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Sun on the Street: What’s your post-pandemic move?
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Ben Boyce
Progressive Majority Coalition
Ben Boyce

Yes, it is a BFD

Good sports coaches always make sure to celebrate a win immediately, establish a team baseline expectation and to cultivate an appetite for winning. After white-knuckling through the chaotic and vexing Trump Administration for four years, putting a solid ‘W’ on the board is satisfying. The American Left has a bad habit of never taking the win, even when it’s right in their face. Cash that check. Do your end zone dance for a minute. Big wins don’t happen very often. As Joe Biden says, “This is a BFD”. The relatively quick and easy win on the 2T American Recovery Act (ARA) was a display of political will and legislative skill by the Democratic Party. By the standards of the last 40 years, it was impressive. Despite some dumb last-minute showboating drama from a few conservative Democratic Senators like Synema and Manchin to bolster their political brands, the Senate Democrats are falling in line behind the Administration’s agenda. House Leader Nancy Pelosi rules the House with an iron fist in a Chanel glove and even the typically hapless Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer is bringing his caucus to heel. Progressives have a lot to like in this bill. This is a firehose of cash directed at the bottom three quintiles of the income scale. This is the new Davos consensus for massive Keynesian economic stimulus targeted at the precarious working class, younger gig workers, and newly proletarianized knowledge economy workers to minimize the economic scarring of the pandemic depression I referenced in the last column. Now that I’ve given the Biden team their due, we need to do the dour lefty critique. The main progressive knock on the ARA is that it is temporary and contingent aid that arrived about 9 months too late to stop permanent economic scarring. The politics of this bill were sub-par, due to the tone-deaf conservative Democrats. The centrists stripped the most structural element, the $15/hr national minimum wage (an idea that was urgent a decade ago) from the bill. The messaging failure on the promised $2,000 checks is an inexplicable own-goal. Senator Manchin’s selfish melodrama over reducing monthly unemployment benefits by a $100 was an appalling display of political malpractice. All the inside baseball maneuvers aside, however, the ultimate outcome of the ARA is a torrent of cash into working-class and middle-class base voters. This bodes well for the midterms. The ARA child benefit allowances are the most exciting feature of this bill. This one-year payment of $300/month per child under six ($250/month for kids 6-18) will reduce child poverty in the U.S. by 45%! It is clear to me that the job of the progressive movement is to make those child benefit payments permanent when the next reconciliation bill comes around next year. We need to nail down the $15 minimum wage and pass the PRO Act to help revitalize the labor movement in the U.S. next round. On the local scene, the California Republicans are trying desperately to bamboozle the voters into recalling the Governor to vent their frustration over the pandemic recession. It’s not working this time. It will fail. Here in Sonoma County, plutocrat developer Bill Gallaher is throwing around big sums of money to punish the DA Jill Ravitch with recall for assessing an expensive judgment against him for mismanagement of an expensive private nursing home in the fire emergency of 2017. Bill Gallaher and his clan are living proof that we need to tax rich people more, so they can’t use their money to buy our politics. ‘No’ on both recalls.
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Live from Eighth Street East, it’s Tailwags & Handbags Live from Eighth Street East, it's Tailwags & Handbags

Cyndi Frank works the room at the last in-person event, in 2019. Photo by Melania Mahoney. The event... Continue

Cruelty and lies at Sonoma anti-mask ‘protest’ Cruelty and lies at Sonoma anti-mask 'protest'

At the Sonoma Plaza on Saturday, April 10, an anti-mask marcher carried a sign that read “I Can’t... Continue

April in the galleries April in the galleries

Through April 26 at the Arts Guild of Sonoma: The Many Colors of Us, which explores identity and culture... Continue

Anti-maskers proudly march around Sonoma Plaza Anti-maskers proudly march around Sonoma Plaza

An anti-mask contingent calling itself Save Our Sonoma marched around Sonoma Plaza on Saturday to protest... Continue


• Maite Iturri is excited about summer… school
• Protect care workers — you’ll need us someday
• Recycled and loving it
• ‘Kindness, empathy and dedication’ — in tribute to the late Dr. Robbie Cohen
• A record-breaking month of feeding the homeless
• A touch of the cowboy at old Jack London ranch
• Barbie, my hero
• Happy Library Week!
• Impact100 Sonoma awards $300,000 to 13 Sonoma Valley nonprofits
• Cynthia Tarr adds to lengthy resume with debut book ‘Ruby’
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Sonoma County halts use of Johnson & Johnson vaccine

Sonoma County today put a temporary halt on the use of the Johnson & Johnson/Janssen COVID-19 vaccine by order of the state health department. “California is following the FDA and CDC’s recommendation and has directed health care providers to pause the use of the Johnson & Johnson vaccine until we receive further direction... Continue

What We're Following
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Stories of interest from around the Web
How Amazon crushed the union threat in Alabama
> Huffpost - April 13th, 2021
Brutal treatment of Chinese immigrants in 19th c. Antioch, CA
> San Francisco Chronicle - April 12th, 2021
Two reporters eat only TikTok recipes for a whole day
> San Francisco Chronicle - April 11th, 2021
Huffman, Thompson call for mayor of Windsor to resign
> Rep. Mike Thompson - April 10th, 2021
‘Historically dry’ conditions prompt deployment of Russian River inflatable dam
> Sonoma Water - April 9th, 2021
The subatomic discovery that has physicists freaking out
> Popular Science - April 8th, 2021
Are floating gardens a sustainable solution to climate change?
> Modern Farmer - April 7th, 2021
Sonoma County DA files criminal charges against PG&E for Kincade Fire
> Sonoma County District Attorney - April 6th, 2021
KSVY to air Sen. Dodd Wildfire Prevention zoom on April 13
> Sen. Bill Dodd - April 5th, 2021
Sonoma County hosts Climate Action Town Hall on April 6
> Sonoma County - April 4th, 2021
Glen Ellen Forum meets Monday, April 5
> Glen Ellen Forum - April 3rd, 2021
April 6, Sonoma Planning Commission will vote on permit for city’s first cannabis store
> City of Sonoma - April 2nd, 2021
Crystals — soothing life force, or just pretty rocks?
> msn - April 1st, 2021
The Queen enjoys ‘a rather nice day’ after final vax, public appearance
> The Sun U.K. - March 31st, 2021
Sonoma accepting applications for a spot on the Planning Commission
> City of Sonoma - March 30th, 2021
County launches effort to vaccinate the homebound
> Sonoma County - March 29th, 2021
SVMA reopens with Ed Ruscha exhibition
> Sonoma Sun - March 28th, 2021
NYPD: White supremacists, conspiracy theorists look to attack cell towers
> The Intercept - March 27th, 2021
Personal meds review with a SV Hospital pharmacist
> Sonoma Sun - March 26th, 2021
About that cannabis dispenary proposed for Glen Ellen
> The Kenwood Press - March 24th, 2021
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