|Air Quality Awareness Week(April 30 – May 4) is a great opportunity to learn more about how your local air quality may affect your health.
You may have heard references to “Code Orange” or “Code Red” air quality days during local weather reports. Air quality assessments are taken from the Air Quality Index (AQI), which indicates how clean or polluted your air is.
Poor air quality can pose health concerns to children, older adults, and those with certain kinds of health issues; but even healthy young adults can be adversely affected by polluted air. Depending on the air quality and your level of sensitivity, staying indoors may sometimes help to alleviate symptoms.
He Even Was a Failure at Pizza.
Herman Cain came to Orlando to campaign against me last week. And yes, it’s still more than six months before the November election. But as the Republicans see it, I am what the military refers to as a “high value target.” So they bring out the big guns early, and the bombardment begins.
I’ve told people that I was secretly hoping that Herman Cain would win the Republican nomination. Because if both parties nominated an African-American for President, then every racist in America would feel like committing suicide.
Nevertheless, I was surprised to see Herman Cain leading in the Republican polls both in Iowa and nationwide, last October and November. I understand the Republican’s desperation to nominate someone other than Mitt Romney, but Herman Cain for President? Seriously?
What were his qualifications? Cain ran a pizza chain for ten years, during the last century. What Cain was very good at was paying people only $10 an hour, to deliver $20 pizzas. (Or the Herman Cain Special, two pizzas for $40.) After Cain took over, the chain quickly slipped nationwide from third to fifth. By the time Cain left, in 1996, he had wiped out thousands of jobs. Sort of like Mitt Romney, but with toppings.
Then Cain was a lobbyist for three years, with the National Restaurant Association. He shamelessly lobbied against the minimum wage, against health coverage, against smoking regulations and in favor of drunk driving (actually, against lowering the blood-alcohol limit). And when I say “shamelessly,” I mean it; did you ever hear Cain apologize for any of that?
Cain’s business career ended more than a decade ago. But rather than call himself “unemployed,” Cain called himself “running for office.” He ran for the Senate in Georgia in 2005. Johnny Isakson beat him like a drum, winning the Republican primary by more than two-to-one.
Then Cain sponged off of the Koch Brothers for a while. He became a paid public speaker for “Americans for Prosperity” (which, by the way, ran $2 million of lying TV ads against me in the last election). Cain was particularly adept at mouthing free-market pieties, like any failed businessman would be.
Which brings us to 2011. And me scratching my head, wondering why someone who had demonstrated a lifelong ability to help no one but himself was leading in the Republican polls. Was it actually because Cain had demonstrated a lifelong ability to help no one but himself? Was that what Republican voters found so attractive about him?
Then five women stepped forward and said that Cain had sexually harassed them. Cain’s defense: there were lots of women whom he had not harassed. Yet Republican voters apparently were OK with Cain’s history of sexual harassment, because Cain remained on top in the Republican polls.
But then . . . it came out that Cain had had a lengthy, apparently affectionate and supportive relationship with a woman who was not his wife! Whoa! Unlike sexual harassment, that is something that those sanctimonious right-wingers simply would not stand for, and Cain was done, done, done. (Maybe Cain should have tried BB King’s excuse: “When love comes to town I’m gonna jump that train. When love comes to town I’m gonna catch that flame. Maybe I was wrong to ever let you down, but I did what I did before love came to town.”)
So here is Herman Cain, a failure as a businessman, a failure as a Senate candidate, a failure as a Presidential candidate, and even a failure as the devout Christian he claimed to be (take a look at the Seventh Commandment), coming to Orlando to campaign against me. And right-wingers welcome him here as though he is some kind of hero.
Apparently . . . some people . . . have lost sight of the difference between notoriety and fame. By every rational consideration, Herman Cain is notorious, not famous. Why would any decent human being think that Herman Cain would be a wonderful headliner at a fundraiser for my Republican opponent? Charles Manson is quite notorious, yet you don’t see Manson welcomed as the guest of honor at political fundraisers, do you? (Although, to be fair, it would be hard for Manson to attend.)
But it worked. My opponent raised a ton of money, simply because Herman Cain came to town. It’s a pretty big year for predators, it seems.
I look at the ugly spectacle of the right-wing treating Herman Cain as though he were some kind of hero, and I say to myself, “we’ve got to win. We’ve really got to win.”
Maybe you feel that way, too.
Alan Grayson For Congress
It was a pretty big year for predators.
The marketplace was on a roll.
And the land of opportunity,
Spawned a whole new breed of men without souls.
This year, notoriety got all confused with fame.
And the devil is downhearted,
Because there’s nothing left for him to claim.
He said, “it’s just like home,
“It’s so low-down, I can’t stand it,
“I guess my work around here has all been done.”
And the fruit is rotten,
The serpent’s eyes shine,
As he wraps around the vine.
In the Garden of Allah.
- Don Henley, “The Garden of Allah” (1995).
8419 Oak Park Road, Orlando, FL 32819
PA Newspapers Miss Story On ALEC Defections Pennsylvania‘s five largest newspapers have generally failed to cover the mounting defections of lawmakers and corporations from the American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC), a right-wing advocacy group whose membership and model legislation have had significant influence on Pennsylvania government. Read More
By ThinkProgress War Room on May 3, 2012 at 5:18 pm
Today, Rep. Michele Bachmann (R-MN), one of Mitt Romney’s formal rival for the GOP nomination, shook her own Etch A Sketch and endorsed him during an appearance in Virginia. In honor of her newfound fondness for Romney, we wanted to resurrect a few of her greatest hits on the presumptive nominee.
1. CAN’T BEAT OBAMA — “He cannot beat Obama,” Bachmann told ABC News in December. “It’s not going to happen.”
2. ‘NEWTROMNEY’ — During the moment that Newt Gingrich was on top, Bachmann lumped the two leading candidates together as single entity — “NewtRomney” — a corrupt insider who supported socialized Medicine and other nefarious liberal polices. “When you take a look and people say this is a two man race I would agree, but the one man is ‘NewtRomney’ and the other man is Michele Bachmann, the only proven consistent conservative,” she told CBS News.
3. ROMNEY WRONG ON IMMIGRATION, CLIMATE, STIMULUS — Bachmann went on to say that ” ‘NewtRomney‘ are on the same side as the president when it comes to cap and trade, the $700 billion bailout, illegal immigration, even the payroll tax this week.” “NewtRomney” also “advocated for the healthcare mandate,” she said.
5. ‘CHAMELEON’ — In a speech in Florida, Bachmann called Romney a “chameleon” for his propensity to change positions in the political winds.
6. NOT PRO-LIFE — At the same speech, she said, “If you look at Mitt Romney, he…has been very inconsistent on his positions. He has been both sides of the abortion issue, on both sides of the issue of same-sex marriage.”
7. PRO-GAY MARRIAGE — Bachmann accused Romney of signing “189 same-sex marriage licenses.” This attack was false, but Bachmann said it cast doubt on Romney’s willingness “to fight against same-sex marriage.”
8. INDIVIDUAL MANDATE — Bachmann repeatedly hit Mitt Romney for implementing the antecedent of ObamaCare while governor of Massachusetts, saying the dreaded individual mandate “was Newt Gingrich’s idea, and Mitt Romney implemented it.”
9. NOT COMMITTED TO REPEALING OBAMACARE — Bachmann often criticized Romney’s plan to repeal Obamacare, which she said didn’t go far enough. “You’ve got to full-scale repeal it, and I don’t think the governors have that level of commitment to do it,” she said in a radio interview in Iowa.
10. ROMNEY ENDORSEMENT FALSE — Back in February, Bachmann seemed to take offense at the prospect of endorsing Romney, demanding the Boston Globe retract a “completely false” story reporting that negations were in the works. “Let me be absolutely clear — there are absolutely no negotiations between me and the Romney campaign regarding any pending endorsement of Governor Romney,” she said in a statement.
Just like her attacks on President Obama, many of the above attacks on Mitt Romney are not true. Mitt Romney is a climate change denier, the most extreme candidate on immigration in recent history, want Roe v. Wade overturned, supports extreme “personhood” amendments, wants to write marriage discrimination into the Constitution, and has made repealing health care benefits for tens of millions of Americans one of his top priorities.
It’s also worth noting that Michele Bachmann’s problem telling the truth seems to have rubbed off on Romney. PolitiFact has rated 21 Romney statements “mostly false,” 19 false, and another 13 have earned the dubious “Pants on Fire” distinction — exceeding Bachmann’s own 12 Pants on Fire ratings.
Evening Brief: Important Stories That You May Have Missed
The Marvel versus DC Comics feud opens up a new front on the big screen.
The Mitt Romney campaign appears to have muzzled gay spokesman Richard Grenell in the days before he resigned, not wanting a fight with anti-gay hate groups.
Romney commissioned 9/11-themed pins for the Salt Lake Olympics, but then had them made in China. He also refused to give Olympics to 9/11 widows and orphans, but gave them out for free to legislators.
After the Senate failed to water down the Violence Against Women Act, now the Republican-controlled House is trying to do it — with a version of the bill that removes the same protections for marginalized communities that the Senate voted to uphold.
A new study reports that salaries for CEOs at American companies increased 127 times faster than worker pay over the past 30 years.
The “don’t say gay” bill in Missouri that would restrict students in public schools from talking openly about their sexuality prompted one Republican lawmaker to say he’s gay.
A former Israeli intelligence chief says that attacking Iran could accelerate its nuclear program.
Romney campaign on invasive ultrasounds supported by many of his backers: no comment.
Jon Stewart takes down a conservative shock jock for his remarks about an openly gay Romney advisor who left the campaign this week.
Other recent Progress Reports
Striking the Chord Between Ending the War and Offering Long-Term Support Yesterday, President Barack Obama signed a Strategic Partnership Agreement with Afghan President Hamid Karzai, outlining a plan to withdraw combat troops from Afghanistan by 2014 and to continue aiding the Afghan government through 2024. The agreement assures the Afghan people of long-term support during [...]
May 1, 2012: THREE Charts For May Day
Why Our Economy Isn’t Working for Workers Today is May Day, an international holiday honoring workers. Unfortunately, our economy — and its tax code rigged to benefit the wealthiest few — isn’t working for many workers. ThinkProgress’ Annie-Rose Strasser highlights three charts showing why we need an economy that works for everyone, not more conservative [...]
Apr 30, 2012: The Facts About The Death of Osama bin Laden
Obama: “I Said That We’d Go After bin Laden if We Had a Clear Shot at Him and I Did.” This week marks the one-year anniversary of the death of Osama bin Laden. The president’s campaign has taken the opportunity to remind the American people of one of his greatest achievements, as well as Mitt [...]
Apr 27, 2012: The Latest GOP Assaults on Women
The Republican War on Women Is Only Getting Bigger While continuing to deny there is any such thing, the Republicans continue their all-out war on women, their health care, and their families. Here’s the latest. All of the Senators Voting Against the Violence Against Women Act Were Republican Men Yesterday, the Senate passed the Violence [...]
Last year, the Seattle City Council voted 8-1 to enact legislation that mandates paid sick leave for employers with five or more employees. This ordinance, which applies to all employees who perform more than 240 hours of work in Seattle within a calendar year, takes effect on September 1, 2012.
The City of Seattle‘s Office for Civil Rights will enforce the new law, and has proposed administrative rules that cover aspects of implementation such as how sick time will accrue, notice requirements for employers, notice requirements for employees, and employee documentation.
The Seattle Metro Chamber, along with the Northwest Grocery Association and the Northwest Grocery Association, expressed several concerns upon the bill’s passage. The Chamber encourages you to share your thoughts about these proposed rules with City of Seattle officials to ensure that employer input is appropriately represented during this important time.
What you can do :
Comment online or call (206) 684-4507 to share your thoughts. The Office for Civil Rights is accepting public comment through April 30.
On Wednesday I visited the University of Chicago, where I made a presentation on “The Challenge of Stabilizing Federal Debt” and spoke with a number of professors. My hosts included several members of CBO‘s Panel of Economic Advisers, and I was pleased to be able to spend time with them and with other members of the Chicago faculty.
As ordered reported by the Senate Committee on Foreign Relations on April 26, 2012
H.R. 1016 would require the President to use existing appropriations to prepare a report to the Congress on the status of reconstruction and development efforts in Haiti following the earthquake there in 2010. CBO estimates that the cost of such a report, which would be direct spending, would be less than $500,000 in 2013. Pay-as-you-go procedures apply because enacting the legislation would affect direct spending. Enacting H.R. 1016 would not affect revenues.