Good People:
Meet Dolly Chugh

Good People for the Resistance: I’m often asked how I stay motivated to write Good News when there’s so much bad news coming at us. It’s simple: I do my best to surround myself with Good People. I’m fortunate to count among my friends people like Elaine, who teaches 8th grade English in a largely immigrant community, and Billy, who has spent most of his adult life working to eliminate childhood hunger in the U.S. I focus on and appreciate what makes people like Elaine and Billy so good. And now, I’m going to share their stories with you. DRUM ROLL, PLEASE…

Introducing, Good People, a twice-monthly interview with people who give me hope during these dark times. I have a roster of Good People I’m itching to share with Good News readers. And I bet we’d all like to know the Good People in your lives, too. Leave a comment and tell us who they are, and how their goodness motivates you. Who knows? One day I may call them up, interview them, and share their goodness with the world. (Yes! We have Good News readers in Mexico, France, England, Canada, New Zealand, Germany, and more!).

First up: Dolly Chugh, a social scientist who studies the psychology of good people, author of The Person You Mean to Be. Dolly encourages us to stop trying so hard to be a Good Person, but rather, to strive for a higher standard, of being Good-ish. Her Ted Talk, one of the top-25 of 2018, has over 3-million views. Dolly’s day-job is an NYU Stern School of Business professor. Even though she disagrees with my language, I think Dolly is a Really Good Person. I’ve known her for over a decade, yet what I didn’t know before this interview is that in tough situations Dolly is sometimes a total wimp. She confesses to having decidedly “un-activist” thoughts during a Black Lives Matter protest, and a “polite” strategy to avoid shaking Trump’s hand if the situation ever presented itself. Frankly, it was refreshing to know that one of the most good people I know is a mere mortal. Or, in her words, Good-ish.

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Meet Dolly Chugh

The Climate for Change

Good News from the Resistance: Remember the good ‘ole days, back in the Reagan Administration, when a president who wanted to flip the bird at environmentalists simply ripped the solar panels off the White House roof? Today, the panoply of world-destroying actions our Climate Denier-in-Chief has in his treasure chest surely makes him giddier than a VIP pass to ADULTCON. The Good News? Democrats and swing voters are finally putting the environment at the top of the issues they care about. Cities, states, environmental groups and private sector companies are finding creative ways to fill in the gaps and mitigate the damage until the current resident of the White House is little more than a nasty stain in our collective memory.

Los Angeles, the second largest U.S. city, just launched its own Green New Deal, speeding up its efforts to have a carbon-neutral economy by 2050. Judicially, the state of California has emerged to be a formidable opponent to the White House’s efforts to dismantle Obama-era environmental regulations; federal judges have sided with the state and environmental groups in the majority of cases concerning air pollution, pesticides, and oil and gas extraction. Maine just became the first state to ban single-use Styrofoam. 187 countries signed an agreement to limit plastic waste pollution.  And the nation’s top environmental groups recently joined forces to create GiveGreen, a fundraising platform to support candidates committed to accelerating action on climate change.

Clever scientists and everyday do-gooders continue to come up with lifelines. In Iceland, carbon sequestration technology, Carbfix, is capturing CO2 emissions from a power plant and turning it into stone. Last week, plant-based food company Beyond Meat enjoyed a wildly successful IPO, raising hundreds of millions for its expansion, while combatting the negative environmental impact of animal agriculture with a vegan product that tastes shockingly like real meat.  And in Brazil, a single family has spent the last 20 years planting over 2 million trees in a deforested cattle ranch, which today is home to 293 species of trees, 172 species of birds, 33 species of mammals, and 15 species of reptiles and amphibians.

Our favorite environmental Good News of all? Last month, green-powered energy created more electricity than coal-powered plants in the U.S. Which means that despite our Coal Enthusiast-in-Chief’s best efforts, we’re moving in the right direction. As it turns out, there’s a growing market for renewable energy. Coal? Not so much. Hats off, once again, to our brilliant businessman president.

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The Importance of Following Obama on Twitter

Good News from the Resistance: This week we’re chuckling over our Tweeter-in-Chief’s obsession with the size of Obama’s Twitter base: the former President’s is bigger than his. In an effort to pull ahead of his nemesis, our National Tweeter used most of last week’s White House sit-down with Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey to whine about his follower numbers falling. Dorsey did his best to explain to the Numbskull that Twitter periodically deletes “followers” that are bots and spam. The idea of “fake” followers, of course, made little sense to our Narcissist-in-Chief, because by his own assessment, “I’m so much better at Twitter than Obama is.”

Note to readers: Follow Obama on Twitter. Now. 

Also in tech-related Good News … Freshmen Congressional Democrats continue to rake in cash, thanks in large part to donors who are keeping up with a habit they started during the 2018 midterms – giving through ActBlue, an online small-dollar fundraising platform; the dating site Tinder just made it more difficult for George Zimmerman (the racist who killed Trayvon Martin) to get hooked up, when it kicked him off the site for lying in his profile  (he’s also banned from Bumble); when Cruella DeVos banned high school journalists from a community meeting — in their community, the editorial they wrote about it went viral (turning it into a national story covered by the Washington Post and USA Today), as did a photo of a Muslim woman smiling in front of sorry old white dudes protesting outside of the Islamic Circle of North America convention in D.C., demonstrating once again that Love Trumps Hate.

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Resisters, Choose Your Weapon: Water Balloons, Music, or Pies?

Good News from the Resistance:  The first Resistance Acts we covered in Good News (a lifetime ago, 2017) took place at GOP Town Halls, where, thanks in large part to Indivisible, our favorite Resistance start-up, swarming crowds, clever signs, and combative questions became the new normal. Oh, how far we’ve come. Today, there are as many ways to resist as there are our National Embarrassment’s lies. Resisters continue to up their game, using their positions and unique skills to say, hell no. Welcome to This is how to resist if, a collection of our recent favorite resistance actions.

This is how to resist if: you are the secretary-general of NATO; you’re a nun who cares about the Earth; you’re a Californian who loves cows and hates Devin Nunes (R-CA); you like throwing water balloons or baking pies; you are a law school professor who’s good at drawing cartoons; if you are Yo-Yo Ma or a trucker from Illinois.

This is how to resist if: you are a 3rd-grader questioning what you’re being taught; you’re a 7-year old who loves sea turtles; you are pop star Taylor Swift or a hipster indy band; you’re a judge who believes citizenship questions do not belong on the U.S. Census, oil companies do not belong in the Arctic, and children belong with their parents.

Thanks to our Bully-in-Chief, resistance is easier than ever – now, all you need to do is be kind.

This is how to resist with kindness if: you own a 7-11; you are retiring basketball star Dwyane Wade or country music star Brad Paisley; you go to Pike County Elementary School in Georgia or you live in Arcata, California.

This is how we know Resistance works: Take a look at the hit Uber’s app took; see who’s running all three network TV morning shows; calculate how much Susan Collins‘ post-Kavanaugh campaign coffers have suffered.

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Madoff, Mafioso, Martha Stewart, Oh My!

Good News from the Resistance: I’m not going to mention the Mueller Report. I’m tired of it. Enough’s been said. I just won’t go there.

Except to say: Barr’s summary of the 300-page report is at best a joke and at worst a full-blown cover-up; the investigation was an unmitigated success at uncovering both legal and illegal corruption; after a short hiatus Schiff got his groove back, and if he doesn’t get answers to the questions Mueller avoided, the “we know how to do this better than anybody” hard-charging, high profile-seeking Southern District of NY Court will. (Among their cases: Julius and Ethel Rosenberg, Bernie Madoff, Ivan Boesky, Michael Milken, the Gambinos, Martha Stewart, and most recently, Michael Cohen). Unlike Mueller, the NY court’s  mandate is not limited – it can and will go wherever the trails lead. And that’s all I’ll say about Mueller. I promise.

Except to say: Travel back in time, and watch Colbert’s bittersweet Mueller adieu.

Finally, there’s been a spate of Good News around one of America’s biggest embarrassments: OxyContin. More than 500 cities and counties have joined a lawsuit against the Sackler family, owners of Purdue Pharma, the OxyContin pusher that sparked the opioid epidemic; in England, the Tate and National Portrait Galleries will no longer accept donations from the Sacklers, leaving the billionaires fewer options in which to park their ill-gained spoils; Oklahoma settled a suit with the company for $270 million, some of which will fund a National Center for Addiction Studies; on the heels of the OK settlement New York filed the most extensive suit to date against Purdue’s owners; more than 1,600 suits have been consolidated in Ohio, and others are pending in state courts. The next time you visit a Sackler Wing at the Smithsonian, The Metropolitan Museum of Art, the Louvre, The Guggenheim, or Harvard, say a little prayer for Purdue’s hundreds of thousands of victims. And root for justice, karma, payback, whatever you want call it, to whack the Sacklers and Purdue into oblivion.

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A Good News Junkie’s Crack

Good News from the Resistance: Is it me, or has the news seemed boring lately? Did Manafort’s sentencing fail to give you a lift? Was your response to the photo of Robert Kraft’s favorite sex trafficker yucking it up with Trump at the Super Bowl merely meh? 785 days into our National Nightmare, the Trump Administration has become a Good News junkie’s crack: A drug that gives a short-lived high that makes its users crave more, at higher doses.

As we eagerly await Mueller’s report(s), for the Dems to decide whether or not to impeach, and for the slew of Congressional and New York investigations to bear fruit, we need to keep up our spirits. Thanks to our Crack President, the Good News bar is significantly higher than it was when he took office, and today’s smoking gun can be no less powerful than an AK-47 (with bump stock). But Good News seekers have no fear, for adrenaline-pumping, high-dose Good News is still out there.

Need proof? I submit for your consideration the following  Newsweek story: “Ann Coulter says Jared Kushner could be taken down for buying his Harvard admission before  Mueller indicts him.” This is nothing short of a Good News trifecta: 1) GOP darling Ann Coulter despises the Trumps, 2) the FBI has AK-47-level evidence that parents have bought their kids into the Ivy League, and 3) Coulter thinks Mueller will indict Jared.

Need more? The GOP’s seemingly impervious wall of allegiance to our Liar-in-Chief cracked twice in the past week – on his faux immigration “national emergency,” and his support of the Saudis in Yemen. On the docket: A bi-partisan effort to curtail our Nepotist-in-Chief’s ability to give and revoke security clearances. A fresh, enthusiastic Democrat-led Congress working in tandem with GOP Senators who have the guts to buck Mitch McConnell and curtail our Orange Dictator’s power is enough to feed my Good News habit. I hope it feeds yours, too.

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Good News March 4

Good News from the Resistance: It was another rollicking week for the Racist-Conman-Cheat squatting in the White House. Be honest:  Did you find yourself siding with both a convicted felon/perjurer, and a ruthless dictator? Listening to Cohen spill the beans on the extent of the (you have to admit it) creative malfeasance of everyone in our Liar-in-Chief’s orbit, a warm, fuzzy sense of contentment flowed through me, with the realization that Thugs for Trump are finally losing.

Alpha Thugs like Cheeto-in-Chief, Donny Jr.Jared, and Pecker are being exposed, and trickle down, MAGA hat-wearing Common Man Thugs —  who are easier to nab than the well-lawyered — are getting their comeuppance. A Cape Cod snowplow driver was fired for intentionally spraying piles of slush on anti-Trump protesters; an Alabama newspaper editor who encouraged the KKK to “ride again” was fired and replaced by a black woman; a GOP operative was indicted on absentee-ballot fraud in N.C., prompting an election re-do (in which the GOP candidate had “won”); the Florida Bar is investigating GOP Rep. Matt Gaetz for threatening Michael Cohen before his Congressional testimony; and in Colorado, the owner of a sporting goods store is going out-of-business after deciding to remove Nike products from his shelves in protest of the company’s support of Colin Kaepernick. “As much as I hate to admit this, perhaps there are more … Colin Kaepernick supporters out there than I realized,” the now defunct store’s owner complained.

The late rapper Tupac Shakur had a tattoo on his stomach: THUG LIFE. It was an acronym for The Hate U Give Little Infants Fu**s Everybody. Tupac’s THUG LIFE was a rallying cry for adults to stop filling kids’ minds with hate; what we teach our children comes back to affect us all. My hope is that when our National Nightmare is over, and the Alpha Thugs are all in jail, they’ll use some of their newfound spare time to listen to a little Tupac.  And come to understand what THUG LIFE is really about.

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Good News Birthday Edition

This week’s Good News from the Resistance: Happy 2nd Birthday to Good News! It’s hard to believe that what started as a whisper in my ear two years ago is still going strong (albeit, a tad less frequently). What was my motivation? It’s explained in the Inaugural Issue, which featured a selfie of Yours Truly flanked by friends Marjorie and Rosalind, as we stood in line at the supermarket after scoring a family-size container of Cheetos. That night I was hosting a sign-making party for the next day’s Inaugural Women’s March. Guess what we did with the Cheetos?

This week, I re-read all 80 issues of Good News. My conclusion?  We, the Resisters, have been successful beyond my wildest dreams at staying the course and living our mission: to dilute, delay, and defeat Trump’s nefarious plans. If you don’t believe me — or don’t remember details of the last action-packed two years — jog your memory with this Good News 2 Year Birthday Recap. Rejoice. Then get back to work!

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Good News February 8

Good News from the Resistance: This week, our Slacker-in-Chief pulled off an A+ imitation of Eddie Haskell (note to Millennials: look it up) as he read a lame, sappy speech to the nation, surrounded by powerful women and at least one snoozing namesake. Focused on a bogus “crisis” at the border, the nation’s Pretend CEO failed to address at least one real crisis: gun violence. Why? Because on that front, he had a piece of Bad News to report to his base of KKK enthusiasts, Duck Dynasty binge-watchers, Russian mobsters, and generous NRA enablers: Trump’s own Justice Department just banned bump stocks. Which is Good News for us.

There’s no denying it – the NRA is suffering from a Trump Slump. Gun sales are down, as is NRA membership revenue under its new president, Oliver North (yes, that Oliver North). NRA’s publicly available financial documents indicate it has been operating in the red for six of the last ten years; 2017’s $31.8 million deficit is the organization’s largest 10-year loss. During the midterms, for the first time in history gun control groups spent more than the belt-tightening NRA.

There’s likely to be more Good News. Gun control advocates had some big wins in the midterms, and now  stricter gun laws are a top priority for emboldened House Democrats.  We’re betting on more NRA losses.

One nagging question remains: Why hasn’t our Sycophant-in-Chief bragged about his success in pushing through the bump stock ban? Spy-girl Maria Butina is likely to know something about that. And we can’t wait to find out.

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Good News January 17

Good News from the Resistance: As Good News goes to press, we’re close to a month into the longest government shut down in U.S. history, our corpulent Twitter Laureate-in-Chief is busy doing photo ops with massive piles of junk food, Mitch McConnell continues to flaunt his bonafides as the world’s largest invertebrate (apologies to the colossal squid), and Nancy Only-Kidding! Pelosi has disinvited our Pinocchio-in-Chief to deliver the State of the Union. Which is too bad, because we recently uncovered a helpful List of Terrible Things to Do Instead of Watching Trump on TV. (Keep it on hand).

And yet, kindness keeps breaking through. Restaurants across the country are proving there is such a thing as a free lunch, at least for furloughed government workers — at a brewpub on Chicago’s South Side, Poor Richard’s in Colorado Springs, at a celebrity chef pop-up cafe on Pennsylvania Ave. in D.C., and a pop-up food bank in Boston. Kudos to the Canadian air traffic controllers who sent pizza to their U.S. counterparts who are working without  pay.

Call it payback, karma, or plain ‘ole Democracy, Congress’s new committee chairs are already making our Liar-in-Chief’s life hell. House Intelligence Committee chair Adam Schiff (D-CA) has hired an entire staff to investigate Putin Asset-in-Chief’s Russia connections. Maxine Waters’ (D-CA) House Financial Services Committee —  which oversees Wall Street –  is stacked with members like Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-NY) and Ayanna Pressley (D-MA), who are beholden to no one, and took no corporate campaign donations. Presidential Oversight Committee chair Elijah Cummings (D-MA) has already filed over 50 subpoenas, as his team investigates family separation, former EPA chief Scott Pruitt, and so, so much more. Our Future Convict-in-Chief’s response? He’s hired 17 new lawyers.

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Read more Good News January 17