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:

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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 July 24

Good News from the Resistance:  It was bound to happen. Our Traitor-in-Chief took his bromance with Putin to the next level. In all of his wildest dreams, he could not have imagined a more fabulous bonus excursion to top off his best European Vacation ever, where he got to sit in Winston Churchill’s chair (oops!), walk in front of the Queen (oops!) and admire her brooch (good one, Queen!), take in the witty signs being carried by the hundreds of thousands of supporters who cheered him in London, and wave to the smaller — albeit no less enthusiastic — crowd who greeted him at his Scottish golf resort, including the creative guy who paraglided onto the course just to say, “Good Job, Donald!”

A summit with his beloved Vladdy –on Reality TV nonetheless — was the cherry on Trump’s NATO sundae. He’d been preparing for this moment since 1987. There was no disputing it now: He rocked it like no other American president had ever rocked a summit. No one knew how to do Diplomacy better than DT. As he walked off the stage Donald was bouyant, already planning to invite Vladdy over to his place to meet his peeps.  Flying high on Cloud 9 as he boarded (soon-to-be-redesigned) Air Force One, Donald was a bit confused when most of his aides hid in the back of the plane.

As it turned out, the aides traveling with The Great Negotiator were the lucky ones; they were cut off from the press during the 8.5 hour flight. Their colleagues in D.C.? Not so fortunate. It took a record-breaking 24+ hours for anyone to figure out a lie to defend their boss’s behavior. In those heady first hours, the best they could do was field press calls with questions of their own, notably, How bad was that?

The Good News? Our Russian Asset-in-Chief did not receive quite the Hero’s Welcome he’d anticipated. “Traitor,” “treasonous,” “high crimes and misdemeanors” were descriptors used – and not only by Anderson Cooper – by a Tea Party lawmaker, former CIA director and Russian ambassador, and — like a knife in his heart — his pals at Fox News. An Ohio GOP chairman quit in protest.

The Best News?  Thanks to the on-going TrumPutin bromance, U.S. election security is finally in the spotlight. Suddenly, high-level agency heads are ignoring their boss’s (as of yet) inexplicable longing for Putin’s affection, and his desperate attempts to let the murderer off the hook. Director of national intelligence Dan Coats announced, “we have been clear in our assessments of Russian meddling in the 2016 election,” and pledged his on-going commitment to providing “unvarnished and objective intelligence”; Rod Rosenstein released DOJ’s anti-hacking strategy report, documenting how, with the help of private sector tech companies,  DOJ has upped its game tackling election hacking and other cyber-crimes; National Security Agency and U.S. Cyber Command are joining forces to counter Russian election meddling— without input from the White House. Trump’s flaccid performance in Helsinki was the Red Bull shot U.S. election security sorely needed.

As for those sad, lost aides who work in the White House? We’re told they’re depressed.

There’s more Good News from the Resistance:

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Read more Good News July 24

Good News July 10

Good News from the Resistance:  Catfish Pruitt, the Deepest Swamp Dweller in D.C., is out. So many scandals, so many conflicts of interest, so many lies, how’d the mulit-tasker find the time to steal so much from the American public while at the same time destroying our air, water, and land?  A heartfelt thank-you to the press and Pruitt’s staff, who made it happen. Before we bid him a final good riddance, let’s take a moment to reflect upon yet another tidbit of Good News: Catfish is busily Dialing for Dollars to create a legal fund, as more than a dozen investigations will continue in his absence. Now that there’s a template for how to oust a Catfish, sinking other Swamp Dwellers should go more quickly. Next on the docket: Let’s-Make-a-Corrupt-Land-Deal Interior Secretary Zinke and Insider-Trading Commerce Secretary Ross.

Speaking of templates — the recent spate of bad news has demonstrated that we, the Resistance, are in top form, as we continue to organize and mobilize, with record speed, to halt president  Darth Hater’s policies. Within a few days of migrant families being separated and their children forced into “baby jails,” hundreds of thousands of us gathered in 700+ massive, pop-up rallies across the U.S. to say NO!  Women, with children by their side or on their breasts, drove many of the demonstrations. There were protests at the borders and at ICE offices. Hundreds of Episcopal leaders sang, marched, and prayed outside of a detention center. 650+ women (including a member of Congress) were arrested when they took over the Senate Hart Building. Rabbis, pastors, and other clergy were arrested in L.A., as was actress-activist Susan Sarandon.

The Good News? Acts of kindness and resistance abound. News organizations banded together to track down kids so that they could be reunited with their parents. A librarian at Columbia University created a team of “digital ninjas” to help with the family reunification effort. In just six days, the team created Torn Apart/Separados, a shocking map of ICE detention centers and Child Jails.

We kept the pressure on. Attorneys general sued the Administration to force it to stop separating families. A federal judge ordered ICE to stop arresting all asylum seekers. Remarkably, Darth reversed his own policy, and signed an Executive Order to stop the separations. A federal court ordered the Administration to reunify children with their parents within 30 days; when the Incompetent Deplorables claimed they couldn’t meet the deadline (the it’s easier to steal kids than to give them back defense?), the court denied an extension and said, “Just Do It.” And when Darth requested long-term detention of children as part of his “immigration plan,” a judge said NO. That should wipe the dollar signs off the pupils of Mr. Hater’s private jail contractor buddies.

The nightmare for these families is far from over. But the Resistance – and people all over the world – are with them. We’re not stopping.

Before we get to work on saving the Supreme Court (yes, it’s a long shot, but possible), let’s take a deep breath and keep our eyes on the news that’s being pushed aside for the Supreme Court story– news we can and have affected, and revel in more Good News from the Resistance:

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Read more Good News July 10

Good News June 25

Good News from the Resistance: When our Racist-in-Chief was a mere candidate, he bragged, “I could shoot somebody and I wouldn’t lose any voters.”  That may be true. Thankfully, we have no empirical evidence. Yet. The Good News? After this week’s events, we know with certainty that there’s at least one despicable action Americans will not tolerate from our Wannabe-Shooter-in-Chief: jailing children. The public shaming has begun, and it’s coming from across the political spectrum: U.S. states attorneys and federal prosecutors from both parties; the  Bush family (big shoutout to Laura); the Pope; the Christian right; Jeff Sessions’ church; top GOP Senators; and Melania’s immigration attorney. Even the airlines said NO MORE when they refused to do the Administration’s dirty work – transport children to jail.

There’s more. A bi-partisan group of Governors pulled National Guard troops from the border, or refused to send them. GOP strategist Steve Schmidt, who ran George W. Bush’s presidential campaign, managed John McCain’s in 2008 and helped get John Roberts and Samuel Alito on the Supreme Court, quit the Republican party.  Independent Michael Bloomberg pledged to spend $80 million on the midterms to back Democrats. Slimebag-in-Chief’s former lawyer Michael Cohen resigned from his RNC post. (Flip, Michael, Flip!). And when our Deplorable-in-Chief’s former campaign manager threw gasoline on the fire his former boss created, he was immediately dropped by the agency he’d hired to secure him lucrative speaking gigs.

What did we learn this week? That when the Bully-in-Chief ramps up the fight, Resisters Sign Up. Show Up. Never Give Up.  As a result, three Administration hacks — Just-Carrying-Out-Orders Kirstjen Nielsen, Of-Course-I-Lie-for-my-Boss Sarah Sanders, and Locking-Kids-Up-Mastermind Stephen Miller — can no longer go out to eat without public shaming, and an ICE office in Portland shut down by #OCCUPYICE remains shuttered. When the going gets tough, Resisters get creative.

The BEST NEWS this week? Resisters forced Our National Disgrace to back down and reverse what he had done. And to that we say, KEEP UP THE FIGHT! 

Meanwhile, here’s more Good News:

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Read more Good News June 25

Good News June 12

Good News from the Resistance: Is it good news that Melania’s back? We’re not sure. Last week, after she’d been missing for close to a month, we thought the White House hostage had finally escaped, perhaps through the giant sink hole in the White House lawn. Could it be that she’d made a break for it, but our Philanderer-in-Chief sweet-talked her back to his palace? We’ll never know. But we do know this: When the Porn-Star-Schtupper’s Chief Apologist/Liar Rudy Giuliani announced, soon after her return, that Melania believed her husband did not have an affair with Stormy, Melania’s office wasted no time sending a warning shot to the man-splainer, stating, Mrs. Trump has never discussed her thoughts on anything with Mr. Giuliani. To which we say, dig another sink hole, Melania.

Good News junkies had much to celebrate after last week’s elections. Our favorite wins? The judge who showed leniency to a Stanford student who raped an unconscious woman lost his job; an Alabama sheriff who stole $750,000 from the prison food budget lost his primary; Democrat Lauren Arthur flipped a Kansas state senate seat blue; 26-year old PhD student and rapper Mariah Parker won a Georgia commission seat and took her oath of office on Alex Haley’s Autobiography of Malcolm X; and a 26-year old who testified in 2011 for marriage equality by talking about the love between his two moms won an Iowa Democratic primary. The times they are a’changin’…

The Executive and Legislative branches may be teetering on ruin, but there was plenty of good news coming out of the courts this week. A federal judge ruled against our Xenophobe-in-Chief, prohibiting him from withholding federal law enforcement grants from Philadelphia because it’s a sanctuary city; a court ordered Maine’s recalcitrant Trumpian governor to expand Medicaid … or else; a federal judge added to Pruitt’s list of woes by ruling EPA has to produce the science behind their Climate-Denier-in-Chief’s claim that humans are not the cause of climate change; and our favorite ruling of all? Our Sleezebag-in-Chief asked that all of the documents seized from his fixer, Michael Cohen, remain sealed, and Judge Kimba Wood said NO. We’re certainly looking forward to the press getting their hands on those.

Because so much of this week’s Good News reminded us of lyrics from the late, great Leonard Cohen’s song Anthem, we’re dedicating the Here’s more Good News from the Resistance section to Lenny, with this thought in mind:

There’s a crack in everything; That’s how the light gets in:

 Sign Up. Show Up. Never Give Up.

Read more Good News June 12

Good News May 22: Vacation

Good News from the Resistance is on vacation. Yes, even we need to take a news break to remain sane. But we don’t want to leave you high and dry without Good News while we’re gone, so we’ve come up with Good News Lite. We’ll be back in two weeks. In the meantime:

 Sign Up. Show Up. Never Give Up.

Good News May 8

Good News from the Resistance: It was another week of resignations, allegations, and fabrications, brought to us by our Morally-Dissolute-Grifter-in-Chief. To cheer ourselves up, we wrote a poem!

Rub-a-dub-dub, three men in a tub.

And who do you think they be?

The Fixer, the Faker, the Bolshevik player

 All of them know there’s pee.

Yup, just when you thought you were safe, the Pee Tape is back! Trump’s alibi – that he could not have possibly done the dirty deed because he didn’t stay in Russia on the night in question — has fallen apart. Flight records, testimony of the Miss Universe host and Trump’s bodyguard  put Trump squarely in Moscow that night. Turns out the Pee-lievers may be right.

In the Olden Days (three weeks ago), when faced with a sex-related scandal to quash, Trump would have thought, “Better Call Cohen!” Well that train has certainly left the station. The presidential fixer who built his practice defending clients convicted of automobile and medical insurance fraud, now has his own criminal investigation to deal with, and was recently slapped with warrants for over $280,000 in taxes he owes on his taxi cab businesses. Next time, Donald, Better Call Saul.

Still trying to decide where to spend your summer vacation? Consider flying to London in July to join the mass protest in honor of Trump’s visit. So far, tens of thousands of Londoners have vowed to greet him with a “carnival of resistance.” Among the protestors will be a 95-year old veteran who says he’s already lived through one bout of fascism, at least 1,000 drag queens, and Jews who will hold a Sabbath service to protest Trump’s antisemitism. Fans of the punk band Green Day have launched an on-line campaign to get the song “American Idiot” to top the charts for his visit.

Reality TV and smut aside, the 2018 midterms are looking better every day. State by state, we’re getting the job done. The governor of Puerto Rico launched a PAC in Florida to mobilize the Puerto Rican vote; when the GOP tried a dirty trick in Arizona to keep McCain’s seat under their control, the Democrats successfully blocked them; in Indiana, a federal judge ruled in favor of the NAACP, requiring at least two satellite locations be set up for early voting; last week, Democrats flipped their 40th statehouse seat; and in Florida, a swing state, Democrat Javier Fernandez won a special election – in Miami-Dade, a swing district . How great is that?

Here’s more Good News from the Resistance:

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Read more Good News May 8