Sanity-Saving Good News -“Thanksgiving” Edition

Happy Thanksgiving!

Hello everyone! We’ve made it the  first Thanksgiving in the age of Trump. Thanks to all of you who’ve been working hard to protect our citizens, our immigrants, our students, our environment, and our civil rights from those who stand to gain by harming us.

Welcome to those who’ve just started on this seemingly endless battlefield. You will meet some of the most amazing people and friends amongst your new comrades-in-arms.

For today, we’re gathering as much good news and useful things together to make your day better, even if that uncle that makes everyone crazy comes…

If fact…ESPECIALLY if that uncle comes. If he want to talk about taxes, send him here. If he wants to denigrate fellow Americans for their religion, their race, or their relationship preferences, the Women’s March has put together a conversational toolkit called “Daring Discussions“. “The stakes are too high to remain silent in the face of bigotry and injustice.” It’s up to us to be willing to confront current injustices, as well as acknowledging historical ones, like the violence inflicted on indigenous peoples and recognize that Thanksgiving is a day of mourning for many of our indigenous citizens.

So, let’s start by putting aside childish things…Like the fairy tale of Thanksgiving itself.

In related news, the Morongo Band of Mission Indians have distributed 10,000 turkeys as part of their 32 year long Thanksgiving Outreach Program.

The kids are alright!

Then let’s watch and read about a girl who stands up to a powerful adult. So impressed! She asks him if he will follow the direction of his constituents and pass a clean dream act…

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Congressman Dan Donovan: I support the president’s desire to secure our nation. About a month ago, about nine people died in the back of a van that was brought across our country because they weren’t given any water or air conditioning in that van. And my belief is that if that van had been stopped at the border maybe–I’m not sure when those poor people died–but maybe those people would still be alive today. So I support DACA, but I also support protecting the border. And there’s not enough votes in Congress right now to get a clean DACA–clean Dream Act bill passed without attaching some moneys for some kind of border security.

Gisele Mendez: And if we do get enough voters, will you vote yes?

Donovan: I support the president in securing our borders.

[Audience member: Ask him again!]

Mendez: I’m sorry sir, you need to be a little more specific.

Donovan: I’m in favor of fixing DACA, and I’m also in favor of securing our borders.

Mendez: So that’s a no.

Audience member: Do you support a clean Dream Act?

Mendez: Like I said before, when we do get enough voters and supporters, you’re going to be one of those that say no.

Donovan: I’m going to be someone who supports DACA and border security.

Mendez: It’s a yes or no question sir.

Two children, backed by the Clean Air Council, are suing the administration to stop them from scrapping pollution-reduction rules. The 7 and 11 year old claim they are suffering from the effects of climate change and the administration is ignoring the reality of climate change and using “junk science” resulting in death and destruction.”

Others are standing up too.

Let’s thank Twitter (@TwitterSupport) for listening to us and taking a stand against white supremacy and removing the “verified” status from white supremacists like Jason Kessler and Richard Spencer. The loss of this status makes it harder for potential followers to identify white supremacist leaders, and hinders their mobilization efforts.

ReddiWip joins 10 other companies that are withdrawing their advertising with Sean Hannity after his spirited defense of Roy Moore.

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Stonefire Grill is no longer supporting KFI-640’s Bill Handel after his ugly rant against Congresswoman Frederica Wilson support of a war widow.

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When an extreme right-wing Zionist group invited notorious anti-Semite Steve Bannon and apparent Nazi sympathizer Sebastian Gorka to their annual gala, a group of courageous young Jews from IfNotNow protested outside.   #ByeByeBannon #JewishResistance #WeWillBeTheGeneration

Women who are bad-ass and inspirational and other good news for women.

Pink dances on the side of a building! Because she can!

This woman who’s completely not intimidated by her local sheriff.

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We’re including, of course, all the MeToo! contributers who’ve come out and told their stories, some despite harassment and threats of arrest.  In related news, Roy Moore’s communications director has resigned.

Following multiple allegations of sexual misconduct, Charlie Rose was fired from CBS, PBS, and Bloomberg, and journalist Glenn Thrush was suspended from The New York Times. Congress is seriously reviewing its internal processes for dealing with sexual harrassment.

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Hundreds in LA marched along the Hollywood Walk of Fame with Tarana Burke, the creator of the #MeToo movement, to support victims of sexual assault and harassment.

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Just being a woman is not enough, Mr. Trump. His latest inappropriate pick, Penny Young Nance, nominee for Ambassador-at-large for Global women’s issues, is a dedicated anti-feminist, anti-choice, andhomophobe, and has withdrawn her name from consideration due to protests by liberal groups. YAY!

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Modeled after American Olympic fencer Ibtihaj Muhammad, Mattel releases its first hijab-wearing Barbie!

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Oakland-based artist and educator Nina Wright created a graffiti camp to train young female artists.

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CreativeSoul Photo studio in Atlanta is capturing striking portraits of black girls to highlight the beauty of natural hair.

Continued good news in elections!

You can help in the Alabama elections! One of the biggest issues is getting Democrats to the polls because they don’t have transportation. A fellow resistance-warrior has started a bus-campaign to take them door-to-door. She’s got 8 counties covered now but there’s a lot more to go. Click here to help expand her reach.

Danica Roem explains how she won it, aside from knocking on 75,000 doors! Repeatedly!

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New Orleans has elected progressive “Our Revolution” candidate Latoya Cantrell, its first woman Mayor in the city’s 300-year history.

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The “Resistance” is really a thing! This is how our efforts (looking at you, phone-bankers and postcard writers) and efforts of groups like us helped progressive candidates dominate in Virginia.

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In Oklahoma, Allison Ikley-Freeman, “a lightly funded, little-known 26-year-old lesbian” won a state senate seat by 31 votes in a deep red district previously won by a Republican by 15%. She attributes her win to the hard work of door-to-door campaigning. “When we were knocking on doors, so many people said, ‘Thank you. We didn’t know there was an election.”

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In New Mexico, Albuquerque voters gave “Our Revolution” candidate Tim Keller a landslide mayoral victory Tuesday/ Keller, a Democrat and New Mexico’s state auditor, beat outgoing City Councilor Dan Lewis, a Republican, by 24 percentage points in the mayoral runoff.

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Palm Springs has marked a new milestone in politics. They’ve elected an all-LGBTQ, all-Democrat City Council! They also elected Lisa Middleton, the first openly transgender person elected to a non-judicial office in California.  Amazing!

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33 out of 55 EMILY’s List candidates and 13 out of 14 Sister District candidates won their races. There are plans for future races too. Check them out here.

Good news for our immigrant friends!

A federal judge is ordering the Trump administration to make public more of its internal documents on the decision to rescind the program granting quasi-legal status and work permits to so-called Dreamers.

A federal court on Monday blocked President Trump’s executive order halting certain federal funds for sanctuary cities, calling it “unconstitutional on its face.”

Thanks to community support from the Jackson Heights Immigrant Solidarity Network, an undocumented immigrant whose wife has cancer was granted a stay of deportation.

The Department of Homeland Security reversed course and will reconsider DACA renewal applications originally rejected because of mail delays.​

The Southern Poverty Law Center is getting closer to exposing ICE’s constitutional violation with a Freedom of Information order which requires the agencies to disclose some documents – and complete an adequate search for more – concerning raids they conducted on the homes of immigrants in Georgia, North Carolina and Texas that placed 121 women and children into a Texas detention center in January 2016.

“A chorus of technology experts on Thursday heavily criticized President Trump’s plan to use artificial intelligence to screen individuals seeking entry to the United States, calling it “neither appropriate nor feasible.”

Good news in the search for rational gun laws!

Tim McGraw and Faith Hill are publicly advocating for greater gun safety regulations in the conservative world of country music, because, well, they are sensible people.

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Lawmakers in Illinois could make the state the first to ban animal abusers from owning guns. Experts on mass shootings agree that one of the clearest signs that someone may commit such an atrocity is a history of violence. Certain acts appear more likely to foretell a future murderous explosion: domestic violence, for instance as well as cruelty to animals. A bill has been introduced that would deny or revoke a Firearm Owner ID (FOID) card from anyone with a conviction for such a crime, which is required to own or purchase firearms. Devin Kelley, the Sutherland Springs shooter habitually abused dogs.

The tide is turning! Pollsters at Quinnipiac University found gun control policies are enjoying record levels of supportFully 95 percent of Americans want universal background checks for gun purchases, a higher level of support than at any time since the survey began periodically asking about the policy in the wake of the Sandy Hook shooting. A bipartisan group of senators is trying to strengthen reporting to the national background check system in the wake of a mass shooting in Texas earlier this month.

Other, more controversial policies also gained ground: 65 percent endorsed a new national assault weapon ban, the highest percentage Quinnipiac has ever seen. A very slim majority of people in gun-owning households — 51% — also support a new assault weapon law.

A bipartisan consensus in Pennsylvania…This week, the state’s Democratic governor Tom Wolf came out in support of a Republican-authored bill that would lay out clear protocols for how domestic abusers should surrender weapons to police. Killion’s bill specifies that abusers must relinquish their weapons to police for the length of the restraining order, and lays out a procedure for surrender, as well as appeal. Many states lack a system for making sure those abusers actually turn over the guns in their possession.

 Good news for the truth and justice!

Out of 38 economists, 37 said the GOP tax plans would cause the debt to increase “substantially” faster than the economy. The 38th economist misread the question.

This from FOX! Who knew?

Ted Lieu analyzes Jeff Sessions…

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Despite photographs that suggest otherwise, Treasury Secretary and his wife are NOT actually “Bond” villains…

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California has fined insurance giant Anthem Blue Cross $5 million for repeatedly failing to resolve consumer grievances in a timely manner.

Good news in Nuclear annihilation!

US Air Force General John Hyten, Commander of U.S. Strategic Command, said on Saturday that he would resist President’s Trump if he ordered an “illegal” launch of nuclear weapons. This is just a stopgap, of course.

A world without nuclear weapons would be better. Physicians for Social Responsibility-Los Angeles (PSR-LA) celebrated the Oct. 6th announcement that the International Campaign to Abolish Nuclear Weapons (ICAN) was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize for their work bringing forward the Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons. PSR and ICAN presented scientific data on the medical consequences of nuclear weapons at a series of three intergovernmental conferences. Local Ojai physician and president of PSR-LA Dr. Robert Dodge stated that  “Nuclear weapons are the greatest threat to our humanity and the U.N. treaty is now our prescription for survival.” (Donate to PSR-LA here)

Over 150 participants from 20 high schools and 13 colleges in the region participated in a November conference led by nuclear disarmament experts and a youth advocacy panel. Workshops addressed the Trump Administration plans to rebuild the U.S. nuclear arsenal and legislation to limit the President’s ability to unilaterally launch a first nuclear strike.

Good news in civil rights!

Florida citizens are banning “conversion therapy” for LGBTQ youth, in a city-by-city wave.

Colin Kaepernick is GQ’s 2017 Citizen of the Year. 

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The Pentagon has approved a gender-reassignment surgery for an active duty-service member.

Good news in voting issues!

After more than 150,000 people flooded the Federal Election Commission with comments, the FEC will write new rules to disclose the funders behind political ads on social media. #KnowledgeIsPower

In a move to combat gerrymandering in Philadelphia, a federal judge ordered Republican leaders to hand over all communication around their redistricting efforts, to determine if their redrawn maps are unconstitutional.

Good news in criminal justice!

Thanks to the ACLU and the Lawyers’ Committee for Civil Rights Under Law, Sherwood, Arkansas will stop jailing people who can’t afford to pay court fees.

Revenge porn is finally criminalized in NYC!

After 45 years in prison, a Louisiana man is freed after 45 years as his rape conviction is tossed out.

Good news in support for Puerto Rico!

Thousands marched in DC to demand that the Trump administration and Congress provide better recovery efforts for Puerto Rico.

Doctors unite to deliver supplies to Puerto Rico. Across the United States mainland, an agile, jury-rigged network of doctors has scrambled to deliver aid to their counterparts in Puerto Rico.

Good news for our animal friends!

Weather-related animal cruelty laws are becoming more popular. Pennsylvania is the latest state to adopt a law that makes it a felony to leave your pet out in the cold. Twenty-two states have hot-car laws, making it illegal to leave your pet in a hot car during the summer months. In Wisconsin, Florida and Tennessee, for example, the crime is a felony, and the law gives immunity to anyone — law enforcement or passerby — who breaks into the car to get the animal out.

After public outcry, Trump isn’t moving forward with his decision to allow hunters to import trophies from the elephants they killed.

Here are some of the animals saved by the Endangered Species Act. If you haven’t called your legislators to help save the ESA, do it on Friday. Click here for scripts.

Denver has banned the painful practice of declawing cats.

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Good news for our health care!

Despite every trick they could think of to stop us from signing up, including decimating the advertising budget, crunching the  time limits and reducing the ability of people to access lines on Sundays, almost 1.5 million Americans have already signed up for ACA in just two weeks!

Good news for the environment!

In a landmark ruling, a panel of appeals judges has ordered paint companies to pay to clean lead paint out of California homes.

Denver will now require all large new buildings to have green roofs or solar panels.

The Oregon legislature stopped dredge mining and blocked the sale of state forest lands this year.

Tribal activists are renewing their peaceful fight against the Keystone XL pipeline (donate).

“California may use 50 percent renewable electricity by 2020, a decade ahead of schedule.”

A new planting technique is being used to reforest the Brazilian Amazon – if successful, the project could become the largest tropical reforestation project in history.

Good news for those who want to write letters regarding the #TrumpTaxScam!

Indivisible has put together a letter template to make the process easier!

Good news for labor!

Let’s be sure we’re looking out for our friends and allies during the holiday season! Whenever possible, buy food products that have been made in America. And if you’re getting started on your gift shopping for Christmas, take a look here to see if an union-labeled American product will fit your requirements.

The editorial and video staff at Vox Media announced they are unionizing. #SolidarityForever

Farmworkers and others sued North Carolina challenging a state law that limits the ability of farmworkers, who are mostly migrant workers, to organize and make collective bargaining agreements with employers.

In two cases brought by the EEOC, a U.S. District Court ordered a company to pay two teens who lost their jobs when they questioned the restaurant about pay discrimination, back pay and punitive damages.

NY’s Con Edison will pay $800,000 in back pay and damages for wrongly requiring job applicants to undergo medical examinations and provide genetic information before being hired.

Even our game makers are working on stopping Trump’s wall.

Cards against Humanity is buying up land at the border to make it more difficult for Trump to build his wall.

Good news for the where to stay for DC protests next year!

“Eaton Workshop” is opening in late spring 2018 as the world’s first politically motivated hotel, a brand built around social activism and community engagement.

Some visual aids on the budget for our education

Good things for the artist, the naturalist and the student.lizard

The Biodiversity Heritage Library has made two MILLION images downloadable for free. Check it out here. Or go directly to the flickr files and kiss off the rest of your day.

And here’s an interesting factoid to share over the mashed potatoes. The number of identified species on Earth is estimated to be 8.7 million. However scientists believe that 86% of land species and 91% of marine species haven’t been discovered yet. Thousand of new species are discovered each year. One of them may be the key to solving cancer, or dementia, so we continue the fight to save natural habitats the world over.

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(Thanks as usual to Alison & Stepanie, Jennifer Hofmann, Calvin’s List, Rogan’s List, Marla’s Good News, Equal Justice Society,  Jezebel, and alert friends who surf the still-free internet for inspiration)

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