Friday, May 3, 2013

Reasons For Celebration

As we began sorting today's news stories for our commentary, the thread we noticed among today's reports was one of mostly positive change and progress happening - which is fitting since it's our tradition to look at more positive topics on Friday.

Before you think we're going to be all sunshine and roses today, we'll admit - this week hasn't been perfect.

The decision by the FDA this week to approve over-the-counter sales of emergency contraceptives was dealt a blow on Thursday when the Justice Department decided to appeal the U.S. District Court's ruling to allow it. While thorough scientific studies show that nothing is likely to change if the medication is allowed to be sold over the counter to women of any age, the Justice Department's appeal did draw the ire of a number of women's health groups.

Of course, some serious snow fell also in the Midwest this week. In MAY.

Still, the good this week far outweighed the bad.

To start with, the entirety of New England as of midnight last night, has legalized same sex marriage, thanks to the legislature and governor of Rhode Island. That Americans in ten states - including a large, contiguous region of the country - can now feel free to move from state to state, without fear of being legally treated as a lesser citizen, is a great thing.

It's also been a great week for accountability, both in the media and in politics.

In the media, Howard Kurtz' astoundingly bad commentary on NBA player Jason Collins in The Daily Beast was handled as any blatantly ignorant piece of work by a journalist should be, when Kurtz was fired yesterday from his job at The Daily Beast/Newsweek. The Daily Beast obviously has some higher standards to keep up now, as they won a Webby award this week for news reporting, beating out tough competitors like the New York Times, the BBC and NPR.

In politics, Colorado passed a major expansion of voting rights, and added major protections against election fraud. Too-Big-To-Fail may be on the ropes, as Democratic Senator Sherrod Brown of Ohio and Louisiana Republican David Vitter introduced bipartisan legislation that appears to have a very good chance of passing. And President Obama continued his push for immigration reform, this time doing it in Mexico, alongside Mexican President Enrique Peña Nieto, who will be key to any eventual successful immigration policies enacted in the United States.

Smart votes on gun reform also seem to be paying off at home for Senators who chose wisely last week like Sens. Mary Landrieu (D-LA) and Kay Hagan (D-NC). Meanwhile, Senators who chose to side with gun manufacturers - like Republican Kelly Ayotte - appear to still be paying a heavy price for their poor decisions as they return home to face pissed-off constituents.

And to top it all off − almost literally - the massive spire for One World Trade Center in New York City was lifted to the top of the skyscraper yesterday.

In short, the "good guys" had a pretty good week - and that's as good a reason as any to celebrate.

After all, Monday will be here again before you know it.
Some things never change.