Welcome 🌻 to today’s Roundup of Good News!

Do you sometimes wonder, what the hell are they thinking? These people who want to overturn the government. It’s not just about the right to choose. It’s not just about whether or not poor women have the right to choose. It’s an attempt to ruin everything, and for what? Do they want to return to the dark ages? Because it seems that’s where they’re heading, a time when life was nasty, brutish and short.

If you kill or hobble those who are good, hard-working and educated, life quickly becomes really bad for everyone. You know, like cholera-bad. Black death bad. Is that what these people want?

And yes, cruelty seems to be their point, as pointless as that seems. I guess there’s the rush of dopamine some people get when they screw others. But enough in trying to understand the people I cannot understand.

People are working on the SCOTUS problem. There are movements to mitigate the rulings, work being done to protect people in many of the states, and people stepping forward to make a difference. Let me also point out that Biden has nominated more judges than about any president (20th set of nominations announced during the week). This is the remaking of the courts from the bottom up.

So, we have to continue fighting. We always were going to have to keep fighting. The bad guys really want power.  But many people are fighting, in our country, and around the world, to make future lives pleasant, kind and long.

Come on in, dear friends, and see what the good guys are doing.


Regular Scheduled Programming

No one here is naïve; we are aware of the many who are fighting to destroy our country. Some of us expected it: the cheating, the lying, the chaos, and yes, even the attempts to cling to power despite the clear will of the people. But we are here to read the efforts and the positive results of those (including us and our fellow gnus) who are working so hard to save our country from those very bad people.  We are furious with them for what they are doing and we are letting them know.  Remember:

💙 There are more of us than there are of them.

💛 They are terrified when we organize.  THERE IS LOTS OF EVIDENCE THAT THEY ARE TERRIFIED!

💔 They want us to be demoralized. The best way to keep up your spirits is to fight. So, take the time to recharge your batteries, but find ways to contribute to the well-being of our country and our world.

🗽 Biden as President!🗽

Biden, Harris and their administration have been hard at work. Here are the last week’s posts at the White House briefing room.

👎 Out with the Bad, In with the Good 👍

😄 Welcome to newest SCOTUS Justice Ketanji Brown Jackson Robert Barnes Washington Post

Ketanji Brown Jackson was sworn in Thursday as the Supreme Court’s 116th justice

Retiring Justice Stephen Breyer swears his successor, Ketanji Brown Jackson, onto the Supreme Court. 06/30/2022

and its first Black woman on the bench, a historic change for an institution that for the first time is no longer composed of a majority of White men.

“I am truly grateful to be part of the promise of our great Nation,” Jackson said in a statement distributed by the court’s public information office.

Jackson took the dual oaths of office at a simple ceremony in the court’s West Conference Room that was live-streamed. Chief Justice John G. Roberts Jr. administered the constitutional oath, and Justice Stephen G. Breyer, the man she replaced and for whom she served as a law clerk, led her through the judicial oath. Her husband, Patrick Jackson, held two Bibles on which she rested her hand.

🐴 The cavalry is coming!

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🐍 Russians leave Snake Island Yaruslov Yukov and Paul Kirby, BBC News

This tiny, rocky outcrop in the north-west of the Black Sea was seized by Russia on the first day of its invasion of Ukraine, and it has played an outsized role in the war ever since.

After more than four months of repeated Ukrainian bombardment, Russian forces have abandoned Snake or Zmiinyi Island, as it is known in Ukraine.

Russia says it has withdrawn its garrison as a “gesture of goodwill” to prove it was not obstructing grain exports, but Ukraine dismissed that claim, as Moscow continued to shell its grain stores.

The island is exposed to attacks from all directions from air and sea, and the small garrison tasked with defending it – first Ukrainians and later Russians – has been described as “sitting ducks” by military experts.

It’s really hard to defend, but it’s still extremely symbolic to have it back in Ukraine’s hands.

Rising inventories means discounts and a brake on inflation Matt Phillips Axios

After two-plus years of on-again, off-again supply chain snarls, American warehouses and store shelves are filling up with stuff — perhaps too much.

The big picture: Fresh government numbers out Tuesday showed wholesale and retail stockpiles continue to mount, even as the ferocious consumer appetite for stuff — toys, clothes, furniture, packaged goods — that emerged as a feature of the pandemic economy may be ebbing. ✂️

  • If you are a shareholder in Target, it’s kind of a bummer that the company screwed up and now has to put a bunch of stuff on sale at lower prices. This means your profit margins are likely to fall. (That’s why when Target happened to mention this problem, its share price fell the most in a single day since the 1987 market crash.)
  • But if you’re a shopper: score. Maybe that massive flat-screen you want is on sale. (Also, if you’re Federal Reserve chair Jerome Powell, whose job is to pull inflation down to earth, it’s good to get word that some prices are going to be discounted.)

💣 Republicans: Party of Crimes and Chaos 💣

Cassidy Hutchinson’s testimony convincing the pundits Josh Kavensky Talking Points Memo

Multiple legal commentators and former DOJ officials who had publicly stated, before Tuesday, that Trump’s activities did not meet the exacting legal standard for incitement have now changed their views.

“There’s no question about intent. There are enough pieces of evidence about what Trump did that made this more likely than not,” said Alan Rozenshtein, an associate professor at University of Minnesota Law and former attorney-adviser in the DOJ’s National Security Division. “He tried to get the magnetometers removed, tried to get them to march on the Capitol.”

☕️ Broken dishes! By the way, this is also a crime — it’s federal property — but probably just a misdemeanor.

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MAGA world angry at Washington Examiner for calling tRump unfit Zachary PetrizzoThe Daiy Beast

When a conservative news outlet published a scathing editorial on Wednesday calling former President Donald Trump “unfit” to ever hold political power again, they surely expected to face some MAGA blowback.

But few would have expected the degree to which the Washington Examiner, a longstanding go-to conservative Beltway publication, was ripped apart by fellow conservatives, who branded the outlet as “controlled opposition” and “RINO-funded.”

Hey, when they’re attacking each other, they’re not attacking us.

And, in besieged Texas

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💙 Democrats Deliver 💙

New Mexico governor takes action to protect access to abortion and to protect NM health care providers Press Release

SANTA FE – Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham on Monday signed an executive order protecting access to reproductive health care services in New Mexico, protecting medical providers from attempts at legal retribution and establishing that New Mexico will not entertain extradition attempts from other states relating to receiving or performing reproductive services.

“Today we have once again declared that we will take every available action to protect the rights and access to health care of anyone in New Mexico,” said Gov. Lujan Grisham. “As long as I am governor, abortion will continue to be legal, safe, and accessible in New Mexico.”

The executive order enacted today protects health care providers from discipline due to an out-of-state resident receiving abortion services in New Mexico; makes clear that the state will not cooperate with extradition attempts from other states where criminal charges are being pursued against an individual for receiving or performing reproductive services; and prohibits state agencies from cooperating in another state’s investigation into a person or other entity for receiving or delivering reproductive services.

Two other states, Minnesota and Massachusetts, have recently taken similar executive action.

🍑 This should help you feel better about Georgia!

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California to offer health insurance even to undocumented immigrants  Mathew Miranda Sacramento Bee

California will become the first state to remove immigration status as a barrier to health care, making all low-income undocumented residents eligible for state-subsidized insurance regardless of age.

Gov. Gavin Newsom late Sunday announced a budget deal he struck with the Legislature included a new Medi-Cal expansion that would cover more undocumented adults.

The program’s launch, starting no later than Jan. 1, 2024, is expected to provide full coverage for approximately 700,000 undocumented residents ages 26-49 and lead to the largest drop in the rate of uninsured Californians in a decade.

💜 Unity? 💜

G7 supporting Ukraine and punishing Putin White House Briefing Room

The United States has rallied over 30 allies and partners around the world to impose drastic costs on Russia and the U.S. led coalition will continue to increase pressure on Putin. In the span of a few months, U.S. exports to Russia, including of critical technology inputs Putin needs to maintain his military, have decreased approximately 97%. Russia’s imports of goods from around the world could fall by 40%. Factories across Russia are struggling to maintain production. Russia’s GDP will likely decline by double digits, inflation is rising to over 20%, Russia’s struggling to make bond payments, and Russia’s defaulted on its sovereign debt for the first time in more than a century.

Our measures will continue to sap Putin’s military-industrial complex of critical components, prevent the central bank’s foreign reserves from propping up an ailing economy and deprive Putin of the resources he needs to wage his war, and hold the kleptocracy to account for its ill-gotten gains. The effectiveness of our measures will only compound over time to further isolate Russia from the world economy.

The United States, in coordination with the G7, will implement significant commitments, including sanctions on hundreds of individuals and entities that adds to the over 1,000 already sanctioned, take action on evasion by targeting companies in several countries that adds to the over 300 Entity Listings already in place; impose tariffs on hundreds of Russian products worth billions of dollars to Russia, among other things:

  • Measures targeting the Russian military production and supply chains. 
  • Using tariffs on Russian goods to help Ukraine.
  • Restrictions on Russia’s participation in the global market and further crack downs on evasion attempts.   
  • Imposition of costs on those responsible for human rights abuses – including war crimes, profiteering, and illegitimate authorities. 

Sweden and Finland to join NATO George Wright BBC

Nato member Turkey has agreed to support Sweden and Finland’s membership of the alliance.

It had initially opposed the Nordic countries’ bids to join.

Turkey was angered by what it saw as their willingness to host Kurdish militants. Sweden and Finland could not join Nato without Turkey’s support.

Russia strongly opposes the two states joining and has used the expansion of the West’s defensive military alliance as a pretext for its war in Ukraine.

But Moscow’s invasion has had the opposite effect, with the path now clear for the two countries to join Nato.

Foreign ministers from the three countries signed a joint security pact that addressed Turkey’s concerns.

People are joining together to support those being assaulted by the SCOTUS rulings. One of my nieces alerted me to these links, for people seeking women friendly  and LGBTQ friendly Healthcare. Also a volunteer pilot group that helps with travel to care:

A reminder of how vaccines saved lives  Andrew Romano Yahoo News
For the last 18 months, the original COVID-19 vaccines — first as a two-dose series, then as boosters — have done an extraordinary job shielding us from illness, hospitalization and death. Globally, they saved nearly 20 million lives in 2020 alone. Even today, unvaccinated Americans are twice as likely as vaccinated Americans to test positive for COVID — and six times as likely to die from the disease.

📥 Actions You Can Take 📤

DONATE TO GNR SAVES DEMOCRACY!

newish!!! Tax-exempt organization complaint referrals. 13909. You can fill this out for the NRA and lots of other organizations. How about if some of us white folk go into some of the MAGA churches and video record what they’re saying?

Voting rights. This may be the biggest issue threatening our democracy right now. Besides contacting your representatives at the state and federal level to do the right thing (depending on who they are), you can support and contact these organizations:

ACLU — American Civil Liberties Union

Democracy Docket — founded by Marc Elias, so important in fighting the challenges after the last election.

Fair Fight — founded by Stacey Abrams

🌱Grass roots. Biden and Harris can do the top-down stuff, but we have to support from the bottom. I don’t know how to deprogram 75 million people, but some things have been written about, such as deep canvassing, and lots of people are talking about this. If you know someone (who did not storm the Capitol), then see if you can be pleasant. Instead of trying to reason with them (logic is obviously not their strong point) distract them with something else. We need to remove the sources of lies and to take down the temperature. If we get more of the Rs to wear masks and to get vaccinated and to vote for Ds, the country will be a better place. We need to coax some of them out of the rabbit holes and diffuse the anger and the crazy.

🏃 Run for something. If you want to run for something, but have no idea what to do, these people will help you. They also like money and volunteers to help those people who are running, so even if you’re not in a position to stand for office, you can help. Note: they are especially planning to target the 57 Rs in local governments who participated in the insurrection.

👎 Defund the seditionists. This is a list with companies that sometimes have donated to the seditionists, and their current approach to supporting or not supporting the seditionists. The list is long. You will recognize many of the corporations, and you probably have a relationship with some — either you are a customer, a shareholder, or maybe even an employee. Contact them and compliment or complain, but let them know you are watching. Forward it to others.

🐍 Schadenfreude 😈

More to come!

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And people are paying attention!

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Maxwell gets 20 years:

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Yeah, where are the clients?

Giuiliani the younger has lost his primary

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📣 Let’s Honor Truth ☀️️

Cassidy Hutchinson deserves to be honored for telling the truth, especially given the pressure and the threats.

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Some will say she’s still a deeply conservative person and deserves little credit. I say that the best way to stop being deeply conservative is to be exposed to the tRump crazies — and then to be exposed to the blue dedication to truth and love. After all, she’s still young, and change can happen. Jennifer Rubin, erstwhile R apologist, has changed many of her views.

And even if Hutchinson remains committed to the crazy conservative cause, just inches shy of breaking the law, we have to understand the great sacrifice she made to come forward. The first is probably financial; her lawyers are no longer being paid for by trump world.

The second is that she has put her life in danger. She’s going to need protection from the crazies for the forseeable future. So, this week, she gets the virtual medal for truth.

Now send her bosses to prison, please.

🌹 Let’s Celebrate Love ❤️

Here’s love, returning after decades:

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Never say that a single person can’t make a positive difference. Be that person.

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📎Odds & Ends 📎

💉 💊 Last week I had a piece about how Mark Cuban’s new drug company could make life easier for many consumers. This article points out how it could help the government (and the taxpayers). Andy Corbley Good News Network

Scientists with an eye towards helping the battered American consumer have recently published a paper finding that if government health insurance provider Medicare bought 77 generic medications from Mark Cuban’s drug company, it could save $3.6 billion annually.

Billionaire entrepreneur and Shark Tank shark Mark Cuban founded “Mark Cuban’s Cost Plus Drug Company” last year, with a mission statement of pricing down widely-prescribed medications by offering generic versions with less overhead.

Cuban’s drugs are priced by the cost of ingredients and manufacturing, plus a 15% margin, $3 pharmacy dispensing fee, and $5 shipping fee. This can often be half, even a quarter, of what name brand companies cost.

New Plastic Alternative Dissolves into Sugar Olivia Rosane EcoWatch

Scientists around the world are working to find an alternative to fossil-fuel based plastics that contribute to the climate crisis and persist in the environment, including the ocean.

In the latest attempt at a sustainable plastics alternative, researchers at the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology Lausanne, or EPFL, have developed a plant-based plastic alternative that dissolves into sugar.

“The plastic has very exciting properties, notably for applications like food packaging,” research leader professor Jeremy Luterbacher at EPFL’s School of Basic Sciences said in a press release.

💰 A city asks to be fined if it doesn’t meet its climate and inequality goals MaryLou Costa, Reasons to Be Cheerful

Annie Hohlfält has lived in Gothenburg for 25 years. It’s a place she loves, but she’s also only too aware of the economic disparities bubbling beneath the surface of Sweden’s second-largest — and highly prosperous — city.

“Gothenburg is one of the most segregated cities in Sweden, maybe even in Europe, thanks to socio-economic differences that have created a kind of second class,” she says. “There are areas that are very isolated from the rest of the city. They’re not really part of the urban fabric.”

As head of development and social sustainability for Framtiden, the City of Gothenburg’s property management arm, Hohlfält hopes to change all that through an innovative project that is seeing Framtiden pour SEK 11 billion (around US $1.1 billion) into six of the city’s most vulnerable neighborhoods over the next three years. This covers 84,000 residents whose average life expectancy is around eight years lower than the average Gothenburg resident.

With this money, the city and Framtiden have agreed on 14 “tasks” they have set out to achieve by 2025. These include a summer jobs and family support program for young people, as well as a job creation and small business development scheme, and are set to help tackle some of the neighborhoods’ biggest problems: Low education standards and high unemployment levels, which have led to widespread poverty and endemic gang-related crime rates.

Scientists using vegetable oil byproduct to remove heavy metals from contaminated water Paige Bennett EcoWatch

Scientists from Nanyang Technological University, Singapore, collaborating with ETH Zurich, Switzerland (ETHZ), have discovered a way to turn byproduct from vegetable oil production into a membrane that filters out heavy metals from water.

“Water pollution remains a major global issue in many parts of the world,” said Ali Miserez, study author and professor at Nanyang Technological University. “Heavy metals represent a large group of water pollutants that can accumulate in the human body, causing cancer and mutagenic diseases. Current technologies to remove them are energy-intensive, requiring power to operate, or are highly selective in what they filter.”

The researchers noticed that proteins in peanut and sunflower oil waste byproducts, called oilseed meals, were useful in attracting heavy metal ions, so they tested out this process in water to see if it would work for decontamination. They turned the oilseed meals’ proteins into nano-sized protein amyloid fibrils, which strongly attract heavy metal ions. Then, researchers combined these amyloid fibrils with activated carbon and tested the filters on three types of metal: platinum, chromium and lead.

The membranes were 99.89% effective at filtering out all of the heavy metals from water, with the best results for platinum and lead.

🐦 I do a lot of other writing. A recent offering: Hunters of the Feather, a story about a thinker-linker crow who wants to save birdkind from extinction, and the sequel, Scavengers of Mind. (They’re really good! They’re really cheap! Buy and review or rate positively! And Hunters is also available on Audible!) Other stories, based on Jane Austen novels — including a new one for lovers of Pride & Prejudice, Mrs. Bennet’s Advice to Young Ladies — and others on Greek mythology, can be found here. All titles are available through Kindle Unlimited, but I only get paid if you turn the pages.

💙 What You Can Do to Rescue Democracy 💙

It turns out that participation in democracy is not just an every-four-years event but requires active participation, like, whenever you can find time.

Current projects:

Look in the comments for Progressive Muse’s report on Postcards to Voters

And some other ideas:

You can relax and recharge.

You can join protests and freeway blog.

You can help register new voters.

You can smile.

You can get out the vote for special elections.

You can reach out to upset Republicans.  We need to win some back.

You can share your ideas below.

🌻

💙 “Our history has been a constant struggle between the American ideal that we all are created equal and the harsh ugly reality that racism, nativism, fear, demonization have long torn us apart. The battle is perennial, and victory is never assured.” 💙

President Joseph R. Biden

🌹🌹🌹

TRUTH MATTERS. LOVE MATTERS.

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This is a Creative Commons article. The original version of this article appeared here.

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