Got your good news! Huzzah!
• Jobs, jobs, jobs: the past three months have seen the U.S. economy produce jobs at a rate not seen since 1997.
• The 10 Safest Cities In The World: if you are surprised that New York City was the only American city to make the list, join the club.
• Useful idiot: Unlicensed open carry legislation is dead in Texas after the head of Open Carry Tarrant County threatened legislators who voted against the bills with death “for treason.”
• A Kazakh herder in Northern China found a 17-pound gold nugget while resting in the mining area of Altay.
• Vietnam decriminalized gay marriage.
• Asia Pulp & Paper, which in 2013 committed to halt rainforest deforestation, appears to be making good on that promise, according to the Rainforest Alliance.
• Republicans’ filibuster chickens have come home to roost. Good news? Maybe not, but after 8 years of Republican obstructionism I think we’re entitled to a little schadenfreude.
• U.S. energy efficiency is on the increase, coal is dying, and renewable energy is surging: there’s a lot of good news on the American energy front.
• Harper’s Lee’s first novel, thought lost, has been found and will be published this summer. Can’t wait.
• The CIA agent who’s been in prison for blowing the whistle on the U.S. torture program is now fulfilling the remainder of his sentence at home with his family.
• Not good news, but file this under weird news: in 2008 the Pentagon authored a report claiming Vladimir Putin has Asperger’s Syndrome:
The research was conducted by the Office of Net Assessment, a secretive, internal Pentagon think tank. It defined Asperger’s syndrome as “an autistic disorder which affects all of his decisions.”
The analysis is solely based on videos of Putin’s public actions, dating back to the year 2000. The researchers did not claim to have access to any data from scans of Putin’s brain.
According to the report, “Putin’s neurological development was significantly interrupted in infancy.”
The study also hypothesizes that Putin suffered an “insult” to his brain while he was still in his mother’s womb and that she may have suffered a stroke while pregnant with him. Researchers theorized that may have affected the way Putin thinks and moves the right side of his body.
“His primary form of compensation for his disorder is extreme control and this is reflected in his decision style and how he governs,” the report says.
Hmm. Video diagnoses? Wonder if ex-Sen. Bill Frist was involved?
• Ten Frank Lloyd Wright buildings have been nominated to the list of World Heritage Sites by the U.S. Department of the Interior. Mr. Beale and I are huge Frank Lloyd Wright fans. We’ve seen five of the 10 nominated sites. Yes, we’re geeks.
• In the mother of all ironies, the Tea Party group True The Vote, which challenges voter eligibility, found that 59% of the voters stricken from Kansas’ voter rolls in a recent “anti-voter fraud” purge are actually eligible to vote. Major fail all around.
Good News, Tennessee Edition:
• The Tennessee Highway Patrol’s canine units get protective vests.
• The Tennessee State Supreme Court has ruled against Barrett Firearms over a land dispute. It’s an interesting case with a lot of moving pieces to it, but basically Barrett was hoping the State of Tennessee would in essence bail them out of their obligations on an access road. Corporate welfare, etc.