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29.4.08

Good news?

It's a little disorienting, in the midst of things like the Sean Bell verdict and Russell Pearce's latest turd, but a story came across the wire yesterday that actually seemed like it could be good news -- the judge in the Indian trust fund case has said it's not a matter of whether, but of how much, money to pay out to the Indians who have been ripped off by the U.S. government's mismanagement of royalties from oil and gas development on lands held in trust. I put a question mark after my title because it's not yet clear whether any of the underlying problems -- the government's cavalier, irresponsible attitude toward Indians, and its pre-1494 accounting system -- will be corrected, or if the government's attitude will be along the lines of "fine, pay them so they'll get off our case for a while."

Addendum: I forgot about two other pieces of good news:

1. Janet Napolitano vetoed the anti-sanctuary law, after activists made a stink about it and the state legislators who voted for it -- including erstwhile progressives like Krysten Sinema -- admitted they hadn't even read it. (OK, so this is actually just canceling out some old bad news, plus new bad news about the level of professionalism in our state legislature, but still.)

2. The U.S. government admitted it was wrong to deny a detained man treatment for penis cancer. Francisco Casataneda is still dead, and it's not clear whether this will lead to any systemic change in the quality of health care in jail, but it's at least a step.

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