Good News Friday

Here’s this week’s rundown of good news. But first an update: in last week’s Good News, Tennessee Edition report, I told everyone about how Sen. Jim Summerville apologized to Rep. Barbara Cooper and the Black Caucus for last year saying he “didn’t give a rat’s ass” about what they thought. In his apology he said he was trying to “live a more Christ-like life.” So I wonder how Jesus would mark Black History Month? If you’re Sen. Jim Summerville, it’s by putting forth a bill to ban affirmative action. Looks like Sen. Jim Summerville’s apologies are as empty as the gaping chasm where his heart is supposed to be. Shame on you. Christ-like? My ass.

On to better news:

• You can watch asteroid 2012 DA14 fly past earth online here. Is it just me or are we getting more celestial drive-bys these days?

• Check out this hero pit bull, who saved his Oklahoma family from a housefire — then went back inside to rescue the family’s other dogs.

• The Illinois State Senate passed a marriage equality bill yesterday. Now it’s on to the state hHuse.

• Some 34,000 troops – half the U.S. force in Afghanistan – will return home by 2014.

• California proposes tightening its gun laws. Let me take this moment to direct people to the Accidental Shootings Tumblr again. I visit this site several times throughout the day. What’s really striking to me is where these accidental shootings take place: stories from the South, Pennsylvania, Ohio, and Colorado seem to dominate. I rarely see stories from California or New York. I may be wrong, I haven’t actually counted them, it’s just my perception.

• Surprise! The U.S. posted a $3 billion budget surplus in January.

• Ticketmaster will no allow you to transfer event tickets to other people digitally at no charge. Let me say, I’m extremely dubious of the “at no charge” thing; I never knew that phrase was in their lexicon. Knowing TicketLosers, they’ll dream up some ridiculous “convenience fee.”

• Oh whaaaah. Whaaah. { sobs } Whaaaah…. It’s another touching and heartwarming story about a boy with no legs and his three-legged dog.

• The world’s greenest building opens in Seattle.

• Big Food has cut the salt from dozens of brand name food products, from Kraft American cheese slices to Ragu spaghetti sauce.

• A Federal judge overturned 2012 Arizona anti-abortion law targeting Planned Parenthood.

• Wichita, KS hasn’t had an abortion provider since the murder of Dr. George Tiller, but that looks poised to change.

• Interpol, the world’s largest international police organization, elected its first woman president.

• Two Democratic House members introduced a “We The People” Amendment to end corporate personhood.

• Small-town Ohio mayor resigns after insulting a gay police officer. Extra: the great support Officer Calendine received from the town’s police chief.

Good News, Tennessee Edition:

• Bring it on, y’all: three Tennessee high school cheerleading teams won national titles at the Universal Cheerleading Association competition.

• Apparently they built a Domino’s Pizza on the site of a major Civil War battlefield in Franklin? That’s right up there with putting a parking lot over the bones of Richard III. Now some preservationists have purchased the site, which will be the future home of a Civil War Park.

• If you’ve ever been to Nashville then a trip to the Loveless Cafe is a must. The restaurant’s staff traveled to New York this week to cook a multi-course Valentine’s Day dinner at the James Beard House.

• Contratulations to Nashville’s The Black Keys, who won big at the Grammy’s Sunday night.

This week’s cool video: Senator Elizabeth Warren’s first banking committee hearing. She asks the regulators, “How tough are you? When was the last time you took a Wall Street bank to trial?” This is something that’s just fucking amazing. The banks must be crapping their pants right now:

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12 Comments

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12 responses to “Good News Friday

  1. Jim from Memphis

    I would bet the $3 billion dollar surplus would be mostly thanks to the 2% tax hike on every taxpayer in the country – you know the people Obama promised not to raise taxes on…

    • I think the article stated that a large portion is from the expiration of the 2010 temporary payroll tax reduction. That was part of the fiscal cliff deal and raised $9 billion in revenue — a concession the Democrats agreed to. Like the Bush tax cuts, it was intended to be temporary, so I don’t know how fired up they were for it anyway, but they wanted to keep it and pay for it with a tax on people earning over $1 million and Republicans said no.

      If you want to frame that as “Obama reneging on a promise,” be my guest, but I guess the Republicans will have to wear that badge too, since they pledged not to increase taxes as well. Where’s Grover Norquist when you need him? Oh yeah, he said it’s “not a tax increase”:

      Antitax campaigner Grover Norquist advised a room of House Republicans on Thursday that a failure to extend the payroll-tax cut would not be tantamount to raising taxes, regardless of what President Obama and other Democrats say.

      Norquist’s comments come as the Senate prepared to vote on Thursday night on different Democratic and Republican bills to prevent the tax cut from expiring at the end of the year.

      His remarks also come a day after Obama asserted at a rally in Scranton, Pa., that expiration of the payroll-tax cut would be a blow to the economy. His message to Congress: “Don’t be a Grinch. Don’t vote to raise taxes on working Americans during the holiday.”

      So, we could have saved that by taxing people earning over $1 million a year but nooo. And apparently Republicans didn’t like the payroll tax reduction, which was part of the stimulus, because they said it didn’t stimulate the economy. Meanwhile millionaires and billionaires need to keep every penny because they do? That defies logic. People on the lower end of the income scale spend every penny they get. Millionaires sock their money away in Cayman Island bank accounts.

      All this proves is that President Obama and the Democrats are willing to compromise to try to avoid fiscal disasters, whereas Republicans were willing to send us over the fiscal cliff to protect millionaires. But nice try, Jim.

  2. Liz Warren 2016.

    Was that a celestial body exploding over Russia or Jamie Dimon’s head?

  3. Isn't that special

    Did you forget the good news about Jesse Jackson Jr impending jail time and admission of stealing funds from his campaign accounts?

  4. democommie

    “Did you forget the good news about Jesse Jackson Jr impending jail time and admission of stealing funds from his campaign accounts?”

    Oh, goodness, I think Southern Beale has a troll.

    Can you say, “Duke Cunningham”? When you’ve mastered that we have a shitton of other True MurKKKan PATRIOTS on the right side of the political spectrum who have been caught screwin’ the pooch.

    • Yes, he’s a troll who followed me over from Pith in the Wind. I’d hope you’d know better than to respond to a troll. For fuck’s sake, people, have some discipline! I don’t want to have to ban people because my regular commenters can’t control themselves!

    • Isn't that special

      While we dredge up Duke Cunngham let’s not forget that noted Davidson County Democrat party chief Mullins and his propensity for kiddie pix

  5. ThresherK

    A Domino’s?

    It’s one thing to put a real pizzeria over a battleground site, but as a northeasterner, building a Domino’s there is insult on top of insult.

    (At least Tennessee has some good pizza to call its own now, I hope. Hey, expat-Southerners have said real BBQ can be had in pockets of CT compared to ~30 years ago.)

  6. Ken

    “Is it just me or are we getting more celestial drive-bys these days?”

    As long as they’re drive-bys and not drop-ins, I’m OK with that.

    I saw this and immediately thought of your column. http://sports.yahoo.com/blogs/ncaaf-dr-saturday/elderly-couple-pulled-over-buckeye-car-decal-mistaken-191317336–ncaaf.html

    Keep up the work; I really look forward to your ‘Good News..’ articles. Well, other stuff, too.

  7. • Surprise! The U.S. posted a $3 billion budget surplus in January.

    QUICK! WE MUST REDISTRIBUTE THIS ILL-GOTTEN WINDFALL TO THE NEAREST RICH PERSON AT ONCE!!!!!!!1111one

    ~>X[

  8. Watching Elizabeth Warren asking a few pertinent questions to the banking regulators was refreshing. No wonder those asshats at the biggest banking institutions fought so hard to keep her from heading up the Consumer Protection Agency SHE designed… Too bad (for them) they couldn’t keep her out of the Senate. In my humble opinion, she’s the Democratic Party’s hottest rising star and is on a very fast track to the nomination for Prez in the near future.