Man, is it Friday already? Where did the week go? Without further ado, here’s your weekly round-up of good news.
• A new Pew Research Poll shows Republicans are out of step with most Americans on virtually every major issue. Shocking, I know.
Let me say, I don’t consider this good news, per se, but it’s important news. And it does show that the majority of Americans support the policies of President Obama and the Democrats on big issues. Also, this is like the third survey saying this. I’m hoping Republicans will get the message and an end to gridlock is in sight.
• The New Jersey legislature will vote to override Gov. Chris Christie’s veto of marriage equality legislation.
• The U.S. Chamber of Commerce and the AFL-CIO have reached an agreement on immigration reform.
• American kids are consuming fewer calories, which researchers believe is a sign that the childhood obesity epidemic has plateaued.
• China, the world’s largest emitter of carbon, announced this week it would initiate a carbon tax.
• The biggest climate rally ever in the United States took place on Sunday.
• U.S. car manufacturers are hiring again, an encouraging sign for the economy.
• Major hardware retailers in the UK have voluntarily stopped selling pesticides containing neonicotinoids, a pesticide associated with bee decline.
• Berea, Ky., became the state’s third city to offer domestic partner benefits for GLBT employees.
• The Associated Press has reversed its decision to not refer to same-sex spouses as “husband” and “wife.”
• The nation’s largest power wheelchair company was busted for Medicare fraud.
• If this is any sign, the Justice Dept. is getting serious about prosecuting Wall Street for financial fraud.
• Four former executives with the Georgia-based Peanut Corporation of America were indicted over the 2009 salmonella outbreak which sickened over 700 people.
• Projected Medicare spending has fallen by more than $500 billion.
• When a small-town Mississippi newspaper covered a (non-legal) same-sex wedding on its front page, outrage ensued. The good news? The newspaper owner published a scathing editorial aimed at its homophobic critics.
• NASA’s Curiosity rover has collected its first drill samples of rock from Mars.
• This, my friends, is why Al Gore invented the internet.
• Los Angeles firefighters revive a cat rescued from a burning aparment.
• Global solar electricity capacity eclipsed the 100 gigawatt landmark last year.
• Soothsaying is now legal in Gaithersburg, Md.
• The Colorado state House has passed four gun control measures, including universal background checks on all gun purchases and ammunition magazine limits.
• While renewing the assault weapons ban remains controversial, more pro-gun lawmakers are open to limits on magazine sizes, and a birpartisan group of Senators is close to a deal on universal background checks.
• Florida Gov. Rick Scott agreed to expand Medicaid in Florida.
Good News, Tennessee Edition:
• A bill which would have allowed Tennessee to join a multistate “health care compact” and attempt to take over federal programs like Medicare failed to pass the House Insurance and Banking Committee.
• Meanwhile, Lt. Gov. Ron Ramsey says he’s “not leaning one way or the other” on the Obamacare Medicaid expansion Tennessee. Yes, this is what passes for good news in Tennessee.
• The “Exalted Cyclops” of the white supremacist group Loyal White Knights is having trouble getting a permit to rally in Memphis to protest the renaming of city parks which once honored the Confederacy. Honestly, Exalted Cyclops? Seriously? How silly is that?
This week’s video is courtesy of commenter ThresherK, who reminds of the hilarity which ensued the last time Mississippi thought it ratified the 13th Amendment: