Good news for people who want to do good: Week 55


News you actually want to know, and what you can do to make a difference.

Welcome to your weekly roundup of good news about good people, how you can help make a difference — and a picture of President Obama (and Bo!) to make you smile.

Nine states considering individual mandates in response to GOP attacks on Obamacare

Lawmakers in nine states around the country are considering implementing a state-level individual mandate to purchase health insurance, in direct response to Trump and the GOP repealing that element of the Affordable Care Act.

Individual mandates help keep health insurance premiums lower for everyone by bringing healthy people into the risk pools to offset those with chronic illnesses.

Without a mandate, many people who are currently in good health would forego insurance, and only those who cost insurance carriers a lot of money would buy plans. It's a key component to making any nationwide health insurance program function.

So these nine states — California, Connecticut, Hawaii, Maryland, Minnesota, New Jersey, Rhode Island, Vermont, and Washington — are stepping up where the Republicans have stepped back.

"The federal government has just stalled. They don’t accomplish the basics, and that leaves states with a great opportunity to step up and craft policy," Connecticut Democratic state Rep. Sean Scanlon declared.

Special counsel Robert Mueller gets an awesome aquatic honor

If someone tells you that special counsel Robert Mueller is a shark, they're not kidding around. As Mueller is on the hunt in the Russia probe, one anonymous fan wanted to make that metaphor more of a reality.

The Atlantic White Shark Conservancy received a $2,500 donation to name a great white in Mueller's honor.

Oh, and to spite Trump, who reportedly told the adult film actress Stormy Daniels — to whom Trump allegedly paid hush money before the election to cover up their affair — that he hated sharks.

"I hope all sharks die," Daniels quoted Trump as saying.

After that bizarre outburst came out, the conservancy received an influx of donations, but the organization's president Cynthia Wigren noted that no one had offered up the required amount to name a shark after Trump.

"At first I was thinking, as they suggested, of naming it Trump, but I thought it would be funnier to name it for Mueller," the anonymous donor told Cape Cod Times. "I realize it could be annoying to some people, but I hope they take it in the spirit in which it was intended, which was humorous."

Humorous, indeed!

Indivisible has a message for Rep. Devin Nunes

And it's crystal clear:

Maybe Nunes will finally see the light and scurry for the exits like so many of his Republican colleagues.

ACTION ALERT: Trump is not above the law!

Trump seems to think the law doesn't apply to him. Americans must make sure he knows just how wrong he is.

Indivisible has your complete guide to the Trump Threat Level, and you can RSVP for a #TrumpIsNotAboveTheLaw event near you.

States and cities will protect their citizens by banning dangerous "bump stocks"

Conservative politicians have made it clear that, no matter how many horrific mass shootings our nation experiences, they will do nothing on the issue of common sense gun safety.

So states and cities will do what they can to fill that leadership void and protect their citizens.

The shooter who killed 59 people in Las Vegas last November was able to commit such carnage so quickly by using a "bump stock," which allows semi-automatic weapons to imitate fully automatic ones, shooting 90 bullets in 10 seconds. Bump stocks serve no valid purpose whatsoever, yet Congress has done nothing to combat the use of such dangerous weapons.

But other governments have stepped up: Massachusetts and New Jersey, as well as the cities of Denver, Colorado, and Columbia, South Carolina, have enacted laws prohibiting the sale and possession of bump stocks. About a dozen other states are considering similar legislation.

Zach Elmore, whose sister was wounded in the Las Vegas massacre, put it very plainly.

"Obviously you cannot legislate [against] evil, but you can legislate the things with which bad people will use to perpetrate evil."

Scientists are ready to run in record numbers in 2018

Scientists around the country are, shall we say, not pleased with the Trump administration and its anti-science Republican cronies in Congress.

So they're doing something about it.

A record number of scientists are running for office in 2018, according to 314 Action, a political action committee that helps candidates with scientific backgrounds.

"The sheer number is really astonishing," the committee's founder Shaughnessy Naughton told HuffPost. "We’ve never seen anything like this."

More than 60 researchers and technologists are running for federal office, while over 200 candidates from STEM (science, technology, engineering, and mathematics) fields are running for state legislatures.

Considering there is currently only one Ph.D scientist currently serving in Congress — Democratic Rep. Bill Foster of Illinois — those numbers are indeed impressive.

And it's so very necessary. After all, Trump doesn't even want government agencies to use the term "science-based" — but pretending the word doesn't exist won't make all of these scientist candidates disappear.

ACTION ALERT: Hands off Medicaid!

Trump has taken cruel aim at Medicaid, all but ending health care coverage for millions of vulnerable Americans.

Speak up and tell the administration: Hands off our Medicaid!

Rep. Eric Swalwell introduces the Journalist Protection Act

California Democratic Rep. Eric Swalwell understands the importance of the free press, and how integral it is to the functioning of our democracy.

To that end, he introduced the Journalist Protection Act, which "makes it a federal crime to intentionally cause bodily injury to a journalist affecting interstate or foreign commerce in the course of reporting or in a manner designed to intimidate him or her from newsgathering for a media organization."

That this must be specifically codified into law speaks to the disturbing new reality in which the nation finds itself under Trump.

"President Donald Trump’s campaign and administration have created a toxic atmosphere," Swalwell said. "It’s not just about labelling reports of his constant falsehoods as #FakeNews – it’s his casting of media personalities and outlets as anti-American targets, and encouraging people to engage in violence."

Swalwell's bill would directly push back on this dangerous ideology, and provide crucial protection to journalists who are trying to bring the truth to the American people.

ACTION ALERT: Repeal the Trump tax scam!

Trump and the GOP managed to force their terrible tax scam on the country, but that doesn't mean it's time to throw in the towel.

Not One Penny can help you find events near you where you can make your voice heard on the need to repeal this garbage law.

Crosby, Stills, Nash & Young may reunite — thanks, Trump!

60s folk rock supergroup CSNY have had their share of very public fights and estrangements.

But apparently, the members all hate Trump more than each other.

David Crosby recently told Billboard that while he and his former bandmates — Stephen Stills, Graham Nash, and Neil Young — "haven't gotten along for a while," that pales in comparison to their feelings toward Trump.

"They all dislike Donald Trump very much, the same way I do," Crosby said. "We dislike him intensely because he’s a spoiled child who can’t do his job. So a reunion is possible. We don’t like each other, but we like Trump a whole lot less."

The generation that came of age in the 60s has certainly seen a lot of turbulent political times, but nothing like what we are witnessing now. But it might provide a small silver lining if one of the era's most iconic groups can put aside their very palpable differences and take to the stage again in defiance of Trump.

Indivisible Houston made a little trip to Sen. Cornyn's office — with cake!

Indivisible Houston wanted to help Sen. John Cornyn celebrate his birthday recently — in the very best Indivisible way:

"We brought Senator Cornyn a birthday cake & a card today congratulating him for being born here. Clearly, he pulled himself into his mother’s womb by his bootstraps. His office claimed he’s working on a Dream Act. We want it to be true, but we’re skeptical."

So are we, friends. So are we.