Your Weekly Dose of Sanity-Saving Good News! – The “Holding Hands” Edition

As soon as I read this story…I knew that I wasn’t alone in thinking how inspirational this was. Alison & Stephanie connected it to this amazing essay from Rebecca Solnit comparing the conservative ideology of isolation to the reality of our communion with each other and the world:
“The modern right may wish that every man were an island, entire of himself, but no one is wholly independent. You can’t survive without taking air into your lungs, you didn’t give birth to or raise yourself, you won’t bury yourself, and in between you won’t produce most of the goods and services you depend on to live. Your gut is full of microorganisms, without which you could not digest all the plants and animals, likely grown by other people, on which you rely to survive. We are nodes on intricate systems, synapses snapping on a great collective brain; we are in it together, for better or worse.” 

So in honor of these awesome people who held hands to help strangers, let’s start with news from states where aid and respect was extended to others…

Good News from States!

Oregon:  This state is on fire! (No, not literally, don’t worry.)
– Insurers are now required to cover free reproductive health services, regardless of patients’ income, citizenship status, or gender identity, thanks to Pro-Choice Coalition of Oregon
– Employers must now give their employees give their employees advance notice of their work schedules and at least ten hours of rest between shifts, thanks to Oregon’s Working Families Party
– Low-level drug offenders treatment instead of jail time.

Florida: Hollywood, Florida city commissioners voted to rename streets originally named after Confederate generals, including a KKK leader thanks to local organizers.

Virginia: The KKK rally didn’t go exactly as they had hoped. Bravo, protesters!

Washington: A couple of great stories…
– An transgender discrimination initiative failed to get enough signatures to be included on the November with help from No on I-1552 Coalition.
– They became the fifth state in the country to get guaranteed paid family leave. This follows getting paid sick leave—we love this timeline of victories. #progress!

Utah: A Utah judge ruled that the state’s “ag-gag” rule making reporting on slaughterhouse condition illegal was unconstitutional.

Minnesota: Minneapolis votes in Fight for $15.

Ohio: People in a small Ohio city spoke out, and their city council voted to expand protections for LGBTQ people.

California: a couple of stories…
– Someone learns a lesson.
– The state bans state-funded travel to Texas for LGBT adoption discrimination.

Hawaii: Hawaii passed a law providing financial assistance to caregivers who also work, so they can keep their jobs and still care for their loved ones, with thanks to these two great activist groups.

Nevada: Legalizing recreational marijuana has been a big hit.

Michigan: Taking down Citizens United in 1,000 tiny pieces. Go, Michigan!

Good News for the Environment!

Trump’s nominee for Navy secretary, Richard V. Spencer, says he is aware of the threat posed by climate change. Let’s tell our Senators that we support the confirmation of Richard V. Spencer for Navy Secretary.

The UN has given us this: The Lazy Person’s Guide to Saving the World, to find small ways we can help the environment as individuals

With support from Lancaster Against Pipelines, nuns set up an open-air chapel in the path of a proposed pipeline, to halt its construction.

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Chicago and 13 other US cities post deleted EPA climate science data.

13 young Minnesotans oppose a pipeline expansion.

NE ranchers plan to protest pipeline by installing solar panels in its path.

NY town decommissions a plant while making both workers and environmentalists happy.

A PA town is fighting against toxic fracking water.

Court blocks the suspension of EPA methane rule.

A second pack of gray wolves are spotted in northern CA (cute pup alert!).
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Internationally,  Ireland becomes the fourth European country to ban fracking.

CA Governor  Brown convenes an environmental summit in the absence of federal leadership.

Great news about nuclear weapons. Yes, really.

In a vote of 122 to 1, the U.N. voted to ban nuclear weapons for the first time. Of course, none of the nine countries with nuclear weapons, including the U.S., voted at all, but this interview explains why the vote is a meaningful victory for the future, even without nuclear powers’ current adoption.

Election issue wins!

 Trump’s voter fraud commission gives up amidst lawsuits, but not before they doxxed critics of their plan.

Election wins!

Democrats scored two big wins in special elections for the Oklahoma state legislature on Tuesday, flipping a state House and a state Senate seat.

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Democrats scored a big special election victory Tuesday as retired school teacher Karen Gaddis won an east Tulsa County House seat for State House District 75 that has been in Republican hands since the early 1990s. The seat came open in February when Republican Dan Kirby resigned after being accused of having improper relationships with two female employees. The final vote tally was 1072 to 977.  Every action counts. Every vote counts.

imrs-1.phpAlso Tuesday night, Democrats picked up a state Senate seat as attorney Michael Brooks defeated former House of Representatives employee Joe Griffin to win Senate District 44 in the Oklahoma City metro area. That seat opened up as the result of another sex scandal, this one involving Sen. Ralph Shortey.

Tony the Democrat is running another postcard Get Out the Vote campaign to help protect a state Senate seat in New Hampshire. We can sign up and get more details here: http://mailchi.mp/ind-d6/new-postcard-campaign-in-new-hampshire

Great news about Social Security, no matter what the GOP says!

Despite the Republican’s dire warnings, the annual report of the Social Security board of Trustees shows that Social Security has a large surplus―$2.8 trillion today, rising to about $2.9 trillion by 2019, according to Social Security Works. The Center on Budget & Policy Priorities points out that repealing and replacing the ACA would speed the depletion of the Medicare trust fund and challenges the instability of SSDI spending claimed by Mick Mulvaney, OBM director.

Immigration good news

Federal judge grants banned grandparents admission to the US. For now.

The US House of Reps rejects an Islamophobic bill.

Judge requires court hearings before immigrant minors can be detained.

Political Good News

Mueller’s team now has over 25 people and a new, more secure office.

18 states to sue Betsy DeVos over neglecting student loan protections.

Healthcare Good News

AARP, American Heart Association, and 11 other orgs oppose Senate healthcare bill.

Even health insurance companies come out against the bill.

Poll: ACA is still more popular than Republican alternatives.

Thanks to you, Senate Repubs are changing their tune about pre-existing conditions.

Democrats offer a bill with ACA improvements as a bridge to single payer.

Indiana’s efforts to collect “Obamacare horror stories” fails. Miserably.

Republicans hear from voters (you!) about health care during July 4th recess.

School leaders in Kentucky let McConnell know what they think of the healthcare bill.

Ted Cruz gets an earful about healthcare from constituents on July 4th.

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OH governor criticizes efforts to buy off moderates with “anemic” opioid funds.

A Mexico-US team makes prostheses to give low-income folks a new life.

Good News for Women

Women’s March organizers will march again to protest disturbing NRA ad and gun violence.

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Afghan robotics team will compete in competition.

10-year cervical cancer rates halved by vaccine, saving hundreds of thousands of lives.

 House women protest restrictive dress codes with bare arms.

Support this campaign to raise awareness about the violence female politicians endure.

Media Good news

7.5 million FCC comments logged in opposition to changing net neutrality rules.

“Disclose every contact.” Even Trey Gowdy has had it with the president’s team.

Worse-than-FOX Sinclair Broadcast Group in a harsh spotlight.

Silly things…

A little video game to waste 2 minutes of your Sunday.

A couple uses humor to protest protesters.

Let’s finish this week with a little more Rebecca…

(essay )”What keeps the ideology of isolation going is going to extremes. If you begin by denying social and ecological systems, then you end in denying the reality of facts, which are after all part of a network of systematic relationships between language, physical reality, and the record, regulated by the rules of evidence, truth, grammar, word meaning, and so forth. You deny the relationship between cause and effect, evidence and conclusion, or rather you imagine both as products on the free market, which one can produce and consume according to one’s preferences. You deregulate meaning.

Absolute freedom means you can have any truth that you like, and isolation’s ideologues like truths that keep free-market fundamentalism going. You can be like that unnamed senior adviser (probably Karl Rove), who in a mad moment of Bush-era triumphalism told Ron Suskind, “We’re an empire now, and when we act, we create our own reality.” Reality, in this worldview, is a product subject to market rules or military rules, and if you are dominant in the marketplace or rule the empire, your reality can push aside the other options. “Freedom” is just another word for nothing left to limit your options. And this is how the ideology of isolation becomes nihilism, trying to kill the planet and most living things on it with the confidence born of total disconnection.”

and a link to learn how to fight this…

This Week in Resistance – “Collusion isn’t illegal” Edition

Maybe, some Sunday, you’ll be in this column…

(Thanks to all the sources of these stories…Rogan’s List, Jen Hofmann, Alison and Stephanie, all the journalists who keep going in the face of criticism, and threats, both verbal and physical.)

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