News you actually want to know, and what you can do to make a difference.
Welcome to your daily roundup of good news about good people, how you can help make a difference — and a picture of President Obama because you deserve it.
One silver lining to come out of the storm cloud of Donald Trump's election is that more and more Americans seem to be seeing the Republican Party for exactly the bankrupt and heartless organization it really is.
Turned off by the rot within the GOP, voters are turning toward the left — as Amy Walter of the Cook Political Report put it, "A wave is building" for Democrats in the coming midterm elections.
And as Philip Bump of the Washington Post noted, it's not just the magnitude of the wave that's notable, but how early we're seeing it grow.
Wave elections — like those in 2006, which handed the House to the Democrats, or 2010, which flipped it back — are not always obvious a year in advance.
Last week, Cook Political Report released its latest assessment of the state of the race for control of the House. There are, according to that analysis, 62 seats that are leaning toward the Democrats or the Republicans and 21 seats that are considered toss-ups that could got either way. The problem for Republicans is that 45 of those 62 and 17 of those 21 seats are held by their party, meaning that they have much more to lose ...
There is one type of wave that telegraphs its arrival in advance. During a tsunami, as is now commonly known, the ocean recedes before rushing back into shore (and beyond). How do we extend our political metaphor to incorporate that? Well, let’s just keep an eye on how many more people announce their decision not to seek reelection, shall we? That’s about as close to the ocean receding as we’ll get — and if it keeps happening, it may be a sign that flooding is imminent.
After the massive wins for Democrats on Nov. 7, and with multiple Republicans choosing retirement over vying for re-election in the Trump era, by Election Day 2018, the blue wall of that wave may be one for the record books.
Indivisible said it best:
This bill gets worse with every new version because Rs think there is no limit on how terrible they can make it. Let’s tell them they’re wrong. For Republican Senators, use: https://t.co/UkmXHALOFF & for Dem Senators use: https://t.co/QyPSOV3bSr https://t.co/wUKyKns2Ct
— Indivisible Guide (@IndivisibleTeam) November 20, 2017
Indeed, the latest analysis of the scheme from the Tax Policy Center is mind-boggling:
UNREAL. New analysis from @TaxPolicyCenter finds that HALF ALL HOUSEHOLDS -- that's 93 million families -- get a tax INCREASE under the Senate bill.
But don't worry 98% of those in the top 0.1% get a tax cut. pic.twitter.com/UZJX5UPobw
— Michael Linden (@MichaelSLinden) November 20, 2017
New @TaxPolicyCenter numbers are here.
Not only do they show that 50 percent of ALL HOUSEHOLDS will get a tax increase under the #TrumpTaxScam, and the .1% get a $208,060 average tax cut, they say that these are underestimates! pic.twitter.com/ErSIc30fH4
— Julie Meyer (@hashtag_julie) November 20, 2017
Okay, folks: you know the drill. Follow Indivisible's links to call up your Republican or Democratic lawmaker and demand that they put millions of average Americans ahead of that sliver of the population in the highest reaches of the income brackets.
Trump's Interior Department, headed by Secretary Ryan Zinke, recently announced the surprise reversal of an Obama-era ban on importing macabre "trophies" of big game hunting, like elephant tusks.
Trump has apparently (and rather uncharacteristically) had second thoughts on the issue, first noting that he was "Putting big-game trophy decision on hold" while he reviewed the facts, and later said he would be "very hard pressed to change my mind that this horror show" should continue.
Might have been nice to make those sentiments known to Zinke before the reversal was put down on paper, but okay.
In any case, and knowing that Trump's tweets are not always safe to take as gospel, two major environmental groups filed a lawsuit in federal court, asking a judge to declare the reversal unlawful.
"President Trump’s tweets are ambiguous and beg the question of what exactly he plans to do," noted Elly Pepper of the Natural Resources Defense Council, which filed the suit alongside the Center for Biological Diversity.
And as CBD lawyer Tanya Sanerib declared, "These incredibly imperiled creatures need a lot more than vague promises."
Republicans were so busy trying to take health care away from millions of people that they also ripped it away from 9 million children when they failed to reauthorize the Children's Health Insurance Program (CHIP) in September.
You know who has never and would never forget about the needs of children? The woman whom the majority of the country wanted as our president.
Hillary Clinton urged everyone to pick up the phone and call their Congressperson — at 202-224-3121 — to demand that they reauthorize CHIP immediately.
Let her explain exactly what the program does and why it matters:
9 million children are at risk of losing their health care — and Hillary Clinton wants you to help pic.twitter.com/pvV16p6goY
— NowThis (@nowthisnews) November 20, 2017
When Danica Roem won her race for Virginia's 13th State House District, becoming the state's first openly transgender lawmaker, she probably didn't get a red carpet to the podium for her victory speech.
But pop superstar Demi Lovato thought she deserved one, so she made it happen — on a slightly bigger stage than Virginia state politics.
Lovato brought Roem as her guest to the American Music Awards on Nov. 19, in a powerful statement of love and progress.
"Demi Lovato and Danica Roem are two strong and inspirational women who embody the need for all Americans to stand together united and to take action today against any form of discrimination and oppression, said Sarah Kate Ellis, president and CEO of GLAAD, an LGBTQ rights organization which helped bring the two women together.
Plus, they looked damn good:
— Alex Goldschmidt (@alexandergold) November 20, 2017
Obama is here for us though, with humor if not the power to undo the 22nd Amendment and run a third campaign, and with an extra-special birthday wish for his old right-hand man:
ME: Joe, about halfway through the speech, I’m gonna wish you a happy birth--
BIDEN: IT’S MY BIRTHDAY!
— Barack Obama (@BarackObama) November 20, 2017