I killed my first mosquito yesterday, when I was sitting at my desk. Unfortunately, my grand scheme to attract birds -- which presumably would eat the mosquitoes, at least if they were the right sort of bird -- by building them a nice messy hedge-y area fell to the ground, for lack of funds in time for the Fedco tree sale (though I still will be able to build a water feature).
So, I'm looking for alternative ways to minimize my mosquito population (besides avoiding standing water by fixing the leaks in my hoses). Read more about Common Household Remedies Request
Bill de Blasio, sensing, in his muddled way, some opportunity for influence or office -- presumably in a Clinton administration -- has rolled out a "Progressive" "Agenda."
Even though de Blasio's (shallow, mobile-friendly) web site qualifies the phrase "Progressive Agenda" with "to combat income inequality," media coverage frames it as a "progressive agenda," period, and since coverage was presumably driven by de Blasio's public relations effort, I'll assume de Blasio is putting forward a universal agenda he'd like all "progressives" to adopt.
If progressives do, they'll be selling working people down the river. But then you knew that. To show why, I'll compare the "agenda" to the 12-Point Platform in the form of a handy table, after first briefly describing the rollout.
Here's how Politico describes de Blasio's day on the Hill:
Bill de Blasio’s roadshow stopped in Washington on Tuesday, as the New York mayor unveiled a “Progressive Agenda” designed to guide Democratic candidates and lawmakers — but which many have read as a road map for Hillary Clinton.
Of course, since de Blasio is a "progressive" Democrat, the "agenda" is sloppy, unsystematic, and full of holes. In fact, a hack job, as even de Blasio's colleagues were not shy about pointing out:
De Blasio said the agenda was drafted by progressives who met at Gracie Mansion on April 2, and admitted it was still a work in progress, as some speakers pointed out omissions, such as public education and police accountability.
("Public education" is covered in the 12-Point Platform by point #7: "Free Public Education, pre-K-16." And "police accountability" is covered by #10: "End the Wars," which includes ending police militarization, and #9: "Enforce the Bill of Rights.")
More than a dozen progressive leaders spoke at the press conference beside de Blasio and signed the billboard next to the podium outlining the 13 progressive principles. Among the attendees were former Vermont Governor and DNC Chairman Howard Dean, Oregon Sen. Jeff Merkley, activist Al Sharpton, and Oakland California Mayor Libby Schaaf.
Oddly, none of the reporting seemed to list the actual 13 points (none of the sources above, and not CBS, not the Times, not HuffPo ), probably because -- as I found on the site -- the individual points aren't numbered, and they're poorly written. (Clearly, Correntians working together over many months are superior to progressives meeting at Gracie Mansion for a day. Shocker, huh?) For example, take the second bullet point in the group numbered (1) -- please:
• Reform the National Labor Relations Act, to enhance workers’ right to organize and rebuild the middle class.
This item combines a vague policy proposal ("Reform the National Labor Relations Act") with an even vaguer benefit ("to enhance workers’ right to organize and rebuild the middle class." See here for what Democrats mean when they say "middle class." ) Compare #4: "Job and Income Guarantee," which states the policy so crisply as to imply the concrete material benefit. You'll also notice that the 12-Point Platform benefits all workers, which reforming the National Labor Relations Act, laudable as that may be, does not.
Anyhow, enough background and parsing of words. Here's a table that outlines the differences between the hasty output of de Blasios's "progressives" at Gracie Mansion, and the 12-Point Platform: Read more about De Blasio's pathetically inadequate "Progressive Agenda" vs. The 12-Point Platform
Whaddaya know: Seymour Hersh shows that Obama's story of how Osama Bin Laden got whacked was a tissue of lies
Seymour Hersh (in the London Review of Books, mind you, not the Obot-infested New Yorker, where he has so long published. Interestingly, the LRB has just gone down ("service temporarily unavailable"). Because I was reading the story on my iPad before the LRB went down, I was able to take some screen shots. Here they are; they don't add up to a coherent narrative, and I don't have time right now to lay Hersh's timeline against existing narratives. Read more about Whaddaya know: Seymour Hersh shows that Obama's story of how Osama Bin Laden got whacked was a tissue of lies
Obama's Nike speech: He should really stop lying about TPP secrecy and his surrender of sovereignty under ISDS
Here's Obama at Nike, which employs one million contract workers in Vietnam and elsewhere (yes, they're still striking), and says they'll hire 10,000 Americans if TPP passes; if you believe that, by all means vote for it. From the White House transcript: Read more about Obama's Nike speech: He should really stop lying about TPP secrecy and his surrender of sovereignty under ISDS
Not an apology, really, and thanks so much to people who kept posting in my absence; that's heartening. When Baltimore blew up, I figured I had better hop back in, because there aren't many bloggers [lambert blushes modestly] who have the background that I do in live-blogging complicated and fast-moving events of resistance, non-violent or not. For good or ill, Baltimore de-escalated, and so I didn't keep on with it (here). But then, I had also said I'd start blogging about my garden when there was a garden to blog about, and now there is. Read more about Belated explanation for winter silence
Planting the vegetables (hence the need to sheet mulch (hence the need to bring in more soil)) is about three weeks away, so in the meantime I struggle to find enough that's flowered or leafed out. Ditto, apparently, the pollinators, since something big just buzzed round my head! Anyhow:
A pansy with a wilted companion in the "front area," this time not at dusk.
Today I saw a kid walking down the sidewalk with his two parents, and he made them stop at the rock garden, and they seemed to be explaining things to him. So my garden is already fulfilling its social function! This is exactly what I want people to do. And next week, something will have changed, and so they will stop again. Read more about In the garden: The awkward age
(I need to think of a more sonorous, resonant name for the "front area"....)
So, where all was bare earth two weeks ago or so, we still have bare earth, but with a humongous invasion of King Solomon's Seal -- honestly, it's poking up everywhere, and who knew? -- along with violets and (in the back) a basil patch. Out of view to the right, Black-Eyed Susans; I'm transplanting isolated clumps to other sunny spots. And the pansies I bought at the coffee shop [looks round], but they don't have any more today!
And I got my first compliment from a random pedestrian today; but perhaps they see me working and just want to be nice.... Read more about In the garden: The rock garden in the front area
When we developed the 12-Point Platform, we packed as much as possible into each point. Just so I don't forget -- and so you may remind me -- I'm going to flesh out each of the points; sometimes with full-fledged talking points, more often with scribbled notes to come back to, and sometimes with scraps prefiguring future polemic (I'm writing because Democratic regular Deblasio is coming out with some points of his own, and of course they will be pathetically inadequate, so it's worth lining up our ducks to be able to point that out.
The 12-Point Platform
These are in rough order of implementation. That is, let's get more money in workers' pockets, save their lives with single payer (such a no-brainer, given Canadian success), and brush back the rich before settling in for more radical reforms. Read more about Bullet points (and notes) for the 12-Point Platform