Good News November 15

Good News from the Resistance: We did it. 317 of 435 Congressional districts are bluer today than they were on November 5. Yowza.

This week, Congressional freshmen are storming D.C. for orientation, and our class of newly-elected lawmakers looks like no class that’s come before it. Forget the “Blue Wave,” last week a Rainbow Earthquake rumbled across the country, toppling statues that have been lording over America for way too long. Replacing them will be more people who look, pray, and love like us: female, black, Latinx, Muslim, Native American, Somali-American, Palestinian-American and  LBGTQ. This is not identity politics (can we please retire that term?); this is what America looks like. Trump’s Angry White Man Strategy, followed lockstep by the GOP,  is unraveling. Our goal is nothing short of indivisible, and with justice for all.

The Rainbow Earthquake brought many big wins, but a few stood out as being particularly sweet. And so much fun. Minnesota GOP Congressman Jason Lewis, who complained about not being able to call women “sluts,” was flipped by Angie Craig. Virginia GOP Congressman Dave Brat, who whined that angry women were all up in “his grill” about saving Obamacare, was flipped by Abigail Spanberger. A GOP lawmaker in N.J. county government who asked during the first Women’s March, “Will the women’s protest end in time for them to cook dinner?” was defeated by 32-year old Ashley Bennett, who was inspired to run by his sexist remarks. And perhaps the one win that most aptly encapsulates the entire 2018 Rainbow Earthquake: In Kansas (!), Sharice Davids, a Native-American lesbian beat 4-term GOP incumbent Kevin Yoder, chair of the Congressional committee in charge of allocating funds for Trump’s border wall. To Lewis, Brat, Yoder, and all their pals, we say:

Humpty Dumpty sat on a wall,
Humpty Dumpty had a great fall.

Lately, the mainstream press has been full of Good News – a rarity over the last two years — but here’s some more that you may have missed:

 Sign Up. Show Up. Never Give Up.

Read more Good News November 15

Good News Special Edition: Turn Despair to Action

Good News from the Resistance: There’s no getting around it – the news this week was horrible. Three hate crimes, back-to-back: Two killed at Kroger for being black, 14 pipe bombs sent to Trump’s critics, 11 killed in a synagogue for being Jewish.

Two of these events hit close to home. I live down the block from Elizabeth Warren, and pass her house on most of my dog walks. (Quick diversion: I don’t like to brag, but I’m pretty sure my dog Becca pees on top of her dog’s pee. Top dog!). Last week there was a Cambridge police detail guarding Warren’s house 24/7, in the days before they captured the MAGA bomber. Seeing that police car for the first time was like a punch to my stomach. Becca and I changed our route.

Then came the synagogue shooting. My husband Max grew up in Squirrel Hill, his childhood steeped in the neighborhood’s strong synagogue culture. We met in Squirrel Hill, fell in love in Squirrel Hill, celebrated our engagement at his parents’ Squirrel Hill synagogue, and forty-one years ago rented our first apartment together in Squirrel Hill, a few blocks from Tree of Life. Squirrel Hill’s Jewish life is baked into my husband’s DNA.

Here’s what we did last Saturday, in the pouring rain, within an hour of learning of the shootings: We zipped up our raincoats, grabbed the sturdiest umbrellas we could find, loaded Becca into the car (she likes taking rides), and drove to the Cambridge Public Library to vote. Never have I pushed down on a black Sharpie quite so hard. Never have I cried while voting.

And yet. I’m going out on a limb here with a prediction: The next issue of Good News from the Resistance is going to be The Most Excellent Good News Ever. We are going to take back our country.

Slowly, slowly, my despair is turning to anger. And I plan to hang on to that anger for another week. Because when I’m angry I act. One week. You don’t like making calls? Then knock on doors. You don’t like knocking on doors? Then make calls. You don’t like doing either? Then make a donation.

Now, here’s the Good News from the Resistance Guide to Maximizing Your Personal Midterm Efforts:

  • Check  out The Last Weekend for volunteer opportunities near you
  • Take a Trip to Flip. You can travel by train, plane or automobile to a district that has a real shot of flipping. (Shout out to my sister Adrienne and Good News reader Leslie, who will be traveling to Virginia to help Abigail Spanberger take a seat from the Tea Party incumbent).
  • Swing Left, and stay left. This group  has been gearing up for this election for two years. They’re ready. They need your help.
  • Read Cook’s Political Report to identify Toss-Up races that need your money. Then search on ActBlue and Donate.
  • Vote.
  • Make a plan to spend Election Night with friends and/or loved ones. Or go out and do something fun. If you’re in Boston, look for me at the Elton John concert. (Which will be fabulous until he sings Rocket Man).

 Sign Up. Show Up. Never Give Up.

 

Good News October 25

Good News from the Resistance: Is your anxiety increasing to levels you haven’t experienced since the days before the 2016 election? Does the Little Calming Voice in your head tell you to stop obsessively checking the newsfeeds on your phone, while the Crazy-Making Voice whispers, “but the world may have just ended and I should know.”? Have you  renewed your relationship with Ben & Jerry? Take a deep breath and hold it, lift your shoulders to your ears, now drop them and exhale.

Here’s why we’re anxious: Thanks to the sustained antics of our Mean Clown-in-Chief, political coverage is out-of-control. We read the same Bad News all day. Hyperbolic Bad News headlines beget clicks, clicks beget revenue, revenue begets more Bad News. You get the drift.

Now don’t get me wrong – I’m a huge fan of the press. (Full disclosure: Your deliverer of Good News is a former investigative journalist). I truly, deeply, madly want the New York Times, Washington Post, New Yorker, The Atlantic (publications that have seen massive surges in on-line subscriptions since the Mean Clown took office) to keep doing what they’re doing, because Lord (and all Higher Beings) knows that the press is currently the only check on our Liar-in-Chief. But do they really need to keep sending the same damn Chicken Little-esque emails over and over again?

And we won’t even get into how the Dems are using emails scarier than any Trump Halloween mask to raise money. (Okay, just one example, recently sent by Congresswoman Katherine Clark (D-MA): POLLS SHOW: If voter turnout is low, Republicans hold the House by one seat! Guess what happens when you click to read those polls? You land directly on the ActBlue page that provides the choice of donating between $10-1,000). No wonder we’re tense.

Good News seekers, it’s time for a bit of self-protective behavior. Here’s the plan: Let’s go on a media diet, and try to reduce our news consumption by 10-20%, at least between now and the midterms. I, for one, could stand to lose a few media outlets. And I bet you could, too.

Now let’s pull up our Big Girl and Big Boy pants and get to work. We have a House to flip! In the meantime, here’s some Good News to put a smile on your winning face while you use your newly found media-free time to make those calls and knock on doors:

 Sign Up. Show Up. Never Give Up.

Read more Good News October 25

Good News October 11

Good News from the Resistance: Our Kavanaugh hangover is finally over, and we hope yours is, too. Last week, while the television networks were airing the ulcer-producing moral depravity of the GOP, behind the scenes pollsters worked the phones and statisticians crunched numbers. The story that emerged from these activities (which were decidedly less camera-ready than Lindsey Graham auditioning to be Attorney General at the expense of Christine Ford) — provides the spiritual, psychic, and emotional purification of sage. Consider this issue of Good News your personal post-Kavanaugh smudge. Here’s some of our favorite recent numeric Good News:

Trump’s approval ratings have dropped in every state since the election. His biggest plunge has been in Utah, followed by New Mexico and Arizona. GOP vs. Dem turnout numbers in primaries leading up to the midterms are astonishing. On-line donors are throwing gobs of cash into Democratic Congressional campaigns: In August alone (pre-Kavanaugh) Democratic candidates raised $36.8 million (in small increments!), $30 million more than they raised in August 2016; ActBlue, the Democratic on-line giving platform, raised $10 million on October 5 and $9 million on October 6. Democrats are leading in 69 House districts won by Trump. 12 million more people are registered as Democrats than as Republicans – and that was before Taylor Swift came out as a Democrat and produced a Swift Bump.

How’s the GOP responding to all of this Good News? Ted Cruz is sticking his head in the sand, refusing to debate Beto (watch this anti-Cruz ad, it’s a riot); the GOP super-PAC has cut funds from candidates it now thinks will lose to Dems; and the White House has created a task force to prepare for the onslaught of investigations when we take back the House.

And don’t forget: Mueller is still at it. Last week Paul Manafort made good on his plea deal, sat down with prosecutors, and talked. Yes, there’s even more Good News from the Resistance:

 Sign Up. Show Up. Never Give Up.

Read more Good News October 11

Good News September 27

Good News from the Resistance: As we hit SEND, propelling Good News into email inboxes around the world, Anita Hill redux is playing out, 27-years later. No Good News there. But Good News seekers, don’t lament. It takes little more than a scratch of the privileged-white-patriarchal surface (i.e., Senate Judiciary committee) to see that 1992, popularly referred to as the Year of the Woman, is going to pale by comparison to 2018, Year of the Badass Democratic Women Leaders (think Ayanna and Alexandria). In 1992 there were 5 women in the Senate, today there are 21. That’s good, but as we’re seeing through Kavanaugh’s confirmation process, not good enough. Here’s what is good: Our Sexual-Harasser-in-Chief has lit a fire in our Badass Bellies, and we’re not letting anyone put it out.

Yes, it’s taking a village of Women to Bring Down Trump and his enablers. But bring them down we will. It’s a 3-pronged attack: personal, political, and pecuniary.

Speaking of sisters, two key voices have played a capacious, yet under-the-radar role in Trump’s eventual demise: Paul Manafort’s daughters, Andrea and Jessica. In February 2017, hackers broke into Andrea’s phone, gaining access to 300,000 texts, many detailing their dad’s relationship with then-candidate Trump (“Perfect allies. Trump probably has more morals than my dad. Which is really just saying something about my dad. My dad is a psycho!!! At least trump let his wives leave him.”), and Manafort’s unsavory work in Ukraine (“Don’t fool yourself … That money we have is blood money. You know he has killed people in Ukraine? Knowingly. As a tactic to outrage the world and get focus on Ukraine.”). 

Imagine Robert Mueller’s glee when he read these texts. And the smile on his face when, soon after, he learned Paul Manafort’s email password: bond007. To which we say, one more time, Go, Bob, Go! There’s more Good News from the Resistance:

 Sign Up. Show Up. Never Give Up.

Read more Good News September 27

Good News September 11

Good News from the Resistance: This week at Good News we’re feeling a bit nostalgic about the good ‘ole days of Our National Nightmare (ONN), Season 1– the days when the term “Resister” was reserved for us. We marched, we staged die-ins to support Obamacare, we heckled Trump outside of his golf clubs; one man vowed to carry a sign of protest every day. (He’s done it). Our activism was scrappy, grassrootsy, and creative.

Now, in Season 2, the Resistance has gone mainstream: The funerals of two American icons, John McCain and the Queen of Soul, were referred to as Resistance Events. Nike, a Fortune 100 company, is flipping the bird at Trump via a multi-million dollar ad campaign featuring Colin Kaepernick. It’s become so hip to identify as “a resister” (unless, of course, you are Paul Ryan or Mitch McConnell) that resister imposters are now scrambling to hop aboard our train. Case in point: An anonymous “senior administration official” still working within the Trump White House wrote in the New York Times, “I am Part of the Resistance.” To which we say: No. Resisters are loud and we are proud. We’re out there. We sign our names. We are not anonymous!

We’re looking forward to ONN, Season 2 answering many questions: Will the anonymous resister imposter come forward on his/her own, or be outed by the “ dumb Southerner” (sic) Trump appointed as his Attorney General, Jeff Sessions? What more will we learn about the lucrative profession of international money laundering from  Manafort’s second trial? What secrets will be revealed by Trump’s newly liberated doorman, and the expanding list of Mueller’s flippers?

Will there be a Season 3? Bookies put the odds for Trump’s impeachment at 44%. While we patiently wait to see what the next episode of ONN will bring, let’s focus on more Good News from the Resistance:

Sign Up. Show Up. Never Give Up.

Read more Good News September 11

Good News August 24

Good News from the Resistance: We’re trying hard, oh so very hard not to gloat. But after last Tuesday, we bet all the rubles in Paul Manafort’s bank accounts that even our beloved Michelle O dipped just a tiny bit down into the “low” she warned us against. (We’re smiling at the thought of Michelle and Barack doing a fist-bump while watching Don Lemon deliver the news on CNN). At long last, after 579 days, the criminal enterprise known as the Trump presidency is getting its due. Trump’s worst hour as president (so far) was one of our country’s finest. Suddenly, Auntie Maxine has a lot more people listening when she dares to utter the “I” word.

Good News seekers, we have much to look forward to in the wheels-of-justice pipeline. A fourth judge just ruled that Mueller’s witch hunt, a.k.a. investigation is constitutional and legitimate. And it’s full steam ahead on Manafort’s upcoming money laundering and foreign lobbying Trial #2. Scheduled to start in 3 weeks, it’s promising to be a blockbuster.

Wait, there’s more! In the wake of Michael Cohen’s squawking, the Manhattan DA is considering charges against the Trump Organization for falsifying financial records; Judge Fernando Tapia ruled that our Thug-in-Chief’s security team must face a jury for punching and choking protesters outside of Trump Tower; Omarosa (and other former White House prisoners) is likely to be on the speaking circuit with more tales of palace intrigue, as Judge Arlene Bluth ruled the Mobster-in-Chief’s mandatory employment NDA (non-disclosure agreement) didn’t prevent an employee from spilling the beans on everything that goes on in the White House; the contents of the Russian pee-pee  tape got closer to seeing the light of day (and CNN) when U.S. District Court Judge Amit Mehta ruled the FBI has to obey a Freedom of Information Act request from the press that will unseal documents related to their investigation into the Steele dossier; and the National Enquirer CEO was granted immunity in the Michael Cohen case, so it’s likely we’ll soon find out how many papers a pickled Pecker can protect. It’s all Good News.

There’s more Good News from the Resistance:

 Sign Up. Show Up. Never Give Up.

Read more Good News August 24

Good News Grannies @ McAllen, Texas

Good News from the Resistance: Last week, Good News met up with Grannies Respond/Abuelas Responden in Texas. By the time we joined them, most of the Grannies had been on the road for a week, originating in New York, Oregon, Michigan, and points between. They’d stopped for rallies along the way, raising awareness about the collateral damage of the Trump Administration’s “zero-tolerance” immigration policy: separated families, detained and orphaned children. We met the Grannies in San Antonio, for the 4-hour drive to McAllen, the last leg of their journey.

Why McAllen? Hundreds of immigrants, many of them asylum-seeking families and children, are being detained there. We went to learn.

First, there was Bad News:

Shortly after our arrival, 100+ of us stood in a park in downtown McAllen, where we were greeted by Veteran Service Corp Director of Operations Pate Hutson. Pate had spent the previous two weeks traveling the Texas border and meeting with hundreds of people, to get a sense of what life is like for residents of the Rio Grande Valley. He told us:

“The fear is palpable here. This is real. What’s going on here is not what you hear about. There is a lot to learn. It’s about what you can take home and talk about with your neighbors. Listen. Because it matters.”

We learned that most of our current immigration policy is not new. What’s new is the aggressive nature of enforcement under the Trump administration, which has resulted in:

After our briefing, we set off on the Refugee Walk of Significance, tracing the steps taken by immigrants (mostly from Central America, but lately a significant uptick from Cuba) who are “caught and released” by Border Patrol.  

First stop: The infamous McAllen bus station, where Border Patrol releases the “lucky” ones – but not before fitting each with an ankle bracelet. With no money, food, or English, there is nonetheless a glimmer of Good News at the bus depot: Samaritans like Luis Guerrero, a former firefighter who volunteers from the station 24/7, and meets every bus.

 

As we approached the station, a bus full of “released” immigrants had just arrived, many carrying children. As they disembarked, we gave them a standing ovation, clapping and shouting “bienvenidos!” (Thankfully, our guide explained to them who we were – the last thing we wanted was to scare anyone. The smiles indicated we were understood).

Next stop: Catholic Charities Respite Center. Luis and other volunteers  direct the newcomers to the Center, a few blocks away. There, volunteers see that everyone gets a shower, a meal, and a bed for one night. They also receive a backpack filled with toiletries, snacks, and small toys for the children.

For many, this will be all that they have to sustain them through their bus ride out of McAllen — to anywhere in the U.S. where they know someone who has agreed to sponsor them. Who gets to leave the detention centers? Who is separated from their children? Who is sent back to their country of origin? It’s a mystery. 

There is one constant: Attorney General Jeff Sessions continues to raise the bar on who gets to stay; “credible fear” for asylum-seekers is harder to prove, and bail is being set at unattainable levels.

After walking by the bus depot, visiting the Respite Center, stuffing backpacks for “the released,”

visiting La Posada Shelter for asylum-seekers and the Wall (yes, a significant piece of it already exists) with a Telemundo reporter,

we ended our visit with a panel discussion led by front-line advocates. There, we learned that many are profiting off of the immigration crisis, which has become a revenue stream for private-sector prison companies. 

“Our tax dollars are paying private companies to put children in prison.”

A few Grannies tried, unsuccessfully, to visit the Ursula detention center in McAllen, a former warehouse that was modified to hold up to 1,000 children in cages made of chain-link fencing. It’s known as “the refrigerator,” because it is kept so cold.

Here’s as close as they could get:

 

There are more than 200 detention centers like it across the U.S.

The Good News? Resistance against the Trump Administration’s immigration crisis nightmare is strong and multi-faceted. Public outcry, the ACLU, and outraged judges have forced the Administration to halt some of its most barbaric actions. Immigration advocates on the ground are well-organized and know what needs to be done. It’s up to us, the Resisters, to help them, and to keep up the fight. Here’s why and how:

 Sign Up. Show Up. Never Give Up.

Read more Good News Grannies @ McAllen, Texas

Good News August 3

Good News from the Resistance: You know we’re living in strange times (in case you forgot?) when at the top of our Good News list is U.S. federal judge Dolly Gee’s ruling that the migrant children U.S. government officials ripped from their parents cannot be drugged. Judge Gee also appointed an independent monitor to investigate the living conditions of the detained children, who have been warehoused in detention centers. The monitor will report directly to Judge Gee. To that we say, thank-you. And now for less disturbing Good News

We’re less than 100 days from the midterms, and the GOP is looking at their toughest midterm map since 1930. Even Dr. Evil (Steve Bannon) sees it coming: he’s telling anyone who will listen that the 2018 midterms are going to be a referendum on Trump. Who dislikes Trump the most? Key groups are battling it out. As of today, African-American women are taking a strong lead, followed by young people, ages 18-34. Losin’ Donny also is sagging in key Midwest states that helped crown him.

The Best News? We’re on it. Color of Change, a Soros-funded grassroots PAC, is building an army of black leaders who are convincing unregistered black voters that their votes this fall will matter. BlackHer is giving black women (who, we repeat, dislike Trump more than any other group)  the tools to become a key voting bloc, chief among them, The Black Women’s Guide to the 2018 Midterm Elections. And borrowing from the philanthropy world, progressive women are becoming donor powerhouses through “giving circles,” pooling their donations to support candidates. Which may be at least partially why Democrats have taken a fundraising lead in nine key battleground states. As for those anti-Trump youngsters? Billionaire Tom Steyer is putting $110 million into the midterms, much of it into training young people (who, we repeat, dislike Trump a lot, only second to black women) to become advocates who vote, through NextGen America. It’s all good…

… So good, in fact, that the GOP is getting nervous. Key aspects of their 2018 strategy: Gerrymandering and Voter Suppression. There is Good News on those fronts, too. After the Supreme Court dropped the ball this past spring, activists across the country have taken it out of federal hands; anti-gerrymandering initiatives are now landing on state ballots. And voting rights scored a big win this week, when a judge stopped GOP governor Rick Scott’s election officials from banning early voting on college campuses. Let the games begin!

There’s more Good News from the Resistance:

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Read more Good News August 3

Good News August 1: Announcement

Newsflash! Time Sensitive Announcement! Good News is going on the road. We are joining the Grannies Respond/Abuelas Responden caravan to McAllen, Texas, to hold a vigil outside of U.S. Border Patrol’s largest migrant “processing” facility, where children who have been separated from their families are kept in cages. There is still time to join us. Check out the map and figure out if you can get to any of the cities along the routes. Good News will be in San Antonio, Texas this Sunday (Aug. 5) and McAllen, Texas on Monday (Aug. 6). Interested? Send us an email and we’ll send travel details. You don’t have to be a Granny to join us!

Here’s a tiny bit of Good News from the Resistance just to keep you going until the end of this week, when we’ll send out our regularly scheduled edition.

 Sign Up. Show Up. Never Give Up.