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.
• 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.
• 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 …