Good News Friday

And we’re off to the races:

• Printed-on-demand robots allowing the average person to design and print a 3-D machine in 24 hours will be a reality by the end of the decade. Wonder if I can make one of those personal jet-packs they promised us with this thing.

• Corporations are getting the message that supporting far-right “think tanks” can cost them customers. General Motors and AT&T have withdrawn their support from the anti-climate science Heartland Institute, while Kraft, PepsiCo and Coca-Cola have withdrawn their support from ALEC over its promoting of voter suppression laws and “stand your ground” gun laws. Hmm. Guess what’s good for ExxonMobil and Wal-Mart isn’t always good for everyone else.

UPDATE: Intuit is also out of ALEC.

You know what? I’d be happier if every corporation stopped funding think tanks — all of them. Aren’t you guys supposed to be funneling your profits back into your companies, innovating and creating new products and markets, creating jobs and prosperity? So all of your wonderfulness trickles down on us peons? Isn’t that how Ayn Rand says this works? So stop diverting your profits to politically motivated “think tanks” whose only purpose it to spread bullshit and game the system.

• The stimulus worked:

• Scientists in China have discovered remains of a previously-unknown species of dinosaur: a feathered, flightless, meat-eating cousin of T-Rex called Yutyrannus.

• The Dept. of Justice is suing Maricopa County Sheriff Joe Arpaio for civil rights violations, charging that the department illegally targeted Latinos.

• Five former New Orleans police officers were sentenced for shooting unarmed residents on the Danziger Bridge after Hurricane Katrina. One officer was convicted of helping orchestrate a coverup in the aftermath.

• The Texas Democratic Party has won its lawsuit against Houston Tea Party group King Street Patriots. KSP tried to claim it’s a non-partisan, not-for-profit group whose mission is to unearth voter fraud, but the judge wasn’t buying it.

• Native American tribes turn to renewable energy production as a revenue source, which could be a “game changer” for alternative energy:

[...] if just one-third of the solar capability on the Navajo nation’s vast reservation lands were developed, it would produce enough energy “to power the entire nation through the rest of this century.” Wind resources of tribal lands on the Great Plains from Texas to Canada could power 50 million homes.

• Myanmar’s opposition party said Aung San Suu Kyi won a seat in parliament Sunday, despite what they said were “rampant irregularities” on voting day. The Nobel Peace Prize winner had been kept under house arrest for years by the country’s military rulers.

• FedEx is putting its muscle behind energy efficiency. Here’s another company that maybe should stop putting money into groups like ALEC and the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, who are working at cross-purposes with FedEx’s goal of energy innovation.

Good News, Tennessee Edition:

• Tennessee’s guns-in-parking-lots bill is dead.

• Congressman Steve Cohen of Memphis, one of the strongest progressive voices in the House of Representatives, has received an endorsement from President Obama.

• Nashville author Ann Patchett has been nominated to Time’s 100 Most Influential People list.

• Food & Wine Magazine has named chefs Josh Habiger and Erik Anderson of Nashville’s Catbird Seat “Best New Chefs in America.” I should add, I tried to take Mr. Beale there for his birthday and the place is booked up months ahead of time.

About these ads

12 Comments

Filed under Good News

12 responses to “Good News Friday

  1. deep

    But the fight isn’t over for the tea party group. In a release, KSP announced it would appeal the ruling on constitutional grounds.

    …I wonder how Scalia/Thomas/Roberts would rule on this. :(

  2. Charles

    Would want to start a graph war, but check out this one:
    http://portalseven.com/employment/unemployment_rate_u6.jsp?fromYear=2007&toYear=2012

    The U6 rate measures the total unemployed as a percentage of the total work force. So as you see it is trending down slightly, but over the last year or so, mostly after the stimulus was over. Obviously had there been no stimulus things would have been far, far worse.

  3. Jim

    This gives a little clearer picture on the unemployment numbers:
    http://unemploymentdata.com/charts/current-employment-data/employment-2000-2012feb/

    There are about 5 million fewer people give or take a million working now than in Jan 2008. Since a lot of them are no longer even looking for a job they do not count as unemployed so they don’t count against the unemployment rate. That is how you get the unemployment rate to drop with fewer people actually working.

    • Charles

      The government has been fudging the unemployment numbers, and the budget numbers, and the economic growth numbers for a long time with the help of the media who faithfully parrot whatever Washington tells them. It’s really difficult to figure out how bad things are, but generally you can be pretty sure they’re worse than you think.

    • Wonder how many of them are local, state and federal government employees. I think most of them. This is Republican “small government” at work. Pat yourselves on the back.

      Also, a lot of postal service workers account for the unemployed too.

  4. And let me add, whenever we liberals used that argument about unemployment numbers during the Bush years (“it’s worse than you think, numbers don’t reflect number of people who have stopped looking,” etc. etc.) we were called “the hate America first crowd.”

    Let’s just say, any government numbers-fudging didn’t begin with the Obama Administration. I’d say it’s all a wash, because the real unemployment rate under Bush was a lot higher than they said, too.

  5. “Nashville author Ann Patchett has been nominated to Time’s 100 Most Influential People list.”

    Is her spot on the list higher than mine?

  6. having more people on the federal workforce isn’t going to jump start the economy.

  7. About ALEC… I didn’t even know such entity existed until 2 weeks ago when Coke, et al pulled out their support.