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healthcare.gov opens at midnight on the day of the government shutdown and lambert finds a bug

[And if you have your own experiences to share, and especially screen dumps, please add them in comments or contact me. Either Federal Exchanges, or state exchanges. I'm especially interested in Covered California! Thank you! --lambert]

Nice timing.

john.smith@gmail.com from Maine had a registration #FAIL at step 3. Here's the screen dump:

Read more about healthcare.gov opens at midnight on the day of the government shutdown and lambert finds a bug

Good news on TPP, as Senate passes Fast Track bill with human trafficking poison pill

Remember, passing Fast Track in the Senate was supposed to be the easy part, and not only did Fast Track get rejected on its first try -- "Welcome aboard the S.S. Lame Duck, Mr. President!" -- now we get this. Ryan Grim explains: Read more about Good news on TPP, as Senate passes Fast Track bill with human trafficking poison pill

Yet another mid-70s inflection point

Clinton turns over campaign Twitter account to supporter

Bernie does a Reddit AMA ("Ask Me Anything")

Original; coverage by Matt Yglesias. Unfortunately, Bernie really put a spoke in my wheel, here: Read more about Bernie does a Reddit AMA ("Ask Me Anything")

Tweet of the Day

In the garden: Sea of green

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

In the garden: Finally the lilacs!

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!

In the garden: Bleeding heart liberal

For whatever reason, the iPad just doesn't want to focus on those pink flowers! This is one of many shots, and still a bit soft. Read more about In the garden: Bleeding heart liberal

In the garden: Hosta la vista

Please don't hate me for the headline.... Read more about In the garden: Hosta la vista

Common Household Remedies Request

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

In the garden: New leaves against the sky

It's a great moment when the big trees first leaf out! Read more about In the garden: New leaves against the sky

De Blasio's pathetically inadequate "Progressive Agenda" vs. The 12-Point Platform

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.")

Anyhow, some Democrats "stood with" de Blasio:

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[1]. 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.

Al Sharpton, corrupt exemplar of the Black Misleadership Class. That tells you all you need to know, doesn't it? (Hoho, how could you?)

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

In the garden: Slowly, then all at once

Rainy today, but apparently warm enough!

All the violets in the "front area" came out at once! Read more about In the garden: Slowly, then all at once

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