreement with Stormy Daniels is probably invalid and may have implicated his personal attorney in fraud, defamation, and illegal campaign activity– all in the same breath.
Good News from America’s statehouses
- Wisconsin Governorweasel Scott Walker decided not to appeal a court ruling that enforces Wisconsin voters’ state constitutional rights to electoral representation. Walker had been trying to avoid holding special elections for two state legislature vacancies that stand a good chance of flipping from red to blue.
- The Pennsylvania GOP House majority leader indicated he will not proceed with his party’s plan to impeach the Democratic justices of the State Supreme Court.
- Washington State Governor Jay Inslee signed a bill banning the use of conversion therapy on LGBTQ-identifying minors and another bill requiring all insurance plans that cover maternity care to also cover abortion and all FDA-approved contraceptives.
- A Georgia state bill that would have screwed Democrat-leaning voters by restricting early voting to only one Sunday before an election and forcing polls in the city of Atlanta to close an hour earlier failed to pass.
- Utah (!) Governor Gary Herbert signed legislation expanding Medicaid (!!) through the Affordable Care Act (!!!). The expansion is expected to cover 70,000 additional Utahns.
Good News from far and wide
- Public school teachers throughout the Red States of America expanded their resistance against austerity politics:
- In Oklahoma, teachers walked out over funding- and salary-related grievances.
- In Kentucky, teachers no-showed to protest pension cuts.
- In both states, teachers rallied at their state capitols to pressure lawmakers.
- In Arizona, teacher strike rumblings have begun as well.
- The neo-Confederate hate group League of the South signed a legally binding agreement forbidding them from assembling en masse with weapons in Charlottesville, VA ever again.
- Planned Parenthood of Greater Texas received a $9 million gift from an unnamed Texas donor to fund new clinics in West Texas.
- One of the two Baton Rouge police officers responsible for the killing of Alton Brown last year was fired.
- A Florida middle-school social studies teacher who was recently exposed as the host of a white nationalist podcast resigned.
- An Army veteran who was deported to Mexico 14 years ago has been granted US citizenship.
Bad News for Faux News
- Eighteen major advertisers (and counting) have dropped Laura Ingraham’s Fox News show after she mocked Parkland survivor and activist David Hogg on Twitter for being rejected by four colleges he had applied to.
- A federal judge in New York rejected a motion by former Fox News host Bill O’Reilly to seal several harassment-related settlement agreements between O’Reilly and his accusers.
- MSNBC’s Rachel Maddow overtook Fox News’ Sean Hannity as March’s most-watched cable news host.
- A Wisconsin news station owned by Trump propagandists Sinclair Media refused to air Sinclair’s recent notorious “must-run” propaganda segment about “false news” from competitor stations. A producer at another Sinclair-owned station in Nebraska resigned in protest over Sinclair’s “obvious bias”.
Bad News for NRA & Friends
- Voter registration activists signed up thousands of first-time voters at March For Our Lives events across the country. Take one guess at what issue might be motivating these first-time voters.
- An Illinois town passed a municipal ordinance banning assault weapons and imposing a $1,000-per-day fine for violations.
- The last hospitalized student victim of the Parkland shooting has been discharged from the hospital.
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 tweet-sacked Veterans Affairs Secretary David Shulkin AND THEN, having run all his real lawyers out of town on a rail, hired a medieval historian as his new lead counsel in the Special Counsel’s Russia investigation AND THEN appointed his former golf caddy as his acting communications director.
- Good help is especially hard to find in Scott Pruitt’s EPA: White House Chief of Staff John Kelly chewed out Pruitt for being a corrupt POS AND THEN one of Pruitt’s top advisers resigned AND THEN a report surfaced that the source of the damaging info leading to said adviser’s resignation was a sacked former White House aide out for revenge.
- Trump confidant Roger Stone called former Trump aide Sam Nunberg, who mere weeks ago had referred to Stone as his mentor, a “lying asshole” and a “psycho”.
- A Wisconsin GOP state representative made a spectacular ass out of himself in a manner that will cost the state’s taxpayers $30,000. The story is too preposterous to summarize in a believable fashion; you’ll have to read it yourself.
- Apropos of nothing, read this awesome story about what happened to a Brooklyn woman after her bike was stolen, and/or watch this video of a 37-year-old Boston man in drag as Frozen‘s Queen Elsa pushing a police van clear of a snowdrift.