Good news roundup for Monday

Leonardo / Flickr Victory...
Leonardo / Flickr

Before I start with the stories I feel like I should say something.

There are a lot of people out there who seem to think that there isn’t any good news out there. That trying to share good news is just making us “complacent” (whatever THAT means), and that the only way we’re gonna win is if we’re miserable and angry and worrying about things 24/7.

But that isn’t a healthy way to live. Being upset and negative 24/7 does things to you, and you can’t keep going on like that or you’re gonna burn out or do something stupid. Because that’s what happens when people lose hope, they do stupid things.

There’s a lot of bad stuff happening right now, nothing that can really be done about that. If we win big in November (and I think we will) it will be a huge first step in cleaning things up. But we just have to keep our heads in the meantime.

My Dad says there’s no sense in worrying about things we have no control over. That doesn’t stop me from worrying of course, but its a good idea nevertheless, do what you can to help, but try not to get too worked up about the state of the world. I know its frustrating, but things will work out in the end, we just have to keep pushing. Remember, we are winning.

And now, without further ado, the Good news.

Twitter suspends Guccifer 2.0 and DC Leaks Twitter accounts

Twitter has suspended two prominent accounts linked to the 2016 hack on the Democratic National Committee, Guccifer 2.0 and DC Leaks. The move comes after the Justice Department handed down 12 indictments against 12 Russian intelligence agents, which specifically named the accounts as part of the country’s propaganda efforts during the 2016 presidential election.

A Twitter spokesperson told the San Diego Union Tribute that the accounts were suspended for being “connected to a network of accounts previously suspended for operating in violation of our rules.” The Justice Department indictments allege that both accounts acted as fronts for agents in Russia’s Main Intelligence Directorate (GRU), and were responsible for conducting cyberattacks against state election boards, secretaries of state, election software providers, and the Democratic National Committee, in an effort to gather information and leak damaging information during the election. In June 2016, Guccifer 2.0 pointed its followers to DC Leaks, which had released e-mails stolen from the DNC earlier that year.

Got to say I am very impressed with what Twitter is doing as of late. Between this and banning all those Russian bot accounts (and thus causing Trumps followers to plummet) they are doing good work in closing off Twitter as a potential source of propaganda.

They saved the Internet: Net Neutrality passes in India

In a move to ensure free internet in India, the government has accepted and approved the principle of net neutrality.<>Without net neutrality, ISPs can charge companies money to speed up their services, and slow down others, but with the laws in place users can access all data they want at the same speed.<>Once, net neutrality comes into play, they cannot degrade, slow down or grant preferential speeds to any website or online service.<>Alongside the net neutrality rules, the highest decision-making body in the Department of Telecommunications also approved new telecom policy – national Digital Communications Policy (NDCP), 2018.<>”Any deviations and violations of the rules of net neutrality – which come into effect nearly immediately – will be met with stiff penalties”, Aruna Sundarajan, telecom secretary, told TOI.<>It had observed that Internet of Things, or IoT, as a class of services, should not be excluded from the scope of restriction on non-discriminatory treatment except for certain critical services.<>Sundararajan said DoT would identify the critical services and there will be a separate regime for such services in consultation with Trai informally but licenses will be amended immediately to accommodate net neutrality principles.<>The decision also carries with it the heft of TRAI’s authority. This is about the same time our own debates on net neutrality were heating up.<>

I know news of Net Neutrality in the states has been rather slow with everything going on at the moment, but its good to remember that there are other places in the world, and they are facing their own challenges. So good for India for getting Net Neutrality.

‘Undecided’ Rand Paul worries about Kavanaugh’s stance on Government Surveillance.

Sen. Rand Paul said Sunday that he is worried about Supreme Court nominee Brett M. Kavanaugh’s views on government surveillance programs, raising a potential snag in the closely divided confirmation battle.

Speaking on “Fox and Friends,” the libertarian lawmaker said he is undecided on Judge Kavanaugh’s nomination. Mr. Paul said he disagrees with the nominee’s 2015 ruling at the U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit that the federal government’s metadata collection was “entirely consistent” with the Fourth Amendment’s protection against unreasonable searches.

“I’m concerned about Kavanaugh,” said Mr. Paul, calling the nominee’s ruling “horribly wrong.”

In 2015, Judge Kavanaugh wrote a concurring opinion to an appeals court ruling upholding the constitutionality of the National Security Agency’s program of warrantless phone records collection. The program allowed the government to track information about whom a person in the U.S. calls but not the content of the calls. The judge wrote that the “critical national security need outweighs the impact on privacy.”

“I disagree completely,” said Mr. Paul, Kentucky Republican, adding that he is keeping an open mind and wants to meet with the nominee.

I know this is probably meaningless, and he probably will vote to confirm, but this gives us another avenue of attack in the battle for the Supreme Court. Every crack in the armor is worth it.

Democrats have an Idealogy: Government as a force for good. To win they must embrace it.

As Matt Grossmann and David Hopkins vividly underscore in their book “Asymmetric Politics: Ideological Republicans and Group Interest Democrats” (Salon review here), America’s two parties are not mirror images, and Democrats don’t present as ideologically unified or coherent.

“While the Democratic Party is fundamentally a group coalition, the Republican Party can be most accurately characterized as the vehicle of an ideological movement,” they argue, with a broad range of evidence in support — from individual voters’ opinions and how the two parties organize to public-policy issue debates, political campaigns and finally how the parties govern. At every level of analysis the same distinction recurs, and the differences at each level reinforce one another.

At the level of individual opinion, more people identify as conservatives than liberals, and conservative ideology (“free markets,” “limited government,” etc.) is more popular. But on the other side of the ledger, support for specific liberal policies like Medicare, Social Security and so on is even more lopsided — a phenomenon first documented in detail in Lloyd Free and Hadley Cantril’s 1967 book, “The Political Beliefs of Americans.”

But despite not articulating it, Democrats do have an implicit shared ideology that would greatly strengthen them if they openly embraced: That being the principle that government exists to be a positive force for good, to “promote the general Welfare, and secure the Blessings of Liberty,” in the words of the United States Constitution.

See, this seems like a winning strategy to me,and one a lot of Dems seem to be embracing. Hopefully this will bode well for us in November.

This last one is a bit goofy, but hey, sometimes you get a slow news day.

Obama and Biden are now a crime fighting duo.

Bill Clinton may have helped write a crime thriller this summer, but Barack Obama is now the hero of one—along with his trusty sidekick, Joe Biden.

Author Andrew Shaffer is out with a new book called Hope Never Dies in which a fictional Obama and Biden team up to solve a mystery, and it’s billed as the first in a series featuring the crime-fighting duo, per this USA Today review.

It is, in the words of Thu-Huong Ha at Quartzy, “a deeply silly piece of fan fiction,” though somehow “readers may find themselves smiling even as they eye roll.”

Over the top? Consider this scene picked out by the New York Times: Obama bursts into the clubhouse of a motorcycle gang carrying a sawed-off shotgun to rescue Biden. “Looks like you all know who my pal is,” Biden tells the startled bikers. “He’s the guy who killed Bin Laden,” one of them responds.

In another, the pair are in a motel room playing POTUS, SCOTUS, or FLOTUS, a game in which they name three female politicians and decide which they’d make president, put on the Supreme Court, or marry.

When Biden names Nancy Pelosi, Elizabeth Warren, and Hillary Clinton, Obama responds, “Give me three different names.”

Despite the goofiness, the book is “also at times a surprisingly earnest story about estranged friends who are reunited under strange circumstances,” writes Alexandra Alter at the Times.

I know we all miss Obama and Biden, so if you need something to get your mind off the news of the world, pick this up, read it and think of better times.

That’s it for today. Have a good Monday, and remember what I said. One can’t live on misery and doom forever.

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