Tea Cup Reads: Early Weekend Edition

I’m publishing this week’s most interesting stories early because I’ve got a wedding this weekend. Since it’s my own wedding, you’re on your own until Monday, when a new Chair’s Corner will go up. I included a few extra things to make it up to you 🙂

Have a good one; we’ll be back on schedule next week.

State Politics
Sen. Egan‘s February 10th edition of Legislative Corner has important news about the budget (PFD and Governor’s fuel tax) and gives us a head’s up that the criminal justice reform bill (SB 91) from last year is looking like it may need a few tweaks.

Rep. Kito has also published a new Community Update (2/14/17), where he mentions that he’ll be in Gustavus this weekend and provides some helpful links. Did you know there’s an online bill tracking system for the Alaska Legislature, called BASIS? I didn’t, so thanks, Rep. Kito!

It looks like Rep. Parish publishes his newsletter on Saturdays; have you considered signing up to get it automatically? (The signup box is on the right side of the page; just add your email.)

A few stories about what it means to be American
Maybe I was wrong about the importance of sports for children. The kids on this coed basketball team certainly seemed to have learned something about doing the right thing, and maybe they even taught the adults around them a bit about it.

I have nothing but admiration for anyone who foster parents: From the L.A. Times, ‘I know they are going to die.’ This foster father takes only children with terminal diagnoses.

Have you considered foster parenting? Take a look at the summary page for the Alaska Office of Children’s Services Foster Care program.

National politics
This is one of the worst things about electing someone like Trump. From the Baltimore Sun, Ordinary Americans carried out inhumane acts for Trump:

The men and women who reportedly handcuffed small children and the elderly, separated a child from his mother and held others without food for 20 hours, are undoubtedly “ordinary” people. … That is chilling, as it is a reminder that authoritarians have no trouble finding the people they need to carry out their acts of cruelty. They do not need special monsters; they can issue orders to otherwise unexceptional people who will carry them out dutifully.

Wondering about the Republicans version of Obamacare? Here’s a Washington Post story that has no good news: Republicans in Idaho tried to design a better plan than Obamacare – and failed.

Many of the proposals to replace the federal law call for states to come up with their own health-care solutions, to be “laboratories for innovation.” But that doesn’t mean states will take up that challenge. Even if they do, it doesn’t mean they will succeed.

Here’s a site that summarizes the Trump’s actions on a daily basis: What the F*** Just Happened Today? He plans to do it for the first 100 days of the new administration.

This can’t be good. From John R. Schindler at the New York ObserverThe Spy Revolt Against Donald Trump Begins:

In light of this, and out of worries about the White House’s ability to keep secrets, some of our spy agencies have begun withholding intelligence from the Oval Office. Why risk your most sensitive information if the president may ignore it anyway? A senior National Security Agency official explained that NSA was systematically holding back some of the “good stuff” from the White House, in an unprecedented move. …

Joshua Holland’s Politics and Reality podcast highlighted a group called Movement 2017 that pre-screens grassroots organizations.

Movement Voter Project (MVP) is a service to donors – from grassroots individual donors to major donors and foundations. We talent-scout both national movement-building efforts and local efforts in all 50 states that are focused on voter engagement. … We spent six months in 2016, and consulted over 50 experts, to develop a list of local movement-building efforts, a list that continues to grow and be refined.

It’s a fairly nifty site, but one thing I noticed – there aren’t any Alaskan groups yet! Click here to find their criteria for a trusted organization.

And if you get to the end of that list and still need more, try driftglass. Just don’t expect him to be nice; Tom doesn’t do nice.

Living well is the best revenge
Every week, in honor of our shared humanity – which involves so very much more than politics – I include a few of my favorite fun things from around the web. Enjoy!

  • Making Globes in 1955. From Flashbak, a site that preserves and shares old images.
  • Anglophenia. A very fun YouTube channel about all things British. Sadly, not updated very often, but since I just discovered it, I’ve got lots of goofiness to enjoy!  Don’t miss the one on accents (content note: autoplay).
  • Interested in minimalism? The Compact? Don’t miss Katy Wolk-Stanley at the Non-Consumer Advocate. Odd as it may sound, her blog about not buying stuff is maybe my favorite non-comedy spot on the internet.

I hope you have a great weekend –

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