Good News Friday

Watching the Republican Party commit suicide does provide some delicious schadenfreude, but personally I’d rather not have a government shutdown at all. Really what I want is for the Republican Party to return to sanity so we can have a reasonable opposition party to haggle with, not this unreasonable cray-cray.

Meanwhile, the CEO of Starbucks has started a petition asking Congress and the White House to,

…reopen the government, pay U.S. debts on time, and pass a long-term bipartisan budget deal by the year-end.

I turned on my TV this morning and he was on the news railing against the short-term deal House Republicans offered, saying it was stupid to kick the can down the road six weeks to the holiday season. He obviously reads this blog.

So, where’s the good news in all of this? I don’t know, except that maybe it means this current national nightmare will soon be over.

Here’s some other good news, I know we all need it:

• Malala Yousafazai, the Pakistani schoolgirl who survived a Taliban assassination attempt, was awarded the EU’s top human rights prize. I saw her on Jon Stewart’s show this week; she’s really an amazing young woman.

• McDonald’s is giving away kid’s books with its Happy Meals. Pretty sure this is a response to anti-Happy Meal food activists like this one.

• Playing the world’s tiniest violin for cash-strapped FreedomWorks.

• Wisconsin officials rejected a proposed 725-acre mine, citing environmental concerns.

• A new firefly has been discovered in Delaware.

• The state of California has actually expanded access to abortion services.

• Nuclear power is kaput in the U.S. It’s the economics, stupid:

“It’s absolutely crystal clear that the primary factor driving the collapse of the nuclear renaissance is economics,” said Mark Cooper, a senior research fellow at the Vermont Law School’s Institute for Energy and the Environment, in a telephone interview. “The aging reactors are getting too costly to run given the alternatives available to us.” In a July 2013 report, “Renaissance in Reverse,” Mr. Cooper identifies 38 other US nuclear reactors at risk of early retirement due to competition from cheaper energy sources.

Those cheaper sources include natural gas and wind, according to the article, but I’d add solar into the mix, too.

• Related: a solar energy storage experiment in Portugal has been deemed a success.

• A major breakthrough in Alzheimer’s research has come out of the UK.

• Walmart announced that it will move 35,000 part-time employees to full-time status, which makes them eligible for full benefits, including healthcare. So much for that “Obamacare is a job-killer” meme.

• West Hollywood, California becomes the first city in the country to ban fur sales.

• A judge in New Jersey has legalized gay marriage in that state (but Gov. Christie is appealing).

• A guerilla filmmaker shot a movie at Disneyland and Disney World without the parks ever knowing. Cool. Here’s how they did it.

• ExxonMobil will offer benefits to same-sex couples.

Good News, Tennessee Edition:

• The state’s onerous navigator rules which actually made it easier to get a handgun carry permit than help a poor person find health insurance have been eased.

• Playing the world’s tiniest violin for Stacey Campfield, who can’t find a public place willing to host his re-election fundraiser.

• Mary Mancini, executive director of Tennessee Citizen Action, has decided to run for State Senate in District 21. This is my old senate district — Mr. Beale and I woke up one morning to find we’d been moved into a Republican district, and we are right on the boundary, we could literally move across the street and be back in our old district, which totally sucks. That said, I’m kinda glad I don’t have to vote in this primary: last election I supported Mancini’s opponent Jeff Yarbro, and then there’s Metro Councilman Jason Holleman who is also running. Three strong candidates? That’s an embarrassment of riches for Tennessee Democrats. We totally aren’t used to that. However, I’d say Mancini is the true progressive in this race and would bring some much-needed focus on bread and butter issues faced by working people. It’s something we really need in the state senate. This will be a fun campaign to follow, even though I don’t live in the district any more.

• Shh… don’t tell Arthur Laffer, but FedEx is going on a hiring spree. Last year Laffer told a House-Senate committee that CEO Fred Smith said FedEx would leave Tennessee if the state didn’t repeal the estate tax. Smith later said he never said any such thing.

• Two local teens raised $22,000 to fight global hunger.

• Happy endings: remember the Red Lobster server in Franklin who found a racial slur instead of a tip on a receipt? She just got a $10,000+ “tip” thanks to a fundraiser organized by AddinctingInfo.org founder Matthew Hanson.

This week’s cool video: The Daily Show enlisted a real hostage negotiator to help Jason Jones have a conversation with an idiot GOP strategist. This is classic:

“Even batshit insane has its own rules.” Errm …

17 Comments

Filed under Good News

17 responses to “Good News Friday

  1. That is very good news about the changing economics of nuclear power in the U.S. It might be a good reason for Iran to reconsider their plans. It wasn’t that long ago that Cheney’s DOE was selling nuclear technology and materials to India. Diehard republicans still love it. Jackson Browne and Bonnie Raitt called it Poison Fire. I wrote this excellent post in June when I heard that San Onofre was to be permanently shuttered. Who knows what the eventual cost may be. The salad days of cheap electricity are over. It’s time to deal with the clean-up. Well… They have sixty-five years to get ‘er done. They can start anytime they like. They can let it decay for a few decades without doing anything at all. the most extreme solution would involve an entombment similar to Chernobyl. I say go ahead and get to work before the big earthquake hits.

  2. deep

    A new firefly has been discovered in Delaware.

    Aw man. I was hoping you were referring to this firefly:

  3. yutsano

    Well Nathan Fillon has said he’s open to the idea, as has Gina Torres. So it’s a maybe if Whedon decides it’s a good idea.

    One interesting point about nuclear power: the plants require steel shells (in most designs) to cover the apparatus of the nuclear generator. There is only one steel forger capable of making them, and they’re in Japan. They are also on a three year back order. And participating in the embargo of Iran.

    • Isn’t Whedon doing that “Agents of Shield” thing now, though?

      Interesting thing about the steel shells. I had no idea. Gee you’d think the free hand of the market woulda figured that out. LOL.

  4. democommie

    Poor Stacy Campfield, he hasn’t yet come to the realization that if you’re a big enough asshole even people who WILL vote for you don’t want to be seen anywhere near you in public.

    Freedom Works–apparently not. Is there ANY situation where the GOPeaParty wont’ throw anybody who used to work for them under the bus?

  5. Kosh III

    “Really what I want is for the Republican Party to return to sanity so we can have a reasonable opposition party to haggle with,”

    I never thought I’d miss Howard Baker and Nancy Kassenbaum….
    —–
    Now that fission has fizzled, can we start making a big push for fusion which is a safer option.

  6. Anniemouse

    The Jason Jones piece was hilarious because it was so true. You could see the reality whooshing right over the Republican’s head as she clung tightly to her fantasy of winning the world. Jones is a Canadian and understands healthcare is possible.

  7. ThresherK

    At this point why is anyone in good business attire and passable appearance and speaking skills still getting caught out by The Daily Show?

    Jon Stewart and co have been doing this in style since, what, 1999?

    Hasn’t all the right’s naturally superior think-tankery, astroturfery, and wingnut welfare gotten to the point where Rule #1 is “Here are some photographs of people you shouldn’t sit down to an interview with”?

    • Anniemouse

      I’ve asked myself that question, and all i can come up with are the Pubies are really *that* stupid and *that* arrogant that they can’t imagine coming off looking bad in these interviews. Of course they always do because their views are reprehensible.

  8. CB

    How many names does the founder of AddictingInfo have? Matthew Hanson is the latest in a long string. Do you know if that’s his real name?