Good morning, all! I’ve rounded up a lot of news, but first I want to share two great quotes I came across last week, one recent, the other classic.

Hannah Ritchie, in an article in Big Think titled “An End to Doomerism”, clarified why optimism gets a bad rap and why we need to sharpen our definition of it:

Pessimism sounds smart. Optimism sounds dumb. ✂️

There is an “optimism stigma” that is pervasive throughout society. It’s why I often feel embarrassed to admit that I’m an optimist. It knocks me down in people’s expectations. But the world desperately needs more optimism to make progress, so I should stop being so shy about it.

The issue is that people mistake optimism for “blind optimism” — the blinkered faith that things will always get better. Problems will fix themselves. … Blind optimism …[is] not just stupid, it’s dangerous. If we sit back and do nothing, we will not make progress. That’s not the kind of optimism that I’m talking about.

Optimism is seeing problems as challenges that are solvable; it’s having the confidence that there are things that we can do to make a difference. “Urgent optimism,” “pragmatic optimism,” “realistic optimism,” “impatient optimism” — I’ve heard many terms for this concept.

…The definition of pessimism is “a tendency to see the worst aspect of things or believe that the worst will happen.” Optimism, on the other hand, is “hopefulness and confidence about the future or the success of something.” People mistakenly see optimism as an excuse for inaction. They think that it’s pessimism that drives change, and optimism that keeps us where we are. The opposite is true. Optimists are the ones that move us forward. … Pessimism blocks solutions. If we always believe that the worst will happen, then what’s the point in starting? … Follow the pessimists if you want the world to stagnate or regress.

The second quote is from Margaret Mead:

The earliest sign of civilization is not a clay pot, or tools made of iron, or the first domesticated plants. It is a mended femur. It shows someone must have cared for the injured person, hunted on their behalf, brought them food, served them at personal sacrifice. The first step to civilization is an act of human compassion, and it becomes the foundation to all the great achievements of humankind.

I’ve been thinking about both of these quotes for several days, and I think that together they offer inspiring support for progressive activism of the kind we celebrate here in Gnuville. When we fight for policies and leaders that improve the lives of all, when we speak out against oppression and cruelty, we illustrate the power of optimism, hope, and compassion. And we move the world forward. 

So if you feel a bit more inspired, please take some action today, like donating to Goodie’s fundraiser (which blown past its goal!), signing up to write postcards or phone bank or canvass, or maybe writing a letter to the editor of your local paper making the case for Dem candidates. Every positive action moves us a bit closer to a better world.

Opening music

Although I’m not a fan of organized religion, I’ve chosen an opening song by a contemporary gospel singer because I think it’s the perfect finish for my opening. His message of action and compassion works whether you’re a practicing Christian or not, and you can just substitute your own version of God and ignore the specific references to Christianity.

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Good news from President Biden

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🎩 to Wonkette for this cool Smilin’ Joe gif

Biden administration to introduce new transparency rule for airline fees

From Axios:

President Biden is slated to announce a new rule on Monday that will require airline and travel websites to disclose upfront any additional fees when displaying ticket prices.

Why it matters: The new rule would require these websites to display additional fees — such as for checked luggage, seat selection and flight changes — the first time the airfare price is displayed, according to a Department of Transportation press release.

  • The move comes on top of other efforts the administration has made to boost protections for air travelers, such as proposals for refund requirements and vouchers for passengers unable to travel due to pandemic-related reasons.

The big picture: Biden is expected to formally introduce the proposed rule during a meeting of the White House Competition Council on Monday afternoon.

  • “The proposal seeks to provide customers the information they need to choose the best deal,” the Department of Transportation said in the press release.
  • “Otherwise, surprise fees can add up quickly and overcome what may look at first to be a cheap fare,” it added.
  • Biden is also expected to call on all federal agencies to pursue similar policies to root out hidden fee practices in other sectors.
  • The rule’s proposal will be followed by a 60 day window for public comment before being finalized, per the Washington Post.

President Biden vows U.S. won’t walk away from storm-struck Puerto Rico

From PBS:

President Joe Biden said Thursday the full force of the federal government is ready to help Puerto Rico recover from the devastation of Hurricane Fiona…

Speaking at a briefing with Federal Emergency Management Agency officials in New York, Biden said, “We’re all in this together.”

Biden noted that hundreds of FEMA and other federal officials are already on the ground in Puerto Rico, where Fiona caused an island-wide blackout. ✂️

Biden said his message to the people of Puerto Rico who are still hurting from Hurricane Maria five years ago is, “We’re with you. We’re not going to walk away.”

That seemed to draw a contrast with former President Donald Trump, who was widely accused of an inadequate response to Maria, which left some Puerto Ricans without power for 11 months.

Biden-Harris Administration Awards $1.5 Billion to States and Tribes to Combat Overdose Epidemic

From whitehouse.gov:

[On September 24th] as part of National Recovery Month, the Biden-Harris Administration announced a series of actions, including the distribution of $1.5 billion in funds to all states and territories, to address the overdose epidemic and support the tens of millions of Americans in recovery.

Local news outlets across the country – from Utah to Missouri to West Virginia – are reporting on state and tribal funding that will support life-saving programs and policies, such as increasing access to treatment for substance use disorder, removing barriers to medications like naloxone, and expanding access to recovery support services.

US to seek stronger labor, environmental standards in Asia

🎩 to T Maysle for posting this in a comment in Sunday’s GNR

From AP:

The U.S. is outlining its goals for a new trade deal with Australia, Japan, South Korea and nine other nations meant to signal the country’s commitment to working with the Indo-Pacific region at a time of growing Chinese clout.

The Office of the U.S. Trade Representative on Friday released its negotiating objectives for the Indo-Pacific Economic Framework, a deal with the 12 nations launched in May.

Among them, the U.S. wants the Indo-Pacific countries to improve their labor and environmental standards and ensure their markets remain open to competition, while also taking steps to ease supply-chain backlogs at border crossings.

After the Trump administration’s clashes with U.S. allies, Asian countries have welcomed America’s reengagement in the region, which also comes at a time of considerable economic disruption arising from COVID-19 and Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.

🎩 to Owosso Harpist for posting this great video in a comment in Saturday’s GNR. 

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But wait, there’s more!

Metallica, Biden and Mariah Carey come together against poverty

From France24:

Metallica and Mariah Carey on Saturday led an A-list of musicians, and President Joe Biden made a surprise video appearance, as the Global Citizen Festival sought to mobilize action against poverty and climate change.

Marking its 10th year, the six-hour festival brought thousands to New York’s Central Park and featured a sister show in Ghana’s capital Accra, where performers included American R&B great Usher and British grime icon Stormzy.

Global Citizen awards tickets to fans in exchange for their commitment to take action to eradicate extreme poverty — such as contacting elected representatives to encourage foreign aid — and coincides with the annual UN General Assembly in hopes of raising pressure on world leaders.

“We’re inspired and grateful for all the work you’ve done and want you to know — your fight is our fight,” First Lady Jill Biden said in a video appearance next to her husband.

President Biden — along with top Senate and House Democrats Chuck Schumer and Nancy Pelosi, who both appeared in person — highlighted a new climate package that is the most far-reaching legislation ever in the United States to spur clean energy.

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Good news from and for the Dems

House passes electoral law overhaul in response to Jan. 6

From PBS:

The House has passed legislation to overhaul the rules for certifying the results of a presidential election as lawmakers accelerate their response to the Jan. 6, 2021, insurrection and Donald Trump’s failed attempt to remain in power. ✂️

The legislation would set new parameters around the Jan. 6 joint session of Congress that happens every four years after a presidential election. …The legislation intends to ensure that future Jan. 6 sessions are “as the constitution envisioned, a ministerial day,” said Wyoming Rep. Liz Cheney, a Republican who co-sponsored the legislation with House Administration Committee Chairwoman Zoe Lofgren, D-Calif. Both Cheney and Lofgren are also members of the House committee investigating the Jan. 6 attack. ✂️

The bill would clarify in the law that the vice president’s role presiding over the count is only ceremonial and that he or she cannot change the results. It also sets out that each state can only send one certified set of electors after Trump’s allies had unsuccessfully tried to put together alternate slates of illegitimate pro-Trump electors in swing states where Biden won.

“This bill will make it harder to convince people that they have the right to overthrow an election,” Lofgren said.

The legislation would increase the threshold for individual lawmakers’ objections to any state’s electoral votes, requiring a third of the House and a third of the Senate to object to trigger votes on the results in both chambers. Currently, only one lawmaker in the House and one lawmaker in the Senate has to object. The House bill would set out very narrow grounds for those objections, an attempt to thwart baseless or politically motivated challenges.

In addition, the bill would require courts to get involved if state or local officials want to delay a presidential vote or refuse to certify the results.

VA performs its first abortion weeks after saying it would in certain cases

From NBC News:

The Veterans Affairs medical system performed its first abortion, weeks after an interim final rule was announced that allowed it to provide the service in cases of incest or rape or when the life of the woman was in jeopardy.

Veterans Affairs Secretary Denis McDonough told senators Wednesday night that the procedure was performed at one of the VA’s medical centers. A spokesperson, citing the client’s privacy, declined to provide the location or give further details.

The VA did not previously provide abortion services, but after the Supreme Court overturned Roe v. Wade and ended constitutional abortion rights, the department said it believes it is “essential” to the life and health of veterans and VA beneficiaries that they still have access to medically necessary abortions.

McDonough said in a news release that offering the service was a “patient safety decision. Pregnant veterans and VA beneficiaries deserve to have access to world-class reproductive care when they need it most. That’s what our nation owes them, and that’s what we at VA will deliver,” he said.

Dr. Shereef Elnahal, the department’s undersecretary for health, said the VA came to its decision after having listened to health care providers and veterans.

Newly gerrymandered districts might hurt Democrats less than you think

🎩 to T Maysle from a comment in Saturday’s Evening Shade.

From The Washington Post:

How can we calculate and compare the impact of gerrymandering across the whole country? By using a new metric that can give an idea of how many districts each party is winning due to gerrymandering in each state. We call it the “GEO metric,” for Geography and Election Outcomes.

When mapmakers draw a partisan gerrymander, they must use two key pieces of information. First is the partisan data of whether a set of voters leans toward Democrats or Republicans, which the mapmakers infer from such sources as the percentage of votes that went to a Democrat or Republican in the last presidential election. Second is the geographic data of where those voters are located on the map. Surprisingly, researchers measuring partisan gerrymandering in the past have not used both those pieces of information.

For instance, consider two widely used older metrics: the Polsby-Popper, introduced in the early ’90s, and the Reock ratio, introduced in the ’60s. Both use only the irregularity of a district’s shape — in other words, information about the map — to detect gerrymandering. But that can’t tell us whether an irregular shape is drawn because of natural boundaries like coastlines and mountains or because mapmakers are trying for partisan advantage. Since 2015, researchers have used more modern metrics, like the Efficiency Gap and Mean-Median, which use only the partisan makeup of each district. But these metrics cannot tell whether voters of different parties are being separated because that’s what the mapmaker is trying to do or because that’s how the state’s geography falls.

However, it’s necessary to use both the partisan data and map data. For example, looking at the newly released district maps, the Efficiency Gap concludes that Connecticut has a much more extreme gerrymander than Illinois, which is gerrymandered to favor the Democrats, or than Florida, gerrymandered to favor the Republicans. Our new metric uses both election and geographic data. With that, we can see that Democratic support is distributed across Connecticut consistently enough throughout the state that Republicans are unlikely to win a congressional seat no matter how maps are drawn — something that the Efficiency Gap could not detect. Thus, while our GEO metric appropriately flags Illinois and Florida as gerrymandered, it does not inappropriately flag Connecticut.

If you’re curious how this can happen, our paper introducing the GEO metric gives a clear example with a pair of small, easy-to-understand fictional states.

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🍿 Repellent Republicans Rushing to Ruin 🍿

Bizarro has bad news for the Rethugs:

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Trump’s attempts to delay Mar-a-Lago inquiry largely fail as legal woes mount

From The Guardian:

Attempts by Donald Trump to delay the criminal investigation into his unlawful retention of government secrets have been largely thwarted after the Department of Justice regained access to about 100 documents with classified markings that the FBI seized from the former US president’s Mar-a-Lago resort in Florida. ✂️ 

Trump’s goal in requesting a special master was multi-pronged from the start, according to sources familiar with the matter, and the principal – though publicly unstated – aim was to apply the brakes on the criminal investigation, after the FBI search of Mar-a-Lago took Trump’s lawyers by surprise.

A second major aim, the sources said, was to use the special master motion as a vehicle to get more insight into what documents the FBI retrieved from the property because they were initially in the dark about the extent of Trump’s, as well as their own, potential exposure. ✂️

But although Trump could still drag out the special master process – and so the third line of inquiry concerning the general removal of government records – over the 11,000 other documents seized by the FBI, the anticipated delays over classified documents are no longer at issue.

Trump effectively secured a two-and-a-half week pause in the criminal investigation from the time that Cannon enjoined the department on Labor Day to the appeals court ruling on Wednesday – a delay that former US attorneys said would not have materially affected the case.

🎩 to funguy2playwith for posting this in a comment in Sunday’s GNR:

Mastriano’s Sputtering Campaign: No TV Ads, Tiny Crowds, Little Money

From The NY Times:

In the same spot where he spoke to thousands of people at a raucous State Capitol rally demanding an end to pandemic restrictions in April 2020, Doug Mastriano appeared on Saturday before a crowd of just a few dozen — about half of whom were volunteers for his ragtag campaign for governor of Pennsylvania.

Mr. Mastriano, an insurgent state senator who in the spring cruised to the Republican nomination, is learning this fall that while it is one thing to win a crowded G.O.P. primary on the back of online fame and Donald J. Trump’s endorsement, it is quite another to prevail in a general election in a battleground state of nearly 13 million people.

He is being heavily outspent by his Democratic rival, has had no television ads on the air since May, has chosen not to interact with the state’s news media in ways that would push his agenda, and trails by double digits in reputable public polling and most private surveys.

There’s no sign of cavalry coming to his aid, either: The Republican Governors Association, which is helping the party’s nominees in Arizona, Michigan and six other states, has no current plans to assist Mr. Mastriano, according to people with knowledge of its deliberations.

The Pennsylvania governor’s race is perhaps the most consequential in the country.

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Good news from my corner of the world

Guaranteed basic income program promotes healing, resilience among Black Portlanders

Regular readers of my GNRs may remember earlier posts about Cameron Whitten and the Black Resilience Fund. This initiative is an exciting new step for them.

From Street Roots:

The local nonprofit that distributed millions of dollars to Black Portlanders throughout the pandemic is launching a new program to further support Black Portlanders — three years of sustained, guaranteed income. Starting Aug. 15, the Black Resilience Fund will award about 50 Black Portlanders up to $2,000 a month for the next three years. ✂️

The fund is designed for Multnomah County residents aged 18 years or older who identify as Black, African American or African. The fund also prioritizes formerly incarcerated people, single parents, low-wage workers and foster care alums. The income program is funded by donations made to Brown Hope, a broader nonprofit that operates the Black Resilience Fund. The organization strives to raise $500,000 by the end of the year for the new program.

Single adults receive up to $1,000 a month, while people with one or two children receive $1,500 and adults with three or more children receive $2,000. Local nonprofit Oregon Community Foundation partnered with the organization and will match donations up to $100,000 until the end of August.

Simultaneously, a mutual aid network was also launched through the Black Resilience Fund to help community members with everything from yard work to emotional support.

Cameron Whitten, a well-known social justice advocate, founded Brown Hope in 2018 with the intention to break the cycle of traumas through healing initiatives for Black, brown and Indigenous people in Portland. “Our work is done through this healing justice approach, and it’s not just to provide economic resources because of racial injustice, but actually to provide economic, social and spiritual support to heal from the trauma of racism,” Whitten, who serves as the CEO, said.

Oregon State University researchers tackle canine cancer

Canine cancer is devastating to both the dogs and their owners. This research promises a welcome breakthrough. 

From Oregon Public Broadcasting:

A team at Oregon State University is researching antibody treatment for dogs with cancer. One helpful tool in the research has stemmed from an unusual place: llamas and alpacas. Currently, dogs rely on the same forms of cancer treatment that people use, like chemotherapy, surgery and radiation. The type of treatment the OSU team is researching would rely on “nanobodies,” a tiny antibody that can be used as a tool to fight against body invaders like tumors.

The team is researching a different kind of treatment that dogs can use to fight cancer since current options still take a toll on our four-legged friends. “They do have all the side effects that humans realize when taking those types of therapeutics as well,” said Dan Mourich, a molecular biologist on the team. “It impacts the quality of life for the dog and the owner.”

He added that many owners typically opt out of treatment altogether.

The treatment the team is working on, an immunotherapeutic, would harness the power of antibodies. Nanobodies are much smaller than human antibodies. They can be found in camelids, which include animals like llamas and alpacas.

“And this antibody allows for a lot of manipulation molecularly and structurally,” said Carl Ruby, a research scientist and instructor at OSU. “That allows us to kind of create what could be like modular, therapeutic Legos that we can build.”

Neighbors and a conservation group win key battle over illegal mine in national scenic area

A great example of the value of persistence in the face of foot dragging by environmental criminals. The Columbia River Gorge is truly a national treasure.

From Grist:

The magnificent Columbia River Gorge is one of North America’s great natural wonders. Dividing Washington from Oregon, the Gorge begins where the Columbia and Deschutes rivers meet in the Cascade Mountains, creating a massive, 80-mile-long sapphire body of water, surrounded by the highest concentration of waterfalls in the world. The ecosystems here encompass everything from grasslands to rainforests, and are home to 25 endangered or threatened types of animals and plants. Two million tourists a year come to admire the Gorge’s incredible scenery.

“Geologically and aesthetically, the Columbia Gorge is magnificent,” says Chris Collins, a program lead with the non-profit Lower Columbia Estuary Partnership, which helps protect the lower Gorge. “The Columbia is one of the largest rivers in the country, and this is the path it uses to travel through the Cascade mountains. It’s incredibly dramatic.” He also highlights its critical nature from a conservation perspective: “Every single salmon in eastern Oregon, eastern Washington, and Idaho passes through the Gorge down to the ocean and back up again to spawn,” he says. “There are nine federally listed fish species that use the Gorge. That’s a lot of endangered fish.”

But despite the unique and fragile nature of the region, the Nutter Corporation, a mining and road-building company reopened a long-abandoned mine on land owned by the Zimmerly family in 2017. The property is perched on the western edge of the federally-protected Columbia River Gorge National Scenic Area, and their gravel mining operation launched without the required land use permits from Clark County. The mine created environmental hazards, as dirt carried by the trucks contaminated drainage ditches that flow into nearby salmon habitats, and impacted local families with the noise and traffic. For over two years, the mine continued to operate in violation of the National Scenic Area rules, until a group of concerned residents and the Friends of the Columbia Gorge, a Portland-based conservation group, succeeded in holding the operators accountable. ✂️

…residents [of the Gorge] helped assemble evidence, attended hearings, and provided testimony to the county and the Columbia River Gorge Commission. After two years—and dozens of hours of meetings and hearings—the group achieved a victory in 2019: The Gorge Commission determined the mining was illegal, and the county once again ordered Nutter and Zimmerly to stop.

But despite the Commission’s ruling, the illegal mining continued. “The thing that struck me most about Zimmerly and Nutter was their disregard for the community and the environment,” says [filmmaker Brady] Holden. “They were getting cease operation notices, but they kept mining.”

After six different enforcement orders and letters from the county, Nutter and Zimmerly finally halted the mine’s operations in 2020.

How a Powell’s Books outpost ended up in Condon, population 760

Proof that booklovers are everywhere!

From The Oregonian:

You won’t find mention of an eastern Oregon location on the Powell’s website. Most employees of the bookseller’s Portland area stores have never heard of such a thing. But against all odds, Condon – population 760 – is home to a little-known outpost of Powell’s Books.

The Gilliam County location was founded in 1993 by Michael Powell, then owner of the Portland-based bookstore. “People do a double take, and then they come back and say, ‘Is it true? Is it real?’” he said. “Yep. That’s us.” ✂️ 

The Powell’s outpost more than 150 miles from the famous City of Books can be found at the rear of the Condon Local, a retail store, coffee shop and cafe in the tiny downtown of Gilliam’s county seat. ✂️ 

Around the time [that the coffee shop got its] first espresso machine, Powell discovered the store. He had purchased vacation property in the neighboring community of Spray and became [a] regular customer. ✂️

“[Putting in a bookstore] just seemed like a good idea at the time,” Powell said. “I got to know [the owner]. It didn’t take her very long to say, ‘How would you feel about putting some kind of a book presence here?’” ✂️ 

“I was there the day we got the books up, and we were getting ready to see if anybody would buy any books,” Powell said. “People often said to me, ‘I bet you sell a lot of Louis L’Amour,’ because there’s a stereotype of who lives in eastern Oregon.” (L’Amour being a popular author of Westerns.) “Well, actually, the first book we sold was by Toni Morrison, and the second one was a computer book,” he said. “I didn’t keep track after that.”

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Good news from around the nation

How Two Former Debt Collectors Made $6.7 Billion in Medical Debt Disappear

I’ve been making recurring donations to RIP Medical Debt for several years. It’s a wonderful program.

From Reasons to Be Cheerful:

RIP Medical Debt…has boomed during the Covid-19 pandemic, freeing patients of medical debt, thousands of people at a time. Its novel approach involves buying bundles of delinquent hospital bills — debts incurred by low-income patients… — and then simply erasing the obligation to repay them.

It’s a model developed by two former debt collectors, Craig Antico and Jerry Ashton, who built their careers chasing down patients who couldn’t afford their bills.✂️

What triggered the change of heart for Ashton was meeting activists from the Occupy Wall Street movement in 2011 who talked to him about how to help relieve Americans’ debt burden. “As a bill collector collecting millions of dollars in medical-associated bills in my career, now all of a sudden I’m reformed: I’m a predatory giver,” Ashton said in a video by Freethink, a new media journalism site.

After helping Occupy Wall Street activists buy debt for a few years, Antico and Ashton launched RIP Medical Debt in 2014. They started raising money from donors to buy up debt on secondary markets — where hospitals sell debt for pennies on the dollar to companies that profit when they collect on that debt. RIP buys the debts just like any other collection company would — except instead of trying to profit, it sends out notices to consumers saying their debt has been cleared. To date, RIP has purchased $6.7 billion in unpaid debt and relieved 3.6 million people of debt. The group says retiring $100 in debt costs an average of $1.

RIP bestows its blessings randomly… — it just depends on which hospitals’ debts are available for purchase… RIP is expanding the pool of those eligible for relief. …the group now buys delinquent debt for those who make as much as four times the federal poverty level, up from twice the poverty level. A surge in recent donations — from college students to philanthropist MacKenzie Scott, who gave $50 million in late 2020 — is fueling RIP’s expansion. That money enabled RIP to hire staff and develop software to comb through databases and identify targeted debt faster.

Texas Bail Reform Reduced Jail Time and Crime, New Study Says

We need bail reform everywhere, and this study shows that the major objections to it are baseless.

From Bloomberg:

A federally mandated change in the misdemeanor bail policy of Harris County, Texas, has resulted in fewer low-level offenders in jail and improved public safety, according to a new study.

The bail reforms in the county that includes Houston, ordered five years ago as part of a consent decree, have resulted in a 13% increase in people released within the first 24 hours of a misdemeanor arrest and a 6% decrease in new prosecutions over the three years following arrest, indicating that releasing these defendants doesn’t increase recidivism, according to the study by the Quattrone Center for the Fair Administration of Justice at the University of Pennsylvania.

“This idea that when you release people charged with these low-level crimes you’re going to harm public safety, the data doesn’t support that at all,” said Paul Heaton, academic director at the Quattrone Center and the lead researcher on the study. “You can fix this and you can do it in a way that doesn’t compromise public safety, it doesn’t compromise accountability, it ratchets back the cost of the criminal justice system.”

The study looked at 517,000 cases in the Harris County judicial system between January 2015 and May 2022 to assess the impact of a federal consent decree that eliminated cash bail for most people charged with misdemeanors. The study found a 15% drop in guilty pleas, combined with a 17% reduction in the likelihood of a jail sentence and 15% drop in convictions, which the study’s authors say indicates that fewer innocent people are serving time for crimes they didn’t commit.

Violent crime arrests involving youth have been on the decline

This is unexpected good news, and it indicates that Republican hand-wringing about violent crime is overblown.

From Juvenile Justice Statistics:

The estimated number of youth arrests for violent crime, which includes murder, robbery, and aggravated assault, has declined since the mid-2000s. By 2020, the number of violent crime arrests involving youth reached a new low, 78% below the 1994 peak, and half the number 10 years earlier. ✂️

In 2020, there were an estimated 424,300 arrests involving persons younger than 18—38% fewer than the number of arrests in 2019, and half the number of arrests 5 years earlier. Less than 1 in 10 (8%) of these arrests were for a violent crime. ✂️ 

The number of violent crime arrests involving youth decreased 56% between 2010 and 2020, compared with a 6% decrease for adults. Likewise, from 2019 to 2020, for each of the violent crimes, the relative decline in arrests of youth outpaced the decline for adults.

The Voluntary Gun Law Preventing Suicides

This is a great idea, and it should be widely adopted.

From Reasons to Be Cheerful:

Firearms are the most common means of suicide in the US, accounting for 53 percent of all suicides in 2020. Her mother’s death was the fourth gun suicide in [Katrina] Brees’ family history, and a tipping point. “The next morning, I went straight into action.” Now Brees is advocating for a simple solution: A way for people like her mother to voluntarily add themselves to a Do-Not-Sell List that prevents them from quickly buying a gun. …

State by state, Brees’ solution is becoming a reality. Versions of the Voluntary Do-Not-Sell List — or Donna’s Law — have since been passed in Washington State, Virginia, and Utah. The law grants people the option to voluntarily and confidentially add their names to their state’s background check system to prevent them from impulsively purchasing a gun. Anybody can sign up, no questions asked. If they want to buy a gun, they can file a request to have their name removed after a 21-day waiting period. “It actually gives people more gun rights,” Brees says.

At least nine more states are currently considering similar laws, including Pennsylvania, Tennessee, New York and Wisconsin. In July, Washington Congresswoman Pramila Jayapal (D) and Utah Congressman John Curtis (R) introduced a bill to take the law national. … It’s one of the few pieces of gun safety legislation both parties can agree on. The Wall Street Journal called it a “libertarian approach” to gun control. ✂️ 

Katrina Brees is sure her mother would have signed up. “My mom had fought so hard to stay alive. She had voluntarily checked herself into psychiatric hospitals three times in the months before her death when she thought she might harm herself.”

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Good news from around the world

Russian military recruitment offices come under attack after draft order

It’s good to see the Russian populace letting Putin know that there are limits to his ability to push them around.

From Axios:

Multiple military recruitment offices in Russia have been attacked in the days since Russian President Vladimir Putin announced a “partial mobilization” of an estimated 300,000 Russian citizens for the country’s war in Ukraine.

Driving the news: Local officials said a 25-year-old gunman opened fire at a military draft office in Ust-Ilimsk, Siberia, on Monday, critically wounding the office’s commander, Reuters reported.

  • The shooter, currently in custody, was reportedly upset that his close friend had received a draft summons despite a lack of military experience. ✂️
  • In a separate incident, a man rammed a car into the entrance of a military recruiting center in the southern town of Uryupinsk early Monday morning and began throwing Molotov cocktails at the center, setting it on fire, the Wall Street Journal reported.

State of play: There have been 17 attacks on military recruitment centers and administrative buildings since the mobilization’s announcement on Wednesday, and 54 such attacks since the start of the war in February, according to Russian independent news outlet Mediazona.

The protest over the murder of Mahsa Amini is growing larger and includes men as well as women

This Twitter video shows that Iranian men as well as women are fighting back against the Iran’s repressive policies. BTW, the thread suggests that the fact that the man who slapped the woman is carrying mace (which you can see him pull from his pocket as he’s knocked down) means that he’s one of Khamenei’s goons.

🎩 to Mark Sumner for publishing this in his Iran update on Saturday.

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This update appeared in a NY Times article yesterday, buried below news of Iran’s crackdown against the Kurds. It’s good news that unions and public figures are taking action and speaking out.

Jake Sullivan, President Biden’s national security adviser, said on Sunday that the United States had taken “tangible steps” to punish Iran’s morality police. “The fact that we are in negotiations with Iran on its nuclear program is in no way impacting our willingness and our vehemence in speaking out about what is happening on the streets of Iran,” he said in an interview on CBS’ “Face the Nation.”

The protesters appeared to be receiving increasing support from inside the country.

Teachers’ unions in Iran have called for national strikes on Monday and Wednesday to oppose the violence against protesters and widespread arrests.

Public figures in Iran — including athletes, writers and musicians — have issued statements of solidarity.

A national fencing team captain, Mojtaba Abedini, resigned in support of the protesters. Even an author close to the government, Mostafa Mastoor, criticized the violence used to suppress the uprising.

Spain approves law improving working conditions and social security for domestic workers

Domestic workers all over the world are beginning to stand up for their rights. Good for Spain for doing the right thing.

From the International Labour Organization:

More than 370,000 domestic workers in Spain are to benefit from a new law bringing their labour and social security rights into line with those of other employed workers. The regulation will enter into force on 1 October 2022 and will have a big impact on women, given that they make up 95 per cent of the sector, according to the Spanish Minister of Labour and Social Economy, Yolanda Díaz.  

Trade union organizations and domestic workers’ groups have been demanding the adoption of the resolution for decades, and have drawn it up with Spain’s Council of Ministers.  

The decree anticipates Spain’s ratification of the International Labour Organization’s (ILO) Domestic Workers Convention, 2011 (No. 189) . Among the main modifications the decree introduces are the recognition of the right to unemployment benefits and protection in cases of employer insolvency or bankruptcy, using the Wage Guarantee Fund (FOGASA).    

It also guarantees domestic workers the right to health and safety protection equivalent to that of any other employed person. The new law also abolishes the ability to dismiss these workers without just cause and puts in place a commitment to studying gender-based occupational illnesses, thus applying some of the provisions of the ILO’s Violence and Harassment Convention, 2019 (No. 190) to this group. (Convention No. 190 was ratified by Spain in May this year).

Cubans vote in favour of family law reform that will allow same-sex marriage

A rare example of an authoritarian rubber-stamp election resulting in a good outcome.

From The Guardian:

Cubans have approved a sweeping “family law” code that would allow same-sex couples to marry and adopt as well as redefine rights for children and grandparents, officials said, though opposition in the national referendum was unusually strong on the Communist party-governed island.

The measure – which contains more than 400 articles – was approved by 66.9% to 33.1%, the president of the national electoral council, Alina Balseiro Gutiérrez, told official news media, though results from some places remained to be counted.

The reforms had met unusually strong open resistance from the growing evangelical movement – and many other Cubans – despite an extensive government campaign in favour of the measure, including thousands of informative meetings across the country and extensive media coverage backing it.

Cuban elections, in which no party other than the Communist is allowed, routinely produce victory margins of more than 90% – as did a referendum on a major constitutional reform in 2019.

The code would allow surrogate pregnancies, broader rights for grandparents in regard to grandchildren, protection of elderly people and measures against gender violence.

Lululemon Billionaire Pledges $76 Million to Save Wilderness

First Patagonia, now Lululemon. Let’s see more billionaire founders of businesses follow suit!

From Bloomberg:

Lululemon Athletica Inc. founder Chip Wilson is making his biggest philanthropic gift ever — and one of the largest among Canada’s ultra-rich — to protect vast tracts of wilderness in the western part of the country.

Wilson and his wife, Summer, have pledged C$100 million ($75.8 million) through their foundation to acquire wilderness space in British Columbia. The province is home to 5.3 million people and holds temperate rainforests, rocky coastlines, snowcapped mountains and even desert lands in an area larger than Germany and France combined.

The money will be used by the B.C. Parks Foundation to buy forests and repurchase mining, forestry and other resource licenses, turning “massive amounts of land” into parks that indigenous groups would manage and use for revenue-making purposes such as tourism, Wilson said in an interview. ✂️

The couple, who live in Vancouver, are hoping to encourage matching donations from governments, businesses and other philanthropists to advance the B.C. Parks Foundation’s goal of protecting 25% of the province’s land and water. 

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Good news in medicine

Tiny swimming robots treat deadly pneumonia in mice

Mind-blowing. As Jessiestaf frequently says, “I love living in the future.”

From Science Daily:

Nanoengineers at the University of California San Diego have developed microscopic robots, called microrobots, that can swim around in the lungs, deliver medication and be used to clear up life-threatening cases of bacterial pneumonia.

In mice, the microrobots safely eliminated pneumonia-causing bacteria in the lungs and resulted in 100% survival. By contrast, untreated mice all died within three days after infection. The results are published Sept. 22 in Nature Materials.

The microrobots are made of algae cells whose surfaces are speckled with antibiotic-filled nanoparticles. The algae provide movement, which allows the microrobots to swim around and deliver antibiotics directly to more bacteria in the lungs. The nanoparticles containing the antibiotics are made of tiny biodegradable polymer spheres that are coated with the cell membranes of neutrophils, which are a type of white blood cell. What’s special about these cell membranes is that they absorb and neutralize inflammatory molecules produced by bacteria and the body’s immune system. This gives the microrobots the ability to reduce harmful inflammation, which in turn makes them more effective at fighting lung infection.

The work is a joint effort between the labs of nanoengineering professors Joseph Wang and Liangfang Zhang, both at the UC San Diego Jacobs School of Engineering. Wang is a world leader in the field of micro- and nanorobotics research, while Zhang is a world leader in developing cell-mimicking nanoparticles for treating infections and diseases. Together, they have pioneered the development of tiny drug-delivering robots that can be safely used in live animals to treat bacterial infections in the stomach and blood. Treating bacterial lung infections is the latest in their line of work.

New Scoliosis Brace that Grows With Patients Wins Dyson Award For Grad Student Who Wants to Make a Difference

We have a friend with advanced scoliosis — it’s a devastating disease. So it’s great news that early intervention has been made easier and more adaptable.

From Good News Network:

A University of Cincinnati grad student has invented an adjustable brace for young patients who need to reposition their curved spines—winning a prestigious award for her design genius.

Impacting 7 million Americans every year, scoliosis is a curvature in the spine that often occurs before puberty. Despite the large number affected, advancements in braces that treat this medical condition have not been changed since the late 1950s. Common braces are bulky, inflexible and—most importantly to teenagers—very noticeable, which can deter many youth from wearing the device as often as they should.

…Sangyu Xi won the American James Dyson Award for creating a novel prototype called Airy, a breathable, comfortable, and adjustable brace that can accommodate a patient’s growth for up to three years. Airy is even recyclable and includes an app to track wear time and healing. ✂️ 

Since creating Airy, the prototype has been tested on four teen patients at Cincinnati Children’s Hospital, where feedback was extremely positive.

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Good news in science

Scientists blasted plastic with lasers and turned it into tiny diamonds and a new type of water

More mind-blowing science.

From Live Science:

Using ultrapowerful lasers, scientists have blasted cheap plastic and transformed it into tiny “nanodiamonds” — and, in doing so, confirmed the existence of an exotic new type of water. 

The findings could potentially reveal the existence of diamond rain on ice giants in our solar system and explain why these frigid worlds have such strange magnetic fields. The laser-blasting technique could also lead to more Earthly applications.

Nanodiamonds are diamonds that measure just a few nanometers, or billionths of a meter. They have both existing and potential applications, such as turning carbon dioxide into other gases and delivering drugs into the body, study co-author Dominik Kraus, a physicist at Helmholtz-Zentrum Dresden-Rossendorf in Germany, told Live Science. “Nanodiamonds could also be used as ultrasmall and very precise quantum sensors for temperature and magnetic fields, which may result in a plethora of applications,” Kraus said. The technique could also reduce plastic pollution by creating a financial incentive to clear and transform plastics from the ocean, he said. ✂️ 

The new research shows that this type of diamond formation may be more common than scientists previously believed, raising the chances that ice giants may sport thick layers of diamonds around their solid cores.

The experiment also strongly suggests that at the high temperatures and pressures found in the interiors of such icy worlds, an exotic state of water, called  superionic water ice, emerges. This strange form of water allows protons to move through a lattice of oxygen atoms. If such superionic water exists on ice giants such as Uranus and Neptune, the movement of protons through this exotic type of matter may help generate the peculiar magnetic fields observed on those planets, Kraus said.

How Do Fireflies Flash in Sync? Studies Suggest a New Answer.

This is the first time I’ve heard of “chimera synchrony.” Fascinating and spooky!

From Quanta:

…by the time [biologist Orit] Peleg began her own lab, applying computational approaches to biology at the University of Colorado and at the Santa Fe Institute, she had learned that although fireflies had inspired a lot of math, quantitative data describing what the insects were actually doing was scant.

She set out to fix that. In the last two years, a series of papers from Peleg’s group have opened a fire hose of real-world data about synchrony in multiple firefly species at multiple study sites, and at a much higher resolution than previous modelers or biologists had managed. “Pretty astonishing” is how the mathematical biologist Bard Ermentrout at the University of Pittsburgh described the team’s results to Quanta. “I was blown away,” said Andrew Moiseff, a biologist at the University of Connecticut.

These papers establish that real firefly swarms depart from the mathematical idealizations that flitted through journals and textbooks for decades. Nearly every model for firefly synchrony ever concocted, for example, assumes that each firefly maintains its own internal metronome. A preprint that Peleg’s group posted in March, however, showed that in at least one species, individual fireflies have no intrinsic rhythm, and it posited that a collective beat emerges only from the spooky synergy of many lightning bugs gathered together. An even more recent preprint, first uploaded in May and updated last week, documented a rare type of synchrony that mathematicians call a chimera state, which has almost never been observed in the real world outside of contrived experiments.

Firefly biologists hope the new methods will reshape the science and conservation of fireflies. Mathematicians devising theories of synchrony like the ones that Strogatz described in his textbook, meanwhile, have operated without much experimental feedback from messy real-world synchronizers. “That’s the big breakthrough,” said Strogatz, a professor of mathematics at Cornell University. “Now we can start closing the loop.”

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Good news for the environment

Fast transition to carbon-free energy could save trillions

I hope Biden’s environmental policy advisers pick up on this. Let’s go, go, go!!

From Anthropocene:

Shifting the world’s energy system from fossil fuels to green energy technologies could save at least US $12 trillion, according to a new study.

The study, published in the journal Joule, shows that transitioning to 100 percent clean energy by 2050 results in lower overall costs than a fossil fuel-based system. It will also allow more energy to be produced, making energy more accessible around the world.

Decarbonizing the energy sector is going to be crucial to fight climate change. But the move to clean energy technologies—which has also been shown to potentially save thousands of lives—is thought to have prohibitively high initial costs.

These cost predictions, though, have been incorrect, according to researchers at Oxford University. Past models have underestimated how quickly renewables will be deployed, and overestimated their costs. This has kept companies from investing in these technologies and governments from incentivizing the move away from fossil fuels, lead author Rupert Way said in a press release.

So the Oxford team turned to a different method, called a probabilistic model, which forecasts costs based more precisely on historical data. In a previous study, they validated this method for 50 different technologies, including oil, coal, gas, wind, solar, and nuclear. In reality, they found that the costs of wind, solar, batteries, electric vehicles, and green hydrogen have fallen much more sharply than key energy models predicted. The actual cost of solar energy fell twice as fast as even the most ambitious models estimated. Meanwhile, the price of fossil fuels has risen steeply.

Study finds 100% renewables would pay off within 6 years

We need to get this message out!

From PV Magazine:

The latest energy system models from Stanford University researcher Mark Jacobson…show that for 145 countries, the energy transition to 100% wind, water, solar and storage would pay for itself within six years, and ultimately cost less than continuing with the current energy systems.

“Worldwide, WWS reduces end use energy by 56.4%, private annual energy costs by 62.7% (from $17.8 to $6.6 trillion per year), and social (private plus health plus climate) annual energy costs by 92.0% (from $83.2 to $6.6 trillion per year) at a present-value cost of $61.5 trillion,” Jacobson said in his most recent paper. “Thus, WWS requires less energy, costs less, and creates more jobs than business as usual.”

He described the model in “Low-cost solutions to global warming, air pollution, and energy insecurity for 145 countries,” which was recently published in Energy & Environmental Science. It builds on Jacobson’s previous work by adding new countries, more recent energy consumption data from all regions, and calculations to deal with uncertainty in the future price of battery energy storage, the role batteries will play, and the development of newer technologies such as vehicle to grid. But despite these uncertainties, Jacobson is certain that technological barriers don’t present a major roadblock for the transition. “(About) 95% of the technologies needed to implement the plans proposed are already commercialized,” he states.

The study also finds that, while jobs would be lost in the mining and fossil fuels segments, 28 million more jobs would be created than lost overall. Only Russia, Canada and parts of Africa are expected to see net job losses as a result, as these regions economies depend heavily on fossil fuels.

Norway’s wealth fund tells firms to set net zero emission goals

Investor activism works, especially when the investor is this huge.

From Reuters:

Norway’s $1.2 trillion wealth fund, one of the world’s largest investors, said on Tuesday it would push the companies it invests in to cut their greenhouse gas emissions to net zero by 2050, in line with the Paris Agreement.

Institutional investors are increasingly looking to reduce the role they play in global warming through their investments, with Norway’s move coming ahead of the next round of global climate talks in Egypt in November.

The fund invests the revenue from Western Europe’s biggest oil and gas producer for future generations in stocks, bonds, property and renewable projects abroad. It owns on average 1.3% of all listed global stocks and its holdings equate to $219,000 for every Norwegian man, woman and child.

Under the new plan, the fund will prioritise dialogue with the 174 companies that are the biggest emitters of greenhouse gases and account for 70% of the fund’s emissions via its shareholdings. ✂️

…the fund reiterated it would not divest from big emitters to achieve these targets. Instead, it will be an “active shareholder” to effect change.

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Good news for and about animals

Brought to you by Rosy, Nora, and Rascal.

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Rosy, Nora, and Rascal asked me to highlight the life-saving work of UA Animals and to publish the links for donations. To give you an idea of what UA Animals does, here’s their most recent blog post on Patreon:

214th day of the war: support for animals in occupied Berdyansk and Melitopol, helping with the evacuation of animals from Kherson, feeding strays in Mykolayiv
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Follow our pages in English:

👉 https://twitter.com/uanimalseng

👉 https://instagram.com/uanimals.eng

________________

While our soldiers hold the borders and are our guardians of the good, we save animals that are completely defenseless against the enemy. And as long as there are people ready to come to the aid of those who need it, there will be peace and love that neither bullets, nor shells, nor missiles can destroy. Show your love and support for animals by joining the animal rescue cause:

PayPal 👉 paypal@uanimals.org

Patreon 👉 https://www.patreon.com/uanimals

Today:

🐾 helped feed the animals of occupied Kherson. A local volunteer Rima takes care of her 9 pets and feeds the strays in the city. We donated UAH 2,000 to the woman for buying animal feed.

🐾 supported the animals of occupied Melitopol. Lady Oksana continues to take care of animals in conditions of occupation. Some cats are old and need special feed. We transferred UAH 5,000 for feeding and caring for her 17 cats and a dog.

🐾 provided help to the “Voluntary_help_to_animals_kh” organization, which takes care of animals in occupied Kherson. We sent UAH 3,000 to help evacuate and feed 15 cats, 2 dogs and a rabbit.

🐾 supported cats in occupied Berdyansk. A local animal rescue activist Olga feeds stray and abandoned cats in her yard. She also needs help with neutering 3 cats. Our organization provided assistance in the amount of UAH 3,500 for the care of 10 cats.

🐾 helped stray animals of frontline Mykolayiv. Ksenia is a local volunteer who helps the homeless. She often rehabilitates injured and seriously ill animals. The animal rescue volunteer often shares food with neighbors who need it. We transferred UAH 2,500 to help the woman with the keeping of 18 cats and 5 dogs.

🐾 neutered 254 animals as part of the free neutering program. Currently, the program operates in Kharkiv, Chernivtsi, Zaporizhya, Prymorsk, Bilyaivka (Odesa region), Zhovty Vody, Kropyvnytskyi, Kryvyi Rih, Kyiv, Zhytomyr, Yuzhny, Poltava, Chernihiv, Khmelnytskyi, Odesa, Glukhiv, Dnipro, and Cherkasy.

🔆In total today, we helped 55 animals. The amount of assistance came to UAH 14,300. ✂️ 

The victory of free Ukraine is what we are all waiting for. We are sure that it will come soon, but in order to speed up this process, we need to continue to rally and move together towards the triumph of good over evil. We are grateful to everyone who joins our activities and contributes to saving lives. After all, every life is precious!

And for those of you who were moved by the story of Natalya Popova and her rescue of wild animals in Ukraine, here’s a link to the story of how UA Animals recently joined with Popova to expand her work: www.patreon.com/…

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Art break

I stumbled on this and thought some of you might appreciate the nudge to consider buying your holiday gifts from Ukrainian artisans. The work shown in this Twitter thread is beautiful.

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Hot lynx

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washingtonmonthly.com/… Voters Don’t Believe You Stand for Things Until You Actually Do Them. “What’s behind the Democratic comeback summer? Chalk it up to voters seeing Republicans overturn Roe and Democrats making big moves on issues like climate change.”

www.theatlantic.com/…The Russian Clocks Are All Ticking. Tom Nichols in The Atlantic on Putin’s bad choices and narrowing options.

civileats.com/… The Ban on Chlorpyrifos and the Power of Community Organizing. “Despite scientific evidence showing its dangers, it took more than 20 years of work by farmworkers and advocacy organizations to ban the use of the pesticide on farms. Here’s how they did it.”

jill.substack.com/… The Conservative Lack of Imagination. A thoughtful piece by Jill Filipovic tackling the question “What creates a politics of minimum empathy and maximal entitlement?”

www.psychologytoday.com/… Busting Misconceptions About Mindfulness. “How mindfulness is not an individual, but inherently a social project.”

www.nationalgeographic.com/… This miracle plant was eaten into extinction 2,000 years ago—or was it? “Silphion cured diseases and made food tasty, but Emperor Nero allegedly consumed the last stalk. Now, a Turkish researcher thinks he’s found a botanical survivor.”

www.sapiens.org/… Did Neanderthals Make Art? A paleoanthropolgist examines the case for Neanderthal art and why the scientific community remains skeptical.

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Wherever is herd…

A tip of the hat to 2thanks for creating this handy info sheet for all Gnusies new and old!

Morning Good News Roundups at 7 x 7: These Gnusies lead the herd at 7 a.m. ET, 7 days a week: 

hpg posts Evening Shade diaries at 7:30 p.m. ET every day! After a long day, Gnusies meet in the evening shade and continue sharing Good News, good community, and good actions. In the words of NotNowNotEver: “hpg ably continues the tradition of Evening Shade.” Find Evening Shades here.

oldhippiedude posts Tweets of the Week on Sundays at 6:00 p.m. Central Time — New time! Our second evening Gnusie hangout zone! In search of a TOTW diary? Look here or here.

For more information about the Good News group, please see our detailed Welcoming comment, one of the first comments in our morning diaries.

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Good News Sources

And two more from Mokurai:

And another recommended by commenter lynnekz:

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How to Resist: Do Something …

Donate

Goodie’s first GNR-powered fundraiser for 38 close House races raised over $80,000, giving each campaign over $2000. Now she has focused on 22 more House races that really need our help, and as of yesterday morning, we’d blown through the goal of $44,000, giving over $2000 to each of these 22 Dems. Let’s keep it going!

Keep The House Blue

I feel like I have a personal stake in this fundraiser, because five of these 22 candidates are from my neck of the woods: Kim Schrier(incumbent in northern WA state who’s been targeted by the NRCC), Marie Gluesenkamp Perez (running against a MAGAt for Jaime Herrera Beutler’s old seat in SW WA state), Val Hoyle(running against a MAGAt to replace retiring Peter DeFazio — this is a vitally important race with lots of R $$ coming from out of state), Jamie McLeod-Skinner (who beat DINO Kurt Schrader in the primary and is running against a conservative R who’s anti-abortion, anti-Covid-restrictions, and pro-guns), and Andrea Salinas (running in Oregon’s new 6th district against a MAGAt tarnished by scandal).

Note: Lots of you have been justifiably complaining about getting text messages from the campaigns you donate to on ActBlue, like Goodie’s campaign here. The way to stop this is:

  1. Sign in to your ActBlue account.
  2. Click on “Profile.”
  3. Click on “Contact Info.”
  4. Delete the numbers in the field “Cell phone (optional).”
  5. Then click “Save” and exit.

Easy-peasy!!

NEW! GOTV: How YOU can do something about the news

An invaluable diary by peregrine kate on DKos, full of recommendations for all the ways each of us can take action. Check it out!!

EVEN NEWER!! CRUNCH TIME: THE TIDE IS TURNING. Here’s ~900 ways to help make #AmericaBlueIn22

An absolutely epic diary by Brainwrap listing all the competitive races in the entire country for House, Senate, Governors, Secretaries of State, Attorneys General, State Supreme Court Justices, and more!! Do not miss this!

Abortion assistance

Here’s an easy action you can take RIGHT NOW:

Donate to two organizations providing support to people in no-abortion states who need assistance getting abortions.

National Network of Abortion Funds

The Brigid Alliance

Both of these organizations provide help with transportation, medical fees, hotel stays, etc., for those who have to travel out of state for an abortion. NNAF is a central clearing house for that assistance, The Brigid Alliance does that work directly.

Get the truth out

Indivisible has created a Truth Brigade to push back against the lies.

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Propaganda, false characterizations, intentionally misleading messages, and outright lies threaten our democracy and even our lives. We can effectively combat disinformation, despite the well-funded machines that drive it. They may have money, but we have truth and we have people.People believe sources they trust. When we share and amplify unified, factual messages to those who trust us, we shift the narrative. When we do this by the thousands–we’re part of the Indivisible Truth Brigade, and we get our country back. Join us.️

Our own Mokurai is a member. You can see all of the diaries in the Truth Sandwiches group on DK here.

Call out tax exempt organizations whose political stance violates IRS regulations

A suggestion from chloris creator:

new!!! Tax-exempt organization complaint referrals. 13909. This has been filled out for the NRA, but, hey, you can use it for a lot 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?

“The process to get the NRA’s tax-exempt nonprofit status revoked has become simpler. All you need to do is save this form and email it to eoclass@irs.gov. It’s all filled out for you. You just need to click send.” Allen Glines

Note that the IRS protects your anonymity: The appropriate checkbox is already checked: “I am concerned that I might face retaliation or retribution if my identity is disclosed.”

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Get creative with sticky notes or labels

This suggestion comes from Kossack Ocean Rain (bolding mine):

My friends and I are carrying around pens and sticky notes and/or big mailing labels (things with adhesives that don’t cause property damage when removed) and writing messages such as:

– Defend Choice — Defeat Republicans in the Midterms Nov. 8
– On Nov. 8 Vote Blue — or else the GOP will take your right to birth control too
Vote Pro-Choice in Midterms Nov. 8
– Roe, Roe, Roe Your Vote — Midterms Nov. 8

You can also include state-specific primary date voting info. if applicable (like for the NO vote in Kansas on the abortion question). In red states, people are including abortion access website links.
We’re placing them in public restrooms, highway rest stops, transit stations, shopping malls — any high-visibility place. We’d love it if some DailyKos-ers would do the same and spread the idea far and wide on social media. Thank you!

Goodie’s action steps

Most important: DON’T LOSE HOPE.  This is a giant and important fight for us but, win or lose, we keep fighting and voting and organizing and spreading truth and light.  We never give up.

And I’ll add a recommendation for you to check out Activate America (formerly Flip the West), which is recruiting people to send postcards to Dem voters.

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Closing music

Together we stand, divided we fall
Come on now people, let’s get on the ball and work together

❤️ ❤️ ❤️ ❤️ ❤️

Thanks to all of you for your smarts, your hearts, and

your faithful attendance at our daily Gathering of the Herd.

❤️💙  RESIST, PERSIST, REBUILD, REJOICE!  💙❤️

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

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