The Progressive Platform we are building will be a sort of blueprint that we believe all progressives, especially candidates, should follow. It will be our beliefs as progressives, where we stand on various issues, and in many cases, what we believe needs to be done on those issues.
In the first post, the idea of creating a Progressive Platform was introduced. I had posted links to various political platforms, so everyone could get an idea of what we are trying to accomplish. Then you were asked to vote on what planks we should include in our platform.
This week we will briefly discuss planks for our platform.
City Council President Darlene Harris said her biggest concern was people's health. She said she had heard stories about people being sickened by water contaminated by Marcellus drilling. She said claims by the industry of the thousands of jobs being created wasn't worth the risk.
"They're bringing jobs all right," Harris said. "There's going to be a lot of jobs for funeral homes and hospitals. That's where the jobs are. Is it worth it?"
Pennsylvania is the center of the Marcellus Shale activity, with more than 2,000 wells drilled in the past three years and many thousands more planned, as multinational exploration companies invest billions in the pursuit.
I'll have more on this soon, but I saw last night's Oval Office address as a speech aimed primarily at more casual observers who need to know the White House is on top of the BP gusher disaster. I wasn't surprised or disappointed in that sense. At the same time, energy/climate specifics -- and clear leadership -- have got to materialize soon. If last night's speech is meant to stand alone, it's definitely not going to cut it, and the White House is missing a critical opportunity. On the other hand, if last night's speech was the first - step in an ambitious ramp - up, that's a different story. I haven't read anything definitive yet one way or the other, so all I can confidently say is that we've got our work cut out for us either way.
With that said, the backlash to Keith Olbermann and Rachel Maddow's reaction to the speech from some of the presidents staunchest defenders (on virtually everything) is childish and extremely short - sighted.
Threatening to stop watching Keith Olbermann's show is just silly. What are we, five?
Asserting that Rachel Maddow's criticism means that she may be joining the village is truly strange, and not in any way "reality - based."
Communicating honest differences with Olbermann and Maddow, or anyone else, is great. It's healthy. It's in our DNA as progressives. But it shouldn't be done in a way that goes after them for communicating their honest differences with the Obama Administration. Those who resort to this tactic are only going to intensify the gap in the grassroots/netroots between those who believe the president is falling short of what is necessary, at least in part because of his own decisions, and those who are more apt to claim that his approach isn't a significant part of the problem. And that doesn't help any of us.
It's wrong. It's highly counterproductive. Those who are pulling these stunts Are. Not. Helping.
UPDATE: "Fake President" Maddow's gave her own "Oval Office in my mind" address on tonight's show. It was really good.
Today chief executives for the major oil companies answered questions to Congress about their own ability to respond to a tragedy caused by their own practices such as the one that occurred in the Gulf. They argued that continued offshore drilling was essential to American oil and gas supplies and to their own industry. They hung BP out to dry implying that the British oil company did not follow proper safety procedures while their companies do. While they called this disaster an "Aberration", it was pretty clear by the end of the hearing that their own companies were no more prepared than BP for such a disaster.
"Regulation: Phthalates are an EPA "chemical of concern." The FDA allows for plastic containing phthalate in flexible food packaging. The U.S. government last year banned or restricted six phthalates for use in children's toys and children's products.
What you can do to reduce exposure: Avoid shampoos, conditioners and other personal care products that list "fragrance" as an ingredient. These may contain phthalates. (Companies are not required to disclose the ingredients in their scents, and the industry says this phthalate is safe.) The federal government recently ended one source of exposure, banning the sale of toys containing any of six phthalates."
I'd like to think that waiting my turn at public hearings and constant letters to elected officials had something to do with keeping "more than 8,000 tons of plastic out of landfills annually." I wish my low impact DKos diaries played a part but I'm pretty sure that my graffiti had some serious impact.
For about a year whenever I found myself in the privacy of a public men's room stall, I just scribbled some message on the wall. I also think that so many New Yorkers assuming that the city accepted all sorts of plastic played a role in the new legislature but a few saw my message.
Protest NYC's limited plastic recycle program. Place all plastic in the Blue Bag!
I wrote other messages. Too many to remember but here are a few more.
Scientists at the Smithsonian Environmental Research Center have published a study, Evidence for a recent increase in forest growth, suggesting that climate change can quite literally be measured by treehuggers. Like the average American citizen, American trees look to have had increasingly bulging middles in recent decades. Having spent their careers quite literally hugging trees, SERC scientists Geoffrey Parker and Sean McMahon have written a study documenting
evidence that forests in the Eastern United States are growing faster than they have in the past 225 years. The study offers a rare look at how an ecosystem is responding to climate change.
For over 20 years, Parker has gone into a set of forests in the mid-Atlantic, tape measure in hand, and giving them a hug to measure their size. Parker's own hugging has been extended with a robust group of volunteers conducting regular measurements of specified trees. (The boy scout to the right, while in a SERC forest, isn't engaged in actual measurements for the study.) Some 250,000 hugs later, he has quite a database in hand.
that the forest is packing on weight at a much faster rate than expected. ... on average, the forest is growing an additional 2 tons per acre annually. That is the equivalent of a tree with a diameter of 2 feet sprouting up over a year.
Now, there are many things that contribute to plant growth, from soil quality to rainfall to temperatures to CO2 concentrations. Parker and McMahon have concluded that the driver for the bulging middles of the studied groves is best explained through human impacts: the rising levels of CO2 (a nutrition); and the warmer temperatures and extended growing season due to global warming (driven, in no small part, due to the rising CO2 levels).
If you've been thinking you should 'Go Green', the next question should be 'why'? If all you can come up with is 'the environment', our polar ice caps, and other 'non-specific answers, you should run to your nearest library, book store, etc. (Hint: You can sometimes find it as a used book on Amazon.com) and get The Autoimmune Epidemic by Donna Jackson Nakazawa. Donna Nakazawa is an investigative reporter who has an autoimmune disease herself. I promised in a prior post to have more on this book as it is so important to each of us personally.