Good News Friday

Here’s your weekly progress report:

• A former aide to Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker has pled guilty to one count of felony misconduct in public office.

• The European Union has won the Nobel Peace Prize.

• Washington State is poised to become the nation’s first to legalize the sale of marijuana at state stores to adults over age 21. And in Tennessee we still can’t buy a bottle of wine at the damn grocery store.

• The number of new people filing first-time jobless claims continued to plummet this week.

• Auto sales in the U.S. post their strongest numbers in four and a half years.

• U.S. foreclosure filings fall to 5-year low.

• Norway, one of the world’s top oil producers, will double its carbon tax on the North Sea oil industry, with the funds earmarked for climate change mitigation.

• This is interesting: GlaxoSmithKline, the pharmaceutical giant, has announced it will share its drug research data — said to be a first for the industry:

Glaxo is taking the step after experimenting with disclosure for treatments for tropical diseases like malaria and finding those efforts successful, according to company officials.

In addition, the company plans to release information about 200 of its experimental drug compounds that have shown signs of fighting tuberculosis.

“We’re increasingly realizing that the more you can make this an open enterprise, the more likely you are to be able to get an advance which allows you to make a medicine,” Dr. Patrick Vallance, president of pharmaceuticals research and development at GlaxoSmithKline, said in an interview. “I think we recognize that you learn as much about the medicine after it’s launched as you knew before.”

Wow, another blow to the whole “free hand of the market” concept. Working together it just sounds so … socialist, doesn’t it?

• The 9th Circuit Court of Appeals has reinstated Montana’s campaign donation limits.

• The U.S. Supreme Court has rejected Chevron’s appeal of a $19 billion judgment set by an Ecuadorian court for pollution in the Amazon.

• A laser scan of Stonehenge reveals there’s quite a bit more to the enormous stones than meets the eye. Way cool.

• PepsiCo and Coca-Cola will post the calorie content of their soft drinks on vending machines starting next year.

• The United Nations says “only” 870 million, not one billion, people are hungry:

The U.N. Food and Agriculture Organization blamed flawed methodology and poor data for the bum projection, and said it now uses a much more accurate set of parameters and statistics to calculate its annual estimate of the world’s hungry.

It’s with a great deal of cynicism that I list this as “good news.” I guess it’s good news for the 230 million who aren’t as hungry as we thought.

• The home of United Farm Workers leader Cesar Chavez has become a national monument, and President Obama presided over the dedication ceremony.

• Vietnam Veteran and former Republican Senator from South Dakota Larry Presser has endorsed Barack Obama for president.

• WalMart workers in California are on strike, the first employee walkout in the company’s 50-year history.

• Cool. A hiker in the Sierra Nevada mountains has found a note left on a mountain peak by another hiker 40 years ago. The note reads: “Tim Taylor climbed to this peak, Thursday, August 17, 1972. Age 13 yrs. Anyone finding this note please write.”

Good News, Tennessee Edition:

• The Southern, a Nashville restaurant that I haven’t eaten at yet, was named one of the country’s best new restaurants of 2012 by Esquire magazine.

• On a related note, Nashville restaurants are getting their own Zagat’s guide. Actually, we have to share with Memphis. But our little city has finally grown up enough to warrant at least some recognition from the arbiters of fine dining.

• Voting rights activists have another chance to overturn the state’s voter ID law. The Court of Appeals will hear oral arguments Oct. 18 in a case filed by the City of Memphis and two voters. The bad news: Oct. 18 is the day after early voting starts here. Sheesh.

• “Nashville” is ready for prime-time. We’re all having a lot of fun being the toast of Hollywood these days.

This week’s cool video: A Romney-Ryan Thanksgiving:

9 Comments

Filed under Good News

9 responses to “Good News Friday

  1. democommie

    “• The number of new people filing first-time jobless claims continued to plummet this week”

    Because of the clandestine hiring of a brazillion agents to staff the new, Invisible ACORN!.

    • Auto sales in the U.S. post their strongest numbers in four and a half years.

    Because of the huge orders for the FEMA Death Camp cattle trucks!!

    • U.S. foreclosure filings fall to 5-year low.

    Because of the Obamanationalization of the U.S. banking system, aided by the jewish gnomes in Zurich to ensure that allathe Cadillac drivin, pot smokin, crack snortin’, meth shootin’, super sizin’ black-o-perp welfare queens can have VACATION homes!!!

    Reports are out, btw, saying that poor widdow, Pauwiewingnuts held his own against Bigbad Joe. I do not listen to debates as I heard enough lies while I was still a Cath-O-Lick to last my lifetime but I’m guessing that the Lyin’Ryanexpress was in sixth gear.

  2. Jim

    “Wow, another blow to the whole “free hand of the market” concept. Working together it just sounds so … socialist, doesn’t it?” So the program was forced on the company by the government or they decided on their own as a free market participant to start this program?

    • I get your point but does it matter to the larger principle involved? The Ayn Rand fetishists are always telling us that the clear-eyed, uncorrupted-by-human-emotion, Darwinian work of unfettered free market competition is what inspires innovation. Free market competition is supposed to be the engine of the economy, especially as relates to healthcare. That’s all we’ve been hearing from you people on the right, who somehow think regulating the private, for-profit system we have now translates into “a government takeover of healthcare.” That was nitwit Bob Corker’s entire argument when he tried to claim Canada and France are “parasites” on U.S. healthcare innovation.

      Whether the industry is doing it on its own or not doesn’t matter to the basic principle involved. And here we have the pharmaceutical industry deciding that cooperation with competitors is actually better for humanity than a race to be the first to profit from a cure.

      Looks like Jim can’t see the forest for the trees.

      • Jim

        “And here we have the pharmaceutical industry deciding that cooperation with competitors is actually better for humanity than a race to be the first to profit from a cure. ”

        What I see is a pharamceutical company that is trying to save some face after getting some bad press due to a few of their recent drugs. On top of that, I see a company that probably thinks this sharing of data will more likely lead to profits for the company than losses. Or do you expect they will simply give away their next big drug for free? Don’t get me wrong, I have no problem with a company making money. Profit is a great driving force for people to continue researching medical cures for humanity. Just remember that without a profit, it is likely a company will go bankrupt at some point and then how many new drugs would they make?

      • While agree with you on GSK being worried about PR and its corporate image, I think you’re offbase on the other stuff. For one thing, from the link:

        Researchers contacted about the plan on Wednesday expressed a mix of enthusiasm and skepticism, citing the recent $3 billion settlement by GlaxoSmithKline with the federal government over charges that the company had misrepresented trial data for popular drugs like Avandia and Paxil.

        So yes, the government and government regulations which GSK violated did have a role in this decision.

        And yes, duh of course the company sees cooperation as enhancing its profits. No one said they didn’t. The left isn’t opposed to anyone making money or companies turning a profit, and socialism is not antithetical to capitalism. That’s a fantasy you people on the right like to project. I’ve written tons of blog posts about the number of startups and innovation and growth of small businesses in socialist countries like Norway. What we’re against is the abusive, exploitive, Darwinian “survival of the fittest” style of capitalism Ayn Rand fetishists and the rest of the Glibertarians are trying to foist on us. We’ve seen where that got us.

  3. democommie

    Southern Beale:

    Folks like the Jimster CAN see the forest for the trees. They know, deep down in their hearts, that their skulls will be on the same pile as the rest of ours; they’ve just convinced themselves that if they suck up enough to the masterclass that theirs will b the last on the heap.