A lot of the plants are straining to produce the reproductive organs whose shape and form they have adapted to induce us to plant them, but are not quite there yet. Here my irises are fighting their way upward through the raspberry canes. I may have to move their bed at some point. Read more about In the garden: Sea of green
Finally, after a coldish spell, the lilacs, second in the forsythia-lilacs-iris-roses sequence, are out. It's pleasant to work out my door and smell them. (The forsythia were quite inferior this year, since they bloomed, if you remember, late last fall, and apparently they get one flowering a year. I may have to cut them back; I'm not sure.)
And here is a saturated tapestry: Read more about In the garden: Finally the lilacs!
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