Good News Friday

It’s your weekly progress report!

• The U.S. economy added 227,000 jobs in February, more than forecasters had expected.

• In what has been heralded as a major victory for wildlife, the U.S. Senate passed the RESTORE Act, which was presented as an amendment to the highway bill. It gives those states affected by the Gulf oil spill billions of dollars in fines collected from BP. The money would have gone to the U.S. Treasury had Congress not intervened.

• In a related move, the U.S. Senate yesterday voted down the Keystone XL pipeline that was also submitted as an amendment to the transportation bill.

• And finally, Senators also voted down Sen. David Vitter’s amendment to the transportation bill that would have revived a Bush-era plan to expand offshore oil drilling in protected areas such as Alaska’s Bristol Bay.

• The United States Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit has unanimously rejected the Republican National Committee’s appeal of a 30-year-old consent decree protecting minority voters from GOP voter suppression tactics.

• Conservatives were crowing over a budget figure showing the Affordable Care Act will cost $111 billion more than expected because of increased subsidies to the insurance exchanges. But they forgot to deduct the related $272 billion in Medicaid savings the move created, as people moved out of Medicaid and onto these exchanges. The result is a net savings of $161 billion. So to recap: “Obamacare” will cost less than expected and another conservative talking point goes down in flames.

• Tata Power Co., India’s largest power company, announced it’s favoring wind and solar over coal for its new investments. Coal faces fuel shortages in India and environmental regulations in Europe and the U.S., making it much less attractive for investment, according to Tata Power’s Executive Director S. Padmanabhan.

• Thanks to a California labeling law, Coke and Pepsi have altered their recipes to use less 4-methylimidazole, a substance linked to cancer in lab mice and rats. Under California law, soft drink makers would have been forced to add a cancer warning label to product packaging. The change will be rolled out nationally so as to standardize manufacturing. And thank you for reminding me why I hardly ever drink that crap.

• Republican New York Assemblywoman Teresa Sayward says she doesn’t support any of the Republican presidential candidates because they’d all “take women back decades.” Instead, she says she supports President Obama. A rare reality check for Republicans.

• Ohio Republican Rep. Jean Schmidt, dubbed “Mean Jean” for her 2007 attacks on Rep. John Murtha, lost her primary race on Tuesday. Schmidt was famous for her “cowards cut and run, Marines never do” quote aimed at Murtha during debate over a resolution that would have removed U.S. troops from Iraq.

• In a related story, while Rep. Dennis Kucinich lost his primary battle after GOP redistricting pitted him against fellow Democrat Marcy Kaptur, he is considering running for Congress in another state. Kucinich’s strong progressive voice is one that shouldn’t be silenced by Republican gerrymandering.

• Iceland’s former prime minister is on trial for the 2008 financial meltdown, the first world leader to be tried for the global financial disaster.

• A movement to ban shackling of pregnant detainees is underway around the country, with bills pending in state legislatures such as Arizona.

• A Houston Jury has convicted Allen Stanford of running a $7 billion Ponzi scheme.

• Cancer researchers show important progress in the tumor-fighting strategy known as immunotherapy.

• A pill to cure racism? Get outta town! Oxford researchers claim the blood pressure medication Propranolol has the side effect of muting racist thoughts.

• A U.S. Appeals Court has blocked two more sections of Alabama’s immigration law.

• More than two dozen Vermont towns voted on Tuesday to support a Constitutional amendment saying no to corporate personhood and overturning Citizens United.

Extreme poverty has fallen in the developing world, according to a World Bank report, despite the global recession.

• A running robot has broken a 23-year-old speed record. In retrospect, this may not be good news. We’ve all seen how this movie ends, amiright? Kidding.

• A man who learned to read and write at the age of 91 has published his autobiography at the age of 98. Lobsterman Jim Henry was forced to quit school in the 3rd grade to support his family.

• Fallout from Rush Limbaugh’s attack on Sandra Fluke continues: over 40 advertisers have dumped the show, forcing stations to fill advertising slots with PSA’s and even airing five minutes of dead air.

• Climate change will be included in the revamped SimCity video game.

• Compass Group USA announced plans to eliminate sow gestation crates from its U.S. pork supply chain by 2017.

Good News, Tennessee Edition:

• The Tennessee GOP has backed away from a proposal that would cut students’ HOPE lottery scholarships. Apparently lottery profits are overflowing and there was no reason to do it except to be assholes to poor students. OH SNAP logic and reason prevail!

• An MTSU alternative fuels expert and agriscience professor will drive from coast to coast on 10 gallons of fuel, using a modified solar-and alternative fuel-powered Prius.

• A “transit-ready” development has been green-lighted for Gallatin, TN, a suburb north of Nashville. It’s the first of its kind for Tennessee.

• Nashville’s new under-construction convention center may get solar panels! This makes so much sense I despair of it ever happening.

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7 Comments

Filed under Good News

7 responses to “Good News Friday

  1. Thanks for all the good news!

  2. chrome agnomen

    lots of good news indeed! but do you really think that obama care turning out to save money will kill a right wing talking point? bridge for sale, cheap!

    • Sadly, facts have a well-known liberal bias. But the right wing can continue to spread it’s lies all it wants, that doesn’t mean I’m going to stop spreading the facts.

  3. Good news indeed ! !

    Right wingers ‘ lies, when told relentlessly will ultimately become the truth. That’s the problem.

  4. Southern Beale:

    I’ve been banging heads with a couple of “independent thinkers” on an energy related blog thread over at FreeThoughtBlogs. Guys have an amazing command of talking poi–,er, facts that support dirtyenergy while claiming to be very committed to “alternative” energy.

  5. PurpleGirl

    Thank you for this new feature. It is good to read all the good news we can get. I’m going to look into that Republican representative from New York state and maybe send her a thank you note. We need to encourage actions like hers.