Counterbalance: Good News Wednesday

It’s Girl Scout cookie time!  Head out to one of their usual haunts in front of retail stores (usually a grocery store) and buy some!  No, I am not a Girl Scout but I think they’re a great organization.  And their cookies are good!

Besides the Great Cookie Arrival, since this is the last Wednesday of the month, this post will be all about good news.

One of the biggest pieces of good news is that Rick Gates – former assistant campaign director for 45 – has had all charges dropped by Mueller in exchange for his full cooperation.  Some people are angry that he got his charges dropped, but I say, “whatever works” and anyway, if Gates goes back on his agreement, Mueller will refile charges (“Robert Mueller Just Flipped His Third Former Trump Aid”, Andrew Prokop, Vox website, 2/23/18).

Aside #1: Mueller wouldn’t have made this deal if the information he was going to get out of Gates wasn’t substantial – and about higher-ups.

Next good piece of news is that a W. Virginia judge has dropped a defamation suit filed by a coal industry executive against John Oliver (comedian and host of HBO’s Last Week Tonight). Mr. Oliver referred to Murray Energy Company CEO Robert Murray as a “geriatric Dr. Evil” (“Judge Dismisses Coal Magnate’s Lawsuit Against John Oliver, HBO”, Daniel Kreps, Rolling Stone online, 2/24/18).

Aside #2: The judge ruled that Mr. Oliver’s speech is protected by the First Amendment.

A California judge has ordered the Dept. of the Interior to reinstate the ruling (that was made during the Obama administration) restricting methane emissions.  The agency can no longer stall and refuse to enforce this.

Judge William Orrick stated that “the delay is untethered to evidence and is likely to cause irreparable injury to California, New Mexico, and other states” (“Second Judge Says Trump Can’t Keep Stalling Clean-Air Rules”, Matthew Daly, Associated Press via the U.S. News website, 2/23/18).

Aside #3: For more on Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke and his awful policies, go here

The Supreme Court has rejected 45’s appeal of an injunction in January of this year that stopped him from ending the DACA program.  45 had ordered the phasing out of DACA to begin next month, in March (“Supreme Court Rejects Trump Over ‘Dreamers’ Immigrants”, Lawrence Hurley and Andrew Chung, Reuters website, 2/26/18).

Now that can’t happen.  Hooray!

Aside #4: It’s going to be a long fight, but I think eventually it will be won and DACA will endure.  A huge majority of Americans support this program.

A U.S. Appeals Court has ruled that Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 does include protections for workers against discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation (“U.S. Appeals Court Says Title VII Covers Discrimination Based on Sexual Orientation”, Daniel Weissner, Reuters website, 2/26/18).  This is great news!

Aside #5: This ruling was in response to the 45 administration filing a brief that claimed sexual orientation was not intended to be protected under Title VII.  Because Republicans are all about “keeping government out of peoples’ business”, unless they don’t like you – then it’s ok for them to do it.

And, finally, this bit of nonpolitical good news…

Music icon Dolly Parton founded an organization called Imagination Library, which donates books to children aged 0-5 in the U.S, the U.K., Canada, and Australia.

The organization donates 1.1 million books every month!

Yesterday, they donated their 100 millionth book to the Library of Congress, and announced a partnership between the two organizations – an “Imagination Library Storytime” streamed live from the Library of Congress to libraries across the U.S. (“Dolly Parton Donates 100 Millionth Book, Announces Partnership with Library of Congress”, Maggie Jones, Knox News website, 2/27/18).

I have always liked Dolly Parton.

Ok, on to the weekly weird news…Here’s an interesting slide show about daydreaming:

“Daydreaming Again? 5 Facts About the Wandering Mind”, Agata Blaszczak-Boxe, Live Science website, 9/15/16

It asserts that, while daydreaming can help motivate people to accomplish goals, it also can cause you to forget what you were thinking about before you…wait a minute, let me go back and look at the slide show again…oh yeah, forget what you were thinking about before you drifted off.

I am a chronic, lifelong daydreamer.

Recommendation for the week: The Cost of Living Calculator on the PayScale website.  You just enter where you live now, where you want to live, your current salary and job title (or the title of the job you want in the new city), then hit the calculate button.  I stumbled across this as I was looking into a move back to Memphis, which I’ve been daydreaming about lately heh.

Don’t know how I am going to manage it, so any suggestions would be appreciated.  I have a new grandbaby to meet!

Be good.  Be kind.  Don’t give up on your dreams.

 

 

 

 

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