65 Signs That 2013 Wasn't the Worst

There was lots to be sad about this year, but let's not forget the rays of light peeking through the clouds

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Outpouring of Love for Nelson Mandela
The world celebrated the life of one of the world's greatest revolutionaries and peacemakers. Nelson Mandela, who languished in prison for 27 years before becoming the first black president of post-Apartheid South Africa, died at the age of 95. As President Obama put it best: "He no longer belongs to us – he belongs to the ages." (See Rolling Stone's photo tribute to Madiba's life here.)

Healthcare.gov Fixed(ish)
After its catastrophic October launch, the federal health exchange emerged in December as a largely functional online marketplace for Americans seeking to enroll in the subsidized individual insurance market.

ALEC Struggles
Leaked documents revealed that the corporate legislative "bill mill" ALEC – which advances the right's agenda by pushing identical extremist bills through the nation's state legislatures – has been hemorrhaging members, losing 106 corporate sponsors in the last two years.

Unemployment Plunges to Five-Year Low
In an early gift to the nation's job seekers, nation's unemployment rate dropped three-tenths, falling to 7 percent.

Fast Food Workers Strike
The nation's McWorkers went on strike to demand living wages. (The industry currently pays so little that fast-food employees draw on more than $7 billion in public assistance.)


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